As a native North Carolinean, and long time visitor (and former resident) of the Banks, I can tell you that there are no good barbecue places. You have to go inland, but you’ll find some legendary ones….Ralph’s in Weldon, Parker’s in Rocky Mount, and Bill’s in Wilson…all of these are near Interstate 95. Take a fun day trip from the northern part of the Banks down to the southern tip…take the Ferry from Hatterus to Morehead City…drive to Ayden to what may be the best Carolina BBQ of them all, The Skyline. The eastern NC low country is filled with roadside vegetable stands this time of the year and there are a number of excellent roadfood places waiting for your discovery. If you stop for a chilidog is this area though, make sure you specify a hotdog with chili…many places here consider a chilidog to be chili on a roll minus the dog.
It might have been Bubba’s Too, the branch near the Food Lion….The original is further south, in Frisco.
In the Nag’s Head area is the Pigman’s Bar-B-Q. I’ve not tried it, but
1. I don’t see or smell woodsmoke anywhere near it, and
2. I can buy its sauce right here in Cincinnati, which means it’s probably not worth having.
I actually went to Bubba’s with a party of 4, and no one enjoyed it. Must have been an off day….
We stayed in Avon, but the one we ate at was much further north, probably the one you suggested….
I also really liked Kelly’s, but thats a high end place.
Oh yeah. We love the Banks; this year was our 12th visit. It was our son’s 11th–and he turns 10 this month!
Sam & Omie’s. Had an oyster sandwich upon my arrival in the banks this year. Look for it, or you’ll miss it. A "Nag’s Head Cottage" building between the highways, near the entrance to Pea Island Wildlife Refuge. Look for the low sign of the pink elephant. (No foolin’.) ON weekends, breakfast is known to include Crab Benedict, which substitutes lump crabmeat for the Canadian bacon.
The Fish House, in Buxton. A go-to-heck-looking cinderblock building on the sound/canal. Walk in and there’s a definite list to the left. A magic-marker sketch on the wall tells where the last storm surge hit in ’93. Excellent fresh seafood, served in disposable ware. ("Here’s our finest crystal," our waitress cracked when pouring a beer into plastic cup.) Great fried, broiled, sauteed. A surprisingly nice little wine list.
Port o’ Call, in Kill Devil Hills or Kitty Hawk (I never rememnber). A very rococo restaurant with fresh seafood, local vegetables, and an antique/curio/junk shop of stuff gathered from the owner’s world travels. The only broiled seafood platter I’ve ever had where every item was done to perfection; obviously, they’d placed each item on the broiler in turn, rather than all at once.
Buoy’s, in Buxton. New last year. This place took over the overrated Labrador Oceanic Bistro–which was NEVER OPEN when we’d stop to have a look. I had great crab cakes, with a terrific side of slaw. A very nice wine selection. We stopped there on a whim last year, and the place has joined Fish House as a "must visit" every year.
The Dunes, Buxton. OK for dinner, but a really good breakfast house.
The Sanderling, near Duck. A little uppercrust for our tastes, but this resort sports a renovated Lifesaving Station with about the best upscale food I’ve ever had.
And, TJ–Bubba’s in Frisco. A wonderful BBQ house. There’s an outlet in Avon, but I’ve never tried it. I go to the original for great pulled pork and all the fixings.
Places to Avoid: Windmill Point (cramped, gimmicky, poor food), Dirty Dick’s (overpriced, underqualitied), ANY all you can eat place, Sonny’s (too smoky).
Of course, the best meals for us are the ones we cook at our rented beach house with the finest local catch. This year we had shrimp, Mahi-Mahi, and crab cakes, along with a nice seafood spread done by Stoney’s Seafood in Avon…..yum.
Had a very enjoyable dinner last month at the Windmill Point Restaurant at the 16 1/2 mile post bypass on Roanoke Sound in Nags Head. The entire restaurant is decorated with memorabilia and furniture from the SS United States ocean liner. You’ll drink upstairs at the actual first class bar from the ship, sit in her chairs while you drink or dine and you can even give a ring on the ships bell. The food was surprisingly good. A very unique experience and less expensive than I expected.
I know you didn’t ask for breakfast – but this place is a gem, and is very much so a prototypical Roadfood establishment.
Sam and Omie’s.
Look them up.
Never found any good barbeque while I was there….unfortunately….
Two places that my husband and I have always enjoyed are in Kill Devil Hills. They are the Flying Fish Cafe and Awful Arthur’s. The Flying Fish is somewhat chi-chi, but we usually had lunch there – the portions are only slightly smaller than at night (and to our way of thinking, more appropriate) and the prices are much better. We love Awful Arthur’s and it’s an obvious favorite with the locals. I have to say we never had a full meal there, just lots of crab balls (highly recommended!) and raw oysters. They have a full menu, but it seems that is all we usually ate, in conjunction with alot of cold beer.
There are alot of good restaurants in that area, just avoid the all you can eat buffets and the ones that have fish murals painted on the outside. They do crab cakes really well in that area, so try them at every place you get a chance that looks promising.
Happy Eating [:p]
Looking for some good eats on the Outer Banks. We’ll be way north in Corolla, but are willing to drive a ways to get some road food! Any suggestions for
a) fresh local seafood–and preferably not in a
chi-chi-fied atmosphere [V]
Also, in case it rains and we’re up for a day trip, how about any places on the mainland around Albemarle or Pamlico Sounds?
NC and environs
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