Ocean City offers a wide variety of dining choices. My favorite restaurant is the Marina Deck located at 306 Dorchester Street. Try their cream of crab soup for a taste of true Maryland cuisine, or select from any of their seafood dishes, everything is very good. As with any restaurant, house specialties are always the best so don’t go to a seafood restaurant expecting great ribs. Marina Deck is a must visit while in Ocean City.
If you’re in the mood for ribs or beef I would suggest Nick’s Original House of Ribs located at 14410 Coastal Hwy, or Bull on the Beach with 2 locations, one at 94th Street & Coastal Hwy and one just outside Ocean City on Route 50. While Nick’s has the best ribs, Bull on the Beach has the best pit beef in Ocean City. Many visitors and locals consider Bull on the Beach a must place to eat while in Ocean City and their bar is a relaxed gathering place for locals. JR’s used to be the place to go for ribs but I have gotten some bad reviews about service the last few years and I have not been overly pleased with their service.
When you’re in the mood for Italian head downtown to Adolfo’s Italian Restaurant located at 806 S. Baltimore Avenue. Their food is excellent and highly recommended by locals, however; the best doesn’t come cheap so be prepared to pay top dollar to eat here. For very good Italian food at family prices try Salvatore’s Italian & Seafood Family Restaurant located just outside of Ocean City on Route 50. I don’t consider Salvatore’s a step down from Adolfo’s, just a different menu with a more family friendly menu and reasonable prices.
The Japanese steak house, Sakura, is one of my family’s favorite places to eat. Located in the White Marlin Mall just outside of Ocean City on Route 50 it offers some excellent beef, poultry, and seafood dishes all cooked in front of you by some talented chefs. Wait times are not too long, but keep in mind that parties of less than 6 will be seated with other small parties. This is really fun and gives you a chance to meet other couples or families. While I’m not into Sushi, I’m told theirs is very good. Sakura’s is a must visit while in Ocean City. Unfortunately there is no one Chinese restaurant that I can recommend over another, so this will have to be a try it and see selection. I always suggest you try new restaurants at lunch or at early bird dinner hours when the prices are usually much lower.
On days when all you can think about is dinner I recommend going to a buffet. This has become a popular dinner alternative in our area because you can really get a good value for your dollar when you’re super hungry. If you mainly want crabs or crabs and shrimp my favorites are Waterman’s located on Route 50 just outside of Ocean City and Higgins Crab House with two locations; 31st & Coastal Hwy and 128th St & Coastal Hwy. Both of these are, in my mind at least, must visit restaurants. Crab feasts are the most economical way to get crabs but buying them by the dozen allows you to get larger crabs and take the leftovers home to eat later. Both of these restaurants have carry-out as well as eat in and all you can eat menus. If buying crabs to go I always recommend buying them by the ½ bushel or whole bushel, because you get more for your dollar. When you’re in the mood for more variety the best buffet is at The Bonfire located at 71st St & Ocean Hwy and the Embers Restaurant located at 24th Street & Coastal Hwy. Both of these offer prime rib and seafood buffets that are the best in town.
Tired from being at the beach all day? Try Ponzetti’s Pizza located at 144th Street & Coastal Hwy, this is a non-chain pizza parlor with very good pizza, an amusement area, and a full service bar. There are many pizza places in Ocean City but Ponzetti’s, Lombardi’s located at 9203 Coastal Highway, and the Dough Roller with 4 locations; 70th & Coastal Highway, 1125th Street & Costal Highway, Division Street & Boardwalk, 213 North Atlantic Avenue, are, in that order, the best in my opinion. If you’re in the mood for a sub try Fat Daddy’s located at 216 S. Baltimore Ave. Of course all of the fast food chains are represented up and down Coastal Hwy, but I really think you will like our local restaurants and Deli’s much better for close to the same cost.
As stated earlier; try unknown restaurants at lunch or for their early bird dinners to see if they are worth spending your hard earned money on. Like all resort areas there are what I call “rip-off” restaurants that appear for a summer or two and then vanish. You may have noticed that several of the restaurants I recommend are located just outside of Ocean City, but all of them are less than 5 minutes away. Every restaurant I recommend is frequented by locals and is open year-round with the exception of the Marina Deck which has a smaller restaurant in Ocean Pines that is open year-round. Almost every question I am asked about restaurants starts with; where do the locals eat? The restaurants listed here are where my family and friends eat that is in or near Ocean City.