Top 10 Restaurants In Matawan / Aberdeen

Cori Dunphy
Cori Dunphy
Published on April 1, 2018

Looking for some great places to eat out locally?  Believe it or not, the Matawan / Aberdeen offers a great selection of fabulous restaurants.  In fact, I really believe that this little suburb in Monmouth County may just offer some of the best restaurants in the area!

Alas, the Top 10 Restaurants  in Matawan / Aberdeen  (based on the proven, purely scientific selection method of Yelp, Google, and the most important people, the citizens of the Matawan / Aberdeen Community, and -to be honest- MY personal opinion. Please keep in mind these are listed in NO particular order).  Please also note this list does NOT include Pizza Places or restaurants known for their pizza.  That my friends, is a totally different blog article coming out soon!

1. MALONEYS 

Calling all craft beer lovers! No Need to travel to the big city anymore to enjoy the very best imported and domestic brews. Maloney’s offers over 100 rotating draught lines. They specialize in  high-end imports, seasonal specialties, the seriously some of the  best local beer. Just ask my Husband! (Maloneys Web Site)  Maloneys really is a great little neighborhood place.  Although it is true that many people gather here for the incredible beer selection, make no mistake, there is some pretty dang good food here as well! Bring Your appetite when you come. The portions are a nice size! There is a nice variety of food here at Maloney’s but My family tends to stick with the burgers.  They are a pretty jumbo and super delicious!   Maloney’s serves lunch and dinner seven days a week- and brunch on Sundays.  ” Maloney’s have good specials and a massive offering of fresh craft beers served with pride (tap lines are clean, they use proper glassware, etc) -Andrew DeChristopher 

Maloneys located in the heart of Matawan, also offer Brunch on Sundays.  You can start your morning, or afternoon off with a mimosa, a witbier Mimosa (belgian wit style beer and orange juice) or a Bloody Mary.  From there you can move onto anything from Steak and Eggs to the Good Morning Burger.  Brunch is served every Sunday from 12pm – 3pm.  This is really worth giving a try if you’re looking for somewhere for brunch.

2. KICKYS 

More then just sushi.  Coming in on our Top 10 Restaurants in Matawan / Aberdeen is Kickys.  Knows for it’s Asian Fusion Flare and fabulous fresh Sushi this has been a popular spot for the past few years. About a year ago, kicky’s left it’s original location and moved just a bit down the road on Hwy 34.  I think it was a wonderful move for them.  If you love Asian Fusion, this just may be your new Home!  But Please keep in mind,  this restaurant offers more than just Thai, try some Vietnamese or Singaporean entrees while you are here, they are outstanding. 

The restaurant itself, is warm and inviting. The owners have designed a fabulous modern interior. To be honest I was really surprised when I walked in the first time.  Don’t let the simple location fool you. Kickys may be located in a small “strip mall” but you’d never know if when you step inside.    Everything from curtains that adorn the booths, to green foliage with a buddha sculpture create a nice vibe for a great dining experience. Very modern, clean and comfortable. 

I think one of the biggest issues is that Kicky’s doesn’t advertise enough.  It’s mostly word of mouth.  I promise you, the food is fresh, delicious and so worth a try. This place is photogenic, especially the food, snap a few pictures and share with your friends.  The presentation here is A+. The food itself is absolutely out of this world.   Start with an appetizer . The Vietnamese style shrimp spring rolls as an appetizer with large fresh shrimp, green onions and noodles inside and 2 delicious dipping sauces.   The only issue that did come up was pricing.  Many people felt the prices were high, but did say that food was delicious to compensate for that.

3. ABY’S     

Now what type of a Top 10 Restaurant List would it be without Mexican Food? Located right near the Matawan Train Station, it’s hard to walk by after a commute home from work without stopping by!  This fabulous little gem is owned by Elias and his wife Aby.  Originating from Puebla Mexico, they incorporate the true authentic flavors that they grew up with.  Once you open the doors to this fabulous Mexican restaurant you get the immediate feeling of warmth.  The atmosphere is so authentic and welcoming, and until you can escape to the fabulous county of Mexico, this maybe be the next best thing locally! They take “Mexican Food” seriously here, and you can tell by the size of the menu.  From amazing appetizers to the Aby signatures to the chicken dishes to the seafood.  The options seem endless.  They also offer combinations that allow you to try a little bit of a few things.  Of course you can get quesadillas, and fajitas and burritos, but I PROMISE YOU, there is so much more.  They are very well known for the Mole Poblano sauce.  It is 100% home made and fresh, and takes a minimum of 24 hours to prepare.  This adorable BYOB restaurant offers wonderful choice on their menu.  Everyone I have spoken too raves about the guacamole.  They love to start their dining experience with a fresh bowl paired with delicious chips!  From there you have some serious decisions to make.  Do you feel like burritos?  Quesdadillas?  Are you more of a fajita or tamales person?  You can choose from many chicken dishes or fish!  The best part, for those who can’t make a decision they offer combination platters.  DELISH.   If Mexican food is one of your favorites Aby’s is TRULY Not to be missed!

