I’m a fan of the greasy spoon diner. The kind that serves mediocre coffee but amazing food that’s the hallmark of the American experience: Cheesy eggs! Pancakes as large as your face! Golden chicken and waffles! In Ocean City, there’s no shortage of diners with vinyl seats and where you can order late breakfast without shame. Here’s the top five places you need to stop by after a long day on the beach – or recovering from a crazy night.
1. Layton’s Family restaurant on 16th Street
This place excels in two diner staples: low prices and huge portions. But putting that aside, Layton’s is the place where you sit down at the counter, thinking you’d be helped in 15 minutes, but it’ll actually be five. Favorite items are the sweet potato pancakes and the crab-topped Neptune Benedict eggs. It’s an absolute must to take home a box of melt-in-your mouth donuts. Flavors include vanila oreo cookiee and chocolate raised.
2. Malia’s Cafe on 18th Street
Tucked behind the Spinnaker hotel, Malia’s has a fresh beach theme – fitting since it’s a block from the ocean. Seaside murals and dreamy mermaids are painted onto the walls. But the real star is the refreshing menu, with vegetarian and carnivore options for lunch and dinner. The falafel come highly recommended for lunch, but for breakfast, there’s the red, white and blue pancakes. These are made with strawberries, blueberries and shredded coconut baked in the batter. Fresh and fluffy goodness!
3. Sahara Cafe on 19th Street
An oasis of appetizing foods, and most on a massive breakfast menu. And the king of that menu is a cheesesteak topped with sweet peppers and onions fried eggs and crab meat called Joe Smooth A Go-Go. Great deals can be found here, like $7.50 weekday waffles and pick two lunch combos. This is one of the rare places on this list that’s open for dinner – and has 2 dishes, from sirloin steak to ravioli, for $20.
4. TC Diner in West Ocean City
If you want a hole-in-the wall dinner, look no further. Standard breakfast here is done well, including a egg and scrapple sandwich and funny-looking omelettes that are stuffed with whatever filling you want. This place is a little off-kilter where no two mugs are the same, vinyl checker tablecloths with photos of old Ocean City, but don’t be turned off. Piping hot food that’s homemade…. What else could you want?
5. Decatur Diner in West Ocean City
This place is famous for two things: its smallness and the Pipeline. The place gets slammed, so be prepared to wait a little for a table, but the food is worth it, from their greasy burgers, golden fried chicken and chipped beef.
The Pipeline is a behemoth of the best of recovery foods combined. It’s a block of home fries, onions, cheese and eggs, topped off with gravy. I highly recommend it with their signature peppercorn gravy and splitting it with a friend. If you take it home, (and if you order a whole one, you will) you’ll have breakfast for days.