The 10 Best Restaurants And Diners In Ocean City, Maryland
Ocean City, Maryland is a lovely resort town on the Atlantic coast, featuring 10 miles of coastline, plus a three-mile boardwalk filled with tasty treats and other fun shops. Here are some of the best places to eat.
A well-loved staple in Ocean City for over 40 years, Anthony’s Beer, Wine and Deli is a family-owned and operated establishment selling a host of alcoholic beverages and delicious deli sandwiches and side dishes. Using the best-quality ingredients, including meats from Boar’s Head and Citterio, sandwich lovers can choose from 12-inch hoagies or the Captain’s Choice varieties, which include a half a pound of meat, to vegetarian and speciality items. Two tasty options include the Flagship, which has cappicola ham, pepper ham, Genoa salami and provolone cheese with various veggies, olive oil, wine vinegar, oregano and hot peppers, and the Aegean, with feta cheese, sliced kalamata olives, various veggies and seasonings. A takeaway joint, it is the perfect spot to stop by before heading to the beach for a relaxing afternoon.
Established in 1984, and at its current location since 1995, Crab Alley is a mouth-watering seafood eatery with an emphasis — as the name suggests — on crab. Seafood lovers will be impressed not only by the innovative crab dishes, but also the array of other seafood, fish, and even meat. Notable items, all of which can be enjoyed on the outside patio with a beautiful view of the fishing harbour, include the cream-of-crab soup, crab-cake sandwich, and the soft-shell crab, which is breaded in panko breadcrumbs and fried. Loved by both locals and out-of-towners, Crab Alley also has a seafood market on site where soups, salads, and a host of raw seafood are available for purchase.
Crazy 8s is a fast-casual dockside café featuring sandwiches, soups, and salads. It also serves breakfast during certain times of the year. Being located along the water means people can travel by boat to this family-friendly eatery. Once docked, they can enter the cosy patio to savour a host of items made with the freshest ingredients available. Highlights of the menu include the florentini panini with grilled chicken, sautéed spinach, mozzarella, and sun-dried tomato-pesto mayonnaise, and the mahi-mahi wrap with blackened mahi-mahi, spicy Cajun remoulade, lettuce, and pico de gallo. Many places close during the colder months, but not Crazy 8s; they are open year round, but the hours do vary.
Opened in 2013 by Steven Hagen and Kevin Frey, Hooked is a restaurant specialising in creative local cuisine whose motto is ‘fresh. honest. local.’. Wishing to highlight all of the incredible bounty available in the area, the team at this eatery works with local purveyors — featured on the menu — to bring the freshest ingredients to the kitchen, and eventually to the guests’ plates. Notable choices include the fish and chips, which is buttermilk-battered fish served with pesto fries and slaw, and crab cakes with pickled carrot and peashoot salad, classic remoulade, and bacon fingerling frites. In an art-filled space with works by photographer Kevin Flemings and painter Aubré Duncan, Hooked serves lunch and dinner to hungry patrons seven days a week.
Tucked inside a beer and wine shop, Liquid Assets Bistro is a gem of a restaurant, featuring upscale American cuisine in a casual and friendly space. Composed of a circular bar where guests can sip martinis, wine, or beer (including domestic, imported, and craft brews), plus a cosy dining room, this eatery offers an array of tasty edibles, from appetisers to desserts. Guests can take delight in savoury offerings, such as roasted chicken served with black-eyed peas, roasted tomatoes, garlic, rice, and smoky white BBQ glaze, and fried shrimp and chorizo grits with roasted red pepper broth and grilled bread. For a sweet treat, try the homemade donuts – they’re a secret family recipe.
Touted as the place ‘where the locals go’, On the Bay Seafood is a seasonal restaurant with an emphasis, of course, on seafood. Very popular with tourists as well, this eatery specialises in succulent award-winning steamed crabs. Other tasty delights on offer include shrimp, calamari, and scallops, to name a few. Highlights of the menu include soft-shell crabs with a choice of two sides, and a fried oyster sandwich served with house cocktail sauce and choice of sides, which include coleslaw and potato salad. Both adults and children will leave with sand in their shoes after visiting, but it is all part of the fun atmosphere, as there is a sand patio for dining, plus a separate play area for children.
Specialising in authentic Italian cuisine, Ristorante Antipasti is a warm and inviting restaurant owned by Chef Fausto DiCarlo, a native of Italy. Locals and tourists return time and again to this gem of a restaurant, not only for the genuine hospitality, but also for the exquisite fare, made from recipes handed down from generation to generation. Guests can feast upon delicious dishes — all made with heart-healthy olive oil — such as the house speciality timballo Abruzzese,which is thin layers of pasta, ground veal, buffalo mozzarella, and nutmeg, and the filetto ai pep — a centre-cut filet grilled with garlic and Italian herbs.
Nestled on the commercial fishing harbour of West Ocean City, The Shark on the Harbor is a restaurant featuring contemporary American cuisine, with an emphasis on flavours of the Eastern Shore and the South. Procuring seafood from the docks outside their door, and sourcing organic produce from local purveyors, diners can rest assured their meal is made with the freshest ingredients available. In a charming environment complete with scenic views, guests can enjoy delectable dishes, which change daily, such as shrimp and lobster dip with Old Bay and cheddar; pan-seared scallops with smoked Vidalia jam, organic mint and parsley purée, and vegetables; and a blackened cauliflower ‘filet’, which is a vegan option.
A well-loved OC establishment, The Shrimp Boat started out in 1989 when Captain Joe began selling fresh shrimp on the side of the road. A year later he moved his business to a boat, where it remains today. The restaurant opened in 2012, and is run by Captain Joe’s nephew, Joe White. Today the boat sells a lot more than shrimp, and the restaurant offers many mouth-watering dishes, from soups to entrées, to tasty bites for children. Patrons can sit indoors, or outside in an area complete with umbrellas, whilst savouring dishes such as jumbo lump cream-of-crab soup; a fresh lobster roll with a choice of side such as hush puppies; and yellow fin tuna accompanied by fresh vegetables. Plenty of beer is on tap as well, including local brews.
An Ocean City tradition since 1929, the legendary Thrasher’s French Fries specialises in one thing: delicious fries. Founded by Mr. J. T. Thrasher, this establishment has changed hands only twice during the past 80 years. There are two things customers can always count on: the quality of the potatoes and the recipe. Only the best-quality potatoes are sourced, often from Idaho. They are cut fresh, fried twice, sprinkled with salt, and then doused in tangy cider vinegar — absolutely no ketchup. A must-try for anyone visiting OC, the fries come in large sizes: 16 oz, 32 oz, and 53 oz.