Spots For Seafood On The North Carolina Coast
Meandering along our shoreline, its easy to eat your way through tasty coastal cuisine. Just pass the slaw and grab a glass of cold sweet tea.
Thanks to the bountiful sea and many bays and rivers, along with farm-to-table vegetables and more, many restaurants along the North Carolina coast feature food thats true to its environs from steaming-hot hush puppies to just-steamed blue crabs to fresh fish caught that morning.
Here are some tasty picks starting on the Outer Banks and heading down the coast to Calabash.
Best Seafood Restaurants In Charlotte Nc
Charlotte, North Carolina
If youre going to be visiting the Queen City in North Carolina, which is what the city of Charlotte is known as, you are almost guaranteed to thoroughly enjoy your trip.
With so much to see and do, including visiting the Carolinas Panthers stadium, your trip will be full of fun and exploration.
While youre in the area, if youre a seafood lover, you will absolutely love these 13 seafood restaurants in Charlotte, NC.
Howards Pub & Raw Bar Restaurant
The Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry takes visitors to Ocracoke Island. Discover Howards Pub & Raw Bar Restaurant, which features a rooftop deck with rocking chairs and wide views of the island. In addition to the large menu of fresh local seafood, enjoy made-to-order burgers and steaks, a drink menu with nearly 200 beers and live music. The restaurant is open from mid-March to late fall.
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Basnight’s Lone Cedar Cafe
Are you someone who enjoys dining at establishments who can tell you exactly where the vegetables and meat they serve are from? Well, Basnight’s owners pride themselves on offering vegetables grown in North Carolina to liven up their entrees.
The restaurant’s chefs use only organic and fresh beef and poultry, and of course, the seafood is fresh and caught locally by the network of fishermen the restaurant works with. They are located right along the Roanoke Sound, with sunsets nightly and plenty of seating in the dining room with a view.
7623 S Virginia Dare TrailNags Head, NC 27959
Dinner At Dinkys One Of The Best Seafood Restaurants In The Outer Banks
The seafood here was great. The tuna bites special did not disappoint weve never had anything like it and wed schedule a trip to the Outer Banks solely around when Dinkys has this special again.
Dan had a parmesan-crusted piece of Grouper based on the recommendation of the owners of Hatteras Saltworks, who we saw earlier that day and raved about the dish. He loved it!
I had an incredible piece of Yellow Fin Tuna, a special of the evening, with a Mediterranean twist. It was so big I, unfortunately, couldnt finish it.
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The Best Seafood Restaurants In The Outer Banks
We are like moths to flames when it comes to having seafood near the seashore. It only made sense to try to find the best seafood restaurants in the Outer Banks when we visited.
There are so many restaurants in the Outer Banks we cant possibly eat at them all. No one can. But these are the recommendations for the best seafood from the places we visited on our trip.
We also want to note that we found it more commonplace for menus to have fried seafood, which we didnt want 99.5% of the time. If you like to err on the healthier side of seafood options, youll be pleased to know you wont find us writing about fried dishes for the seafood restaurants below, with the exception of one towards the end.
We are sharing where we went, what we ordered and what we thought of these seafood restaurants, including stops in Nags Head, Manteo and Wanchese , Buxton and Hatteras.
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post, which means we may earn a small commission if you click the link and proceed with a purchase, at no cost to you. We thank Dare County for hosting us. We truly only recommend restaurants, hotels, products and services we personally enjoyed and have used.
Top Best Seafood Restaurants In North Carolina
“Friendly staff, a casual, welcoming vibe, big portions, affordable prices, and fabulously fresh seafood- if any or all of this takes your fancy, head to Seafood Destiny. If youre in a hurry, you can grab and go with the very comprehensive take out menu.”
“Libby Hill has been around for over 50 years, so if you are a native of Guilford County, chances are you know a little something about them. You know that they cook up some of the best seafood in the area, and you know that every Libby Hill Restaurant is a family-friendly kind of place.”
“Seafood Restaurant Libby Hill is located 1.9 miles from the middle of Madison. Customers have good opinions about Libby Hill. You can call them at 427-2222.”
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Riverview Caf Sneads Ferry Nc
Fantastic seafood that is both local and fresh and large portions, Riverview Café offers many options seafood fanatics will enjoy. Appetizers, steamed shrimp, clams, oysters, and crab legs served with hushpuppies. Or fried seafoodshrimp, flounder, tilapia, catfish, oysters and scalloped or broiled shrimp, flounder, or scallops. Grilled tilapia, fantail shrimp or mahi-mahi for customers who prefer grilled options. Regardless of what you choose to eat, the staff serving your meal to you is friendly and aims to please. Relax with a drink and delicious seafood. If possible, get a table by the window to enjoy a view with your meal!
Sanitary Fish Market & Restaurant
Sprawling Sanitary Fish Market & Restaurant has been a Morehead City landmark since 1938 for good reason. The hush puppies are legendary, as are the varied seafood-oriented baskets and other fresh seafood constantly heading out of the kitchen. Still family-owned and -operated, the Sanitary also features a fresh seafood market next to the restaurant.
