The Diving Horse
The Diving Horse

The Diving Horse

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.thedivinghorseavalon.com/
  • Phone: 6093685000x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Daily
    5:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: Cash Only
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Palmer Marinelli
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: BYO Liquor, Chef's Table, Farm to Table, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 21st & Dune Drive
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from The Diving Horse

The Diving Horse is an upscale byob located in Avalon, New Jersey. The menu created by Chef Palmer Marinelli focuses on the availability of local purveyors in the Mid-Atlantic region throughout the summer. The Diving Horse now its fifth season has earned praised from guests and critics alike for its farm-driven menu, friendly service and beautiful setting. The restaurant also features outdoor seating at three large communal tables that are reserved for walk-ins.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
The Diving Horse reviews from OpenTable diners
112 reviews since June 2, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.5
    Service4.6
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
93% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (78)special occasion (73)great for outdoor dining (52)neighborhood gem (48)romantic (32)hot spot (29)good for groups (21)notable wine list (2)great for brunch (2)late-night find (2)vibrant bar scene (2)scenic view (1)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • Closing Time
    AvalonBeachBum
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Even on their last night for the season the food and service were second to none. I will be there opening weekend in 2015 no doubt about it!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great, As Always
    richojrVIP
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Even if we're down at the shore for sun and sand, we make appoint of driving to Avalon from the Philly suburbs a couple of times every summer just for another outstanding dinner at The Diving Horse. This visit didn't disappoint, from the personalized service from the front of the house to the food prepared by Chef Palmer and his crew. 3 out of 4 of us had the tile fish, while had the fish "stew". They all were impressed by theirs, and I was so enthusiastic, I left several drops on my shirt.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    The food is well above average for 7 mile island. I love that it's BYOB which allows me to drink wine that is comparable to the food. On each of my visits the staff have noticed that my wines are special offering to decant them and showing that they know about wines as well as food. Not inexpensive but worth it as everywhere on the island is pricey.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious BYOB
    Mandi
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    All food was cooked perfectly, the flavors were unique yet not off-putting, they really value good service. Outside seating is first come first serve.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Overall good
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    This was our 2nd dinner at this nice restaurant. The menu is unique and the food is very good. Pricey, but good. I had soft shell crab for my app, which was done very well. It wasn't breaded too heavily. My entree a bit salty so I didn't finish it - braised short rib. Zucchini cake with basil ice cream (from the amazing Sundae's Best ice cream store just down the street) was excellent. Sides included brussel sprouts and charred broccoli which were very good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Dinner at 6PM Thurs 8/28/14
    FineAsWine
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Service started ok but went to poor half way through meal. Appetizers were good, wedge salad. 3 out of the 4 dinners had extremely too much salt to the point where it was borderline edible. We told the waitress and she just said, "Oh." Not what you would expect considering the premium prices.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Homerun
    Laddie
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    The Diving Horse was one of the best meals we have had on the Jersey Shore in years!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Our son and daughter in law actually found Diving Horse. After dining there (they ate outdoors and LOVED it) they raved about it! So my husband and I made reservations, and thank goodness we did! Service was excellent, decor was pleasant, food was fabulous! We had calamari as an appetizer, so very good! My husband had the scallops and I had skate wing, we absolutely loved it! For dessert, we had zuchini cake and the Kit Kat. Oh my!!! The meal from beginning to end was excellent and look forward to going back to the Diving Horse! We have found a real gem in Avalon!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Vibrant Dinner Spot in Avalon
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    Our most recent visit was as enjoyable as we have had. On a whim we decided to do a mid-week visit to Stone Harbor/Avalon and snagged an 8:45 reservation the day we arrived. This was our 6th visit over the past four years, and was a perfect setting for our 32nd wedding anniversary dinner. The fresh local scallops are ALWAYS a great choice and the Tile Fish entrée was even better. The servers are knowledgeable and friendly, if not always attentive. The noise level when full can be a challenge, but you are likely to have friendly diners around you. If you bring children, get a seat at the outdoor communal tables (no reservations needed). Our first choice for a great meal and a good time. BYOB.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • $46.00 tuna special.
