17 Delicious & Family Friendly Outer Banks Restaurants You Will Love

If you’re ready to try some of the best Outer Banks restaurants, we’ve got you! You can find a wonderful variety of places to eat in the OBX. Whether you are wanting to try some fresh seafood, American fare, international dishes, or anything in between, you can find it in the Outer Banks.

Take a peek below!

lobster roll

Delicious Outer Banks Restaurants You Will Love

Black Pelican

The Black Pelican Oceanfront Restaurants is in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The restaurant is laid back and is located in one of the coolest settings. It’s in a former lifesaving station from the 1870s which is about as cool as it gets when it comes to the unique restaurants in the Outer Banks. 

Eating at this restaurant will put you nearby the Regional Public Beach Access and just two minutes from the Wright Brothers Mural on the North Croatan Highway. 

They serve up a delightful combination of cuisine at the Black Pelican. You can find steaks, shrimp gumbo, wood-fired gourmet pizzas, and more. When looking for waterfront restaurants in Kitty Hawk, it doesn’t get much better than the Black Pelican!

shrimp gumbo

Thai Room

At Thai Room, they serve both Thai and Chinese cuisine. You can find dishes like shrimp tempura, siamese grilled chicken, papaya salad, Chinese fried rice, and more. If you are looking for take-out restaurants in Kill Devil Hills, this is a good option for you.

Thai Room has a full bar and is located on South Virginia Dare Trail which runs right alongside the coast. You can have a yummy lunch then hop in the door for a few short minutes and arrive at the Wright Brothers National Memorial. This memorial is one of the best things to do in Kill Devil Hills.

different plates of asian food

La Fogata Mexican Restaurant

You can find a La Fogata Mexican Restaurant location in Kitty Hawk, Avon, and Nags Head. This casual cocina is family-friendly and has all of the Mexican cuisine staples. 

If you were looking for a vegetarian restaurant or takeout restaurant in the Outer Banks, La Fogata has a veggie menu and a special takeout menu just for you! 

You will find all of your favorite mixed drinks like Cuba Libres, White Russians, and Margaritas on top of their large selection of wine, whiskey, tequila, and domestic and imported beer. Its large food and drink, takeout, and vegetarian menus make La Fogata one of the best Outer Banks restaurants!

three tacos with different meats and sauces

Blue Water Grill

This airy outdoor restaurant offers its guest seasonal meat and seafood dishes. You will love your visit to the Blue Water Grill and Raw Bar. You can enjoy a delicious meal in a super comfortable venue with water views. 

You will have your choice between dishes like seared sea scallops, shrimp bucatini, fried oyster roll, Carolina barbecue sandwich, sashimi, and poke. One of the best things about this restaurant is its seriously enticing dessert menu!

The Blue Water Grill and Raw Bar is in the cute little beach town of Manteo. From the restaurant, you can head over the bridge into Nags Head or head towards the west to explore Roanoke Island. 

sashimi with garnish

Country Deli

If you plan on spending some time in Kill Devil Hills, be sure to check out the little Country Deli. After a long day in the sun exploring the Outer Banks, the last thing on your mind may be going out for dinner. If you find yourself in this position, call on the Country Deli, they deliver!

Traveling and exploring a new town can make us all develop a big appetite. When you find yourself starving after a day exploring the OBX, head over to Country Deli. They serve huge subs, salads, and sandwiches. For those looking for something light, grab a salad and head to the beach or the Run Hill State Natural Area for a little OBX picnic. 

a sub sandwich, chips, and a drink

Tortugas Lie

Tortugas Lie is a groovy little seafood spot where you can grab burgers, tacos, sushi, or Caribbean fare. Located in Nags Head, Tortugas Lie is a casual restaurant that offers its visitors a breezy porch to relax on. 