Those arriving in Southport by land or sea head straight to Provision Company. This waterfront favorite usually has a line before ordering at the counter and grabbing self-service drinks while awaiting freshly prepared fare. Provision Co. favorites include seafood chowder, steamed shrimp, crab cakes and a great grouper salad sandwich.
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The 9 Best Seafood Restaurants In North Carolina
Fried, boiled, broiledhowever you like it, North Carolinas best seafood restaurants will execute it masterfully. Being a coastal state means we take our seafood very seriously. Youll find all of your favorites and more at these 9 fresh and delicious seafood restaurants in North Carolina.
Raw Bar Selection Of Oysters
We loved that visiting during Octobers shoulder season meant they had an oyster Happy Hour for $1 oysters.
You choose one condiment option from their menu per six oysters. We chose classics, a mignonette and cocktail sauce. Call us purists.
We tried to branch out by tasting a lemon horseradish sauce. But it tasted too much like we were putting salad dressing on the mollusks so we reverted back to our favorite firsts.
We also indulged in two Oyster Shooters. They are alcoholic shots with an oyster in the bottom of each one, vodka, and cocktail sauce if youve never tried them. The restaurant or bar you order it from usually puts their own spin on it, whether adding spices, like sea salt or hot sauce, or in the case of Blue Water Grill a refreshing pureed cucumber mixture.
Were pretty nostalgic about oyster shooters and order them whenever we see them on a menu. We had them on our second date in Raleigh back in 2015, at 42nd Street Oyster Bar, and it was Dans first time tasting them. He doesnt love them like I do but hes always game to have one.
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Cape Fear Seafood Company Wilmington Nc
Cape Fear Seafood Company of 5226 S College Road offers a large selection of fresh dishes, and great portion sizesincluding drinks and a gluten free menu! Choose from soups and salads, fried seafood, tacos and sandwiches, and many starters including crab dip or a hushpuppy basket. Wonderful service by attentive wait staff and the great seafood options served at Cape Fear Seafood Company, you wont be disappointed with your visit.
Wanchese Landing Grill & Marina On Roanoke Island
We loved this adorable restaurant overlooking Wanchese marina. Candidly, its last on our list only because we didnt end up getting seafood here. We only had time for breakfast one morning.
Their reviews regarding their fish dishes, however (which weve thoroughly read because I swear reading restaurant reviews is a favorite pastime of mine, are stellar.
They offer shrimp, clams, snow crab legs, and oysters on their steam bar menu. Fresh catch is offered when in season that is posted on their daily menu board inside the grill.
Theyre a quick-serve/casual establishment where you order and pay at the counter in one area, then find a seat in their dining area. Your food is then delivered to your table.
We visited on a gloomy day in the Outer Banks but loved sitting inside the colorful dining area, watching the rainfall on the marina.
But if you visit and theres warmer, sunnier weather they have an outside area to dine at as well. Though the view of the marina isnt as good because its on their front lawn, on the opposite side of the water .
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Front Street Grill At Stillwater
Sporting coastal food with southern soul in a renovated Topsail marine boathouse, Front Street Grill at Stillwater is perfect for a casual night out. Grab a Painkiller from the Rhum Bar dark rum, orange juice, pineapple, cream of coconut and fresh nutmeg and grab a seat on the soft cushions on the lower deck while you watch the boats come in from the lookout.
South Carolina’s 10 Best Seafood Spots
Imagine overlooking a marina filled with fishing boats as you taste some of the freshest seafood in South Carolina. This dream is possible in the Palmetto State. Shrimp, oysters, and crabs are only a few of the Southern staples you’ll find when visiting these establishments.Standing the test of time and weathering a few storms, these eateries know best how to serve fresh foods and unique specials so tourists and locals will keep coming back. She-Crab soup, Frogmore stew, and brandy-infused gator sauce may sound wild, but they are just local favorites here. More catches-of-the-day from the ocean and local beers from South Carolina breweries help top this Lowcountry experience. From restaurants that serve seafood directly out of buckets to waterside decks with unobstructed sunset views, there is always a nautical experience awaiting you when visiting these 10 best seafood restaurants.
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Avenue Waterfront Grill In Manteo
We arrived at Roanoke Island just in time for lunch. Avenue Waterfront Grille had a bit of a wait so we put our names down on the waitlist. Its in the Manteos downtown area so we walked around the area while we waited for a table.
We had lunch with a marina view. We could see the Elizabeth II 16th century vessel past the trees.
The photo of the boat, below, is from a different angle in Manteo. But we had a great view of it from our outside table at Avenue.
We ordered a steamed shrimp appetizer to start because we were still dreaming of the shrimp we had at Pops the day before. The local NC steamed shrimp were delicious.
