We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Finally - A seafood place in OC I would return to!”
Review of Shrimp Boat

Shrimp Boat
Ranked #44 of 445 Restaurants in Ocean City
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $5 - $20
Cuisines: Seafood, Soups
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Families with children
Dining options: Reservations
Description: If you don’t know Captain Joe, then you just haven’t been to the Shrimp Boat yet. In 1989, Captain Joe set up an umbrella, scale, and a couple of chairs just outside of a box truck along the side of the highway. He set out to sell the freshest shrimp in Ocean City at the best price. Customers had to receive their education first in why cooking shrimp with the heads on kept the juices and flavor inside. This is a 10-second class and always ends with a Free Sample for graduating. Captain Joe says, “Try it before you buy it. I want people to know they are getting the freshest product possible.” The next year, he started selling his shrimp out of the back of a boat along Rte. 611 where we stand today. He is often quoted as saying, ” I’ve owned fifteen boats in my lifetime and this is the only one that has ever made me money!” What started out as just shrimp quickly expanded to meet his regular customers’ desires for fresh seafood with clams, crab meat, and crabs. Today it is now the most extensive line of seafood options like stone crabs, hand-cut sushi-grade tuna fillets, and live lobster. Over the years many nieces, nephews, and even Joe’s own kids worked at the Shrimp Boat as word spread and business grew. In 2009, the first kitchen opened to allow customers to take home the fresh seafood already prepared. Joe quickly outgrew it and added a second, larger kitchen in 2010. The original kitchen is now a state-of-the-art crab room with pressure steam pots to get hot crabs out fast. After much fan fare to get Joe to add seating, Captain Joe’s Restaurant opened in 2012 which offered a full menu, beer and wine, and comfortable seating. In 2013 Captain Joe turned over the day to day operations to his nephew, Joe White who worked at the Shrimp Boat from a teenager through college. Captain Joe himself is still a regular working out of the back of the boat selling shrimp or sitting in one of the chairs out front telling fish stories. So nothing has changed. 2013 saw several new features such as our outdoor seating area featuring up to 24 seats with umbrellas, our outdoor bar waiting for area adjacent to the restaurant, and draft beer tap system featuring local brews too. We have now begun to see our third generation of regular customers; many grew up with the Shrimp Boat their whole lives as a local or regular stop on long weekends and family vacations. Our customers are very special to us, we never take their experience of fresh seafood and great service lightly. However, we are the fortunate ones to have so many interesting characters sit in our chairs out front over the last 25 years and tell their fish stories.
Reviewed June 27, 2013

Since our family started vacationing in OC, my wife and I have been on the hunt for a place that serves good, quality seafood. There are a lot of pretenders here and we have been met with disappointment quite a few times. After reading the reviews and seeing their high rating amongst OC restaurants, I figured it was worth a shot. Now that I have been, it is safe to say we will visit many times in the future. Seafood is very fresh, the portions are sizable, and there is kid friendly food for those in your party that are not seafood minded. They have a nice selection of craft beer and domestic drafts. My only complaints are minor. Service was slow on a slow night. As the previous review mentioned, the fried food was overfried (deep brown). The cleanliness is average, but was what I expected for a restaurant that is essentially a 3 season room. When we are back in OC next year, I would like to try their take out and plan to sample more of their menu. Two things I would recommend trying are the tuna tacos (with spicy sauce) and the lump crabcakes (which had essentially no filler). Pricing is more than reasonable for the amount that you get. Overall, we were a very happy family leaving the Shrimp Boat.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank 2TravelingBs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (285)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year

231 - 235 of 285 reviews

Reviewed June 24, 2013

Tried the fish n chips and fried soft shell crab. It was bad. They were fried to almost burn and comes with soggy fries. The fish was fishy, definitely not the catch of the day. The portion was small too. On the other hand, we tried the steamed crab, steamed shrimp and steamed clams, they were great. Portions are huge and seafood were fresh.
Not much ambience and the service was rather slow that day. But for that price, it's still reasonable to go there again.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank chummyyummy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2013

Had a great time at the shrimp boat. The actual restaurant was closed because of a private event but we were able to dine outside and got great service. The staff was super nice. I joked that my crab loving nephew who is 8 needed a lesson in crab eating. Captain Tom was nice enough to come over and give him a thorough demo on crab eating that had our whole table cracking them open in no time.

The shrimp tacos are amazing, hush puppies = amazing. I can't say enough good things about this place. I had a blast.

2  Thank Kelly301
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2013 via mobile

Not on the water, or at the beach, but who care is the food is good. Kind of a shack style restaurant. Cream of crab soup "excellent", fresh shrimp are large and not over spiced. Skip the fried foods, tend to be a bit greasy. But if you go with fresh fish or shrimp you won't be disappointed.

Owner is great, very down home. Great place to stop at before or after you land at the local airport. Can't beat the price either. You would pay triple the price at the ocean and it may not be as good, but you are paying for a view not the food.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank 360travelor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2013

Shrimp was juicy, fresh caught from the carolinas. Was told about this place by a local who said her family comes here for all their seafood.

2  Thank Tracey T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Shrimp Boat also viewed


Been to Shrimp Boat? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing