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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 tripadvisor.com 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. http://www.bullonthebeachoc.com/

                        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.

                      1. Excellent crabcakes for the discriminating crabcake lover can be had at the Crabcake Factory or Captain's Galley II.

                        Captain Billy Bunting's Angler restaurant is pretty good and they have a free after dinner cruise on the ocean if you register for it when you make dinner reservations. Pretty cool.

                        Shenanigan's on the boardwalk at 4th St. has decent food and I recommend it if you can get a table outside next to the boardwalk.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: EatOrGoToYourRoom

                          Oh, Shenanigan's. My husband and I had to stumble back to our room after a fantab night of people watching. Such fond memories. We didn't eat, though. I assume it's standard bar food?

                        2. I would second General's Kitchen for some good old fashioned mid-hangover breakfast food.

                          I'm surprised no one has mentioned Marlin Moon, across the bridge in the Francis Scott Key hotel. Kind of an odd location, but I've always had great food, drinks, and service there.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: LGood

                            The Galaxy
                            Hoopers on the Bay
                            Captains Galley
                            ditto Anthonys! best sandwhiches!

                            used to go down to Soverign of the Seas at 36th st every summer for years w/ my family

                              1. re: kelarry

                                What are the prices like at Galaxy? They aren't listed on the menu.

                                Also, can you tell me more about Hooper's on the Bay and Captain's Galley?

                          2. For RCooperman, the person commenting about OC not having Chowish places, I disagree. As someone who loves to cook gourmet food and eats out regularly for work in top of the line spots, there are still some items that I believe are perfected in OC. It's a beach spot, it's not as if anyone is expected a fine dining, gourmet experience and that's not the point anyway on such a trip.

                            Many people have mentioned Thrashers french fries, and I'm going to heartily agree. To me, these fries are terrific and I have to travel to France and Belgium frequently for my job, so I consider myself a conoisseur. Fishers and Dollies both have great caramel popcorn and it's warm too - which makes it taste even better. And the person who mentioned Satellite is dead on in terms of breakfast. I haven't been there since I was young, but their pancakes are the pancakes by which I judge all others. They are light and perfectly shaped and just melt in your mouth.

                            Again, OC is not a gourmet destination, but it has its charms and I hope you enjoy it!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: isabellaflynn

                              to isabellaflynn

                              my comment was as to sit down places not the boardwalk places. i am very well aware that OC is a beach place and, yes, there are many fine examples of food on-the-go at the OC boardwalk. there are also many bad examples of food at all-you-can-eat buffets and several less than stellar expensive sit down places. when someone asks as to chowhoundish places that implies an interest in dinner not popcorn or french fries. FWIW i like Fisher's better than Dollies popcorn.

                            2. OK, here is my tentative list - WAY too much for 2 nights - please help me cut this down:

                              Dumser's Ice Cream
                              49th Street & Coastal -- 124th & Coastal or our 3 Boardwalk Ice Cream Stores
                              Mint-Chocolate chip milkshake

                              General's Kitchen
                              7400 Coastal Hwy -- 410-723-0477

                              Caruso's pizza
                              Boardwalk at Wicomico Street -- 410-289-1990

                              Thrasher's fries
                              801 N Boardwalk -- (410) 289-4150

                              Fisher's Popcorn
                              200 S. Boardwalk

                              Bagels N Buns
                              7111 Coastal Hwy -- (410) 723-2253
                              They deliver breakfast, lunch, dinner

                              117 West 49th Street -- (410) 524-4900
                              Tourist trap, but worth it. You can float in an inner tube and they bring drinks.

                              Melvin's Steak House
                              25 N. Philadelphia
                              Steak, also serve Dayton Bros. Fried Chicken, best on the Shore.

                              Alaska Stand
                              9th Street & Boardwalk
                              Split, grilled dogs and burgers

                              Liquid Assets
                              9301 Coastal Highway – (410) 534-7037
                              Wine and Martini Bar with food

                              Captain Bill Bunting’s Angler
                              Talbot Street and the Bay – (410) 289-7424
                              Free mini-cruise with dinner if you make reservations

                              Bull on the Beach
                              94th Street – (410) 524-2455
                              Open pit beef, reasonable

                              34 Replies
                              1. re: saturninus

                                Thrasher's french fries....maybe the best anywhere....probably because of the atmosphere and they are always piping hot....and they KNOW how to "double-fry"
                                I don't really think of Ocean City for "fine dining"...have to go up the road to Rehobeth for that.
                                A couple of my favorites in OC that I don't think anyone has mentioned are Dough Roller...best pancakes I've ever had. I also have always liked the Crepe& Omelette place.

                                1. re: MDicecreamguy

                                  Horrible omelets at the crepe place. They're actually scrambled eggs cooked in some sort of form pan.

                                2. re: saturninus

                                  I hate OC but have to go twice a year for work conferences. The only really decent place I've found to eat are Tequila Mockingbird (Mexican) which is TO DIE FOR and actually worth the trip to OC. It's at 130th street.

                                  Little House of Pancakes at 73rd street has some damn good breakfast....loved their pancakes and omelets!

                                  1. re: naptownlady

                                    There is only one Thrasher's to go to and that is the one at the southern most end of the Boardwalk. It is the original and worth the effort. Five Guys, Boardwalk Fries and a host of others are all based on the original and still the best Thrasher's. Buddy Jenkins and Mike Jones have been fanatical in their preparation of these for more than a half century. They haven't changed. Nor has the length of the line to buy them.

                                    If Thrasher's had mayonnaise dipping sauces like the best in Brussels they would be the equal of the best in the world. As is I believe they are the best in America. Again, at ONLY the original stand.

                                    In West Ocean City Captain's Galley has the best lump crab cakes in Ocean City. Fisher's has the best popcorn. Phillips has nothing in common from the original 150 seat crab house I first went to in 1962.

                                    1. re: Joe H

                                      Maybe this belongs on another board......but could anyone help me find a recipe for the "Dutch style" mayo dipping sauces that Joe H. is referring to ( Brussels dipping sauces). I had it someplace and it was awesome.

                                      1. re: MDicecreamguy

                                        Google is your friend. I found over 50 recipes is 2 seconds.

                                    2. re: naptownlady

                                      that name is adorable. what are some of your favorite items at tequila mockingbird. how are the prices?

                                      1. re: saturninus

                                        Website listed above. Prices are reasonable for the food, drinks more than I typically like to pay, but very tasty none the less. My last meal there included Loco Pollo: 2 chicken breasts stuffed with lump crabmeat and chorizo, topped with our chipotle cream sauce and cheddar cheese, then baked. Served with choice of 2 sides. The grilled asparagas and the cilantro rice were my sides, and it was FANTASTIC! My meal, with a drink (mango margarita) and a share of the queso dip for appetizer and tip was about $35.

                                        My friend has the Mahi Mahi tacos said it was outstanding.

                                        I really don't think you could go wrong here. Ask the wait staff for recommendations if you aren't sure. For example, I was going to order the pork burrito, my waitress says their pork isn't very good. I appreciated the honesty.

                                    3. re: saturninus

                                      Here's one way to hit four of these, Treetop family-style. Park at the inlet parking lot and get on the boardwalk. Start walking north. First up is Thrasher's, on the right between Wicomico and Worchester Streets. Buy some fries. Continue walking north on the boardwalk. Next up is Fisher's, on the left at Talbot Street. Buy some Carmel Corn. Keep heading north, alternating munching on fries and popcorn and looking out for "Boardwalk Elvis" (Who I think may have passed, sadly). By this time you need something cool. This time it's Dumser's Dairyland on the left at Caroline Street. Shift the fries and popcorn to your other hand while you get a cone or shake at Dumser's. Now you are fortified. Keep walking north. At 2nd Street marvel at Joe KroArt's Ocean Gallery and try to figure out what new piece has been added to the exterior. Say Hi to Joe from Treetop Tom. Find some piece of art to pick up on the way back south. Continue heading north, eating the fries, popcorn and ice cream. By the time you reach 9th Street, you will need further fortification. Go to Alaska Stand, on the left. Get some hot dogs and a cold drink. Sit on one of the benches, eat and rest.

