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Nags Head Restaurants - including Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills

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. 

Kill Devil Hills Restaurants | Kitty Hawk Restaurants | Nags Head Restaurants

 

Awful Arthur's Oyster Bar & Restaurant

2106 N. Virginia Dare Trail
The Beach Road, MP 6
Kill Devil Hills
(252) 441-5955

Awful Arthur's Oyster Bar is world-famous for its casual, raw bar atmosphere and great local seafood. The steamed shrimp are so good that they were featured in Esquire magazine. The menu features lots of seafood, but there are also burgers, pastas, steaks and chicken. Take the people's word for it: In 2013 Awful Arthur's was voted Best of the Beach in the Oyster Bar category and took home the 2014 People's Choice Award for the Taste of the Beach Chowder Cook-Off. Awful Arthurs has a full bar and an upstairs lounge with an ocean view. THey're open daily for lunch and dinner. 

Bad Bean Baja Grill & Cantina

3105 N. Croatan Highway
The Bypass, MP 5, Seagate North Shopping Center
Kill Devil Hills
(252) 261-1300

Although Bad Bean Baja Grill and Cantina offers some Mexican favorites, it’s far from your typical Mexican restaurant. Techniques and flavors from all across Latin America, California and the Baja Peninsula are utilized to create a unique dining experience. The fresh-made salsas and guacamole are perfect with the house-made corn tortilla chips. And they’ve added in some extras at this location, too — daily lunch specials year round, full-service wait staff and a full-service bar featuring one of the best Ultimate Margaritas on the beach. They’ve taken the fish taco idea and expanded it to the Nth degree, using only fresh local fish, shrimp and even softshell crab in season. Their Carne Asada is a must have as well. Bad Bean was a triple award winner in the 2013 Taste of the Beach festival, receiving Best in Show, the Chefs' Choice Award and Best Seafood Dish. Bad Bean was also voted Best Mexican Restaurant on the Beach in the WVOD 99.1 The Sound Best of the Beach Awards. The bar has been completely renovated, expanding from 14 seats to 27 and featuring great local artwork to spice up the walls. Bad Bean is open til midnight all summer. Every Saturday night, the bar stays open late with beer specials and a late night menu. Take-out is available and large parties are welcome.

Barefoot Bernie’s Tropical Grill & Bar

3730 N. Croatan Highway
The Bypass, MP 4.5
Kitty Hawk
(252) 261-1008

Barefoot Bernie’s is open year round for lunch and dinner. They pride themselves on offering big portions at reasonable prices. Menu items include seafood, steaks, chicken, pastas, large salads, sandwiches and gourmet pizzas. A large, varied kid’s menu is also available. Check out their specialty frozen drinks and martinis or have your own favorite wine, beer or spirits with their full ABC permit. Large party reservations are always welcome. In the summer they have late-night food; call ahead for details.

Basnight’s Lone Cedar

7623 S. Virginia Dare Trail, Nags Head/Manteo Causeway
(252) 441-5405

This Outer Banks landmark is where you’ll find many a local eating every night, so you know the food must be really good. This restaurant is, in fact, at the top of the list of many locals’ favorite spots. The service is genuinely friendly, and the portions are more than generous. You’ll enjoy the vast views of the sound and dining on their outdoor deck overlooking the osprey nest. Basnight’s serves brunch Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner seven nights a week beginning at 4:30 p.m. (During the off-season, the days they serve dinner vary, so call ahead.) They feature only local, fresh North Carolina seafood that comes in whole and is cleaned in their kitchen, along with vegetarian dishes, pasta and USDA Angus steaks. Their dedication to freshness includes their own herb garden. They also serve local produce as well as all-natural chicken. And you will marvel at their incredible wine cellar (well, it’s a room, really) featuring thousands of bottles of wine. This accompanies a roomy bar area where you can pick from a new bar menu full of tasty offerings or order right from the full restaurant menu. They also have live music in the bar area on Friday and Saturday nights. Each year, they close December 31 and re-open right before Valentine’s Day. Basnight’s also offers on and off-premise catering for any size or type of event.

