I would like to apologize in advance for what this information might do to your bikini body.
Having spent my childhood summers on Long Beach Island, my nostalgic return to the beach towns brought me back to a time when I had the physique of an American Girl doll, despite having just polished off my third sprinkle-covered bakery cookie. My stomach used to be a black hole with a metabolism that acted like it was on speed.
Alas, the years have slowed that superhero-like metabolism down. While I can’t eat these treats like I used to, I had no problem visiting all of my favorite places while I visited LBI. After all, moderation is indeed important.
A top spot for either lunch or dinner is a restaurant called The Dutchman’s Brauhaus, affectionately shortened to The Dutchman. The restaurant sits on the water, and every view from the dining area promises some ocean scenery, along with a view of customer’s boats that come to dock and dine before resuming their boating day trips.
It’s a German restaurant, which I just realized along with my discovery of the extensive German beer list. I’ll cut child me some slack for not noticing that earlier. I had other priorities back then, like The Dutchman’s grilled cheese sandwich.
Whether or not this item is on the menu, I cannot tell you. I haven’t looked at a menu at that place since, well, ever. Tiny American-Girl me usually just asked for grilled cheese sandwiches or chicken tenders everywhere I went. That being said, if you ask for it, they will bring it. And what they will bring you is a gooey white cheddar filled masterpiece of a sandwich. They can also bring you a variety of German delicacies, too.
I’m pretty sure that every other tooth in my mouth is a sweet tooth. Therefore, for every restaurant that I recommend, I have to give you at least two places to get some dessert. It’s simple math, really.
Candy shops that feature homemade fudge are as frequent in LBI as Starbucks is in Manhattan. You simply can’t walk more than a block without running into one. However, if you’re hanging out by Fantasy Island one afternoon or night, the closest and most fascinating fudge shop is John Maschal’s Country Kettle Fudge. As most shops do on the main strip on LBI, an antique pick-up truck advertises the name right in front of the shop. Throughout the day, you can stand outside and watch the candy makers create the fudge and other candies, as speakers outside the shop narrate the history and process of making the fudge.
If baked goods are more your desert style, then you could always go around the corner from Country Kettle Fudge and visit the Crust & Crumb Bakery.
The bakery has not changed at all since my summers on the island, and offers a typical variety of baked goods, from cupcakes and doughnuts to coffee cakes and cookies. The entire place smells like years of baking fresh goods, and is in walking distance from both Fantasy Island and a mini boardwalk filled with typical ocean-side shops.
Long Beach Island itself is composed entirely of small restaurants and businesses such as these, and I promise that you won’t miss seeing a Dunkin Donuts or Olive Garden at all during your stay there.