20 Best Places To Eat And Drink In Ocean City, NJ

It's that time of year again, folks. Spring has officially sprung, it's getting warmer outside, and we can practically hear the ocean calling our name. If you're like us, you're already planning your first Jersey Shore trip of the on-season.

What is the on-season, you ask? Well, for most shore towns, it's May through September. But it really gets going bookended by the holidays of Memorial Day in May and Labor Day in September. As far as Ocean City, New Jersey, goes, some spots are open year-round, but many aren't. We've decided to take a look at some of the best places to eat and drink in OCNJ to help you narrow it down this year. Pro tip: If you're visiting in the off-season and you're unsure if a restaurant or business is open, and the business's website and social media don't give you any hints, give the place a call.

Jon & Patty's Coffee Bar & Bistro

Were you not expecting to see this spot first on the list? Come on, give us some credit. Jon & Patty's is the ultimate OCNJ local spot, and shoobies (folks who only visit in the summer) don't often have this place on their radar. But they should. Located on good ole Asbury Avenue, Jon & Patty's has been around since 2008, which is not an easy feat considering its popular (and likely expensive) location.

Jon & Patty's food speaks for itself: You can get almost anything here, from breakfast options like coffee, omelets, and French toast, lunch options of (huge) salads, wraps, and sandwiches, and classy dinner entrées such as Cajun crab cakes, eggplant parm, and even home-made desserts. Jon & Patty's literally has it all.

Manco & Manco Pizza

Now this place we're sure you were expecting to see on this list, as it should be. Manco & Manco Pizza is more than an OCNJ institution; it's a religion. Kidding, kidding, but it's seriously a religious experience of how much people flock to this place. And the big question is; is it overhyped? In our humble opinion, no. We say it's popular for a reason, and that reason is dang good pizza.

Manco & Manco boasts the most unique sauce we've ever had, with just enough sweetness to balance out the zing we can never quite put our finger on. Drop by one of the many boardwalk locations, or order it right at your front door. We previously raved about Manco & Manco Pizza in our write-up of the best pizza spots on the Jersey Shore, and we stand by the fact that you'd be hard-pressed to find a better pie on the shore.

Dead End Bakehouse

Another hidden gem of Ocean City, we're almost remiss in sharing this place with anyone else. But Dead End Bakehouse absolutely deserves the recognition, so we'll tell you all about it. Located on a, you guessed it, dead-end street on the corner of Bay Ave and 11th Street, Dead End Bakehouse has swiftly become our favorite bagel spot in the city. Not that there are too many bagel shops in town (we could honestly use a few more), but Dead End Bakehouse knocks any competition out of the water.

You can choose from dozens of bagel flavors and various cream cheese flavors to make your ultimate combination, and you can also get a breakfast sandwich if you're hungry enough. The bagels here are always fresh and fluffy like a bagel should be. We recommend the jalapeño cheddar bagel; it has a small kick but is not too spicy at all.

Fractured Prune

The first time we heard this joint's name, we thought it was a joke. Who names a business the "Fractured Prune?" Well, this donut spot could be named "Leaky Bowels," and we would still go. The donuts here are dynamite, and that's saying something. There's definitely no shortage of donut options in Ocean City, and Fractured Prune is serving up some serious competition.

There is currently only one location in the city on Asbury in the downtown area, but the business has held other locations around the city in previous years. If you want specialty donuts dipped in amazing frosting right in front of you, this is the spot. We will say, though, that we do not come here for the coffee, as it's a miss, so go somewhere else for a cup of Joe.

Bungalow Bowls

Talk about the epitome of summer. We are overjoyed every time we stop by Bungalow Bowls and think that it's more than your ordinary açaí bowl spot. First of all, there are so many customizable options of things to get, from the different smoothie bowl bases (including açaí, pitaya, and green), toppings, oatmeal bowls (you heard that right), smoothies, and even a variety of toasts like avocado and peanut butter with all the fixings.

After a sandy day at the beach, what better way to cool off than with an açaí bowl? And for all you tree-nut-free folks out there, we're happy to report that the granola used here is nut-free. We love to see it. Try it out for yourself at the Asbury Ave location or the one on the boardwalk.

Hooked On Breakfast

Hooked On Breakfast is exactly what you'd think it would be: an amazing breakfast spot in Ocean City. Though there are numerous options for getting breakfast in this shore town, one of the reasons we particularly enjoy Hooked On Breakfast is both the attention to detail and the menu rotations. You won't find any tired menu items here.

With new specials and fun options coming out all the time, you can come here a few times over the summer and always try something new. If you drop by and notice a line out the door, don't be deterred: All the good places have a bit of a wait. Either get used to it, call ahead, or send one brave soldier from your party before the group to put your name down. It's just the nature of summer at the beach.