 

Beachside Bistro

1731 N. Virginia Dare Trail
The Beach Road, MP 7
Kill Devil Hills
(252) 441-7126

Serving American coastal cuisine, guests of Beachside Bistro can relax inside or hang out on the beachside deck and enjoy a cold drink, listen to live entertainment seven days a week Memorial Day through Labor Day and revel in the oceanfront setting. As members of Outer Banks Catch, their fresh seafood offerings include mahi mahi, tuna and other delightful dishes. The casual and relaxed Beachside Bistro serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily seasonally and features a full bar. Daily drink and chef specials that have earned a loyal following will keep you coming back again and again to this fun spot.Dine on their oceanfront deck overlooking the water and beach scene if the weather is nice. It's one of the few actual oceanfront restaurants on the northern Outer Banks! They also have a convenient take-out window accessible from the Third Street beach access.

Brewing Station

600 S. Croatan Highway
The Bypass, MP 8.5
Kill Devil Hills
(252) 449-2739

Featuring the talents of national and international award-winning Brewmaster Scott Meyer, the Brewing Station has an ever-changing list of house-made beers and sodas that serve as the cornerstone of the Brewing Station's innovative style. Chef Phongkrit "Pok" Choeichom — who won the 2009 Taste of the Beach Chefs Award and the 2011 and 2012 Taste of the Beach People's Choice Award — has created an Outer Banks–inspired fusion menu using regionally available products from local fish and produce to North Carolina meats. Pastry chef Tina Mackenzie bakes the house bread and has created a tempting dessert menu. Friendly and casual but with a metropolitan flair, the Brewing Station has a full bar, dining on two levels and the biggest outdoor area on the Outer Banks featuring a pirate ship playground for the kids, picnic table seating, outdoor entertainment during the summer season and the 92-foot wind turbine that powers part of the brewing operation. Half-liter bottle conditioned beer and two-liter growlers are sold to go at the bar. The Brewing Station accommodates large parties and is open year round for both lunch and dinner. Lest we forget, they are also highly regarded as a go-to place to see regional and national music acts across a wide variety of genres.

Duck Donuts

1190 Duck Road
Osprey Landing
Duck
(252) 480-3304
601 Currituck Clubhouse Dr.
Currituck Club
Corolla
(252) 453-3210
710 S. Croatan Highway
Kill Devil Hills
(252) 480-3320
5230 N Virginia Dare Trail
Kitty Hawk
(252) 261-3312

Make a beeline for Duck Donuts where you will find warm, delicious and made-to-order doughnuts. Duck Donuts makes its doughnuts fresh on site, and you have the option of each one being dipped in vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, lemon, peanut butter or maple glaze then sprinkled with your favorite toppings. You can watch your doughnuts being made then have the warm doughnuts boxed up to take home — if they make it home! They also carry a wide selection of Under Armour and OBX hats and visors for your pre- or post-doughnut workout. Locally roasted premium Kill Devil Hills coffees, orange juice and other beverages are offered. There are also locations in Corolla, Kitty Hawk at MP 1 on the Beach Road and in Kill Devil Hills at MP 8.5 on the Bypass. All shops open at 6 a.m. (Corolla 7 a.m.) and offer expanded hours during the summer.

Goombays Grille & Raw Bar

1608 N. Virginia Dare Trail
The Beach Road, MP 7
Kill Devil Hills
(252) 441-6001

Goombays is a casual restaurant with an island feel. The food is fresh and creative with a Caribbean spin on Outer Banks seafood favorites. Try the Rasta Pasta, fresh seafood tacos, Tuna Reuben, Jazzy Coconut Chicken, Tuna Oscar, daily specials or a selection from the full steamed or raw seafood bar. Goombays is family friendly with a colorful dining room and a special menu for kids. The full bar includes lots of imported and microbrewed beers. Goombays serves lunch and dinner every day.

 

Jimmy's Seafood Buffet

4117 N Croatan Highway, The Bypass, MP 4
Kitty Hawk
(252) 261-4973

Jimmy’s is a family destination offering a variety of Outer Banks seafood and more than 100 tempting dishes from both land and sea, including homemade soups and made-from-scratch desserts. When it comes to seafood, the owner says "size does matter," so dig in to the largest crab legs and shrimp around town. Early birds get a free lobster tail with their adult buffet, and lobster claws are included in the buffet until 4 p.m. in season. Come right when Jimmy's opens at 2:30 p.m. to enjoy all-you-can-eat lobster until 4 p.m. On Saturday nights, it's all you can eat lobster night all night long! Jimmy's also has many to-go options like fried platters, steamed dinners and the handy carry-out seafood buckets. The clambake-style seafood buckets make enjoying great, steamed seafood at home a snap. Jimmy's even delivers right to your door, or you can call ahead for convenient curbside pick up. They open for dinner at 2:30 p.m in season and 4 p.m. in the off-season and have live nightly entertainment. While you’re waiting for a table, there are free pony rides for the kids, and you can play cornhole or putt-putt too. 

Kelly’s Outer Banks Restaurant and Tavern

2316 S. Croatan Highway, The Bypass, MP 10.5
Nags Head
(252) 441-4116

Kelly’s is an Outer Banks favorite serving beef, chicken, pasta, vegetarian dishes and, of course, seafood, including raw bar selections. You will enjoy their signature sweet potato biscuits, featured in Gourmet Magazine and Bon Appetit and savored by the thousands. Kelly’s offers three different menus, including one for children and lighter fare in the tavern. They will seat you for dinner until 10 p.m., so you won’t have to sacrifice having a good meal just because it’s late. You’ll want to save room for their delicious homemade desserts created by Taste of the Beach Best Dessert award-winner Pastry Chef Becky Miller, who has earned the distinction for five consecutive years. The separate, full-service bar presents nightly entertainment. You can reserve space for a private party in any of their rooms, including the tavern, or you can hire Kelly's for top-notch catering with or without wait staff. Kelly’s is open for dinner and entertainment year round, and the tavern is one of the top hot spots of the Outer Banks, attracting some of big names in the music industry. If you want to see and be seen, put this one on your list.

Mako Mike's

1630 N. Croatan Highway, The Bypass, MP 7
Kill Devil Hills
(252) 480-1919

The menu at Mako Mike’s is filled with fresh seafood, with choices ranging from mako shark to crab legs. The menu also includes excellent crab cakes, pasta dishes and Angus beef. The chef creates lots of specials every night, and a kids' menu makes the tykes happy. When it comes to dessert, there are many delicious choices. Catch one of the early bird specials; they’re offered daily. Large parties can be accommodated easily, and they have private dining rooms for special events. Mako Mike’s is part of the Kellys Hospitality Group, is open for dinner year round and has a full bar.

Miller's Waterfront Restaurant

6916 S. Croatan Highway, The Bypass, MP 16
Nags Head
(252) 441-6151

One of the few soundfront restaurants on the beach, Miller's serves lunch and dinner daily, which allows you ample time to enjoy the view. They can handle families and large parties and have a varied menu with local seafood, steaks, chicken and creative salads and pastas. The kitchen prepares specials every day. They really do have one of the best sunset views. Have fun watching windsurfers and kiteboarders during the day while enjoying lunch on their newly-shaded deck. Or relax on the deck and catch live music Tuesday-Friday during peak season and a cocktail in the evening. 

Nags Head Cafe

3948 S. Virginia Dare Trail, The Beach Road, MP 13
Nags Head
(252) 441-1141

Nags Head Cafe continues the Roderer family tradition of great food and hospitality they’ve been offering Nags Head diners since 1985. Housed in the historic Harris Grocery store on the beach road along Nags Head’s row of unpainted aristocratic cottages – the cottages that established Nags Head as a vacation destination -- and across from Jockey’s Ridge, Nags Head Cafe offers traditional and contemporary Southern dishes as well as the best in fresh local seafood, chicken, chops, hand-cut Angus beef, pasta, soups, salads, sandwiches, daily specials and homemade desserts. They also started serving breakfast in 2013, and it fast became a favorite spot; the omelettes and French toast are fabulous! New for summer of 2014 is a limited lunch menu from 11 a.m. til 1 p.m. Nags Head Cafe has a full-service bar with an extensive beer and wine list. Take-out is available.

Ocean Boulevard

4700 N. Virginia Dare Trail, Beach Road, MP 2.5
Kitty Hawk
(252) 261-2546

Ocean Boulevard is a casual yet upscale restaurant, which means you can enjoy a special evening out in the comfort of your sandals. They are, after all, just steps away from the ocean. Ocean Boulevard’s culinary team serves an American bistro-style menu and has been praised in <i>Southern Living</i> magazine as well as <i>The Washington Post.</i> The menu changes seasonally but always includes lots of beautiful preparations of local seafood, regional poultry and meats, nightly chef specials and decadent desserts. They have a comprehensive wine list and a full bar with their own martini menu. Come here for live entertainment on Friday nights after dinner. Their oceanside patio is one of many unique features; it’s an enjoyable hangout during the summer and you can often catch some live music during the week. Ocean Boulevard is open nightly for dinner year round. Reservations are suggested.

