31 Best Boardwalks for Food in America (Slideshow)
July 17, 2014
Don’t just drink in the beautiful beach scenery, eat it too!
31. Old Orchard Beach Pier, Old Orchard Beach, Maine
While this beloved vacation spot for Maine folks may not be bustling with typical boardwalk activity, the establishments around it cannot be missed — especially for seafood lovers! Bayley’s Lobster Pound has plenty of seafood on the menu to entice you, but it’s the lobster roll that locals and tourists alike rave about. Dig in on their deck overlooking the water or get it to go — and don’t forget to add a slice of Maine blueberry pie to your order.
30. Louisiana Boardwalk, Bossier, LA
Definitely not a conventional boardwalk, the Louisiana Boardwalk is more about the shopping than it is about the beach life. This boardwalk does have a lot of chain establishments on it, but also hosts a few gems like Sushiko Sushi & Grill and Copeland’s Cheesecake Bistro with hearty menus any diner would enjoy.
29. Huron Boardwalk, Saint Ignace, Mich.
Stretching along the Saint Ignace bay coastline is the Huron Boardwalk. A quiet reprieve from the normal bustle of commercial beach towns, the Huron Boardwalk begins at Kiwanis Beach behind the Indian Village and ends at American Legion Memorial Park. While the boardwalk is not littered with a ton of shops or a vast variety of eateries, the establishments that they do have are quality and classic. Take, for instance, Bessie’s Original Homemade Pasties, an establishment that has been making their signature pasties (savory pastries) since 1958.
28. Hampton Beach Boardwalk, Hampton Beach, NH
If you're planning on spending your vacation in Hampton Beach, you are in for a treat... literally! While this stretch of boardwalk fare isn’t very diversified, it does have some solid signature establishments. Blink’s Fry Dough offers beach bums a variety of 20 fried doughs while a myriad of restaurants offer ample seafood options. Most noticeably, The Beach Plum along the oceanfront offers boardwalk patrons not only 78 varieties of ice cream, but also one heck of a killer lobster roll.
27. Jenkinson's Boardwalk, Point Pleasant, N.J.
This North Jersey hotspot is a fabulous place for families to hang their hats for the summer. With sprawling, clean beaches and a ton of fun things to do, Point Pleasant, N.J. is a great place to have authentic summer fun and far. This is especially true for those who visit Jenkinson's Boardwalk, where eateries and bars are a plenty. We are particularly impressed with the Sweet Shop (which offers a dangerous amount of fudge and candied apples and the Inlet Bar and Restaurant which lets your dine right on the sand!
26. Keansburg Amusement Park, Keansburg, N.J.
With a vibrant atmosphere and a ton of fun things for the family to do, Keansburg Amusements is a must-stop for Keansburg vacationers. While the variety of food on their amusement piers is slightly scarce, the establishments they do have made a name for themselves for fast and fun food. Spots like Barb’s Burritos and Dylan’s Walking Tacos & Hot Dogs put a fun spin on traditional beach fare worth checking out.
25. Rockaway Beach, Rockaway, NY
Sadly, Hurricane Sandy severely impacted the food scene on this boardwalk, but in the wake of the storm this beloved NY beach spot is rebuilding with delicious fervor. Personal favorites include the Rockaway Taco, an establishment that causes unbelievably long lines for delicious, on-point tacos, and Ripper’s, a beach bar that has the best hashers this side of the Atlantic.
24. Kemah Boardwalk, Kemah, TX
If you’re looking for ocean view dining with a splash of laid-back, family fun vibes, look no further than the Kemah Boardwalk. Packed with amusements, fair food, and its selection of fine dining, a trip to the Kemah Boardwalk will prove to be a satisfying one. Hang out at the Cadillac Bar for a delicious Mexican grill dinner and live music, or mosey on down to the Flying Dutchman for authentic, fresh seafood.
23. Miami Beach Boardwalk, Miami
Though you’ll be hard pressed to find the typical signs of a boardwalk like the bustling piers and the funnel cake fun, you will get to experience gorgeous scenic views and worthy restaurants to visit. This vacation spot is perfect for a weekend getaway where all you’re looking to do is live it up! During the day, trying stopping by the Palace on South Beach which hosts a fabulous Drag Brunch every Miami tourist should experience. Cozy up for a truly regal beach fare experience at La Cote at the Fontainebleau and indulge in a pappardelle pasta with Jumbo Lump Crab and Spring Peas.
22. Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, Calif.
If a boardwalk is defined by its balance of music, amusement parks, and feel-good food, the Santa Monica Pier should be one of the first things that comes to mind. You can indulge in fine Italian fare (Ristorante Al Mare) or simple beachside bliss at the classic soda-fountain spot Soda Jerks. Wherever you decide to dine, you cannot beat the panoramic view of the ocean before you.
21. Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
On this bustling Southern boardwalk you can’t miss some of the classic restaurants and eateries that pepper the 1.2 mile-long Oceanfront Boardwalk and Promenade. Stop at the Pier House Restaurant for seafood and Southern delights like shrimp and grits or classic seafood dishes like grouper fish, blackened with creole crayfish cream. Treat yourself at The Fudgery and stock up on "America’s Favorite Fudge" in one of 11 delicious flavors for later.
20. Rehoboth Beach & Boardwalk, Rehoboth Beach, Del.
If you are hankering for a classic seafood meal with a little international flare, Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk is the place to be. Gofish, a London style fish and chip spot, is great for not only delicious fried fish but intriguing sides like tandoori peas and homemade pickled onions. GreenMan Juice Bar is the destination for all-natural, guilt-free boardwalk noshes. Candy lovers should head to Dolle’s for caramel popcorn or gummies sold by the pound.
19. River Street, Savannah, GA
Bridging the gap between the bustling city and the serene waterfront landscape is the Savanna hotspot River Street. This untraditional “boardwalk” is lined with traditional southern eateries and beach-like fare that can appease any traveling tourist. Stop by River Street Sweets to satiate your sweet tooth after you’ve had dinner at the Cotton Exchange Tavern & Restaurant. We hear the crab chowder is an excellent choice! Once you're done with dinner, Wet Willies will totally wet your whistle with incredible frozen drinks and quite an array of munchies to keep you fueled for a fun night!
18. Asbury Park Boardwalk, Asbury Park, N.J.
Venues like The Stone Pony and The Wonder Bar Hall have all helped make the Asbury Park Boardwalk a destination for vacationers and music lovers a must-see attraction. The fact that they have an incredible food scene doesn’t hurt either! Try popping by the Crepe Shop for a pre-beach noshing session, or kill time at Pucker before a shower for some delicious lemonade and the best fries on the boards. Dinner time can be spent at spots like the Langosta Lounge for a great Mexican fiesta!
17. The Boardwalk Shops at The Newport Pier, Newport Beach, Calif.
Overlooking another beautiful California beach are The Boardwalk Shops at The Newport Pier. Here you can experience all the glory California has to offer, and the food is no exception. Fly N’ Fish Oyster Bar & Grill is a seafood lover’s oasis. For a more casual experience, corn dogs are anything but boring at Jane’s, where wieners reign supreme but the chili cheese fries, cheesecake-on-a-stick, and fruit-topped funnel cakes are almost sinful they are so good.
16. Ocean Front Walk, Venice Beach, Calif.
Whether you are catching a wave or flexing your biceps at Muscle Beach, vacationers and locals flock to The Ocean Front Walk for fun and food in the sun. Head to Jody Maroni's Sausage Kingdom for "haute" sausages infused with flavors like mango, pomegranate, molé, and tequila. Prefer a sandwich instead? Try the Italian beef at Chicago Nick’s. Or if you want a totally unique and gourmet experience, try heading to El Huarique for Peruvian dishes like classic chaufas.
15. Jersey Shore Boardwalk, Ocean City, N.J.
If you're looking for a classic boardwalk dining experience, there are a ton of places you can casually stop by on the Ocean City Boardwalk. Take a walk a little behind the boardwalk for a seafood dinner at Spadafora’s and you’ll be dining on fresh dockside seafood. Kohr’s Frozen Custard at the Jersey Shore Boardwalk is home to many sweet-tooth-pleasing treats, including flavors like cotton candy and orange cream. It's perfect for cooling down on a hot day!
14. Seaside Heights Boardwalk, Seaside Heights, N.J.
Cheese and grease are the mainstays at this New Jersey boardwalk, but that doesn’t mean this is all they’ve ever had to offer. After Hurricane Sandy, many of the beloved eateries in the area closed, but some are set to reopen like relaxed bar and venue The Beach Bar, which had a ton of great pub food. For now, pick up an authentic pizza pie at Three Brothers From Italy or double-fist it with legendary cheesesteaks from Midway Steak House.
13. Navy Pier, Chicago
Even with the gorgeous Chicago skyline as your backdrop, strolling along the Navy Pier in Chicago will make you feel like you’ve been swept away to a fabulous waterfront resort. Dine at hotspots like the City Porch for pomme frites and po’ boys. Afterward, meander over to the Churro Factory and share a few chocolate-covered churros.
12. Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco
Located close to Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf may not be your typical boardwalk experience, but it sure is full of historical restaurants that are worth the visit. Check out Alioto’s Restaurant, a waterside cafe that specializes in food with an Italian flare. Or you could head to Capurro’s Restaurant, an establishment that has been serving classic seafood dishes like steamed black mussels since 1946.