I ordered tacos with the grilled fish of the day. I loved that they had a bean salad option for a side a healthy option! Dan ordered a fresh fish sandwich with French fries.
One of the reasons this makes our list of the best seafood restaurants in the Outer Banks is because of our waitress. The hostess was incredibly overwhelmed and all over the place. We forgave her for it. But what she lacked in organization and focus the waitress made up for in every way.
Not only was she phenomenal but she served with a smile every time she came outside to check on us. Which had to have been a bitter pill to swallow because she was wearing short sleeves and a small skirt in incredibly cold temperatures.
Outer Banks Boil Company Corolla Nc
Avoid long waits and pricey seafood at the Outer Banks Boil Company. This is an amazing experience with fresh seafood and impressive service and quality. Including pescatarian and vegan options, there are menu items for everyone. Ranked No. 1 in Corolla on TripAdvisor, Outer Banks Boil Company is a seafood restaurant worth your time.
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Fish Bites Seafood Restaurant Wilmington Nc
A gem to Wilmington, the Fish Bites Seafood Restaurant, receive attentive, fast, and friendly service. Amazing seafood and dessert options, you will devour food that hits the spot. Start with the oyster bombs, calamari, cheese sticks, shrimp cocktail, tuna miso, clams or peel and eat shrimp. Then choose from lunch and dinner options such as the fresh catch plate or lobster and shrimp roll.
Bluffton Family Seafood House
Larry and Tina Toomer figured they wouldn’t have to go far to get fresh fish and oystersthe couple also runs the Bluffton Oyster Companyso they opened this full-service restaurant in 2010. The dishes are unpretentious, but because the crabs, mussels, clams, and shrimp come mainly from the nearby May River. They need little in the way of endorsement.
Order: Share a bucket of steamed oysters , then dive into a basket of fried shrimp with a side of stewed tomatoes and rice .
27 Dr. Mellichamp Drive, Bluffton, SC 29910, blufftonoyster.com
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Provision Company Southport Nc
A casual and relaxed environment, order your food and grab a drink from the cooler while you wait for your order to be served. Enjoy your meal with a view and a breeze in the outdoor, opening dining. The wait is short and Provision Company is a family friendly spot. The staff are personable and friendly to deliver top notch service. Order from the array of options such as the shrimp, clams, conch fritters, salad with shrimp, salad with grilled yellowfin, tuna and more.
Our Customers Love Our Seafood
Pamlico Packing Co. has been a solid partner for over 7 years. They supply us with high quality NC Seafood throughout the seasons. Whether it’s shrimp, oysters or crabmeat we can depend on them for quality, traceability and service.
Lin Peterson/Locals Seafood
The North Carolina seafood that weve gotten from Pamlico Packing for the past 13 years is always of the highest quality. Our representatives always find us exactly what we are looking for to make our restaurant customers delighted with their meal at a reasonable price. From calling in our orders, searching for the perfect product, the efficient delivery of our items by a dependable driver. We highly recommend Pamlico Packing for all your seafood needs.
Trey Bohn, President, Simply Fresh Inc.
You really cant beat Pamlico Packing Co., Inc. for high quality seafood and top shelf service. Im partial to their IQF P& D shrimp but my wife and daughters typically holler for their oysters and clams. Whether youre getting a few for dinner or stocking your freezer for later, you cant go wrong with Pamlico Packing Co.
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Served Hot And Fresh In Raleigh Since 1991
Welcome to NC Seafood Restaurant! We are a North Carolina seafood restaurant that specializes in Calabash style seafood. And for seafood lovers, there really is nothing quite like calabash style seafood. This popular cooking style originates from the coastal regions of North and South Carolina, where seafood is plentiful.
Calabash style seafood is typically fried, giving it a crispy outer coating and a succulent inner flesh. The key to this cooking method is to use a light batter, which helps to seal in the natural flavors of the seafood. So much flavor you can almost taste it now. This method of cooking is also relatively quick and easy, which is why we take pride is serving you freshly made seafood platters every single time!
Every platter comes with with hushpuppys, cole slaw, homefries, and then your choice of fried:
Our fast service and powerful flavor makes us a great option for busy weeknight dinners or quick step out for lunch. So whether youre looking for a delicious seafood meal or simply wanting to try something new, our calabash style seafood is definitely worth checking out.
Our seafood really is cooked fresh and always delicious, and our Calabash style seafood has been voted some of the best around. NC Seafood is located at the North Carolina Farmers Market in Raleigh and has been specializing in serving the highest quality fried North Carolina Calabash style seafood in a casual setting for over 30 years.
Blue Moon Beach Grill
Yes, this restaurant is located in a shopping complex, but don’t let that deter you from visiting. Blue Moon Beach Grill is where the locals eat, especially during the offseason.
Seafood and southern comfort food are served in a welcoming space with local and original artwork lining the walls. Local brews and very reasonable prices compared to many other area restaurants.
4104 S Virginia Dare TrailNags Head, NC 27959
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