Situated on a barrier island on the southeastern coast of North Carolina, Topsail Beach has the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Banks Channel along the other. Most Topsail Beach vacation rentals offer amazing views and easy access to the beach. Fill your days playing on the shore, biking around the island, and splashing in the surf. While your rental condo or house may include a fully equipped kitchen, you won’t want to spend your evenings cooking over a hot stove. Instead, try one of these top 12 kid-friendly Topsail Beach restaurants for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

1. Belle of Topsail

At the Belle of Topsail, your family enjoys a buffet-style meal and a cruise along the Intercoastal Waterway. Each evening, this ship sets sail from its docking close to the swing bridge in Surf City. After enjoying the chicken, burgers, hot dogs, and variety of side items on the buffet, step outside to enjoy the fresh air and admire the stunning scenery as you float past your vacation rental.

2. Surf City Barbeque

As soon as you walk through the door, your mouth begins to water from the smell of ribs and pork barbecue slow-cooked overnight. Take a seat and let the friendly staff help you arrange booster seats and high chairs. The eateries offer the traditional vinegar-based Carolina sauce along with other regional sauces. Other menu favorites include the applewood smoked BBQ chicken that melts in your mouth.

3. Topsail Steamer

Known for its low-country boil, the Topsail Steamer features steak, pork, and the freshest seafood available. When you arrive, pick the items you want in your “bucket,” and the chef boils the meat and veggies with a variety of spices for a rich and nuanced meal. Make sure to order a plate of the jalapeno cornbread or the plain cornbread if you have picky eaters. If your kids are cranky, order a “bucket” to go and boil it back at your vacation rental.

4. Crabby Mike’s

Kids feel right at home with the bright blue walls and beach theme at Crabby Mike’s. Feel welcomed in flip-flops and beachwear with its casual atmosphere. For lunch, try one of the homemade soups or chowders. For your little ones, the menu offers burgers and fries, just the right size for little hands.

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5. Daddy Mac’s Beach Grille

Make sure to ask for a table on the oceanfront deck at Daddy Mac’s Beach Grille. While the meal cooks, kids can sit in the rocking chairs and watch the waves roll in while you enjoy the Low Country Crab Dip. The menu includes favorites, such as Hibachi Shrimp Skewers, crab cakes, sandwiches, and burgers. The children’s menu satisfies your fussy eaters. Stop by on Sunday and find a brunch to give you all the energy you need for a day on the beach.

6. Island Delights

Step back in time with a visit to Island Delights. The diner’s vibe feels like the 1950s just made a comeback. Chow down on burgers, fries, and a coke float. The fries smothered in chili and cheese bring a smile to everyone’s face. Not in the mood for a burger? Then check out the fried chicken sandwich or an old-fashioned BLT.

7. Long Island Pizza

Make your kids grin ear-to-ear with their favorite cheese pizza for dinner at Long Island Pizza. This New York style pizza offers heaps of cheese on a thin crust. Other hot menu items include the calzones and baked pasta. The dessert menu changes depending on the cook’s mood, but the tiramisu is to die for. You can always order it for delivery to your vacation rental after a long day.

8. Mainsail Restaurant

Seafood is the star of the menu at the Mainsail Restaurant. Suck oysters out of the shell and savor the Maryland crab cakes. The soft tones and low-key feel make this restaurant a family favorite. For your steak lovers, there are several cuts to choose among, and the kid’s menu fulfills your kid’s picky dinner wish list.

9. Max’s Pizza

Open year-round, Max’s Pizza is a local landmark and conveniently located just over the swinging bridge. Stop by for a pizza to feed the whole family or opt for burgers, wings, and sandwiches. Kids love digging into a bowl of the spaghetti and sauce. Place an order to go and enjoy a picnic on the beach or take one of the booths and enjoy the friendly service.

10. New York Corner Deli

With authentic meats and cheeses from New York City, the New York Corner Deli is a great place to grab a quick sandwich, chips, and pickle for lunch on your way to the beach or out on the sound for an afternoon of kayaking. They bake the rye bread and cheesecake on the property. Order a party-size hoagie or deli platter to take back to the vacation rental if you’re traveling with a large group.

11. Sears Landing Grill and Boat Dock

If you’re out boating on the sound when hunger strikes, your kids love the idea of sailing up to the Sears Landing Grill and Boat Dock. Feast on the fresh seafood, including crab cakes, lobster, and shrimp. A menu favorite is the tender pork loin with apples and honey. Choose an outside table, and the kids can watch the boats making their way up and down the waterway.

12. The Beach Shop and Grill

Since 1953, The Beach Shop and Grill has welcomed visitors with an inviting decor and fresh, locally sourced seafood, meats, and produce. This eatery offers a simple breakfast menu with pancakes for the kiddies and eggs Benedict for the more sophisticated eater. For lunch and dinner, dig into the shrimp hamburger or buttermilk chicken sandwich, and all are served with southern slaw. For kids, there are plain burgers and hot dogs.

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