The Outer Banks is home to some of the best restaurants in North Carolina (and the country if you ask us). It can be a little overwhelming to narrow down where you want to eat during your vacation, but don’t you worry. We’ve asked our staff what their favorite Outer Banks restaurants are; giving you a foolproof guide to picking out a spot to chow down!

The Kill Devil Grill

From A Local’s Perspective…

“The building is unique, the staff is friendly, the specials are great. I’ve never been disappointed with anything I’ve had there. My favorite thing to order is the cheesesteak egg rolls; delicious!”

— Lisa, Rental Management

The Kill Devil Grill has been a staple among local Outer Banks restaurants for over 17 years. From the outside, Kill Devil Grill looks like a 1939 Kullman dining car but once you step foot inside, it expands into a more spacious and nostalgic dining experience. Kill Devil Grill features a wide variety of menu items from burgers to locally sourced seafood; all made with fresh ingredients, making this local spot one of the best.


From A Local’s Perspective…

“It’s fancy, but not too much. Tapas are amazingly tasty, and their chocolate mousse is to die for!”

— Anastasia, Rental Management

Metropolis is a chic restaurant with an adult atmosphere located in Corolla. This Outer Banks restaurant offers over 80 handcrafted martinis, 20 single malt scotches, a sophisticated wine list, and so much more. Be advised, Metropolis doesn’t offer many if any kid friendly options, so this is the perfect getaway for grownups. Metropolis is definitely a spot for adults that want a great drink and lighter faire.


From A Local’s Perspective…

“My favorite  place to eat is Boardwok in Waves.  Everything on the menu is wonderful. My favorite thing to order is the Steak and rice noodles with a salad, the blue cheese dressing is amazing! The veggie spring rolls are my favorite appetizer.”

— Marilyn, Vacation Specialist

Boardwok brings Hatteras Island a taste of Asian cuisine! With dishes like Sesame Chicken, Vegetable Delight, and locally sourced Shrimp and Broccoli, you’ll be sure to enjoy this up and coming restaurant. Plus, Boardwok also offers tasty homemade desserts like chocolate peanut butter cake and pie!


From A Local’s Perspective…

“My favorite OBX restaurant is Khan’s Mongolian Grill. You get to pick everything that you want and it’s no frills. The must have combo is lamb, scallops, pineapple, and onion with Hawaiian sauce with fried rice.”

— Peter, Marketing

Khan’s Mongolian Grill is a unique Outer Banks restaurant that provides you your meal, your way. At Khan’s, you start with the freshest ingredients of your choice from vegetables to meat and then topped with a signature sauce. From there, a chef will cook up your custom meal for you in just a few minutes! Khan’s also features appetizers, soups, salads, and a kid’s menu!

Tale of the Whale

From A Local’s Perspective…

“I absolutely love Tale of the Whale! It’s got an amazing sound view and a large menu selection. It’s my favorite place to go for special occasions. The crab stuffed lobster is a must have!”

— Debbie, Business Development

Located on the soundfront in Nags Head, Tale of the Whale has been a local staple among Outer Banks restaurants since 1980. Tale of the Whale features stunning sound views and even features a soundfront gazebo. During the summer months, Tale of the Whale is a popular restaurant choice to there’s usually a bit of a wait. However, when you have the opportunity to wait watching the sunset over the sound with a cold drink in your hand from the tiki bar, the wait is well worth it. Tale of the Whale prides itself in serving “good food in ample portions with superior service in a comfortable setting.”

Black Pelican

From A Local’s Perspective…

“The Black Pelican is my absolute favorite. I like the historical background of the building – being an old lifesaving station – where the Wright brothers communicated out to let the world know that they achieved flight. As for food, they have a very diverse menu where you can enjoy anything from seafood to burgers and even wood fired specialty pizzas – which are fantastic.”

— Rich, Maintenance

The Black Pelican holds a special piece of Outer Banks history within its walls. The building that is now the Black Pelican was once the Kitty Hawk Lifesaving Station. Built in 1874, the Kitty Hawk Lifesaving Station was home to a crew of six surfmen who were responsible for rescuing those who took on the rough waters of the Outer Banks. A Black Pelican was always seen flying around the Lifesaving Station and served as “an omen for impending disaster and crucial rescue needs.” The Black Pelican restaurant today pays homage to the bird and crew that helped save lives, as well as provide tasty menu options for its patrons.

Tortuga’s Lie

From A Local’s Perspective…

“We love going there or picking up our order to go. Why stay and eat? They have amazing and unique decoration, back of the restaurant you can eat, have a beer, and play games (beach volleyball my favorite). Their food is amazing, big burgers, fries are delicious, and house ranch. OMG! Their Jerk Burger and Teriyaki Burger are unique in taste and nobody has anything that can compete. One last item Sushi night is awesome and nachos for appetizer is delicious. The staff always nice and their swag (clothes/stickers) excellent quality.”

