Once an old stagecoach stop in the 1800's, the Happy Apple Inn is now one of the few businesses still opened in the ghost town of Imlaystown. Literally miles from the nearest civilization, the Happy Apple Inn is a place that gets around by word of mouth, and cannot be found easily by even the most avid road traveller, because it is on a side road. The food is one of a kind, and is simply excellent. You can dine in the main dining room, with some original paintings and fixtures from as early as 1850! The building is said to be haunted! Reservations recommended.
Favorite Dish: The world famous nutty pork is a must-buy at this excellent restaurant. Other good dishes include salmon. Basic American cuisine with an "1800's" flare thrown in. A tiny bit on the pricey side. Meals include soup or salad bar.
Try Angelo's on Rt 9 South. Great italian dishes. Love the Eggplant Parm and the Vodka Pizza. Very reasonable, great tuscan ambiance, private parties, BYOB and entertainment on Fri and Sat nights. Also kid friendly (recommend early evening though). I'm originally from North Jersey and this place is the best, not like the other mediocre italian restaurants in C. Jersey.
Favorite Dish: Eggplant Parm,
Got to be the largest menu of any Mexican restaurant that I have ever gone to! Along with your choice of beef, chicken or pork in many entrees, you can choose lamb as well. Kind of unusual I think. My wife chose one of the appetizers and the server offered to make it into a meal size portion. They have an outdoor section and it is BYOB.
A popular and "hot" new chain around the Freehold area is Java Moon Cafe, now with a couple of locations. The nearest to freehold is located about 5 miles north in Manalapan, with another in Jackson, about 12 miles west. The restaurant offers mostly unique sandwiches and appitizers, with some pastas, salads, entrees, and coffees. If you're considering Java Moon, I'd highly recommend driving the exta 5 minutes to get to the Jackson Java Moon, because the Manalapan Java Moon is in a bad and dangerous location and I've found the service is slow there.
By bus, take the 139 or 67 northbound from Freehold Center to Gordon's Corner Bus Station for Java Moon Manalapan, or the 307 westbound to Jackson Village for Java Moon Jackson (April 10-Oct. 31 only).
Favorite Dish: One of the most ordered and popular sandwiches here is the lobster roll, which is one of the few good deals on the menu. The Ravioli is also popular and my personal favorite, and also comes with a large salad. Presentations at this restaurant are amazing. Althogh a bit pricey, I'd say the extra money is worth it, especially if you're dining at Jackson. If eating at the Jackson location, maybe you'll be lucky enough (as I was last week) to get the famous "loner table", located high above the restaurant on a private loft.
This small cafe located on E. Main St. downtown, just north of South St., is a local "word of mouth" "regulars" type place, where everybody is friendly and most people there have a "usual". This restaurant has been around for a while and is a local legend and favorite, owned by the Lewis family. It's a small restaurant, which if you hadn't been curious or known about would problably pass right by. This restaurant is open Monday-Friday until 3PM, Saturday until 2PM, and Sunday until 1PM (brunch only on Sunday).
Favorite Dish: If you're a chili lover, the chili is out of this world. Spicy yet sweet, and problably the best you've ever had (or will ever have). The Mexican Salad is the most popular on the menu, and the Long John SIlver Sandwich is great too.
On a budget and hungry? Order the $4.95 house special, which includes a soup, salad, or chili; a half of sandwich; and a coffee or soda.
People from all over the state come to Freehold just to eat at this famous italian restaurant, which has served fresh thin-crust pizza pies to every customer for over 50 years. The restaurant is narrow and dark, with many different rooms. Each room is themed differently, and in each one you'll feel like you're in a different restaurant. Smoking allowed only in the bar.
Favorite Dish: Although Federici's serves most Italian dishes, you can't come to Federici's and not order a pizza pie and a New England Clam Chowder.
In Freehold, there are many upscale dining places, which I will condese all into this one topic.
My recommendations, with my personal ratings, and location:
-Main St. Bistro 4/5 - American and European foods. Located at East Main across from the intersection of Sheriff St.
-Metropolitan Cafe 5/5 - The best of the best! Upscale dishes and a busy restaurant. Located on East Main in between Center and South.
-Meditteraneo 5/5- A bit less crowded than others, but still an excellent Italian bistro. Located on Broadway (NJ-79) at Ryan. (About 5 min. north of downtown by car or bus)
-La Cipola 3/5- An upscale Italian restaurant on W. Main in between South and Throckmorton.
-Spargo's Grille 4/5- An ethnic popular and pricey restaurant 5 minutes west of downtown on NJ-33.
There are others, but you'll find out for yourself.
Goodfella's is by far my favorite Italian restaurant, serving most Italian foods and great pizza. Like Federici's, this restaurant is waited service only, although is a *bit* more upscale than Federici's. Weekday lunch specials. Downtown. A smaller restaurant. Friday/Saturday night be prepared to wait.
Favorite Dish: The Signature Pizza a la Vodka is the best pizza at this restaurant, and the Chicken Parm is great too. Good Cappacino. Pricey desserts and pizza.
A mainstay on Freehold's Main Street for 50+ years, I love the feel of Federicis - this is no "fern bar", just an old school Italian restaurant with some of the best pizza in the world. Baked in brick ovens, it has a thin, crisp crust, and just the right amount of FRESH toppings. I can't say too much about their other offerings, as I cannot seem to order anything but the pizza. Federicis has spawned some offshoots, but the original is still worthy of its acclaim.
Favorite Dish: Pizza, pizza, pizza. We love the pepperoni and fresh garlic, and mushroom and green pepper. No canned veggies here, it's all fresh. The New England-style clam chowder is also a standout.