With summer winding down, one thing is for sure, if you haven’t had some fresh, delicious NC seafood yet – what are you waiting for? While you can always dine dockside or reel your dinner right in, there’s plenty of amazing places throughout the state to get that seaside experience. Like these ten!
1. The SaltBox Cafe, Kill Devil Hills
This little gem of the OBX sometimes goes unnoticed, but it serves some of the best seafood in an approachable yet elegant style. Tuna, mahi, crab....whatever your pick, make a reservation and venture off the beaten path to one of the best seafood restaurants in North Carolina.
2. Ceviche's, Wilmington
Ceviche's takes fresh seafood and crafts it into amazing Panamanian-styled dishes. It might be home to not just the BEST ceviche in Wilmington, but North Carolina. If you're indecisive (like me) and want to sample the different types of Ceviche, get the quarto sampler. But, you really can't beat the traditional or coconut based. Aside from ceviche, the cubano is phenomenal and even just the empanadas. Not to mention stellar service to make this meal unforgettable.
3. Bull And Beggar, Asheville
Located inside the converted Wedge Studios Building in the River Arts District, Bull and Beggar is European cuisine meets Appalachian culinary. The high-end dishes and unique options (like a full English breakfast) are quickly making Bull and Beggar one of the best in North Carolina. But, you must go for the raw bar happy hour, 7 days a week, from 5-6PM. Try fresh and delicious oysters, clams, and peel and eat shrimp. If you're looking for a more formal dining experience, go for dinner and try dishes like the lobster roll or grilled octopus and roasted beets.
4. Buxton Munch Company, Buxton
And for a completely different type of experience - the Buxton Munch Company is casual and cool, but still dishes out some of the best and most unique seafood on the coast. It's a great place for the taco or fish sandwich lover. The platter style lets you craft your very own perfect taco, just the way you like it.
5. The Colington Café, Kill Devil Hills
Nestled beneath hundred-year-old oak trees, The Colington Café has long been a staple of the North Carolina coast. The dishes are grounded in simple yet elegant American fare, and the seafood is always fresh. It's a great place for a special occasion or a fancy night out while on vacation. Come prepared to wait, as the restaurant stays quite busy throughout the summer months. Try the crab bisque or coconut shrimp to start, and move on to hearty entree options like yellow fin tuna or pan seared red snapper.
6. Cabo Fish Taco, Charlotte
Cabo Fish Taco is a Charlotte staple and stays consistently busy. Come for the fish tacos (my favorite are the shrimp) but be sure to try the full array Cabo Fish Taco has to offer. From burritos to salmon on salad - everything is good here, but it's hard to beat the tacos. Located in the lively NoDA neighborhood of Charlotte, stroll into art studios and even a bar or two incase you have to wait.
7. King's Crab Shack, Winston-Salem
King's Crab Shack operates more as a 'dive' than a fancy place to dine out - but if you find yourself with a hankering for seafood in the Piedmont, this low-key environment is perfect for getting that seaside fix. You can order buckets of steamed crab legs, raw oysters, a variety of seafood dishes and of course...get a combo bucket to try a bit of everything. While the outside might seem underwhelming, King's Crab Shack has made several other 'Best Of' lists when it comes to seafood.
8. Owens' Restaurant, Nags Head
Owens' has long been an OBX staple and where plenty of vacationers and locals alike flock for a simply amazing meal. You can't beat the fresh-caught options or even add a little surf n turf by pairing your lobster with steak. This is the perfect place for a nice, elegant, yet comfortable meal on your next vacation.
9. Amos Mosquitos, Atlantic Beach
If you're looking for a relaxed beachy vibe, right on the water, you can't beat the classic coolness of Amos Mosquitos. It's a Crystal Coast classic and for good reason. Long lines form outside of the door in the peak of summer, and you'll even encounter a wait during the winter. With everything made from scratch, in-house, (besides the ketchup) it's an unforgettable meal. If you're looking for a different type of option - try the crab cakes over pasta with sundried tomatoes, spinach, and a cajun aioli. Don't forget to order a mojito to wash it all down. Yum!
10. Jaime’s Creole Brasserie, Brevard
When one thinks seafood - they normally don't think of a little place nestled in the mountains of North Carolina. Jaime’s Creole Brasserie is Cajun Food at its finest - with plenty of seafood dishes that easily compete with any place on the coast. From the crawfish mac n' cheese to the classic shrimp n' grits, this restaurant is one of the best in terms of grabbing some surf while on the (very high elevation) turf.
Well, now I officially have a crazy hankering for seafood (and maybe a beach trip to go along with that). From casual, pop in pop out dining, to elegant sit down dinners, it’s safe to say North Carolina has not just seafood, but this whole ‘food scene’ mastered!
If you’re looking to get not just seafood, but seafood RIGHT beside the beach – check out these
amazing beachside restaurants in North Carolina.