Unless you're aquaphobic (in which case, you might want to move swiftly on) there's nothing quite so relaxing as enjoying some fine food, cool drinks, and good company by the waterfront. Fortunately, Maryland's 3,100 miles of shoreline offers up plenty of opportunities for waterfront dining. If you're ready to feel the breeze in your hair as you tuck into some of the state's best cuisine, there are the 10 best waterfront restaurants in Maryland to check out.
10. M.R. Ducks, Ocean City
Sure, it's a tiny bit touristy, but when the food's this good and the views are this spectacular, who's going to complain? If you're visiting M.R. Ducks in Ocean City, expect a menu packed with fresh seafood and classic Maryland comfort food, a huge selection of cocktails, beers, wines, and nonalcoholic drinks, along with a lively, informal atmosphere and an incredibly friendly service.
9. Sunset Cove, Bowleys Quarters
If you can't make it to the beach but still want to feel the sand beneath your toes, you might want to set your sights on Sunset Cove in Bowleys Quarters. Located in an idyllic position in Middle River along Frog Manor Creek, this casual eatery offers patrons the chance to enjoy its long stretch of palm tree-lined sandy beach, along with a dock for swimming. The menu is as much of a delight as the location, sporting a varied selection of Maryland classics along with a few surprises like an oyster wrap with chipotle aioli to keep you on your toes.
8. Nauti Goose Restaurant, North East
The main draw of Nauti Goose Restaurant is the breathtaking views over the waterfront - pretty special at any time of the day, but absolute mindblowing at sunset. If you're more concerned about what's on your plate than what's out the window, you're in for a treat thanks to a huge menu packed with tempting dishes like Coconut Shrimp (jumbo shrimp fried in coconut batter and served with sweet Thai chili sauce), and Rockfish Bites (cajun dusted fish tossed in the house's signature Willie Jacks Buffalo Sauce and served with ranch dressing), along with a vast selection of pizzas, salads, burgers, sandwiches and more besides.
7. Snappers Waterfront Cafe, Cambridge
If you're looking for laid back vibes and good times, Cambridge's Snappers Waterfront Cafe should do the job nicely. Live music is always on the menu, as is a warm welcome and friendly hospitality. Food-wise, expect an intriguing but hugely tempting blend of Southwestern and Caribbean - all of it is delicious, but the jumbo jerk shrimp fajitas with peppers and pineapple deserves its own Instagram page.
6. Enzo's Waterfront, Elkton
According to Yelp reviewers, Enzo's Waterfront in Elkton is one of the best waterfront restaurants in North East Maryland, dishing up an excellent wine list, affordable, flavor-packed Italian favorites like Zuppa di Pesce and Mozzarella en Caroza, and breathtaking views over the water. If you're looking for friendly service, great views, and a memorable experience, don't miss it.'
5. Hard Yacht Cafe, Dundalk
As thrillist.com says, as you drive up to Dundalk's Hard Yacht Cafe, you'd be forgiven for thinking you were pulling into someone’s private marina. But do it anyway - what lies beyond that dirt road is most definitely worth it. Set on Bear Creek in an area affectionately referred to as 'Redneck Riveria,' the restaurant promises a lively atmosphere, live music, a huge selection of wines, beers and cocktails, and a very tempting selection of Caribbean influenced dishes like fish tacos, fried shrimp and conch fritters.
4. Tír na nÓg Irish Bar & Grill, Baltimore
Good luck pronouncing the name of this next restaurant, especially after a pint or two from their excellent craft beer selection. But pronunciation issues aside, there's a lot to love about the charming little eatery on the Baltimore waterfront. Combining Irish hospitality with North American cuisine, it's a wonderfully cozy place to spend a few hours over good beer and even better food. Standouts from the menu include Irish ale battered fish and chips served with house tartar sauce and cole slaw, and Baja style fish tacos made with battered cod fish and served with cabbage and carrot slaw, pico de gallo, chipotle aioli, and crispy golden fries.
3. Ruddy Duck Seafood & Alehouse, Piney Point
Except for boats and private houses, there's not really a lot to see on Piney Point. There is, however, a reason to visit, a reason that comes in the shape of Ruddy Duck Seafood & Alehouse. With water views every which way you look, the friendliest servers you'll probably ever meet, and a mouthwatering menu of dishes like duck-a-dilla (BBQ duck quesadilla, to the rest of us), beer brats, and crab cakes served with tangy pineapple coleslaw, it promises a hugely memorable experience.
2. Carrol’s Creek Cafe, Annapolis
Named one of the best waterfront restaurants in Annapolis by trip101.com, Carrol’s Creek Cafe offers a varied menu packed with the kind of fresh, flavor-packed dishes that are guaranteed to get your mouth watering. Key dishes to try include the Pan Seared Scallops with mascarpone, gruyere cheese, tasso ham risotto, a sautéed vegetable trio of red peppers, snow peas and bean sprouts and chive truffle oil, and a deeply indulgent Coffee & Donuts Bread Pudding made with glazed donuts and served with coffee-chocolate chip ice cream and a Makers Mark sea salt caramel sauce. Thanks to its location on the legendary Restaurant Row in the Eastport section of Annapolis, the views over the marina are as triumphant as the food.
1. Nick's Fish House, Baltimore
If you're a Baltimore native, there's a good chance you've already heard of Nick's Fish House. If you haven't, now's the time to put that right. This beloved local institution on the Port Covington does seafood better than almost anyone else for miles around, serving up plates of regional favorites like crab pretzels and jumbo lump crab cakes alongside southern specialties like shrimp and grits and fried green tomatoes. If your appetite's up for the challenge, opt for the cold seafood platter, which comes piled to the ceiling with peel and eat shrimp, king crap, jump lump, steamed craps, raw oyster, and clams.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson