Restaurants in Carolina/Kure Beach, NC

You could spend an entire vacation happily sampling the restaurants of Carolina Beach and Kure Beach, NC. From award-winning seafood to fresh-from-the-fryer donuts, there's something to please every palate on Pleasure Island. Whether you're looking for platters of fried local seafood and crisp hushpuppies, a bowl of warm seafood chowder, delicious broiled fish, or local organic fare, you'll find it here. Pleasure Island is home to a variety of restaurants, cafes, and diners that are romantic, family-friendly, or are perfect for a night out on the town.

The recipe for a perfect Pleasure Island vacation could be this: hit the beach and then go out to eat, repeat.  Begin your day with Sunday brunch at Havana's on North Lake Park Blvd. Sip coffee on their front porch and enjoy the ocean breeze. Try their delicious Blue Crab Benedict or a Cuban Omelet and sip a mimosa. Hit the beach. Have lunch at the Surf House Cafe, where you can sample the best local, organic fare on the island. Their fish tacos are healthy and delicious and any of their fresh catch sandwiches are sure to please. Locals love their marinated chickpeas. The Surf House is also a surf shop, so here's your chance to pick up an extra pair of flip flops or a new suit. Get back on the beach. Take a break at Island Wellness Market for a delicious smoothie or a feshly squeezed juice, or pick up some supplies for a picnic or snacks on the beach.

After an afternoon in the sun, head down to Freddie's Restaurant in Kure Beach for a romantic authentic Italian dinner and a bottle of wine. Freddie's is famous for their flame-grilled pork chops, and their lasagna absolutely melts in your mouth. You're going to love Barb's salad dressing so much that you'll want to buy a bottle to take home. After dinner, take a stroll down the Carolina Beach boardwalk and let yourself relive your youth. On the boardwalk, you'll find fudge, ice cream, and every sort of sweet your heart might desire. Stop at Britt's Donuts  and pull up a stool to their counter for a mouth-watering hot donut, made from a time-honored recipe. A refreshing margarita and live music at the SeaWitch Cafe and Tiki Bar or the Ocean Grill and Tiki Bar is the perfect way to end your night.

The variations to this culinary recipe for your Pleasure Island getaway are endless. In Carolina Beach, you'll find most of the restaurants are on North Lake Park Blvd., so start at one end and work your way down. In Kure Beach, the hots spots are on K Ave. You won't want to leave the island without trying the award-winning seafood chowder at Michael's Seafood Restaurant and Catering or one of the 4,050 flavors of ice cream at Squigley's Ice Cream and Treats.

Maybe you'd like to eat dinner while cruising along the Intracoastal Waterway? The Winner Gulf Stream Fishing and Cruise Boats offers two-hour dinner and dancing cruises or a romantic moonlight cruise where you can dance under the stars and sip icy cocktails.

Tired of seafood? No worries. You'll find plenty of other options on the island — from wings at the Lazy Pirate to steaks at Big Daddy's Seafood Restaurant in Carolina Beach. Further down the island, at Fort Fisher, your little ones will happily eat a hot dog and french fries after exploring the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher.

Wherever you go, we know you'll find plenty to enjoy. If you find yourself hungry for more, hop the ferry to Southport or take the short drive to Wilmington for even more dining experiences. Bon appetit!

Featured Local Businesses

Carolina Beach

Havana's Fresh Island Seafood Carolina/Kure Beach Restaurants
One North Lake Park Blvd.
Carolina Beach, NC 28428
(910) 458-2822

For the freshest seafood in a polished causal atmosphere, head to Havana's Fresh Island Seafood. Havana's is owned by an experienced local restaurateur with an innovative vision. Try their Cha Cha Salmon, which is blackened on an open flame and topped with a citrus salsa, or indulge in their Lobster Seafood...more about Havana's Fresh Island Seafood

701 N. Lake Park Blvd.
Carolina Beach, NC 28428
(910) 458-5299

The Lazy Pirate's large outdoor deck is a great place to grab a bite and sip a cold one. The menu features award-winning wings, chowder, signature cheesesteaks, seafood platters, burgers, gourmet salads, and a kids' menu. The full bar has all of your favorite libations and plenty of TVs. They have...more about The Lazy Pirate

1206 N. Lake Park Blvd.
Carolina Beach, NC
(910) 458-7761

Winner of the 2012 International Chowder Cookoff Competition and Restaurant of the Year Award (Wilmington Chamber of Commerce Small Business Coalition), Michael's remains a popular local choice. Michael's menu is available all day, and fresh seafood, either steamed or broiled, is the specialty here. Nothing is fried. Alternative menu options include...more about Michael's Seafood Restaurant & Catering

604 N. Lake Park Blvd.
Carolina Beach, NC 28428
(910) 707-0422

Featuring delicious local organic fare, the Surf House Cafe is the perfect place to refuel after a day in the sun. Their menu features fresh seafood, meat, and produce, and items like their mahi tacos, balsamic tuna sandwich, and curry chicken salad are sure to please. Half surf shop, half cafe,...more about Surf House Cafe

Lovey's Natural Foods and Cafe
Food & Drink Specials

Kure Beach

206 K Ave.
Kure Beach, NC
(910) 458-8622

A Kure Beach institution for three decades, Big Daddy's serves a variety of seafood and combination platters. In addition to seafood, the restaurant offers choice steaks, prime rib and chicken every day in a family-oriented, casual setting. Seafood can be broiled, fried, char-grilled or steamed. Highlights of Big Daddy's menu include...more about Big Daddy's Seafood Restaurant

111 K Ave.
Kure Beach, NC 28449
(910) 458-5979

Voted Best Dinner Restaurant on Pleasure Island and Most Romantic Date Spot in Wilmington, Freddie's Restaurant has been serving some of the best authentic Italian cuisine in the area since 1995. This is the real deal — their marinara sauce simmers for eight hours and their delicately layered lasagna melts in...more about Freddie's Restaurant

113 K Ave
Kure Beach, NC
(910) 458-7668

If staring out over the ocean while digging into a heaping pile of steamed shrimp, oysters or clams sounds like your idea of paradise, drop by Jack Mackerel's Island Grill and sit a spell. Located near the Kure Beach pier, this is great place to stop on your way to or...more about Jack Mackerel's Island Grill

Planning and Pricing

Planning to eat out in Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, or Fort Fisher? You're lucky you will find something for every price range here from The Lazy Pirate, where you'll find satisfying and inexpensive eats for the whole family, to Freddie's Restaurant in Kure Beach, where a romantic dinner for two is worth every penny. Prices in this section are based on the average price for two dinner entrees only and do not reflect the state/county sales tax or tips.

$ Less than $20 
$$ $20 to $30 
$$$ $31 to $45 
$$$$ More than $45

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