                                      Now it is time to head back south. Since you have eaten all of the major beach-food groups you can make a casual perusal of the shops along the Boadwalk. Buy a T-shirt you will only wear once. Get a temporary tattoo. Get your name on a grain of rice. Play some pinball/skeeball/draw poker at Marty's Playland. Think about going into Ripley's, but then decide against it. Go through the Haunted House. Go see the sharks in the glass cases at the end of the Boardwalk. Ride the Merry-Go-Round at Trimper's. By this time you are hungry again, so hit Bull on the Beach on 2nd Street for a sandwich and some spiced shrimp. Head back south towards your car, stopping at Fisher's to get some more popcorn and the Candy Kitchen for some fudge for the road and a box of saltwater taffy to take to the office. Think about getting more fries, but by this time the line is too long. Get back to the parking lot, get in your car and know that you have just done what thousands of other visitors to OC have been doing since they were kids. Welcome to the club.

                                      1. re: treetop tom

                                        Oh I like this plan, but I'd stop at Wockenfuss for the fudge instead of Candy Kitchen!

                                        Also, not on the boardwalk, but I like eating breakfast at the Bayside Skillet (77 on the Bayside). Also, if you are not acquainted with Fractured Prune donuts, then now is the time. I go to the one at 127th. I don't think it's hard to eat well at the beach. Have fun! Report back!

                                        1. re: wookyluvr

                                          You're right, wookyluvr. Wockenfuss at 1st Street and the Boardwalk. Shame on this Baltimore native for suggesting otherwise.

                                        2. re: treetop tom

                                          sounds perfect, absolutely wonderful

                                          1. re: treetop tom

                                            Tom, I'm happy to let you know that Boardwalk Elvis is still alive and kicking. He never learned how to drive, and his mother died a couple of years ago, so he doesn't make it across the bridge nto town from West Ocean City as often as he used to. But he's still around - people see him riding his bike out there all the time.

                                            Along the lines of Boardwalk Elvis but going a lot farther back, do you remember a blind banjo player who used to walk the boardwalk with his Seeing-Eye German Shepherd in the mid-60's? He was Boardwalk Elvis before Boardwalk Elvis, if you know what I mean.

                                            And to close this post out out on a food note, best pizza in the city is at Lombardi's @ 94th Street. They started on the Boardwalk just north of Talbot Street in the late 50's - expanded in the 80's (even as far as Salisbury) - but I think for a while now have had just the one place. I, all of my siblings, and even my mom worked at the 94th Street location at one point or another (our summer house was 2 blocks away.) Pizza is thin crust, traditional NY style, still bubbling hot out of the oven when brought to your table. Saturnius, if you go and either Vasco or Paolo are there, tell them hello from the White/Spence families.

                                            1. re: jspence08

                                              jpsence08 - thanks for the update on my boy BE. I actually have had a chance to speak with Norman on several occasions when he wasn't in his BE persona and he is a nice, soft-spoken man. I knew that his mom and brother owned/worked there on the Boardwalk and that he caught a ride into town with them. I still have a BE postcard from Souvenier City somewhere. And yes, I remember the banjo player. We called him "Blind Benny" but I have no idea if that was really his name. He was usually on the boards just north of the amusement pier and had a tin cup attached to the neck of his banjo. Hadn't thought of him in years. And to keep this chow related, I remember Lombardis well, we ate at the boardwalk location many times. Very good thin crust pizza.

                                              1. re: jspence08

                                                I second the vote on Lombardi's pizza.
                                                outstanding and worthy of a dinner in OC

                                            2. re: saturninus

                                              Well I have gotten a bunch of positives!

                                              Any on this list you recommend I get rid of?

                                              1. re: saturninus

                                                you asked as to prices at Liquid Assests - you can get by with a very good hamburger platter for about $10 and a bottle of wine for $15. most main courses are around $20. starters are large and can easily be split by two. they get busy and do not take reservations but the bar is very comfortable as one waits. Tequila mockingbird has quite good Tex-Mex and also is very busy in summer.

                                                1. re: rcooperman

                                                  Take a ride to Rehoboth Beach (the next major beach as you pass O.C., right past the Delaware border. All the best restaurants in the area are in Rehoboth. It's sort of the grown up/foodie/non-cheesy version of Ocean City.

                                                  1. re: kelarry

                                                    Rehoboth is like 25 miles north of OC, not exactly where most OC beach-goers go for each meal. (And there's Fenwick, Bethany, and Dewey beaches between OC and Rehoboth.)

                                                    1. re: wookyluvr

                                                      It is where the good restaurants are, however, I've made the drive for dinner often.

