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!