Most Ocean City, MD locals have a go-to spot for lunch items. The Atlantic Stand for cheeseburgers, Thrashers for French fries, Smoker’s for bar-b-que, Anthony’s for roast beef and Seaside for subs, perhaps. Unfortunately, I’m usually left getting a grilled cheese and French fries at these places. Good thing there is Malia’s Café. This is the place to go for vegetarian lunch options.
Located in the Spinnaker Hotel right off the boardwalk on 18th St, Malia’s is the reincarnation Mad Hatter’s, the Alice in Wonderland-themed café that happened to be an Ocean City staple for almost eight years, in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Malia’s was opened in early April of last year by one of Mad Hatters’ original owners, Malia Ricks. You will be happy to know that many of your Mad Hatter’s favorites have found their way to Malia’s.
My favorite, Alice’s Avocado, is a reinvented powerhouse sandwich featuring, you guessed it—avocado, in a fresh pita, and is now named Ariel’s Avocado. A close second is the hummus. Served with a selection of fresh veggies and pita chips, this is delicious for lunch or to share. The Health Nut—formerly the Dodo with peanut butter, granola, and honey; the veggie roll-up, and veggie burger also made the cut and round out a delicious selection of vegetarian options. I don’t remember sweet potato tater tots at Mad Hatters, but these are a must-try side order at Malia’s with Dijon honey mustard dipping sauce.
Like Mad Hatters, the interior of Malia’s is adorned with beautiful hand-painted wall murals. The theme is tropical and eclectic. These murals enhance the casual, funky, beach café ambiance that makes Malia’s great. Stroll in off the boardwalk or beach with sandy feet and sit outside, or enjoy the air-conditioned dining room that seats about 80 guests. If you are worried about parking, call in your order and they will bring it out to you. If you haven’t tried Malia’s yet, what are you waiting for? Meat eaters do not fear. Malia’s is not just for vegetarians or ‘healthy’ eaters. They have plenty of meat options for you, too. I’ve been told that the chicken salad, French dip, and cheesesteak are some of the best. Malia’s also serves breakfast for those early risers.