4. MJ’S

If you are looking for a local “hangout” look no further.  Here at MJ’s you have  the option of sitting in the bar with the casual atmosphere or the dining room with a slightly more formal feel to it.  If you catch the weather just right, It has an amazing view of a lake, it has a deck and garden in the back great for taking pictures or just to relax after dinner.  On those gorgeous nights, you won’t even believe you are sitting in Matawan, it feels like vacation. They offer a generous sized menu, with many different options.  You can alway start with the MJ’s Nachos, MJ’s wings or a hot bowl of yummy soup!  From there you can move on to one of their specialty salads, or signature sandwiches.  MJ’s amazing big burgers are ALWAYS HIT or you can choose from the main entrees where they do offer, chicken, fish or steak.  Pizza is also taken VERY seriously at MJ’s . They offer everything from penne vodka pizza to buffalo pizza to everything in between. They do offer all pies in 3 sizes, personal (10″) small (12″) or large (16″)  So bring you appetite, of of these fabulous pies makes for a great appetizer if you are hanging out with family or friends.  Please keep in mind, MJ’s does offer a gluten free pizza as well as a few other gluten free items!  Take a peek at their menu here!

So I like to be as honest as I possibly can when writing this blogs.  So here goes.  The food, the atmosphere wonderful.  Service? It could be better.  We enjoy the food so much that when my family decides to come to MJ’s we expect the food to take quite awhile.  We like to have a night out, so it’s really not that big of a deal for us, but if you are looking for a place for a quick in and out, this may not be your place.  Having said that, the location, the view and the food does make up for the service.  Don’t get me wrong, the wait staff is very very friendly, it just seems to take quite awhile to order and get the food to the table. 

Keep in Mind, MJ’s also does Weddings and Banquets and has beautiful rooms to accommodate large groups! 

5. LA MADONNA

I have to tell you this little gem is “fabulous”.  My only complaint is I wish the location was “bigger”. This is a good thing.  I”m selfish, I don’t want to wait for a table when I’m hungry, I’M HUNGRY..   My family could eat here all the time. This Italian restaurant is owned by Madonna and Tony and The food is beyond fabulous, but there may be quite a wait at times because everyone else thinks the food is delicious too! I personally think it’s worth the wait.   Every time we walk in we are greeted with a friendly hello and every single waiter and or waitress has been wonderful.  You can start off with the basics here, PIZZA.  But this is no ordinary pizza.  Pizza choices range from the Brooklyn, to the Don Antonio, from the Chicken Caesar to the Nutella Snow White.  The choices are endless.  My absolute favorite is the Upside Down with a hint of Basil.  These Pizzas are more like a meal! Having said that, the entire menu is great!  The appetizers are always a hit.  We have had the mozzarella sticks, and fried ravioli, the buffalo wings and the fried calamari.  Each one was better then the next! You can then move onto the Salads.  Again, these are not just your normal run of the mill salads.  They are creative, unique and so full of flavor.  From this point you can decide if you want to stick with Pasta, Chicken, Veal, Shrimp or even a HUGE Hero for dinner. Whatever direction you choose to go in, you’ll be more then satisfied with your meal.  Everything is cooked to order, and nothing is ever frozen. There is really no other way to describe the good at La Madonna, every single thing is delicious.  Keep in mind again, food is cooked to order.  Don’t expect to come in, sit down and get your food in a second.  It’s not happening.  La Madonna is BYOB so my suggestion.  BYOB.  Sit, relax, get a few appetizers and enjoy.  This restaurant is an absolute MUST on your list of places to try in the Matawan / Aberdeen area.

