Perfect eats, sweets and vegan treats Valentine's Weekend at Convention Hall

By Jenny Vickers Chyb

Love is in the air, and thing’s are about to get a bit sweeter with these delicious offerings Valentine's Weekend at Asbury Park Convention Hall! If you're looking for the perfect gift for your sweetheart, in search of a savory snack while you shop, or need to plan a fun date or friends night out, we've rounded up a list of goodies just for you!

Shop and eat at the Valentine's Market, noon to 6 pm, in the Grand Arcade; roller skate and work up your appetite at ROLLER HALL, a disco-era inspired pop up roller rink inside of Convention Hall; then check out the delicious dinner & drink specials happening at the Asbury Oyster Bar and The Anchor's Bend. Whatever you do, be sure to come hungry!

Diego's Chocolate at the Asbury Valentine's Market
Saturday, Feb. 11, noon to 6 pm

On the southern shore of Lake Atitlán, Guatemala, Diego and his family continue a tradition of making chocolate that stretches back for generations.

Adapted from Diego’s grandmother's hot chocolate recipe and made only in small batches, they produce a chocolate bar unlike any that you’d likely find  elsewhere.

The soft, creamy, almost fudge-like texture and bold, fruity cacao flavors are the first things you notice once that initial bite hits your tongue. This comes from a traditional process that is different from the usual bean-to-bar chocolate we are used to, essentially bringing you closer to the cacao bean. No heavy refining or tempering. Just quality ingredients and lots of love.

For those not lucky enough to live where cacao trees grow (as is the case for those in North America), Diego’s Artisanal Chocolate is about as ‘local’ as you can get – from farmer, to chocolate maker, to you. Don't miss them this Saturday, Feb. 11th at the Valentine's Market.


She's Got Balls at the Asbury Valentine's Market
Saturday, Feb. 11, noon to 6 pm

If you are looking for something healthy, but need to satisfy your sweet tooth, look no further than She's Got Balls. Owner Shelly Traister has created a perfect balance between clean eating, but not depriving yourself of enjoying delicious sweet and savory snacks.

"Everything we do is plant based/vegan, gluten-free, organic and refined sugar-free, and we have such a variety, that we seem to hit something for everyone with nutritional obstacles," said Traister.

At the Valentine's Market, Traister will be offering her popular organic "balls" such as Lemon Cookie Dough, Almond Hazel Brownie, and Apple Cinna Butter as well as delicious Coconut Crave Cups (known to most of her customers as Coconut Crack) which come in flavors like Vanilla, Peanut Butter, Mint and Chocolate Lavender. She'll also have Salted Almond Butter cups and a couple other surprise sweets.

If you are craving something beyond sweets, she'll have some savory vegan food for soup like Corn Chowder as well as delicious Falafel Waffles. Mmmmm - sounds like heaven!


All You Need is Cake at the Asbury Valentine's Market
Sunday, Feb. 12, noon to 6 pm

All You Need is Cake makes the best coconut macaroons in the world. Period. I've never tasted any better!

This by-order bakery in Ocean Grove is selling chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons in eight flavors: original coconut dipped in dark chocolate, Naked macaroon without chocolate, caramel dipped in dark chocolate, cherry dipped in dark chocolate, cranberry without chocolate, orange cognac dipped in dark chocolate, lemon dipped in white chocolate, and pineapple-lime dipped in white chocolate.

If you are looking for a gift for that person who has everything, these macaroons are perfect. Just don't eat them all before you give it to them!


DIY Hot Toddy Bar at The Anchor's Bend
Saturday & Sunday, February 11 & 12, noon to 6 pm

Beat the cold and enjoy the festivities at our Build Your Own Hot Toddy Bar at The Anchor's Bend. You can also get yourmade in one of our limited Asbury Park Bazaar souvenir mugs to receive $1 off future hot drink purchases. 

Cozy up in our vintage lounge, listen to live music (on Saturday, we'll have Hey Bulldog, a Beatles cover band, and on Sunday, Dentist performs acoustic with DJ Tyler of Von Mons). Create your own special blend of herbs, spices, cinnamon, honey and citrus or have it made classically:

  • Classic Hot Toddy: with Crown Royal Whiskey
  • Spiced Hot Toddy: with Rock n Rye spiced Whiskey
  • Bourbon Toddy: with Jim Beam Bourbon
  • Irish Toddy: with Jameson Irish Whiskey

Oysters & Champagne at The Asbury Oyster Bar
Saturday and Sunday, Feb 11 & 12, 11 am to midnight

The Asbury Oyster Bar is my favorite hidden gem in Asbury Park. Located in the Grand Arcade, the oyster bar offers a curated selection of shellfish, fine cheese, wine, as well as charcuterie.

It's all about light bites and delicious libations, and you can enjoy a variety of custom and classic cocktails.

If you're like me, there's really nothing better than Champagne & Oysters, so this is the perfect spot for a Valentine's Date. And if you're craving comfort food, their home made soups and grilled cheese sandwiches are to die for.


Lover's Luau at The Anchor's Bend
Saturday, Feb 11, 6-10 pm

After you've shopped and roller skated your little heart out at the Valentine's Market and Roller Hall, head over to The Anchor's Bend for a Lover's Luau hosted by Hi-Tide.

Enjoy a 4-course Polynesian prix-fixe dinner, specialty cocktail menu, and live music from Slowey & The Boats. $45 per person and reservations recommended, please call 732-755-8500 (Thursday-Sunday) or email

The menu includes items such as Roasted Jerk Gulf Shrimp, Shredded Maui Salad, Kalua Pua, and Almond Joy Rice Pudding Parfait. Check out the full menu here.

We look forward to seeing you all this weekend down at Convention Hall!

Jenny Vickers