Winter on the Outer Banks is something magical. Time seems to slow down but there’s beauty in the stillness. Most local restaurants shut down in the colder months so employees and owners alike can get some much needed rest and relaxation until the warmer, busier season kicks up again. However, when holidays like Valentine’s Day rolls around, it makes it hard to find a restaurant that’s actually open. Luckily, a few Outer Banks eateries do stay open all year-round and some even open back up for you to spend Valentine’s Day with your loved one.
Basnight’s Lone Cedar Cafe – Nags Head
Enjoy fresh, local seafood at Basnight’s Lone Cedar Cafe. Lone Cedar takes pride in serving some of the freshest seafood and home grown herbs and greens right here on the Outer Banks. They even give you the option to bring in your own, cleaned catch of the day and they’ll prepare it for you however you like! This Valentine’s Day, Lone Cedar will be offering dinner specials, along with the full menu. Lone Cedar does not accept reservations so make sure you arrive at 4:30 when dinner starts to get a table and enjoy an out of this world meal with your significant other. Visit Lone Cedars’ website for more information and menu options.
Kelly’s Outer Banks Restaurant and Tavern – Nags Head
For a dining experience that has a little something for anyone, spend your Valentine’s Day dinner at Kelly’s. Their menu consists of local seafood options, fresh meats, pasta, and vegetarian options. With every meal, Kelly’s serves their famous sweet potato biscuits that are to die for. Kelly’s does accept reservations so give them a call at 252-441-4116 or visit their website to view their menu and photos. Kelly’s offers the option to make a reservation online as well.
Blue Moon Beach Grill – Nags Head
Small, cozy, and quirky, Blue Moon Beach Grill is a local restaurant you don’t want to miss out on this Valentine’s Day. With their specialty being in Southern comfort food (like their famous shrimp and grits) expect nothing less than being treated like family. Blue Moon offers an exceptional dining experience at an affordable price. Blue Moon is open all year-round from 11:30 AM to 9:00 PM. Make sure you get there early to beat the dinner rush; Blue Moon does not accept reservations. Check out Blue Moon’s website for more information and take a peek at their menu.
Trio – Kitty Hawk
For a lighter fare and live entertainment, visit TRiO Bar and Bistro. TRiO hosts an immense selection of wine, beer, and cheese for you and your love to sample and a bistro menu of gourmet sandwiches, salads, desserts, and more. This Valentine’s Day, TRiO is hosting a 5 course dinner featuring off menu dishes couples will revel in. The dinner will also be paired with your choice of wine or beer. Advance registration for this event is required. Visit TRiO’s website for more information on the eatery and to register for the dinner event.
Salt Box Cafe – Kill Devil Hills, Colington Harbor
This cottage style restaurant serves the perfect intimate background for you and your sweetheart. The Salt Box Cafe focuses on locally farmed ingredients, seafood, meat, and vegetables to give you the dining experience you’ve only dreamed of. With options available like maple glazed duck breast and grilled local cobia, you and your love will have the best Valentine’s Day yet. Dinner is 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Salt Box Cafe does recommend making a reservation. Call 252-255-5594 to make your reservation. In the meantime, visit the Salt Box Cafe website to see everything they have to offer.
Aqua Restaurant – Duck
This Valentine’s Day, take a trip to Aqua and enjoy waterfront dining that’s sure to make sparks fly with your honey. Aqua offers locally farmed ingredients, fish, and meat to ensure a truly local dining experience. Different selections of beer and wine are available to pair with your meal and live music is played while you dine. You’ll find options like Cornish game hen, seafood pasta, and much more on their menu. After dinner, treat your sweetheart to something sweet off of Aqua’s extensive dessert menu. Reservations can be made over the phone by calling 252-261-9700 or online reservations are available on Aqua’s website.
Cafe Pamlico – Buxton
If casual fine dining is what you and your beloved are looking for this Valentine’s Day, look no further than Cafe Pamlico. With fresh local seafood coming from Buxton’s waters, the restaurant garden, Hatteras island or the Tidewater Region, you’ll be no less than impressed with whatever you order. Cafe Pamlico also offers a variety of vegan, vegetarian, and dietary needs options as well. Cafe Pamlico recommends making a reservation. You can call 252-995-4500 or the front desk at 866-PAMLICO (726-5426) for questions and reservations as well. Check out Cafe Pamlico’s website in the meantime to see all they have to offer.
Striper’s Bar and Grille – Manteo
This 3 floor restaurant will offer couples breathtaking views over the Albemarle Sound and appetizing dinner options that will make your Valentine’s Day sizzle. Striper’s Bar and Grille serves local seafood along with freshly made in house sides and dressings to complete your meal. Enjoy a romantic sunset over the sound as you dine with your loved one. Striper’s also offers catch and cook. You can bring in your own fresh caught and cleaned fish and Striper’s chefs will prepare it to your liking! Striper’s does accept reservations at 252-475-1021 or at 252-475-1022. Visit their website to view even more of their menu
Make this Valentine’s Day one to remember for years to come at any of these Outer Banks restaurants. Whether you’re visiting or you live here all year-round, plan an Outer Banks get away with you and your valentine in one of our cozier vacation homes!
