Hidden behind a big fence on Route 35 South in Neptune (just before the bridge to Belmar) is a very cool bar and restaurant that bennies didn’t seem to find yet, so it can easily be enjoyed by locals who want to have some relaxing time and good food: Kelly’s Tavern. We’ve been there only during the summer, when the big outdoor patio is the place to be! There’s a big covered bar, and plenty of tables under the shade of umbrellas. On one side, a small Japanese garden with a waterfall provides some nice scenery, next to the “Lobster Shack”.
The staff is very friendly, and service is very prompt. Whatever we ordered, we didn’t have to wait for too long. You might have to wait for an outside table during the peak hours, but even that’s not as long as many other nearby places that tourists frequent. The establishment has been family-owned for 65 years, going through four generations, and the owners take great pride in their place. As you can see from the pictures we took, there are also many pretty local girls coming to Kelly’s Tavern.
The food offering is very varied. Between me and my friends, we tried pretty much everything that was available, and everyone was satisfied. The main Tavern Menu has all the regular fare: appetizers like chicken wings or quesadillas, salads, sandwiches, pizza and very delicious burgers. The steaks are very good, as is the traditional Irish fare (corned beef, fish & chips or roast beef). The Lobster Shack serves fresh steamed lobster, clams, oysters and oyster shooters, as well as jumbo shrimp. And they also have a full sushi bar, with everything you can think of, sashimi, regular or hand rolls, appetizers and more. I didn’t order sushi, but I tried it from our friends, and it was very good!
Kelly’s Tavern is open daily from 7am (yes, they have breakfast too!) to 2am. There are often DJ’s in the evening, and Happy Hour is every day between 3-7pm. It is located at W Sylvania Ave & Route 35 South in Neptune City.
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