— Diana, Business Development

If you’ve ever driven along the beach road, you’ve probably seen a packed parking lot outside of this seafoam green building; and for good reason! Tortuga’s Lie is among the most popular restaurants on the Outer Banks. Tortuga’s Lie has been around since 1989 and serves up a slice of the Caribbean with appetizers, lunch, dinner, and dessert! Plus, if you’re a volleyball aficionado you can pass, set, and hit a few rounds on the sand courts!

Food Dudes

From A Local’s Perspective…

“My favorite is Food Dudes in KDH. It’s a tiny hole in the wall, but the service is always friendly and the food is consistently delicious. The walls are covered with awesome local art and there’s always a good surf video on the big screen TV. I always order some nachos, an ice cold can of PBR, and whatever’s on special. I’ve never been let down!”

— Amy, Rental Management

If you’re looking for a great little locally owned eatery, Food Dudes is your place. Food Dudes features dishes with Caribbean inspired dishes with Mexican flare; all with a local Outer Banks spin.

Barefoot Bernie’s

From A Local’s Perspective…

My Favorite is Barefoot Bernie’s in Kitty Hawk. I love the relaxed, laid back high end Tiki bar feel of the place, the staff is always super friendly and helpful. I have 4 favorite items I order when I go there. 1- Bang Bang Shrimp, 2- The spinach and artichoke dip with pita break, and 3- (Special order)- A grilled chicken Pita wrap with lettuce, onions, provolone cheese, tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, and ranch on the side with French Fries, and 4, the Chicken Tinga Tacos. The absolute best place in my book!”

— Beth, Vacation Specialist

Barefoot Bernie’s features island cuisine and tropical cocktails. The menu is diverse giving every member of your crew endless options for their meal of choice. Barefoot Bernie’s also offers gluten free and entrees under 550 calories! Plus, if you’re a sports junkie, Barefoot Bernie’s has over 20 flat screen TVs with NFL, NCAA, MLB, and NHL packages.

Jolly Roger

From A Local’s Perspective…

“My favorite is The Jolly Roger, I love their flounder and Prime Rib! The staff is always friendly and the décor is very different from your regular beach theme. You have to get there early or else the wait can be long”

— Deborah, Housekeeping

Jolly Roger has been a popular Outer Banks restaurant for over 33 years. This classic OBX restaurant offers a wide menu and is open year-round for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even karaoke night!

Blue Moon

From A Local’s Perspective…

“My favorite restaurant would have to be Blue Moon Beach Grill in Nags Head. This place is simply amazing. They provide very generous portions and the staff is very friendly and attentive. They have everything from fish and chips to filet mignon. Simply put there is something on the menu for even the pickiest eater. My favorite would have to be the “Free Bird” Tender oven-roasted airline chicken breast served over roasted garlic & scallion mashed potatoes with a portobello mushroom brown butter pan gravy and wilted greens.”

— Shannon, Vacation Specialist

Blue Moon Beach grill is another popular choice among Outer Banks restaurants. This small little hole in the wall restaurant packs a big punch. With dishes featuring fresh, local seafood and and southern flare, there’s something for everyone at this local favorite. Blue Moon typically has a longer wait time but it is WELL worth it!

Mama Kwan’s

From A Local’s Perspective…

“My favorite spot is Mama Kwans. They have the best Fish tacos and taco salad on the beach. Get the fish tacos blackened! My 2nd favorite dish is the Garbage Plate.”

— Toni, Housekeeping

Mama Kwan’s is a local Outer Banks restaurant that deserves all the hype it gets. This local eatery features dishes with Asian and Hawaiian flare. Along with tasty dishes, Mama Kwan’s also offers delicious, tropical mixed drinks! Mama Kwan’s food menu is designed for everyone; even the pickiest eater in your family will find something they love at Mama Kwan’s.

Other Staff Favorite Outer Banks Restaurants

Eventide | Duck

Greentails | Nags Head

Waveriders | Nags Head

Vinny’s Pizza Joint | Kitty Hawk

Pok’s Art | Kitty Hawk

Miss Helen’s | Kill Devil Hills

Bro’s Sandwich Shack | Avon

Art’s Place | Kitty Hawk

Country Deli | Kill Devil Hills

Woo Casa | Nags Head

Poor Richard’s | Manteo

These are just a handful of great, local Outer Banks restaurants for you to try during your next vacation! Looking for even more suggestions? Check out OBX Food Guide on instagram for some seriously tasty, local restaurants!

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