The North Carolina Coast Restaurants

Raw bars serve oysters and clams on the half shell. Some seafood houses and many restaurants sell each day's local catch: tuna, wahoo, mahimahi, mackerel, sand dabs, scallops, shrimp, or blue crabs. For years, the Coast has been a magnet for highly trained chefs, and emerging talents is constantly raising the bar with creative preparations and diversified menu options. Seafood dishes—broiled,

fried, grilled, or steamed—are listed alongside globally inspired entrées fusing Asian, European, and Latin flavors with traditional Southern ingredients such as black-eyed peas.

Expect up to hour-long waits, sometimes longer, at many restaurants during summer and festival periods. Many places don't accept reservations. Restaurant hours are frequently reduced in winter, and some restaurants in remote beach communities close for a month or more. Only the most upscale, priciest restaurants call for a tie; usually a collared shirt will do. Casual dress (shorts and polo shirts) is acceptable in most restaurants.

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