As foodies we are always looking for the best places to dine at when we visit a new city. The process of finding these places starts with a little research on our part and then the hardest part of all…eating it 😉 Sometimes we miss the mark, but on our most recent trip to Chincoteague Island, we hit the JACKPOT! We were impressed with the quality, freshness and creativity of the food on Chincoteague Island. Best part was that we never had to get fancy or spend a lot of money to get delicious food. The island is meant to be enjoyed in the outdoors, almost every place we went to had a sand patio seating area with yard games. So, our recommendation… skip the restaurants and try my list of the Five Best Places to Eat On Chincoteague Island. The list has a little bit of everything for everyone – seafood, donuts, chicken, tacos and ice cream!
Sandy Pony Donuts
Let me just start off by saying WOW!!!!! Sandy Pony Donuts has THE BEST DONUTS we have ever had in our 26-27 years of eating donuts, which is a lot. Their donuts are all around well made – they are extremely soft, the donut is not overly sweet, the glazes are out of this world and the toppings are tasty and fun. Adam is not picky and critical when it comes to donuts, but I am, so when I took my first bite and literally said, “wow”, then he knows that I am impressed. I once told Adam that I do not waste my calories on things that do not taste good, well I ate three donuts and could have had more.
Sandy Pony Donuts originated in Chincoteague Island, Virginia playing homage to the island culture of their wild ponies, hence the name of the company. They specialize in made-to-order donuts from their food truck with an extensive menu that includes donuts, acai bowls and Pony Pile (a donut with vanilla ice cream and toppings). Though you can grab donuts at their food truck in Chincoteague Island. you may also find them along the Eastern Coast. With their success on the island they opened two more locations in Annapolis, Maryland and Bethany Beach, Delaware. We always enjoy finding new places to visit, but we will be going back to Sandy Pony Donuts again and again in all three states.
A majority of the donuts have a honey glaze that is probably half the part of these donuts’ success – the other half being the dough itself. The glaze was the perfect amount of sweetness that you could not even see on the donut, it was almost invisible. The banana, peanut butter and lemon glazes were also all delicious and profound in flavor. The dough of the donut was the softest we have ever experienced and though it was slightly heavy it was light when we took a bite.
The toppings and flavor combinations for the donuts were simple and fun. As we have said, it was the dough and glaze that really make these donuts shine. They have classic donuts such as, glazed, chocolate glaze, powdered sugar and more. Though you cannot go wrong with the classic donuts, the speciality donuts are where the fun and flavor is at! They have several different toppings such as, bacon – BACON, Oreos, Fruity Pebbles, pretzels, coconut, rainbow sprinkles and more – they are nothing crazy, just pure simple and delicious.
We ordered half a dozen donuts and every single one of them were delicious! We had and recommend:
- Porky Pony (honey glaze, cinnamon sugar and bacon)
- Mary Lee-Mon (lemon glaze, graham cracker and powdered sugar)
- Ms. Sandy (honey glaze and cinnamon sugar)
- Yabba Dabba Doo-Nut (honey glaze and Fruity Pebbles cereal)
- Banana Coconut (banana glaze and coconut)
- Charlie Brown (peanut butter glaze and mini chocolate chips)
Sandy Pony Donuts
6758 Maddox Blvd
Chincoteague Island, VA 23336
Open Daily: 7am – 1pm
Seasonal hours: April-October
Captain Zack’s Seafood & Carry Out
Captain Zack’s Seafood & Carryout is THE BEST place to get the freshest and most delicious seafood. Though they are not listed at the top of TripAdvisor or Yelp, they should be. Nevertheless, as their sign inside the shop says, “do not trust what Yelp and TripAdvisor says”. We are glad we didn’t because the first thing we did when we arrived on the island was head to Captain Zacks for lunch.
We instantly loved the vibe of the shop, it was simple and friendly. The staff welcomed every guest that entered, sometimes by name – when you go where the locals go, you know you hit jackpot. They had a case full of fresh salmon, tuna, oysters, lobster, crab and more. Their menu is pretty extensive with options such as, quesadillas, oysters on the shell, sandwiches and salads and if you cannot find anything on the menu, then you can always pick something from their daily specials. We ended up ordering off of the menu and daily specials.
Guests can wait outside with their feet in the sand, playing yard games such as, corn hole, or just kicking it back in one of the colorful wooden chairs. As we said, we loved the vibe of Captain Zack’s.
We came ready to eat, but once we saw the menu and the fish we started eating with our eyes and ordered four things. Here is what we ordered and recommend:
- Stuffed Bell Peppers (bell peppers stuffed with crab, shrimp, scallops and cheese) #1 selling appetizer
- Blackened Scallop Quesadilla (a delicious daily special)
- Chincoteague Salts Oysters on the half shell (so flavorful you do not need lemon!)
- No Filler Crab Cake Sandwich (nothing, but crab in this crab cake! One of the best crab cake sandwiches we have ever had. So good Krusty Krab would love it.)
Everything we had was so delicious, we ate it all!!! No leftovers from us that day. With the exception of the daily special scallop quesadilla, everything we had is very popular and highly recommended from us, locals and guests.