6.  THE BRASS RAIL 

 I truly think this place is a little hidden gem.  How Many of you have even heard of the Brass Rail?  With a welcoming atmosphere, full bar, and big menu, Brass Rail is a perfect place to meet some friends for lunch, dinner, or just a few drinks. On the weekends they offer  live music and during the week they have trivia or poker.  It’s a great place to gather with friends or family or c atch a quick meal if you are on the run and want to stay local.  The food seems very “bar like” however there are some wonderful dishes hidden inside.   They have the typical appetizers that you would expect in a ” bar type atmosphere” but they are really really good dishes mixed in.  You can start with the Nachos or the Chicken Fingers.  My boys had the wings and loved them.  They have soups and salads, ( I suggest you try the french onion soup.. DELISH) .  One of the most popular items at the Brass Rail is the Prime Rib!  The Rib here is slow roasted for 4 hours daily.  EVERYBODY who has the Prime Rib here raves about it.  It’s also pretty amazing how they manage to have so many specials each night and for ONLY $12.99 (25 specials to be exact)  It’s crazy.  There is always something on the specials menu for everyone in your party, and the food is yummy and HUGE portions.  The waitstaff is extremely friendly and if you take a look around, you just may spot a fabulous waiter who looks exactly like “Murr” from impractical jokers!  Can you believe it?  Murr, right here in Matawan, NJ . It’s amazing to me that I didn’t know about this place sooner.  I have passed it so so many times and never stopped in.  I have to say i’m really glad we finally gave it a try.  It’s a great place to go for a quick family dinner, but we recently met friends at the bar on a Saturday night for a few drinks and then had dinner.  Food was fabulous, service was excellent and it’s priced perfect.  It’s just one of those easy to stop into places right here in our own backyard.  

 

7. MEDITERRANEAN CHATEAU

So a few months ago my husband and I wanted to go out for dinner.  Nothing crazy fancy or expensive.  We didn’t want to go to the same places we always end up in , and we didn’t really want to drive all that far away.  After going back and forth for what seemed like forever he said, “hey you know that place we always pass on 79 that Mediterranean place”.  I had no idea what he was talking about, but I was starving so off we went!  I can NOT believe how pleasantly surprised I was from the moment we walked in.  It was truly a warm and welcoming atmosphere, and more surprisingly it was extremely crowded. Mediterranean Chateau is a Portuguese restaurant and bar located in Matawan.  I mean how crazy, I have driven past this place hundreds, no thousands of times and never really paid attention.  Well now we are hooked.  At the Mediterranean Chateau they offer a wide variety of daily specials. They have different sized lobsters that are delicious.  There is a nice selection of veal, chicken and steak.  I can personally say the filet is wonderful.  There are smaller portion lunch entrees and sandwiches available in the bar,. Come in and ask your server about our specials today or check our facebook page where our daily specials are posted daily.

Try something grilled over our Portuguese style barbecue and rotisserie. A 100% wood lump charcoal pit imbues the meat with a distinct, natural flavor. Whether you choose filet mignon, Angus porterhouse, Angus skirt steak, Angus t-bone, pork ribs, chicken or whole fish, our barbecue selections are sure to be the highlight of your meal.

 

8. MAHZU

I can’t imagine that anyone living somewhat local to the Matawan / area is unfamiliar with Mahzu!  Since opening it’s doors in 1999, The reputation of Mahzu has been pure perfection  with their fresh sushi and healthy Japanese cuisine. The pure belief in quality is nothing new for these owners— they are generation of a family born and raised to know what makes the best fish, starting from the farm and ending on the table. This Japanese BYOB spot with sushi staples & fantastic chefs putting on hibachi shows make this not only a wonderful meal but a fabulous night out with family or friends.  Did I mention that it’s BYOB and there just happens to be a liquor store right next door? How convenient.  Now as much as I love and I do LOVE their sushi, for me it’s all about the hibachi.  It’s just so much fun to sit around that  huge “stove” and watch the show as the chefs prepare simply amazing food.  I have heard and even read that people say their prices for Hibachi are very high.  I have to disagree, I think it’s right on target with other places, but I do believe the food here is better.  It’s not cheap to go out for Hibachi, but It is filling and it’s more then just a a meal for many, it’s a night out!  I do also like that they have a Hibachi menu for children. Mahzu is more then just great food.  It’s an experience.  I know my family has celebrated many wonderful occasions around the hibachi table with family and friends enjoying the “show” put on by our chef.   From the delicious appetizers, to the combination “boxes” , from Tempura toTeriyaki, from Salad to Soup….. every item on the menu is fabulous.  The Sushi and Sashimi is some of the best around.  If you like sushi, give some of the specialty rolls a try.  The SanFrancisco Roll and the Paradise roll are out of this world.  Looking for something a little different.  Try the Hot Lover Roll or the Crazy Roll.  You know what, try them all, I haven’t had single roll that i didn’t love.  If Hibachi is your thing, (like it is mine) Good luck deciding what to order?  Steak?  Chicken?  Shrimp?  Salmon?  Lobster.  I suggest you try a combo, they are all just too good to pick one!  There is really NOTHING bad I can say about Mazhu.  The location, the service, the food and the experience.  All fantastic!

9. Ganga

So I guess by now you can tell there is NO shortage of Asian inspired /Sushi in the Matawan / Aberdeen area.  Here is the thing.  Each restaurant brings something special and unique to to the table.  “Literally”.

