We'll get you started with some delicious word images of what to expect at Nags Head restaurants, Kill Devil Hills restaurants and Kitty Hawk restaurants: steaming-hot shrimp with a sprinkling of Old Bay seasoning dunked in warm butter. Fat morsels of jumbo lump crab meat piled into cakes and lightly broiled or fried. Rich, silky she-crab soup with the perfect blend of sherry and cream. Battered oysters, flash-fried to crispy perfection, dipped in a tangy tartar sauce. Hatteras-style chowder of sweet baby clams, fresh vegetables and a clear broth. White, flaky rockfish fillets as you like them — fried, grilled, broiled or blackened. Raw yellow-fin tuna sashimi with ginger and soy sauce.
If you like the fruits of the sea, you’ll love eating in Nags Head restaurants. Seafood is definitely the star of the show in Kill Devil Hills restaurants, much of it caught right along these shores. Kitty Hawk restaurants feature some all-you-can-eat seafood buffets. Every day commercial fishermen (and women) on the Outer Banks bring in the bounty of the sea, and it doesn’t take long to get that seafood from the boat to your belly.
Gone are the days when the only Outer Banks seafood dinner you could get was fried and served with hushpuppies and cole slaw. Of course, that classic combination is still available, but Nags Head restaurants, Kill Devil Hills restaurants and Kitty Hawk restaurants have evolved greatly. Now the fashionable catch-phrases for local restaurants are “contemporary coastal cuisine” and “Southern coastal cuisine.” Local restaurants are definitely in tune with trying to serve as much locally harvested seafood and local produce as possible.
If you’re not a huge fan of seafood, or if you like a little variety in your diet, don’t worry. Every town's restaurants offer more than seafood. Steaks, chicken, duck, lamb, pork, pasta and vegetarian options are offered on local menus. There are plenty of alternative restaurants on the Banks today, from Chinese and Japanese to Thai to Italian and Mexican to Moroccan, and there’s a wide range of atmospheres, everything from contemporary fine-dining with a dress code to the most casual, come-as-you-are eateries.