By Chef James Avery
If you would have told me 15 years ago Asbury Park would be the home of my future business, I'd have laughed in your face. Now, I own and operate The Bonney Read, a classic American Seafood Chowder House, and serve as the executive chef for the Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten. Growing up down here at the shore you stayed clear of Asbury Park. That being said, Asbury Park's history is pretty well documented and celebrated. With all of the changes happening here, there's a core group of business owners determined to keep it local, and not lose the connection to local history. These are the places you can find me at when I'm not in one of my kitchens.
COFFEE | Café Volan
Hidden away off the main drag, and conveniently located next to me, Volan serves mostly Irving Farm single-origin coffees. The owners are surfers and super down to earth. It's named after a type of fiberglass used on long boards, not in the coffee of course.
510 Bangs Avenue, Asbury Park NJ 07712
T: 732.45.3399 | www.cafevolan.com
ORGANIC JUICES | Juice Basin
I don't really eat in the morning. I get an organic cold-pressed juice or smoothie here. My favorite is the Mint Nib. It literally tastes like mint chocolate chip ice cream, but made with leafy greens and dates.
805 Fourth Avenue, Asbury Park NJ 07712
T: 732.481.4110 | www.juicebasin.com
BREAKFAST | Frank's Deli & Restaurant
Frank's is old Asbury; it has been here for years. For bacon and eggs, sandwiches, the basics; it's inexpensive and it's the best.
1406 Main Street, Asbury Park NJ 07712
T: 732.775.6682 / www.franksdelinj.com
SUSHI | Taka
A local sushi spot in a beautiful new space. They have an amazing bento box that I get all the time. Chef Taka's father is descended from a samurai family.
660 Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park NJ 07712
T: 732.775.1020 / www.takaasbury.com
MEXICAN | Tapatia Mexican Restaurant
This is a very traditional, family-run Mexican spot -- the owners are from Guadalajara. I'm partial to the lengua (beef tongue) taco, which is very tender.
707 Main Street, Asbury Park NJ 07712
T: 732.776.7826 / www.tapatiarestaurant.com
VINTAGE + DENIIM | Sweet Joey's
This is the place to get a fantastic pair of custom-made VLAD jeans. Joey and his father Vlad, who learned how to make jeans while growing up in communist Czechoslovakia, run a really cool vintage clothing boutique. They've also made beautiful aprons for our servers.
523 Bangs Avenue, Asbury Park NJ 07712
T: 732.455.3183 | www.sweetjoeys.com
CUPCAKES | Confections of a Rock$tar Bakery
They do a really good job with their cupcakes.
550 Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park NJ 07712
T: 732.455.3510 | www.coarock.com
GELATO | Lola's European Cafe
They make excellent gelati. We buy from them for our desserts at The Bonney Read.
539 Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park NJ 07712
PIZZA | Talula's
When I ate pizza (I have converted to a grain free diet), this was my go-to place. Hands down they make the best "non-NYC" style pizza. Their flour is sourced from a small mill in upstate New York. They also make delicious artisan sourdough breads and have good salads and drinks as well.
550 Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park NJ 07712
732.455.3003 | www.talulaspizza.com
CLASSIC | Restaurant at the Hotel Tides
This is a classic restaurant; it's not trendy, but warm and quaint. There's an element of nostalgia here with its long connection to Asbury Park's history as a resort town. I really enjoyed my anniversary dinner here.
408 Seventh Avenue, Asbury Park NJ 07712
732.897.7744 | www.hoteltides.com
DIVE | Bond Street Bar
Bond Street Bar is around the corner from The Bonney Read. It was opened with the intention of being a local dive. They have burgers, good beers, and a a great vibe.
Open until 2am
208 Bond Street, Asbury Park NJ 07712
T: 732.774.1575 | www.thecomplexap.com/bond-street
About James Avery
New Jersey native chef James Avery grew up grilling clams at his grandparents house at the Jersey Shore. He worked with chef David Burke at Fromagerie in Rumson, NJ; Michael Mina at SeaBlue in Atlantic City, NJ; and joined BR Guest Hospitality helping to open Dos Caminos and its three sister restaurants at Harrah's Resort in Atlantic City, NJ. In the summer of 2014, he became the executive chef of the Asbury Festhalle and Biergarten and executive chef and partner at The Bonney Read in Asbury Park, NJ.
FED Feature Stories