Last updated on January 24, 2023 by Wandering our World

The neighboring boroughs of Belmar and Neptune City in Monmouth County couldn’t be more different – though luckily they are united by the number of quality bars in the area.

Belmar is a beach town with many waterfront activities open all year round, and Neptune City is a quaint rural community built on the shoulders of industry.

Spend a day on the beautiful Belmar beaches or explore the boardwalk with its panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. But whatever you do, you’ll be happy to know that at the end of the day there’s plenty of great bars in Belmar with live music, patios, entertainment and even a rooftop terrace waiting for you.

To help you out, here are our ten favorite bars in Belmar and Neptune City, split up by what we think they excel at most: Sports; Beer; Live Music; Food; Cocktails & more!

CONTENTS:

  1. The Best Bar for Sports
  2. The Best Bar for Beer
  3. The Best Bars for Live Music
  4. The Best Bar for Cocktails
  5. The Best Irish Pub
  6. The Best Bars for Food
  7. The Best Dive Bar
bartender making a cocktail
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/santypan

The Best Bar For Sports

1. Boathouse Bar & Grill

Spacious nautical themed pub and restaurant with multiple bars and outdoor deck

Boathouse Bar & Grill has been a longstanding institution of Belmar, having been known by different names throughout the years as far back as the prohibition era!

Safe to say it’s a bit of an icon, although additions have been made to the property over the years to incorporate dining rooms, game rooms, several bars and a large outdoor patio.

With the Boathouse encompassing such a wide area, you’ll find the decor changes in terms of color, furnishing and space from room to room, while still maintaining the single thread of a nautical theme – surfboards might hang from the ceiling at one of the bars while fishing nets deck the other.

There’s plenty of flatscreen TVs all around too, so you can tune in to all the major sporting action – this place is like a sports bar, but better!

There’s a good selection of beers on tap too which is perfect for watching the big game – and the place really comes alive at kick off!

You know what goes great with that cold beer? Their famous award-winning wings which come in 10- or 20-piece options with 23 choices for sauce or 7 choices for dry rubs – great game day grub.

There’re 30 television screens in total along with 3 jumbo screens so every viewing angle is covered no matter where you sit.

They do also occasionally have bands over to perform too, so make sure to keep an eye out for that – just check their socials to see who’s playing.

Boathouse Bar & Grill is open from 4:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Tuesday through Friday, and noon to 2:00 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Address – 1309 Main St, Belmar, NJ 07719

Three guys having beer and snacks in a bar
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The Best Bar for Beer

1. Beach Haus Brewery

Brew Pub with rotating taps, a full bar and an open-air rooftop deck

Beach Haus has been perfecting the art of brewing since 2014 when it took over an iconic bakery in downtown Belmar.

The brewery now has all the hallmarks of a great event space or a place to celebrate your next big occasion, with its open floor plan, tall windows, wide spread seating and rooftop deck.

Seating is simple and straightforward – a mix of picnic tables, high tables and stools. However we think you’re sure to gravitate towards the roof with its great views of downtown – when there’s good weather there’s few better places to savor a nice cold beer.

The establishment features 15 to 20 rotating taps, so you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. And if you’re not sure what to order, there’s always sampler beer flights or you can ask the bartenders for suggestions.

They have IPAs, Pilsners, Lagers and many more. But if you’re hankering for something a bit stronger than beer then they’ve got you covered too, as they have a full bar that dispenses some excellent cocktails.

But personally we feel beer and bacon is a match made in heaven and the Haus butcher bacon they serve here, which is flavored with five spices and brown sugar, is the perfect accompaniment to any brew you choose.

Make sure to check their socials to see what beers are on offer the day you plan on visiting – there’s plenty of information given to satiate even the most discerning of tastes.

The service here is fantastic too, and the bartenders are very forthcoming with suggestions and recommendations. So head on over to Beach Haus Brewery, one of the best bars in Belmar!

Hours of operation change according to season, but for summer they are open from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, from noon to 11:00 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and noon to 8:00 p.m. Sunday. Check their website to see their timings for other seasons.

Address – 801 Main St, Belmar, NJ 07719

flight of beer on bar
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Christopher Zagyi

The Best Bars For Live Music

1. Salty’s Beach Bar

Mellow yet bustling pub with live music or DJs almost every night and an outdoor patio bar

Trust us when we say Salty’s is one of the most happening bars in Belmar with something to draw you in every night!

It’s a very chill joint with great vibes no matter where you sit – indoors with their unassuming décor or outdoors with their big-top tent and painted bar tops.

Seating is a simple no fuss affair too. Just pick a table around the central bar, or if you want to be closer to where the mixologists work their magic, pull up a stool by the bar counter.

But the stage is where all the action is at, of course, so make sure to get as close to it as possible as they have live music and DJs performing regularly.

There are a number of drafts, specialty drinks, martinis and frozen cocktails here, but if you want to really party, we heartily recommend one of their rum buckets which is perfect for sharing with your group.

Their blue island water in particular really hits the spot and comes with Bounty coconut rum, Bounty white rum, blue curacao, lime juice, lemonade and lemon-lime soda – its guaranteed to make your night of live music memorable.

Apart from the music, there’s plenty happening too, with bingo nights, football games and karaoke!

Service here is fantastic and the bartenders and servers go out of their way to make you feel at home.

Salty’s is open from noon to 2:00 a.m. Monday through Friday and from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Address – 1705 Main St, Lake Como, NJ 07719

DJ spinning decks at a bar
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2. Marina Grille

Beachside bar and grill with a large waterfront patio and plenty of live music

This spacious waterside eatery features an open, airy design that is sure to draw you in from the moment you enter.

Indoors is a high ceiling with spot lighting, which, when combined with the garage doors that open onto the patio, provides a real sense of space.

But the patio itself is where its at, situated right by the water, mere feet away from the various boats moored there and offering great views of the river and some incredible sunsets. It’s the perfect date night spot – a table under the stars, illuminated by fairy lights as the gentle waters lap against the piers.

And if the weather is playing spoilsport, seating inside is very comfortable with both booths and tables available.

There’s drinks available here for every reason and every season too. Watching a big game on their flat screen TVs? There’s a good selection of drafts available with an added emphasis on local New Jersey brews.

Want to take in the views on their deck with that special someone? Why not split a pitcher of their sangria or spring for a bottle of wine?

Want to savor a cocktail while you watch one of the frequent bands that perform? You’re covered with their specialty mixes that put a twist on classic concoctions.

Add to all this their menu that features fresh caught seafood (including a raw bar) and you have all the makings of a special afternoon or evening out.

Marina does get a little crowded at times – no surprises, its one of the best bars in Belmar – so expect a bit of a wait (all the more reason to hang out by the bar and take in the scenery).

They also frequently have bands take the stage inside, just check their socials to see who’s playing.

The Grille is open from 11:30 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday and Sunday with closing hours extending to 1:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Address – 905 NJ-35, Belmar, NJ 07719

bartender pouring drink
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3. Anchor Tavern

Beach town tavern with good drinks, great grub, heated outdoor seating and live music at the weekend

Taverns bring to mind old-school watering holes with retro décor, but what Anchor has done here is put a modern spin on that concept. Metal and wood furnishings work with Edison bulb lighting fixtures to give the central bar an industrial-chic aesthetic.

You’ll love the number of seating options they have available here at the Tavern too – sofas are set up in a corner, there are both regular and high-level seating options, stools can be pulled up at the bar and there’s also a large heated patio outside with multiple tables. Just take your pick, settle down and get ready to have a great time!

Anchor Tavern is an excellent spot to visit to quench your thirst after a day enjoying Belmar beach. There’s a number of bars in the tavern, both outside and inside, so you can savor your drink of choice where you please – whether its draft beers, craft cocktails or something on the rocks.