The interior is painted turquoise and is decorated with license plates and beach-themed decor. This relaxing and laid-back restaurant is just what you need at the end of a long day exploring Nags Head. 

chicken tacos

Miller’s Waterfront Restaurant

Have you been thinking about eating lunch at one of the waterfront Outer Banks restaurants? Miller’s is a great choice! You can chow down on some delicious hushpuppies, calamari, or crab cakes while you take in the views over the water. 

With both indoor and outdoor seating to choose from you can rest assured that Miller’s will fit your need whether the weather is cooperating or not. Once you are done with lunch, you can head down the road a couple of minutes and take a walk out next to Jennette’s Pier.

lobster roll and fries

Gidget’s Pizza and Pasta

This laid-back pizza restaurant is one of the best Outer Banks restaurants that you can add to your OBX bucket list! Complete with black and white checkered floors, Gidget’s is a super cozy restaurant for anyone looking to get stuffed on some delicious food.

You can find pasta, pizzas, subs, salads, loaded fries, and more.  Gidget’s is right down the road from the Boardwalk Beach Access so you will be in a great area to enjoy time spent by the water in Avon after you eat. 

pepperoni pizza

Howard’s Pub

You will want to hop on the ferry from Hatteras Island to Ocracoke Island for this buzzing restaurant! Howard’s Pub and Raw Bar has been around since 1991 on Ocracoke Island and it has created quite a reputation for itself. They have post-beach-worthy drinks, super fun and eclectic interior, and of course, good food. 

They have typical American fare and locally caught seafood dishes. Hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, crab cakes, and fried pickles are all options for you to choose from. This is one of the best Outer Banks restaurants you can try in one of the best Outer Banks towns!

two crab cakes with sauce and cole slaw

Fish Heads Bar and Grill

This is one of the most perfect Outer Banks restaurants that you absolutely must try. Loaded nachos, fresh pink lemonade, hush puppies, and locally caught seafood are all waiting for you! Chow down out on the pier over the crashing waves while the ocean breeze blows through your hair, so dreamy!

We loved this restaurant so much, it is the top recommendation for where to eat in the Outer Banks. Their packed tacos, loaded chili dogs, and fresh shrimp are out of this world!

Fish Heads is in Nags Head which is in the center of the Outer Banks. It is one of the best towns in North Carolina and as such offers you many cool things to do in the Outer Banks. After a day of checking out the best that the barrier islands have to offer, you will love a sunset dinner at Fish Heads. 

nachos topped with chili, tomatoes, jalapeños,sour cream

Captain George

Have you been looking for a seafood buffet in the Outer Banks? Located in Kill Devil Hills, Captain George’s Seafood Restaurant is a family-owned chain that offers a large seafood buffet and classic American dishes. 

Family travelers will want to consider this restaurant to feed hungry and growing kids, not only for the buffet but for its location. The restaurant is just a few minutes from the Wright Brothers National Memorial. Pay a visit to the memorial before or after your meal at Captain George’s, either way, it makes for a great addition to your Outer Banks itinerary. 

crab legs

Red Drum Grille and Cafe

Ready for a classic surf n’ turf? The Red Drum Tap House has seafood, ribs, steaks, and more than eighteen beers on tap. If you are in Nags Head, consider swinging by the Red Drum for a great meal in a fun and laid-back environment. 

The Red Drum is one of the most popular Outer Banks restaurants and is in a great location for walking around the town after your meal. There are several shops and galleries within walking distance of the restaurant.

fish and chips

Red Skye Cafe

This restaurant in Duck, North Carolina is a cozy and eclectic addition to your Outer Banks travel plans. They offer a mix of local and global dishes alongside wine and spirits. Their food is fresh and will leave you feeling full without feeling weighed down. 

You can try their shrimp and grits, slow-cooked pork ribs, Mahi, scallops, or avocado toast. All of their food is so visually appealing and fresh. The brightly colored drinks also bring a sense of freshness and brightness to every meal. Be sure to finish off your meal with a chocolate or a fresh and fruity dessert.

