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Jul 7, 2008 07:44 AM

Looking for great chow-ish places in Ocean City, MD

I've never been before and will be there in 2 weeks - what are your recommendations?

Anything from cheap bites to sit down meals.

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  1. I've been going since I was a kid, here's my list of places we hit every time:

    Higgins Crab House (131st and 32nd st) Many all-you-can-eat specials

    Dumser's Ice Cream (multiple locations)- mint-chocolate chip milkshake is to die for. Also has burgers, fries, etc. 50's style ice cream parlor. My dad's family used to own an ice-cream shop and this was his fav place.

    General's Kitchen (72nd st)- breakfast, but go on a weekday if you can, there's a super long line on weekends. Get the creamed chipped beef.

    Caruso's pizza (south boardwalk-Somerset St) I am a pizza fanatic and this is the best in OC. Not the best ever, but the best in OC.

    Thrasher's fries (about a block south of Caruso's) Caruso's usually lets you bring fries in so you can enjoy them with your pizza. Warning: Thrasher's does not have ketchup. Vinegar only. They are better that way.

    Fisher's Popcorn (multiple locations, some on boardwalk) Get some to take home too. Lasts for weeks, not that you won't eat it all before then.

    Subs: Billy's (118th st), Tommy's (29th st)

    Anthony's (33rd st) Used to have really huge sandwiches, but I haven't been recently.

    This last trip we discovered Bagels N Buns (71st st). They deliver EVERYTHING. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Breakfast was awesome from there.

    casual waterfront (bayside) dining: Fager's Island (60th st), Macky's (53rd st)

    Boardwalk dining: Shenanigan's (4th st-boardwalk) Fun for having a beer outside and watching the ocean and people on the boardwalk.

    I've lived in MD all of my life and I'm insanely picky with crabcakes. I haven't found any I like in OC.

    Seacrets (49th st) Tourist trap, but worth going to. The only other one is in Jamaica. Get a dirty banana (drink). You can also float in the bay in an inner tube and they will bring your drinks to you.

    If you plan on drinking at your place, bring your beer, etc from home. Liquor/beer/wine prices are literally double once you get in OC. (We actually drove to DE once to buy stuff).

    Stay away from Phillips (in OC or anywhere else). Way overrated.

    Here's a pretty inclusive list with phone #s:

    3 Replies
      1. re: carey24

        Sorry to hear that Phillips has slid -- way back in the day (early 70's) they had the best crab in town. Many fond memories of cracking crabs here.

        1. re: carey24

          Just got back from Ocean City and printed out this board convo:

          Bull on the Run: I got a Open pit beef sandwich. Wish I'd asked for cheese. It was pretty good for $7.95. Fiance got a steak (which I told him not to) and thought it was ok. The spiced shrimp and pitcher of yueng ling was worth it for $11.95.

          Walked across the street to Liquid Assets and had a great glass of wine!

          Dumser's for Mint Choc Chip shake- awesome!

          For breakfast went to Satellite. I got Asparagus and havarti omellete- hit the spot. Eggs over medium with corned beef hash with pancakes- good bfast food.

          Thrashers fries- LOADED the vinegar....perfect for boardwalk fries.

          Then got some caramel popcorn at Fisher's.

          Thanks for all the suggestions!

        2. One of my favorites is the Bonfire on 70th St for all you can eat snow crabs. I agree to stay away from Phillips, way overrated.......... General's Kitchen is my favorite for breakfast. I enjoy Tubby's for late night fare as not much is open and they are ok.

          1 Reply
          1. Another long-time OC guy here - agree with most of the recs except for Seacrets - total 17-bar tourist trap overrun by people trying to look cool and important in their A&F and Tommy Bahamas. Most of it is outside in the sand. Bouncers who enforce an ever-changing "dress code" (see the reviews posted at for this place) But If that's your thing, be sure not to miss it.

            Two of my favs I haven't seen mentioned:

            Melvin's Steak House (25 N. Philadelphia) is an Old Towne classic, more than 50 years in OC but still unknown to most. It almost closed in 2006, but the owner of the Dough Roller chain of restaurants bought it and kept it going. Steak, baked potato, bread and salad done competently without breaking the bank. They also serve Dayton Bros. Fried Chicken, best on the Shore (sorry English's, although English's fried chicken is good. Stay away from the buffet at English's, though).

            Alaska Stand (9th Street & Boardwak) is the last of this venerable classic beach food stands. Split, grilled dogs and burgers as good as always. The original on the boardwalk near the amusement pier is now the "Atlantic Stand" and is OK, but not quite up to snuff for us purists.

            Enjoy your trip!

            1 Reply
            1. re: treetop tom

              thanks so much for the additional great tips and the info on seacrets!
              what are your favorite locations later in the evening for a drink and perhaps a bite?

            2. Ummm, the places listed are all venerable OC places but definitely not potential sources of good food. Alas good food is hard to find in OC. What has been suggested are purveyors of boardwalk food or all you can eat buffets. Definitely NOT Chowhound quality. Of those mentioned only Fager's island tries but their kitchen lost it years ago. You might try Liquid Assets and Jules in OC and The Grove just off Rt 90. Reservations are a must at The Grove and Liquid Assets does not take them.

              10 Replies
              1. re: rcooperman

                Grove Market is very pricey, cash-only. It's a shack at the side of the road with mismatched tableware and no menu. Some people love it, others aren't so impressed.

                1. re: treetop tom

                  For this trip I am trying to keep costs down, so perhaps Grove Market isn't a great match. How would you describe Liquid Assets and Jules?

                  1. re: saturninus

                    I've never been to Liquid Assets, so no help there. Jules is nice, but it is chef-owned so expect curry powder and red pepper roumelade on your crabcake and wasabi in your potatoes, if you know what I mean. They have a good wine list.

                    1. re: saturninus

                      Liquid Assets is probably the best fine dining now available in OC and I would rate it okay, nothing more. The Hobbit used to be a pretty good restaurant but closed, but there was rumor that they were re-opening this summer.

                      1. re: ko1

                        What is the cost like at Liquid Assets?

                  2. re: rcooperman

                    The only thing worth eating in OC is Thrasher's fries. Satellite's does a nice breakfast and Liquid Assets is decent for a drink and a nibble. Crab Bag is pretty good for crabs. If tou must eat something other than fries on the Boardwalk, Bull on the Beach is good and the Alaska Stand is edible.I've gone there pretty much every summer for 45 years, my Mom's lived there for 30 years. My advice? If you want good food, go to Rehoboth.Oh and you will find all the info on shore food on the Mid-Atlantic Board, not here.

                    1. re: ko1

                      Can you tell me more about Bull on the Beach and Alaska Stand?

                      1. re: saturninus

                        Bull on the Beach has two or three locations, one on the Boardwalk and one at 94th Street and I think one in West OC. They are a sandwich and raw bar place, very reasonable. They are known for their open pit beef, but also have turkey, ham, spiced shrimp etc. I like their hot beef sandwich and fries with gravy.

                        Alaska Stand is a beach-food stand on the Boardwalk. Nothing fancy, but long-beloved by OC travelers for their grilled hot dogs, burgers, ice cream and the like. They used to have three locations, but the one at 9th street is the only one remaining.

                      2. re: ko1

                        I sooo agree. There's really not much else good on the beach besides Thrasher's.

                    2. There's also Plaza Tapatio - on Rt 50 just over the bridge near that outlet mall & Starbucks etc. It's a mini-Mexican chain on the eastern shore - some of the food is standard crappy with limp iceberg lettuce, etc, but the carnitas are pretty good and they've got Negra Modelo beer.