Embark on a flavorful journey through North Carolina’s culinary landscape as we delve into reviews of the 10 best seafood spots that offer an unparalleled gastronomic experience. From the shores of the Outer Banks to the bustling cityscape of Charlotte, North Carolina boasts an array of establishments renowned for serving the freshest and most delectable seafood dishes that showcase the region’s maritime bounty. Whether you’re craving succulent crab cakes, buttery lobster rolls, or perfectly grilled shrimp, these top seafood havens promise an unforgettable dining adventure, elevating the coastal cuisine scene to unparalleled heights within the state.
Reviews of the 10 best seafood in North Carolina
1.Fish Bites Seafood Restaurant in North Carolina
Nestled along the coastal stretch of North Carolina, Fish Bites Seafood Restaurant emerges as a haven for seafood aficionados seeking a delightful culinary adventure. Touted as a local gem, this eatery lives up to its reputation as a must-visit destination for fresh and flavorful seafood.
A testament to its excellence is the glowing recommendation from locals, and it’s not hard to see why. Patrons find themselves returning not once, but multiple times to savor the exceptional dishes on offer. The menu, primarily seafood-focused but inclusive of other land favorites, showcases an array of tantalizing options sure to please every palate.
A standout favorite among visitors is the “Ponzu Tuna stir-fry” – a special that garners praise for its delectable flavors and freshness. The Stuffed Shrimp Appetizer, Shrimp and Grits, and the Crab and Lobster Mac and Cheese receive resounding applause for their rich, indulgent tastes that leave diners wholly satisfied, often with leftovers to spare.
The ambiance at Fish Bites is described as comfortably nautical, adding a relaxed and inviting atmosphere to the dining experience. Customers rave about the “shrimp bombs,” a must-try appetizer that combines deep-fried shrimp, bacon, and cheese enveloped in a delightful batter, accompanied by a tantalizing Thai chili dipping sauce. Additionally, the fish and chips, featuring an impressive white fish fillet encased in the same delectable batter, and the lobster/shrimp salad with fried pita points, garner commendation for their delightful flavors and innovative presentation.
Notably, the service at Fish Bites is consistently highlighted as attentive yet unobtrusive, enhancing the overall dining experience. Visitors praise the efficiency and friendliness of the staff, contributing to the well-run nature of the establishment.
In conclusion, Fish Bites Seafood Restaurant stands out as a culinary beacon in North Carolina, where impeccable service meets a menu bursting with coastal delights. Whether you’re a seafood enthusiast or seeking a taste of the coastal flavors, Fish Bites promises an unforgettable dining experience that beckons patrons to return time and again.
Address: 6132 Carolina Beach Rd, Wilmington, NC 28412, United States
Phone: +1 910-791-1117
2.The Full Moon Oyster Bar – Jamestown – best seafood in North Carolina
Nestled in Jamestown, North Carolina, The Full Moon Oyster Bar shines as a beacon for seafood enthusiasts seeking an exceptional dining experience away from the coast. Boasting a varied menu and a vibrant atmosphere, this establishment has garnered high praise from locals and visitors alike.
Visitors often find themselves pleasantly surprised by the quality and diversity of the menu offerings. The Moonrocker appetizer steals the spotlight, described as superior to any oyster experienced even in renowned coastal areas like Savannah. The Fried Flounder basket, generously portioned and shareable, satisfies appetites while the grilled salmon impresses with its perfect preparation.
Customers appreciate the bustling yet casual ambiance just minutes from the nearby campus, making it an ideal spot for a quick meal or a leisurely dining experience. The lunch specials, particularly the fish tacos, receive acclaim for their generous portions and skillful preparation, accompanied by exceptional service from the staff.
For seafood connoisseurs, the Full Moon Oyster Bar offers an extended seafood menu daily, providing a vast array of tantalizing options. Patrons rave about the house oysters, hailed for their exceptional freshness and size reminiscent of those found in renowned seafood destinations like Montauk, New York. The variety of offerings, including the Low Country Shrimp Boil and the Full Moon meal for 2, showcase the restaurant’s commitment to delivering a wide range of delectable flavors.
The attentive and energetic wait staff contribute significantly to the dining experience, offering top-notch service, engaging conversations, and quick service, notably when shucking oysters.
While the culinary journey receives resounding praise, a minor concern is noted regarding social distancing at the bar area. However, customers appreciate the staff’s adherence to safety protocols by wearing masks, contributing to a safer dining environment.
