Peak season in Ocean City may be over, but visitors continue to flock in. While many restaurants and bars start gearing-down for the winter, here are some of the best restaurants and bars that remain open year-round.
During the summer months, Ocean City swells to almost 350,000 people on weekends. However, in the off-season months, the town's population shrinks to just tens of thousands of residents and visitors. Because of this large population swing, most restaurants, bars, and businesses choose to shut down during the winter months. People who come to Ocean City in the Fall, Winter, and early Spring to take advantage of good deals are usually shocked to learn that most of the city's businesses close during the off-season. Sure, it costs next to nothing to rent a house in Ocean City over the winter. But good luck trying to experience all the town has to offer because most of the city's best spots close their doors. Well, it doesn't have to be this way. There are plenty of good restaurants that stay open year-round. Here are a few of the best.
Crab Alley - 9703 Golf Course Road, Ocean City, Maryland
A favorite of locals, Crab Alley is one of the best seafood restaurants during peak season. Grab a table on their patio or sit at the upstairs bar and watch the local fisherman unload their daily catch. Their crabs? Delicious. Clams and muscles? Also delicious. Fish? Yum. And if seafood isn't your thing or you're tired of the "surf," their "turf" menu is just as delicious. Crab Alley has some of the best wings in all of Ocean City and during happy hour, they're also some of the most affordable wings in the city. Crab Alley stays open year round so if you get a hankering for seafood and most of the other crab houses are shuttered up, you can get authentic Maryland crabs no matter the season.
BJ's On The Water - 75th Street and the Bay, Ocean City, Maryland
A lot of restaurants on the water close down during the winter. But just because it's cold out doesn't mean the view stops being amazing. BJ's On The Water stays open through all four seasons and not as a shell of its peak season self, but as a full restaurant. Even after peak season ends, BJ's still has live music on occasion. Just because it's off season, doesn't mean the experience should change! Whether you're in the mood for surf or turf, BJ's On The Water has it on the menu. But a lot of people simply want to sip on a drink and watch the tide come in and that can be just as pretty of a sight during the winter as it is in the summer...
Nick's House of Ribs - 14410 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, Maryland
You won't get an awe-inspiring view at Nick's, but you'll always leave with a full belly and a satisfied palette. As blasphemous as it might sound, you can't eat seafood for every meal [Editor's Note: you most certainly can]. When you are ready to take a break from the Old Bay but don't want to skimp on quality, Nick's is the place to go. But if you sit down and realize you actually still want to eat from the ocean or the bay, you'll be pleasantly surprised to find that the seafood options at Nick's are delicious as well. If you're just looking for a place to gather with friends and watch the big game, Nick's House of Ribs has an excellent pub with a number of fine, local craft beers on tap. So if you want a taste of what peak season is like, or if you're a local who waits for the crowds to depart before going out to eat, Nick's is open year-round for you.
Harpoon Hannah's - 39064 Harpoon Road, Fenwick Island, Delaware
Though technically located about 150 feet across the Delaware border, Harpoon Hannah's is, for all intents and purposes, an Ocean City staple. Hannah's proudly advertises that they are open 365 days a year, run their happy-hour promotions all year long, and have live music on- and off-season. Harpoon Hannah's is one of the best places to get all-you-can-eat crab legs but if you're looking for a juicy burger, you also can't go wrong. And the view is top-notch, regardless of the season. So if you're looking for a good night out and don't mind technically driving into Delaware, Harpoon Hannah's will certainly hit the spot! This certainly isn't an exhaustive list, but these are some of the best year-round restaurants in Ocean City. Did we miss any great year-round restaurants? Let us know in the comments below!