                                                      1. re: wookyluvr

                                                        It's a nice drive for a completely different atmosphere. Fenwick, Bethany, & Dewey are all super tiny. You sneeze, and you've just driven past all three!

                                                          1. re: saturninus

                                                            OK, so I am sure I want to go to:

                                                            Liquid Assets
                                                            The Angler
                                                            Tequila Mockingbird

                                                            What are your final thoughts on:

                                                            General's Kitchen
                                                            Caruso's Pizza
                                                            Bagels and Buns
                                                            Melvin's Steak House
                                                            Alaska Stand
                                                            Bull on the Beach

                                                            BTW, are any of these buffets? I really can't handle a buffet.

                                                            1. re: saturninus

                                                              You need to add Satellite's for breakfast. General's Kitchen is known for their creamed chipped beef. Bull on the Beach and the Alaska Stand have the best food on the Boardwalk. I think you'll be disappointed with Dumser's.

                                                              1. re: ko1

                                                                I love the 124th St location of Dumser's. It has the real, old-fashioned ice cream parlor feel to it inside. I like the ice cream, and I also like the food there.

                                                              2. re: saturninus

                                                                You are putting a lot of thought into this!! Ha ha! You should not build it all up too much. It's beach food. I really like treetop tom's walk up and down the boardwalk that he posted up above. If you do that, you will get a great feel for OC. My take on the places you are questioning: If you go to Lombardi's (which I recommend), then you can drop Caruso's. General's is strictly for chipped beef... if that does not appeal, then drop General's. Bull on the Beach is just "okay," IMO. Nothing to write home about, but it's not bad. Alaska Stand is boardwalk food and you'd hit it if you did the treetop tom walk. I don't know B&B or Melvin's. Don't sweat this list too much. Have fun!

                                                                Adding... some of your preferences may depend on where you are staying, as traffic/parking can be a real issue. Caruso's pizza is on the boardwalk, while Lombardi's is up around 94th St. General's is also up there. Tequila Mockingbird is even further up the island. It depends how much you are willing to drive around if you're staying near the inlet. I wanted to post that someone else mentioned Duffy's and I've always liked it there, as well (near Tequila Mockingbird). Will put another plug in for Fractured Prune hot, made-while-you-wait donuts... if you are not familiar with them, you should definitely try them (OC Sands are my fave).

                                                                1. re: wookyluvr

                                                                  I'll second Fractured Prune. I'm surprised more people haven't brought it up.

                                                                  1. re: wookyluvr

                                                                    Is Fracturned Prune the name of the business or are prunes in the doughnuts? Help me out. :)

                                                                    1. re: wookyluvr

                                                                      Which fractured prune location makes the most sense? We will be on 67 and the boardwalk. Thanks!

                                                                      1. re: saturninus

                                                                        I go to the FP at 127th. You'll be closer to the one at 28th. I've never heard anyone compare the locations in OC. I also go to the one in West OC (my in-laws live there) and it's good, too. If you go, I recommend not going too crazy with the flavors/glazes, although kids def like to do that. Start with OC Sand, French Toast, maybe Creamsicle, and go from there... my husband loves banana oreo, my kids love gross combos, but I stick with OC Sand, and I am otherwise not a donut person at all. http://www.fracturedprune.com/menu_28...

                                                                        1. re: saturninus

                                                                          At the risk of confusing you even more (and you're obviously going to have to make another trip back to OC to try more places)... if you are staying at 67th, I think you should really go to Bayside Skillet for breakfast one day (it's at 77th, across the street from you). I can't recommend it for other meals (have been disappointed with dinner esp) but breakfast I think they do really well. My fave is Adams Crepe, Potatoes Tara, the fruit with Chantilly, and really great fresh OJ.

                                                                          1. re: wookyluvr

                                                                            Avoid their omelets like the plague.

                                                                            1. re: wookyluvr

                                                                              Bayside Skillet is good for crepes, etc...however don't go hungry because the wait is looooong in my experience! Also, you didn't say if you're looking for family oriented stuff or more 'adult' fun, but if you hit Seacrets in the daytime it's not too crowded but the people that are there make for great people-watching...also the jerk chicken is a good mid-day snack. For late night, I love Tubby's Grilled Cheese- it's perfect. Truly.

