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May 12, 2007 06:06 AM

Best Ocean City MD restaurants

We have been going to OC for 20 years. There are LOTS of restaurants. Our favorites are Captain's Galley II in West OC for the best crabcakes. Crabcake Factory up towards the Deleware border has some equally as good, atmosphere not too much. Good news is you can take some home packed in dry ice and they will last forever in your freezer. Harrison's at the end of the boardwalk always has some great fresh fish. Those are our three favorites. After that we tend to try different places each year, no others have made it on our must go to list. JRs does make the rotation once in a while for good ribs!

Looking for some other recommendations to fill out our week this August.


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  1. For the biggest and heaviest spiced crabs - Bahama Mamas at the end of Wicomico St, overlooking the water (on a nice night sitting on the deck is quite romantic). They also
    have the best cream of crab soup that I have ever eaten.

    For a multi-hour all-you-can- eat crabs, ribs, fried chicken, beerfest etc - Higgins.

    1. We like Harpoon Hannas for good fish and the atmosphere is fun too. I also like Harrisons
      Philips is good. I go for their soft shell crabs, the crabcakes are good too. My daughter loves their fried chicken
      J.R.'s for ribs
      Fagers Island
      B.J.'s on the water
      Only boardwalk place I like is Bull on the Beach
      Lombardi's for pizza

      10 Replies
      1. re: abylane

        can't agree about harpoon hanna's - it's on our must to avoid list for every category, including the food. Also, Phillips' doesn't use local crabs, they are from Asia.

        1. re: Felixnot

          Phillips uses as much local blue crab as the next guy for softshells or larger steamed blue crabs. Which is to say that pretty much *all* of the local crab places get their live blue crabs from where the supply is most abundant/pricing is best in the southeast U.S. at a particular moment, whether it's Maryland, the Carolinas, Florida, Louisiana or Texas.

          If the local restaurants relied strictly on the local blue crab industry, there would be a lot of crab eaters going hungry. It's no secret that local blue crab supply has shrunk over the years while demand has grown exponentially.

          And yes, the crab used in Phillips crabcakes comes from their plants throughout Asia that process swimming (not blue) crab. But what you're also overlooking is that most other places are serving crabcakes using the same Asian crabmeat supplied by Phillips.

          If it's not specified that your crabcakes are being made with blue crabmeat at *any* area restaurant, it's a pretty safe bet that they're being made with Asian swimming crabmeat supplied by Phillips.

          1. re: tubman

            Wow, thanks for the insight! We should try to survey where the crabs come from. I would be interested in knowing if any of the area restaurants have blue crabmeat. Thanks again.

            1. re: tubman

              Believe me, you can tell when you get the Asian crab. It's tasteless. The Sun did an article bout Phillips operation. The locals don't even eat the "blue swimming crab" for the most part.

            2. re: Felixnot

              WOW, Sorry to hear you don't like Harpoon Hanna's. It is packed with people waiting to eat, every time we go there. I've been going there for 15 years.

              1. re: Felixnot

                across the street from Harpoons is Catch 54, a much better alternative to HH in comparison to food quality and ambience.

                1. re: HarryFish

                  I have never heard of Catch 54. Thanks for the recommendation. Is it on the same street on the bay, or is it on coastal before you turn off? I don't remember seeing another restaurant across from HH? Do you have any other recommendations for O.C. I would love to try some new restaurants.

                2. re: Felixnot

                  Your are so right Felixnot. HH is horrible. Took our family this year at the begining of the season to give it another try. Husband ordered rockfish imperial - got rockfish florentine. Waiter took it back and brought back the same rockfish - "florentine scrapped off with imperial on the side. I got a "mixed green" garden salad with a few leaves of romaine - the rest was iceberg - yuck! I also got bacon wrapped scallops that were in a serving dish of 50% grease 50% water. From the 5 hostesses to the 10 teen/college age waiter/waitresses (standing around not even trying to act busy) the service was just not good. Our waiter did try but his kitchen staff was obviously not backing him.

                  We went to Catch 54 twice, the first visit was somewhat disapointing. My husband and i ordered apps to split. I got the md crab soup - filled with diced celery and hardly any taste. He got oyster imperial special. Just lump crab meat topped on a oyster. Not much flavor. We did like the crab claws and bluefish app.
                  Our second try was much better. i got the tuna steak - very yummy. The fried baby lobster tails are a must! We love those. I do like the dipping sauce at Bluecoast better. He got the soft crabs and remarked he would order again.

                  One more for Italian in OC - Frescos. I think it is 60 something street. We haven't been disappointed. Oh - we also went to the Shark and had a really enjoyable meal there.

                3. re: abylane

                  Oh Felixnot - I'm sorry that you don't agree about Harpoon Hanna's. Did you have continuous bad service or food? My husband and I always make it a point to go to Harpoon Hannah's and we also take guests that stay at our condo in Ocean City, Maryland. In fact, we just had the most wonderful late lunch/early dinner sitting out at the Tiki Bar, overlooking the water and the boats going by. I had fish and chips and my husband had a great Imperial Twins (two english muffins with crab imperial on them, topped with cheese). I don't know who's was better; my lunch or his! If it's been a while since you've been there, you owe it to yourself to try it again. The homemade muffins and raisin bread make it worth the visit.

                  1. re: eyzoblue

                    Sorry eyzoblue, there are so many much much better choices for both food, view and service. Try Catch 54 for a great alternative.

