If seafood is what you want, seafood is what you’ll find in Ocean City, MD. Thanks to its superb oceanside location, there’s no shortage of seafood restaurants in the city, offering everything from a fine dining experience to cheap ‘n’ cheerful carry out. If you’re in the mood for some steamed Maryland blue crabs, some meaty crab cakes, or some good old-fashioned fish and chips, find out where to get them on our round-up of the 10 very best seafood restaurants in Ocean City, MD.
10. Ropewalk Ocean City
Where: 8203 Coastal Hwy (83rd St), Ocean City
For a fun, family-friendly dining experience, Ropewalk Ocean City is a first-rate option. With a huge outdoor seating deck with fire pits and a kid’s play area, it’s the perfect place to enjoy some great sunsets, great entertainment, and even greater seafood.
9. Blu Crab House and Raw Bar
Where: 2305 Philadelphia Ave (23rd St), Ocean City
When the sun is shining, there’s no better place to relax than at the Blu Crab House and Raw Bar’s outdoor patio. Grab a pew, sink your toes into the sand, and enjoy a menu that has a little something to please everyone, from steamed Maryland blue crabs, shrimp, clams, and crab cakes, to three-cheese ravioli and seafood pasta. For an informal but delicious dining experience, it’s hard to beat.
8. Fager’s Island Restaurant and Bar
Where: 201 60th St, Ocean City
For great sunset views, an affordable, diverse menu, great live entertainment, and some fine local craft beer, Fager’s Island Restaurant and Bar is the place to go. Along with its fine dining menu (highlights from which include the Nori Crusted Seared Tuna Tenderloin. Fresh Flash Fried Calamari, and Maryland Style Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes), there’s a cheap ‘n’ cheerful Happy Hour menu and some superbly kid-friendly options.
7. On The Bay Seafood
Where: 4204 Coastal Hwy, Ocean City
If you like crabs, you’re going to love On The Bay Seafood. The restaurant’s steamed blue crabs are legendary, while its corn on the cob, boardwalk fries, steamed spiced shrimp, Maryland crab soup, and golden-brown calamari aren’t exactly lacking either. The service is attentive, the location is superb, the crabs are heavy, and the beer is cold… what more could you possibly want?
6. Belly Busters
Where: 4408 Coastal Hwy (45th St.), Ocean City
If you want refined, elegant dining, go elsewhere. If you want generous portions of good, fresh food in an informal, fun environment, head to Belly Busters. As Ocean City’s oldest continually operating sub shop, it’s become something of a local institution – and for good reason. Prices are affordable, and the range of dishes is as wide as they are generous. No fuss, no frills- just darn fine seafood.
5. Fish Tales
2207 Herring Way (22nd St), Ocean City
With its excellent bayside location, Fish Tales is as much a treat for the eyes as it is for the belly. Grab an outside table and enjoy the views as you eat your way through a menu of Buffalo Scallops, Conch Fritters, Smoked Tuna Dip, Fried Clam Strips, Thai Shrimp, Fried Frog Legs, Cheez Whiz Fries, Fried Fish-N-Chips, Coconut Encrusted Cod, Seafood Mixed Grill, and the spiciest, tastiest Bloody Mary that’ll ever pass your lips.
Where: 8003 Coastal Hwy (80th St), Ocean City
A great wine list, a welcoming ambiance, attentive service, and fantastic food await you at Hooked, a seriously above- average seafood-by-the-shore restaurant on Coastal Hwy. Along with the outstandingly fresh seafood menu (highlights from which include Day Boat Scallops served with hashed yukons and butternut, brandied cherries, spinach, root veg puree, maple gastrique, and shallots; Town And Dock Calamari garnished with spicy mayo, micro celery and lemon; and the spicily delicious Boom Boom Shrimp), there’s a fantastic selection of specialty cocktails to accompany your meal, including a delicious Banana Bread Martini (brown sugar bourbon, Carolan’s liquor, Bacardi banana), and a deeply warming Burnt Old Fashioned (1776 rye whiskey, fee bros orange bitters, luxardo cherry, grilled orange, simple syrup). Try it once, and, as the legions of loyal fans attest, you really will be hooked.
3. Tailchasers Restaurant & Dock Bar
Where: 12203 Coastal Hwy Unit B, Ocean City
From the same group that gave us Hooked comes the gorgeously inviting waterfront restaurant, Tailchasers Restaurant and Dock Bar. With its focus on freshness, creativity, and comfort, the restaurant executes the concept of “Farm to Table” (or, perhaps more appropriately, “Sea to Table”) flawlessly. Expect a food menu loaded with affordably prized dishes like Crispy Buttermilk Battered Calamari, Old Bay Crab Dip, Tuna Poke Bowl, Lobster Mac & Cheese, and that old favorite, Fish and Chip, and an equally superb bar menu full of new and old-world wines and a clutch of creative cocktails.
2. The Crab Bag
Where: 13005 Coastal Hwy (at 131st St), Ocean City
As the name suggests, The Crab Bag is THE place to go for some of the best crab you’ll get in Ocean City. The meaty crab cakes, as you’d expect, are awesome, while the warm, inviting atmosphere, great live music, buzzing atmosphere, and friendly service make for one seriously enticing crab house. If you can’t get a table, you can still satisfy your crab cravings with the handy carry-out option.
1. Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Where: 11501 Maid at Arms Lane Berlin, Ocean City
Don’t let the name deceive you- yes, there’s steak on offer at Ruth’s Chris Steak House (and very good steak, at that), but there’s also a large, not to say exquisite, seafood menu that will satisfy the appetite of even the hungriest diner. For starters, choose from a selection of Calamari, Barbecued Shrimp, Shrimp Remoulade, Mushrooms Stuffed with Crabmeat, and Spicy Lobster, before moving through a main course packed with treats like Caribbean Lobster Tail, Petite Filet & Shrimp, and Market Fresh Seafood Selection. If you’ve still got room after all that, don’t miss the sumptuous Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce, the house’s “definitive version of a traditional New Orleans favorite”.