Let’s Talk Turkey Day: Thanksgiving Weekend in Ocean City

Thanksgiving is fast approaching which means many people are planning their holiday weekend. Ocean City and neighboring towns offer so many fun and festive activities and traditions to spice up your Thanksgiving Weekend.

With the holiday now becoming nearly synonymous with Black Friday, we see thousands of people flock to the stores after their Thanksgiving feasts to shop for Christmas and take advantage of once-a-year discounts. Of course, Ocean City is no stranger to the hustle and bustle of the Black Friday with the shopping outlets in West OC. This year the outlets will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, opening at 7am on Black Friday. For more information, check out the Outlet’s website.

However, the Outlets aren’t the only shopping opportunity Thanksgiving weekend. From Nov. 25th to the 27th, the Roland E. Powell Convention Center is hosting the 41st Holiday Shopper’s Fair. With 120 vendors selling everything from handmade arts and crafts to household products, there’s something for everyone. The fair also will have children’s activities like face painting, as well as a non-shopper’s lounge and food court. Admission is $3 for the weekend and free for 13 and under.

Thanksgiving Weekend is also the perfect time to support your favorite local businesses as Small Business Saturday is the 26th! From the small boutique shops that pepper Coastal Highway and the Boardwalk to iconic OC restaurants and even your favorite hotels, support your favorite businesses as we go into the off-season.

If shopping’s not your thing, there are tons of other activities to pencil into your plans for the weekend.

With all the feasting that comes with Thanksgiving weekend, some like to get in a workout before the festivities begin. Yogavibez in West Ocean City is hosting a Turkey Day Yoga Flow from 9-10am where you can spend your morning with instructor Lauren to “start off your Thanksgiving with an uplifting flow to celebrate the abundance of things we have to be thankful for.” Check out Yogavibez’s website for more details about their Turkey Day classes.

Also, Diakonia, a Worchester County non-profit dedicated to helping less fortunate residents gain access to food, housing, and more, is hosting a Thanksgiving Turkey Trot on the Boardwalk. The whole family (include your pup) can walk or run on the Boardwalk for a good cause before dinner later that day. Registration starts at 8 am in the Inlet, and the event begins at 9.

For the nature lovers, Ocean City has so much to offer from the Boardwalk and Northside Park to nearby Assateague with its many trails, wild ponies, and so much more. Whether you are a runner, want to take a hike, or just enjoy the sights on a casual stroll, there is so much natural wonder and beauty nestled in our 10 miles of beach.

On top of the Thanksgiving Festivities, many local areas are hosting events to kick off the holiday season and Christmas. Ocean City’s big annual Winterfest of Lights at Northside Park kicks off on the 17th. It’s a perfect way to ring in the holiday season and enjoy family time walking through hundreds of lights displays with photo-ops throughout and shopping at the entrance. The Lights are open 5:30-9:30p Wednesday-Sunday until New Year’s Eve. Nearby in Berlin, the town is hosting their annual tree lighting with beautiful ice sculptures and light displays throughout the downtown area.

If you aren’t in the mood to cook on Thanksgiving, some Ocean City restaurants are hosting dinner with all the Thanksgiving fixins’ you could want as well as some twists on iconic OC seafood. Marlin Moon, 32 Palm, and Captain’s Table are all serving up the usual Thanksgiving favorites AND delicious seafood specials like crab, salmon, oysters and more. For thanksgiving dinner menus, check out their websites, marlinmoonocmd.com32palm.comcaptainstableoc.com, and coralreefrestaurant.com

However you want to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, Ocean City has got you covered with all the activities, food, and fun you could ask for!

Ocean City’s Hidden Gems: 11 Underrated Restaurants

Most people come to Ocean City for fun in the sun on the beach and boardwalk. But did you know Ocean City’s food scene is exploding with fun and fresh flavors? Just a few short years ago, while full of delicious seafood restaurants, Ocean City Maryland wasn’t particularly known for their food, but both the old and newly established restaurants are shaking it up and changing the dining scene in our resort town.

Captain’s Table

Located in Courtyard Marriott on 15th Street, Captain’s Table has been a fixture in Ocean City for over 50 years, but with a recent ownership change, their food has only gotten better. The menu is full of only the freshest seafood and features decadent whole lobsters, exotic South African lobster and only the best hand-cut steaks. On top of that, they have one of the best crab cakes in Ocean City.
Despite being tucked on the 3rd floor of a hotel, they are a must-stop location – especially if you’re a surf and turf fan.

Casita Linda

This family-run Mexican cafe, located on 3rd street & Baltimore Ave, makes everything from their delicious breakfasts and lunches to their bakery items all from scratch – made fresh every day. If you are looking for an authentic taste of Mexico while visiting OC, you have to stop here.
The family moved to Ocean City from Guanajuato, Mexico in 2006, bringing delicious and traditional Mexican flavors with them.
No matter what you choose it will be delicious, but their horchata, tortas, and conchas are definitely fan favorites!

