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Best of the Boardwalk

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! 

Caramel corn
While they may have a few flavors, caramel popcorn is a boardwalk classic.

Best Caramel Corn

Fisher’s Popcorn

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

The Kite Loft

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

Golden plate
Everyone has to have at least one fried Oreo in their lifetime, and the Golden Plate is the place to get it.

Golden Plate 

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

Harrison’s Harbor Watch

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.

Shenanigan's on tap
Take a seat at the Shenanigan’s bar and refuel with your favorite brew. 

Runner-up: Shenanigan’s 

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

Purple Moose
Be sure to check the Moose’s live music schedule for an extra-fun night.

Purple Moose Saloon

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.

Runner-up: Shenanigan’s 

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

The Dough Roller

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

Wockenfuss fudge
So many fudge flavors, so little time.

Best Boardwalk Candy

Candy Kitchen

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.  

Best Fries

Thrasher’s French Fries

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! 

Kristin is a writer and photographer in Ocean City, Maryland, and is the content manager for OceanCity.com and other State Ventures, LLC sites. She loves getting reader-submitted stories and photos, so send her an email anytime. She also works part-time at the Art League of Ocean City and the Ocean City Film Festival and lives just off the peninsula with her dog and fiancé. Her photos can be found on Instagram @oc_kristin.

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Captain's Table Restaurant, Ocean City, MD

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  1. Any trip to Ocean City isn’t complete without a stop for a meal at The Brass Balls and the Dough Roller. Love OC Would love to move there.


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