Access Asbury: Downtown Asbury Park accessible restaurants

Posted by Reeve Staff in Daily Dose on November 22, 2019 # Events, Asbury, Lifestyle

Access Asbury, a Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation initiative, has been making waves at the Jersey Shore. Now a model for accessibility, creative & forward-thinking minds have flocked to Asbury Park for decades. Music put the town on the map (thank you, Springsteen), but what brings more people to the town than ever is the food. Whether you come for a family outing or drinks with friends, you can find everything from fine dining to novel treats downtown. Reeve Foundation Ambassador Scott Chesney visited these restaurants and reported back on their accessibility and more.

With a large ramp entrance and inviting, spacious interior, Taka is a model of accessibility with some of the best food in town!Taka
You want to talk about accessibility? The accessibility is phenomenal! You have your choice to sit wherever you want...Taka gets the Gold Seal!” - Scott Chesney

Urban, chic, and delicious, Taka is one of the largest restaurants in the Asbury Park downtown area. Easily accessible, Taka has some of the best Japanese cuisine around. Its beautiful lounge area is a great feature—people living with disabilities can comfortably enjoy cocktails and appetizers without going to the bar. Customers can also sip on sake sangria in the warmer months on Taka’s large and accessible outdoor patio. A favorite of locals and NJ sushi connoisseurs, Taka is always hoppin’. Be sure to call in for your reservation!

What To Try At Taka: Firecracker Roll (Note: this sushi dish is not for the heat-intolerant or faint of heart!)

eve Ambassador Scott Chesney and Brando’s GM, Sue Plant. Brando’s Citi Cucina
With some of the best Italian food in the state of NJ, Brando’s is also a model for accessibility. Both entrances have ramps to accommodate individuals with mobility disabilities. This means that everyone can enjoy Brando’s fine Italian cuisine and dry-aged steaks.

Be sure to let the host know of any disability or special requirements you may have when making your reservation. While the staff tries to meet all requests, they make an extra effort to make people living with paralysis as comfortable as possible. Weekend reservations can be difficult to get last minute at Brando’s, so be sure to call ahead for yours!

What To Try At Brando’s: Stuffed Veal Cho

Playa Bowls
Playa Bowls proves that a business doesn’t have to be large to be accessible. A fun and tiny space, Playa Bowls has a ramp to enter the restaurant. Don’t let the narrow passage fool you, getting to the bathroom is super easy! This is the perfect place to get a healthy and delicious treat after a day at the beach. From super fruit bowls to juice cleanses, there’s something for everyone in the family here. Playa Bowls isn’t just wheelchair friendly, it’s dog-friendly, too! Local pooches go bananas over free “puppy bowls,” a small treat that keeps their coats shiny and soft.

What To Try: Nutelloco Coconut Bowl

Scott Chesney gives a thumbs up as he enjoys a slice of a Johnny Mac bar pie.Johnny Mac House Of Spirits
“Everything looks wonderfully accessible. It’s definitely a place I would consider frequenting if I were you!” – Scott Chesney

Asbury Park’s favorite local hang out, Johnny Mac, has everything from ski ball to free bar pies! Best of all, it’s accessible! While the place does have different levels with stairs, the main floor has plenty of space and table options for individuals with wheelchairs. Johnny Mac is the place to be for commotion, games, drinks and fun!

What To Try: The Bar Pie

Sami’s Mediterranean Street Food
A crowd waits to enter Sami’s Mediterranean Street Food on the Asbury Park Restaurant Tour. Easy to get to, easy to enter, Sami’s Mediterranean Street Food knocks the [falafel] ball out of the park in both taste and accessibility. From pita bread to baklava, this is an authentic eatery featuring exotic foods that just have to be tried! Totally casual, anyone can come in for a quick meal or a grab and go. Its complete accessibility makes it a unique and delicious option for all, including those living with paralysis. Located on Main Street, it’s right next to all the downtown galleries, theaters and bars—a perfect stop for a day in AP!

What To Try: Falafel Wrap

These are just some of the great restaurants in downtown Asbury Park. Be sure to look for some of these at the next Access Asbury event: Savor Asbury! We will be sampling some of the best food in town, so be sure to attend. Stay tuned for more information!

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The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.