New Jersey Date Night is a series on NJ Flavor by relationship writer Craig Rogers.

A little seaside road trip makes for a perfect date and Avalon provides an unforgettable backdrop. You can enjoy everything from shopping to surfing and, of course, outdoor dining in this affluent shore town on Seven Mile Island.

Besides checking out the exquisite real estate, you and your date can spend the day on the beach (daily access tags are $6 per day/$13 per week per person) or learn what makes Avalon special at the Avalon History Center (complete with a 1925 Avalon life boat you can board).

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When it comes to food, you and your date won’t want to miss the flavors of Avalon. Get ready for a New Jersey Date Night that’s “Cooler by the Mile!”

Breakfast of Beachcombers

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and starting your Avalon adventure with pancakes at Brian’s Waffle House is a tasty way to get your date started. From classics like blueberry and Hershey chocolate chip to specialties of the house including oatmeal cinnamon pancakes, you can’t go wrong with your choice. 

If French toast is more your speed, you’ll want to check out their cinnamon bun French toast and Brian raisin bread French toast. Add a side of Taylor Ham (or is it pork roll?) and your Jersey morning is complete!

For more information about Brian’s Waffle House, visit their Facebook page.

Back Flips for Summer Salt

You don’t have to be a gymnast to score an amazing meal at Summer Salt. A summer pop-up outdoor dining experience at Isabel’s Bakery and Cafe is a tasty great time! Reservations are a must for this Friday through Sunday offering, or order to go for your own beach picnic. 

Light bites include grilled peaches with burrata. Grilled shrimp a la plancha comes with crispy garlic guajillo, olive oil, lemon and parsley. Main dishes include seared scallops and local catch of the day, pan cooked with lemon and garlic. Be sure to save room for dessert because you and your date will flip over the lemon tart with blackberries and cream.

For more information on Summer Salt, visit

Seaside Delight

La Vecchia Fontana is a must if you want your date night to include classic Italian food with beautiful views. Be sure to make a reservation for your table and don't miss the risotto! A perfect way to start your meal, choices include risotto alla pescatora (with shrimp, calamari, mussels and clams, with marinara or garlic white wine sauce) and risotto tre funghi (with shiitake, porcini and white mushrooms in a light truffle cream sauce). 

Main dishes include capellini alla positano (angel hair pasta with jumbo lump crab meat and capers in a light marinara sauce) and pollo alla fontana (chicken cutlet topped with prosciutto, spinach and mozzarella in a cognac demi-glaze).

For more information on La Vecchia Fontana, visit

Double the Fun

Breathing in the salty air and hearing the waves hit the sand are sure to make you and your date hungry for some seafood. Tonio’s Seafood Shack is on the ready to answer that craving by serving up some of the best seafood on the shore.

Choosing between lobsters, scallops and shrimp may be the hardest decision of the day, or you can have the best of everything by ordering The Shack Bait (whole lobster, shrimp, mussels and clams steamed together with corn) or the combo (crab cake, shrimp, scallops and fish, served broiled or fried). 

You might get hungry on the drive home, so ordering to go from Tonio’s Pizzeria is the perfect way to take some Avalon flavor with you for the road. Try Tonio’s white pizza (mozzarella, fresh garlic and basil) or Tonio’s Italian pie (chicken, spinach, roasted pepper, mushroom, basil and mozzarella).

For more information on Tonio’s Seafood Shack and Tonio’s Pizzeria, visit

Lifes a Beach

Considering that lately a lot of time has been spent in the safe confines of home, a little road tripping to the shore is just what the doctor ordered, when done safely and smartly of course. 

For couples, spending a day on the sand and bonding over a meal is a great way to rejuvenate your relationship, creating fun new memories.  For singles, getting to know your date a little better in different surroundings is key to the building blocks of your new relationship. 

Grab your sunscreen and get your car keys … Avalon is waiting!

 Craig Rogers is the guy who gets relationships write. Author of The 49th Challenge, Craig has written countless articles on dating, relationships and breakup recovery. To learn more about Craig, visit

What’s your idea for a great New Jersey Date? Tell Craig all about it at


More Date Night Ideas:

Restaurants That Make You Feel Like a World Traveler

Restaurants with Great Outdoor Dining

Come to My Window (For Ice Cream)

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