You’ll be surprised at the number of great Ocracoke restaurants.
This small island’s restaurants are locally owned and operated and as individual as their owners. There are no chain establishments here on Ocracoke Island, and we’re darned proud of that fact.
Seafood is the top feature in nearly every Ocracoke restaurant. Head down to the harbor to see the boats unloading their catches at the fish house. Much of the catch goes straight to the local restaurants. Fish, crabs, clams, shrimp and oysters are the local catches. If you’re on Ocracoke Island during soft-shell crab season, usually in late spring, never miss a chance to eat one of these delicacies. There’s more to island dining than seafood, though. Fresh produce, meats and all the usual offerings are available here, and some Ocracoke establishments feature good old Southern cuisine. Breakfast is served in several local restaurants.
Island Food Fetcher is a business that will bring groceries, beer and island cuisine to your door with deliveries available from every island restaurant. Call them at (252) 588-2136
Dining options can be limited in the winter months, especially January and February. Call ahead if you’re visiting in the off-season.
- 1015 Irvin Garrish Highway
- (252) 928-3481
Satisfy all your cravings in one spot. Start your day with one of their breakfast biscuits, bagels or English muffins with lots of great fillings. For lunch time, deli sandwiches are made to order, and homemade salads, spreads and other treats like deviled eggs can be had from the deli case. The Fig Tree packs up a great to-go lunch for fishing trips, beach days or ferry rides, or you can buy sliced meats and cheeses and assemble your own. There’s comfortable outdoor seating for those not on the go. Complement your meal and soothe your sweet tooth with scrumptious homemade pies, cakes, pastries and baked goods as well as a variety of homemade fudge, fine chocolates, ice cream and novelty candies.
- 1175 Irvin Garrish Highway
- (252) 928-4441
Howard’s Pub is one of the most well-known bars and eateries on the coast of North Carolina. It seems that everybody who comes to Ocracoke goes to Howard’s at least once during his or her stay. Fun-loving Howard’s is open every day, March through Thanksgiving weekend starting at 11 a.m. for lunch, dinner and late-night dining. Fresh local shrimp, clams, fish, scallops and oysters are highlights, but there are also steaks, ribs, subs, burgers, salads, sandwiches and pizza. Kids have their own menu with the meals served on a Frisbee, emphasizing the family-friendly nature of this popular spot. More than 200 beers, wine and cocktails are served here. Sit indoors or out on the large screened porch. Entertainment abounds with music on many nights, large screen televisions, the infamous ring hook and foosball.
- 1110 Irvin Garrish Highway
- (252) 928-3434
Jason’s Restaurant has a lot of loyal local customers because it serves tasty, traditional and reasonably priced food in a casual atmosphere. It’s a perfect place to wind down the day in a leisurely way, especially if you sit out on the screened porch or at the bar. Pizza, pasta, subs, sandwiches, salads, steaks, chicken and, of course, fresh seafood are served for lunch and dinner. Mouth-watering homemade desserts, beer and wine will keep you happy.
- 875 Irvin Garrish Highway
- (252) 928-2800
Featuring local seafood with lots of oysters on the half shell, The Topless Oyster will appeal to locals and visitors. Owners George and Janille Turner love Ocracoke and have returned to live here full time after a stint of operating this restaurant successfully in Alabama. With a focus on Southern coastal food, there’s plenty of fresh seafood, Gumbo, fresh pit-cooked BBQ, prime rib, vegetarian options as well as a kids menu They are open for lunch and dinner daily. Expect to find food choices that are not available in other island dining establishments.
Back Porch Lunchbox
- 747 Irvin Garrish Highway
- (252) 928-3651
At the Lunchbox you can pick up a quick meal for the beach or take-out for the ferry ride. Or get good food—fast—and spend your time lounging at a shady picnic table or on their lawn. The outdoor space on the Pony Island Motel lawn accommodates Frisbees, pets and energetic kids. They offer a variety of sandwiches and salads, including vegetarian selections. Top off your meal with some of their delicious baked goods, smoothies, ice cream, drinks and sweets.
Back Porch Restaurant
- 110 Back Road
- (252) 928-6401
The Back Porch is one of the island’s great restaurants, providing a consistently pleasant dining experience on the spacious screened porch or inside the newly remodeled air conditioned dining room and cocktail lounge. Fresh local seafood and produce are the stars of the menu, but hand-cut meats and poultry also shine. The menu changes seasonally to feature the freshest available ingredients. Taste combinations and presentation are always creative. A fine selection of homemade desserts is available to round out a perfect meal. Try out the inviting wine bar to sit quietly with friends and to sample a more casual light menu of signature sandwiches and burgers. There is an extensive wine list as well as premium spirits and cocktails.
