The Best Restaurants to Enjoy at the Outer Banks, North Carolina
There’s something inherently magical about the Outer Banks in North Carolina, a shimmering strip of barrier islands stretching over 200 miles off North Carolina and Virginia’s coast. It’s an peaceful place offering an intoxicating blend of coastal beauty, wildlife, rich history, and an abundance of recreational activities. While you’re there, crisscrossing between its lighthouses, beach-bumming or kite-surfing, one thing you’ll undoubtedly do is eat – and boy is there a delicious array of options for that. Here’s an inside scoop on the best spots across the OBX to enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Start Your Day Right: Breakfast in the OBX
In the delicate morning light of the Outer Banks, North Carolina, the day unfolds itself like a tranquil ocean wave, nudging you towards a plethora of diverse culinary treasure troves. There’s something profoundly satisfying about beginning your day here with a mouthwatering breakfast. Whether you favor sweet or savory, light bites or hearty meals, this coastal haven is dotted with delightful spots to suit all preferences. As sea breezes whisper secrets of the day to come, and sun rays illuminate the dreamy surroundings, nothing complements these beginnings like a wholesome breakfast in OBX.
Duck Donuts – Duck, NC
Where better to start than a local favorite doughnut chain that’s now spread across several states? Duck Donuts, named after the town it originated in, is renowned for their made-to-order, customizable donuts.
At the cornerstone of their success is their simple yet unbeatable proposition – made-to-order, customizable donuts. As soon as you step into a Duck Donuts outlet, the enchanting aroma of warm doughnuts being baked tantalizes your senses. The doughnuts are crafted with painstaking passion, always served fresh, and oh-so-decadently topped.
Their menu offers a creative medley of toppings – from the classic rainbow sprinkles to indulgent bacon bits. They breathe life into their doughnuts, presenting an array of glazes and decor that will make you see this humble staple in a whole new light. Having one of their distinctive creations is less like eating and more akin to indulgence personified.
And what’s a doughnut without a good cup of coffee on the side? Duck Donuts serves a variety of coffee choices to perfectly accompany your confections, from an electrifying espresso to satiate the caffeine aficionado within you, to comforting hot chocolate with a dollop of whipped cream for those seeking warmth and comfort, and much more.
Stack’em High Pancakes – Kitty Hawk, NC
Every day, from morning till noon, Stack’em High’s doors are open to both locals and vacationers whose visit wouldn’t be complete without indulging in the restaurant’s famed pancakes. With an inviting and relaxed atmosphere, it has always proved to be a location where you can enjoy a hearty breakfast at a very reasonable cost.
Their breakfast menu is a delight to explore – from traditional favorites like eggs, bacon, and sides, to heavenly waffles and French toast – they have it all. And of course, their pancakes – the true heart of Stack’em High. Made fresh to order and served hot to your table, each pancake stands as a testament to their commitment to quality and taste.
Their attentive servers are always ready to pour you a hot cup of coffee to go with your meal, ensuring your cup never runs empty. You’ll also find a selection of tasty toppings to enhance your pancakes, ranging from strawberries and chocolate chips to pecans and bananas – the key ingredients to put a broad smile on your face first thing in the morning.
From the omelettes to the specialty and uniquely creative pancakes, Stack’em High Pancakes is not just a restaurant, but an institution that has stood the test of time, built on the love for food and community. A visit to Kitty Hawk isn’t complete without experiencing the “OBX Style” breakfast at this homegrown staple of the Outer Banks.
Barrier Island Bagels – Kitty Hawk, NC
Barrier Island Bagels, nestled in the beautiful Kitty Hawk in Outer Banks, is a culinary delight for early risers and brunch enthusiasts alike. Previously located at Argyles Restaurant, they’ve moved to a new address at 4716 N Croatan Hwy, where they continue to charm customers with their mouth-watering bagels. With a reserved commitment to freshness and quality, each bagel is handcrafted to perfection, aiming to offer a pleasing start to your day.
