July 21, 2015

Where to Eat in Ocean City, NJ

If you follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, you would have seen the play-by-play of our Ocean City, NJ, vacation last week. It was the perfect family trip with a newborn. We lucked out with five beautiful beach days and four grandparents eager to occupy the little guy, giving us a healthy break.

Cookouts, crabs and ice cream took over our menu for the week. Our Twitter friends offered some solid recommendations but we also just went for whatever was convenient and looked good at the time. Here's a quick recap of some of the best things we ate in Ocean City in case you hit the beach this summer.

Browns Doughnuts - also serves full breakfast!
Sunrise Cafe Meat Lover's breakfast sandwich

No trip is complete without a hunt for the best doughnuts. We ate an exceptional volume of them last week, from the Fractured Prune (made hot to order in all sorts of fun flavors), to Cathy's 14th St Cafe (more traditional, fluffy style and very good) to the famous Browns Restaurant. Browns came to us via Twitter as a Laban family favorite. With only six flavors of fairly small doughnuts, sold at $5 for a half dozen, it's worth getting one of each to try a bite and pick your own winner. Bradd's favorite was honey glazed; despite being a chocolate girl, I actually liked the vanilla frosted most. All six were fantastic little creations, hot and slightly crunchy on the outside. Browns is at the very north end of the Ocean City boardwalk so walk or ride a bike there to make up for eating waaaay to many of them.

The Sunrise Cafe was a little corner breakfast/lunch shop near our rental house. Big portions of pancakes and french toast, perfectly cooked eggs and tasty smoothies kept our family satisfied for breakfast a few mornings. The highlight had to be the meat lover's egg sandwich, shown above. Holy moly. This sandwich was loaded with full servings of pork roll, scrapple and bacon for only $6.50. That will fill you up before hitting the beach.

Manco & Manco Sicilian pie
Tomato pie at Bennie's Bread

On the pizza front, who can resist a slice (or seven) of Manco & Manco pizza? Bradd had his share throughout the week but one day on the beach we tried something new - their Sicilian pie. We highly recommend it for a change. The hearty thick crust pie will feed the whole family. Bradd also stopped in Bennie's Bread, an Italian bakery and market with meats, cheeses and delicious slices of tomato pie. Get there early for fresh slices topped with basil.

Jibarito Puerto Rican sandwich on flattened plantains, empanadas and zucchini fries from D'Caribbean 
Coconut crusted tilapia at Cousin's Restaurant, two nice size pieces of fish plus rice and veggies

For lunch in downtown Ocean City, check out D'Caribbean. The casual Caribbean bistro seems a little out of place among the beachware clothing stores and American fried food that typically occupy Main Streets at the shore. But free samples of their excellent empanadas drew us right in to order more. D'Caribbean also makes good little sandwiches and smoothies, served with a smile by enthusiastic staff. Nice break from the boardwalk food.

We cooked and ate dinner on the porch most nights, but ventured out one evening to Cousin's in the north end of Ocean City at 1st & Asbury. It satisfied our need for a seafood dinner with a big menu covering everything from coconut tilapia to fresh grouper to crabs & spaghetti. Remember Ocean City is a dry town so no bar or BYOB. Have happy hour at home first. And if you really want a great meal, hire Bradd's dad to make blue crabs cooked in homemade pasta sauce and stuff yourself into oblivion...

Wherever you vacation this summer, enjoy! 

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