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Roanoke Island Restaurants (Including Manteo Restaurants and Wanchese Restaurants)

You’ll eat well on Roanoke Island. For such a small island, it has a good share of restaurants.

Manteo’s restaurants are found in the historic waterfront area and along the main highway; Wanchese also sports several great places to eat. Except for a few fast food chains on the main highway (McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Subway), Roanoke Island’s restaurants are independent establishments with character you won’t find anywhere else.

Local fare revolves around what’s the freshest: seafood. If you haven’t eaten crispy fried oysters, silky she-crab soup or the spindly legs of a soft-shell crab, you haven’t fully tasted Roanoke Island. As a major hub for trawlers and fishing vessels, Wanchese is a serious commercial seafood center. Boats from all over bring their catches straight to the Wanchese fish houses, where the seafood is prepared for market.

But seafood isn’t all there is. This is eastern North Carolina, after all, so expect to find genuine, down-home country cooking and Carolina-style barbecue as well as fresh local produce at most Roanoke Island restaurants. Meat eaters will not be disappointed, and more and more restaurants are accommodating vegetarians.

Most Manteo restaurants do not require dinner reservations except, possibly, the upscale 1587. You may have to wait a few moments for a table at some restaurants, but the wait will definitely be shorter than at the beach restaurants. In fact, many Outer Banks locals know that the secret to an enjoyable dinner during the busy summer months is to forgo the beach and dine at a Roanoke Island restaurant where things are a little less crazy.

Manteo establishments can serve mixed drinks as well as beer and wine.

The hours given below are in-season hours. Most local restaurants cut back their hours in the off-season, so be sure to call ahead.


1587 Restaurant

  • 405 Queen Elizabeth Street, The Tranquil House Inn
  • Manteo

1587 is by far the most elegant restaurant on Roanoke Island. It exudes cosmopolitan class, with soft lighting, a copper-topped bar, polished wood, subtle lighting and a view of the harbor. Dining here is an intimate experience, with servers that make you feel as if you’re their only customer. Food presentation is a priority, and all dishes are works of art. Taste is important, too, and you’ll be wowed by dishes with lengthy descriptions of the style of preparation and unique combinations of ingredients. Fresh local seafood and produce, prime meats, fowl, game and vegetarian offerings are featured, and the desserts are outstanding. With a diverse wine list, specialty craft brews on tap at the bar and a tasteful selection of fine liquors, you’re sure to find the perfect complement to your meal. 1587 is open seven nights a week in the summer; call for off-season nights of operation. Reservations are recommended.


Basnight’s Lone Cedar

  • 7623 S. Virginia Dare Trail, Nags Head/Manteo Causeway

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.


Full Moon Cafe & Brewery

  • 208 Queen Elizabeth Avenue
  • Manteo

This café is a locals’ favorite for its relaxed atmosphere, friendly service and eclectic eats. Notable for bringing a touch of big city style to the downtown Manteo Waterfront, The Full Moon Café is located at the intersection of Queen Elizabeth Avenue and Sir Walter Raleigh Street. Take a seat at one of the umbrella-covered outdoor tables on a sunny day or balmy summer night and watch the world go by as you dine. The menu features creative, nouveau American cuisine and offers something for everyone, from grilled Angus steaks and delicious seafood entrees to tasty vegetarian dishes. Appetizers, soups and salads are delectable, and you can’t go wrong with any of the daily lunch and dinner specials, including wonderful pasta and quiche options. The wine list is extensive, with more than 50 choices available. Taking his fascination with beer to the next level, co-owner Paul Charron brews his own distinctive beers in the adjacent brew pub, billed as “the smallest, coolest brewery on the East Coast!” The Full Moon Brewery swept the recent World Beer Championship, grabbing eight medals for eight entries. Stop in, take a stool and witness the ancient art of brewing as you enjoy a modern, flavorful craft beer. The outside terrace is dog friendly — they even serve your pooch homemade dog biscuits. The café is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week in-season. Call for off-season hours. Dinner reservations are accepted.