Drip N' Scoop

Simply one of the most aesthetically-pleasing spots in town, Drip n' Scoop's clever, punny name comes from the coffee and ice cream combo idea. Get it? There's drip coffee, and then you scoop ice cream. We enjoy a good pun, but that's not all we love about this place. Open for a good chunk of the day; you could either come here with your laptop and work from home, ahem, or do work or schoolwork on your laptop at one of the many tables in here.

There are a decent amount of outlets and tables, and the playlists the baristas put on are usually great, too. If you're not looking for a sit-in-a-coffee-shop-and-do-work vibe, Drip n' Scoop still has more to offer. You can get your perfect little sweet treat of the day here, whether you're pining for cookies, ice cream, donuts, an ice cream sandwich, or brownies; this place is packed with all the sugary sweets.

Ocean City Coffee Co.

Are there a few Starbucks and Dunkin' locations around Ocean City? Sure. Do we ever hit those places up when we come here? Absolutely not. Why would we when we could go to the one and only Ocean City Coffee Co.? Actually, we lied; there's not one and only one location of this coffee shop around town. Like many other local businesses in OCNJ, there are a few boardwalk locations as well as a bigger shop on Asbury Avenue (noticing a trend yet?).

We love Ocean City Coffee Co. because it's local and seriously delicious. We're personal fans of the vanilla iced latte, and the chai is off the chain here, too. Another bonus with this spot is it has the cutest merch ever, and if you dig the coffee, you can buy bags of it to take home with you when you leave your beach trip.


Though many folks think of pizza when they think of Piccini (and it is serving up some darn good slices), we'd like to focus on an underrated aspect of this restaurant: All the other food options. Yes, the lunch options are quite good, like the signature ciabatta sandwiches and the salads, but we are also fans of the pasta plates.

This is a real-deal Italian place at the shore, and we couldn't be happier about it. You can't go wrong with any pasta dishes here, but we recommend the primavera with cooked vegetables, the jumbo lump crab meat ravioli, and the eggplant parm. And if you love the food here and are planning a beach house bash, Picccini does catering, too.

Uncle Bill's Pancake House

We're not joking when we say we think about this place all year long. There's just something about Uncle Bill's Pancake House that makes it the absolute best breakfast place not only on the island but we'd like to wager in the state of New Jersey. Bold statement, especially with so many diners, we know, but if you've been here, you'll understand where we're coming from. And if you haven't been to an Uncle Bill's location before, perhaps the constant line out the door will be a hint for you — everyone loves this place. 

It doesn't matter if you're in town for a week or for life; you probably love Uncle Bill's. Everything on the menu is killer, but you especially can't go wrong with any of the pancakes (and there's always some new specialty pancake every year, too). Get here early for breakfast to try to beat the wait.

Nauti Donuts

We promise this is the last donut shop on the list. We weren't kidding when we said there were lots of them in the city. But it'd be wrong to write the best places to eat and drink in OCNJ piece without including Nauti Donuts — and not just because the name is so fun. We love when a local shop gets things right, and Nauti Donuts knocks it out of the park every time.

You can get your standard classic donuts, like glaze, cinnamon sugar, and powdered, but you can also choose unique varieties like Mermaid's Delight (strawberry icing, fruity pebbles, marshmallow drizzle) or The Lifesaver (cinnamon sugar, spiced apple, salted caramel drizzle). Whatever flavor you choose, we can promise it's going to be delicious. And the nautical theme of the whole place makes the experience extra memorable, too.

Kessel's Korner

Kessel's Korner is throwing it back to the '50s. Luckily, you get all the charm of the decade in a clean, fun, and simply iconic restaurant. Kessel's literally does everything, and it does it all well. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert are all free game here, and you can choose to order at the walk-up window and sit outside, or you can go inside and really immerse yourself in the '50s atmosphere.

The red-checkered tables and overall design of the place are pure fun. We recommend the classics here, like milkshakes, burgers, hoagies, and french fries. Or, if you're hankering for dessert and feeling a bit fancier than regular soft serve, you can go for something from the Sweet Treat Corner, like the Boardwalk Korner (described as vanilla ice cream on top of funnel fries with chocolate syrup and powdered sugar), or a good-old-fashioned ice cream soda (the original dirty soda).

Sack O' Subs

Generations of people have been going to Sack O' Subs since it's been open since 1969. Over 40 years in business will teach you how to get something right, and this restaurant does a lot of that, easily earning it a spot on this list. Open daily (how lovely), Sack O' Subs has two Ocean City locations on either end of the island — one on 9th Street and one on 55th. Something to note is that, per the site, the 55th Street location is re-opening for the on-season on May 21st, but the 9th Street location is open.

Something we really enjoy about this place, aside from the extensive menu options, including your standard salads, sandwiches, pizza, calzones, burgers, cheesesteaks, pasta, seafood, etcetera etcetera, is the vegetarian menu. It can be a bit tricky for people with dietary restrictions like vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free folks to find a reliable bite to eat in OCNJ, and it's nice that Sack O' Subs at least has a vegetarian menu. Honestly, everything is good here, but you can't go wrong with getting a hoagie to take with you to eat on the beach (beware the seagulls).

