Featured weddings and sessions, resources, travel guides, and my own personal musings.
Ocean City is home, but also the most incredible location for our photo shoots: sunrise over the beach, sunset at the docks and of course, the vibrant, lively Ocean City boardwalk. Our out-of-town clients and brides discover all that OC has to offer, with fun attractions, great food and of course, the gorgeous sandy beaches. As an enthusiastic local, I love sharing some of my favorite Ocean City places with you, especially with my fellow plant-based friends.
The OCNJ Boardwalk and downtown Asbury Ave have plenty of incredible sweet treats (Johnson’s Popcorn, I’m looking at you!) but you’ll also find a tremendous selection of delicious and healthy fare. Here are a few of Ocean City’s wonderful vegan and vegetarian options.
Grab a healthy lunch at Heartbeet, with vegan and gluten free options prepared with organic and locally sourced ingredients—no dairy, eggs, peanuts or processed foods. Try the incredible tempeh chorizo tacos or a coconut “bacon” BLT. A nice post-beach option: Heartbeet’s happy hour from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. daily with $5 kombucha on draft.
A must-try while in OC: Bashful Banana’s Banana Whip, a yummy frozen treat of just frosty bananas; top it off with some fresh fruit. It’s one of my favorite stops for a vegan cupcake or a smoothie, made of 100% fruit and no added sugar or premixes. Their coffee bar features espresso, cappuccino and fresh squeezed fruit and veggie juices. The menu has something for everyone: low fat, whole grain, high fiber, vegan, gluten free and non-dairy selections.
Summers at the shore mean sun, surf and long, leisurely breakfasts. Treat yourself to healthy bistro fare—breakfast sandwiches, avocado toast, oatmeal– and some wonderful coffee drinks at Jon &Patty’s. You’ll find fresh-pressed juices, cold brew, Cuban café con leche and a tea bar. The fabulous latte menu offers everything from decadent Strawberry & Cheesecake to the “Sweet & Skinny”, made with sugar-free coconut and vanilla. A nice afternoon treat: enjoy the sunshine with a seat outdoors and a refreshing affogato.
Start your shore morning with some fresh-brewed, free trade coffee and house-made croissants and scones from Barefoot Market. OC visitors are raving about the Market’s fresh-baked scones, sweet and crunchy on the outside, luscious and soft inside, in great flavors like butterscotch.
I usually crave something refreshing and healthy before a day at the beach. The answer: Bungalow Bowl’s tasty superfood bowls. My go-to favorite is the acai bowl, topped off with fresh berries and a drizzle of honey or Nutella. You’ll find plenty of unique choices on the Bungalow Bowls menu. Change up your bowl with pitaya–a.k.a. dragon fruit, like the love child of a kiwi and a pear, opt for the green base with spinach, or choose the blue majik, an extract from the microalgae spirulina.
Feeling decadent? It’s vacation, after all. Time to indulge in Spoon and Sip’s Tough Peanut, a delicious concoction made with almond milk, acai, banana and peanut butter as a base with toppings of granola, banana and peanut butter. I also love Spoon and Sip’s acai bowls, and their froyo is the perfect way to cool off on a hot summer day.
When it’s lunch time, you can head right off the beach and boardwalk to The Farm Stand on 14th St. Their delish vegan options include a sweet potato taco, vegan crab cake and the popular buffalo cauliflower risotto. There’s even a kids’ menu; almond butter and jelly on multigrain bread…yum!
For all of the healthy eaters out there, Soma Cafe has a large variety of options for those that are health conscience. The food comes out fresh and quick, and the cafe itself is quaint, cozy and unique – with a touch of worldly ambience. From vegan chili, to golden lattes, your head will spin trying to pick an option off of their menu! They also have a full coffee + espresso bar with their own homemade coconut and almost milk. If you’re looking for an activity night, they offer private dinners and workshops!
At the beach—or anywhere in the world–the creative team at Magdalena Studios will capture your special moments. Contact us for more information.
A few readers wrote in with even more suggestions to add on!
–4th Street Cafe (delicious coffee, scones & sandwiches)
–Eat Clean (meal prep service – delivers to OCNJ)
–Mario’s Pizza (offers a full vegan menu!)
–Starfish Cafe (full menu as well as smoothies & juices)
Whether you’re working with a wedding planner on a multi-day event or you’re planning an intimate affair, you’re still dealing with many moving pieces right up until your big day. Having photographed more than 200 weddings, we’ve come up with the answers to our most frequently asked questions and turned them into this guide, from day-of timelines to inclement weather, from engagement sessions to first looks.