7 Best Dockside Restaurants on the East Coast
One of the greatest advantages of being a boater is that you have dozens, if not hundreds, of opportunities to enjoy a good meal within minutes of tying up at a dock. Equally advantageous, “parking” is rarely a problem the way it is for cars, especially at city-based establishments.
Based on feedback from fellow boaters, here are some of the best waterfront restaurants on the East Coast—all the way from Maine down to sunny Florida—to take your boat to dock-and-dine.
1. Archer's on the Pier - Rockland, Maine
Nearby Camden is more high-profile, but Rockland holds equal charm, and excellent dining options. Watch Windjammers cruise by at Archie’s on the Pier while you dine on local seafood, including lobster, of course.
Fun fact: The owner, who’s also the head chef, comes from a family of lobstermen.
2. Boston Salt Loft - Boston, Massachusetts
This is a five-minute walk from famed Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, and a stone’s throw from Boston Yacht Haven, where gleaming megayachts dock. The Boston Sail Loft is renowned for its clam chowder. It’s further renowned for letting you have free Oreos from the bar for dessert.
3. Louie's - Port Washington, New York
Hail this casual restaurant, adjacent to the town dock, on VHF channel 68, before arriving for lobster rolls, short ribs, and more. In fact, Louie’s has been serving locals and out-of-towners arriving by boat for more than 100 years, originally as a barge out in Manhasset Bay in 1905.
4. Tickler's Crab Shack & Restaurant - Tilghman, Maryland
The Eastern Shore of Maryland is chockful of worthwhile waterfront restaurants, this one being in a hotel. The head chef of Tickler’s grew up in the area, so he prioritizes local dishes, plus the restaurant has its own garden.
Pro tip: Order the crab dip.
5. Coinjock Marina & Restaurant - Coinjack, North Carolina
You’d be hard pressed to find a boater who hasn’t eaten the crab cakes, shrimp and grits, and more here. In fact, this waterfront restaurant is a must-stop for many cruisers who travel north and south along the Intracoastal Waterway year after year.
6. Hudson's Seafood House on the Docks - Hilton Head, South Carolina
Lowcountry dining lovers flock to Hudson’s, which gets its fresh seafood from a local fishing fleet. More than 450,000 raw oysters are shucked on site each year.
Kid-friendly, too, the restaurant has been owned by the same family for about 80 years.
7. Julington Creek Fish Camp - Jacksonville, Florida
If you’re boating over the holidays, you’re sure to see several festively decorated boats head here, for what the owners call elegant but relaxed dining. Southern fare is the focus at Julington Creek Fish Camp, from sides like collard greens and grits to entrees like catfish and a good old-fashioned lowcounty boil.
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Editor's Note: Featured image courtesy of Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB).