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14 Mar 2024
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Local Recommendations

There is no shortage of amazing places to eat on the Outer Banks. From unique local haunts to visitor favorites, there's a little bit of something for everyone if you're willing to look and try something new! Kitty Hawk is the first town you enter if you're coming from the north over the Wright Memorial Bridge and you're sure to find a wide variety of tasteful delights and delicious locales that will cater to every palate. Whether you're craving savory seafood delights, savory Southern classics, or innovative fusion fare, Kitty Hawk promises to delight your taste buds and leave you craving for more. So, prepare to embark on a culinary adventure as we unveil the hidden gems and must-try eateries that make Kitty Hawk a true epicurean paradise.

Art's Place

Art's Place in Kitty Hawk is a beloved institution that captures the essence of Outer Banks dining with its cozy atmosphere and hearty menu offerings. Situated just a stone's throw from the beach, Art's Place welcomes visitors with its laid-back vibe and friendly service. With its no-frills charm and welcoming ambiance, Art's Place is truly a local's favorite hangout. With amazing burgers and regular live music, let this spot become your newest haunt during your Outer Banks stay. Enjoy a drink out the deck with the smell of salt coming off the ocean and let your worries wash away.

Ocean Boulevard Bistro & Martini Bar

Ocean Boulevard Bistro & Martini Bar offers a sophisticated dining experience infused with coastal flair and culinary creativity. The menu at Ocean Boulevard Bistro features a tantalizing selection of upscale dishes crafted from the freshest local ingredients, showcasing a fusion of flavors from land and sea. From expertly prepared seafood specialties like seared scallops and lobster risotto to mouthwatering steaks, gourmet burgers, and innovative small plates, each dish at Ocean Boulevard Bistro is a masterpiece of flavor and presentation.This is a great spot for date night, a special occasion, or simply a formal dining experience to elevate your vacation.

High Cotton NC BBQ

High Cotton BBQ invites guests to experience the rich flavors of authentic pit-smoked barbecue in a welcoming atmosphere. The menu at High Cotton BBQ features a tantalizing array of slow-cooked meats, including tender pulled pork, succulent ribs, and juicy brisket, all lovingly smoked to perfection using traditional methods and flavorful wood chips. Accompanied by classic Southern sides like macaroni and cheese, collard greens, and cornbread, each dish at High Cotton BBQ is a savory delight that pays homage to the region's rich culinary heritage. With its friendly service, cozy ambiance, and mouthwatering menu, High Cotton BBQ is perfect for caterings, family meals, or a quick treat on the go.

Hurricane Mo's

Situated just steps away from the beach, Hurricane Mo's welcomes guests with its laid-back beach vibe and stunning ocean views. The menu at Hurricane Mo's is a tantalizing mix of coastal classics and creative twists, featuring fresh seafood dishes like crab cakes, shrimp and grits, and seafood pasta alongside hearty sandwiches, burgers, and salads. Specializing in delicious food featuring FRESH, LOCAL, ingredients, and masterful SCRATCH preparation by our kitchen! Their long term relationship with Ethridge Seafood out of Wanchese guarantees you’ll be served some of the freshest seafood on the beach! And don't miss their award winning “best happy hour on the beach”, featuring chicken wings, shrimp and tacos is offered daily 3-5 (and 3-6 in the off-season)!

Barefoot Bernie's Bar & Grill

Looking for casual dining with delicious island cuisine and allergy-friendly options? Barefoot Bernie's is the place for you. From mouthwatering seafood dishes like coconut shrimp and crab cakes to sizzling steaks, flavorful tacos, and creative sushi rolls, the menu at Barefoot Bernie's showcases a diverse range of culinary delights sure to please any palate. The diverse menu blends together cuisines as varied as Asian and Caribbean, Mediterranean and down-home American with ease, using fresh ingredients with a unique touch. The amount of options and variation ensures every member of your family will leave satisfied. If you're looking for a place for the whole family or a new regular spot for drinks and music after a day exploring the Outer Banks, Barefoot Bernie's has just what you need to unwind and figure out your vacation on island time. 

Rundown Cafe

This beloved culinary gem that captures the essence of Outer Banks dining with its vibrant atmosphere and diverse menu offerings. Situated just steps away from the beach, Rundown Cafe invites diners to experience a unique blend of Caribbean-inspired flavors and coastal cuisine inspired by travels to the Caribbean. From fresh seafood specialties like blackened mahi-mahi tacos and shrimp and grits to hearty burgers, flavorful salads, and mouthwatering sandwiches, the menu at Rundown Cafe offers something for every palate. Enjoy a signature Bloody Mary from the top deck at you bask in the brilliant breezes coming off the Atlantic in the summer! For over 30 years, Rundown Cafe has been offering great food at a reasonable price in a family-friendly atmosphere. While you're there, be sure to check out their premium collection of swag and art - and bring a piece of the Outer Banks home with you!

TriO Restaurant & Market

TRiO Restaurant and Market in Kitty Hawk is a culinary haven that seamlessly blends gourmet dining with a unique market experience, making it a must-visit destination for food enthusiasts. TRiO offers an inviting ambiance where guests can indulge in a diverse menu of globally inspired cuisine crafted from the finest local ingredients. From inventive small plates to sumptuous entrees and artisanal cheeses, every dish at TRiO is a masterpiece of flavor and presentation. What sets TRiO apart is its innovative concept, which combines a restaurant, wine bar, and gourmet market under one roof, allowing diners to not only savor exquisite meals but also explore an extensive selection of wines, craft beers, and specialty foods. Seaside Vacations guests are also eligible to receive a free onion dip appetizer at TRiO with a $15.00 minimum restaurant purchase! To redeem this offer, guests must present the CLUB SEASIDE coupon with their purchase. One (1) coupon per home.

Black Pelican Oceanfront Restaurant

No trip to the Outer Banks is complete without a stop by this Kitty Hawk staple. This classic oceanfront restauarant is located directly across from the beach at Mile Post 4 and resides in a historic Lifesaving Station that was built in 1874. Serving the Outer Banks with love and tasteful skill, the Black Pelican opened its doors in 1993 and specializes in elegant cuisine and fresh, local seafood. From the catch of the day, to steaks, vegetarian samplings, sandwiches, and their specialty wood oven pizzas, there's something for everyone at the Black Pelican. Be sure to ask for their daily specials, which are carefully curated by their talented chefs to inspire and capture the unique flavors of the beach.

Bad Bean Baja Grill

Bad Bean Baja Grill stands out as a vibrant culinary destination, offering a tantalizing fusion of Baja-inspired flavors and coastal charm. Located in the heart of Kitty Hawk, this lively eatery beckons diners with its colorful decor and laid-back atmosphere, setting the stage for an unforgettable dining experience. Specializing in fresh and flavorful Mexican-inspired cuisine, Bad Bean Baja Grill  tantalizes taste buds with its mouthwatering selection of tacos, burritos, and specialty dishes. Using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, each dish bursts with vibrant flavors and showcases the restaurant's commitment to quality and fusion. Whether you're craving traditional favorites or daring to try something new, Bad Bean Baja Grill invites guests to embark on a culinary adventure that celebrates the vibrant flavors of Baja cuisine. You've got to try their Garlic Cilantro Fries and a yummy Roasted NC Pork Belly Taco unlike anything you'll find elsewhere. Be sure to grab a margarita while you're there and it's guaranteed to be a good time!

Jimmy's Seafood Buffet

Jimmy's Seafood Buffet is a culinary haven for seafood lovers, an Outer Banks classic offering an unparalleled all you can eat seafood experience. Situated in the heart of Kitty Hawk, this beloved establishment beckons diners with its inviting ambiance and endless array of freshly prepared seafood delights. From succulent crab legs and plump shrimp to perfectly grilled fish and flavorful clam chowder, Jimmy's Seafood Buffet promises a feast fit for seafood aficionados of all ages. What truly sets Jimmy's apart is its commitment to quality and variety, ensuring that every guest can indulge in their favorite coastal classics while discovering new flavors to savor. With friendly service and a welcoming atmosphere, dining at Jimmy's Seafood Buffet is not just a meal but a memorable experience that will have you returning again and again to savor the flavors of the sea. Be sure to get here early - the line can get pretty long but it's definitely worth the wait.

Spanky's Grille

Spanky's Grille is a beloved culinary gem that captures the essence of Outer Banks dining with its laid-back atmosphere and tantalizing menu offerings. Boasting a prime location just steps away from the ocean, Spanky's invites diners to savor the flavors of coastal cuisine in a cozy and welcoming setting. From their signature seafood dishes to hearty burgers and sandwiches, every item on the menu is crafted with care and showcases the freshest local ingredients. What sets Spanky's apart is not only its mouthwatering food but also its commitment to providing exceptional service and a memorable dining experience. They have three main goals: (1) All food is cooked to order (2) all food is served fast (3) all food will be affordable. Whether you're a local looking for your new favorite spot or a visitor eager to indulge in authentic Outer Banks flavors, Spanky's Grille is a must-visit destination that promises to satisfy your cravings and leave you planning your next visit. Be sure to check out their Habanero Voodoo Burger or their 2 LB. Mad Viking Burger while you're here!


Did we miss your favorite? Let us know! And be sure to check out Club Seaside for exclusive discounts at TRiO, Buffalo City Distillery, and more!


Book your stay today in one one of our cozy vacation rentals and exploring all the best and brightest that the Outer Banks has to offer. Give our wonderful Guest Services Team a call today at (866) 884-0267 or take a look at our available rentals to get started planning your next historic adventure to the Outer Banks.

And don't forget about our layaway plan, which makes booking your dream vacation easier than ever. So don't wait. We're booking Outer Banks vacation rentals year round and we're excited to help you create memories to last a lifetime. We're here to help make your OBX vacation fun, exciting, and hassle-free. Give us a call today! Be sure to provide accurate information and make any necessary payments. 


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We’ll see you at the beach.

About the Author: Lauren is an Outer Banks local, mom, trained historian, and travel enthusiast. When she isn’t writing for the Seaside Vacations Travel Blog, Lauren can usually be found with her nose in a book or cuddling with her cats.