Eat Local, Shop Local on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

Eat Local, Shop Local on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

Maryland’s Eastern Shore offers you a completely authentic experience. From Berlin and Ocean City to Ocean Pines, Pocomoke City and Snow Hill, there are plenty of restaurants, shops and sights to discover that give you a real taste of the unique Worcester County area during your vacation. Start planning your next road trip to Maryland’s coast this summer with stops at the local farmers markets, restaurants, breweries, art galleries and more.

eat-shop-local_Worcester-MDFarm Finds

It seems like there’s a distinct local farm find around every corner along the Maryland shore. Make your way to Berlin Organics, a small family farm in Berlin, where you can enjoy a variety of healthy, fresh items, including acai bowls, smoothies and juices, as well as pick up a variety of organic and hydroponic vegetables, fruits and herbs, eggs and honey. You’ll also want to say “hello” to its resident goats before you head out! Next, satisfy those sweet cravings at Chesapeake Bay Farms in Pocomoke and Berlin with a delicious homemade ice cream cone—and come face-to-face with the cows behind the creamy goodness while you’re there. Can’t get enough? Take a container from the “cow-to-cone” dairy home, along with a selection of artesian cheeses, hand-stretched mozzarella, and fresh milk, butter and eggs.

Whether you’re stocking the fridge in your vacation rental or on the hunt for the ingredients for a fresh lunch, there’s a local farmers market in almost every area along Maryland’s coast. Visit Ocean Pines Farmers & Artisans Market, the largest market on the shore, which is open year-round on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. In addition to the vast selection of produce, you’ll enjoy cooking demonstrations and shopping for raw local honey, homemade dog treats, freshly baked bread as well as artisan wares, such as country décor and goat’s milk soaps.

As part of the Berlin community for more than 25 years, the Downtown Berlin Farmers Market, at the Firehouse, is located in a spacious grassy lot, where you can stock up on fresh produce, eggs, baked goods, flowers and more. Experience the market on Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. from June through August and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. year-round. In Ocean City, you’ll find Ocean City Farmers Market, which is open 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays from June to September and Saturdays and Sundays from May through October. This summer, its bounty will include seasonal delights such as corn, peaches and tomatoes. Another local favorite, Snow Hill Farmers Market offers a selection of locally roasted coffees, fruits and veggies, plants and homemade bread. It’s open on Thursdays from noon to 5 p.m. from May through September.

eat-shop-local_Worcester-MDLocal Fare

You won’t just find farm-fresh items at the area’s markets, though. Experience the abundant local options at Worcester County restaurants, too. Located in downtown Berlin, Blacksmith Bar and Restaurant has a cozy ambiance and whips up dishes that include locally sourced produce, meats and baked goods, such as handmade empanadas with slow-cooked beef and vegetable charcuterie. Even the dirty “local veg” martinis use native produce—think vodka drinks infused with cucumber, celery and tomato essence. Get your seafood fix at Shark on the Harbor, which sources its fish and crustaceans from the commercial fishing harbor right outside the restaurant’s doors and gets its organic produce from area farmers. The chefs update the menu daily depending on what’s fresh, including items like Chesapeake Bay oysters, corn-dusted black sea bass and lump crab cakes.

eat-shop-local_Worcester-MDHomegrown Sips

Cheers! Get a taste for Maryland coast’s more spirited side with the array of breweries, wineries and distilleries at your fingertips. Costa Ventosa, outside of Ocean City, is both a winery and a farm microbrewery—the first in the state of Maryland. Its vineyard’s varietals include riesling, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, chambourcin, pinot grigio and Cayuga. As for beer, sample the Half-Assed Jack, an IPA-style brew; Stupid Stick, a nutty brown ale; or its three seasonal beers.

While in Ocean City, stop at Backshore Brewing Co., a funky outdoor venue, where the décor includes the shell of an old VW van and bartenders serve small-batched brews like the Up All Nitro, a dark and chocolaty coffee stout infused with cold-brew espresso. Plus, don’t miss the family-owned and -operated Ocean City Brewing Company’s bar and restaurant, where you can see brewing tanks through over-sized windows and taste more than 24 craft beers on tap. Continue your imbibing adventure at Burley Oak Brewing Company in Berlin, which sources grains locally for beers, such as the 100 – Vic Secret, a triple dry hopped IPA, and the fruity and tart Double Boysenberry Black Currant J.R.E.A.M., an imperial fruity sour ale with lactose. Time your visit right to catch the release of The Fin City Brewing Co.’s limited-edition beers during  an afternoon tasting at Globe Theater in Berlin on the third Thursday of each month. Brews include IPA’s, ales, stouts and porters.

Still thirsty for more? Tap into all that the Maryland shore has to offer on Shore Craft Beer, a locally owned site and app featuring the breweries in the area. Plus, check out Seacrets Distilling, Ocean City’s first distillery since prohibition, where you can try its small-batch, handcrafted rums, vodkas, gins and whiskeys during a 45-minute distillery tour and tasting on the weekends.

eat-shop-local_Worcester-MDHandmade Treasures

If you’re in the mood to shop for souvenirs, downtown Berlin’s Uncle Jon’s Soap is worth visiting to peruse its handmade bath, grooming and cleaning products. Here, you’ll find small-batch, all-natural soaps, bath bombs, beard oils, laundry powders and other fun accouterments to bring home.

Also, no visit to Maryland’s coast is complete without experiencing the varied works of the local artists. Head to The Art League of Ocean City Center for the Arts, where you can view current exhibits and purchase original artwork, such as paintings, jewelry, fiber arts, sculpture and prints in its gift shop. Potteries, paintings, photographs, wall hangings, wood sculptures and more are on display and up for grabs at Worcester County Arts Council’s Cooperative Artists Gallery in Berlin.

Find out about more things to do along Maryland’s Eastern Shore here.