On Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands, there are multiple chances to try food that is special in this region. The islands typically have a variety of locally owned restaurants that serve cuisines that the area’s residents have perfected. In addition, there is always the possibility of dining with a beautiful backdrop of the water or in aquaint setting. Here are some of the best dining opportunities you should try on these North Carolina islands…
Water View Dining
A view of the Atlantic Ocean or the Pamlico Sound can make dining out even more special and sometimes romantic. For a fabulous dinner in a beautiful setting, try dining on the freshest seafood and tender steaks at Breakwater Restaurant at Oden’s Dock in Hatteras Village. The views are spectacular! Begin with a Creole crab dip before diving into their “Fat Daddy” crab cakes, or for something smaller, their “famous” tuna tort—blackened tuna stuffed into a tortilla with bacon, cheese, tomato, greens, and avocado. It’s the perfect entrée on a hot summer day. In Rodanthe, Good Winds Restaurant has amazing vistas from their deck situated on the sound. Visit at sunset for an outstanding backdrop to a delightful dinner. Start with a plate of fried, local oysters or seafood nachos before indulging in a juicy ribeye steak topped with crabmeat or the catch of the day. Hatteras Sol Waterside Grill offers seafood pastas, shrimp and grits, and succulent steaks in an elegant environment near Hatteras Landing. Make sure to save room for the chocolate torte!
Gidget’s Pizza & Pasta in Avon on Hatteras Island is known for having some of the best pizza around and as a perfect place to take the family. This casual eatery uses fresh, local ingredients and is sure to please the most discerning palate. Vegetarians will find numerous menu options to choose from, and kids will love picking toppings for their personal pizza. On Ocracoke Island, Dajio is highly recommended for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. All the food is fresh and made from scratch, and visitors rave about the flatbread pizzas cooked in a wood-fired brick oven. Eat in or take it with you for a wonderful meal in a location of your choosing.
Dining at a Locals’ Hangout
Locals are often seen gathering at the “world famous” Howard’s Pub in Ocracoke to mingle with friends and to nibble on chicken wings or conch fritters. Fresh seafood is highlighted throughout the menu with offerings such as crab cakes and seafood platters. The raw bar portion of Howard’s menu features a sampler platter of steamed oysters, mussels, and shrimp for a reasonable price. Or, you can simply enjoy raw or steamed clams and oysters—delicious! This eclectic restaurant loves to welcome new guests too. Make yourself at home at Howard’s Pub.
All You Can Eat!
For large appetites (and large groups) head to Dirty Dick’s Crab House in Avon for as much food as you can handle. Select your protein from items such as fried fish, chicken, clam strips or steamed crab legs. In addition to the all-you-can-eat options, the menu at Dirty Dick’s is extensive. Hungry diners may enjoy the fried crab lasagna, USDA hand-cut steaks, or ribs served with mac n’ cheese. And don’t forget the crabs! Steamed blue crabs are what started this successful restaurant concept. Maybe opt for a dozen local blue crabs or try other varieties from across the nation including King, Dungeness, or Snow crab legs.
Foods to Wake Up To
While on vacation it’s good to start your morning well-nourished so that your energy levels keep you going throughout the day. After all, they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Pony Island Restaurant is a very popular Ocracoke breakfast spot. This little gem serves some of the best pancakes around. If all you need in the morning is a little espresso, visit the Ocracoke Coffee Co. For over 20 years, they have been “waking up Ocracoke” with hot and iced coffee, specialty drinks and pastries!
End the Day on a Sweet Note
You don’t have to look far to satisfy your craving for something sweet on the islands. Stop for a cool dessert and fill your tummy with delectable ice cream from Happy Belly on Hatteras. Here, you’ll find hand-dipped ice cream in a variety of flavors. The Slushy Stand on Ocracoke serves up generous scoops of ice cream, floats, smoothies and (of course) slushies. Add some ice cream to your slushy for a special treat! Chocolate lovers may have a hard time deciding which fudge to get at Scotch Bonnet Fudge & Gifts on Hatteras Island. Their rocky road, plain or chocolate-peanut butter swirl are silky smooth and oh, so good! Of course they also offer other flavors and candies as well. Take home a box of saltwater taffy to remember your trip to the islands!
When faced with a dining decision, take your pick of the many wonderful options available to you on Hatteras and Ocracoke Island. But if you’re having trouble deciding or need more information, check our our Restaurants and Dining guide to many of the restaurants in the area.