The freshness and variety of the food at Red Sky make it one of the very best Outer Banks restaurants. On Saturdays and Sundays they have brunch until 3 pm, so if you are tired from the day before and need to sleep in, keep the Red Skye Cafe in mind!

chocolate cake with chocolate drizzle

Jimmys Seafood Buffet

Crab legs, fried shrimp, and whole lobsters, oh my! There’s nothing like a seafood buffet in the Outer Banks. Blue crabs, tuna, flounder, shrimp, cob,  mackerel, and rock fish are all plentiful around the Outer Banks. Because of this, the seafood is fresh and just totally out of this world. 

Other than the great food, this restaurant is really great option for you when you are in Kitty Hawk as they offer both take-out and delivery. The interior is open and full of life, you are sure to love your meal at Jimmy’s Seafood Buffet.

full lobsters cooked

Cafe Pamlico

When it comes to Outer Banks restaurants, Cafe Pamlico is one of the best. When down south on Hatteras Island, this fine dining establishment should be on your radar. They serve locally sourced seafood in a high-end bar and eatery. 

Outside you will find views of the sound and a wooden boardwalk that takes you out over the water. If you choose to eat outside, there is a large wooden deck where you can enjoy dinner a view of the colorful sky over the water at sunset. 

You’ll find small plate dishes like crab cakes and shiitake mushrooms, land dishes like rack of lamb and boneless short ribs, and sea dishes like black grouper and soft shell crab. If you need a plant-based dish, you have a choice between dishes like cauliflower au gratin and baked zucchini. 

Most restaurants in the Outer Banks are pretty laid-back and easy-going, Cafe Pamlico brings a different vibe into the mix. Consider visiting on your trip to the barrier islands!

a bloody mary

Lisa’s Pizzeria

Lisa’s Pizzeria in Rodanthe has been serving the Rodanthe/Waves/Salvo area for more than thirty-five years. Lisa’s is a cozy eatery that serves open-face sandwiches, Italian dishes, and of course, hand-tossed pizzas. 

Those who like supreme pizza.. will love it Lisa’s! They come covered in topping and they’re totally irresistible. If you are eating in the restaurant, they have beers on tap and a comfortable and fun environment to enjoy them in. 

If you are taking an Outer Banks road trip and are on your way home from the Outer Banks, grabbing a calzone to enjoy on the road is a must-do. This way you can take a little piece of Outer Banks goodness with you on the go.

Rodanthe is one of the most stunning Outer Banks towns and it has some of the best beaches, so if you get the chance, be sure to check them out. 

spaghetti and meatballs

Taiko Japanese Restaurant

Ahhh, back to glorious Nags Head. Taiko Japanese Restaurant is at 5000 South Croatan Highway in Nags Head. They have sushi, hibachi, sashimi, and more. You can fill up on light, fresh, and delicious Asian cuisine at Taikos.

Taiko’s is a small restaurant. The tables are close together and there is a bar where you can sit as well. Something that is so wonderful about the Outer Banks is all small they are. This beautiful small-town vibe can’t be found everywhere. When visiting Taiko’s this vibe is carried inside as you enjoy a delicious meal. 

If you are ready for dessert after a meal at Taiko’s you have two options nearby. You can go next door to Island Snowball Company for ice cream. Or you can head across the road for some unique donuts from Duck Donuts. They have blueberry pancake, bacon, strawberry fudge, and more!

sushi on plate

As you can see, there are so many great Outer Banks restaurants for you to choose from during your travels through the barrier islands. Whether you are looking for a casual place to kick your feet up and enjoy some typical American fare or you want some things a little more refined with fine dining dishes, you can find it in the OBX.

So, tell us, have you been to any of these restaurants? Which one will you visit first next time you are in the Outer Banks? Our favorites are Howard’s Pub on Ocracoke Island and Fish Heads in Nags Head!

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