The variety of fare served in North Carolina’s Outer Banks is a feast for the senses, including Southwestern, cross-cultural cuisine, steakhouses, buffets, seafood, and grills and pubs. The area is known for serving up some of the freshest seafood in the state, and also featuring local ingredients in dishes such as farm-raised oysters, unrefined honey, and sea salt from the Atlantic Ocean. If you’re looking to expand your horizons from our Outer Banks vacation rental, here are 10 of the best places to get dinner in the Outer Banks.
1. Colington Cafe
This upscale dinner-only restaurant is located inside a beautiful Victorian house with a garden and many trees. Known for serving the freshest seafood and steaks, Colington Café also has a gluten-free menu. Dishes to try include the warm Brie cheese served with French bread, chutney and fresh fruit; She Crab Bisque, Hot Crab Dip and more.
2. Blue Moon Beach Grill
This nautical-themed place serves seafood and Southern fare, with recommended dishes such as the pork tenderloin, shrimp and grits, and flame kissed Filet Mignon. The restaurant also offers daily specials and their prices are considered quite affordable, accompanied by super friendly staff.
3. Owens’ Restaurant
This eatery dates all the way back to 1946 and serves up fresh seafood, steaks and pastas in a white tablecloth setting. Specialties include the Margarita Scallops, North Atlantic Salmon and the Carolina Jambalaya.
4. Café Pamlico
For exceptional cuisine, head to this local favorite, which is open year-round and includes a seasonal dinner menu. Dishes you must try include the Skillet Seared Ribeye, Lamb Rack, and the House-Made Tagliatelle Bolognese.
5. The Blue Point
This restaurant serves locally sourced, high-end Southern fare and seafood, along with the occasional live music performance. Recommended dishes include the Crispy Cornmeal Fried Wild Virginia Catfish, Seared Outer Banks Sea Scallops, and the Grilled Angus Beef Tenderloin.
6. JK’s Restaurant
With a reputation for serving some of the area’s best ribs and steak, this popular restaurant’s beef comes exclusively from the Midwest, while their seafood is fresh off the docks and their chicken is raise free-range. Try their Tobacco Fried Shrimp, along with their Baby Back Ribs and Baked Oysters Rockefeller.
7. Basnight’s Lone Cedar Cafe
Enjoy panoramic views of Roanoke Sound while indulging in locally caught seafood at this cute, seaside hotspot. Special items on the men include the Prosciutto Wrapped Scallops, Fresh Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes, as well as the Sautéed Shrimp and Stone Ground Cheese Grits.
8. AQUA Restaurant
This unique restaurant and spa concept combines the best of both worlds, offering guests the option of getting a massage followed by a gourmet meal with sunset views. Be sure to order their Sweet Corn and Crab Soup, along with the Shrimp and Grits, and the Italian Meatballs.
9. Slice Pizzeria
If you’re craving pizza, this is the place to go. They serve both thin-crust and deep-dish specialty pizzas, ranging from Hawaiian and Meat Lovers to Margherita and Stuffed Meat. Their menu also includes pastas and other casual Italian fare.
10. Flying Melon
Experience some of the best Creole and Southern dishes at this charming restaurant, which features locally sourced seafood. Dishes to try include their Seafood Gumbo, Pan Seared Ahi Tuna Nicoise, and their Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes.
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