Anchor is also known for its rotisserie chicken to, so make sure to give that that a try – it pairs perfectly with the drinks they have on offer and comes with two sides (go for the mac n cheese, you’ll thank us later).

And if you’re visiting over the weekend, you can even catch some live music which features prominent local artists performing and spinning tracks – check their socials for who’s on.

You can expect good service here with little to no wait time and attentive staff, even when the place is busy. Hours of operation are from 11:30 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday and Sunday with closing hours extending to 1:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Address – 713 Main St, Belmar, NJ 07719

guitar player at a live music show
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Pro2sound

The Best Bar For Cocktails

1. Klein’s Fish Market

Legendary dockside restaurant and tiki bar with deck seating and great river views

If you’re wondering what a fish market is doing on a list of the best bars in Belmar, trust us when we say the tiki bar at Klein’s serves up some of the best cocktails in town.

It’s located on the deck outside, surrounded by multiple tables with umbrellas and also features a stage which frequently hosts local bands!

The views of Shark River from here are amazing and we can’t think of many better places to sit back and relax, mixed drink in hand, while you lazily watch boats float by.

In addition to the bar is a sit down restaurant and grill, as well as a retail space. Everything is furnished in a simple manner and the place makes the most of its waterfront location with an open, airy design.

The original Klein’s retail market has been in operation since 1929, making this a true landmark in Belmar, with the restaurant and bar being added through the years.

There are plenty of beers, wines, sakes, hard seltzers and ciders on offer here – many of which also make their way into their sangrias and mixed drinks.

This is a great place to visit with a bunch of friends and try something off their ‘bucket list’, which is a 32 oz pour (we recommend the Beach Juice which comes with Blue Chair Bay white rum and coconut rum, pineapple juice and blue curacao). Apart from that they also have classic cocktails and martinis – just grab a drink sit back and enjoy.

Klein’s does get busy from time to time, so expect a bit of a wait on popular days. Once you do get seated though, expect some great attentive service.

Hours of operation are from 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and from 11:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Address – 708 River Rd, Belmar, NJ 07719

Expert barman is making cocktail at a bar.
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/santypan

The Best Irish Pub

1. Kelly’s Tavern

Longstanding, family operated Irish Pub with great eats and a large outdoor patio

Kelly’s has been a staple in the community since 1949, serving up Guinness and traditional American and Irish eats.

Irish heritage is proudly on display here from the hand painted ancestral map of Ireland on the ceiling above the bar to the authentic banners and coats of arms imported from Dublin that adorn the walls. The rest of the décor is classic Irish pub with mood lighting and plenty of classic wooden furnishing. Y

ou should also check out their large outdoor patio where tables have been set up with umbrellas to drink and dine in the sun.

You could definitely stick to the Irish theme and order a pint of Guinness, but they do also have a great selection of beers and wines, some of which even feature on their specials menu.

The place even has a full bar and we’ve heard the locals raving about the bloody Mary – its meant to be the perfect drink, especially if you drop by for brunch.

On top of that the food here is well known for its large portions and great sides. We recommend ordering the open faced Reuben which comes stacked high with corned beef, sauerkraut, Russian dressing and melted Swiss cheese on rye bread – it’s probably one of the best eats in Belmar and Neptune City.

Drop by Kelly’s with your work friends or mates to share some banter over cold beer and great pub grub. Plus the service, atmosphere and food are all on point!

The tavern is open from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. seven days a week.

Address – 43 NJ-35, Neptune City, NJ 07753

irish pub with drink on table and live music in the background
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/jdwfoto

The Best Bars For Food

1. Pete and Elda’s

Veteran bar and Italian restaurant which features a large selection of rotating taps and great pizza

Pete and Elda’s, alongside Carmen’s Pizzeria, have been serving cold brews and hot slices to Neptune City for 50 years. The simple, understated décor lends itself to a family-friendly environment making it a great place to visit with them, especially to celebrate an occasion.