                                                                        2. re: saturninus

                                                                          Melvin's is not a must, but is good for when you get tired of seafood and are jonesing for a steak & baked potato and don't want to go to Outback in West OC and wait in line. Also the last place in town you can get Dayton Bros. Fried Chicken, if anyone in your party likes good fried chicken. They were a stand on the boardwalk that was bought by the Dough Roller folks and made into another pizza place. Like others have said, most of these places are fondly remembered, cherished and their shortcomings overlooked because they are such a huge part of our communal OC experience.

                                                            2. I literally just returned from OC... I finally went to Tequila Mockingbird & have to say i was not impressed. Went with a group of 5 & only 2 really liked their food. I think that is the place to go to for drinks & not dinner. A big part of that is because the service was horrible. My dinner was the mahi tacos - which were OK. By the way, one of our party was shocked to find out the fishbowl margarita was $20. Dont know the going price for one of those, but Just a heads up.

                                                              In the same shopping center you can find 2 places I highly recommend. One is Cafe Mirage with excellent kabobs & other mediterranean and cheap beers that you can enjoy in a little enclosed area outside while other sit on benches & wait over an hour at Tequila Mockingbird.

                                                              The other great place is Duffys. It is an Irish bar, raw bar, great steamed shrimp, home baked bread, really good crabcakes, wings, as well as higher end entrees that I didnt try. Threy also have an outdoor patio...

                                                              I also ate at the Angler this time. Mine was very good, I got the fish, of course. But everyone iin my (large) party who strayed from fish was not happy with their food. So, you know the drill - stick to what they are known for.

                                                              HOBBIT update. It is open. I didnt get to go, but my parents did earlier this year & said it is great. It is at the bottom of one of those new places that went up in the old location. The (completely different) decor & view are gorgeous.

                                                              I had lunch at Macky's, sitting outside with my feet in the sand & loved my cocnut shrimp over mixed greens, pineapple & strawberried. Not cheap, but nothing is in OC.

                                                              My bottom line for OC is, if the lines are long, it is a tourist trap. Thrashers is the only exception. Avoid AUCE. Of course, if AUCE is your thing, I guess you'd like it... but I dont know why you are on Chowhound.com..

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: foster

                                                                Can you tell me more about Hobbit and Macky's?

                                                                1. re: foster

                                                                  I have had the cafe mirage kabobs and they were good,but u should try the new place in oc OC KABOB in the gold coast mall on 115 st not far a way from cafe mirage.
                                                                  I had their kabobs,hummus,and gyros and it was worth the money and my time
                                                                  give it a try ......you will not be sorry.

                                                                2. I am not a Maryland native, but have lived here for four years. I made my first trip to OC in May and had many of these recommendations from friends that have lived here forever. Thrashers- good hangover french fries, I love the vinegar, but they taste like FF I could get in any city. My aunt gave me a gift certificate to Fagers, the view was beautiful, but the food was WAY overpriced for the menu. Decent food, but not a $30 steak!
                                                                  I love the $2 bus. Up and down the boardwalk. Billy's subs were great and cheap! Great lunch. I enjoyed OC, but I think when people talk about some of these places, its one of those, "I have done this my whole life and these are the best" things. I have some of those from my childhood in Florida, so I totally get it.

                                                                  1. OC is in genral a big tourist trap for Baltimorons, but Thrasher's fries, Lombardi's and Fat Daddy's Subs provide decent chow. Otherwise, that one is better off in West Ocean city. Plaza Tapatia in west OC is good eating at reasonable prices. Embers and Bonfire have decent all-you-can-stuff buffets, but are overpriced.

                                                                    1. While I agree that O.C. isn't your best bet for Chow-ish type food, I was disappointed to see two negative reviews of Fager's Island. Don't eat inside at Fager's; it is overrated and overpriced. The real story is to get a table on the deck around 6pm and park there. Drink delicious adult beverages. Get some appetizers and a soft shell crab sandwich. Then enjoy the show as the 1812 Overture plays while the sun goes down at sunset. O.C. doesn't get better than that! (aside from Thrasher's Fries, a malted at Dumser's Dairyland, and donuts at the Fractured Prune...)

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: poohbear315

                                                                        The above post from poohbear says to drive to Fagers at 6:00 & drink adult beverages... BAD ADVICE

                                                                        Just take the bus if you are going to drink for 3 hours. Or even <3hrs. The bus is $2 & easy to get. Be smart & safe wherever you choose to drink & eat!

                                                                        Also, Wockenfuss & Fractured Prune can be found in Baltimore too... no real need to go outof your way for them. And, maybe it is different now, but i heard lines there can be long in OC

                                                                        1. re: foster

                                                                          Saturninus isn't in Baltimore, so the fact they have branches in B-more isn't particularly helpful. On the other hand, advising the bus if you have been drinking is brilliant. Thank you.

                                                                          1. re: foster

                                                                            My deepest apologies if I was unclear. The "park there" referred to the parking at your table, as they go quickly. Certainly, if you are drinking, do not drive. The bus is a great deal.

                                                                        2. A little late here, but as for the reccomendation of going to Wockenfuss or Candy Kitchen for fudge-skip them. I agree that fudge is, oh so OC, but they pale in comparison to The Seaside Country Store in Fenwick. It is just outside of Ocean City, a huge red building on the left heading out of Ocean City. I know that you said you wanted to stay in OC, but it is so close, that to skip it would be a shame if you were looking for some yummy fudge. I have a box of peanut butter in my cabinet at home, and can't wait to have my little bite this evening! Awesome!

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: prettyruby

                                                                            Yeah, the Seaside Country Store has many, many varieties of fudge. Great stuff, though I'm not an expert on the stuff as I rarely eat it. But others who know their fudge do rave about it. And it really doesn't take long to drive up there.

                                                                          2. I'm late on this as well but I went to On the Bay Seafood, and it was pretty good. They shed thier own crabs in house. Seating is outside only.


                                                                            1. Interesting thread. Only one mention of Marlin Moon Grille although it has received more awards and nominations than any other Ocean City area restaurant. I suspect that for tourists and visitors it suffers from being on the wrong side of the bridge. For locals they cross the bridge and many prefer to all others. We'll be there next week-I hope it lives up to the hype that several friends have accorded it. "Tuna nachos" sound very interesting. www.marlinmoongrille.com

                                                                              1. Spent the past week in OC and it was hard finding good food being a foodie and having a partner who's a chef. Found a cute little spot for sushi, Yokozuna. It's in the Gold Coast Mall, I know it's a strip mall, but they really serve good sushi. Been going there for the past two seasons. We had the Summer Roll, a cucumber, rice noodle and crab meat roll wrapped in rice paper with a mild peanut sauce, the Dragon Roll, the Salmon Roll and fried Oysters with a Ponzu sauce. Service was good and friendly definitely a place to check out.
                                                                                Next night tried Jules Restaurant. Way overrated, food was mediocre at best ,service poor. The menu was on paper excellent but execution was poor. Had various appetizers, tapas style, to get a feel of the place the Fresh Scallops was ok, the Fois Gras & Seared Tuna was a trifle sweet due to the fig and port sauce, overpowered the foie gras. Swear to God it tasted like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The Lobster Tail skewers were overcooked and uninspired, the special of Fried Green Tomatoes with lump crab meat and beurre blanc was the best of the lot, good combination. Dessert was excellent really enjoyed my Key Lime Pie. The wine and beer lists were very good. Would suggest giving it a try even though it's a bit pricey. Prepare to wait!
                                                                                Went to La Hacienda on 81st St. for Mexican food , on a whole very good, plentiful and tasty. Never disappoints for quick but not so cheap eats. I know you've probably been to OC but let me know where you been.

                                                                                1. The absolute best sit down meal is at Marlin Moon. Locals recommended it to us a few years back and we go there everytime we go to OC. Service is wonderful and food and wine is perfect. Their seared scallops are some of the best I have ever tasted and words can't describe their signature Mom's Shrimp appetizer. My husband raves about the tuna nachos for an appetizer and the veal chops although he frequently gets the surf and turf too. Their soups are also so good and fresh. Their wine list is superb and the desserts - yum! The last time we were there I had pineapple sorbet inside a split pineapple with drizzled raspberry sauce and whipped cream on the side. So good.

                                                                                  The restaurant is inside the Francis Scott Key Motel and the first time we ever pulled up, I thought we made a huge mistake. Thank goodness we didn't turn around. It is right over the bridge leaving OC by the Boarwalk, about 1/4 mile past Hoopers Crab House.

