These eateries have been around a long time and are well known as the places you MUST visit while on the Ocean City boardwalk. All but one of them are mostly for snacks or small meals and sweets. They are the classic places everyone remembers when they think back to the vacations they were on with their families when they were young. They are still there for a reason, and hopefully will always stay a part of Ocean City history. Here are 5 historical specialty food shops to visit while walking on the boardwalk:
1. Dumser’s Dairyland
Dumser’s Dairyland is one of the top places you should visit when you’re in Ocean City. This shop has been on the boardwalk since 1939, and there’s a reason why! Their ice cream is made on site and sells quickly, especially in the summer. They went from one to seven locations in the city by putting quality first before anything else.
There are many different kinds of ice cream there, like Oreo Crush, Coconut Chocolate Chip, Hawaiian Delight, Butter Pecan, and Mint Chocolate Chip, among others. They also sell sundaes with custom toppings, specialty sundaes, milk shakes, ice cream floats (at certain locations), specialty ice cream sodas, and other desserts (apple pie, strawberry shortcake, etc.).
2. The Dough Roller
This restaurant opened in 1980 and has locations both on the boardwalk and in the city. There’s no way you CAN’T run into one. They serve pancakes all day, made in various ways, and if you’re vacationing at a hotel in the area, you can just go down to the boardwalk and order some pancakes, bacon, and coffee right at the beach. It’s a great feeling when you’ve had a great breakfast and walk out to smell the salty ocean air!
Three of The Dough Roller‘s locations also serve Dayton’s Boardwalk Famous Fried Chicken. Along with that, they serve pizzas, subs, sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs, and Italian dinners. People seem to like the pizza and breakfasts the most and I will also personally agree with that, but different people like different things, so there’s enough of a variety for everyone!
3. Thrasher’s Fries
Thrasher’s was introduced to the city in 1929 by J.T. Thrasher, who wanted to make the best French fry ever. The fries are served in a cup and the potatoes used to create them are of the highest quality, sometimes being shipped from other states. Back then, it was run by a group of school girls that J.T. would provide housing for over what is now the Bank of Ocean City. When his health failed, he sold the business to an entrepreneur who moved it to the boardwalk, but kept the business model the same.
It was sold again in 1974, but the owners always kept following the same recipe for the fries so they would stay the same. Why stray from a formula that works? They look down on you using ketchup there and will prefer that you use the malt vinegar they have out to dip your fries in. It’s oddly pretty good once you get used to it.
4. Dolle’s Candy & Gifts
Dolle’s was started in 1910, selling salt water taffy, and by the 1920’s, it was also selling caramel corn, caramels, and fudge. It continued to be run by generations of the same family, and today they donate to many community charities to show their appreciation to the customers and city. They also give discounts to customers who refill their popcorn tubs, and the boxes they sell chocolate in are recycled materials.
Dolle’s caramel popcorn has no preservatives, artificial colors or flavors, and all the candies are made with natural ingredients except for the strawberry products, which is made with an artificial flavoring. They also sell chocolates, mints, gummies and other candies, fudge, and sugar free items. There’s a rewards card too, to earn free candy, and you can order online from anywhere in the country. This is definitely a company worthy of your support.
5. Fisher’s Popcorn
Fisher’s has been a family owned stand on the boardwalk since 1937, famously known for their caramel popcorn, although there are other flavors to try. There is also caramel with peanuts, butter flavored, old bay, cinnamon carmel, and white cheddar. They can all be eaten in a box, a plastic tub, or you can buy decorative cans as gifts. If you order for military who are deployed overseas, they will double your order free of charge.