Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina offers plenty of activities for the whole family, from pirate tours to paddleboarding. Sand dunes dotted with windblown sea oats lie just steps away from your Wrightsville Beach vacation rental, alluring your family out to play along the shore. When it’s time to turn away from the sparkling crystal-blue water and find something to eat, bring your family to one of these kid-friendly restaurants.

1. Causeway Café

Nestled just at the edge of the Wrightsville Beach Causeway, the Causeway Café serves hearty breakfasts that are perfect for fueling up before a day of fun. Morning menu favorites include pancakes, hash browns, and French toast, and menu surprises such as candy-studded waffles are always a treat. The Causeway Café also serves Southern-inspired lunches in the afternoons. The lines tend to get long since this is a favorite of locals and savvy vacationers, but it’s always worth the wait.

2. Pop’s Diner

Just a short drive to Carolina Beach, Pop’s Diner takes your family on a nostalgic trip back in time to the 1950s. Grab a booth for lunch or dinner and listen to tunes playing on Pop’s jukebox while browsing the menu. Pop’s offers traditional diner fare such as burgers and hot dogs, along with fresh seafood and homemade tater tots. Finish off your meal with your favorite pie or ice cream sundae, or try deep-fried state fair treats.

3. Vito’s Pizzeria

Order up an 18-inch pizza at Vito’s Pizzeria for take-out or delivery to eat at your Wrightsville Beach vacation rental, or choose a table on the restaurant’s patio. Vito’s is located near area surf shops, and music-filled surfing videos provide entertainment for your family while you wait for your pizza. Late-night hours and a variety of toppings on a New York-style thin crust pie satisfy your family’s pizza cravings.

4. Oceanic

The Oceanic Restaurant, perched on the old Crystal Pier, is your best option for a waterfront meal on Wrightsville Beach. Get a reservation for brunch, lunch, or dinner when you want to venture out of your Wrightsville Beach vacation rental for a classy sit-down seafood meal with your family. Get the kids a cherry splash with their popcorn shrimp, cheeseburgers, or chicken fingers, while you dine on stuffed flounder, shrimp and grits, or blackened sea scallops. Afterwards, take a walk along the restored pier to enjoy the view of the Atlantic Ocean.

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5. Trolly Stop

The Trolly Stop is ideal for grabbing a quick hot dog lunch for yourself and your kids. Specialty hot dogs include the all-beef Sabrett, the Carolina smoked pork sausage, and the vegetarian soy protein dog. If you’re looking for a snack to tide your kids over until dinner, share some nachos smothered in cheddar cheese.

6. Pilot House

Sit by waterfront windows and watch Cape Fear River boats go by, or choose an outdoor umbrella-shaded table for lunch or dinner. The Pilot House is best-known for its take on seafood along with Southern specialties such as fried catfish, fried green tomatoes, and a country ham and collard soup. The building itself is a Wilmington-area landmark built in 1870 as a residence.

7. SUNdays Café

SUNdays Café is the perfect spot to stop for an iced coffee for yourself and smoothies for the kids while you cool off from a hot day on Wrightsville Beach. Watch the surf cam to check out the waves while you nibble on a freshly baked muffin in the morning, or grab a coffee drink as a quick pick-me-up to sip back at your vacation rental.

8. The Original Salt Works

This Wilmington classic eatery has a 50-year reputation for serving great breakfast and lunch meals, pleasing townies and tourists alike. The grits are a favorite choice for brunch, but your kids may prefer hot dogs or hamburgers with crinkle fries at lunchtime. It’s a little bit old-fashioned and rustic, but you’ll appreciate the home cooking and fresh flavors.

9. Loops Homemade Donuts

Walk over to Roberts Market from your Wrightsville Beach vacation rental first thing in the morning to get the freshest donuts in town. Kids and adults are tempted by flavors such as maple bacon, Boston cream, and salted caramel. Wash it down with locally roasted coffee or fresh fruit smoothies. Indoor seating at Loops is limited to a couple of rocking chairs, but it’s easy to grab a box of donuts to enjoy at home.

10. Flaming Amy’s Burrito Barn

Flaming Amy’s serves up burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and other Mexican-American eats for lunch and dinner with a four-word mantra: hot, fast, cheap, easy. Your meal comes with bottomless chips and salsa, and cheese lovers crave the addictive hot queso dip. Flaming Amy’s also offers salads and vegan options. If you want quick meals to enjoy back at your Wrightsville Beach vacation rental, click on the Big Obvious Button on Flaming Amy’s website to order carry-out online.

11. Kohl’s Frozen Custard and Jumbo Burgers

Kohl’s has three flavors of frozen custard at a time – vanilla, chocolate, and the flavor of the day – but that’s plenty of variety at this Wrightsville Beach favorite. Choose from a long list of toppings to customize your frozen custard, or go with a classic banana split or turtle sundae. For a casual family sit-down meal order grilled hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken fingers, or corn dogs to go along with your favorite milkshake and funnel fries.

12. Beach Bagels

Beach Bagels kettle-boils and then bakes its bagels – making them dense and chewy, perfect for getting ready for a day of fun on the beach. Nosh on a bagel sandwich with toppings ranging from jalapeños to Nutella for breakfast or lunch. Alternatively, stock your Wrightsville Beach vacation rental with a Beach Bag of Bagels and a half-pound of cream cheese, pimento cheese, butter, or hummus. Serve bagels for breakfast at home, getting an early start on your day.

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