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.
Whatever you’re in the mood for, there’s a restaurant for it in Ocean City (especially if you’re in the mood for crabs). With seafood, buffet, pub-style and pizza joints on every corner, the possibilities are endless.
Restaurants who have placed in a “Best Of” restaurant category for 5 straight years include Harrison’s Harbor Watch, Dumser’s Ice Cream, Kohr Bros, 28th Street Pit n Pub, Smokers BBQ, Anthony’s Carryout, Hooper’s Crab House, The Crab Bag, The Crabcake Factory, Tequila Mockingbird, Blu Crabhouse, The Bonfire, OC Wasabi and Belly Busters. Congrats to those fine award-winning establishments, and to all of those listed below!
Where are you getting your pizza from? There was no clear winner in this category, with over 1,000 voters writing in a favorite pizza place that wasn’t on our poll. That’s typical for this category, one of our most popular (this year it received almost 6,000 votes total), so we wrote about some of the common write-ins that voters chose. To be fair, there are a lot of pizza options in Ocean City. But ultimately the winner was Grotto Pizza, a Maryland and Delaware pizza tradition since the 1960s. The family-friendly pizzeria has locations on 14th and 125th Street and also offers subs, salads, pastas, wings, strombolis, calzones and more.
Runner Up: Lombardi’s
Editor’s Choice: Mione’s Pizza
They say that crab is on the menu all day at Crabcake Factory USA, and so are their Bloody Marys, which make the perfect complement to a crabcake. It’s no wonder that with five locations (their original location at 120th street, bayside in Selbyville, DE, a seafood house across from the original restaurant, an express store at the boardwalk and poolside at the Tidelands Hotel) and an option to get their crabcakes shipped straight to your door, Crabcake Factory is the clear winner for the Best Seafood of 2017.
Runner Up: The Crab Bag
Editor’s Choice: The Shrimp Boat
The Crab Bag’s “fattest crabs ever” are, according to the seasoned crab pickers and “Best Of” voters, by far the best crabs in Ocean City. With so many crab restaurants on the Eastern Shore, the Bag must be doing something right to garner so much support for their male blue crabs, which are steamed for 20-30 minutes and offered with sides like fries, corn and fried chicken in their “Feast” entrees. Pick a picnic table and get pickin’.
Runner Up: Hooper’s Crab House
Editor’s Choice: Blu Crabhouse
Are you surprised? In addition to taking home the Best Seafood award, the Factory has also been crowned Best Crabcakes, winning by a landslide thanks to their signature entree. Whatever underwater creature you’re craving, Crabcake Factory literally takes the cake.
Runner Up: Coins Pub
Editor’s Choice: Hooked
Best Ice Cream
An Ocean City staple since 1939, Dumser’s Dairyland wins Best Ice Cream yet again. The ice creamery has expanded to seven locations throughout OC since the 30s, when Mrs. Gladys Dumser made her first homemade batch on the boardwalk, and today the family-owned-and-operated business offers every flavor and topping under the sun. Whether you’re dining in at their 49th or 123rd street locations or getting your dessert to go, Dumser’s is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Runner Up: Kohr Bros Frozen Custard
Editor’s Choice: Island Creamery
For delicious barbecue including house-smoked brisket, pork, chicken, ribs and wings, look no further than 28th Street — the 28th Street Pit & Pub, to be exact. You’ll also find this smokehouse in North Ocean City and, as of this year, in Salisbury, too. The Pit & Pub offers a casual environment where you won’t be ashamed to get your fingers a little saucy, and they also have a great daily Happy Hour from 3-6 p.m.
Runner Up: Bull on the Beach
Editor’s Choice: Smoker’s BBQ Pit
The shop on 33rd street with the dancing light-up beer cans isn’t just a liquor store. Anthony’s also carries beer and wine, and the best subs in Ocean City. For 45 years, their deli has been serving top-quality sandwich meats from Boar’s Head and Critterio, so when you’re in the mood for a hoagie, Anthony’s is the place to go. Be sure to stop at the bar for a cold brew on your way out.