Basnight’s Lone Cedar Cafe
Blue Moon Beach Grill
Salt Box Cafe
Live music playing in the background, an upbeat, outdoor atmosphere and a delicious meal are the main ingredients to a fun-filled Outer Banks evening. Exploring new areas and discovering localÂ restaurants is one of the highlights of vacationing on the Outer Banks. Luckily, the Outer Banks is bursting with intimate local restaurantsÂ that offer their own creative coastal cuisine with great outdoor seating so you can soak up all the OBX scenery that you can.
Ready for some delicious food with a view? Check out our list of OBX Restaurants with Outdoor Seating next time you’re on the Outer Banks.
Art’s Place, Kitty Hawk,Â NCÂ Â (photo viaÂ Facebook page)
Atmosphere:Â Your local neighborhood hangout.Â Located on the Beach Road in Kitty Hawk, Art’s Place is a quaint brightly colored restaurantÂ with lots of history, Â a super cool laidback vibe, and an old worn front porch withÂ views of the beautiful blue Atlantic. Oh, and the best burger on the beach.
Menu:Â Breakfast – pancakes, omelettes, french toast and sides. Lunch – steamers, sandwiches, wraps…and BURGERS. 🙂
Fish Heads Bar & Grill in South Nags Head, NCÂ (photo via fishheadsobx.com)
Address: 8901 S. Old Oregon Inlet Road, Nags Head, NC
Atmosphere: Laid-back and relaxing. Come straight from a day on the beach for a great meal, craft beer, and incomparable views of the ocean and Outer Banks Fishing Pier. Watch beach goers and surfers ride by for lunch and enjoy live music on the pier in the evenings.
Menu: Seafood, sandwiches, burgers, and craft beers.
Rundown Cafe in Kitty Hawk, NCÂ Â (photo via rundowncafe.com)
Address: Â 5218 N. Virginia Dare Trail, Kitty Hawk, NC
Atmosphere:Â Casual and relaxed with a Caribbean vibe. Located in Kitty Hawk on the Beach Road, the Tsunami Bar & Deck on the second level offers beautiful views of the ocean and the koi pond below.
Menu:Â Pacific Rim and Caribbean inspired noodle bowls,Â seafood entrees, sandwiches, and wraps.
Hurricane Mo’s Bar & Grill in Kitty Hawk, NCÂ Â (photo via Facebook page)
Address: Â 120 E. Kitty Hawk Road, Kitty Hawk, NC
Atmosphere: Dress up or dress down, whatever you prefer. This placeÂ typically has a lively crowd, ready to enjoy the live music and happy hour specials. New in 2015, Hurricane Mo’s now has a covered deck to enjoy your Outer Banks meal – complete with ocean views!
Menu: Seafood entrees, burgers, wraps and sandwiches. 15 cent shrimp, 35 cent wings and $1 tacos at Happy Hour from 3-6 pm.
Pamlico Jack’s in Nags Head, NCÂ Â (photo via pamlicojacks.com)
Address: Â 6708 S. Croatan Highway, Nags Head, NC
Atmosphere: Hop aboard The Pamlico Pearl outdoor ship deck in Nags Head and enjoy great food, specialty cocktails and an awesome sunset over the sound. You’ll be entertained with live music and watching adventure seekers tackling the First Flight Adventure Park aerial ropes course. Patrons typically dressÂ business casual.
Menu: Seafood, meat and chicken entrees, sandwiches, burgers, and specialty drinks.
Roadside Bar & Grill in Duck, NCÂ Â (photo via obxroadside.com)
Address: Â 1193 Duck Road, Duck, NC
Atmosphere:Â Roadside Bar & Grill in Duck was originally a home that was converted into a restaurant. They changed the layout, but the at-home, warm and inviting atmosphere is still there.Â Kick back and enjoy aÂ great meal, live music (on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays & Saturdays) and outdoor games at their backyard bar area.
Menu: Seafood, pasta, steaks, meats, salads, tacos, sandwiches and burgers.
Price:Â Lunch menu $$, Dinner menu $$$
Watermen’s Bar & Grille in Waves, NCÂ Â (photo via Facebook Page)
Address: Â 25706 NC-12, Waves, NC
Atmosphere:Â Listen to live music, watch the kiteboarders show off their tricks and catch the sun setting over the sound while you dine at Watermen’s Bar & Grille on Hatteras Island. The atmosphere is casual and easy going. Just relax and enjoy the scenery.
