by Jessie S.
If you do an online search of the best places for Foodies to visit, you’ll get a list of major cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco, New York, Dallas, etc. (just to name a few). It makes sense… these are huge cities with lots of options and you don’t need an article to tell you that you can probably find something tasty but heading to one of these locations requires expensive travel among big-city crowds. Luckily, if you’re a Foodie who loves a unique dish and fresh, local fare, you don’t have to fly across the United States into one of our country’s busiest airports just to indulge in a delicious meal.
The Outer Banks is a destination with limitless food options to suit any palate featuring talented chefs who utilize fresh local ingredients in their dishes. With our award-winning restaurants and fun food festivals, any food lover is sure to enjoy their visit. (Even Guy Fieri loves to eat here!) When you vacation in the Outer Banks, you get all the benefits of an incredible beach vacation AND… an ultimate Foodie’s paradise.
Whether you’re dining out for the holidays, enjoying a romantic getaway, or just looking to enjoy dinner with family and friends, the Outer Banks has some of the best Fine Dining establishments to help you celebrate your special occasion. Here are a few suggestions:
- Basnight’s Lone Cedar Café – Rated “Best of the Beach – Best Seafood Restaurant” since 2013, Basnight’s Lone Cedar Café is a fine dining restaurant in Nags Head known for its family-friendly farm-to-table dining experience. Basnight’s prides themselves in being all-green and using quality meat raised on all-natural hormone and antibiotic-free vegetarian feed, all-natural poultry and pork from North Carolina farms, and fresh seafood brought in daily from local waters, cleaned and prepared on site, and cooked to perfection. You’ll also enjoy “just-picked” veggies from NC farmers, fresh-picked herbs from Basnight’s own herb garden, daily handmade desserts and a 2,000-bottle wine cellar. With a panoramic view of the Roanoke Sound from every seat, you’ll love the cozy, coastal atmosphere.
- Colington Café – Nestled among giant live oaks in Colington, the lovely Victorian-style building is just as pleasant inside as it is outside. Colington Café features renowned chefs with over 30 years of culinary experience who focus on cooking up fresh, local food with a gourmet touch. With an extensive menu, wine list and daily-made desserts, the chefs select the best fish and shellfish brought in daily from nearby waters to offer guests a truly delicious fine dining experience that is prepared-to-order.
- The Blue Point – A farm-to-table restaurant operating under the philosophy of “keeping dishes simple, consistent and seasonal,” The Blue Point in Duck is a soundfront fine-dining experience no Foodie should miss. Focusing on southern-style cooking with a coastal flare, The Blue Point has a large lunch and dinner menu featuring local seafood and other delicious dishes that vary depending on the season. Guests will love the fresh food prepared by brilliant chefs while they enjoy a gorgeous sunset over the water. Reservations welcome.
- Owen’s Restaurant – Locally owned and operated for over 70 years here on the Outer Banks, Owen’s Restaurant is a fine dining establishment in Nags Head that values quality of their products. Guests love the nautical feel of the restaurant featuring historic artifacts, memorabilia and photographs honoring the rescues of the sea by the U.S. Lifesaving Service. Enjoy the feeling of coming home as you dine on tasty menu items like authentic locally sourced seafood, Prime Western aged beef, freshly baked bread, and Owen’s famous hushpuppies.
Fish tacos are a favorite seafood go-to and the Outer Banks is home to the best. Foodies will rejoice thanks to the miles and miles of coastal waters surrounding our beach allowing OBX restaurants to offer up a variety of options that are truly fresh-from-the-boat. To get started, we suggest you try the following:
- Mama’s World-Famous Fish Tacos from Mama Kwan’s Grill & Tiki Bar in Kill Devil Hills. Featuring Mahi Mahi, a variety of taco toppings, jasmine rice on the side and delectable lime sour cream on top, you won’t be disappointed with this dish. Locals tip - order the Mahi blackened!
- Fresh Local Fish Tacos from Bad Bean Baja Grill in Kitty Hawk. Served a la carte (trust us – you’re going to want to order more than one), these tasty tacos are served with standard taco toppings along with salsa fresca, cilantro chimichurri and jicama slaw for a unique, delicious flavor.
- Seafood Tacos from I Got Your Crabs Seafood Market & Steam Bar in Kitty Hawk. Enjoy a choice of fried flounder or fried catfish for these scrumptious fish tacos. Topped with cheddar cheese, cabbage slaw, house-made mango salsa and a spicy sauce, you’ll be back to order more.
Clambakes and Oyster Roasts
Enjoying fresh seafood doesn’t always require dining out. In the Outer Banks, visitors can enjoy classic clambakes and oyster roasts from the comfort of their own Outer Banks Vacation Rental. Traditionally, clambakes and oyster roasts are enjoyed by Foodies of all ages but if you don’t live in a coastal region, you may not get to enjoy these dining experiences very often. Luckily, the OBX makes throwing a clam bake or oyster roast easy! You can always get it catered or if you’re feeling adventurous, grab all the ingredients yourself from one of our many local seafood markets:
- Clambake OBX: A Club Seaside Partner - Seaside Vacations guests get a discount and Clambake OBX comes to you!
- Austin Fish Company in Nags Head
- Billy’s Seafood in Colington
- Carawan Seafood Company in Kitty Hawk
- Bluewater Seafood Market in Corolla
- Dockside ‘N Duck Seafood Market in Duck
- O’Neal’s Sea Harvest in Wanchese
Food Events and Festivals
From oyster roasts and chowder cookoffs to wine tastings and BBQ showdowns, the Outer Banks is a host of dozens of local seafood events and festivals that no Foodie can resist. OBX Restaurant Week, the OBX Annual Food Truck Showdown, the Outer Banks Seafood Festival, and the Lost Colony Wine & Culinary Festival are just a few of the fun Foodie-themed events here on the Outer Banks. If you’re planning your Outer Banks Vacation this Spring, make sure you check out one of the many awesome events taking place during the OBX Taste of the Beach from 3/28/19 – 3/31/19.
Jessie has been coming to the Outer Banks since she was just 5 years old. She loved it here so much that she finally relocated in 2018. Now her mission is to show the world that the Outer Banks is an incredible place that everyone should experience. When she isn't working, you can find Jessie hanging out with her friends, chilling at home with her awesome cat, Yoji, or discovering a new Outer Banks adventure.