Best OBX Restaurants by Category

By a narrow margin, Art's Place in Kitty Hawk gets our nod for best burger.
By a narrow margin, Art’s Place in Kitty Hawk gets our nod for best burger.

A local newspaper—the Virginian Pilot, which is somewhat local—recently wrote an article listing their five favorite Outer Banks restaurants.

It was a good article and the restaurants listed were all very good. Anything chosen in an article like that is, of course, subjective, but it’s hard to find fault with the selections.

The problem, though, is it was a “five best” listing without categorizing anything.

As an example, you would not go to Coastal Provisions to get a good burger. Conversely Art’s Place would not be anyone’s choice for oysters on the half shell.

So, to help the undecided along, we present our Joe Lamb, Jr. best of list by category.

Best Burger

Art’s Place

4624 N Virginia Dare Trail, Kitty Hawk

(252) 261-3233

This was a tough one. John’s Drive-in just down the road from Art’s Place is al fresco drive-in food at it’s best. And Mulligans in Nags Head does a great job as well, but there is something about those burgers cooked to order on a flat grill that is special.

Best Oysters

Coastal Provisions

Southern Shores Crossing, Southern Shores

(252) 480-0023

If there is anyone on the Outer Banks who has done a better job of working with local oyster farmers and sourcing oysters from all over the East Coast, we have no idea who that could be. Amazing selection with a real eye for detail.

Best Casual Fine Dining

Saltbox Cafe

1469 Colington Rd, Kill Devil Hills

(252) 255-5594

Another difficult decision, but the attention to fresh food, well-prepared that Randolph Sprinkle brings to his dishes elevates food to art. And his wife, Amanda, is a desert chef, so save room…or go ahead and stuff yourself.

Best Outdoor Cafe

Full Moon Cafe

208 Queen Elizabeth Avenue, Manteo, NC 27954

(252) 473-6666

There are not a lot of outdoor cafes on the Outer Banks. Aqua serves food outdoors with a beautiful view of Currituck Sound. Roadside Bar and Grill in Duck has a wonderful little outdoor seating area. But there is something magical about sitting on a sidewalk on a summer day, sipping a drink and eating a meal. Oh—and the food is very good.

Best Wine Bar

Trio

3708 N Croatan Hwy., Kitty Hawk

(252) 261-0277

Other places have a number of wines available by the glass, but no one comes even close to the selection Trio always has on hand. And they always have 24 beers on tap. Great cheese plates to go with everything, too.

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