Outer Banks Restaurant Tours

Various Meeting Places in Kitty Hawk, Duck and Corolla
(252) 722-2229

Outer Banks Restaurant Tours provides walking and driving tours of restaurants in three locations on the Outer Banks. On each tour, chefs and owners greet you, talk to you about their background, their restaurant, their food and their passions and give you a behind-the-scenes look at their restaurant. You are treated to delectable samples of signature dishes, paired with wine, beer or a mixed drink. Along the way, you’re also likely to learn a little history about the Outer Banks and local food sourcing and get a few wine or beer tasting tips. The best thing about these tours is that for the price of one dinner out, you are able to sample the cuisine at multiple restaurants in one afternoon. What better way to find the best places to eat if you are a new visitor to the area? The Duck Walking Tour takes you on foot from one end of the quaint town to the other, sampling great food and strolling on the boardwalk where you’ll have gorgeous views of the Currituck sound. The Kitty Hawk/Kill Devil Hills Driving Tour transports you in their company vehicle to the rock stars of the Outer Banks restaurant scene, and the Corolla Driving Tour features a short ride in their vehicles on the north end of Corolla where some surprising plates of delicious food await you. Even if you are a return visitor or if you are fortunate enough to live here, these restaurant tours allow you to revisit your old favorites and rediscover them in a whole new, more personal way. Outer Banks Restaurant Tours also offers a Brews and Bites Tour on Wednesdays and a Winery Tour on Thursdays. New to the schedule for 2014 is a BBQ class: Secrets of a BBQ Master! Tours start the week of May 19, 2014, and run through the end of September 2014. Reservations are required.

Pamlico Jack's

6708 S. Croatan Highway, The Bypass, MP 16
Nags Head
(252) 441-2637

Pamlico Jack’s is a casual restaurant experience that combines the history of the Outer Banks with island cuisine. The outdoor bar is a pirate ship, complete with sails and rigging, that leads you onto a large soundfront open-air deck with scenic sunset views. Enjoy certified Angus beef, Gulf Stream fish and homemade pasta selections. You can also savor any number of smaller plates and lighter fare such as sandwiches and salads. Arrive before 6 p.m. to catch their early dining specials. On various holidays, such as Easter, Mother's Day and Thanksgiving, Pamlico Jack's serves up a bounty with their special 30+ item buffet (make your reservations early!). They also offer hundreds of wine choices (they have the honor of being the winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for more than 20 years in a row). Pamlico Jack's specializes in rehearsal dinners and weddings and can accommodate large gatherings. A kids' menu is available. Open for dinner nightly from March through December, they do accept reservations. Join them for entertainment nightly at Rum Jumpers, their outdoor deck bar. 

Papa John’s Pizza

3809 N. Croatan Highway, The Bypass, MP 4.5
Kitty Hawk
(252) 261-2389

This popular pizza chain has made a name for itself by using high-quality ingredients to make their pies. They offer all the favorite toppings plus specialty pizzas like spinach alfredo and barbecue chicken and bacon. Also on the menu are side dishes including wings, cheese sticks and chicken poppers. You can pick up an order at their Kitty Hawk location. Papa John’s delivers within Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills, and they are open for lunch and dinner.

Peppercorns Restaurant and Lounge

1701 S. Virginia Dare Trail, The Beach Road, MP 9.5, Ramada Plaza
Kill Devil Hills
(252) 441-2151

Peppercorns overlooks the ocean from its location inside the Ramada Plaza Nags Head (yes, the name says Nags Head, but they're located in Kill Devil Hills). The menu features fresh seafood, pasta dishes, surf and turf and chef's specials. Peppercorns serves breakfast and dinner every day. They are open year round, welcome large parties and accept reservations to make your dining more enjoyable without the long wait. The deck bar is open in season and features its own lunch menu and live entertainment on the weekends; call for a schedule.

 

Pigman's Bar-B-Que

1606 S. Croatan Highway, The Bypass, MP 9.5
Kill Devil Hills
(252) 441-6803

At Pigman’s you’ll find several types of barbecue. In addition to the traditional pork, they have beef, tuna and turkey. They also have slow-smoked chicken, St. Louis ribs and fried shrimp. Side dishes include baked beans, cole slaw, hush puppies (yum! some of the best!), French fries and sweet potato fries. You can dine in or carry out. They have a children’s menu. Pigman’s even does catering. They are closed January and February.

