The 8 best bars for turning up at the Jersey Shore
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If you’ve ever seen an episode of “Jersey Shore,” you probably have a lot of preconceived notions about New Jersey’s coastline. I’m here to tell you that none of them are true except one: when it comes to drinking, the Jersey Shore goes really hard.
Like, I’m not sure if you understand. Think about the drunkest college town you know, add sunscreen fumes and beachside Red Bull vodkas, and you might be approaching the turnt-ness levels of the Jersey Shore.
People’s entire lives revolve around drinking at the Jersey Shore. We pour vodka into Poland Springs bottles to get wasted in broad daylight at the beach. We’ve all had an underage drinking or public urination summons or five in our lives.
And instead of driving, full-grown god damn adults ride bicycles from place to place like five-year-olds just to avoid DUIs. Drunk and thoughtful!
What I’m saying is we know what the fuck we’re doing. And if you’ve never been to visit the Jersey Shore for a summer weekend, now’s your chance. Labor Day Weekend is one of the most turnt of all, plus every weekend in September will still have summery weather but with the added bonus of smaller crowds.
Go grab an NJ Transit ticket and a Homeaway rental and get TF down the shore to check out these bars, which are all in Monmouth and Ocean counties because those are the only Jersey Shore counties that matter, sorry. Anything else is South Jersey and therefore inferior.
1. Parker House, Sea Girt
Don’t let the double rainbow and quaint exterior fool you. Parker House is a den of iniquity where bar-goers regularly black out in broad daylight and the dollar beers flow like wine.
Parker’s best night is Friday, when Bud and Bud Lite are $1 from 6 to 9 p.m. You can party on the wraparound deck, in the massive first-floor DJ area, or in the basement, where a cover band and woody 60s-esque decor will make you feel like an extra in “Animal House.”
Head to Parker if you want make out with a finance guy in boat shoes with a stacked 401(k). You won’t be disappointed.
2. D’Jais, Belmar
Most actual guidos went into hibernation around 2011 and it’s unclear if they’ll ever return. Still, if for some reason you long to experience the Jersey Shore depicted on MTV in the 2000s, D’Jais is your best bet.
This ratchet ass bar across from the beach is where you want to go if you’re craving 1. house music and 2. random guys grinding into you with their sad boners or, as seen above, tentatively laying a hand on your ass as you climb onto the stage for some reason.
Head here if you want a reminder that you’re way classier than you give yourself credit for, at least compared with most people at D’Jais.
3. Porta, Asbury Park
Don’t let the bougie website fool you. After about 9 p.m., half of Porta turns into a warehouse rave complete with strobe lights and techno.
Porta is half restaurant, though, so it’s actually the perfect locale for your highly lubricated girls’ night. All you have to do is order some coal-fired pizza and beer in the restaurant portion, then sneak into the club area before they start charging a cover and you can dance the night away to some actually-good music. Works every time!
Plus if you get bored in the club area, you can always head back to the restaurant section and get weird with some hairy hipster dudes. The world is your oyster.
4. Leggett’s, Manasquan
Similar to Parker House, this is another throwback special. When you walk in, it’s like you went back in time, and not just because you’ve been drinking for three days straight and your mental timezone has bounced somewhere left of Timbuktu.
Leggett’s is like a gigantic dive bar where the people are actually slightly attractive. There’s plenty of wood paneling and it kind of reeks like stale beer in the best way possible.
You probably won’t find an actual hot surfer bro here. They’re all broke and only go to house parties. But you’ll find someone from out of town who thinks he’s a hot surfer bro, and he might have the biceps to match.
5. The Osprey, Manasquan
I absolutely loathe this bar because they have the gall to enforce a dress code when their logo is written in fucking Brush Script MT, but my friends like it so I’m including it here.
The Osprey is a great place for you to find fellow out-of-towners, but because of said dress code, it attracts a slightly more upscale crowd. I asked my friends why in god’s name they like it, and they said:
“The hot sweaty dirty dance floor. They play emo shit and Backstreet Boys and you’re just so wasted that you sing along and love it. Everyone there is on another level of drunkenness.”
I will give the Osprey this: they have a lot of different sections and areas, so if you hate one, you can easily move to another.
6. Hemingway’s, Seaside Heights
Seaside Heights is the beachside hamlet where “Jersey Shore” was filmed, and Hemingway’s is like heaven for 23-year-olds. It feels just as ratchet as a scene out of “Jersey Shore,” but with a thin patina of class thanks to its slightly less trashy clientele and literary-themed name.
They call it “Hemingway’s Cafe” but after the sun sets, it’s more like Sodom & Gomorrah inside. I haven’t been there since the original FourLoko was legal, but I can vouch that the $30 Uber ride from the Point Pleasant area to Hemingway’s is usually worth it.
If nothing else, you’ll probs meet a vacation coke dealer.
7. Bar Anticipation, Lake Como
Some might call this “Bar Disappointment,” but that’s because they’re party poopers. Bar Anticipation’s Tuesday beat the clock night is a 21-year-old’s rite of passage.
See, on Tuesdays in the summer at Bar A, beers start at 25 cents and go up a quarter every hour. It’s also huge and quite diverse. You can make out with anyone from a finance bro to an off-duty bartender here at Bar A. There’s an indoor area if you want kind of a dive bar feel and some live music. There’s also a sandy outdoor area that the bar ambitiously refers to as its “Grotto.”
You should definitely go to Bar A once, but probably only once.
Honorable Mention: Jenk’s or Martell’s, but Only During the Day
Jenk’s is Point Pleasant Beach’s answer to the idea of a fun beach bar. At night, it’s fine — it’s got a dance floor and either live bands or DJs. It can be really fun if the crowd is okay, but the crowd is often tragic so you’re fucked. Martell’s is similar, only it’s on this long pier thing as seen to the left in the above photo.
But when Jenk’s really pops off is during the day, when you can order a gigantic vodka drink from the bar and consume it right on the beach, legally and without having to conceal it. Fun!
The Jenk’s beach is invariably full of guys who wear boxers under their board shorts, but hey, as is the case with every bar on this list, at least you’ll be drunk.