We were on vacation last week, and what’s a vacation without good food?
Going to Ocean City, MD for vacation is somewhat of a tradition in my husband’s family. His grandfather started going back in the 1950s so both my mother-in-law and my husband grew up going every summer. My husband and I went once or twice early in our marriage, but until last year, our son had never been. But for the past 2 years, the baton has officially been passed, as we’ve been able to bring our son there as well, and both he and I now share my husband’s love for it. (I mean, look at that sunrise. How could you not fall in love?)
When we went this year, I had big plans to go exploring and take lots of pictures, but then reality hit: When your kid wants to spend all his time on the beach, you let him because, after all, vacations are really about letting your kids build memories and experiences.
We did have some time, however, for some memorable food experiences so I thought I’d share some of my favorites here on my blog.
We are all early risers, so we were in Ocean City by 10:00 AM and went looking for a spot to have a late breakfast. We ended up at Happy Jack’s Pancake House, and after about a half-hour wait, we sat down to a delicious meal. Most of the family went with pancakes or omelets, but since we got coffee and pastries before hitting the road at 6:00 AM, my husband and I both had the Purple Power Bowl, which featured acai sorbet with strawberries, banana, granola, and coconut shavings. It was so yummy!
Another delicious but healthy highlight was getting fruit smoothies from Real Raw Organics Kombucha Brewery & Café. The beach always makes me feel dehydrated, and no amount of water is enough. That’s why one day after lunch, we decided to stop in this little shop and check out their smoothie menu. My son got strawberry banana, my husband tried the dragon fruit, and I had passion fruit. They were so refreshing and delicious that we went back the next day and got them again.
It wouldn’t be vacation though without indulging, and we did plenty of that. The one meal my husband’s family always does together is all-you-can-eat crabs and corn on the cob at Higgins Crab House. Crab dinners from Higgins is why Old Bay Seasoning is a beloved condiment for pretty much every member of my husband’s family. Last year I joined in, but for me, cracking crabs open and cleaning the guts out to get to the meat is something I only need to experience once so this year I got the Captain’s Catch, which was salmon the day that we went.
Another family tradition is getting doughnuts from Minit Market. My husband’s grandmother used to get them for the kids every morning so this year my mother-in-law and I walked to get them. Instead of the doughy kind you’d get from Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme, these donuts are dense and cake-like. They’re so good that we plowed through nearly a whole dozen of them without even realizing it.
Finally, there’s the boardwalk food. It’s not a trip to Ocean City until you’ve gone to the boardwalk and indulged on the great food there. We spent some time on the boardwalk on the first day, while we waited for our rooms to be ready, the last day after we checked out, and then a couple days. There are a few spots that we always hit.
One is Thrashers French Fries, which are incredible, especially when you top them with vinegar. I don’t know what they do to them because I’ve tried vinegar on other french fries and didn’t like it at all, but they are unbelievably good. Once you taste them, it’s not hard to figure out why the line to buy them is so long whenever the boardwalk is busy.
Another one is Fisher’s Popcorn. They have a lot of different varieties, but we LOVE the caramel corn. It took a lot of self-control not to go home with several huge buckets full of it. (P.S.: You can place orders on their website and have it shipped. If you try it, let me know what you think.)
Finally, there’s Jessica’s Fudge House. This place is amazing. They have so many varieties of fudge, and they’re all delicious. Our favorites are cappuccino and peanut butter chocolate. And like Fisher’s, they also allow you to order on their website.
We also tried a new place this year, Julia’s, which my brother-in-law discovered and told us about. We stopped there for ice cream when we went to the boardwalk for the July 4th fireworks, but we also had to try their cannoli. Being from New Jersey and having lived in the South, we are naturally skeptical about any kind of Italian food outside of the NY-metro area, but these absolutely did not disappoint.
How about you? What are your favorite vacation food spots? Let me know in the comments so I can check them out if I’m ever in that area!