- 1129 Irvin Garrish Highway
- (252) 928-4861
Café Atlantic serves dinner in a mellow dining atmosphere in a beach-style building with marsh views and a gallery of local artwork. The food here is top quality, featuring homemade soups, fresh local seafood, beef, pasta, vegetarian entrees and fantastic desserts. Children’s and senior’s menu are available, and for adults, beer and a thoughtful wine selection. They are closed on Tuesdays.
Captain Puddle Duck’s Steamer Pots
- (252) 588-0107
Perfect for families or groups who love local seafood, these steamer pots are assembled and delivered to your cottage. All you have to do is steam it and eat it! There are four menus for steamer pots that include some combination of shrimp, clams, crabs and Andouille sausage along with ears of corn and red potatoes. You can also custom order to fit your tastes. Open from Monday through Saturday, call between noon and 9 p.m. to place your order.
- 621 Irvin Garrish Highway
- (252) 928-3606
This café with screened porch and open air dining offers breakfast, lunch and dinner daily in a pleasant, landscaped setting. Choose from appetizers, fresh local seafood, burgers, salads and daily specials. There are kid-friendly menu items and mixed beverages, wine and beer for adults. Some customers swear Creekside’s homemade Key lime pie is the best on the island.
- 305 Irvin Garrish Highway
- (252) 928-7119
In the heart of the village, under the spreading live oaks, you will see a charming older village home hosting the Dajio restaurant. Doug and Judy Eifert, experienced, award-winning restauranteurs from Kentucky, are realizing a long-held desire to live on the island of Ocracoke. Dajio, named for “Doug And Judy In Ocracoke,” is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner on a seasonal basis. All menu items are made from scratch and utilize locally produced ingredients as much as possible. Menu items feature many seafood dishes, vegetarian options and special menus for kids. The outside patio and bar continue their tradition of Shrimp Hour from 3-5 p.m. You’ll experience fine dining in the climate-controlled porch and interior dining room along with the warmth of local hospitality when you enter Dajio.
- 950 Irvin Garrish Highway
- (252) 588-2313
Eduardo’s offers traditional Mexican food prepared by Eduardo Chavez Perez. Located at the edge of the Variety Store parking area, the taco truck, as it is known to locals, carries a broad variety of popular Mexican dishes on its menu. Eduardo is known for his generous portions and delicious items, often custom made to meet the dietary requirements of the customer. Eduardo’s is open all year.
El Faro Mexican Restaurant
- 804 Irvin Garrish Highway
- (252) 928-FARO (3276)
If you love Mexican food, the authentic “south of the border” style cuisine with homemade corn and flour tortillas, then you will want to pull up a chair at El Faro (which translated means The Lighthouse). This family owned and run business features a wide selection of familiar Mexican beef, chicken and local seafood entrees as well as vegetarian menu items served with Mexican side dishes. They are open seven days a week from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. for lunch and dinner. Plan to start your meal with a margarita, beer or wine and finish with one of their homemade desserts. They have daily specials as well as take out items. Look for the Carolina blue building to the left of the bank.
Gaffer’s Sport Pub
- 1050 Irvin Garrish Highway
- (252) 928-3456
If you love competitive sports and a pub atmosphere, Gaffer’s Sports Pub is the place to be. They have 18 flat screen TVs and play every game possible! Bring your laptop because they also have free WiFi. Gaffer’s menu includes local fresh seafood, 1/2-lb burgers, a great selection of nachos, a fantastic wings menu (50 cents from 3 to 5 p.m. daily) and lots of pub favorites, not to mention their full bar menu and a great variety of brews.
They also bring a fresh, new option for nightly entertainment to the island featuring bands, DJs and theme party nights. They’re open all year long.
Jolly Roger Pub and Marina
- 410 Irvin Garrish Highway
- (252) 928-3703
The Jolly Roger Pub and Marina is an open-air restaurant perched right over the harbor. Casual lunches and dinners are served daily, with seafood, sandwiches, humongous burgers, Mexican dishes as well as tasty appetizers. Around sunset, it’s the local’s favorite spot to sit with a cold drink and listen to live music. They’re open seasonally, mid-April to mid-October.
Live Oak Coffee
- 285 Irvin Garrish Highway
Fresh roasted coffee beans are the secret to a great cup of coffee. Working with a top micro-roaster from Durham, NC, Live Oak has a diverse menu of coffees prepared in a variety of ways to enhance the taste and pleasure of that first sip. In addition to an espresso bar, they also have iced tea, lemonade, Italian sodas and iced coffee. They are located in the center of the village across from the Community Square and open at 6 a.m. daily through the fall season.
Mark’s Hot Dogs
- 276 Irvin Garrish Highway
- (252) 573-1126
Gotta hankering for a hot dog? Located in the Community Square on the harbor, this New York City Pushcart offers New York-style all-beef hot dogs, a variety of smoked sausage and ice cold soda. It comes with a choice of toppings and a New York attitude.
