Each year OceanCity.com readers vote on the best of everything in Ocean City. We also have a panel of experts around Ocean City who pick their favorites based on local experiences, which we refer to as Editor’s Choice. Click here for the 2020 voting.
For many Ocean City visitors, the most important part of any Ocean City vacation is the bar-hopping. “Best Bars” almost always proves to be the category that we get the most votes in, and we totally understand why. There are some great bars in Ocean City, and some not-so-great bars. We’re here to concentrate on the positives, of which there are many.
Bars that have placed in a “Best Of” restaurant category for 5 straight years include Seacrets, Fish Tales, Coconuts and Fager’s Island.
Without further ado, here are 2019’s Best Bars in Ocean City, Maryland! If you don’t agree with the results — or even if you do agree, but want them to stay the same next year — it’s not too early to start voting in the Best of Ocean City 2020.
Best Bar Overall
‘Best Bar Overall’ voting is almost always a neck-and-neck race between Seacrets and Fish Tales; last year, Fish Tales pulled through. This year, Seacrets took the crown back. Both are incredible bars in their own right, but for very different reasons. Fish Tales is a colorful oasis with a playground for kids, so you can spend hours there with the entire family. Seacrets is known more for its nightlife, especially the local and national musical acts is attracts to its sweeping Morley Hall nightclub. You can eat indoors at Seacrets, or outdoors on the sand, or outdoors in the water as you watch more diners arrive via their boats and Seacrets’ own water taxi. You could spend all day, and well into the night, at Seacrets.
Runner-up: Fish Tales
Editor’s Choice: The Frog Bar
Always another close race between Seacrets and Fish Tales! Seacrets’ drinks are often made with liquor from their distilling company next door, which has won medals from spirits competitions all over the United States. Their spiced rum is especially renowned. Also be sure to try their Tropicale craft beer, brewed specially for Seacrets by Evolution Craft Brewing in Salisbury, Md.
Runner-up: Fish Tales
Editor’s Choice: The Angler
Best Happy Hour
Head inside the Castle in the Sand hotel on 37th Street and that’s where you’ll find Coconuts, a frequent winner of Ocean City’s “Best Happy Hour.” Happy Hour at Coconuts is every day from 5 to 6 p.m., where drinks are 2-for-the-price-of-1. It’s the best and the fastest hour in Ocean City, often enjoyed alongside live music and, of course, beautiful views of the ocean.
Runner-up: Mother’s Cantina
Editor’s Choice: The Globe
Best Sunset View
It would be blasphemous to not award Ocean City’s Best Sunset View to Fager’s Island. They time it perfectly every evening so that the 1812 Overture bellows from the bar just as the sun is setting, and if you haven’t stood on their gazebo on the water to enjoy this phenomenon, you haven’t really had the full Ocean City experience.
Editor’s Choice: De Lazy Lizard
Best Live Music
No one in Ocean City does live music better than Seacrets. Whether an act is performing at Morley Hall, the Tiki Stage or the outdoor Beach Stage, you can bet there will be a huge crowd with seemingly limitless energy and dance moves. You can even watch live cams and pre-recorded videos of the bands that regularly rock the Seacrets stages right on their website.
Runner-up: Purple Moose
Editor’s Choice: MR Ducks
Best Sports Bar
Pickles has been a favorite sports bar among locals since the joint first opened up in 1989. Open year-round and providing Ocean City with a dose of casual pub atmosphere downtown, locals and visitors alike are known to catch a game on their giant high-def TV, and maybe enjoy a fried pickle or two. Or 12.
Runner-up: The Original Greene Turtle
Editor’s Choice: Buxy’s Salty Dog Saloon
Best Craft Beer Selection
4th Street, 9th Street or 45th Street — whichever Tap House you’re at, you can bet they’ll have an awe-inspiring assortment of craft beer! The Tap House features local and national craft beer brands, which pair perfectly with food selections including the crabby pretzel, wings and a king-sized burger. Happy Hour is every weekday from 3-6 p.m., the perfect opportunity to try your new favorite craft beer.
Runner-up: Pizza Tugos
Editor’s Choice: Breakers Pub
Burley Oak in Berlin, MD draws thousands of visitors to the area every year just for their craft beer alone. According to Burley, “Our goal is to produce distinctive beers whose quality is unsurpassed using new and traditional brewing methods,” a goal that they’ve certainly accomplished: Their brews are as unique as it gets, and made largely with local ingredients. Stop in for an IPA or, for those feeling adventurous, a JREAM: a sour beer made with fruit and milk sugar, offered in a variety of flavors.