Poor Richard’s Sandwich Shop

  • 303 Queen Elizabeth Avenue, Manteo Waterfront
  • Manteo

Poor Richards is the local meet-and-greet neighborhood sandwich shop by day and bar by night. It has two doors, one leading from the Manteo boardwalk and another off the street. You can eat inside in a booth or table or sit outside on the patio right next to the water. You order at the counter, get your drink and your number then wait for your meal to be delivered to your table. Poor Richards is a Boar’s Head deli serving hot and cold sandwiches made to order and served with chips and a pickle. You can also get burgers, hot dogs, soup, chili, salads, fries and onion rings and ice cream. For breakfast, there are egg sandwiches, toast and bagels, pancakes and bacon and sausage. Breakfast and lunch are served Monday through Saturday, and lunch is served on Sunday. In the summer, they also serve dinner most nights until 8 p.m. In the evenings, Poor Richard’s After Hours, a pub in the front of the restaurant, is open and serves wine, beer and a full cadre of bar drinks. They open at 5 p.m. every night but Sunday, when they open at 3 p.m. The pub offers karaoke on Wednesday nights year round and live music on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights year round. In the summer, there’s music on Thursday nights as well.

Avenue Waterfront Grille

  • 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 of an Outer Banks vacation yet the quality of the food and service will match your highest expectations and is local whenever possible, always fresh and chef-prepared. The menu lends itself to seafood prepared with a modern touch and a nod to the classics. And there are many options other than seafood. The laid back menu offers a wide variety and the dinner specials focus on artisanal-style dishes with meticulous attention to detail. The separate bar and lounge area offers mixed drinks, 10 beers on tap, microbrews, bottled beers and an outstanding selection of wine. Look for live music on the patio in the summer. Avenue Waterfront Grille is well-prepared for in-house events like wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners and private parties, and they offer both in-house and off-premise catering. Reservations are not required but are accepted. Call ahead for hours of operation.

Big Al’s Soda Fountain & Grill

  • 716 S. U.S. Highway 64
  • Manteo
  • (252) 473-5570

Big Al’s Soda Fountain & Grill is a truly fun dining experience, serving up classic American-fare in a delightful ‘50s retro atmosphere since 1997. It features an authentic, full-service soda fountain, juke box, dance floor, game room, gift shop and one of the country’s largest collections of Coca-Cola memorabilia. The menu features fresh 100 percent USDA–certified prime Angus burgers, daily blue plate specials, all-American entrees like meatloaf, N.C. barbecue, family-recipe crab cakes, local seafood, create-your-own salads and a great kids’ menu. You must save room for something sweet here. The soda fountain turns out tasty treats like homemade ice cream, milkshakes, malts, flavored cokes, sundaes and splits, and the homemade pies and cakes are fantastic. Big Al’s is right on the main gateway of Manteo, making it the perfect stop on your way to or from the Roanoke Island attractions. From Memorial Day to Labor Day it’s open every day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; call for off-season hours. You can eat in or take out. Large groups and private parties are welcome.

Big Buck’s Homemade Ice Cream

  • Waterfront Shops, Downtown Manteo
  • Manteo
  • (252) 423-3118

For a tasty treat, head to Big Buck’s Homemade Ice Cream. Choose from more than 50 flavors of made-from-scratch ice cream plus sherbet, sorbet and soft serve. You can get any flavor made into a shake, split, sundae or float, even a brownie sundae — yum! Big Buck’s has an espresso bar and all the espresso-based coffee drinks you need to pick up your day. Candies, homemade chocolates and taffy are also available. Check out the Big Buck’s Ts, and don’t forget the ice cream cake! They have a flavor for every occasion.

