One of the things that makes the Jersey shore extra special is the amount of small businesses that make up our neighborhoods. Sure it's nice to have the mega corporations around, but it's the boutiques, restaurants, and local shops that make up the true essence of the Jersey Shore.

A perfect example is Steaks Unlimited in Seaside Heights. Whether you are stumbling out of the bars at 2am for their famous Cheese Balls, or you're just in the mood for a delicious cheesesteak or chicken cheese steak on their special (pita-like) bread, Steaks Unlimited (Now in their NEW bigger location across the street perpendicular to their old store) never disappoints. There is a reason there is usually a line for their food every summer weekend in Seaside Heights.

You looking for great breakfast on the Jersey Shore? If you want a '50's-'60's vibe as well, then how bout "Fast Break" on Route 37 in Toms River? Just look for their colorful, neon signs on the way to Seaside Heights, and stop in for a quick bite.

Their prices are very reasonable. They make a kick-ass omelet, and their freshly squeezed Orange Juice is one of the best around. You have to get there early though. Their hours are 6:30a-2:30p Monday-Sunday

Need to cool off on that hot summer night? How bout Rich's Ice Cream? They have been in business since 1955 when they owned a "carvel" Ice Cream store. In 1975 they dropped the Carvel name and independently opened Rich's Ice Cream. You looking for Gelati? Maybe one of their signature "Flurry's"? How bout some some speciality sundaes? They have it all. And it's absolutely delicious.

What are some other excellent "mom & pop" places on the Jersey Shore?