Exploring the Shore: Breakfast in Toms River, New Jersey

Toms River, New Jersey has always been associated with retirement villages, boats, boat slips, restaurants, courthouses, law offices, and a beautiful stretch of Main Street that encompasses it all.

Last year when we ended the “Exploring the Shore” (New Jersey) series, we were in Pt. Pleasant Beach, Ocean County.  Toms River is the next town a few miles south, although not exactly on the beachfront.

Toms River is the largest county in Ocean County, and is also the county seat, where all the official government judicial legislation takes place.  That probably has to make for some interesting conversation over breakfast, for instance.

Plenty of Parking

Plenty of Parking right here

And I found just the place where breakfast is served the way your mother served you years ago.  But only better!  “Shut up and Eat!”  The perfect place for breakfast at 804 Main Street, Toms River is now open 7 days a week from 6:30 AM to 6:30 PM (Summer hours).

This place is a hoot!  Owner Ann Gauthier has been in the food services business for three decades.  She says, “I figured out that what people want is good food at affordable prices, and that’s what we giving them here.”

Stuffed French Toast

Stuffed French Toast

This is actually a picture of my breakfast selection: Stuffed French Toast with cream cheese, chocolate chips and fresh strawberries.  Does it ever melt in your mouth! My husband didn’t realize when he ordered pancakes what he was in for.  Both dishes were under $10.  And if you’re thinking, “yeah, but is the coffee good?”  Hot, steamy and delicious on all counts.

This was certainly a treat for me.  Put this on your list if you’re day traveling at the Jersey Shore.  Or better yet, if you’re spending some time here, you have to put this on your to-do breakfast places. It’s easy to get to off of the Garden State Parkway going south: Exit at the Toms River exit (82A) and follow 37 East onto Main Street.  Same directions coming from south to north.  Just follow the signs 37 East to Main Street.

A regular portion of pancakes

One single portion of pancakes

Don’t be surprise if you’re served by some nice young ladies wearing their pajamas, because that’s the hoot at Shut up and Eat!   Just like your mother served you in her PJs, the waitresses wear theirs and so does Ann (hiding behind her menu).   It’s like stepping back in time.  For Ann, this was her dream, and after several locations of Shut up and Eat, Ann finally find her place in the sun in Toms River and has been on Main Street for the past nine months.  She hopes to stay there for a very long time.


Waitresses in PJs


Along with counter service that serves 12, there are approximately 25 tables serving 80 people daily.   And the best part, they serve lunch and supper, too.

Shut up and Eat has been awarded the best burger, best breakfast, and the best kid-friendly restaurant in a diner category.

Ann uses her father’s recipe for meatloaf, all fresh vegetables from her garden out back and what she selects from a farmers market that brings fresh vegetables and fruit from farms in our fabulous Garden State of New Jersey.

Colorful and friendly: Shut up and  Eat!

Colorful and friendly: Shut up and Eat!

So what are you waiting for?  Get in the car and head on down to Shut up and Eat!  Don’t be surprised if you see me there.

Next  we will be heading a little further south on the beachfront to Ortley Beach and the infamous Ortley Beach Surf Club. Check back for the next article in this series!

Photos by Patricia Florio


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