In conclusion, The Full Moon Oyster Bar – Jamestown emerges as a standout seafood haven, offering an impressive variety of seafood delicacies and impeccable service that leaves patrons wanting to return for more. For those seeking a taste of exceptional seafood away from the coast, this establishment stands as a testament to culinary excellence inland, earning its reputation as a must-visit destination for seafood enthusiasts.
Address: 103 W Main St, Jamestown, NC 27282, United States
Phone: +1 336-307-2887
3.Shuckin’ Shack – best seafood in North Carolina
Nestled in the heart of Carolina Beach, Shuckin’ Shack stands tall as a beacon of exceptional seafood dining, delivering on its promise to offer a delightful culinary experience every time. Renowned for its attentive staff and fantastic food, this restaurant has earned a special place in the hearts of both locals and visitors alike.
Patrons consistently praise the attentive and welcoming staff, providing a stark contrast to other experiences, notably one where prompt service was lacking. The dedication to customer satisfaction is evident from the moment one steps foot inside. Despite the bustling atmosphere, the team ensures guests are promptly attended to, even offering drinks while waiting for a table.
For those seeking a vibrant atmosphere, the bar provides an enjoyable experience, where patrons revel in the camaraderie and vibrant energy. The raw oysters and steamed shrimp are hailed as standouts, showcasing the freshness and quality of the seafood offerings. Guests appreciate the outstanding service coupled with the delightful and flavorful dishes, fostering an inviting atmosphere that beckons return visits.
A day trip to Kure Beach led to the discovery of this beach town gem. The cozy, dive-like ambiance with limited tables and a sizable bar charmed visitors, setting the stage for a memorable dining experience. The cold crab dip and tantalizing lobster roll garnered praise, while the “surf & turf” option, featuring shrimp and buffalo sauce-coated wings, proved to be a flavorful delight.
During a lunch visit in October, guests were promptly seated and treated to an array of delightful seafood offerings. The raw oysters and the lobster roll impressed with their freshness, although the size of the latter left a bit to be desired. However, the fish and chips stole the show, earning accolades for its amazing taste and quality.
Service remains a highlight at Shuckin’ Shack, with the waitress going above and beyond to ensure a pleasant dining experience, showcasing remarkable helpfulness and friendliness.
In essence, Shuckin’ Shack embodies the essence of a quintessential seafood haven, where freshness meets flavor, and exceptional service leaves a lasting impression. Whether it’s for a quick lunch or an evening of delightful indulgence, this establishment remains a top recommendation for those seeking authentic and delicious seafood in the Carolina Beach area.
Address: 6 N Lake Park Blvd, Carolina Beach, NC 28428, United States
Phone: +1 910-458-7380
4.42nd Street Oyster Bar in North Carolina
Nestled in the heart of Raleigh, the 42nd Street Oyster Bar stands as a beacon for exquisite seafood dining, impressing patrons with its impeccable service and delectable culinary offerings.
For those celebrating special occasions or simply looking for an exceptional dining experience, this restaurant proves to be a delightful choice. Patrons laud the restaurant’s ambiance, service, and, most notably, the fantastic quality of its cuisine.
From birthday dinners to casual visits, the consistency of excellence shines through. Visitors revel in the extensive array of delectable seafood options, with a particular highlight being the beloved oysters. The Oysters Rockefeller and 42nd Street varieties receive high praise, showcasing the establishment’s commitment to delivering impeccable flavors. Accompanying starters such as the coconut shrimp and calamari set the tone for a meal that delights the taste buds.
The menu’s diverse offerings cater to a range of preferences, whether it’s the mouthwatering blackened Asian sea bass or the fettuccini teeming with shrimp and crab meat. The culinary expertise extends beyond seafood, as the Caesar salad and seafood bisque leave a lasting impression, surprising and delighting guests with their exquisite flavors.
The attentive and knowledgeable service provided by staff members like Joshua elevates the dining experience. Visitors appreciate his recommendations and friendly professionalism, contributing significantly to the overall dining pleasure.
Amidst the celebration of birthdays, guests indulge in decadent desserts like the French silk pie, lauded as one of the best, adding a sweet conclusion to an already remarkable meal. The blackened mahi and flounder and shrimp combo continue to be crowd-pleasers, satisfying discerning palates with their flavorful preparations.