Ganga serves authentic pan asian cuisine and sushi in a fabulous contemporary  environment.   When you walk through the doors of  GANGA, you truly feel like you are on a vacation in South East Asia.  Sophistication  best describes the atmosphere of Ganga.  It has been noted by many that Ganga is a bit pricey.  More of a spot for an occasion or a date night vs bringing the kids.  That’s not to say that kids aren’t welcome, and you will often see families dining, it’s just a bit on the expensive side for the little ones!  But the food….. IT’S DELISH.  It also seems that the “talk of the town” are the Martinis served up at Ganga.  Literally every person I spoke to about the restaurant noted the Martini! From the lychee martinis to the Sake Martinis and everything in between.  A Martini is 100% on my list of drinks to try next time we stop in!

“Presentation is also something truly wonderful at Ganga.Every time we dine at Ganga it is a delicious adventure in flavors and tastes.
They have some of the best sushi this side of the Hudson, the chefs are craftsmen who make each dish not only a delight for the palette, but for the eye as well.
We have never been disappointed with anything the entire experience is worth a trip if you are looking for quality and value in a beautiful setting.” , Matawan Al.

The appetizers are some of our favorite anywhere, try the Grand Marnier Shrimp, or the clay pot all , delicious and filling. They have a good selection of sake which we enjoy after our meal with one of their signature deserts.  Truth is, I haven’t heard about anyone trying a dish here that they didn’t love.  I will tell you something important to note, Make reservations.  Ganga is not huge, and it’s known as a little hot spot, like a taste of NYC on this side of the Hudson.  It gets crowded, so please plan accordingly! 

 In GANGA we treat you not as customers but guests in our home. Uncompromising attention to detail and exceptional service will make you feel like we go to great length to ensure that our guests are happy, many ingredients used to create the tasty master pieces are made with detail to perfection and integrated into executive chef/owner Jason Lin vision of what a great restaurant should be.

10. COURT JESTER

 “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name”.  If you’re looking or a local bar where you can pop in any time of day or night for some snacks, good food and fabulous drinks, this just may be the local spot for you.  Known to many as the “neighborhood bar”, the Court Jester is the perfect spot to dine with family and friends.   “The Jester” as we’ve been calling it for years and years is a great place to catch Sunday football, enjoy wings and great beer.  Atmosphere is always fun and relaxed, (unless a big game is going on and people are screaming, but don’t judge.  I’m one of those people).  The menu is pretty much what you would expect in a “bar type atmosphere”, but they do step it up a bit.  Appetizers that you really should consider trying:  EL GRANDE NACHOS and WINGS.  The others are wonderful too but these really should NOT be missed.  From there you an move onto a salad or sandwiches and wraps, burritos,  fajitas.  You name it, there is a little bit of EVERYTHING for everyone.  I would highly suggest you stick with the good ole burger.  The Jack Daniels burger is super YUMMY.  If a big salad is more your “thing”, head on over the “grazing station” where you’ll find a pretty large salad bar.  A MEAL IN ITSELF MAKE YOUR OWN SOUP, FRESHLY MADE CAESAR SALAD, EXOTIC SALAD BAR, WARM HOMEMADE BREADS AND MORE… SELECTIONS CHANGE DAILY… ADD GRAZING TO ANY ENTREE $3.95 “THE GRAZING STATION” IS ONLY AVAILABLE AT THE ABERDEEN COURT JESTER” (Court Jester webpage)

There is so much I can say about the “Jester”.  The truth is, if you’re looking for a pretty quick and good meal, fabulous atmosphere, a great place to catch a few games on tv, and a nice selection of beers..  The Court Jester is definitely a place you should check out!

So there you have.  Top 10 Restaurants in the Matawan / Aberdeen Area.  Print out the list, keep it handy and next time you are planning on heading out for some yummy food, give one of these picks a try.  Please reach out to me at [email protected] and let me know your thoughts!

 

About the Author:

Cori can be reached via email at [email protected] or by phone at 732 213 0325. Cori has helped many people buy and sell homes in the Monmouth County area for years.

Thinking of selling your home? I have a real passion for buying and selling Monmouth County homes, as well as marketing, social media and anything that goes along with it. Real Estate is my passion!  I’d love to have the chance to use my expertise to help sell your home!

I help people buy and sell real estate in ALL of Monmouth County but I do have a strong following in the following Monmouth County towns:  MarlboroMorganvilleManalapanMatawanAberdeenHazletHolmdelKeyport and Colts Neck, and of course, “Down the Shore”.

Connect with Cori on FacebookInstagram, and pretty much everywhere else!

If you think Monmouth County could be the perfect place to find your new home, let’s get together and answer any questions you may have. Cori Dunphy & RE/MAX Central have been selling in Monmouth County for over 35 years and are dedicated to your satisfaction.  Be sure to check out the list of current  Homes For Sale.

 

Curious to see what my Top 10 Restaurants in Marlboro and Morganville are?  Check out my blog article here!

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