Monday, May 13, 2019

Restaurants on the NC Coast

Going to the beach this spring/summer? Here is a list of recommended restaurants, updated spring 2019.

The list is from my book, Chefs of the Coast. It is a combination cookbook and travel guide, providing recommended restaurants, with profiles of the chefs and restaurants. Each chef provides recipes, with presentation instructions and a color photo of the dish, to guide plating, so you can make it look professional as well as taste great. In addition to restaurants, in each location, I provide sidebar feature articles about seafood markets, local produce, festivals, events of interest, along with suggestions about cooking and preparation, especially regarding seafoods. Order an autographed copy direct from me by sending a note to my e-mail (all credit cards accepted). Click on my name under "About Me" on the right side of this page, then the link to e-mail. (Price: $19.95 + tax = $21.30. I will provide free shipping for orders placed from this blog.)

Elizabeth City: Montero’s Restaurant, Bar & Catering (

Preparation Guidelines

Corolla: Metropolis (

Duck: The Blue Point (, The Paper Canoe (, Red Sky Cafe (

How to Find Local Seafood and Agricultural Products

Outer Banks Taste of the Beach

Kitty Hawk: Rundown Cafe (, Trio ( Kill Devil Hills: Bad Bean Baja Grill and Bad Bean Taqueria (, Chilli Peppers Coastal Grill (, The Colington Cafe (, JK’s Restaurant (, Mako Mike’s (, Outer Banks Brewing Station (

Brad Price, Personal Chef ( he is an artist as well as a chef

Manteo: Full Moon Cafe & Brewery/Lost Colony Brewery (, Ortega’z (, Stripers Bar & Grille (

Nags Head: Basnight’s Lone Cedar Cafe (, Cafe Lachine (, Kelly’s Outer Banks Restaurant and Tavern (, Mulligan’s Raw Bar & Grille (, Sugar Creek Seafood Restaurant (

Austin Fish Company

Sugar Shack Fresh Seafood Market

Buxton: Cafe Pamlico at the Inn on Pamlico Sound ( Ocracoke: Back Porch Restaurant (, Dajio (

New Bern: The Chelsea (

Beaufort: Aqua (, Beaufort Grocery Company (, City Kitchen (, Front Street Grill (, Clawson’s (

Fishtowne Seafood

Beaufort Wine & Food Weekend

Morehead City: Bistro by the Sea (, Circa 81 (, The Ruddy Duck Tavern (

Capt. Jim’s Seafood Market

North Carolina Seafood Festival

Atlantic Beach: Amos Mosquito’s Restaurant & Bar (, Island Grille Restaurant & Bar (

Willis Seafood

Emerald Isle: Cap’n Willis Seafood Market

Swansboro: Icehouse Waterfront Restaurant and The Boro Cafe (, Note: Icehouse is still closed, due to  damage from Hurricane Florence, but The Boro is open. Hoping Icehouse gets repaired by summer!

Wilmington: Cape Fear Seafood Company (, Caprice Bistro (, Catch (, Jerry’s Food, Wine, Spirits (, Kornerstone Bistro (, manna (, Port Land Grille (, Rx Restaurant & Bar (

Motts Channel Seafood

Southport: Joseph’s Italian Bistro (, Live Oak Cafe (, Mr. P’s Bistro (

Four places in the Crystal Coast area (where my wife and I spend a lot of time) either opened or I made visits after the book was published. They have become personal favorites just the same.


White Oak River Bistro (206 W Corbett Ave, 28584, (910) 326-1696, serves casual Italian food in a space characterized by wood floors and walls, with open porch dining overlooking an expanse of the White Oak River.

Riverside (506 W Corbett Ave, 28584, (910) 326-8847, occupies a large home, perched on a hill overlooking the White Oak River. The house was originally constructed over 100 years ago. Riverside is especially strong on quality wines at reasonable prices. Familiar coastal specialties are given a fine dining twist, rendering a cuisine that is more interesting than most other places on the coast, but accessible, nonetheless. A fried shrimp starter, for example, gets a light beer batter treatment, augmented with buerre blanc sauce.

Emerald Isle:

Chef Patrick Hogan has found a home at Caribsea (8921 Crew Drive, (252) 424-8400,, an upscale, upstairs creation that features a rooftop, open air bar, in addition to conventional seating. His crabcakes are among the best I’ve ever had. He formerly held forth at Carlton’s (RIP) and the Ocean Club. Before that, he was an opening chef for Legal Seafoods. A lot of creativity and expertise shows on every plate.

Atlantic Beach:

Pescara (208 West Dr, 28512, (252) 499-9300, seeks to recreate the sense of an Italian seaside café. Executive Chef Creighton McNeil relocated to the Crystal Coast from Greensboro, where he was co-Executive Chef at the popular Liberty Oak restaurant downtown.

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