Sometimes eating out can be very expensive, especially at a vacation destination like Long Beach Island, NJ. The island’s population swells from 20,000 to 100,000 during the steamy summer months because of its 18 miles of white sand beaches and close proximity to both New York City and Philadelphia. In order to experience the dining venues on LBI without having to empty your wallet, happy hour is a great option. There is no better time to mingle with locals, enjoy fresh-caught seafood, and sip some tasty beverages. Best of all, happy hour on LBI is not just an hour. It is a span of 3-4 hours at some of the tastiest venues on the island. Select libations are specially priced and paired with discounted surf and turf options. After years of testing out all of the best island specials, here are the top LBI Happy Hour venues.
*Disclaimer – Help keep the island safe! ALWAYS drink responsibly and have a designated driver or take the LBI Shuttle home! More info on the free shuttle here: http://www.lbishuttle.com/
Daddy O Restaurant & Bar
Sunday-Friday, 3:00-6:00 pm
Sporting a stylishly elegant New York City lounge vibe, the Daddy O Restaurant & Bar is suited for those who have sophisticated, trendy tastes. The decor is urbanesque and modern, and the clientele is generally fashion forward and fun. While the dinner menu is on the pricier side, the happy hour is very reasonable with a variety of bites for $7 and under. There are also three different areas to spend your happiest of hours: the downstairs lounge, the garden patio and rum bar, or the O’Bar, LBI’s only rooftop bar. It is worth noting that the rooftop bar made thedailymeal.com’s “American’s 10 Best Rooftop Bars” list, a pretty special distinction! We should also note their happy hour sparkling cosmo…yum!
Black Whale Bar & Fish House
Monday – Friday, 3:00-6:00 pm
Located bayside in Beach Haven is the quaint and cozy Black Whale. Our favorite part about this restaurant is its small, unpretentious bar area where locals and vacationers mix comfortably. It has a local watering hole feel, with a lively, intimate, and laid back atmosphere and bartenders that always serve with a warm smile and plenty of attentiveness. While there are non-surf happy hour options, the restaurant is known for its fresh seafood. The 3-6 menu includes items like 20 peel-and-eat, old-bay seasoned shrimp for $6, delicious crab cake sliders for $4 (all crab and none of the unnecessary “filler”), and awesome raw bar with $1 oysters. Also, their beers, well drinks and house wines are discounted. This place packs up fast, so the sooner you get there the better!
Sunday – Friday, 3:00-6:00 pm
Nestled bayside and across the street from the Black Whale is the newly renovated Tucker’s Tavern. What stands out about Tucker’s is its beautiful outdoor bar and dining patio. Their Happy Hour menu is one of the more fully-loaded options on the island offering a wide variety of dishes like blistered shishito peppers with sea salt and white soy (my personal favorite), IPA battered Wisconsin cheddar, a mini wedge, fish tacos, a smoked and pulled pork sandwich and more. Basically, the menu can satisfy a vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian or carnivore, and each option runs for 10$ or under. For those thirsting for a cold libation to escape the heat, the menu boasts select $3 drafts and PBR cans, $4 well drinks and house wines, and select $5 craft draft specials. Also worth noting, if you hang out past happy hour on the patio, the bay sunset is second to none…
Daily, 4:00-6:00 pm
This posh new bar and restaurant is conveniently located in the center of the island, just seconds from the causeway bridge. While The Arlington‘s food menu offers yummy happy hour bites using ingredients from local farms and fisheries (like bacon mac and cheese and shrimp tacos), it is the beer menu that draws the crowd. There are over 20 craft beers on draft, $8 flights, and dozens of other can and bottle options, making this venue the island’s premiere beer lover’s destination. For happy hour, rotating craft beers are discounted, and wine and well drinks are also marked down. They also make some killer specialty cocktails…
Daymark Bar & Restaurant
Daily, 4:00-7:00 pm
New to the island, this funky-chic venue is thoroughly impressive, and therefore broke its way into our top spots. The Daymark sits near the fishing docks and Barnegat Light on the north end of the island and has one of the shore’s later happy hours. This end of the island is quieter than the southern tip, so we were extremely pleased when the Daymark set up shop. The menu is more eclectic than most, offering dinner oddities like turtle soup, octopus tataki and more, so if you like to go a little wild, this is the place to do it. The decor matches the menu, as you are surrounded by multicolor, distressed wooden planks mixed with blue and white patterned wall paper, and pendant bar lights hung on boating knots. The happy hour bites we recommend are the deliciously fresh steamers, cilantro-lime crema conch fritters, or the crowd favorite, garlic shrimp. As far as beverages are concerned, there are discounted beers and wine, but most noteworthy are the dangerously good $5 rum runners….
The Old Causeway Steak & Oyster House
Daily, 3:00-6:00 pm
Ok – we know that this article is titled “Happy Hours Guide to LBI”, and technically this restaurant is situated on the other side of the bridge in Manahawkin. However, it is seconds from the causeway entrance, and is so good that it had to be mentioned. The Old Causeway is owned by the same family who runs the Black Whale. For the most part, this restaurant focuses on the turf, more-so than the surf, like its sister venue. Don’t get us wrong, their raw bar and fish options are fantastic, but the meat is where it’s at. For example, it has, hands down, the BEST wings we have ever tasted, and they keep their “rub” ingredients a secret for that reason! The wings are 50 cents during happy hour too! If you don’t like wings, never fear, there are discounted raw bar options along with the best $4 fish taco in the area. Also worth noting, they offer Hop Rock Jetty IPA for $4 during happy hour, which is a tasty brew made locally. Gotta support the local businesses!
By no means are these the only good happy hour food and drink options on the island. There are so many, but we only had enough time to write about the above because, well, we were at happy hour! Other great options are:
Triton Craft Beer & Oyster Bar (3-6 daily – OYSYERS!)
Buckalew’s Restaurant and Tavern, Beach Haven (Sun-Fri, 3-6 – SLIDERS!)
Ketch Bar and Restaurant, Beach Haven (4-6 daily – DAIQUIRIS!)
The Seashell Resort and Beach Club, Beach Haven (4-6 daily – MUSIC!)
Delaware Avenue Oyster House and Bar, Beach Haven (3-6 daily – OYSTERS!)
Spray Beach Bar and Lounge, Spray Beach (4-7 daily – BEACH BAR!)
Nardi’s Tavern and Grille, Long Beach Township (3-5 daily- FISH TACOS!)
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