A Locals Guide to Eating in Ocean City, Maryland

While studying in Italy, I came across a set of German words: Fernweh and Heimweh. Fernweh, the crave to travel; feeling a connection to a place you've never been to, is contrasted with Heimweh, a deep, unexplainable pain for your home. I've felt Fernweh for so many places, yet there are only two places on earth that I truly feel Heimweh for. One of those places is Ocean City, Maryland.

I've been traveling to this beach-side town my whole life, spending my summers on it's shores with my family and friends. Beside the beaches, relaxed days in the pool, and nights spent dancing at Seacrets, it was always the local cuisine that brought me back year after year.

best restaurants in ocean city Maryland

Eating in Ocean City

Maryland cuisine is some of my favorite style of cooking in the world. If you're a seafood lover, this is the place for you. They soak almost any seafood you can imagine in a salty, "Old Bay" seasoning and specialize in full Maryland Blue Crabs that you can eat by the bucket full. On that note, here are some of my favorite places to eat in Ocean City and the surrounding areas.

Waterman's Seafood Company

Waterman's is one of the best places to grab seafood in Ocean City. On top of their massive seafood menu, they offer all-you-can-eat Maryland crabs or shrimp. Looking to do seafood at home? They have a carryout seafood market that sells an array of crab, mussels, lobster, and fresh fish. This is the route we usually take, bringing pre-cooked crab by the bushel back to our house to enjoy on the patio.

Other places to do carryout crabs:

The Crab Bag

The Shrimp Boat

Higgins Crab House

Crabs to Go

Fish Tales

This isn't my favorite place for food, but it's a great happy hour spot with swings on their private beach.

Shark on the Harbor

This is another great spot with awesome lunch specials. I recommend the fried green tomatoes with crab and the soft shell crab BLT.

Crabcake Factory Bayside

There are multiple Crabcake Factory restaurants around Ocean City, including a poolside location near the boardwalk, but my favorite is the Selbyville, Delaware location that overlooks the bay. They're known for their monstrous Bloody Mary's that can quite literally substitute your meal, topped with crab cakes, lump crab meat, pickled beans, and shrimp.


As the original home of Ocean City's famous "orange crush", this is a favorite among locals. With docks outside to tie your boat up, this is the perfect place to stop for lunch while out on the water.

Liquid Assets

This is my favorite restaurant in Ocean City. This unique liquor store made gourmet restaurant serves some of the most delicious food in the area, along with one of the best wine selections I've ever seen. I recommend their mouthwatering Waygu meatballs, Scallop Risotto, Caesar Salad, and any of their meat and cheese board options. Everything sold here is to die for and their wait staff was accommodating at every turn.

Nick's House of Ribs

Over seafood? This is a great place to pick up ribs, steak, and chicken dishes. Not over seafood? They still offer a wide list of fish, lobster, and crab cake options.

Ruth Chris Steak House

Ugh, I'm such a sucker for a good steakhouse, and the Ocean City Ruth Chris is no exception. I've eaten at a lot of highly-rated steak houses around the country, and the steak here has got to be my favorite. The chain is built in old horse stables and still holds the same charm. If you're looking for a nice dinner in a unique setting, this is a must go. Everything here is amazing, but I highly recommend the Chilean Sea Bass and a filet mignon with lump crab meat.

Where are your favorite places to eat in Ocean City? Leave your recommendations in the comments below!