Port O' Call Restaurant

504 S. Virginia Dare Trail, Beach Road, MP 8.5
Kill Devil Hills
(252) 441-7484

Port O’ Call has been a great dining choice for families on the Outer Banks for many years and is known for its fresh local seafood and Angus steaks, prime rib, chicken and pastas. There's an extensive childrens' menu, large parties are welcome and reservations are accepted. Port O’ Call serves dinner nightly, and everyone should ask about the chef specials. The restaurant is known for its holiday buffets. They are also available for special events such as weddings, rehearsal dinners, reunions, fraternity and sorority parties as well as office and holiday parties that can be planned as sit-down dinners or buffets. In the gift shop you'll find a large collection of fashion and fine jewelry. 

Sandbars Raw Bar and Grill

1716 N. Croatan Highway, The Bypass, MP 7
Kill Devil Hills
(252) 261-2496

The newest seafood place in town is this cool little spot in the Dare Center next to Food Lion. Serving both lunch and dinner, you'll find fresh shrimp, clams and oysters along with salads, chicken, burgers, steaks and sandwiches. You should definitely make it to happy hour, each day from 3-5 p.m. -- the seafood specials are spectacular! Add in a big selection of beer and wines, and you have a winning combination.

Tale of the Whale

7575 S. Virginia Dare Trail, Nags Head/Manteo Causeway
Nags Head
(252) 441-7332

Owned and operated by the same family since 1980, Tale of the Whale has made a legendary name for itself on the Outer Banks dining scene. On a beautiful soundfront location along the Nags Head/Manteo Causeway, Tale of the Whale attracts a loyal following of repeat customers who are on a first-name basis with the friendly owners. Of course, they also come for the casually elegant setting, that water view and the expertly prepared seafood, pasta, steaks and chicken. Tale of the Whale proudly participates in the Outer Banks Catch program and serves locally harvested seafood. All of the desserts are homemade. A full bar is available, and you can sit outside on the deck with your cocktail if you choose. There’s often live music in the waterfront gazebo in season; call for more details. Tale of the Whale’s popular early bird special starts at 4 p.m. or 5 p.m. depending upon the season, offering 20 percent off the entire check (excluding alcohol). The restaurant is open for dinner daily in the summer; call ahead for off-season hours. Tale of the Whale is an excellent space for private waterfront events such as rehearsal dinners, wedding receptions and more. 

Tortuga’s Lie Shellfish Bar and Grille

3016 S. Virginia Dare Trail, The Beach Road, MP 11
Nags Head
(252) 441-7299

The island-style interior and good food make Tortuga's a favorite among locals and repeat visitors. There are lots of healthy options here, with Caribbean-inspired seafood and vegetarian options. Chow down on a variety of dishes, including tuna bites, burritos, steamed seafood and veggies and pasta. If there's a salad on the specials board when you're there, take our word for it and order it. Tortuga's has some of the best burgers and island fries on the beach, and their famous sushi night on Wednesdays is a huge hit. They roll sushi late night in the summer and during regular dinner hours in the off-season. There is a full bar with lots of specialty drinks, including their notorious Shark Attack. Be sure to check out the beach volleyball court in the back and their new spacious screened in porch for dining. Tortuga's is open daily for lunch and dinner with the hours changing in the winter. 

 

Trio

3708 N. Croatan Highway, The Bypass, MP 4.5, Harbor Bay Shops
Kitty Hawk
(252) 261-0277

Trio is an exciting retail and tasting destination with an inviting yet cosmopolitan vibe that sets it apart from other casual venues on the Outer Banks. Comprised of both a gourmet retail wine, beer and cheese shop as well as a bistro with a wine bar and tap house, Trio gathers the best from the worlds of wine, beer and cheese for your enjoyment, either on the premises or in the comfort of your home. In their retail shop you’ll find more than 2,000 wines from around the world, several hundred craft beers and dozens of artisanal cheeses hand-cut to order. The bistro menu, served lunch through late night, features casual fare that is at once familiar yet with that special Trio twist. Choose from creative appetizers, cheese plates, fresh salads, gourmet paninis and Chef Neil's not-to-be-missed desserts. The beach’s largest selection of rotating craft brews awaits you at their copper-top bar. Twenty-four bottles of wine are presented in self-service tasting machines where you can sample wines priced from $10 to $100 per bottle for as little as $1 per taste! In the upstairs mezzanine you’ll find comfortable lounge seating, a free pool table, access to free WiFi and the tasting bar where you can sample award-winning North Carolina wines. Trio also offers live music several nights a week featuring local artists playing everything from jazz to bluegrass to rock.