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.
- 305 Irvin Garrish Highway
- (252) 928-7119
Dajio is nestled down in Ocracoke’s waterfront village. Husband and wife team, Doug and Judy Eifert, prepare sweet, succulent plates of locally caught fish, shrimp and oysters. They bring to the table a fusion of delicious, innovative and satisfying dishes from the surrounding sea, farms, breweries and vineyards. Chef Doug fires up the wood-burning brick oven to make homemade breads, artisan pizzas and roast organic whole chickens. They are open seasonally from March to November serving breakfast, lunch, shrimp hour and dinner. Enjoy the air conditioning interior or alfresco dining on the jasmine-filled patio and lively music at the Dajio bar many summer nights. The menu includes extensive gluten free and vegetarian options. Bring in your catch and they will cook it for you.
- 1015 Irvin Garrish Highway
- (252) 928-3481
The Fig Tree Bakery and Deli serves breakfast and lunch menu items that offer choices for every craving. Breakfast combinations available on biscuits, bagels and English muffins are the way to start your day. Deli sandwiches and wraps are made to order with fresh ingredients and satisfying favor combinations for lunch on the go or under umbrellas in their outdoor seating. Don’t forget the Sweet Tooth to finish off your meal with a variety of homemade desserts, pastries and Ocracoke Fig Cake.
- 1050 Irvin Garrish Highway
- (252) 928-3456
Under new ownership, Gaffer’s offers an updated menu and entertainment. If you love competitive sports and a pub atmosphere while still maintaining a family-friendly setting, Gaffer’s Sports Pub is the place to be. They have 18 flat screen TVs and play every game possible! Free WiFi is available. Gaffer’s menu includes local fresh seafood, 1/2-lb burgers, nachos, a fantastic wings menu (50 cents from 3 to 5 p.m. daily) and lots of pub favorites along with winter specials. Gaffer’s offers a full bar menu and a great variety of brews.
They also bring a fresh, new option for nightly entertainment to the island featuring live bands and an updated game room and pool tables. Check out www.outerbanksthisweek.com for the details. They are open all year long.
- 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 their stay. Fun-loving and casual, Howard’s is open every day, from mid-March until sometime in November serving 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 from around the world plus wine and cocktails are available. Sit indoors in the air-conditioned dining room, at the long wooden bar, or out on the expansive airy screened porch with circling ceiling fans. Live music on many nights, multiple large screen televisions, the infamous ring hook, foosball and wall-to-wall memorabilia make the Pub the fun spot to be for all ages.
- 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 and 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.
- N.C. Highway 12
YUM-YUM is a sweet spot conveniently located on Highway 12 and is the perfect place to refresh with a delicious beverage. Choose from locally roasted, critically acclaimed cup of coffee, a vanilla latte or just a simple shot of espresso. For a cold treat, grab a smoothie made with real fruit and fruit juices, an iced coffee (local’s favorite), a frozen mocha latte or a freshly squeezed lemonade. There are a few shaded tables sitting among an interesting mix of native and tropical plants, which makes for a cool spot to sit, or get it and go with the fast, friendly service. This is a cash-only establishment.
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.
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.
- 950 Irvin Garrish Highway
- (252) 588-0202
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, using fresh local fish for his seafood specialties. 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, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- 110 Back Road
Stop by the corner of Back Road and Old Beach Road to visit Ocracoke’s newest food truck establishment. The Graceful Bakery offers artisan breads, crepes, cookies and a variety of other baked goods.
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 locals’ 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.
Ocracoke Coffee Co. & Island Smoothie
- 226 Back Road
- (252) 928-7473
People from all over the island find their way to Ocracoke Coffee Company at all hours of the day, lured by fresh-roasted coffee, espresso, tea, smoothies, bagels and baked goods. It’s known as “THE coffee shop” to the locals, and once you are 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. Don’t forget your OCC coffee, mugs and T-shirts to show off once you are home again.
Ocracoke Pizza Company
- 659 Irvin Garrish Highway
- (252) 928-7777
Ocracoke has fresh pizza with free delivery to your home or rental cottage! In a convenient location on 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. Order a fresh baked pizza with lots of toppings, sauce and crust options. Look for specials on their Facebook page.
- 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. Call for breakfast and deli take-out or delivery options. 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. Enjoy outdoor dining nestled under beautiful crape myrtles on the back deck. The big Southern breakfast also includes seafood and healthy choice options. Dinners include fresh local seafood, often caught by the owners (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-plus 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, shrimp and grits, French toast and sweet potato pancakes. 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 parmesan-encrusted flounder, drumfish etouffee and soft shell crabs change nightly. Save room for one of their delicious homemade desserts. A full bar including beer, wine and mixed drinks is available.
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.