Jersey Shore Restaurants for the Holidays

Best Decorated Restaurants at the Jersey Shore

by Tara Jean McDonald Bonanno

   The holidays allow us to gather with friends and loved ones. It is even more exciting to dine out in a restaurant that celebrates the seasons, inspires our mood, and lifts our spirits. This year we chose the best decorated restaurants in Monmouth and Ocean County. You won’t want to miss these picks for the holiday season!



Scarborough Fair Restaurant

{1414 Meetinghouse Rd, Sea Girt; 732.223.6658;}

Celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year, this family-owned restaurant is a landmark at the Jersey Shore. The restaurant has a unique design that offers highly sought-after private alcove seating along the spiral staircase. Michael Fotinos and his wife Eva have lovingly filled the restaurant with décor they have acquired from all over the world. Adding festive holiday decorations to their beautiful space has always been a top priority. Elias Fotinos, manager, explained that each year they refresh the design and add something new. During each holiday season their host and seasonal designer, Michael Mennie, makes every detail count.

A Mystical Wonderland

Upon entering the restaurant, guests feel as if they are stepping into a mystical wonderland of twinkling lights. From the top to the bottom, whimsical snowflakes and garland add sparkling charm. Customers have compared their Scarborough Fair experience to dining in a castle or an enchanting treehouse. The holiday decorations will be displayed from November 1st with autumn décor, and transition to winter holiday sparkling celebrations through January 1st of this year.

See their menu in our Dining Guide HERE


Best Decorated Restaurants



The Standard at the American Hotel

{18-20 E Main St, Freehold; 732.431.3220;}

The American Hotel in Freehold was originally built as a stagecoach stop in 1827. Now, this New Orleans-style exterior landmark is home to a totally renovated 20-room boutique hotel and The Standard Restaurant. The majestic fireplace in the fully decorated hotel lobby Living Room lounge has an intimate charm and elegance. Festive garland and Christmas decor glitter with sparkling snow sprinkled on teddy bears and miniature elves.

Santa’s Workshop

Every holiday season, welcomed guests will feel as if they are visiting Santa’s workshop surrounded by a winter wonderland of Christmas trees, twinkling wreaths, and toy soldiers. Santa visits for 3 consecutive Sundays 12/3, 12/10 & 12/17 of this year. Don’t miss the chance to reserve a table for their fabulous a la carte holiday brunch from 10am-3pm on Sundays through the season.

See The Standard Menu in our Dining Guide HERE

Best Decorated Jersey Shore Restaurants

avon by the sea


Clementine’s Cafe

{306 Main Street, Avon by the Sea; 732.988.7979;}

Michael Rathsmith and Bobby Johnson have been long-time owners of Clementine’s restaurant in Avon by the Sea. Not only do they offer the best in Cajun and Creole dishes, but the décor and signature style keeps locals returning for more. The ambiance during the holiday season is reminiscent of the style of Charles Dickens. Michael takes the time to intricately decorate each of the Christmas trees displayed in the restaurant with exquisite ornaments that he has collected over the years. The fireplace mantel becomes a delicious treat of elves tucked beside jars filled with colorful candies. The foyer display showcases a collection of Byers’ Choice Christmas Carolers and townspeople in a bustling miniature market.


Family Traditions

The Rathsmith family is renowned for holiday decorations, and Michael brings this tradition and cherished atmosphere to Clementine’s during Christmas time. Visiting this delightful restaurant can take you back in time, reminiscent of cozy memories and filling you with a warm feeling of family traditions during the holiday season.

Avon by the sea
*Notable mentions: Buona Sera Italian Restaurant in Red Bank, Salt Creek Grille in Rumson, Breakers on the Ocean in Spring Lake, & Charlie’s of Bay Head.

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