They also offer an easy and convenient online ordering system for those who prefer to enjoy their bagels at home or on the go. Barrier Island Bagels remains an indelible part of the Kitty Hawk breakfast scene, ready to welcome you into their world of delightful flavors.
Lunch Break With a View in the OBX
Never underestimated, lunch in OBX is as profound an experience as the breathtaking landscapes it’s famous for. The midday sun highlighting the seascapes’ charm, the scent of the sea wafting through the air, and a spread of enticing food create the perfect setting for a memorable lunch in OBX. Sumptuous and diverse, lunch in this idyllic setting is definitely an affair worth writing home about.
Black Pelican Seafood Company – Kitty Hawk, NC
Black Pelican Seafood Company, is a premier oceanfront dining experience in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. They’re in a setting that offers panoramic views of the ocean from their dining rooms and outside deck, Black Pelican tantalizes its patrons with more than just tantalizing tastes. Housed in a unique building constructed in 1874 and previously used as a United States Life-Saving Station, the restaurant is brimming with history, rustic charm, and maritime marvels.
The Black Pelican is renowned for its wide array of delicacies, including their gourmet wood-fired pizzas, exquisite seafood, refreshing salads, and an impressive selection of vegetarian options. Their chefs concoct special daily and nightly dishes, guaranteeing something new and exciting each time you visit. In addition, they present a range of award-winning desserts and fun drinks. If you’re planning an event, the Black Pelican staff, equipped with qualified coordinators and top-notch chefs, offers comprehensive catering services to ensure your occasion is seamless from start to finish.
Fish Heads Bar & Grill – Nags Head, NC
Fish Heads Bar and Grill, positioned in beautiful Nags Head, North Carolina, offers guests a delightful blend of fun, great views, and locally sourced food. Situated directly on the Outer Banks, the restaurant and its seafront bar present an ambiance that harmoniously combines relaxation with an enthusiastic liveliness. With special events and live entertainment on offer during the summer season, Fish Heads Bar and Grill stands as a testament to the charm and character of the region, while providing an irreplaceable experience for locals and visitors alike.
With a knowledgeable staff, well-versed in craft beer and local seafood, they offer assistance in curating the perfect meal to fit each patrons’ individual tastes and preferences. With the sound of the waves as your backdrop, visitors are welcomed and encouraged to immerse themselves in the endless ocean views; a sight that further enhances the dining experience and adds to the laid-back, coastal appeal. Its association with Outer Banks Fishing Pier and Fishing Unlimited makes the facility stand out among other eateries in the region. Fish Heads’ fishery professionals and recreational staff have been aiding anglers in their fishing experiences for over 50 years, making it a destination for both serious fishermen and fun-seekers. For guests looking to truly soak in the local experience, Fish Heads does not disappoint. From their exquisite meals to their crafted beers, every detail is designed around offering an authentic Outer Banks experience.
Sugar Shack Oyster Bar & Grill – Nags Head, NC
Presenting the freshest of local flavors from the sea, Sugar Shack Seafood Fish Market Oyster Bar and Grill is a must-visit eating place in Nags Head, North Carolina. Replicating the tastes of the shoreline, their culinary expertise finds expression in the rich menu that flows through a range of appetizers, salads, soups, sandwiches, wraps, and platters – both fried and grilled. For starters, tempt your tastebuds with the appetizing Fried Calamari or the indulgent Crab Spring Rolls, paired with their tangy sweet and sour dipping sauce. Another must-try is their uniquely ‘Oooey-Gooey’ Mac & Cheese Bites.
The diversity continues onto their soup and salad selections. From the clear-broth Hatteras Style Clam Chowder to the exquisite She Crab Soup, the restaurant has options for every palate. Their Shack salad that can be paired with Grilled Shrimp, Chicken, Tuna, or Mahi is a delightful combination of fresh springs, cucumbers, diced tomatoes, and carrots. Moving on to the main courses, indulge in their Fried and Grilled Platters, where you can combine your favorite seafood and savor them with slaw and a side of your choice. Seafood lovers can also dip into the ‘from the sea’ menu, where items like large shrimp, PD shrimp, and multiple kinds of crab are offered. The Steamed Clams and Steamed Oysters are other customer favorites.
