From sandy beaches and amusement parks to kayaking and fishing charter excursions, Ocean City, Maryland is a barrier island paradise, a favorite for family vacations. Enjoy a laid-back meal at one of many kid-friendly restaurants, which include crab shacks and seafood eateries, that are within biking distance of numerous beachfront Ocean City vacation rentals. Here are some of the best local eateries for a sit-down family meal during your vacation.

1. Dead Freddies Island Grill

Outdoor seating with a waterfront view and a pirate theme make this casual restaurant a local standby. Signature dishes such as the Mozzarella ball with crab dip and the crab cake sandwich keep vacationers coming back for more, and little ones have a blast playing in the children’s play area complete with a climbable pirate ship.

2. Fish Tales

Dine with your toes in the sand at this family-friendly restaurant overlooking Swordfish Basin. The fried clams, buffalo scallops, and calamari are a few favorites, and kids choose a children’s dish that’s served with a cookie on a fun Frisbee platter. Kick back in a hammock as you wait for your order while the kids enjoy the pirate ship playground.

3. Ropewalk Restaurant

Savor views of the bay while you chow down on lobster pot pie, chips and crab dip, or Mako shark bites at Ropewalk. Visitors also flock in for the fresh crab legs, but the kids’ menu with standbys such as macaroni and cheese as well as a play area make this seafood restaurant a true family staple. This one’s easy to walk or bike to from your vacation home.

4. Hooked

Kids get to scribble with crayons and coloring paper while they wait for their food at Hooked, and the selection of seafood for the adult crowd is nothing short of mesmerizing. A few popular dishes include scallops with cheesy grits and pesto fries. Saving room for dessert? Try the coconut cake or a dish of berry cobbler.

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5. Parched Pelican

The expansive kids’ playground and the to-die-for crab bisque are just a few things that attract families to this nautical canal-front eatery. Baked Mahi and shrimp tacos are a few notable dishes of the house, but the guaranteed kid-pleasers are the crispy chicken fingers.

6. Cafe Mirage

This humble cafe may not look like much at first, but one bite of the crab and corn chowder or blackened tuna is enough to leave vacationers begging for more. Be sure to order a slice of peanut butter pie or the salted caramel brownie bread pudding for a delectable family treat before heading back to your vacation rental to wind down.

7. Sahara Cafe

Stop by this hidden gem for breakfast to enjoy an over-sized cup of coffee while you and your little ones feast on pancakes and hash browns. The crab Benedict is a popular choice with distinct Ocean City flair, but the fruit and granola bowls are just as satisfying.

8. De Lazy Lizard

Featuring a kids’ play area and a deck with bay views, De Lazy Lizard is a family-friendly establishment with top-notch waterfront ambiance. Little ones have an extensive kids’ menu to choose from, and the rest of the menu boasts signature favorites such as vegetarian avocado tacos and crab dip with flatbread. Be sure to order your tiny tots a kids’ slushy in a souvenir cup.

9. Longboard Cafe

After spending the morning at the beach, enjoy a few fish tacos or a slab of halibut at this hip eatery with deck seating. Longboard Cafe offers crayons and coloring sheets for the kids, as well as a fun kid-sized pizza from the children’s menu. Aside from staples such as Mahi tacos, you also find unique menu items including Mexican street corn for an eclectic dining experience.

10. Phillip’s Crab House

If you really want to treat your kids during your Ocean City vacation, take them to Phillip’s Crab House, where they get to dig into a kids’ buffet complete with chicken tenders, hot dogs, and other kid-friendly eats. Adults enjoy all-you-can-eat seafood buffet staples such as lobster tails, stuffed flounder, or a heaping plate of crab legs. Remember to order a slice of Smith Island pie, a Maryland favorite, before you leave.

11. Dumser’s Dairyland

This diner-style eatery with outdoor seating is the perfect place to grab a round of ice cream for your family on a warm day in Ocean City. Choose from flavors such as black cherry, cookie dough, and mocha, and go for a chocolate-dipped cone for an extra special treat. Of course, you can also enjoy a sub or cheeseburger, while you order the kids the mac-n-cheese wedges or clam strips from the Kiddie Corner menu.

12. Barn 34

Spend at least one sunny morning in Ocean City at Barn 34, a laid-back cafe with all your breakfast favorites and a unique atmosphere that blends down-home country warmth and a nautical spirit. Vacationers rave about the Captain Crunch French toast while others enjoy the eggs Benedict and home fries. Kids of all ages go crazy for the restaurant’s famous Nutella banana waffles and chocolate chip pancakes.

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