Top Outdoor Dining Spots for Summer

  • Outdoor Dining in New Jersey

From casual beer gardens to upscale restaurants, New Jersey has plenty of eateries to enjoy outdoor dining at its best. Take your pick from urban rooftops to riverfront patios to beachfront bungalows with these picks.

For sky high views overlooking the beach, Watermark in Asbury Park is top-notch. This contemporary rooftop eatery and cocktail lounge offers gourmet snacks such as artisanal grilled cheeses and spicy seared ahi tuna, while the cocktail menu boasts an array of seasonal and specialty cocktails. Another Asbury Park hot spot is Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten, where live music sets the scene, and the Austro-Hungarian cuisine is casual and comforting. Head upstairs to the rooftop biergarten, and take your pick from more than 60 craft, specialty and imported beers while enjoying ocean views.

Sit out on the waterfront patio at The Shrimp Box in Point Pleasant Beach to enjoy ocean breezes paired with fresh seafood, such as oysters on the half-shell, sauteed crab cakes and coconut shrimp. (Hint: this is also the perfect place for catching the sunset.)

At Focacceria Ristorante in Basking Ridge, bring a bottle of your favorite wine to this BYOB establishment, and sit on the charming patio to savor homemade Italian dishes and nightly live music (weather permitting).

Grab a picnic table overlooking the Hudson River at Pier 13 Hoboken, an outdoor beer garden (serving beer, wine, sangria and more) boasting panoramic views of the New York City skyline across the water. Every day, numerous food trucks flock to this outdoor hotspot, so your menu options could range from Thai food to pizza.

Another riverfront spot, Pier 115 Bar & Grill in Edgewater offers a waterfront deck for enjoying Manhattan skyline views and plenty of sunshine. Kick back on the plush outdoor couches, and enjoy modern gastro-pub dishes like upscale burgers, wood-fired pizzas and sandwiches.

For lakefront views instead, sit on the deck at Alice’s on the shores of Lake Hopatcong for gorgeous views and casual American food, such as salads, burgers, pasta dishes and more.

Situated on the white sand beach of Wildwood Crest, Bungalow No. 7 Beach Bar is the place to feel the ocean breeze on your face and the sunshine on your shoulders as you enjoy island-inspired food and tropical cocktails.

At Stage House Tavern in Scotch Plains, enjoy alfresco dining on the quaint patio with lush foliage, and indulge in rustic American fare such as gourmet meatloaf, roasted half-chicken and chicken pot pie.

For an upscale experience, relax on the beautifully designed outdoor patio at The Ryland Inn Whitehouse Station, where elegant farm-to-table fare and carefully selected wines and cocktails make for a special summertime dining experience.

Another high-end option is Rat’s Restaurant, located at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton. You’ll feel as though you stepped into a Claude Monet painting as you dine on elegant French cuisine, and take in views of the blooming gardens and the peaceful pond.

Find even more restaurants in New Jersey to explore.