Captain Zack’s Seafood & Carryout
4422 Deep Hole Rd
Chincoteague Island, VA 23336
Open daily: 11am – 9pm
Always call before you come because they do not have set hours
Be prepared to wait in a long line to order and a long wait for your food, but believe us, it is totally worth it! We waited 40 minutes for our four tacos and we would do it again! They have two food trucks, one for ordering your food and the other one is to pick up your food. There is picnic table seating behind the food trucks with plenty of yard games to keep you occupied while you wait for your tacos.
The story behind Pico Taqueria is both cute and totally awesome. It is a family-friend run business by Dylan Moot, his wife Rosie, his twin brother Nathan, and their friend Kate Andyjohn. Together they accumulate over 30 years of culinary experience making this a dream team – it is no wonder why they are so successful. Their motto is simple, “that anything can be put onto a taco”. With their talent, their motto holds true because they created a caper pico de gallo that is out of this world!
Their menu has seven tacos and we were able to try four of them, though we wished we tried all seven.
We ordered and recommend:
- The Maddox (cornmeal fried oysters, pickled carrots daikon, tartar sauce and thai basil)
- The Main Street (seared and seasoned shrimp, chipotle creme, green cabbage slaw, guacamole and queso fresco)
- The Chicken City (blackened chicken, corn and black bean salsa, avocado creme and cotija)
- The Deephole (crispy cauliflower, caper pico de gallo, parmesan, garlic aioli and crispy shallots)
Everything was so delicious that we wished we ordered more. The taco shells were unique, they were not crispy nor soft, but in-between. To know what we are talking about, you just have to go try Pico Taqueria out for yourself!
6382 Maddox Blvd.
Chincoteague, VA 23336
Open Daily: 11am – 8pm
The Farmer’s Daughter
Unfortunately closed until further notice.
The Farmer’s Daughter has a very cute setup and seating area at their food truck. Whereas most places we dined had sand in their patios, The Farmer’s Daughter has recycled seashells that add a nice touch to their ambiance and focus.
As their website says, “at The Farmer’s Daughter, we’re passionate about making something delicious from fresh, local ingredients.” The Farmer’s Daughter is indeed a farmer’s daughter who respects the hard labor put into growing fresh, organic produce. They strive to receive all of their produce from local farmers in the area and treat it with care when creating dishes. Their respect for ingredients shines in their menu and food because everything we had tasted delicious. The menu is kept simple with sandwiches, salads and fries that were inspired from dishes served at their family farm. They also serve fresh, hand-crafted lemonades that are sweet and refreshing.
It was hard to decide what to order because everything sounded amazing, but we chose two of their big sellers:
- Crab Cake Sandwich
- Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich
- Hand-crafted peach lemonade
The buttermilk fried chicken sandwich was UNBELIEVABLE!!! Best chicken sandwich we have ever had, so we highly recommend it. The crab cake sandwich was also amazing – very fresh. Though we did not order any fries, we have heard they are excellent, especially the Korean BBQ fries. Depending on how hungry you are, we advise to order a side of fries because though the food is delicious, we were still hungry after we finished our sandwiches. We highly recommend The Farmer’s Daughter for a nice, hearty lunch.
The Farmer’s Daughter
6700 Maddox Blvd
Chincoteague Island, VA 23336
M – Sa: 11am – 8:30pm or so…
Our final eatery stop is of course dessert at the famous Island Creamery! Not only is it the most popular ice cream shop on the island, but Travel & Leisure also named it “The Best Ice Scream Shop in Virginia”. Though we did not try the other ice creams shops, we can agree that this was some of the best ice cream we have ever had. The ice cream flavors themselves were tasty, but it was the fresh, homemade waffle cones that made them stand out.
Island Creamery makes their own waffle cones in house and right in front of the guests! One of the girls working had a rhythm going of pouring the batter, cooking the batter and then rolling the waffle into the iconic cone shape. It was a lot of fun watching her create cone after cone and if a 26 year old enjoyed it then it must be a lot of fun for the kids to watch. The waffle cone was perfect – sweet, crispy and never got soggy! You have to order your ice cream with a waffle cone or bowl.
Like the waffle cones, all of the ice cream is homemade in small batches. Island Creamery uses fresh cream and milk from Lancaster County cows and add locally grown fruits or other ingredients inside to make their countless flavors. The result…fresh, delicious ice cream!
Guests may get their ice cream served in a cup, waffle cone, waffle bowl, sundae, on a brownie, spun into a shake and more.
So, we got our ice cream in a cup, waffle cone and on a brownie! Go big or go home right?
- Limoncello (served in a cup and was amazing!!! Very fresh and could really taste the alcohol)
- Java Jolt and Absolutely Nuts (served in a waffle cone. Perfect for coffee lovers and absolutely delicious and very nutty)
- Marsh Mud and Vanilla (served on top of a soft brownie. Classic vanilla and rich in chocolate)
We left with a sugar high and was the perfect way to end our summer getaway to Chincoteague Island.
I hope you enjoyed my list and visit these five best places on your next visit to Chincoteague Island!