paddleboard, places to eat ocean city, OCNJ top place to eat, best places to eat on the boardwalk

The Top Ten Places You Must Eat in Ocean City, NJ

according to the island’s pickiest eater aka Leenie

Our diverse team is part of the passionate Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) movement -taking our exciting sport to new extremes. At OC Paddleboard we race, practice PaddleYoga, get an amazing workout in our PaddleFit classes, and explore the waterways of the region on our boards. We believe in sharing the SUP stoke and Aloha with our families and with the community.

Shore food is hands down the best food. Whether it be a cheesy slice of pizza on the boardwalk, breakfast sandwich in the morning or a delicious ice cream cone with jimmies. I truly believe Ocean City is the best of the best when it comes to food variety and choices.

I originally was going to make a top 10 countdown and rate my favorite food places but that became a very challenging task. How do I say a taco is better than a donut or a gyro is better than a hoagie or sub? Now you understand my dilemma. So these are the top ten places that I feel you must eat at before you leave Ocean City.

Keep in mind I am the pickiest eater out there and if you’ve been on a guided tour with me paddling you may know this already but you also may know that I LOVE food. Just because I am picky does not mean I do not appreciate good food when I taste it.

So in no particular order here are the top ten best places to eat on the island!

1. Augies located on corner of 9th & Atlantic.
My favorite breakfast place ever.

My family has followed Augies all over this small island for the past 20years (that is how dedicated we are to this restaurant). They have moved around several times but this location seems to work and is very stable for them. They are known for their massive waffles and outstanding omelets but like I said I am a selective eater and dislike eggs so I take a different route and make my own platter with porkroll, homefries, and rye toast. No matter how tired I am, if my dad asks if I want breakfast at Augies even if its 7am… you better believe I am jumping out of bed.

2. Brown’s located on the boardwalk on St. Charles Place.

Now this breakfast place ranks with Augie’s. It serves amazing food with a great view of the beach and friendly staff. But most people go there for their famous old fashion homemade donuts. They are made right in front of your very eyes and served hot and fresh. If you have ever road your bike on the boardwalk all the way down to the end at 1st street in the morning you have seen a ridiculously long line of people waiting for these donuts (that is how good they are and are totally worth the wait). They stop serving breakfast at 11:30am so you definitely do not want to over sleep and miss out on a small taste of heaven.

3. Manco & Manco located every other block on the boardwalk
(better known as the old Mack & Manco’s)

To me pizza is divided into two categories: gourmet & plain. And Manco & Manco has the best plain pizza that I have ever tasted in my 24years of living. I know that is a really bold statement but I will stand by it till the day that I die. This pizza place is a bit pricey but to me it is totally worth it. They only serve pizza… so save yourself the embarrassment and don’t ask for fries or a cheesesteak. Their pizza slices are best served burning hot (sounds dangerous I know but that is the best way to eat it). The only downer is I don’t particularly like Manco’s pizza as leftover but lucky for me I never really have any leftovers left to eat! Also don’t forget to order a strawberry and cream soda to go along with your two burning hot plain slices. I promise, you won’t regret it.

(Warning pizza may be so hot it burns your tongue, lips, and hands, so if you don’t want to experience that then wait a few minutes before biting into your slice).

4. Piccini’s located 12th & West
(right next to the Wawa)

This restaurant has your traditional Italian meals, which are also very delicious, but I go here for their gourmet brick oven pizzas. They have so many toppings to choose from, whether you like seafood, cheesesteak or vegetables on your pie; you can have it all here at Piccini’s. I always order their BBQ Chicken pizza and I am never disappointed. Their BBQ sauce is so good that I wish they would bottle it like my other favorite places do. You can get a personal size or a large size and split the topping choices if you are indecisive or have a friend who is really picky but would love to still indulge in good eats ;). It is a smaller restaurant and can get a bit tight in there so order take out if its too crowded.