                                                                                  Highly recommend for those that are true foodies :)

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: travelnurse74

                                                                                    Thank you!!! We'll toast you and your husband tomorrow night when we are sitting in their dining room. This is a restaurant that should have received far more attention on this board than it has.

                                                                                  2. Great thread. We love the Sunset Grille in W. Ocean City over the bridge off of Gold Course Rd I think it's called. Great crab cakes and nice views. Decent salads and good bread.

                                                                                    We went to the Captain's Table I think it was called the next night and found the salad bar to be awful, the sides to be mediocre, but the crab cakes were as advertised by our friends... some of the best we've ever had.

                                                                                    Love the Fractured Prune too, and it's the reason we usually stay at the Holiday Inn Express, walking distance in the morning to the Prune! We also like Blue Ox in front of the Holiday Inn express.

                                                                                    Steve R

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: stever500

                                                                                      Harborside is over there by the Sunset Marina too & it is a great place too. I had a seared scallop appetizer that had to be the best scallops I have had in YEARS. delicious. And a big tasty ceasar salad. Others in my group got fresh seafood & daily specials & everyone enjoyed it. Only thing that was not complimented was the crab cake.

                                                                                    2. I know this is late, but....

                                                                                      For pizza, absolutely agree re Lombardi's --- hands down. ALso great cheesestaeks subs.

                                                                                      For a real meal --- Chowish worthy --- Ristorante Antipasti --- or Fausto's -- both from the same owner/chef --- authentic Norhtern Italian cuisine with a real chef in the ktichen. Wonderful specials --- fresh seafodd, hoem amde pasta, the works. Service is knowledagble, even when done by the usual summer kids from wherever - they are well trained. These places are true gems; would be worhty anywhere, even more so in O.C. If Fausto is in the hosue, seek his advice if he is available. Have not been to the newly open brick oven pizza on boardwalk.


                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: offutt

                                                                                        We just returned from Ocean City with meals at Marlin Moon Grill (nominated as one of the five best restaurants in the state of Maryland a year or so ago), Ocean Odyssey (Cambridge which Todd Kliman raved about in Washingtonian) and the Narrows (Kent Island)-all in an 18 hour period with the Narrows and Ocean Odyssey 45 minutes apart. Marlin Moon Grill probably is the best restaurant in Ocean City but is totally devoid of ambience. After dinner at Marlin Moon we drove by the Sunset Grill which we have been to four times before and the Captain's Table which we've also been to several times along with the now closed original in Crisfield's.

                                                                                        It was an interesting 18 hours which I'll write about soon.

                                                                                        We also stopped at Thrasher's, Fisher's and Dumser's, too.

                                                                                          1. re: Joe H

                                                                                            I will second Sunset Grill. Not the absolute best place to eat. We often stop there first for drinks before or after Marlin Moon. We did eat there once and it is great for simple seafood and sandwiches. Great marina.

                                                                                          2. re: offutt

                                                                                            Antipasti and Fausto's are both great ideas. I grew up in the area and in high school I worked at the Planet Maze mini golf course next to Antipasti -- drove me crazy around 5 pm when the dinner crowd started rolling in and I could smell the garlic and seafood cooking next door!!

                                                                                            I also really like Fresco's, on 82nd St, for Italian. Menu is fairly small, but the staff is great and I've never had a bad experience there.

                                                                                          3. Ocean City has quite a bit of overpriced restaurants with average food. My favorite place is Liquid Assets. You can sit at the bar, and the menu ranges in price from about $10 for burgers to $25 for seafood, etc. Wine by the glass is good, and the bartender/servers give good advice on the menu.

                                                                                            Galaxy 66- I went there last month for lunch, and left after spending over $20 for a sandwich and dessert. Dessert was the special of the day- and was $8, but the menu had no price. Considering that the BBQ sandwich and s. potato fries were $9, that's a joke- but even worse, they put the "cobbler" in the microwave before serving it to me (I heard the ring of the oven!) and the crust was so inedible that I had to send it back bc the spoon would not cut into it. Server's reply: "oh". Next piece was hardly better. My advice- forget Galaxy 66- overpriced, underserved and way too fancy for themselves.