From the land, Sugar Shack is proud of its scrumptious sandwiches, where classics like Grilled Tuna and Grilled Mahi-Mahi are served alongside innovative offerings like the Caribbean Shrimp Wrap. And who can forget their delicious sides, like the crisp French Fries, sweet corn on the cob, or their unique Shack Chips? With every dish thoughtfully curated, Sugar Shack beckons you to visit, promising an unforgettable ocean-inspired delicious lunch!
Dine in Style: Dinner in the OBX
When the sun paints the sky in brilliant shades of red and gold, and the peaceful swells of the ocean gently kiss the Outer Banks’ shoreline, you know it’s time to head out for dinner. The evening brings forth not just the cool winds and tranquil ambiance, but also an exquisite array of culinary delights to savor. From the freshest seafood to aromatic contemporary world cuisine, the array of dishes is as vast as the ocean itself. The dinner hour in OBX is a celebration of flavors, ambiance, and delightful experiences. Be it a romantic outing, a family meal, or a lively gathering with friends, dinner in this coastal paradise becomes a cherished memory, creating a perfect close to the day. Just like a luminary lighthouse at dusk, let’s guide you through some unique dining destinations for your OBX dinner.
Oceanfront Grille – Corolla, NC
As the sun dips below the horizon, the Oceanfront Grille in Corolla beckons you to join them for an unforgettable dining experience. Boasting of being the only oceanfront restaurant on the Northern OBX, their dinner menu offers a sumptuous selection of delectable dishes, designed to tantalize your senses. Dine on the elevated deck – the rhythmic sounds of the waves, the pleasant sea-scented breeze, and the mesmerizing vistas of the Atlantic all combine, forming an enchanting backdrop for your meal.
The Oceanfront Grille’s extensive menu features an impressive variety of both light and hearty fare. Begin your dinner with freshly made appetizers such as crispy Calamari, savory Scampi, and refreshing Crab Dip. The main course options are as diverse as the ocean itself, with the menu’s stars being their famous Maryland-style jumbo lump crab cakes, succulent bacon-wrapped sea scallops, mouth-watering shrimp Wellington, and chef-inspired nightly specials.
To round out your meal, their expert waitstaff will present refreshing cocktails and other beverages from the full-service bar, adding to the perfect ambiance. Remember that a jacket may be needed on cooler evenings. With its unique fusion of oceanic surroundings and superb gastronomic indulgence, Oceanfront Grille ensures that your dinner experience is anything but ordinary.
The Blue Point – Duck, NC
The dining journey at The Blue Point kicks off with an array of small plates like the flavorful Rosebay Oyster Stew or the Southern Fried Quail enhanced with a savory blue cheese slaw. Every appetizer, such as the Fresh Burrata with spiced butternut squash puree or the Warm Sweet Potato Biscuits elegantly paired with country ham, is an adventure in taste.
Moving on to the main course, The Blue Point’s offerings are at once both homely and refined. Their signature dish of Seared Sea Scallops, served on a bed of cauliflower-Yukon Gold potato puree, is a delicious testament to their commitment to fresh, local fare. Other notable entrées include the Pan-fried Local Jumbo Lump Crabcakes with Carolina Gold rice, the Grilled Bone-in Pork Chop prepared with a unique port-pear glaze, and the down-home perfection of Down South Shrimp and Marsh Hen Mill Grits.
To crown your dining experience, sweet indulgences await. Choose from a wide range of desserts like the Warm Southern Pecan Pie with brown butter caramel and bourbon ice cream or the classic Key Lime Pie with a raspberry coulis whip.
JK’s Restaurant – Kill Devil Hills, NC
Looking to indulge in a delicious American meal in a contemporary, inviting atmosphere? JK’s Restaurant in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, is the place to be. The dinner menu, featuring daily specials, combines tempting starters, delectable entrées, and tantalizing desserts to make your dining experience nothing short of exceptional. Dive into the mesmerizing flavors they have to offer and let the culinary journey sweep you away.