The wooden fixtures and furnishings are dotted with neon signs that add a bit of flair, but seating is a casual affair within a setting that wouldn’t be out of place in a homestyle diner. Everything makes for an environment that is sure to make you feel welcome from the moment you enter.

There’s a constantly rotating and frequently updated large list of beer and wine available with flavors to suit every palate. They also boast a full bar so you can order something a tad bit stronger if that’s what you’re in the mood for.

Pair all that with some great thin crust pizza (locals say it’s the best in town) that comes with a plethora of topping options and sizes ranging from bar pies to double extra-large.

And if you’re up for a challenge, they even have an offer where if you eat an entire double extra-large pizza by yourself, you win a limited-edition t-shirt. Either way, make sure to bring your appetite when you visit!

Pete and Elda’s does get busy, especially over the weekends as it’s a regular haunt for locals who flock there in the droves, so expect a bit of wait time. Once you’re seated, though, at the bar or a table, the bartenders take good care of you and are very personable.

The place is open from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Sunday with closing hours extending to 1:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Address – 93 Summit Ave, Neptune City, NJ 07753

wood fired pizza on table
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/JulyProkopiv

2. The Grand Tavern

Upscale eats and craft cocktails served in a warm and inviting environment

This unpretentious little gem in Neptune City serves up some delectable eats paired with some amazing cocktails.

The Grand Tavern may not be grand in the sense of space – it’s a cozy, comfortable joint – but it is grand in its menu offerings which feature premium spirits and mixes with a twist along with elevated dining options.

Plus the wallpaper walls and intimate lighting create the ideal environment for you to bring that special someone and enjoy a memorable date night. You have a choice of tables or booths and can even sit by the bar to watch those amazing cocktails being made.

The Grand Tavern has a good selection of beers and ciders (both draft and bottled) along with a modest wine list. We’d suggest ordering one of their craft cocktails though, which are the talk of the town! The espresso martini, especially, is a treat and swaps out Baileys for almond liqueur for a fun, nutty twist.

But the carefully curated food menu should not be missed either and each dish is prepared with thought and love. The scallops, which are served with pumpkin puree, chermoula and mushrooms are known for being an absolute delight.

Service here is fantastic and while the place does get busy (reservations are recommended) as this is one of the most popular bars in Belmar and Neptune City, you can always spend time at the bar while you wait for a table. Hours of operation are from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. seven days a week.

Address – 1105 6th Ave, Neptune City, NJ 07753

Selection of beer
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The Best Dive Bar

1. Joe’s Surf Shack

Fun, local dive bar with outdoor seating and entertainment. Perfect to visit with a bunch of friends after a day on the beach

You’ll dig the mellow vibes of Joe’s Surf Shack, which stays true to its name with its surf themed interiors. Surfboards and paddleboards hang from the walls, along with a mix and match of neon signs, license plates and decorative nautical memorabilia.

Seating is also a laidback affair with high level chairs set up around the central bar while tables are spread out evenly across the dining area, interspersed with arcade games and a pool table. You can also make the best of some good weather and park yourself on the picnic tables they’ve set up outside!

Joe’s Surf Shack is the perfect destination to finish a day in the sun, or to unwind with an ice-cold beer in hand. There’s multiple flat screen TVs here too, so you’re caught up on all the major sporting action.

The strawberry margarita here is known for being refreshing and perfect on a summer day, and is the best way to enjoy yourself before the karaoke or live music starts.

Pair it with their Baja steak nachos, which come in a generous portion size with a healthy amount of toppings, to cap off an excellent evening.

Joe’s, being your classic dive bar, does get crowded, especially with locals, but with the number of seating options available, you shouldn’t have to wait too long.

It is open from noon to 2:00 a.m. Monday through Friday and from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Address – 415 18th Ave, Lake Como, NJ 07719