    WineandDine14
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    Two issues with our dining experience. My wife and ordered an app to share, and a salad to share, as separate courses. Both were delivered together. We kept the hot app. Returned the salad for later. Second issue: wife ordered the Tuna dinner special, which was described by our server. i was taken back when i got the bill and saw the $46 price for our tuna special. Most of the entrees on the menu are priced in the upper $20 range thru mid $30 range. Nothing over $40. I figured the tuna to be priced accordingly, perhaps at $35. The servers should always tell the prices of the specials.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Avalon Favorite
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    As always the food was wonderfu. The combinations of flavors, textures and food are creative and delicious. Do not fear odd combinations. They always work. Only problem was the noise level. We could not hear our waitress' description of the specials. The staff need to adjust for the noise level by raising their voices.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    Not good! The short ribs were so salty, could not eat them. The chicken was poor. Not worth the price for the appetizers.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not ur normal shore thing
    FamilyOfFoodiesVIP
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Wow !!! Feel like you are in the Hamptons or Nantucket. Really amazing on all levels
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • SeashoreFoodie
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    NIce menu with lots of daily additions according to availability. Noisier than we like but ok. Clothes need to be dry cleaned as they all carry the smells of the open kitchen which is an expensive but not unusual event with the current popularlity of having the kitchen visible to t he dining room.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • In a league if it's own
    phillyfoodie
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    As compared to other restaurants at the Jersey shore the Diving Horse is truly in a league if it's own. With a dynamic menu and always interesting specials the Diving Horse is a cut above the standard shore offerings up and down the jersey shore. The service staff is delightful and well versed in the offerings. A top notch dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Extremely noisy, Expensive but good
    2eatVIP
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    My wife go out to dine at least 2-3 times per week. Anymore when we go out, larger party's (always the table next to us) are so boisterous that it makes the dinning experience less enjoyable. This was the case at the diving horse this past weekend! We could not hear each other and had to resort to screaming to converse. I am all for having a good time but this table was out of control! Limited menu makes this a one to two visit a season. Food is good; however the prices are high for what you get!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Place in Avalon for Foodies
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    We live near NYC (and it's endless restaurants) and found The Diving Horse to be comparable to some of our favorite places. The food was excellent; the service was great; and we didn't feel rushed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sets the bar
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    This was my second visit to the Diving Horse. The service is prompt, efficient and gracious. Staff are friendly without being too present. The food came in a remarkably short time. The menu is a huge step up from the rest of the shore eateries, creative, innovatove and the entrees were presented well. It is not inexpensive, but this is Avalon. I look forward to returning for another tasty meal.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent
    PBV1VIP
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    Many shore restaurants are way overpriced with poor food. Diving Horse is certainly not cheap but the food is very good and staff very pleasant. It is a place to go for an excellent meal.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Richard
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    Year-in year-out excellence at the Shore!! A must go when anywhere near Avalon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • lovely place, overpriced
    Barb
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    We sat outside which was beautiful and the food was worthy, well prepared, tasty ... portions on the small side, VERY overpriced .... the fish special which was good but not outstanding was $44...maybe 5 -6 ou. of fish ... personally I think ridiculous for anywhere at the Jersey shore except casinos which are universally overpriced ... entrees mostly in the mid $30s, also overpriced ... otherwise very lovely, but I wouldn't go back except for a special occasion due to the high price that is not warranted - going back would be based on the gorgeous outdoor seating
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    The service and food were very good, however the pace of the meal was very fast. We felt rushed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • 7mileislanddiner
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    The restaurant was extremely noisy to the point of defeating any ambience and detracting from the food experience. While the entrees were delicious, the salad and sides were disappointing. Prices were too high for quality of food. We were disappointed.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • It's become a tradition for us
    LongtimeOTVIPVIP
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    to meet my brother and sister-in-law at TDH on the Thursday evening we hit the island (can't stand the Friday shore traffic). As always, an enjoyable experience with new and creative additions to the menu. Unique twists to otherwise standard appetizers made the clams, wedge salad and tomato salad especially delicious. Also outstanding was the tuna entree as well as the fluke and the scallops. The desserts of raspberries and the panna were very good too. Once again, the Diving Horse hit the mark!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Superb
    AvalonBeachBum
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    Hands down the finest place to dine in Avalon. The service is as good as it gets in any town.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Yums
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    We loved our meal! It was a bit pricey, but wonderful atmosphere and service...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Superior
    Mimi
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Had dinner here on 7/19/14 for my birthday! I have to say our experience from start to finish was excellent! We got the calamari appetizer which was light and delicious. I ordered the scallops and my husband had the tuna. Both dishes were superb!! Dessert for my husband was the "kit kat" a bit tiny I must say but I had the blackberry cobbler and it was divine! We will definitely return here and try sitting outside!