Begin your evening at JK’s with one of their remarkable appetizers. Choices range from the comforting Seafood Bisque Soup to an elegant South Carolina Quail served over mixed greens with Roquefort vinaigrette. The innovative Baked Oysters Rockefeller, topped with spinach walnut pesto and Parmesan cheese, is another crowd-pleaser. Alternately, treat yourself to an order of their irresistible Tobacco Shrimp, dredged in tobacco flour and served with a creamy lemon dill sauce.
As you venture into the main courses, explore their succulent Baby Back Ribs, seasoned with the unique JK’s Cowboy Blend and grilled to perfection over mesquite coals, or opt for the flavorsome Chicken Piccata, served with a lemon, white wine, and caper butter sauce. For seafood lovers, the Fish of the Day or the Scottish Salmon, basted with lemon dill butter and grilled, should be top considerations.
Craving a steak? JK’s signature steaks stand out with their extensive range of cuts and preparations, from the quintessential Center Cut Filet Mignon to the mouthwatering 26 oz. Cowboy Steak, aged 40 days and mesquite grilled. Complete your meal with an ice-cold beverage, and don’t forget to browse JK’s thoughtful kids’ menu if you’re dining with the little ones.
Owen’s Restaurant – Nags HeadKill Devil Hills, NC
At the end of a delightful day in Nags Head, North Carolina, the promise of a memorable dinner experience awaits at Owen’s Restaurant. Known for its acclaimed combination of coastal delicacies and an atmosphere rich in Outer Banks history, Owen’s offers an extraordinary dining journey that stretches beyond conventional borders.
Kick-start your evening with Owens’ eye-catching selection of appetizers, where exceptional offerings such as the Flash Fried Calamari served with lemon herb vinaigrette and Fra diavlo dipping sauces, or the Coconut Shrimp rolled in fresh coconut present a grand prelude to your meal. The highlight among the starters is the Jumbo Lump Crabmeat Remick, prepared with a unique blend of herbs and spices, then topped with melted mozzarella.
Moving on to the main course, you can select from an array of appealing dishes. The coastal comforts section offers the best of the sea, presenting delectable choices like Ginger Soy Lacquered Yellowfin Tuna, succulent Jumbo Shrimp, flavorful Sea Scallops and Owen’s’ signature Crabmeat Remick and Crabcakes. Alternatively, treat your taste buds to an exquisite combo with the Hatteras Combination of shrimp, sea scallops, and jumbo lump crabmeat broiled together with lemon herb butter.
The prime beef options at Owens, meanwhile, bring the best of land to your table. Opt for the slow-roasted prime rib, grilled ribeye, or the sumptuous Filet Oscar, petite prime filets grilled to perfection, topped with a lump of crabmeat, asparagus, and creamy béarnaise sauce.
Embracing the Culinary Treasures of OBX with Village Realty
There’s so much to experience residing by the radiant coastal shores of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, and no one delivers these experiences better than Village Realty. Our dedicated team, exquisite accommodations, and unparalleled service ensure your vacation stands apart from the rest.
Opting to vacation with Village Realty offers more than just a diversified collection of upscale accommodations with oceanfront to sound-front homes spanning South Nags Head to Corolla. Our professionalism and commitment to your satisfaction goes the extra mile in making your Outer Banks vacation both special and memorable.
Taking a vacation under the care of Village Realty combines authenticity, comfort, and an immersive OBX experience. We value our guests like family and strive to deliver an extraordinary vacation experience that hits the sweet spot between relaxation and adventure.
Whether you’re enjoying our pristine beaches, exploring the rich maritime history, or dazzling your palate with our renowned seafood, Village Realty aims to provide a unique blend of Southern hospitality and local knowledge that roots your vacation in an unmatched OBX experience.
Every day is a new opportunity to create unforgettable memories with Village Realty. Our team understands your dreams, respects your needs, and strives to deliver a personalized vacation that fits your vision. We are committed to enriching your vacation experience, providing a perfect retreat from the every day, and exceeding your expectations.
Explore the magic of OBX with Village Realty, where every vacation day is extraordinary.