                4. oK, here goes...
                  Harpoon Hanna's is a NO!!!!! (lines of tourists here, no locals!)
                  Catch 54 is new (the old Sharks Cove location on rt 54), but owned by a duo that has 3 GREAT restaurants in DE (Fish On, NorthBeach & Blue Coast), very reputable, great fresh fish.
                  Phillips, an institution in town as well as a tourist trap. Wouldn't recommend although worked there for years!
                  Crabcake Factory, good for takeout, not MD crabmeat, but still good crabcakes, not high on my list...
                  Harrisons OK, needs remodeling, try the oyster stew, best in town, again not one of my picks.

                  Best of the Best:
                  Mexican - Tequila Mockingbird 130th st bayside
                  Pizza - Lombardis - 94th st (could also try Faustos bistro on 12 st for casual brick oven fun)
                  Seafood - Mid - Upscale Fager's Dinning Room reservations needed, Marlin Moon, Sunset grille
                  Family Fun - Fishtales, food ok, fun atmosphere.
                  Also notable : Galaxy 65th st, The Shark 46th st, & Jules 118th.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Sun2Shine

                    Thanks sun2shine, I have only been to Lombardis and Tequilla Mockingbird out of your recommendations. I will have to try a few of your recommendations.

                    1. re: abylane

                      What did you think of Tequila's?
                      I love it now that it is smoke free!!!

                      1. re: Sun2Shine

                        I haven't been there since it was smoke free. That will make it all the more enjoyable. What do you love to eat there. I love their margerittas!!

                        1. re: abylane

                          yes, their mango margarita ia made with fresh mangos! I like the spinach & mushroom enchaladas or the shrimp quesadilla. Love the fresh salsa & guac...actually, I like it all there!

                          1. re: abylane

                            It's wonderful, now that it's smoke free. I can't stay away from their house Margaritas.

                    2. My husband and I are locals and love to go to the Clarion, especially after 4pm. We like to sit out at the Lenny's Beach Bar and Grill and listen to the local bands. It's a lot of fun.

                      1. Bayside Skillet- By far my favorite restaurant in OC. I go there for their crepes (love the crepes Kathryn with fresh fruit and chantilly cream) and the fried potatoes (large servings are perfect for sharing). The omelettes are also good.

                        Tequila Mockingbird- I'm not really a fan of mexican restaurants but I was pleasantly surprised by this one. Great margaritas and large tequila selection. I enjoy the salads.

                        JRs- I've been going to Bethany/OC for almost 20 years and we got take out from here every trip. I haven't been in the last couple of years but I fondly remember the ribs and onion loaf.

                        Fractured Prune- I've never been to one, but I've heard that their donuts are great. Next time I'm in OC def. will make a trip here for breakfast.

                        Phillips (NOT the buffet)- The food is tasty, just not that special. But the location and atmosphere are great.

                        The Clarion- I've I'm not mistaken last time I was in OC I had a good breakfast/brunch at this hotel restaurant. It's a buffet and I enjoyed the blintzes and smoked salmon.

                        Harpoon Hannah's- Def. a tourist restaurant. My family stopped going there about 15 years ago. As I remember the wait was horrible, the service not that great, and I had problems finding stuff on the menu that I wanted to eat (Highly unusual for me, even as a young child). However those darn coconut muffins were addictive and they kept drawing us back.

                        I've had so many bad meals in OC that I wish I could remember the names of the restaurants so that I could pass them on. I hope someone can prove me wrong, but I would avoid italian and steak in OC.

                        Bayside Skillet Crepe & Omelet
                        7701 Coastal Hwy, Ocean City, MD 21842

                        Fractured Prune
                        4601 Coastal Hwy, Ocean City, MD 21842

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: viperlush

                          Can't recall any good steak, but Tutti Gusti in Ocean City is wonderful. Great pasta dishes, as well as a good osso buco. Wonderful wines, as well.
                          Also, if you're a martini fan...stop by the bar and see "Rodney" -- as was described on this board years ago, he makes weapons grade martinis! We go every year!

                          1. re: shopgirl

                            Def. not the place that had a horrible meal at. Where I ate the pesto was flavorless, the pasta mushy and I think they only served Luna di Luna wine.

                            The menu for Tutti Gusti looks great, hopefully I'll remember to try it next time I'm over there.

                            Tutti Gusti
                            3322 Coastal Hwy, Ocean City, MD 21842

                            1. re: viperlush

                              Ok, Viper - For a good steak in OC try Fager's Dinning Room, they are known for their prime rib, but I am not a fan. I prefer the filet - very good!
                              Or try Marlin Moon, everything there is amazing, but their steaks can't be beat. I like mine topped with lump crab meat, but they have several ways of serving (port demi-glaze with mushrooms is another fav.)
                              If you are up for sharing, the garlic steak at Fausto's is popular, enough for two.
                              I get fresh cut filets at the minute market on 33rd st; only true butcher in town!
                              Rub with an ancho chili paste and grill - YUM!

                              For Italian - again Fausto's (or Antipasti) is our recent favorite; the Timballo dish has been featured on the Food Network and is so good you won't beleive.

                              We do have great steaks & Italian here in town, you just have to know where to go for it!!! :)

                            2. re: shopgirl

                              I will second Tutti Gusti, best fillet mignon I have ever had.