Touch of Italy

An authentic Italian deli, market, and restaurant nestled in the 67th Street Holiday Inn is the home of an internationally recognized pizza. Touch of Italy is known for their delicious wood-fired pizzas with crisp, crackly crust and authentic Italian ingredients – many of which are sourced from Little Italy in the Bronx.
Not only is the pizza famous though, but also the chicken parm has become a local favorite. Pounded and cooked to perfection, the portion is huge and one of the stars of their menu. In the mood for fresh Italian pasta dishes, such as gnocchi or fettucini? This is your spot!

Annabelle’s BBQ & Creamery

The “Ocean City House of Pancakes”, Happy Jack on 26th Street, has specialized in pancakes for over 50 years. The family-run breakfast place has 14 varieties from traditional pancakes to specialty ones like their Elvis Pancakes inspired by the king himself – a stack of peanut butter chip pancake topped with bananas and whipped cream.
It’s the perfect stop for the breakfast lover, and don’t fear if you are gluten free, most of their selections have gluten free alternatives.

Marlin Moon

Located on the second floor of DoubleTree on 33rd Street, Marlin Moon combines what Ocean City is famous for with an eclectic modern touch. Their Tuna Nachos are a deliciously, unique twist on a staple fish of seafood restaurants, fusing an Eastern Shore favorite with Asian flavors. Another star of their menu is their surf and turf. The dish features a tender center cut filet with a choice of a lobster tail, a crab cake, or shrimp.
The eclectic and modern atmosphere and the delicious dishes are more than enough reason to make a stop at Marlin Moon.

Happy Jack’s Pancakes

The “Ocean City House of Pancakes”, Happy Jack on 26th Street, has specialized in pancakes for over 50 years. The family-run breakfast place has 14 varieties from traditional pancakes to specialty ones like their Elvis Pancakes inspired by the king himself – a stack of peanut butter chip pancake topped with bananas and whipped cream.
It’s the perfect stop for the breakfast lover, and don’t fear if you are gluten free, most of their selections have gluten free alternatives. 

32 Palm

Ocean City’s best kept secret, 32 Palm, located in Hilton on 33rd street, boasts a menu full of Eastern Shore classics with modern dining experience. Their menu is always changing with seasonal ingredients, but their seafood is always a standout; however, what they’ve become known for is their extensive wine list featuring bottles from France, Italy, and Spain and their whiskey collection featuring rare bottles like a 25-year single malt scotch from Laphroaig Cask or an 18-year Whistle Pig Rye.
Stop by and try something from their unique collection with your meal!

Sushi Cafe

Located on 137th Street, this cozy sushi bar is beloved by locals for their fresh and innovative sushi creations. The owners and staff pride themselves on the quality and freshness of their dishes which means it’s some of the best sushi in town.
Their Ocean City specialty roll is OC meets sushi, featuring Eastern Shore classics lump crab and Old bay. If you are uptown, it’s a must stop!

Rosenfeld’s Jewish Delicatessen

This Jewish deli, located on 63rd Street in an old beach house, has served up delicious Reubens, corned beef, pastrami and other Jewish delicacies for nearly 10 years. They pride themselves on their authentic Jewish meals that are filling a culinary gap in the town. If you’ve ever wanted to try an authentic matzo ball soup or lox bagel, Rosenfeld’s has got you covered.
Just a few months ago in October 2022, the deli was set to close due to leasing issues, but the community came out in full force, supporting the restaurant. The outpouring of love moved their landlord, because of that, the deli secured a lease until the end of Summer 2024. As a community fixture, they aren’t going anywhere, but they may have a new location in a few years.

Coral Reef

Located in Holiday Inn & Suites on 17th Street, Coral Reef is a casual restaurant serving OC favorites. Their cream of crab soup is one of the standouts on their menu full of delicious lump crab meat and topped with Old Bay.
They also have a Caribbean inspired cocktail menu featuring their twists on tropical drinks. Whether you are coming off the beach in need of a cocktail or want some warm food on a winter day, Coral Reef’s got you covered.

Pho-Char Grill

Named for its specialty, Pho-Char Grill, located in Gold Coast Mall near 118th Street, is known for their pho, a Vietnamese broth packed full of noodles, herbs, and meat. The warm and filling broth is good for the soul and any cold, and this restaurant is the one of the only places to get the delicious soup in Ocean City.
You won’t regret a trip for pho at Pho-Char.

Touch of Mediterranean

If you can’t travel to the Mediterranean, here’s the next best thing. Touch of Mediterranean, located on 27th Street, has many of the iconic dishes of Greek and the Middle Eastern cuisine. The fan-favorites here are their falafels, gyros, and shawarma. Customers have even said the restaurant has “the best gyro in town,” – what an endorsement!

Asian Garden

This Asian restaurant does Chinese, Indian, and Nepalese foods, but their customers and fans seem partial to their Indian and Nepalese dishes. One of the standouts on the menu are the momos dumplings filled with delicious marinated chicken and authentic Nepalese spices.
Located on 15th Street, and they’re the only place in Ocean City to get Indian and Nepalese food. Compared to what OC is known for, it’s a unique food stop along the strip.

Ocean City may not top lists as a foodie destination right now, but we have hundreds of interesting restaurants up and down the 10-mile strip, so if you are looking for unique bites or new food trails to discover, look no further because we’ve got it all here in OC.

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