Pizza has always seemed to be a somewhat controversial topic, whether you’re talking about the style, the toppings, or the restaurant it’s from. That’s why, every year, we poll Ocean City locals and visitors alike in our annual “Best of Ocean City” voting. “Best Pizza” is always one of the most-voted-on categories, except this year, the result was somewhat unexpected — the “other” fill-in-the-blank category won first place.
The Controversial “Other”
“Other” won just over 17% of the total vote, and the write-ins were scattered, so the first-choice “other” pick isn’t close to being the winner of the category — that would go to the second-choice pick, which we’ll get to in a moment. But the most popular pick in the “Other” category was Albertino’s, weighing in at 173 votes. Albertino’s Brick Oven Eatery has fresh, handmade pizza and a full bar. They seem to be aware that they are loved by the locals, since they have a half-price pizza during Local’s Night on Wednesday and Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m. Besides pizza, they also serve breakfast, lunch and dinner entrees, and even a prime rib night on Fridays from 4 to 9 p.m. Get some fresh pizza at a discounted price at 13117 Coastal Highway, Ocean City!
Moving onto the second-most-popular “other,” that title goes to Shotti’s Point, with 128 votes. Shotti’s Point is on the newer side of Ocean City restaurants — the original location is in Baltimore, with more recent Ocean City locations located on 35th Street and, as of this summer, on the Boardwalk, too. Shotti’s founder, Michael Shott, was inspired by his surfing trips around the world and decided to bring his unique menu to Ocean City. Shotti’s Point is open all year round and locals love the woodfired pizza as well as the special food items available (“rhino fries,” anyone?).
In third place of the “other” category is Ripieno’s, with 119 votes. Locals rave about Ripieno’s great food and great prices. Not only do they have delicious pizza, but they’re also known for their subs and salads, which are freshly made. The pizza is assembled by hand and cooked using a woodfired oven. You can find this hidden gem on 3205 Philadelphia Ave. in Ocean City.
We’ll be sure to give those establishments their own category on the poll next year. And again, even though “Other” was 1st overall, the votes weren’t quite cohesive enough to completely overtake another establishment.
Official Winner: Grotto Pizza
“Other” category aside, our official first-place winner is Grotto Pizza. Grotto Pizza is a small chain on the Eastern Shore with locations in Delaware, Pennsylvania and of course, Maryland. Grotto Pizza was founded in 1960 by Dominick Pulieri, the son of two Italian immigrants. Even though the people of Sussex County weren’t familiar with pizza at the time, Pulieri quickly found himself serving the locals and even the tourists. You can be confident in the pizza they serve, which has an authentic Italian background, and Pulieri’s story goes to show just how delicious Grotto’s pizza is. Clearly, the same love for Grotto’s has transcended over half a century to today’s generation. If you’re craving a piece of pizza now, Grotto Pizza can be found on 125th and 14th Streets. Both Ocean City locations are open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Second Place: Lombardi’s
Trattoria Lombardi’s won a close second. Lombardi’s has won two “Best Of” awards previously, in 2017 and 2018, for their pizza. And even though they’re known for their famously delicious pizza, it’s not all they serve. They also have salads, subs, pasta and a full bar. You can take your one friend who doesn’t like pizza here too! Lombardi’s is located in the 94th Street shopping center in Ocean City. They’re open all week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., but on Friday and Saturday, they’re open an extra hour (until 10 p.m.).
Third Place: The Dough Roller
In third place came The Dough Roller. Usually, we don’t mention the results past winner and runner-up, but this year the results were so close that we wanted to incorporate the third-place winner. The Dough Roller is unique because not only do they have good pizza, but they’re also known for their pancakes, which you can get all day. The Dough Roller was founded by an Ocean City resident, Bill Gibbs, in 1980. Since then, The Dough Roller has expanded into a small chain in Ocean City. If you want breakfast or pizza (or maybe both), visit The Dough Roller! They have five locations, two on the Boardwalk on South Division Street and 3rd Street, two on Coastal Highway on 41st Street and 70th Street, and the last one in West Ocean City at 12849 Ocean Gateway.
With plenty of amazing pizza places to choose from, why not change up the place you usually order from and give one of these six fabulous establishments a try? You’ll be sure to find a pizza to fall in love with at one of these Ocean City locales.