9 Best Seafood Restaurants in Kitty Hawk

When visiting the Outer Banks in North Carolina, you’re most likely looking to take advantage of the area’s sprawling sandy beaches and rich colonial history. But one other bountiful treasure awaits you on your visit: world-class seafood. 

Seafood lovers will find no shortage of delicious, locally sourced dishes. From hot and tender lobster tails to fresh raw oysters straight from the sea, you can find whatever seafood dish you’ve been dreaming of nearby.  

You’ll find some of the best seafood restaurants along Kitty Hawk’s shores. To help you narrow down what’s bound to be a difficult decision, we’ve rounded up the top contenders for your next seafood feast.  

I Got Your Crabs Shellfish Market & Oyster Bar

Photo Credit: Nathan Warlick
  • Address: 3809 N Croatan Hwy, Kitty Hawk, NC 
  • Favorite menu item: Blue Crab Nachos
  • Price point: $$

I Got Your Crabs is a family-owned establishment operated by third-generation fishermen who pride themselves on providing fresh local fare. From local blue crabs to seafood sandwiches to creamy crab bisque, whatever you’re craving, you’re sure to find it here. 

In addition to offering lots of savory seafood, the menu also includes some gluten free options and options for your littlest diners. This spot even offers steamer pots you can take back to your vacation rental and cook at home.  

Ocean Boulevard Bistro & Martini Bar 

  • Address: 4700 Virginia Trail N, Kitty Hawk, NC 
  • Favorite menu item: Pepper seared tuna sashimi
  • Price point: $$$

If you’re looking for delicious seafood in a fine dining setting, you’re going to want to check out Ocean Boulevard Bistro & Martini Bar. This upscale eatery has been serving the Kitty Hawk coast for almost three decades, and its building once served as the historic Virginia Dare Hardware Store, which opened in 1948. 

Diners can enjoy a variety of culinary delights, including seafood dishes like pan-seared scallops and the chef’s fish selection paired with basmati rice and crispy wontons. Not feeling seafood? Try other decadent dishes like rack of lamb or tender pan roasted duck. This extravagant bistro provides a dining experience that is sure to delight.  

Black Pelican

Photo Credit: Melissa MacIntosh
  • Address: 3848 Virginia Dare Trl N, Kitty Hawk, NC
  • Favorite menu item: Blackened crab cakes
  • Price point: $$

The Black Pelican is the spot to go if you’re looking for fresh seafood with a view. This oceanfront restaurant has a casual beachy vibe and great ocean views of the Atlantic.  

You’ll find lots of delicious fresh seafood dishes here. From their southern fried flounder and shrimp to the pecan-crusted mahi, your craving for fish is sure to be satisfied after eating at this local gem. Be sure to add some smoked Gouda mashed potatoes for your side. You won’t regret it!  

Barefoot Bernies Tropical Grill & Bar 

Photo Credit: Katrice Thomas
  • Address: 3730 N Croatan Hwy, Kitty Hawk, NC 
  • Favorite menu item: Fish tacos
  • Price point: $$

Barefoot Bernies Tropical Grill & Bar is a beach-themed spot with a diverse menu sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. While the highlight of the menu is their fresh local seafood, if you’re craving something else, like a hot pizza or sub, you can find it here also. 

Don’t sleep on the appetizer menu, either! You could make a whole meal with some of their delicious starters! We highly recommend trying the creamy crab dip with freshly fried pita chips.  You won’t regret it! 

Rundown Cafe 

Photo Credit: Thu-Nga Ortega, DDS, MAGD
  • Address: 5218 Virginia Dare Trl N, Kitty Hawk, NC
  • Favorite menu item: Coconut shrimp
  • Price point: $$

The Rundown Cafe is a Caribbean-themed coastal eatery offering tropical dishes inspired by the owner’s travels in the Pacific rim and surrounding coastal areas. The result is an innovative menu with delicious seafood options and so much more.  

This beachside spot offers outdoor seating, so you can enjoy your meal while taking in the salt air wafting over from the ocean across the street. 

This restaurant is seasonal, so please check before visiting to ensure they are open. Be sure to check out their Facebook page to see their daily specials!

John’s Drive In

Photo Credit: Gina Griffin
  • Address: 3716 Virginia Dare Trl N, Kitty Hawk, NC 
  • Favorite menu item: Crabcake Sandwich
  • Price point: $

Don’t let the small size of this next NMB eatery fool you. John’s Drive In is beloved by locals and visitors alike. While its menu is small, the flavor here is big. After opening its doors in 1977, owners John and Pat made it their mission to create the perfect beachside menu.  

With seafood sandwich options like their cajun grilled tuna steak and their savory crab cake sandwich, you’re sure to satisfy those beach vacation cravings. If you’re looking for some grill staples like a  hot dog or burger, you’ll also find it here. Be sure to leave room for dessert! John’s has ice cream and milkshake options. 

Jimmy’s Seafood Buffet

Photo Credit: Jeff Miskinis
  • Address: 4117 N Croatan Hwy, Kitty Hawk, NC
  • Favorite menu item: Lobster tails
  • Price point: $$$

When you’re craving all you can eat seafood, Jimmy’s Seafood Buffet is sure to fill you up! This massive buffet offers all the bounties of the sea, including: shrimp, lobster, clams, scallops, many varieties of fresh catch, and, of course, endless Alaskan snow crab legs! 

Don’t forget to load up on their hush puppies! You’ll find them at the soup bar with several soup and bread options. And be sure to save room for dessert! Their decadent dessert bar is loaded with all sorts of sweet treats! 

Outer Banks Boil Company 

PHoto Credit: Chris
  • Address: 3701 N Croatan Hwy, Unit F, Kitty Hawk, NC 
  • Favorite menu item: Low country boil
  • Price point: $$

While it may not be a traditional seafood restaurant, Outer Banks Boil Company is one of the more unique seafood experiences on the Outer Banks. The menu here is takeout, created with the idea that they supply the ingredients and materials, and you enjoy the meal from the comfort of your vacation home. 

This casual spot offers a variety of steamer pots, with their best seller being their Signature Seafood Boil. Stuffed with succulent jumbo shrimp, perfectly seasoned andouille sausage, buttery potatoes, and corn, it’s sure to be a meal you enjoy both preparing and eating! 

Carawan Seafood Co Inc

Photo Credit: Robert Lines (OBXGeek)
  • Address: 5424 N Croatan Hwy, Kitty Hawk, NC 
  • Favorite menu item: Fresh raw oysters
  • Price point: $$

If you’re looking to take advantage of your stocked vacation rental kitchen and create your own seafood feast, be sure to head to Carawan Seafood Co Inc. for some of the freshest catches on the OBX. 

Here, you’ll find fresh, hot, steamed shrimp served every day, all day. Grab a few pounds to tide you over while you fire up the grill and sear some fresh fish. If you enjoy fishing, you can even bring your fishing haul here to be cleaned for you!

If you’re looking for a specific fish or shellfish, be sure to call before visiting, as options and availability vary daily. 

Savor the Flavors of the Sea in Kitty Hawk

No matter what the catch of the day is, you’re sure to find somewhere to eat your fill of Outer Banks seafood along the shores of Kitty Hawk. The only thing you need to worry about after your feast is finding the comfiest spot in your First Flight vacation rental for the food coma that’s sure to follow. Then rinse and repeat tomorrow.  You’ll find your fill of seafood here in the OBX!

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