When you imagine a perfect Saturday night, does it involve dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets, streaming the latest Disney movie on demand and tucking the kids into bed on the first try? Not exactly #datenightgoals. If you’re itching for a special summer night out with your sweetie, we have got you covered. From waterfront views with the freshest seafood to secluded patios to sit and sip a glass of wine under the stars, these New Jersey summer date night spots will have you booking a sitter before you’re even done reading this roundup.
Here are some #NJMOM picks for sweet summer date spots
If you’re a little bit beach and a little bit city, Avenue in Long Branch will give you and your bae the best of both worlds. Avenue is a modern blend of the Parisian brasserie and the luxurious beaches of St. Tropez on the Atlantic beachfront. It brings swankiness to the Jersey Shore with its dramatic high ceilings, classic brasserie banquettes, ocean-inspired palette, pearl colored marble tiles, and a bar inspired by the hull of a ship. Treat yourselves to a spectacular seafood tower or indulge in the beef bourguignon. After the sun sets, cozy up together at the fireplace in the lounge.
23 Ocean Ave., Long Branch, NJ 07740
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Salt Creek Grille
Although this restaurant has two locations in Princeton and Rumson, you’ll want to head to Rumson for an ah-mazing view. Floor-to-ceiling windows give you and your sweetie expansive, crystal clear waterfront views. Luscious greenery surrounds the waterfront location, leading to Salt Creek Grille’s very own private dock, giving you a great post-dinner spot to walk off your meal – which you’ll definitely want to do if you finished off one of the restaurant’s famed thick, center-cut steaks or their braised short rib rigatoni.
4 Bingham Ave., Rumson, NJ 07760
Stone House at Stirling Ridge
Nestled in the Watchung Mountains, this rustic restaurant takes farm to fork to a new level, using ingredients from the onsite farm that’s actually managed by the chef. We’re talking about summer’s juiciest Jersey tomatoes, picked minutes before they arrive on your plate. The eclectic menu boasts everything from wood-fired pizza, to foie gras, to sushi. Not only is the food inventive and incredibly fresh, the setting is spectacular. The outdoor patio here is not to be missed during the summer months. Sit under some beautiful outdoor lights and enjoy a fantastic meal, along with the full outdoor bar, and bocce court. The restaurant also does a number of special outdoor events and tastings all season long.
50 Stirling Rd., Warren, NJ 07059
Water Star Grill
Part of the Reeds at Shelter Haven, this Stone Harbor property sits on the beautiful bay and is a gorgeous spot for a cocktail or bite while sitting under a string of lights looking out at the water. With a breezy, stylish feel, this outdoor space is ideal to sneak away as a couple during a beach weekend with the fam. The shareable plate menu features twists like Tuna Nachos and more classic entrees like crabcakes and filet mignon.
9601 3rd Ave, Stone Harbor, NJ 08247
The Rum Runner
This light and airy restaurant in Sea Bright is a perfect date spot. With wall-to-wall windows and an open top level bar area, you are guaranteed an excellent table with a view from anywhere in the restaurant. Enjoy some of their creative cocktails while dining on your favorite fresh foods, whether it is a light, refreshing Apricot and Pepper Glazed Salmon or the signature, hearty Rum & Coke Short Ribs.
816 Ocean Ave., Sea Bright, NJ 07760
Take in breathtaking city views of the New York City skyline and Jersey City at this iconic favorite, which is perennially-ranked as one of the top restaurants in the state. With a spectacular outdoor space, summer is the perfect time to stop in for a special (and delicious) night out. Seafood standouts like the Cocoa Spice Rubbed Scallops and Pan Seared Striped Bass are accented by other seasonal summer additions. For something a little different, check out the restaurant’s special events like cocktail classes and live music nights.
76 Audrey Zapp Dr., Jersey City, NJ 07305
Located on the boardwalk in historic Asbury Park, Stella Marina is adorned with attractive bottle chandeliers and brings a trendy, upscale ambiance. Its spectacular beach views with two floors overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Wesley Lake will leave you feeling coastal-chic. Try the Branzino or Brodetto for a taste of rustic Italian made with only the freshest ingredients.
800 Ocean Ave., Asbury Park, NJ 07712
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Here's a #JerseyShore local tip… go to @rooneysoceanfront for Brunch🍴 Only available in the off season, it's a buffet including all breakfast favorites and our personal favorite, the raw bar 😍 . . . . . #localsinmotion #jerseyshoreinmotion #nj #newjersey #thisisnj #njfoodie #jerseyshore #monmouthcounty #oceancounty
Rooney’s Oceanfront Restaurant
This year-round oceanfront restaurant in Long Branch is a favorite on the Jersey Shore. With a huge bi-level outdoor deck that brings diners even closer to the view of the Atlantic Ocean and decor that gives you a sense of closeness to the sea, Rooney’s is a must-visit. You won’t want to miss the Angry Lobster (a two-pound lobster pan roasted in its original shell with garlic sauce and hot pepper flakes) or the Fisherman’s Cioppino. For an impromptu weeknight date, try the happy hour specials, which include $1.25 Chesapeake oysters.
100 Ocean Ave. North, Long Branch, NJ 07740
You haven’t seen a proper Jersey shore sunset until you’ve seen it overlooking the Barnegat Bay while sharing a plate of Short Rib Disco Fries with your sweetie. This newer LBI hot spot is a lively date night option featuring an open, airy atmosphere with fun shareable plates, fresh seafood, steaks, and chops. Once an old boat engine repair shop, this reinvented space has a lot of history to go along with its inventive menu and cool, casual vibe.
116 Northwest Ave., Beach Haven, NJ 07760
9th Ave Pier
Mini golf, live music, and sharing a rum bucket makes for a pretty great date night! Hit up the Pier’s raw bar or dig into a street taco overlooking the Shark River before you head to the mini-golf course for a round. The easy-breezy atmosphere right at the Belmar Marina gives you the perfect summer date night when you want to have some casual fun and catch a great sunset. If you are looking for something a little more upscale, Marina Grille is right next door.
905 Route 35 South, Belmar, NJ 07719
Attached to the W Hotel in Hoboken, this high-end spot will give you more than just any view of the water. At Halifax, you’ll enjoy unmatched views of the Manhattan skyline as you dig into a divine seafood dish prepared with some of the fresh fish brought into the restaurant daily. The menu pays tribute to the restaurant’s namesake, the capital of Nova Scotia, and the chef puts his own twist on things with his house-smoked meats and seafood. Once you’re finished with dinner, take a romantic walk along the Hudson River to finish your perfect date night.
225 River St., Hoboken, NJ 07030