Outer Banks Restaurants

Outdoor Dining

From the very first writings about the Outer Banks by 1585 explorers Phillip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe, we've been lauded for our natural surroundings -- "the goodliest land under the cope of heaven." Certainly, anyone who comes here does so mostly because of the gifts Mother Nature has bestowed on the Outer Banks. Where else could you stand on top of a giant sand dune and watch the sun both rise and set? So, it's no wonder that dining under this cope of heaven, without a roof over your head, has been an Outer Banks restaurant tradition since the start of tourism. Outer Banks outdoor dining takes advantage of the magnificent environment that hosts it. There's no way any restaurant lighting can compete with twinkling stars! Lots of the restaurants with open air dining are located on the soundfront, so the scenic beauty is amped up as you watch the different colors of the sunset reflecting on the water. And, as an added benefit, many Outer Banks outdoor dining restaurants also offer live music on their decks. Want a local’s tip: Order a meal for take-out from your favorite restaurant, then go climb to the top of that giant sand dune and have a picnic. It’s a view that you’ve never had before while dining, that’s for sure! 

Outer Banks Restaurants by Area

Corolla | Duck & Southern Shores | Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills & Nags Head
Roanoke Island & Manteo | Hatteras Island | Ocracoke Island

Outer Banks Restaurants by Category

Atlantic Coast Café

Outer Banks Outdoor Dining
25150 N.C. Highway 12, across from the KOA Campground, Waves
(252) 987-1200

Expect great food and awesome service at Atlantic Coast Cafe in Waves. Featuring a comfortable, casual beach atmosphere, friendly staff and free WiFi, it's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Stop in for great breakfasts (omelets, pancakes, the works) and fresh coffee and lunches that showcase stuffed grilled wraps, tasty burgers, unique Reubens (crab cake, shrimp, classic), their famous marinated or Cajun grilled tuna, possibly... read more

Expect great food and awesome service at Atlantic Coast Cafe in Waves. Featuring a comfortable,... read more

Avenue Waterfront Grille

Outer Banks Outdoor Dining
207 Queen Elizabeth Avenue, The Waterfront Shops, Manteo
(252) 473-4800

If you want to see the water while you dine, Avenue Waterfront Grille is a good place to do it. Shallowbag Bay and Roanoke Sound are visible from every seat in the house, and their patio seating overlooks the Manteo docks. Whether you boat up to the Manteo docks or walk up from the waterfront, Avenue is all about maintaining the relaxed and fun attitude... read more

If you want to see the water while you dine, Avenue Waterfront Grille is a... read more

Basnight’s Lone Cedar

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

This Outer Banks landmark restaurant 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 on both sides, especially the... read more

This Outer Banks landmark restaurant is where you’ll find many a local eating every night,... read more

Dajio

Outer Banks Outdoor Dining
305 Irvin Garrish Highway, Ocracoke
(252) 928-7119

Dajio is nestled in the trees down in Ocracoke's waterfront village. Husband and wife team Doug and Judy Eifert prepare succulent plates of locally caught fish, shrimp and oysters. They bring to the table a fusion of delicious, innovative and satisfying dishes from the surrounding sea, farms, breweries and vineyards. Chef Doug fires up the wood-burning brick oven to roast organic whole chickens and to... read more

Dajio is nestled in the trees down in Ocracoke's waterfront village. Husband and wife team... read more

Fatboyz Ice Cream & Grill

Outer Banks Outdoor Dining
7208 S. Virginia Dare Trail, The Beach Road, MP 16.5, Nags Head
(252) 441-6514

For over 20 years, this take-out food food and ice cream stand has served an array of ice cream concoctions – shakes, sundaes, cones – as well as hand-pattied burgers, fresh grilled tuna, french fries, Hebrew National hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, onion rings, fresh-squeezed orange/lime/lemonades and more. Be sure to try their no-filler, all-killer jumbo crabcake. The ice cream is absolutely delectable, and you must... read more

For over 20 years, this take-out food food and ice cream stand has served an... read more

Fish Heads Bar & Grill

Outer Banks Outdoor Dining
8901 S Old Oregon Inlet Rd, MP 18.5, Nags Head
(252) 441-5740