Runner Up: Anthony’s Carryout
Editor’s Choice: Billy’s Sub Shop
Best Waterfront Dining
Down at the Sunset Grille… you’ll find some of the best deals in town, including $6.99 lunch specials Monday through Thursday and half-priced drinks at Happy Hour. But those deals aren’t even the best part of dining at the Sunset Grille. The best part is being able to enjoy your meal sitting dockside under an umbrella, watching boats roll into the harbor while the sun sets over the bay. Combine that view with a couple of drinks from Teasers Bar and you’ll never want to leave.
Runner-up: Fager’s Island
Editor’s choice: Shark on the Harbor
Best Raw Bar
The Harrison family has been local to the Ocean City region for over 100 years, and maybe that’s why they’re so dedicated to offering the freshest shellfish in all of OC. Fish on the restaurant’s menu are often served the same day they’re caught, and in the summer, produce comes freshly picked from the Laurel Produce Market in Laurel, DE. Chow down on the oyster stew while enjoying one of the best bay views the island has to offer.
Runner-up: Blu Crabhouse & Raw Bar
Editor’s choice: Seacrets
The Bonfire has been serving up a large and diverse array of food since 1973. At their 70th street buffet, pretty much any craving can be sated, whether it be with seafood, steak, ribs, crab legs or any other fresh buffet staple. The Bonfire proves to be Ocean City’s best buffet (and there are lots in this region!) because here, as you sit under their beautiful stained glass with a view of the restaurant’s tropical fish tanks, all your senses will be satisfied.
Runner Up: Embers
Editor’s Choice: Horizons Oceanfront
In the barn-style building formerly home to the Pirate’s Den, Barn 34 continues the tradition of delicious breakfasts and other great meals throughout the day, too. Downstairs you can dine-in or order a drink at the Rum Bar, or upstairs, hang out in the Loft Dining Room and Bar. Either way, your experience will be accented with great food, live music and maybe even a game of ping-pong.
Runner Up: Bayside Skillet
Editor’s Choice: Bad Monkey
Shotti’s Point is only a few years old (and their second location on the Boardwalk just opened this summer), but in a short period of time, their wings have taken Ocean City by storm. According to Best of Ocean City voters, their pizza isn’t bad either (it received a ton of write-in votes!) and their fries are second only to Thrasher’s. You might have to schedule several meals at Shotti’s Point just to try all the highly-favored food they have to offer.
Runner Up: Hooters
Original Choice: The Original Greene Turtle
Best Carry Out
Best Carry Out was a close race between 17th Street Anthony’s and the other Anthony’s, but the audience choice ultimately goes to Anthony’s at 17th street. Tried and true and owned by the same family for 45 years, Anthony’s serves the best takeout breakfast, fried chicken, subs and pizza in Ocean City. They’re cash only, so be sure to hit up an ATM before you go!
Runner-up: Belly Busters
Editor’s choice: Anthony’s Liquors
Best Asian Food
OC Wasabi wins Best Asian Food in a landslide. Come try the freshest sushi and sake on the beach, dine-in or carryout, or hit up the bar for happy hour specials on beer and house margaritas. If you’re feeling adventurous, be sure to order the fried ice cream for dessert, or the mochi, a sweet Japanese classic.
Runner-up: Blue Fish
Editor’s choice: Nori Sushi Bar
Best Italian Food
Hands down some of the best pizza you can get on the beach. Touch of Italy started out as a Lewes, DE exclusive in 2010, but today their artisanal pizza can be found in Ocean City and Rehoboth Beach, too. Check out their pasticceria, better known as a pastry shop with biscottis, pastries and cakes, or their salumeria, the Italian version of a deli. And whatever you do, be sure to treat yourself to an authentic Touch of Italy pizza.
Editor’s choice: DiFebo’s
Best Mexican Food
Mother’s Cantina prides themselves on their bold flavors and local, organic ingredients that make their Tex-Mex entrees so delicious. Mother’s Cantina is not only authentic but also affordable, so when you’re in the mood for a Mexican meal, you can dine-in, carry out or hit up the market at their 28th street restaurant. Happy hour is every day from 4-7, so keep in mind that a margarita is the perfect complement to a spicy fajita.