Menu: Sandwiches, wraps, burgers, fajitas, quesadillas, salad, seafood, and meat entrees.
Aqua Restaurant in Duck, NCÂ (photo via aquaobx.com)
Address: Â 1174 Duck Road, Duck, NC
Atmosphere:Â An elegant, yet casualÂ setting on the sound in downtown Duck. A pergola, Adirondack chairs and shaded dining are open for dining.Â Colorful sunsets and local wildlife passing by will provideÂ serene views as you enjoy a relaxing and upscale meal.
Menu:Â Lunch -Â Soups, salads, sandwiches, paninis, wraps, and burgers. Â Â Â Â Dinner –Â Sea and land entrees and pastas.
Price:Â Lunch $$, Dinner $$$
Mulligan’s Raw Bar & Grille in Nags Head, NC Â Â (photo from Facebook Page)
Address: Â 4005 S. Croatan Highway, Nags Head, NC
Atmosphere:Â Laid-back, family and pet friendly. Mulligan’s upper deck bar was remodeled over the winter and now offers a large bar and dining area facing the ocean with views of the old Nags Head cottages. The covered deck is perfectly placed for a view of Jockey’s RidgeÂ State Park and the oceanfront. There is even an outdoor doggy dining area for you and your pets. Live music plays throughout the week in the evenings.
Menu: Seafood, steak, lasagna, burgers, fish tacos, sandwiches, and burgers.
Address: Â 2000 Sailfish Drive, Manteo, NC
Atmosphere:Â Relaxed and causal. Located in Manteo’s prestigious boating community, Pirate’s Cove, Mimi’s Tiki Bar offers a beautiful outdoor patio, dining area, delicious finger foods, and views of the Outer Banks fishing boats cruising through the harbor. Live music plays every night throughout the summer from 6-9 pm.
Menu:Â Sandwiches, wings, seafood and appetizers.Â
Oceanfront Grille at Corolla Light in Corolla, NCÂ Â (photo via obxguides.com)
Address: Â 1197 Franklyn Street, Corolla, NC
Atmosphere:Â A fun family restaurant with poolside and beach service. This is the only oceanfront dining area in Corolla. The dinner menu offers delectable gourmet land and seafood entrees, while the bar menu offers more laid-back options.
Menu: Seafood and land entrees, sandwiches, burgers, and salads.
Price:Â Bar Menu $$, Dinner Menu $$$
Outer Banks Brewing StationÂ in Kill Devil Hills,Â NCÂ Â (photo via obbrewing.com)
Address:Â 600 S. Croatan Highway,Â Kill Devil Hills
Atmosphere:Â Looking for a place for adults and kids alike? You’ve found it at the Outer Banks Brewing Station. Tucked away out back is their “outdoor oasis” perfect for the entire family — with picnic table seating, pirate ship playground, corn hole, aÂ bar for ordering drinks, and live music.
Menu: Seafood and land entrees, sandwiches, burgers, salads, and hand crafted brews.
Price:Â Bar Menu $, Dinner Menu $$
Bonzer ShackÂ in Kill Devil Hills,Â NCÂ Â (photo via obbrewing.com)
Address: 1200 S Virginia Dare Trail,Â Kill Devil Hills
Atmosphere:Â The Outer Banks’ original surf shack hang out, Bonzer Shack welcomes guests with its vintage driftwood decor, laid-back OBXÂ beach atmosphere, and awesome yard with a wide variety ofÂ outdoor entertainment. Have fun with their outdoor games and enjoy your meal al fresco at the tables located right on the Beach Road – perfect for people watching.
Menu: Fresh locally caught seafood, land entrees,Â wings, sandwiches, burgers, salads.
Price:Â Bar Menu $, Dinner Menu $$
John’s Drive In, Kitty Hawk, NCÂ (photo viaÂ Pinterest)
Address: 3716 Virginia Dare Trail,Â Kitty Hawk
Atmosphere:Â Legendary. Old school. A true local hangout. It just doesn’t get any more laidback and “come as you are” than John’s Drive In located on the Beach Road in Kitty Hawk.Â This little beach stand dive with a keeps locals and tourists comingÂ back for more.Â No trip to the OBX is complete without a stop at John’s.
Menu: Sandwiches, burgers, baskets, and boats. And MILKSHAKES.
Full Moon Cafe & Brewery, Manteo, NCÂ (photo viaÂ Pinterest)
Address:Â 208 Queen Elizabeth Street, Manteo, NC
Atmosphere:Â Located in the heart of downtown Manteo, Full Moon Cafe has a lively, happening vibe with relaxed, friendly service. Enjoy a fresh meal outside under a shady umbrella and enjoy the great views ofÂ downtown Manteo.
Menu: Seafood, steaks, vegetarian and kid options.