Best Bites on Maryland’s Beach and Beyond

Post courtesy of Worcester County Tourism

Whatever you crave, Ocean City, Berlin and Snow Hill are chock full of eateries ready to serve satisfaction. From haute cuisine to beach-side Americana, our local restaurants dish up the regional best in all seasons. Among all the delicious temptations, these can’t-miss dishes are perennial favorites with visitors and locals. Fair warning: One taste of anything on this list and odds are you’ll be clamoring back for more! 

The crab cakes at The Shark on the Harbor (12924 Sunset Ave., West Ocean City) taste like a love story to local ingredients. Fresh, local, lump crab meat is cooked to sweet perfection and paired with seasonal sides like corn pone, hoppin’ john, pickled cucumber and tomato salad, organic summer squash and zucchini. Menus are written twice daily since the chefs are committed to showcasing whatever is fresh, local, and organic and availability can change. But whatever is in season, it tastes scrumptious here.

The Famous Plant X crab cake sandwich at Blacksmith Bar & Restaurant (104 Pitts St., Berlin) has legions of fans, since it’s a carry-over from Chef/Owner Justine Zegna’s previous endeavor, Planet X Café. True to her focus on local, small, and handmade, this enduring favorite tucks a tender lump crab cake into soft local brioche bun with homemade tartar sauce. Find it on the lunch menu. 

The award-winning crab chowder at Mother’s Cantina (2810 Philadelphia Ave., Ocean City) is so good you’ll want to lick the bowl. Creamy and luscious, it’s swimming with sweet lump Maryland crab meat and corn and packs an addictive Tex-Mex kick of spice. 

The cake doughnuts at Fractured Prune Doughnuts (multiple locations including the Boardwalk in Ocean City) are served hot and topped to order. Take your pick among 19 glazes and 13 toppings to create the treat of your culinary dreams. Stuck for ideas? Try a popular favorite like Carnival (honey glaze and rainbow sprinkles), Banana Cream Pie (banana glaze, vanilla wafers, and powdered sugar), OC Sand (honey glaze and cinnamon sugar), or Trail Mix (banana glaze, nuts, coconut, and jimmies). Good news: Nobody expects you to have only one.

Eggs Benedict reigns on the breakfast menu at Barn 34 (3400 Coastal  Hwy., Ocean City). It’s hard to improve upon the classic: a stack of English muffin, Canadian bacon, and poached eggs smothered in hollandaise. But multiple variations add tasty twists, including M.A.’s Benedict that swaps a croissant for the muffin and adds curry to the sauce and Portabella Benedict that adds spinach, avocado, and tomatoes. 

Since 1929, The Original Thrasher’s French fries (at the Pier and on the Boardwalk, Ocean City) have wowed eaters. Reviews are typically raves: “The best French fries ever,” “what every potato wished it could be,” and “simply the best fries on the planet.” Just don’t ask for ketchup: These babies are fried in peanut oil and served piping hot with only salt and apple cider vinegar.

Longboard Café (6701 Coastal Highway, Ocean City) offers much to love, from the ambiance and décor to the menu and service. But its famous wrinkled green beans have legions of fans—yes, green beans so good everyone eats their veggies with a smile and races to grab more before the plate’s empty. These green beans are flash fried and served with a sweet sauce made using a secret recipe so yummy you’ll savor every dollop.

The ice cream and sorbet at Island Creamery (120 N. Main St., Berlin) is made in small batches using fresh ingredients, including local fruit and milk from local cows. With a menu of more than 60 flavors that can be scooped into cones, sundaes, floats, and other treats, deciding what to order can be tricky, but you can’t make a mistake. Popular favorites include Pony Tracks (vanilla ice cream with homemade hot fudge, peanut butter cups and peanut butter), Marsh Mud (double chocolate), and Java Jolt (strong coffee ice cream with homemade brownie chunks and chocolate covered coffee beans). Grownups adore Bourbon Caramel Crunch (bourbon ice cream with caramel swirls and Heath Bar toffee pieces). Try a waffle cone: They’re made fresh on site using a secret family recipe.

The peach dumplings at Baked Dessert Café & Gallery (4C Bay St., Berlin) are so impressive they’ve earned this bakery the title of “home to Berlin’s official peach dumpling.” Handcrafted of all-natural ingredients—as are all the goodies here—the peach dumplings are a delicious balance of flaky and saucy, sweet and savory. Pair the indulgence with your favorite tea, coffee, or glass of wine surrounded by local art.

Mione’s Pizza & Italian Restaurant (12741 Ocean Gateway, Ocean City) offers a menu packed with mouthwatering secret family recipes from Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily. The pizza tops our list. Build your own or try a gourmet combo like BBQ Chicken, White Classico, or Salad Pizza. Order by the slice or whole pie—shaped in either New York round or Sicilian square—or even try a stuffed pizza, Stromboli, or calzone. Every pizza is made from scratch and cooked golden brown and crispy. 

The raw bar at Fager’s Island Restaurant and Bar (201 60th St, Ocean City) serves seafood goodies on the deck every evening. Listen to live musical entertainment while slurping Chincoteague oysters served raw or steamed, oyster shooters, steamed clams, and spicy steamed shrimp. While nibbling, sip your pick among the cocktails, beer, or any of the 32 wines by the glass. Grab a seat at the raw bar to watch the preparations or at a table for breathtaking views of Isle of Wight Bay. 

Lobster and steak at Fager's Island
Dinner at Fager’s Island

Braddah Barney’s (12703 Sunset Ave., West Ocean City) is a small place in an off-the-beaten-path location that’s worth seeking out for its lean, clean, fresh flavors. The tuna poke bowls are a healthy-eating pleasure, whether you opt for classic with spicy mayo, scallions, and cucumber, or spicy with soy marinade, scallions, cilantro, red onion, and avocado.

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