The summer of 2022 will yield nearly a dozen new dining options on Long Beach Island.
There are several beach-themed spots. A deli. A specialist in Latin American street food. Three new pizzerias. A steak and seafood destination. Just off the island on the mainland, there’s Southwestern fare. And soon there will be ramen.
A few changes of note: Little Sumo’s, a Japanese restaurant in Surf City, has added indoor seating in an expansion, and new management is in place at the venerable Joe Pop’s (a lively spot in Ship Bottom since the 1930s), Smokey’s BBQ in Surf City, and The Marlin in Beach Haven.
» READ MORE: More new restaurants at the Jersey Shore for 2022
Call ahead for hours, as they vary, especially this early in the season. And keep an eye on the Long Beach Island BITES Facebook group, which knows all.
Steven Haggart and Kevin Ketchel started out with a food truck but have moved into the former Harvey Cedars Shellfish Co. with their clam bar. Though it’s a BYOB, the old-time-island mood is like “a continuous cocktail hour,” says Ketchel. Oysters from Barnegat Bay and Prince Edwards Island are on the menu along with fish tacos, a burger, salads, and three kombucha flavors from East Bay Kombucha in nearby Manahawkin. It’s full service, with indoor and outdoor seating.
Dock & Claw, 506 Centre St., Beach Haven, 609-342-0863.
This was the Sand Dollar, Spray Beach Oceanfront Hotel’s indoor-outdoor, beachfront bar-restaurant, before a renovation under new owners. It’s open for breakfast (eggs, breakfast sandwiches, etc.), and segues into a lunch-dinner menu with seafood, tacos, sandwiches, and entrees such as beer-battered cod, salmon teriyaki, and lobster mac. There’s also a kids’ menu.
Drift Beach Bar & Restaurant, 200 E. 24th St., Beach Haven, 609-492-1501.
The fast-growing New York-based ramen chain, which has a location in Cherry Hill, is due to open in Surf City in late June, a company spokesperson said.
Kyuramen, 1419 Long Beach Blvd., Surf City.
Chef Brian Sabarese and his crew at The Arlington in Ship Bottom and Daymark in Barnegat Light are putting the finishing touches on this modern pizzeria and bistro, with an open kitchen, clean lines, and garage doors that open to the outside. It’s a brand-new building in Barnegat Light.
They’ll offer Neapolitan pizzas, house-made mozzarella served warm with extra-virgin olive oil, fresh pastas, and such entrees as charred octopus with fennel, onions, olives, and lemon, and whole roasted local black bass with lemon and herbs. Opening is expected in mid-June.
La Riva, 408 Broadway, Barnegat Light.
Scott Russo and James Wieneke, LBI restaurant veterans, took over Jayson’s Pancake House in Ship Bottom this spring with a casual diner-like restaurant whose tagline is “your kitchen at the Shore.” Something-for-everyone menu is on from breakfast through dinner.
LBI Table, 502 Long Beach Blvd., Ship Bottom, 609-207-6773.
Michael Seifert, who opened Lighthouse Deli in Manahawkin during the pandemic, has taken over Shore Fire Grille in Surf City with an offshoot. In addition to sandwiches and deli meats, he’s baking bagels on premises, from breakfast through late afternoon. Indoor seating is available.
Lighthouse Deli, 1718 Long Beach Blvd., Surf City, 609-207-6167.
Max Oehlmann was an island-raised, Culinary Institute of America-trained chef working at Casa Mono in New York City when the pandemic left him jobless. He’s now 26, back on LBI, inspired by the Latin cuisine of his Chilean-born father. At his rustic, quick-service BYOB named after the signature sandwich, he’s offering street foods such as tacos (including quesa birria), chacareros, empanadas, and wings. It has modest indoor and outdoor seating.
Lomito, 13504 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach, 609-207-6832.
Restaurant lifers John and Heidi Pinto are about two months into their Southwestern-inspired spot in a Manahawkin strip mall. During the height of COVID-19, John Pinto — a bartender and not a trained chef, mind you — began cooking and hosting dinner parties, setting up picnic tables in the driveway, as a lark. “Everybody told him. ‘You should open a restaurant,’” Heidi Pinto said.
It’s fast-casual, with a menu of nachos, burgers, tacos, salads, and flatbreads. The Pintos are also a distributor of Lumber Jack pellets for those who like to smoke their own. Indoor dining room, service from the counter.
Pinto’s Porch, 657 E. Bay Ave., Manahawkin, 609-242-5418.
Brothers Dylan and Troy Sambalino specialize in Detroit-style pizza and house-made focaccia breakfast sandwiches at their new parlor in the Sur La Plage building in Beach Haven. Troy is the front-of-the-house guy while Dylan — a former chef de cuisine at Hearthside in Collingswood — seems to be having a blast in the kitchen, experimenting with all sorts of pastries and a breakfast pizza. At least in the early going, they’re keeping quantities low, to build exclusivity. Look ahead for a fried chicken sandwich that he’s tweaked from chef Aaron Gottesman’s celebrated creation at Kevin Sbraga’s late Fat Ham.
Queen City Crust, 1020F Long Beach Blvd, Beach Haven, 609-342-1132.
Kyle Michel and daughters Alexis and Mackenzie have shifted their Greenhouse Café in Ship Bottom to Rare Company, a steakhouse-seafood destination using locally sourced proteins — and the same culinary team (executive chef Paul St. Pierre and sous chefs Danielle Provenzano and Oscar Bonilla) since 1989. Familiar fried platters and a couple of sandwiches run until 5 p.m. Steaks include a 10-ounce filet, 12-ounce New York strip, and a 16-ounce porterhouse. “If you don’t write about the scallops, hang up your quill forever,” advised a member of the Long Beach Island BITES group. Gulp.
Rare Company, 605 Long Beach Blvd, Ship Bottom, 609-467-3522.
There sure is a Ray behind this pizzeria, which opened early this spring in the former Harvey Cedars Pizza spot. Raymundo Vargas’ menu, posted on Facebook, offers hot and cold subs, a few platters and appetizers, calzones, salads, and pizza (slices and pies, including a 28-inch extra-large that could double as surfing apparatus). There’s a couch and chairs inside for seating, and some tables outside.
7806 Long Beach Blvd., Harvey Cedars, 609-207-6913.