Quiet, friendly, out-of-the-way…with a great view of the Chesapeake Bay!
2542 Island View Road, Essex, MD 21221

Welcome to The Island View Waterfront Cafe

The Island View was built during prohibition as a waterfront dance hall, and picnic grove for people from Baltimore City to escape the summer heat. Tom & Fran Laing purchased the property in 1968 and operated it as Tom’s Tavern until 1983 and then changed the name to The Island View. In 2000 the building was completely renovated to take advantage of the great waterfront view. Although Mr.Tom and Ms. Fran have passed along, the grandchildren continue to crack the whip and people from all over still come to relax and enjoy the View. The third generation, Jessica and Bryan are now running the restaurant.. It is a quiet, friendly, out-of-the-way place that offers great food at great prices…and a spectacular view of the Chesapeake Bay.
Check out our history! And while the names may have changed, we’ve become a family tradition, owned and operated by the Laings, since 1968!

1928-1940, Goth’s Grove
1940-1965, Mac’s Grove
1965-1968, Gaff’s Grove
1969-1983, Tom’s Tavern
1983-2000, Island View Inn
July 2000-Present, Island View Waterfront Café


Ready to find out more?

Only in Maryland - Secluded Waterfront Restaurant

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Kayak Rentals

Beautiful and relaxing; one hour self guided tours around scenic Browns Creek where you can expect to see a variety of wildlife. Watch Out for Eagles, Egrets, Great Blue Heron and Osprey. 

Our Menu

Traditionalist,  we've built our menu around recipes that our grandmother used when she began.  From the Baltimore Style Crab Soups and Coddies to the Crab Cakes we continue to stay true to our Baltimore values. 

Celebrations and Catering

Every catered event is built with simplicity in mind. We've done our best to only include the options you need.

We"re Hiring Cooks and Servers

Good Cooks and Servers are the Heroes  of the restaurant world, and are paid handsomely for the job. However... you gotta know what your doing and how to do it. That's where we can help you almost immediately. Full or Part time on the job training starts NOW!

Earn while you learn... don't delay!  Call Today 410-687-9799

Employment - Cooks

The restaurant world is starved for cooks who know their way around a kitchen… and always will be.  Good cooks are the heroes of the restaurant world, And are paid handsomely for the job. However… you gotta know what your doing. And how to do it. That’s where we can help you. Almost immediately.

Employment - Servers/Wait Staff

Anyone who has ever waited tables knows what a demanding job it can be; they also know customers appreciate excellent service and "tip out" in a big way!.. Especially at a waterfront restaurant...

If you work well with people and like $$$...  We're excepting applications for the Spring and Summer Season... Apply Today!




Wonderful! Sat on deck gorgeous day, sailboats and kayaks on the water, blue heron in the piling next door, Amanda was wonderful. The food OMG mixed crab soup (Maryland style with a ladle of cream of crab in the middle, lots of chunks of backfin & prime rib! Very picture worthy, but I ate it too fast!). Lots of choices, we settled on coddie platter & shrimp tacos, good choices. The music was perfect mix of classic rock Elvis, Chuck Berry, Marvin Gay, Neil Young, & Beatles. Our new favorite place, hHghly recommend.

- Rachel K

Yelp Review

Another 5 star service! Love this little waterside small town feel restaurant. Makes you feel good waking in knowing that this place is apart of the community you live in. Food is always fresh and amazingly delicious. Service is always fast and servers are knowledgable of the menu. Sit on the deck and enjoy your lunch or dinner under an umbrella as you stare off into the water. Or go inside and enjoy the nautical decor. Check in on Yelp and you'll even get a free dessert. My favorite menu item is the onion rings and the half and half crab/cream of crab soup. Prices are a tad high, but well worth it for the community feel.

- Brandon S.

Yelp review

We arrived by sailboat and docked easily at the dock. Greeted by several staff members and was seated immediately on the outside deck with an amazing view of The Chesapeake Bay. Food was fresh and delicious. Food cooked perfectly and portions were great. I would highly recommend Island View Waterfront Cafe.



-Mike P.

Yelp Review

Make Your Reservation Now!

Our Summer season is fast, furious and generally jammed packed. Make a reservation and we'll have your table waiting.

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