11. Carolina Beach Boardwalk, Carolina Beach, N.C.
There’s no embellishment necessary at Britt’s Donut Shop, where the big O’s have been served hot, fresh, and in one variety only — glazed — since 1939. Unless you want to get glared at by the locals, don’t suggest they expand their menu; just order a dozen and try not to eat them all in one sitting.
10. Hollywood Beach Broadwalk, Hollywood, Fla.
Seafood is the staple at this Floridian "broadwalk." Check out Billy’s Stone Crab Restaurant for all-you-can-eat fresh-caught crab followed by a slab of their signature Key lime pie. Dine at sunset to best enjoy the incredible floor-to-ceiling views of the Intracoastal Waterway. Equally upscale, but with a French Caribbean vibe, the Sugar Reef Grill serves inventive dishes that delight the senses!
9. Coney Island Beach & Boardwalk, Brooklyn, N.Y.
From fried clams at Ruby’s to cheap tacos at Plaza Mexico Doña Zita, the options to satisfy savory cravings are ubiquitous at Coney Island. Nathan’s Famous, long known for their outstanding hot dogs and the annual 4th of July hot dog eating contest. For dessert, pick up one of eight flavors of caramel apples or four varieties of marshmallow sticks at Williams Candy.
8. Disney's BoardWalk, Orlando, Fla.
Don’t think a Disney Boardwalk trip is just for the kids. The young at heart can hang out at Boardwalk Joe’s Marvelous Margaritas for the Captain’s Seaside sensation: a pineapple smoothie with a shot of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum! Enjoy Authentic Greek cuisine at Kouzzina by Cat Cora and to complete your feast, visit BoardWalk Bakery for cupcakes that frosting fanatics will fall for.
7. Pier 39, San Francisco
You can’t go wrong with a boardwalk that has its own craft beer joint. You can enjoy an ice-cold brew at Beer 39 and nosh on Trish’s Mini Doughnuts as you take a stroll down the pier. There are plenty of seafood restaurants that are available, but don’t miss out on boardwalk staples like Maui Wowi Smoothies for refreshing respite from the summer heat!
6. Virginia Beach Boardwalk, Virginia Beach, VA
Don’t miss out on the fun in the sun that can be had at Virginia Beach, Their boardwalk has plenty of attractions the kids will love and a ton of seafood for the family to enjoy. Waterman’s Surfside Grille is a great spot for family dining, and what’s more, they use sustainable seafood ingredients and offer scenic ocean views.
5. Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz, Calif.
El Hermoso Mar on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk offers vacationers authentic Mexican fare that combines ethnic dishes with local catches, like their seasoned seafood molcajete. At Marini’s Candies, you have to try their signature sea salt caramels or their famous (maybe even infamous) chocolate covered bacon.
4. Atlantic City Boardwalk. Atlantic City, N.J.
Casino lovers can meander into any of the casino’s high-end restaurants for a gourmet experience, but this historical site has a ton of beach food everyone can afford. The oldest and longest of all the boardwalks in the U.S. has been dubbed the "Salt Water Taffy Capital of the World." James Candy Company sells their signature taffy in souvenir boxes and by the bucket. And while the view isn’t much to take in, fans of battered food will won’t mind once they’re nibbling on fried Oreos and fried pickles from Vanina’s Ice Cream.
3. Wildwood Boardwalk, Wildwood, N.J.
With heavy Philadelphia culinary influences, the Wildwood Boardwalk food scene is bursting with fried and gourmet options alike. Head to Curly’s for their signature fries or mosey on down to Douglass Fudge’s delicious sweet shop. With spots like Philly’s own Chickie’s and Pete’s making a name for themselves on the boards, it will be hard to choose where you’d like to eat first. Just make sure you watch the tram car, please!
2. Ocean City Boardwalk, Ocean City, MD
It’ll be difficult to pick just one kind of hand-dipped donut from Fractured Prune, where 15 glazes and 11 toppings combine to form specialty flavors. For a salt fix, grab a fistful of Thrasher’s hand-cut vinegar fries. Don’t miss out on the fine sushi at Blue Fish for a unique seafood experience. For off-the-boardwalk but on-the-bay water fun, check out Seacrets: you can drink while floating in an inner tube in the bay!
1. Mission Beach Boardwalk, San Diego, Calif.
With a gorgeous panoramic view, a lively culture, and an overflow of tasty foods, it isn’t hard to see why the Mission Beach Boardwalk reigns supreme. There are many gourmet resort spots that are worth a visit, but the carry-out eateries on the boards are some of the best around. Take for instance the La Playa Taco Shop — a mom-and-pop dive that delivers on quality. The tacos al pastor and carne asada tacos are top-notch. Complete the authentic experience with a glass of horchata.