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great byob
    Foodie123VIP
    Dined on 7/16/2014
    Excellent as always. Great byob in Avalon that never disappoints.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed with menu selection
    TBombVIP
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    We were very excited to try the Diving Horse from previous reviews we had read. We dined on a Monday night and the restaurant was half full. We had a very pleasant waiter, but we were really disappointed with the choices on the menu and the specials. I ordered the wedge salad and I think the dressing was over seasoned. I had the scallops and my entrée was very good, but I was disappointed with the sides on this dish. My husband had the chicken because it was the only thing he could find on the menu that sounded appealing to him. The Kit Kat dessert was very good. In the future we will not be back.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Dining in Avalon
    SerialDiners
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    In Avalon, there are many choices for "beach food", when you want to "dine" the Diving Horse is a great choice - really good food, atmosphere and service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Our Favorite in Avalon
    jazzyjoyce
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    This is by far my favorite restaurant in Avalon. We make our reservation months before our vacation. We are usually a big party so we get to order almost one of everything on menu. I had the scallops, they were perfectly cooked with just the right amount of sauce. The atmosphere is vibrant and the service is great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • maddydVIP
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Food is very good. Excellent presentation. Good service. Friendly staff.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always fantastic
    JGalVIP
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    As usual, my dinner at Diving Horse was delicious. I have never had a bad meal there!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Top Notch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    The Diving Horse is awesome. The service is stellar and the food is tremendous. The best of the shore hands down.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointing
    EatingGoodVIP
    Dined on 7/1/2014
    Decor and ambiance were fantastic but food was extremely overpriced. Service was good to start, but as soon as we ordered and weren't a high ticket table it went downhill. We never received bread, had to ask for water refills, etc. I'm glad I tried it but will not return.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Best Restaurant at the shore
    luvphillydine
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    For three years now my husband and I have made the trip form Ocean City to the Diving Horse in Avalon. Form the flowers at the front to the amazing service and food, it has never disappointed us once. Must order the Scallops and kit kat if you go.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A must do!
    nancy
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    The entire experience was special. Food was exceptional and service outstanding. The staff at Diving Horse should be commended for their attention to detail, right down to the flowers, polished utensils and shining glassware.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overrated
    FancyVIP
    Dined on 6/24/2014
    We didn't have a bad meal here. It's just that if this is the best Avalon can offer, Avalon sorely needs some new restaurants. There is virtually no atmosphere. It was freezing cold. The entries are extremely overpriced at $30-plus, even by Philadelphia Center-city standards. The wait staff was friendly but not spectacular. The dinner wasn't unpleasant but it was also not memorable so I won't be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    Still the best restaurant at the shore. The best thing I can say, is that I have been there twice this season and made two more reservations for later in the summer.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overpriced
    LorraineVIP
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    Very pricey given the inconsistent quality. Duck dish arrived cold and undercooked. Sent back and returned lukewarm and still red rather than pink. Steak special very overpriced at $57.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate