12 Hours in Lakewood NJ

Written by Cook Kosher on Tuesday, 10 December 2013. Posted in Food on the Go

Check out the previous stops in our series: Seattle, Venice, Italy, Kansas City & Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and London
 
 
Lakewood is a township in Ocean County, New Jersey, United States, about a 1 1/2 hour drive from NYC.
 
The town was originally stetted as a winter resort for the rich and famous (such as the Rockefellers) at the turn of 1900s. With one of the largest Yeshivas in the world located in Lakewood, it has a attracted close to 10,000 Orthodox families making it a ripe city for lots of kosher restaurants. 
 
Now let’s talk about Kosher food in Lakewood. 
 
 

Breakfast

 
 
Taking Exit 98 off the Garden State Parkway to 195 will lead you onto Squankum Road, which leads you directly to Four Corners Kosher Bagel & Cafe located at 600 East County Line Road. It’s the first and original location. (Two more locations have since sprung up, one on Route 9, and one at Sunset and James, about a 15 minute drive from the original location.) 
 
 
 
 
It might seem a bit cramped inside (you can head to the Sunset and James location for more sit down space), but you can't get quicker or better service. Fresh food is their motto. Aside from their bagels, some of our favorites are the crispy fries (don't get the home fries, not as good), the avocado panini, and the overnight potato kugel (only available Monday through Friday). Fresh bagels are sold from 6 a.m. so its a perfect stop if you’re heading into town early. With sushi, salads, and hot foods such as pancakes, there is something for everyone. 
 

Lunch

 
It’s a little bit harder to make a decision when stopping for lunch. There are loads of options. 
 
If you want a regular pizza shop, try Jerusalem Pizza located in Shoprite Plaza, 
Village Pizza located at 911 East County Line Road, or Pizza Plus at 241 4th Street.
 
All have fabulous fresh pizza and lots of other food. Pizza Plus’s sushi is really terrific too. 
 
 
For a more sit down experience our favorite is:
 
Ottimo Cafe, with a lunch special of $35 for two. It’s really hard to pick our favorite dishes.
 
 
 
 
With seasonal updates and new additions, there is always something new and delicious to taste. 
 
 
 
 
Are you going yet?
 
 

Dinner

 
 
If you want an elegant evening out, head over to Estreia, a kosher steakhouse located at 978 River Avenue. The atmosphere is quiet and refined, the food is delicious and fresh to match, and you’ll feel like you traveled all the way to NYC without leaving town.
 
 
 
 
For a more family-friendly restaurant, head west to Yussi's Grill. There’s no waiter service (you’ll receive a buzzer so you know when your order is ready), but the food is first-rate, with a large variety of sandwiches, grill, and even sushi. There is always something for everyone. Some of our favorites are: Creamy Garlic Chicken Sandwiches, Shnitzel Pastrami, and Chili Burgers. If you happen to be visiting on a Thursday or Friday, grab their spicy chummus to have with your Shabbos Challah. Or head to their other location, Yussi's Deli, for more dips and herring varieties than you can possibly imagine existed. 
 
 
 
If you spent extra time in Lakewood and it’s past midnight, have no fear, Lakewood is full of places open past Cinderella hour. I find it fascinating that Lakewood has food places open until 2 a.m. (Possibly due to the large numbers of yeshivas...and boys can eat an unearthly hours.)
 
If you do find yourself needing food late at night, Kosher Taco is open until 2 a.m. On the north side of town, D-lux is open until 1 a.m. every day. 
 
 
My two special mentions on the south side of Lakewood are,
 
 
South Side Sandwich Stop - best sandwich and ribs and Pita Hut, which has the best falafel on this side of the Atlantic. 
 

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