We Go Places: Dining in the Outer Banks

Eat Sign at Roadside Bar & Grill in Duck.
Eat Sign at Roadside Bar & Grill in Duck.

Whether in a fun local place or elegant fine dining, a fabulous meal together can become a treasured memory. Everyone knows the success of many a vacation hinge on the meals shared with family and friends. To help you with this challenge, I have rounded up 5 fabulous choices to choose from for a great foodie memory of your family’s vacation on the Outer Banks.

Trio in Kitty Hawk

Trio in Kitty Hawk by Sara Kendall
Trio in Kitty Hawk Sara Kendall

Follow the locals is good advice. In Kitty Hawk you’ll find the locals hanging out at Trio, where the specialties are wine, beer and cheese. When you walk in the door, don’t be confused by the half bistro and half retail store, just head towards the right to find the bistro.

Kenny Hyman, owner, says “We wanted to create a unique experience in a very social setting with knowledgeable staff.” I believe their vision has created a comfortable place where you will find the staff taking care of you and not rushing you out the door – a refreshing way to be treated in a restaurant setting.

Start off your experience here with a trip to the wine station. Here you can try one or more of their 24 chilled wines by taste, half, or full glass. It’s a great way to sample a few, before enjoying a full glass of your favorite. If craft beer is more your speed, then choose one from their 24 rotating taps. Order a specialty cheese appetizer, antipasti plate or a yummy panini.

Kimball’s Kitchen in Duck

Kimball Kitchen at Sanderling Resort by Sara Kendall
Kimball Kitchen at Sanderling Resort Sara Kendall

On the soundside of Sanderling Resort, Kimball’s Kitchen is an exquisite dining experience, but jackets are not required. It’s an elegant coastal establishment serving first class entrees made from the best local organic ingredients. Kimball’s Kitchen is a premier restaurant featuring Kobe steak, oysters, and the freshest seafood.

The restaurant is open Tuesday through Saturday, and they bring you the same great team every night, by design. Since the staff works every meal, you can have your favorite server anytime you decide to dine here. They’re open from May to October and closed during the slow season in between.

Café Pamlico in Buxton

Located at The Inn on Pamlico Sound, Café Pamlico is a casual fine dining restaurant serving expertly prepared gourmet cuisine. This restaurant has received numerous top accolades, so make your reservations well in advance. Committed to local sources, the menu is constantly changing based on availability of fish, meat, and produce. Cafe’ Pamlico grows up to 55 organic herbs, fruits, and vegetables on site, doing their part to keep it local. This concept pairs the best ingredients with a skilled culinary staff, bringing what could arguably be one of the finest meals during your stay on the Outer Banks.

Red Sky Café in Duck

Chef Wes of Red Sky Cafe by Sara Kendall
Chef Wes of Red Sky Cafe Sara Kendall

For those nights when you are too tired to cook and don’t want to leave your beach house, but still want a delicious meal, then reach out to Chefs on Call through Red Sky Cafe. Arrange for one of Red Sky Café’s talented chefs to make any meal your family desires. They will even clean up the kitchen before they depart. Your family will get a fine dining experience without the hassle of going to a restaurant during the busy tourist season.

Though, don’t miss a meal at Red Sky Café in Duck - a place where diners get creative healthy meals sure to please everyone. Chef Wes Stepp has created a new concept of Tastefully Fit where he takes classic recipes, takes out the fat, incorporates healthy ingredients to make meals healthier and tastier.

Duck’s Donuts in Corolla, Duck, Kill Devil Hills & Kitty Hawk

Duck Donuts by Sara Kendall
Duck Donuts Sara Kendall

Families have created a tradition by making a stop at Duck Donuts while on their vacation. Follow in their delicious footsteps with made-to-order donuts. Choose from among a variety of icings like orange or chocolate, and then add chopped peanuts, coconut, rainbow sprinkles, and more! A popular favorite is a maple-coated donut topped with bacon. Have a cup of their freshly brewed coffee to go along with your warm donuts and don’t forget to take a couple with you for a sweet treat later in the day.

If you’re heading to the Outer Banks, check out my other suggestions on family travel to this great beach area of North Carolina:

Amazing OBX accomodations

Six family-friendly activities in OBX

Five more fun things to do in the Outer Banks

And for more information on OBX, browse .