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 this year’s voting.
Ocean City’s iconic Boardwalk is known for many things, especially its amusements. Beyond the amusements though, some of the best summer memories have to do with the sights, experiences, tastes and smells that make the boardwalk the boardwalk. Read on for a list of last year’s “Best of the Boardwalk” winners.
Boardwalk businesses who have placed in a “Best Of” Best of the Boardwalk category for 5 straight years include — there’s a lot, are you ready? — Fishers Popcorn, Dolle’s, The Kite Loft, Quiet Storm, Golden Plate, Alaska Stand, Shenanigan’s, Harrison’s Harbor Watch, Captains Table, The Purple Moose, The Dough Roller, Tony’s Pizza and Thrasher’s. Congrats to those fine award-winning establishments, and to all of those listed below!
Best Caramel Corn
Fisher’s has been around for over 80 years now, proving that a bucket of caramel popcorn on the boardwalk never goes out of style. Originally a corner store on Talbot Street, Fisher’s soon gained popularity for their delicious secret caramel recipe, and today they’ve expanded the popcorn flavors to include white cheddar, cinnamon caramel, caramel chocolate drizzle and the old Maryland favorite, Old Bay.
Runner-up: Dolles Candyland
Best Boardwalk Shop
There are plenty of shops lining the boardwalk from the Inlet to 27th street, but the Kite Loft has been one of the best for 42 years. The Kite Loft is pretty unique for a boardwalk store, with an inventory of kites and kite accessories, aerial toys, windsocks, yard ornaments and general fun stuff for kids and adults. You’ll know you’re near the 5th street Kite Loft as soon as you get close to the high-flying kites on the edge of the beach, and if you’re lucky, you might just be in town for one of their International Kite Festivals.
Runner-up: Quiet Storm
Best Boardwalk Stand
Sometimes you just don’t have time to sit down and eat when there’s so much fun to be had on the boardwalk, but you need to refuel and maintain your energy for the rest of the day. That’s where the Golden Plate comes in. They’ve been winning the Best Boardwalk Stand award for years, and their gyros and funnel cakes are the best you’ll find in all of Ocean City.
Runner-up: Alaska Stand
Best Sit-Down Restaurant
With all the food the boardwalk has to offer, Harrison’s Harbor Watch offers the best seafood, local produce and fresh raw bar, with the added benefit of a classic, family-friendly atmosphere and gorgeous views of the ocean. You won’t find a sit-down restaurant on the boardwalk like Harrison’s Harbor Watch.
Editor’s Choice: Captain’s Table
On the third floor of the Courtyard by Marriott on the Boardwalk is where you’ll find Captain’s Table, a sit-down restaurant on 15th Street that offers some of the freshest seafood, best vegetables and juiciest steaks in town. Hear the sounds of their very own Piano Man when you dine on Friday or Saturday nights, or stop by during Happy Hour (5 – 7 p.m. daily) for $1.50 Miller Lite drafts and $1 off house wine and rail cocktails.
Best Boardwalk Bar
For decades, the Purple Moose has been a landmark of Ocean City nightlife. Take shelter from the heat and enjoy a cold drink at the saloon on Talbot Street, where DJs spin classic rock hits all night long, or else a touring band is providing live music ambiance.
Editor’s choice: Cork Bar & Grill
The Cork Bar celebrated its big 5-0 back in 2014, but still proves to be one of the best dives in Ocean City four years later. Maybe not a whole lot has changed in its 54 years on the Ocean City Boardwalk, but maybe that’s why it’s remained a favorite of locals and travelers alike. When you visit the Cork Bar, you know exactly what you’re going to get: reasonably-priced drinks, a game of pool, your favorite song on the jukebox and walls packed with 50 years of photos and firefighter memorabilia.
Best Boardwalk Pizza
Pancakes, pizza and everything that belongs under a rolling pin is on the menu at the Dough Roller. The restaurant also serves Dayton’s boardwalk famous fried chicken and a full breakfast menu, but you don’t come to the Dough Roller without at least getting one slice of pizza.
Runner-up: Tony’s Pizza
Best Boardwalk Candy
You don’t have to be on the boardwalk to grab a sweet treat from Candy Kitchen, but it’s definitely a boardwalk tradition. Find whatever kind of candy your heart desires, or satisfy your chocolate cravings with a block of delicious fudge–just have a cooler on hand so it doesn’t melt!
Runner-up: Wockenfuss Candies
Editor’s choice: Dolle’s
When it comes to Boardwalk candy, Dolle’s has it all — and has had it all since 1910. Dolle’s specializes in caramel corn, salt water taffy and fudge and also carries other sugar-rush inducing treats like caramels, gummies and mints (and sugar-free treats, too!). No matter what you’re craving, there’s a 99.9% chance you’ll be able to find it at Dolle’s.
Every year we award Thrasher’s the obligatory Best Boardwalk Fries award because, let’s be honest, who’s going to vote for someone other than Thrasher’s? Since 1929 Thrasher’s has been a staple of the Ocean City Boardwalk and could probably keep Heinz Vinegar in business by itself.
It should be noted that “Best Fries” is an additional category to Best Restaurants this year, so if you think Thrasher’s has the best in all of Ocean City (or if you think they don’t), vote here. But don’t worry — Thrasher’s will always be the Best of the Boardwalk!