Ocracoke Coffee Co. & Island Smoothie
- 226 Back Road
- (252) 928-7473
People from all over the island find their way to Ocracoke Coffee Co. at all hours of the day, lured by fresh-roasted coffee, espresso, tea, smoothies, bagels and baked goods. Once there you’ll find it’s hard to leave. Take advantage of the free WiFi and hang out for a while on the front porch or in one of the comfortable chairs in the yard under the trees. The bulletin board here is a good source for island events. Sadly, they are closed January and February.
Ocracoke Pizza Company
- 659 Irvin Garrish Highway
- (252) 928-0099
Ocracoke has fresh pizza with free delivery to your home or rental cottage! In a convenient location on N.C. Highway 12, this is the perfect way to feed family, friends or have a party at the end of a busy day at the beach. They have lots of toppings and crust options, with both pesto and tomato bases. Look for the bright red building.
- 990 Irvin Garrish Highway
- (252) 928-4031
Served from the deli counter at the gas station, Ocracoke Station offers convenient, budget-conscious satisfaction. When you’re in a hurry, check out the daily special or choose a prepared deli sandwich or sub, hot dog or a slice of pizza. Breakfasts of biscuits, fruit, cereal, yogurt and coffee start early. Items in the deli cases are available until closing and are refreshed daily. Open year-round, Ocracoke Station is also a convenience store and is the island’s only gas station. Its staff manages the Beachcomber campground.
Pony Island Restaurant
- 51 Ocean View Road
- (252) 928-5701
The Pony, as the locals call this restaurant, was opened in 1959 as the Ocracoke Restaurant and is the island’s oldest eating establishment. It is casual, family-friendly and serves breakfast daily and traditional island dishes at dinner. The big Southern breakfast also includes seafood and healthy choice options. Dinners include fresh local seafood (they’ll even cook your day’s catch if you’d like), pastas, steaks, salads and burgers. Beer and wine are available, and save room for some homemade deserts. Children and seniors menus are available.
SmacNally’s Raw Bar and Grill
- 180 Irvin Garrish Highway
- (252) 928-9999
SmacNally’s is an entirely outdoor establishment smack on the harbor docks. Fresh seafood, cold beer and breathtaking sunsets make it a happening spot to hang out. Excitement reaches a peak around 4 p.m. when the charter boats pull up and unload their catch. Gather around the bar for some outstanding steamed shrimp. You can also order Black Angus burgers and sandwiches off the grill. It’s open daily in the warm season for lunch and dinner.
Thai Moon and Sushi To Go
- 589 Irvin Garrish Highway, Spencer's Market
- (252) 928-5100
Thai Moon adds a refreshing taste to the island dining scene. Start with lemongrass or coconut soup with chicken or shrimp, spring rolls, fried egg rolls or satay skewers. There are many vegetarian entrees, curries including mussman, yellow, red and green as well as drum fish, ginger fish and crab and shrimp entrees all prepared with fresh local seafood. Sample Pad Thai, noodles, vegetables, chicken, pork, beef and bean curd prepared with lemongrass, cilantro, chilis, lime juice and other spices when you’ve had enough fried fish. Check out the sushi, which is made fresh every day and ready to go. For those who like to cook, they now have a sampling of many Thai ingredients in their small grocery. It’s open for lunch and dinner. This is a cash-only and take-out restaurant.
The Flying Melon
- 181 Back Road
- (252) 928-2533
With 40+ years of experience as a chef in New Orleans and Ocracoke, Michael Schramel brings a great talent to The Flying Melon. The cafe serves a very popular brunch and dinner in an attractive, casual dining room. Brunch includes specialty omelets, quiches, French toast, sweet potato pancakes…are you hungry yet? The cooks draw dinner inspiration from traditional Southern and Creole cooking. A variety of local seafood shares menu space with fresh and flavorful pasta dishes, steaks, pork and chicken. Specials such as pecan-encrusted flounder, drumfish etouffee and softshell crabs with pecan butter change nightly. Save room for one of their delicious homemade desserts. Beer and wine are available. Look for the Flying Melon in their new location next to the Firehouse on the Back Road.
The Slushy Stand
- 473 Irvin Garrish Highway
- (252) 928-1878
The Slushy Stand is the perfect place for refreshment and a relaxing spot to indulge your craving for sweets or coffee. Stop in and try one of their 20 flavors of ice cream, frozen yogurt, icy slushies, cold drinks and smoothies. They even have homemade gelato, an Italian ice cream made with real fruit that is quite the treat. They have breakfast items to go along with their freshly ground regular brew, a very smooth but robust Cuban coffee. A rich espresso, cappuccino or latte are additional options. With free WiFi and a morning newspaper, this is a great place to start the day. Relax on the porch rocking chairs and watch the world go by. Bike rentals are available here; see Recreation.