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Al Fresco Dining on Maryland’s Coast

Posted September 10, 2020

Grab a table with a view at these Worcester County restaurants.

It’s fall, which on Maryland’s coast means it’s prime time for outdoor dining. Comfortable temperatures, salty breezes, and spectacular views complement every menu. From street-level patios to roof-top decks, sunny docks to starlit terraces, these outdoor dining hotspots prove that a stunning vista is the perfect pairing with any meal.

The shaded patio at Tailchasers Restaurant and Dock Bar overlooks the canal off Assawoman Bay at 122nd Street on the north side of Ocean City. Just as the water sparkles from sunrise to sunset, flavors delight from appetizers through desserts. Award-winning Chef Christian Costantino’s menu is inspired by fresh ingredients from local sources. Dig into dishes like jumbo lump crab cakes, fish tacos, blackened mahi, and luau ribs.

Choose a table in sun or shade on the bayfront deck at Ropewalk in midtown Ocean City, or lounge at one of the fire pit tables in the sand. The marsh views of Assawoman Bay are as awe-inspiring as the fresh ingredients, including Liberty Oysters that are farmed daily from private oyster beds on the Chesapeake.

Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Ocean City’s famed three-mile boardwalk, Coastal Salt offers a spacious patio with tables in sun and shade. Since opening in the spring of 2020, the restaurant has become known for its fresh, local seafood that’s meticulously and creatively prepared with options like fish and chips, mahi with crab, and seared tuna.

Sunset Grille and Teasers Bar in West Ocean City is dockside at the Sunset Marina. As the name suggests, the beautiful views of the bay and marina are most stunning as the sun dips toward the horizon. With four bars, two sitting rooms, two dining rooms, and multiple outdoor venues, you can choose an angle on the view before settling on what to order off the crowd-pleasing menu. Consider the soft shell crab sandwich, Baltimore club with crab and shrimp, or seafood alfredo.

Located in the Ocean City Fishing Center, Micky Fins’ multiple outdoor dining areas overlook the marina and Isle of Wight Bay. Stunning sunset views are matched by Chef Duane Douglas’ internationally-inspired menu that presents top-quality ingredients sourced from local farmers, fishermen, foragers, and artisans. Popular favorites include chicken nachos, jerk shrimp tacos, crab dip, and ground short-rib brisket burgers.

Sit among trees on the huge, dog-friendly deck at Blacksmith in Berlin. Located alongside the restaurant, the spacious new deck has exposed walls and fans to circulate air and a roof to ensure comfortable all-weather dining. Chef/Owner Justine Zegna focuses the bar and food menus on local, small, and handmade. From killer burgers to fresh catch of the day, lentil salad to steak frites, there’s something to satisfy every craving.

Relax on the spacious porch or front lawn at Berlin’s historic Atlantic Hotel (circa 1895) overlooking Main Street. The famous rocking chairs are made even more comfortable with personal fans in summer and electric blankets in winter. The Atlantic Hotel Bistro Bar, known as the Drummer’s Café among locals, pours fine wine, local craft beer, and creative cocktails to pair with its scrumptious dishes like crab cakes, filet mignon, seared scallops, and broiled cod.

Elliot’s Tavern hosts outdoor dining in the heart of downtown Snow Hill. The high-quality food and friendly, top-notch service often earn rave reviews. The eclectic menu presents crowd pleasers from crab soup to pizza, tacos to burgers. The crab cakes and flounder are standout favorites.

Offering an unmatched view of the beautiful Pocomoke River and drawbridge, Dockside in Pocomoke is an enduring local favorite. With enough outdoor seating to accommodate up to 60 guests, you can request a table on the restaurant’s deck or in the grassy area by the dock. The menu presents familiar comforts and satisfying creations that appeal to eaters of all ages, from pulled pork to grilled salmon, cheesesteaks to hot wings.

Options Abound!

We’ve featured some of our favorites, but it’s easy to find even more outdoor dining options in Ocean City and throughout Worcester County.

Maryland Restaurant Week

For the first time ever, a statewide restaurant week will take place from Friday, September 18 through Sunday, September 27, 2020. Maryland Restaurant Week brings together all counties and restaurants for this week-long initiative. Restaurants may offer special menus, discounts, or seasonal fare for dine-in, curbside, or carryout orders, but there are no course or prix-fixe menu requirements and no entry fees. Join the effort to support Maryland’s restaurant industry!

Linger Longer

Come for dinner, stay for breakfast! Better yet, stick around for a week’s worth of meals! The top priority for hotels throughout Worcester County is guests’ and employees’ health and safety. The Maryland Hotel Lodging Association has endorsed the American Hotel Lodging Association’s Stay Safe guidelines, an industry-wide enhanced set of health and safety protocols. Whether you prefer a national brand-name hotel, private bed and breakfast inn, quirky motel, or romantic retreat, you’ll find ideal accommodations in Worcester County.

Plan your escape to Worcester County, Maryland’s only coastal county, at www.beachandbeyond.org.

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