I finally had my first taste of (real) summer, because summer to me doesn’t start until the first time you visit the beach. I traveled to my favorite childhood beach spot Ocean City, New Jersey with my brother last week and met up with some relatives who are lucky enough to have a slice of heaven, I mean a beach house…there!
The very first place I almost always stop once I cross the 9th street bridge over to good old OCNJ as I call it, is Bob’s Grill. This iconic place has been around for ages, it actually opened way back in 1928. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the daily, and also rent bikes and surreys out in the mornings for those eager to burn off excess breakfast calories. It’s basically a diner with great views of the ocean and boardwalk, and tons of OCNJ memorabilia decorating the walls from yesteryear.
I have fond memories here from as far back as I can remember because it’s right on the same street we would go to the beach on, so it made for a very convenient lunch spot after we’d spent the afternoon braving the waves and building sand sculptures, too wet and sandy to go into any of the restaurants up on the boardwalk. Bob’s has a walk-up beach grille just below the boardwalk in addition to their dine-in restaurant. The beach grille is only open until about 4 or 4:30pm though so if you’re getting a late start for the beach, plan accordingly. Also, watch out for aggressive seagulls that are also apparent Bob’s fans, I’ve had some try to steal a burger right out of my hands before!
As a kid, I would always look forward to a delicious juicy Bob’s hamburger with everything (chopped onion, mustard, ketchup, relish and tomato) and perhaps a few accidental grains of sand mixed in for some added crunch. They serve hotdogs as well and some other typical, traditional American food items but I always gravitated towards the burgers. They just seem to melt in your mouth. Sometimes we would even make multiple trips a day up the beach path to the rolled up windows shaded by a blue pin-striped tapestry. After all, there was always ice cream to be had after lunch!
When I got older and moved away from home, I still made sure that at least one summer Shore trip was always in order, no matter how far away I had traveled. I had to get my Bob’s fix. I even made the rare exception to indulge in this annual tradition through many years of being a vegetarian. Bob’s just didn’t count in my mind. Celebrities like Bradley Cooper and Kelly Ripa have also been spotted here too, so guess I’m not the only one!
Do you have a favorite beach eats spot at the Jersey Shore, Florida or elsewhere? Share your recommendations with us. Love to check it out!