Brine & Bottle

  • 7531 S. Virginia Dare Trail, Nags Head/Manteo Causeway, Caribbean Professional Center
  • (252) 715-1818

The Brine and Bottle stands out on the Outer Banks restaurant scene for its resolute commitment to utilizing seasonal, fresh, local ingredients. It’s owned and operated by two North Carolina natives, chef Andrew Donovan and sommelier Ashley Whitfield, who work with fishermen and farmers in Dare and nearby Currituck and Martin counties to source local ingredients. Indoors in the cozy dining room or outdoors on the spacious waterfront deck overlooking the Roanoke Sound, enjoy carefully selected wines and craft beers as well as seasonal Southern fare, including the customer favorite shrimp and grits with fried N.C. grit cakes. Donovan, who was listed in the inaugural edition of Best Chefs America, changes the dinner menu nightly, depending on what’s fresh. Take home such goodies as Maldon sea salt, house blend coffee, grits, bacon jam and pickles, which are canned in house (think old-fashioned bread and butters, dilly beans, pickled okra and more). The Brine and Bottle’s selection of wines and beers changes frequently, and there are always a few North Carolina beer selections available. During the summer season, the restaurant is open for dinner nightly. Call for off-season hours. Catering services are available, both on-site and off-site.

Coffeehouse on Roanoke Island

  • 106-A Sir Walter Raleigh Street
  • Manteo
  • (252) 475-1295

The Coffeehouse offers expertly prepared coffee and espresso drinks, tea, chai, hot chocolate, milk shakes, smoothies and hard-scoop ice cream. Check out the selection of loose teas. Pastries, scones, homemade cakes, breakfast items, muffins and other baked goods tempt you for breakfast, lunch or a snack. With cafe tables (inside or out), sofas and reading material, you’ll want to stay awhile. Lots of gifts are for sale here too, and they offer gift baskets. It’s open seven days a week in season; call for off-season hours.

Darrell’s Restaurant

  • 523 S. U.S. Highway 64
  • Manteo
  • (252) 473-5366

Darrell’s is a family-style seafood restaurant that’s a locals’ favorite and has been operated by the Daniels family for 54 years. Darrell Daniels started the Polar Bear Drive-In in 1960, and when the second generation came on board in 1972, the family changed the focus to a family-style seafood restaurant and renamed it Darrell’s Seafood Restaurant. Now the third generation is working here, and seafood is still the definite specialty. The fried oysters are widely touted as the best anywhere, served with the traditional fixings of cole slaw, French fries and hush puppies, and their blackened tuna over black beans and rice is both healthy and delicious! Locals know that Darrell’s does seafood right. Land food, children’s fare and light eaters’ dishes are also available. Darrell’s has a new wood-fired grill for barbecue. Helpings are heaping, and desserts are delicious, if you have room. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served Monday through Saturday. Darrell’s does on-site and off-site catering for groups and events of 20 people or more. And if you find yourself over on the beach at meal time, don’t forget that Darrell’s now has a second location, Darrell’s 2 BBQ & Seafood, located at the Outer Banks Mall and open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Fisherman’s Wharf

  • 4683 Mill Landing Road
  • Wanchese
  • (252) 473-6004

It doesn’t get any fresher than this! At Fisherman’s Wharf you can dine on fresh seafood right on the harbor of an authentic fishing village. The Daniels family (one of the longest-standing Outer Banks families) opened this restaurant in 1974 and pride themselves on serving the freshest seafood on the Outer Banks. Fisherman’s Wharf is over a fish house, with boats unloading fresh catches right downstairs. Every seat has a panoramic view of Wanchese Harbor, so you’ll see all the activity of a working waterfront while you enjoy your meal. Everything, including dessert, is homemade. Fisherman’s Wharf serves lunch and dinner every day but Sunday, and they offer a children’s menu. To get there, head down N.C. Highway 345 into Wanchese. Stay on 345 (don’t veer off anywhere) almost until the road ends. You’ll see a boat on pilings in the parking lot that reads “Fisherman’s Wharf.” You can also get there by boat, and there are docks where you can tie up while you dine. Take-out ordering is available.

