People visiting the shore, or even living here, ask me where they can go for Jersey fresh fish and seafood. If you are inclined and are not staying in a motel, the best place to enjoy Jersey fresh fish is at home. The Jersey Shore has many places where fresh fish and shellfish are available from the local fishing boats. Here are several of them that I frequent and as I think of, or discover, more I will add them to the list. If you have one you would like to add or wish to comment, please do.
Blacky’s Clam Shack – Manahawkin NJ
Located on East Bay Ave. Blacky’s is where LBI clambakes originate. I have not been here in years but when visiting Long Beach Island for the Chowderfest I always made it a point to stop here for some topnecks. It is a little shack on the side of the road that sells clams and shellfish and nothing else.
Crab Shack – Brick NJ
Located at the Brick side of the Mantoloking Bridge, the Crab Shack offers a huge selection of local Jersey Shore fresh seafood. If it is being caught, you will most likely find it there. This is the only place where you can get live blue claw crabs in the winter. It is family run and a survivor of hurricane Sandy’s devastation as are most of the Jersey Shore Seafood stores. I go here to buy shrimp from the gulf and leave with mako shark, fluke or whatever else looks irresistible off of the local fishing boats. You can also have your fish cooked and enjoy it on premises or to go.
Jody’s Fishery – Neptune NJ
Jody’s has been owned and operated for 35 years in the same location. Here you will find all types of Jersey fresh fish seafood both locally caught and warm water. Jody.s has some very good deals posted outside on a blackboard daily. They also cater to a local ethnically diverse crowd so you may find fish such as porgy, croaker and eels. Jody’s is located in Neptune City along Rt 35 South. They also operate a restaurant at the same location.
Klein’s Fish Market – Belmar NJ
Klein’s has been selling fresh fish and seafood on River Rd in Belmar since Ollie Klein Sr. purchased the property in 1929 after operating from a different location in town the previous year and from a truck in Asbury Park and Neptune beginning in 1924. The second and third generation of Klein’s now operate the business along with a two restaurants. Klein’s sources seafood both worldwide and locally for on and off premise consumption. Read about Klein’s rich history here on their website.
Mr. Shrimp – Belmar NJ
Located at 1600 Rt 71 Mr. Shrimp has provided fresh fish and seafood through their market and restaurant since 2001. The current location opened in four years later. They specialize in homemade lunch and dinner items to eat on premises an d take out and they also have a fresh fish market with a wide variety of local and regional
Point Lobster Company – Point Pleasant Beach NJ
This building is located at 1 St Louis Ave which is an extension of Channel Drive which parallels Broadway. When you see this place you know it is the real deal. Their lobster boats are docked right there in front of Gull Island. It is not uncommon to sea fish being carried in right through the front door. In summer the Jersey soft shelled lobsters are sold for as low as $3.99 per pound. Lobsters of all sizes are available all year and priced according to supply. You never know what they may have in the case in this place. Whatever they have you can be sure it is Jersey fresh fish and shellfish. I have bought swordfish here from a local long liner that was being cut up in the back. Be sure to try some some of the self serve chowder or lobster bisque. There is nothing better on a rainy day than a cup of hot chowder while watching the boats bringing in their catch at the inlet.
Shore Fresh Seafood – (2 locations) Point Pleasant & Brick NJ
I visit the Point Pleasant location which is in the former Fisherman’s Co-op building with the fishing fleet as a backdrop on the Manasquan Inlet. The store features a lot of fish that are not local like grouper, but also has many local selection that vary with the season, Always ask because there is somewhere in the back where they will go to fetch a sea bass or some squid if they have it. You can eat inside or outside here and in the summer it is very busy and you can expect to wait for a table. Try the seafood bisque. Open all year. You can read a complete review of the Point Beach restaurant and market here
Spike’s – Point Pleasant Beach NJ
Probably the most well known fish monger and restaurant at the shore due in part to it’s high visibility on Broadway in Point Beach. They operate year round and are insanely busy during the tourist season. They offer fresh caught fish and shellfish as well as prepared dishes. During Superstorm Sandy they had boats from the nearby marina tossed against their boarded up, flooded building but they bounced right back with the true resilience that defines the people of the shore.
Wegman’s of Ocean
Yes, I know it is a supermarket chain but the location in Ocean has relationships with local fishing boats. It was the only place this summer where I could find locally caught tilefish. If you have never eaten tilefish, you must try. They also carry Sandy Hook clams and locally caught sea bass, fluke and many others.