There’s no doubt that the Outer Banks has some of the most delicious and authentic cuisine on the East Coast.
You can go north, south, east, or west. It doesn’t really matter where you end up on these barrier islands, you are bound to find scrumptious fare that will not only satisfy your appetite, but will keep you coming back through the doors for seconds.
Outer Banks chefs know their stuff – and not just when it comes to seafood – so whatever you happen to be in the mood for, and wherever you happen to find yourself, you have plenty of restaurants to choose from. Each has brought its own unique flavor to the Outer Banks foodie scene.
So for those of you out there who are hot on the trail to good food, here’s the perfect guide to get you that delicious Outer Banks bite to eat you’ve been craving (from north to south).
If you want one of the best burgers on the Northern Banks, stop by Bubbie’s Burgers in Corolla. Top rated by Trip Advisor for its sandwiches and burgers for the past three years, Bubbie’s is also known for its hot dogs as well as scrumptious veggie, chicken, fish, and crab cake sandwiches. Their hand-cut French fries are sure to become a favorite, and for dessert, guests love ordering up Bubbie’s ice cream, milkshakes, soda, and frosty mug of beer. A free scoop of ice cream is also offered with the kids and senior menus.
You’ve tried the rest. Now try the best! For authentic pizza and subs that taste like you are back home, try Lucky’s Pizza and Sub House, the newest pizza spot in Corolla. You will find a casual, family-friendly atmosphere as you enjoy delicious pizza and subs. Eat in, take out, or have them bring it to you. Free delivery from the Hampton Inn to the end of the road on the north end of Corolla. Online ordering available. Make this your Lucky Day.
Salt Water Grill in Corolla boasts coastal favorites that include locally-sourced seafood and produce and natural pork, beef, and chicken. It is also home to one of the largest craft beer selections on the northern Outer Banks. Guests can start out with tempting appetizers like fried green tomatoes or BBQ bacon shrimp and move on to steamers, fried seafood platters, or entrees such as the Local’s Catch, Carolina Shrimp and Grits or Pesto Chicken to name a few.
In the quaint village of Duck, you can treat yourself to an elegant dining experience at Kimball’s Kitchen at the Sanderling Resort. Kimball’s Kitchen offers breathtaking views of the Currituck Sound along with a world-class menu. Here, guests are treated to freshly caught local seafood, handmade pasta, certified Angus beer, and a wide selection of local oysters. Kimball’s Kitchen also has an award-winning wine selection to choose from along with handcrafted cocktails.
If you have a hankering for some delicious chowder and are looking for a more casual atmosphere, head next door to the Lifesaving Station, also at the Sanderling Resort. Here, guests will be treated to a casual and family-friendly setting for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Located in the Caffey’s Inlet Lifesaving Station No 5, the renovated second level offers sweeping views of the Currituck Sound and welcomes large parties. The No 5 bar has been moved to the first level as part of the restaurant and outside patio. Diners can enjoy a Southern coastal cuisine inspired by the area’s fresh produce and seafood. The Signature crab and corn chowder remains a house specialty since 1985.
Heading south, you’ll find The Blue Point. Entering its 28th year, The Blue Point still sets the bar for great food and hospitality. Sensational water and sunset views for lunch, dinner, or Sunday brunch. Open-air, waterside bar open at 5 p.m. for drinks before dinner, after dinner, or instead of dinner.
Be sure to check out Sunset Grille and Raw Bar in Duck, where you can take in the Caribbean flair and family friendly atmosphere while sampling its wide selection of fresh local seafood, steaks, pasta, and world famous cocktails. Savor the islands as you indulge in a delicious Island-Style Pork Sandwich, Caribbean Chicken Sandwich, Dolphin Jalamango, and Salmon with Sundried Pesto and Crab. You’ll love lounging outside with a signature cocktail or cold beverage at Sunset Grille’s three tiki bars, a sushi bar, raw bar, or outdoor waterfront dining.
If it’s an eclectic menu you seek – coupled with a fun, creative beach-inspired atmosphere – you’ll be right at home at Fishbones Raw Bar and Restaurant in Duck. Enjoy a savory burger from the full burger bar stocked with delicious choices like the Gouda Pork Belly burger. Guests will love the variety at Fishbones, which offers both small and large plates that feature everything from Filet Mignon to Tuna Avocado Seafood Enchiladas and fry baskets. Don’t forget the popular raw bar for local oysters, steamed shrimp and more. The little tykes will love choosing their favorites from the kid’s menu as well.
As a family-run business, you’ll find that Wave Pizza in Duck takes pride in every pizza we make. Our specialty is hand-tossed, made-to-order pizzas using only fresh ingredients. Wave Pizza offers a large selection of micro-brews with an emphasis on North Carolina craft beer. Yes, they have taste tested every one just for you! If it’s wine you prefer, Wave has a carefully selected menu; sold by the glass and bottle. Sunsets are free.
To satisfy that sweet tooth while you are in Duck, you’ll want to stop by the OBX Sugar Shack, where you’ll find a great selection of Harry Potter candies and Butterbeer, a non-alcoholic drink, along with gourmet popcorn and nuts, saltwater taffy, cold drinks and a great selection of wines.
Another great place to get a sugar fix in Duck is Donutz On A Stick & Ice Cream – Duck’s breakfast and dessert shop! At Donutz on a Stick, you can enjoy an ice cream float, homemade milkshakes, chocolate-covered espresso beans, melt-in-your-mouth donutz on a stick, donut sundaes, nine flavors of twisted soft serve ice cream, and other homemade local treats.
No matter where you happen to be on the Outer Banks, if you are in the mood for oysters, Awful Arthur’s Oyster Bar in Kill Devil Hills is worth the drive. Named as one of the top 10 oyster bars in the country by Coastal Living magazine, and recognized by Esquire magazine for its tasty steamed shrimp, it’s also famous for its popular surf & turf, soft shell crabs in season, crab cakes and steamed combos. Awful Arthur’s isn’t just about seafood, though. Awful Arthur’s features the Outer Banks’ only authentic oyster bar. Menu favorites also include scrumptious burgers, homemade pastas, and delicious sandwiches.
Also in Kill Devil Hills at Mako’s Beach Grille & Bar, you’ll enjoy the casual, family-friendly atmosphere and one of the most eclectic menus on the beach, one that is sure to include something for everyone to enjoy. From the mouthwatering pizza made in Mako’s wood-fired oven to fresh local seafood, prime rib roasted with garlic, and rosemary and a delicious plate of locally caught peel n’ eat steamed shrimp, you’ll find your favorite dish here. Mako’s has a full kids menu for the little ones and tropical themed cocktails for the grown ups. It is sure to become a family tradition if it isn’t already.
Captain George’s Seafood Restaurant in Kill Devil Hills is the place to be. All of its food is prepared fresh on the premises as well as homemade salads, desserts and the dressings to its secret seafood casserole recipes. Guests can enjoy upscale dining as well as professional service while enjoying the restaurant’s all-you-can-eat seafood buffet that features more than 70 items such as steamed shrimp, Oysters Rockefeller, and of course their world-famous crab legs.
For authentic, coastal Carolina cuisine for breakfast and dinner, Miller’s Seafood and Steakhouse in Kill Devil Hills has been pleasing locals and tourists for 39 years. This family-run restaurant is an Outer Banks tradition. Miller’s breakfast menu is full of southern favorites like biscuits with homemade sausage gravy, country ham and eggs, and hot cakes. For dinner, guests enjoy scrumptious steak, chicken, and porterhouse pork chops, but Miller’s local seafood reigns supreme. Try Miller’s Style North Carolina Sea Scallops sautéed in butter, lemon, and white wine and topped with fontina cheese and lump crabmeat, or order up a seafood platter or a steamer basket stuffed with the best the ocean has to offer.
To the south, Kelly’s Outer Banks Restaurant and Tavern in Nags Head is a local favorite for a reason. Serving the Outer Banks for more than three decades, Kelly’s offers the finest cuisine in its dining room along with upscale bar food and craft cocktails in the tavern, where guests can enjoy entertainment almost every night. With classic dishes prepared to perfection like Filet Oscar, Oysters Rockefeller, and Seafood Bouillabaise, there are so many tempting dishes to choose from. Everything is served with their signature sweet potato biscuits. And be sure to save room for a decadent dessert prepared by their award winning pastry chef. Don’t forget to check out the restaurant’s décor and ambience. A walk around is well worth it, with every wall adorned with North Carolina artifacts like taxidermy fish, old wooden surfboards, and local art.
Natural beauty, local lore and delicious authentic cuisine all come together at Pamlico Jack’s Restaurant & Bar. Enjoy your meal from the outdoor bar overlooking the Roanoke Sound that is an authentically replicated pirate ship, complete with sails and rigging. An open-air soundfront deck offers spectacular views of the sun as it disappears into the waters of the Roanoke. Indulge in Gulf Stream seafood, steaks, homemade pasta, or a lighter fare and a glass of wine, microbrew, or custom cocktail. During the season, guests can also enjoy live entertainment nightly.
As you can see, wherever you are on the Outer Banks, delicious local cuisine is always close by. All you have to do is follow the trail!