La Auténtica

You can definitely be sure this spot is authentic, as it's literally in the name. If you're hankering for some quality Mexican food in Ocean City and you're not sure where to go, you can never go wrong with La Auténtica. Located on, can you guess, Asbury Ave; this restaurant also doubles as a supermarket, so if you're staying at the shore for a while and are missing your local Mexican grocery store, this place is pretty solid.

But, markets aside, we're here to talk about the sit-down restaurant's food. And we have to tell you; it's awesome. We highly recommend the birria tacos, the enchiladas, and the empanadas. We love this family-owned business and can't wait to eat at it again this summer.

Yianni's Cafe

While there is an abundance of pizza and donut shops in OCNJ, there aren't exactly a ton of Greek places. Yianni's Cafe fills that gap in the market, and wow, it does it well. This is some of the best Greek food we've had, period. Located on, shocker, Asbury Ave in the downtown area, you've probably walked by Yianni's tons of times before if you've been to OCNJ. After walking around Asbury and shopping, hitting up Ta-Dah, and peeking in antique stores, you're probably hungry for lunch.

There isn't a better place to grab a bite for lunch on Asbury than Yianni's. The restaurant also serves breakfast options until 2 p.m., but we're huge fans of the lunch and dinner menus. You've got to get either the Greek salad, the falafel platter, or one of the specialty sandwiches. If you want something lighter, the smoothies here are pretty tasty, as are the homemade veggie burgers. Yianni's, we love you.

The Original Fudge Kitchen

We're patiently over here waiting for fudge to become more popular so that we don't have to wait for a trip to OCNJ to have the best fudge around. But until then, we'll savor every bite of fudge from The Original Fudge Kitchen. This place is an all-out experience; we'll tell you that much. Not only do you get to pick from dozens of fudge flavors to build your own box (we recommend the mint and chocolate peanut butter ones), but you can also watch the fudge being made in the back through huge glass windows inside the store.

Pretty neat, huh? There are also animatronic, swinging, fudge-making puppets hanging from the ceiling (it's not creepy like it sounds, we promise), and if you keep making laps around the boardwalk, at some point in the day, there's usually an employee standing outside the shop offering free fudge samples to passerby. What could be better than that?

Kohr Bros

A bold statement is about to be made: We think Kohr Bros has the best soft serve ice cream, period. We know, we know, that is an incredibly bold claim to make, but this place just gets all the factors right. It's perfectly smooth and creamy without that heavy dairy feeling in your stomach. The spirals are always beautiful, the aesthetic of the boardwalk shops is iconic, and the cones are never stale.

Simply put, the soft-serve ice cream cones are perfect. Nothing beats getting a cone after a long walk on the boardwalk in the sun to end your day. And depending on stock and when you go, there are more flavors than just chocolate, vanilla, and swirl. We've seen orange creamsicle, mint, and blueberry soft serve flavors in the past. Keep an eye out.

Monkey Bread

If you're unfamiliar with monkey bread, we feel sorry for you. This was a childhood favorite of ours, and it still hits to this day. Here's some background for you in case you have no idea what monkey bread is: So, monkey bread is the actual name of the dessert and the name of the shop in OCNJ. Monkey bread is essentially a mashup of cinnamon buns and sticky buns, drizzled with white frosting and made into a fun dome shape.

It's delectable, and you can have it as a (very) sweet breakfast item or a fun treat in your day. Nothing beats the monkey bread from Monkey Bread; you can find the shop on the boardwalk. Just look for the monkey cartoon on the shop's awning.

Roma Pizza

Pizza and the Jersey Shore just go together perfectly, don't you think? Especially in OCNJ, where you have countless pizza options, it can be hard to pick where to go. But we think Roma Pizza is always a solid choice. Located on the boardwalk on 7th Street near Gillian's Wonderland Pier, Roma Pizza has pizzas not only by the slice and the pie but also by the cone.

Yes, you read that right. You can choose to get your pizza in cone form, aka the crust is rolled into a cone shape, and the toppings are inside. Honestly, it's a great portable option when you're trying to walk the boardwalk and protect your food from the very aggressive seagulls. Pizza forms aside, we enjoy the pizza flavors here and are particularly fond of the buffalo chicken one.

Blue Cactus

We remember the summer that Blue Cactus popped up on the boardwalk, and we remember being so excited to have a new taco place to try, as there aren't many (if all, depending on the summer) Mexican places on the boardwalk. Places often come and go on the OCNJ boardwalk, as competition is very fierce, so we're glad to see Blue Cactus has not only stuck it out but has even expanded to a second boardwalk location.

We understand why, too — the food is fantastic. The menu is simple but effective, and you can choose from taco bundles, taco bowls, and quesadillas. We're fans of the carnitas, and you have to add orders of queso and salsa to your meal to round the experience out.