Front Porch Cafe

  • 300 U.S. Highway 64
  • Manteo
  • (252) 473-3160

This charming, free-standing coffeehouse is located at the first stoplight on the main road in Manteo, next to the Ford dealership. The Front Porch Café offers a full espresso bar with a wide variety of coffee drinks. You will find a nice offering of teas and pastries like croissants, muffins, cinnamon buns and cookies, which are baked fresh every day. This location has plenty of seating and free WiFi access with power strips to keep your laptop humming. They roast their own coffee (at the Nags Head location) and have a wide selection of whole bean or ground coffee to take home, along with a nice assortment of coffee-related items (mugs, presses, etc.), great gifts and world music. Check out their wine bar, with a discriminate selection of wines available both by the glass or to take out. The Front Porch opens at 6 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. on Sundays. They offer evening hours during the summer and wine tastings First Fridays from 5 to 7 p.m.

Garden Deli & Pizzeria

  • 512 S. U.S. Highway 64
  • Manteo
  • (252) 473-6888

This friendly neighborhood restaurant is a Roanoke Island favorite and often busy, but service is fast and meals are quick so the wait is never long. The delicious New York-style, hand-tossed pizzas are loaded with toppings and are available to eat in or take out, and Garden delivers on Roanoke Island and in Pirate’s Cove in the evening. People are becoming addicted to Garden’s fresh-baked sub rolls, which smell heavenly as they’re baking and taste delicious filled with cheese steak, house-made chicken or tuna salad, or deli meats and cheeses. Garden also makes paninnis, burgers, salads and delicious desserts like Hershey Bar cake and cheesecake. It’s open for lunch and dinner every day except Sunday. You can sit inside or out on the porch.

Great Gut Deli

  • 219 Thicket Lump Drive, Thicket Lump Marina
  • Wanchese
  • (252) 473-2479

Lunch at this deli is worth a trip to Wanchese, whether you go by car or by boat. Due to its popularity, the owners expanded the restaurant in spring 2012 and now there are more seating options. The name comes from what the locals call the body of water that runs by here. The deli offers fine meats and cheeses for a variety of sandwiches, but the real appeal is owner Annie Davis’s homemade cooking. You can never go wrong with one of her daily specials or her fabulous shrimp, chicken or tuna salad. Sandwiches, wraps, salads and fresh soups are always on the menu, and there’s usually a special treat every day. Beer and wine are served here. The deli is open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday year round. When you’re out enjoying a day on your boat, Thicket Lump Marina is a great place to fill up your belly and your gas tank.

Hungry Pelican Deli and Ice Cream

  • 207 Queen Elizabeth Avenue, Waterfront Shops
  • Manteo
  • (252) 473-9441

The Hungry Pelican is known and loved for its fresh deli sandwiches and superb baked goods. This location serves sandwiches, salads and kids’ fare, along with hand-dipped ice cream and baked goods. With a big range of lunch choices, it’s a great place to pick up a picnic before a boat tour from the waterfront or a concert at Roanoke Island Festival Park or just to enjoy out on the beautiful Manteo waterfront. The Hungry Pelican does have a front row water view, which you enjoy from inside the restaurant. Or you can eat outside on their patio, in the cool shade of the Waterfront Shops. Pick up treats here as well, from milk shakes and sundaes to cupcakes, cookies, brownies and cakes. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Island Central Grill

  • 928 U.S. Highway 64
  • Roanoke Island
  • (252) 473-1701

While overlooking the palm trees and cypress marsh, enjoy dining comfortably on a screened, covered deck. (Heated and enclosed in the late fall and early spring.) The delicious food is cooked fresh with selections like shrimp and chips, fish and chips, fish and shrimp tacos, soft crabs (in season), and favorites like cheeseburgers, hot dogs with homemade chili and steak sandwiches with homemade steak sauce. There is also a variety of salads and other great menu items. But the Island Fries really stand out — they’re thick-sliced potatoes, flash fried in healthy canola oil, crisp and unforgettable, especially with ranch dressing. Wash it all down with cool limeade, hand-dipped milkshakes or a soft drink. Island Central Grill serves lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

