Nags Head Restaurants: Explore The Best Places To Eat

Nags Head is a beautiful beach town on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Known for its beloved sand dunes, state parks and the boardwalk, there is plenty to do here to keep you busy. From trails through the Nags Head Wood Preserve and the Roanoke Trail, you are sure to be nice and hungry after a long day exploring the island. Luckily, Nags Head has a variety of restaurants ranging from Italian, Mexican and of course, southern comfort food. Offering some of the freshest seafood, your dining experiences are. sure to be something unforgettable. Here are a few of our favorite restaurants in the Nags Head area.

Basnight’s Lone Cedar Cafe

Photo Credi: lonecedarcafe via Instagram

Bringing in a fresh catch everyday, Basnights Lone Cedar Cafe has been making families their daily meals for generations. They offer some of the freshest seafood the Outer Banks has to offer. The local fishermen bring their catches from the day to the restaurant. From there they clean and prepare the food at the restaurant. They offer things from fresh fish to crabcakes, delicious coleslaw, and fried platters. No matter what you are in the mood for, you will not be disappointed at Basnights.

Address: 7623 S Virginia Dare Trail Nags Head, NC ‎

Phone: (252) 441-5405

Dirty Dicks Crab House

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Try out the fresh, local seafood with a New Orleans twist.  Dirty Dicks Crab House has a full menu that includes delicious appetizers, entrees like the chicken etouffee, shrimp, oyster or pork chop po’ boy, with a bit of cajun spice. If you are really feeling the New Orleans vibe, try out the Louisiana crawfish, or shrimp creole over cheese grits. They also have fried frog legs and gator tail for those feeling a bit more brave.So if you are feeling like you need a little spice in your life, head on over to Dirty Dicks. 

Address: 2407 S Croatan Hwy Nags Head, NC

Phone: (252) 449-2722

Duck Donuts

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You can’t forget sweets and desserts when you’re on vacation. Duck Donuts makes the best donuts on the island. These made to order doughnuts are not only hot and fresh, but you can also choose what your donut is being dipped in. Choose from vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, lemon, maple glaze and peanut butter. Then choose what your doughnut is sprinkled with. Choose from takeout, curbside, or enjoy your donuts in the shop. There is just something about eating sweets while on vacation that makes it that much better, so head on down and grab a local favorite.

Address: 5000 South Croatan Hwy, #M25 Nags Head, NC 27959

Phone: (252) 255-5730

FishHeads Bar & Grill

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Enjoy the beautiful ocean view as you dine on the Outer Banks Fishing Pier in South Nags Head. Not only is the restaurant on the water, they also have some of the best live music around. Their most popular menu items include conch fritters, fish tacos, homemade tuna salad, homemade crab cake sandwiches, or their grilled fish sandwiches. From maui to other local seafood, you are sure to have the best time, food, and fun at dinner.

Address: 8901 S. Old Oregon Inlet Rd. Nags Head, NC 27959

Phone: (252) 252-1976

Freshfit Cafe

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As the newest health -oriented cafe and juice bar, Freshfit serves breakfast, brunch and lunch daily. They offer a well balanced breakfast in food or smoothie form. They have organic coffee, espresso and a full juice bar with detox drinks and smoothies. This eatery allows those fitness gurus to stay on track even when they are on vacation. So set your mind at ease, and stop by the cafe to get your smoothie fix.

Address: 7531 S Virginia Dare Trail Nags Head, NC

Phone: (252) 715-6444

Kelly’s Catering

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Kelly’s Catering has been the face of cuisine in Nags Head for over 30 years. The locals, neighbors, heritage and local waters are important to this company. So they feature fresh, local seafood, Outer Banks Catch and coastal cuisine to promote the local business owners. They are most known for their classic dishes such as the Filet Oscar, Oysters Rockefeller, Lobster Mac and Cheese and Seafood Bouillabaisse. All in which are prepared to perfection. For a true cultural experience, make sure to check out Kelly’s Catering in some form.

Phone: (252) 441-4116

Miller’s Waterfront Restaurant

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Miller’s Waterfront Restaurant is considered an Outer Banks family tradition. It has been owned and operated by the Miller family since the early 1980’s. The restaurant overlooks the Roanoke Sound in Nags Head, so you can enjoy your meal with a beautiful view from the Waterfront Sunset Bar and Grill. The Waterfront Bar is a rooftop bar above Millers. You can watch the sunset or hang out during the day and see all of the surfers, kite boarders, or windsurfers while enjoying a nice cocktail. Not only do they have a beautiful view, they also offer some of the best Outer Banks Seafood around. From prime rib, to scallops, you will not be disappointed. Enjoy the atmosphere or pick up your food and head back out to the beach.

Address: 6916. S Croatan Hwy Nags Head, NC

Phone: (252) 441-6151

Owens’ Restaurant

Photo Credit: Owens’ pjpink201 via Instagram

Owen’s Restaurant has had over 72 seasons in their Nags Head Restaurant. Clara Owens’ crab cake recipe has been on the menu since 1946 when the restaurant originally opened.  The building is decorated with family heirlooms, local history and artifacts that have been given to the restaurant over the years. From the certified angus steak to the fresh hushpuppies and  grilled Mahi, you will certainly leave feeling like you are a part of the family, full, and happy. Try out the Whole Maine lobster or the ribs, pasta, and you can’t forget their scrumptious homemade dressings. This OBX gem is often classified as one of the best restaurants on the island. 

Address: 7114 S Virginia Dare Trail Nags Head, NC

Phone: (252) 441-7309

Sugar Creek Restaurant

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There are many Outer Banks Restaurants that sit near the water, but very few in Corolla, Hatteras, Kill Devil Hills, and Kitty Hawk that sit OVER the water. At Sugar Creek Restaurant, enjoy the delicacy of the water being beneath you as you dine. From their delicious prime rib to their native crab cakes this true island experience is something you don’t want to miss. Enjoy crab legs and a steam pot or a delicious fresh, grilled fish. No matter what you choose, you will have a lovely view while you watch the sunset over the sound and see the waterfowl and wildlife. You can also enjoy the waterfront gazebos, walkways and sunsets at Sugar Creek. 

Address: 7340 S Virginia Dare Trail Nags Head, NC

Phone: (252) 441- 4963

Tortugas Lie

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Nestled in the beautiful dunes of the Outer Banks lies the gem of a Caribbean style restaurant known as Tortugas Lie. The restaurant has been around since 1989 and is home to some of the beach’s fines fare. Try out their wide selection of handheld options or some of their specialty fish tacos. This seafood dive is a must see on vacation. It was voted number one in Seafood Drive by Coastal Living Magazine. It has also been featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives by Guy Fieri. Come and see the historic shop and grab yourself some authentic Caribbean food. 

The Outer Banks offers some of the most delicious, delectable and delightful restaurants on the east coast. From fresh fish, to New orleans and carribean inspired food, there are enough options to eat at a new restaurant every day of vacation. Taste the history and culture of the island in each restaurant as they serve you with smiling faces. We know you will come hungry and leave happy at any of these spots. We hope to see you soon on the island.

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