Imagine sitting down to enjoy a freshly caught, expertly prepared seafood dinner plucked from the Atlantic Ocean that morning. You’ll be sitting in the warm, salt-scented air, with a perfect, uninterrupted view of the sunset over the sea. The sound of the frothy waves washes over you as you stick your fork into a decadent slice of cake and take one final sip of delightfully bubbly dessert wine. Yes, please!
All of that is possible when you visit the oceanfront restaurants on Oak Island in North Carolina! Whether you’re seeking a sandy surfside supper or an early morning coffee with sunrise views, there is a fantastic local restaurant to try. The trickiest part is choosing which exquisite eatery you want to visit first!
We’ve created this guide to show you where to eat on Oak Island if you want to enjoy an immersive sensory experience. Are you getting hungry? Read on to discover more about the best restaurants with a view on Oak Island!
Island Way is one of our favorite Oak island oceanfront restaurants, serving a full menu of surf and turf offerings for lunch and dinner! There is nothing like enjoying a bottle of wine on this eatery’s outdoor deck with the scent of the sea in the air and beautiful views of the ocean. When you dine at Island Way, the stunning Ocean Crest Fishing Pier will be your backdrop!
You can’t go wrong when you order the catch-of-the-day at this seafood house, though the steak is also phenomenal! The filet mignon and fresh lobster dinner are both out of this world.
Lazy Turtle Oceanfront Grille
If you’re looking for a casual hangout with top-tier American grub, Lazy Turtle is your place, even if you’ve still got beach sand between your toes! This relaxed local gem has tables on the sand, so you don’t need to pause your beach day to grab a bite. This place is family-friendly, so load up the kids and don’t worry about wrestling them out of their swimsuits first!
Burgers, tacos, and sandwiches reign at this relaxed lunchtime spot. They offer an extensive list of classy cocktails, like their signature “Turtle Juice.” After a day on the waves, order some incredible appetizers and chill out.
Koko Cabana’s menu might be the most stunning of all the seaside restaurants on Oak Island, but the views are the only thing more gorgeous! You’ll enjoy outdoor dining right on the Oak Island Pier and you might return more than once to try every last delectable drink on their list of signature cocktails! You’ll have time to taste it all. This local favorite is open for lunch and dinner all week!
Ruby’s Coffeehouse & Eatery
If you’re looking for the breakfast of champions, you’ll find it next door to Koko Cabana, on Oak Island Pier! You haven’t lived until you’ve sipped a Pistachio Coconut latte on the beach at sunrise. If you’re looking for some nosh to go with your caffeine, we recommend one of Ruby’s toasts.
If you’re sleeping in, you can stop by until 3:00 PM most days of the week. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a casual scoop of ice cream on the beach.
More Waterfront Dining in Southport
Southport is a quick 15 to 20-minute drive away and offers some fantastic casual waterfront dining options! All the restaurants below are situated on the Old Yacht Basin, with a panoramic view no matter where you’re seated. Here are a few of our favorites:
Fishy Fishy Cafe
When you think of Oak Island restaurants by the ocean, you probably think of seafood. It doesn’t get fresher or more delicious than the fresh-caught and fried offerings at Fishy Fishy Cafe in stunning Southport! The food is as fresh and authentic as you can get, and there are multiple outside seating areas to enjoy. For those visiting with kids, they have a full children’s menu and a casual atmosphere that families love.
Known as Provisions by the locals, this Southport restaurant has been serving some of the best food in town since 1993! It’s located a few doors down from Fishy Fishy and offers the spot to be for an ice-cold beer, peel-and-eat shrimp, or a burger and hot dog. If you’re here for the fish, you’ll find an assortment of grilled, steamed, and fried options to choose from on their menu. Plus, they’re open 7 days a week for both lunch and dinner.
Last by certainly not least, Frying Pan in Southport offers southern-style seafood with that incredible view in the background! It’s a particular favorite of Oak Island locals, casual dining at its finest, so you know it’s something special. Every meal starts with their world-famous sweet potato biscuits. For your entree, choose from blackened, pan-seared, and grilled seafood fresh from the Atlantic. End the meal with a serving of homemade sweet potato bread pudding as the sun sets over the waterfront. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?
Notable Mention: Potter’s Seafood Market
Just a few steps down from Fishy Fishy, you’ll find the charming yellow fish house of Potter’s Seafood Market! While not a restaurant, this market is a notable mention for those looking to grab freshly caught seafood to prepare themselves at their vacation rental. Enjoy your feast on the sand or in the comfort of your oceanfront property and enjoy a personal, private seaside view!
Dreaming of Oceanfront Restaurants on Oak Island?
If you’re anything like us, you’ve already mentally placed an order at each of the phenomenal seaside restaurants on the list! The only thing better than dreaming about the views from the oceanfront restaurants on Oak Island is seeing them for yourself! These top-tier dining establishments are easily accessible from any Salt and Sand Realty property.
Before you can dig in, you’ll have to book your stay! An oceanfront Oak Island rental is waiting to welcome you on your next getaway, and our concierge services can help you choose where to go first. Start by browsing through our vacation homes today and turn your Oak Island dreams into a blissful reality.