La Cabana

  • 112 U.S. Highway 64/264, next to Piggly Wiggly
  • Manteo
  • (252) 473-9364

La Cabana (The Cabin) is a family-oriented restaurant and bar that serves Latin and seafood dishes from Central American countries such as El Salvador and Belize. It’s a popular locals’ spot thanks to its welcoming atmosphere, great service and quality food at affordable prices. Expand your cultural awareness and delight your taste buds with specialties like Guatemalan chicken, Belizean-style beans and rice, Salvadoran pupusas, Honduran fried fish with tajadas (fried green plantain) and Mexican fajitas. Chef Tony Calvio puts a Latin American spin on local seafood as well. If you think you don’t like Latin American food because it’s spicy, Calvio urges you to come in and try his mildly spiced dishes that are not hot, just full of flavor. Desserts are authentic as well, from tres leches to house-made coconut flan to plantain empanadas with vanilla custard. La Cabana is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. (Sunday brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.). La Cabana is closed on Mondays. Take-out orders are welcome. Ask about the Hall of Fame Burrito Contest that’s offered one Saturday a month.

La Dolce Vita Manteo

  • 814 N. U.S. Highway 64, Elizabethan Inn
  • Manteo
  • (252) 473-9919

La Dolce Vita Manteo, an authentic Italian restaurant and local’s favorite located in the Elizabethan Inn, is one of Roanoke Island’s best-kept dining secrets. The extensive menu runs from antipasto to pizza and strombolis, hot and cold sandwiches and a variety of traditional Italian entrees. Antipasto (appetizer) options include everything from bruschetta to caprese salad (tomato slices, mozzarella, basil and olive oil) to toasted ravioli and delicately fried calamari. Salads range from a crisp and fresh house salad to an antipasto salad featuring salami, ham, and provolone cheese along with the expected lettuce, tomato, onions and mushrooms. Salads can also be ordered topped with chicken, shrimp or tuna steak. The pasta dishes offer everything from traditional spaghetti with meat sauce to fettucine alfredo to stuffed lobster ravioli. Try the Linguine al Pescatore featuring shrimp, clams and mussels over a bed of perfectly cooked pasta. Delicious! La Dolce’s pizzas are available with an amazing array of toppings (nearly 20 at last count) and their strombolis come in personal and family sizes. La Dolce Vita Manteo is open for lunch and dinner. Dine in, take out or have your meal delivered. They also offer catering for special events such as wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, luncheons, parties, holiday gatherings, company meetings and more.

O’Neal’s Sea Harvest

  • 618 Harbor Road
  • Wanchese
  • (252) 473-4535

The O’Neal family is known on the Outer Banks for its commitment to harvesting and selling fresh seafood straight out of the sea. Their seafood market, O’Neal’s Sea Harvest in Wanchese, is a trusted source for fish, crab meat and crabs, shrimp, scallops, oysters and clams. This is an open-air fish market where you can see the guys at work cleaning and processing seafood. You can select a whole fish and they’ll clean it for you right there. Head down to O’Neal’s to pick up steamed crabs by the bushel or shrimp by the pound or to pick up a cooler full of seafood to take back home (they’ll ice it down for you at no charge.)

O’Neal’s Sea Harvest also has a lunch restaurant where you can enjoy all these seafood delicacies expertly prepared right on site. They serve shrimp, scallop, oyster or soft-shell po’boys (depending on the season), seafood baskets, grilled gamefish wraps, burgers, fresh tuna and shrimp salads and crab cakes. You can get the salads and crab cakes to take home for dinner as well. Seating is inside or outside on the deck. O’Neals is located in the setting of Wanchese Seafood Industrial Park and Wanchese Harbor. To get there, head down N.C. 345 at the big intersection on Roanoke Island. Stay on 345 and turn left on Harbor Road.

Olde Towne Creamery

  • 500 U.S. Hwy. 64/264, corner of Ananias Dare Street
  • Manteo
  • (252) 305-8060

Olde Towne Creamery is known for offering the largest selection of sweets that the whole family craves—delicious premium hand-dipped ice cream, smoothies, sundaes, milkshakes, banana splits, fudge, gourmet chocolates, true Italian ice, and gourmet desserts like cannolis, triple chocolate cheesecake, caramel apple pie and over the top brownie sundaes.

For those without a sweet tooth, or arriving with an empty tummy, Olde Towne Creamery is more than just ice cream. Also on the menu are North Carolina-style savory pulled pork barbecue sandwiches with sweet cole slaw, New York-style all-beef hotdogs, Italian meatball hoagies or pan pizza. Looking for a lighter fare? Check out the organic chicken breast sandwich, Greek yogurt or decadent salads. You can get Italian coffee, shots of espresso or choose from a large selection of GiGi’s Loose Leaf teas to brew a cup or purchase by the ounce. Olde Towne Creamery has indoor and outdoor seating, and they’re open year-round. You can also rent bikes for kids and adults, including three-wheeled bikes. Call or check their website for hours.

Ortega’z Southwestern Grill and Wine Bar

  • 201 Sir Walter Raleigh Street
  • Manteo
  • (252) 473-5911

Ortega’z Southwestern Grill brings some cultural spice to downtown Manteo along with a little flash of star quality. The restaurant and its owners, Marcelo and Lisa Ortega, were featured in a recent episode of the Food Network’s popular show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives with Guy Fieri. The specialty of this Southwestern-inspired restaurant is sourcing local ingredients including local catch seafood, produce and even coffee. Large portions at affordable prices enhance the value of an Ortega’z meal. House-made specialties include a Southwestern-encrusted rib eye, a full rack of barbecued ribs, tequila-lime chicken, build-your-own fajitas, local seafood from Wanchese harbor, healthy salads and soups and more. Desserts include homemade cheesecakes, flan and churros (apple-filled pastries drizzled with caramel icing). Ortega’z serves beer and wine, with a wine list dedicated to the regions where the owners grew up – Northern California and Chile – and now also has a full bar. The atmosphere is colorful and casual, and in warm weather you can dine outside on the patio.

Pizza Hut

  • 264 U.S. Highway 64
  • Manteo
  • (252) 473-1945

You probably know what you can get at Pizza Hut — pizza, subs, Italian entrees and a salad bar. It is located right across from Ace Hardware on the corner of Sir Walter Raleigh Street. If you’re looking for a late dinner, this is one of the few places on the island to get it. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Stone Oven Pizza

  • 7531 S. Virginia Dare Trail, Nags Head/Manteo Causeway
  • (252) 441-7775

Stone Oven is a convenient stop off the causeway and features great pizza, calzones, sub sandwiches, a variety of appetizers including chicken wings and mozzarella sticks, plus salads, sodas and beer. They’ve got a beautiful soundfront location, and you can eat on the deck while overlooking the water. You can also take it to go. They offer free delivery all day within Nags Head and Pirate’s Cove (in the less busy times of year, they’ll deliver to Manteo and farther up the beach; just call and ask). Stone Oven is open year round.

Stripers Bar and Grille

  • 1100-A S. Bay Club Drive
  • Manteo
  • (252) 475-1021

Stripers has a great waterfront location at Shallowbag Bay Marina, and they offer plenty of opportunities to enjoy the water views. You can eat on the screened-in deck, on the outdoor patio, in the first-floor bar or in the second-floor restaurant. The views get better the higher you go. Stripers menu includes fresh local seafood, steaks, sandwiches, burgers, salads, pastas and appetizers. The seafood is guaranteed fresh, as the owner has good connections with local fishermen. Some favorites on the menu include lobster bisque, oyster stew, crab dip, crab cakes, cheese-steak egg rolls and sliders. Small and large portion sizes are available. Stripers offers a happy hour with half-price steamed shrimp and crab legs every day from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., and they have a full liquor license and offer beer, wine and mixed drinks. It’s open every day from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. continuously. On Sundays they open at 10 a.m. for brunch. In the summer months they offer live music and karaoke on the weekends. Take-out and catering are available.


  • 218 U.S. Highway 64, Chesley Mall
  • Manteo
  • (252) 473-4544

This locally owned franchise of the national chain features the quick, deli-style sandwiches with all the fixings that everybody knows. But it probably has the friendliest service of any Subway you’ve ever been in. It’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. Hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday, making this a good place to get a late meal.

Sugar Creek Soundfront Seafood Restaurant

  • 7340 S. Virginia Dare Trail, Nags Head/Manteo Causeway
  • (252) 441-4963

Offering a primo location right on the water, Sugar Creek has been serving the freshest seafood available to locals and visitors for years. The views of Sugar Creek and the Roanoke Sound are incredible. The outdoor walkways and decks on the property are great for strolling along and viewing the resident wildlife. Before dinner, enjoy a drink from their outdoor gazebo bar. Folks can also enjoy the newly expanded covered decks for awesome outside dining and spectacular views of the Roanoke Sound. The fresh, local tuna, shrimp and scallops are expertly prepared at Sugar Creek and keep seafood lovers happy. Also on the menu are favorites like steaks, prime rib, chicken, ribs, pasta, salads, soups, burgers and sandwiches. Sugar Creek won the 2010 Taste of the Beach People’s Choice award for their Shrimp & Grits. They have a children’s menu. The newly expanded dining room easily accommodates large parties and special events like rehearsal dinners. Sugar Creek serves lunch and dinner daily in season and is open from March through December. Check out The Sugar Shack, located next door, for great take-out seafood and a quick bite.

Sugar Shack

  • 7340 S. Virginia Dare Trail, Nags Head/Manteo Causeway
  • (252) 441-3888

Sugar Shack is located right next to Sugar Creek Soundfront Seafood Restaurant. This is the place to pick up the freshest seafood around. Choose from steamed seafood like shrimp, lobster and king crab legs, or pick up a steamer bucket with a variety of steamed seafood. They even serve fried seafood. In fact, the fresh fish sandwiches and boats (including Shack chips and slaw) they make here are some of the best we’ve ever eaten anywhere! Everything is cooked to order. They have increased their seating outside, and the owner calls it shaded, deck dinning. So you can dine inside or out and either way you’ll have a fantastic view of the sound and super sunsets. They also stock beer. The Sugar Shack is a great way to feed a crowd at home, and they deliver within a 6-mile radius.

Tale of the Whale

  • 7575 S. Virginia Dare Trail, Nags Head/Manteo Causeway
  • (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.

The Landing

  • 4457 Mill Landing Road
  • Wanchese
  • (252) 473-3247

The Landing is Wanchese’s newest eating establishment, conveniently located on Mill Landing Road (also known as NC Highway 345) on the harbor side near the big curve. The Landing serves breakfast and lunch, and menu items include biscuits, hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, wings, ice cream and more. They have ample parking that can accommodate vehicles large and small.

TL’s Country Kitchen

  • 812 S. U.S. Highway 64
  • Manteo
  • (252) 473-3489

Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, TL’s offers great home-style food. Breakfast is served all day long. The regular menu features home-style fare, steaks and seafood, plus there’s a salad bar and numerous lunch and dinner specials. The cakes and pies are homemade. The staff and the clientele of local regulars are friendly and welcoming, in true Southern fashion. TL’s is open Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sundays from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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