Exmore Diner

Review by: Michael Stern

The Exmore Diner is old (born in 1954) and somewhat rickety, but handsome in its well-worn way. It is a wonderful place to eat breakfast. The menu features such mid-Atlantic signatures as creamed chipped beef, sausage gravy biscuits, and scrapple with grits.

The diner’s two main claims to culinary fame are seafood and fried chicken. Shrimp come steamed or fried; flat, griddle-cooked pancakes are made from shreds of local crab meat (“shell is possible,” warns the menu), and there are oysters (in season), clam fritters made with seaside clams (brinier than bayside), plus the occasional plate of puffers and fried drum fish ribs. We love the menu’s description of the seafood platter: “sample of every seafood in the house, largest plate anywhere.” Side dishes include real mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes (locally grown), porky greens, and braised cabbage.

The go-to dessert is sweet potato pie.

Even better than Exmore Diner food is its cast of characters. This is where a goodly number of local citizens come to exchange top-of-the-morning pleasantries, news, and views. It is a small-enough place that you have to seriously lower your voice to have a private conversation, so most of what everyone says is open to discussion.

Directions & Hours

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Thursday: 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Friday: 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Saturday: 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Sunday: 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM

What To Eat

Sweet Potato Pie

Butterfly Shrimp

Crab Cakes

Steamed Shrimp


Exmore Diner Recipes


What do you think of Exmore Diner?

One Response to “Exmore Diner”

Catherine Bond

November 27th, 2012

After reading Michael Stern’s review of the Exmore Diner from October, I had to add the story of our visit several years back (long enough ago that people were still smoking in there). I remember seeing on the specials list “Swelling Toads.” Well I had to ask: they turned out to be the puffers that Michael mentioned in his review. I tried them and they came out looking a lot like the fried shrimp. But they were a little bite of white fish. I thought they were the tail of the fish, but later found out they are the cheek meat.

My husband got the crab cakes, very different from Maryland-style lump crab cakes, but very good, and very thin and crispy. They are fried on the griddle, I think. They have a great flavor not only from the fresh crab but also from the herbs they use. We shared a good chocolate milkshake as well.

I highly recommend the Exmore. Especially after a morning of bird-watching.


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