You can't eat and drink any closer to the ocean than this. Outer Banks Pier offers a restaurant and bar with seating on the deck in the sun or moon or under a roof with open sides. They serve hamburgers, fries, steamed shrimp and veggies, fish tacos and more. Wine and beer are available, including a great selection of draft beers, and they also have... read more

You can't eat and drink any closer to the ocean than this. Outer Banks Pier... read more

Good Winds Restaurant

Outer Banks Outdoor Dining
24502 N.C. Highway 12, Waves Village Watersports Resort, Rodanthe
(252) 987-1100

Whether you’ve worked up an appetite kiteboarding on site or you just want a meal with a water view, Good Winds Restaurant is a good choice on northern Hatteras Island. Good Winds serves tasty and inventive beach cuisine, fresh-caught local seafood and the widest selection of wine and regional craft beer in the Tri-Villages. Located above Kitty Hawk Kites on the second floor of the... read more

Whether you’ve worked up an appetite kiteboarding on site or you just want a meal... read more

Howard’s Pub and Raw Bar and Restaurant

Outer Banks Outdoor Dining
1175 Irvin Garrish Highway, Ocracoke
(252) 928-4441

Fun, funky and casual, Howard's serves lunch and dinner every day from early spring until late fall. Fresh, local seafood from the Pamlico Sound is the highlight, but there are also steaks, ribs, burgers, salads, sandwiches and soups worth ferrying in for (and many do). Sit indoors in the air-conditioned dining room, at the long wooden bar, out on the expansive screened porch with circling ceiling fans or on... read more

Fun, funky and casual, Howard's serves lunch and dinner every day from early spring until late fall.... read more

Jason’s Restaurant

Outer Banks Outdoor Dining
1110 Irvin Garrish Highway, Ocracoke
(252) 928-3434
Jason's Restaurant has a lot of loyal local customers because it serves tasty, traditional and reasonably priced food in a casual atmosphere. Pizza, pasta, subs, sandwiches, salads, steaks, chicken and, of course, fresh seafood are served for lunch and dinner. See their beer and wine menu for drink choices. Don't miss the mouthwatering homemade desserts for the finishing touch for your meal.

Jolly Roger Pub and Marina

Outer Banks Outdoor Dining
410 Irvin Garrish Highway, Ocracoke
(252) 928-3703

The Jolly Roger Pub and Marina is an open-air, waterfront restaurant perched directly on Silver Lake harbor. Casual lunches and dinners are served daily, offering a variety of fresh seafood, humongous burgers, Mexican dishes and tasty appetizers. It's a favorite spot to sit with a cold drink and listen to live music while watching the sunset over Ocracoke's harbor. They're open seasonally, mid-April to mid-October.... read more

The Jolly Roger Pub and Marina is an open-air, waterfront restaurant perched directly on Silver... read more

Lost Colony Brewery & Cafe

Outer Banks Outdoor Dining
208 Queen Elizabeth Avenue, Manteo
(252) 473-6666

For award-winning locally brewed beer and creative cuisine, head to Lost Colony Brewery & Café. This longtime local restaurant has the chops of any urban gastropub but with the friendliness and welcoming atmosphere of small-town Manteo. Notable for bringing a touch of city style to the downtown Manteo waterfront, the restaurant and pub are located at the intersection of Queen Elizabeth Avenue and Sir Walter... read more

For award-winning locally brewed beer and creative cuisine, head to Lost Colony Brewery & Café.... read more

Mulligan’s Grille in Historic Cottage Row

Outer Banks Outdoor Dining
4005 S. Croatan Highway, The Bypass, MP 13, Nags Head
(252) 480-2000

For more than 20 years, Mulligan’s has served Southern coastal cuisine with incredible views, thanks to its scenic location between Jockey’s Ridge and Historic Cottage Row. Long known for having the some of the best burgers on the beach, their masterful chefs have recently been placing a brighter spotlight on local seafood prepared in an authentic Outer Banks style, all with fresh, local ingredients. Start... read more

For more than 20 years, Mulligan’s has served Southern coastal cuisine with incredible views, thanks... read more