5. Red’s Jersey Mexican Food located on 11th street between West Ave and Haven Ave.

If you are craving Mexican then this is the place to go in Ocean City. I live for their Teriyaki Chicken Tacos, which is a soft taco with shredded marinated chicken, lettuce, cheese, rice and a delicious pineapple mango salsa. I know sounds amazing right?? It’s our version of Surf Taco (famous restaurant located at the North Jersey beaches) and that is a very respectful comparison. People don’t always think of Mexican food when they visit the shore but hopefully this changes your mind.

6. Voltaco’s located on 9th and West
(Very small place so keep your eye out for it because it can be easily missed!)

Also it is not Mexican- has nothing to do with tacos!

This is the spot where you want to go for a cold hoagie or a hot sub on the island. This place serves huge proportions so come hungry. It is take-out only so make sure to place your order before 5 or 6pm because they are pretty busy which means other people know how good they are. They don’t just serve sandwiches, they also serve all the best Italian dishes you have been craving since you’ve been on vacation. Just a tip: check for their exact hours since they are take-out only they aren’t as late as the numerous sit down restaurants on the island.

7. Hula Grill located on the boardwalk between 9th and 10th
(it’s a hidden gem you can find it all the way in the back where the boardwalk has an extended area filled with tables)

O.M.G is this place amazing! It has the best chicken, rice, salad platter that you will eat at the shore. The chicken has a sweet/soy/BBQ sauce on it called Hula Sauce and it is served over white sticky rice and a side salad with fantastic dressing. These sauces and dressings are so good that you can buy them by the bottle! This plate is called the Hawaiian Chicken. In a rush? No problem. This place dishes out platters in a record 4mins flat (I witnessed this). So if you are starving and can’t wait any longer, Hula Grill is the place for you. Now I am a selective eater and do not like seafood but have been told by numerous people that their seafood platters are just as good!

8. Katrina’s located on corner of 8th and Central
(or Katina’s – new owners but same great taste)

This is a small Mediterranean restaurant that has been recently sold to a different owner but still dishes out the best chicken gyro I have ever tasted (and I am Greek so that is saying A LOT!). Their chicken is heavenly marinated and mixed with lettuce, onions, their homemade feta cheese (amazing), drizzled with tzatziki sauce and wrapped up to make the perfect gyro. It can get sort of messy to eat so if you are trying to impress someone I would suggest ordering the chicken ka-bob large Greek salad. Less messy and you get to experience their enchanting Greek dressing which they also bottle and you can take home to attempt to make your own salad. The saying “it’s all Greek to me” should really change to “it’s all delicious to me”.

9. Curly Fries located 9th and Boardwalk

Everyone by now has heard of Chickie’s and Pete’s fries and how they have made their way onto the boardwalk. Don’t get me wrong they are delicious as well but don’t forget about Curly Fries. Curly fries are made to perfection and are flawlessly seasoned to have you wanting more and more until your buckets empty and then you are left having a debate with yourself if you should go for round 2. They also have crinkle cut instead of curly and they are even better! They have your usually ketchup to dip in but they also have old bay, hot sauce, and malt vinegar to dip your fries into which is surprisingly delicious as well!

10. Ice cream located all over the island!

Now this was really tough for me because there are so many great ice cream shops and parlors scattered around the island that to just pick one as the best would be cruel. My favorite of all time was Tory’s (rest in peace) but they are no longer with us so I had to venture out and I was very pleased! The bigger the crowd sometimes means the better the ice cream, so prepare yourself for the wait.

I have to say the best of the best are:

  • A La Mode – 55th and West
  • Kessles – 28th and Asbury
  • Johnny B Good – 13th and Asbury
  • Hobby Horse – 8th and Ocean
  • TJ’s – East Atlantic way north, off of Battersea
  • *Polish Water Ice – 10th and Boardwalk

*had to sneak a water ice on here because this is just too good to be left unmentioned!

Well there ya have it! Whether it be breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, or desert; Ocean City has you and your taste buds covered! (And if you eat too much and need to work it off join me on another paddle tour or lesson and I will be sure to ask you what your opinion is on the best places to eat on the island!)