In summary, the 42nd Street Oyster Bar in Raleigh shines as a culinary gem, offering not just a meal but an experience that encapsulates the essence of superb seafood dining. For those seeking top-tier seafood, attentive service, and a welcoming ambiance, this establishment comes highly recommended, promising an unforgettable dining adventure for seafood enthusiasts and casual diners alike.
Address: 508 W Jones St, Raleigh, NC 27603, United States
Phone: +1 919-831-2811
5.N.C. Seafood Restaurant at the Farmers Market in North Carolina
For seafood aficionados seeking a taste of delectable and reasonably priced seafood, N.C. Seafood Restaurant at the Farmers Market in Raleigh stands as an iconic destination. Nestled within the NC Farmers Market off the beltline, this restaurant has maintained its legacy for delivering exceptional seafood offerings that continue to satisfy patrons.
The allure of this landmark restaurant lies in its expansive seafood selection, both fried and broiled, generously portioned to appease even the heartiest of appetites. The affordability and ample servings stand out, coupled with deliciously prepared fries and slaw that complement the main dishes impeccably.
The restaurant’s atmosphere exudes a lively vibe, bustling with activity. Ordering food at the counter and sharing tables during peak hours may be the norm, but it should not deter anyone from experiencing the culinary delights this place offers. Despite potential seating challenges, the quality of condiments like tartar sauce and seafood cocktail sauce leaves a lasting impression, enhancing the overall seafood experience.
Regular patrons appreciate the substantial portions and great food, often opting for combination plates that leave them satisfied. The extensive menu boasts fried, cold, and broiled seafood served in styrofoam boxes, brimming with fries and delightful hushpuppies. The portion sizes often lead to leftovers, showcasing the incredible value for money offered here.
The seating options range from 4-person tables to long picnic tables, fostering a sense of communal dining both indoors and under the tent canopy. Despite the casual setting, the efficiency in serving customers swiftly stands out, with lines moving quickly as orders are taken while waiting to pay.
While this may not cater to those seeking a fancy dining experience, the delicious seafood offerings more than compensate. Patrons appreciate the fried seafood varieties, particularly praising the fried oysters and scallops, though noting the fried flounder can sometimes be a tad dry.
Timing your visit could enhance the experience, as arriving during peak hours might entail longer lines and a potential wait for a table. Nonetheless, the efficiency of the staff remains commendable even during busy periods.
In essence, N.C. Seafood Restaurant at the Farmers Market remains a staple in Raleigh, offering a bustling yet inviting environment where seafood lovers can relish in hearty portions of well-prepared dishes at reasonable prices. If you value excellent seafood without the frills, this establishment stands as a testament to exceptional seafood value and flavor.
Located in: North Carolina State Farmers Public Market
Address: 1201 Agriculture St, Raleigh, NC 27603, United States
Phone: +1 919-833-4661
6.Crab Sea – best seafood in North Carolina
Located in Durham, Crab Sea stands out as a seafood haven, attracting patrons with its delightful offerings, generous portions, and welcoming atmosphere. Despite being one of the few crab restaurants open in the area, this establishment’s quality and service shine through, leaving diners satisfied and eager for return visits.
Upon arrival, guests are greeted by friendly and professional hosts and cashiers, creating an immediate sense of value and appreciation. The swift service ensures that orders are taken promptly, and the food arrives at the table without delay, providing a seamless dining experience.
The signature “make your own” seafood bags, customized with flavorful garlic butter and old bay seasoning sauces, receive accolades for enhancing the seafood and potatoes’ already delicious flavors. Even without the corn (due to an allergy), the meals are thoroughly enjoyed, offering a memorable seafood experience.
Customer service emerges as a highlight, with a gentleman attending to a sizable group, engaging warmly with all guests, including a delighted 6-year-old celebrating her birthday. The variety in menu choices surprises patrons, with Chinese options, like the fresh and delectable Chinese dishes, adding diversity to the seafood fare.
The restaurant’s pristine and well-maintained interior contributes to a pleasant dining atmosphere, complemented by the kind and attentive staff, leaving a lasting positive impression on visitors. Notably, Crab Sea caters to varying spice preferences, offering non-spicy options, which adds to its appeal.
Regular patrons express their satisfaction with the consistently fresh and delicious seafood offerings, making it a go-to spot for seafood lovers. The cajun seasoning and flavorful cajun fries stand out as favorites among regulars, showcasing the culinary excellence this place offers.
The attentiveness of the staff shines through multiple interactions, ensuring guests’ needs are met promptly. From the well-executed seafood boils to the exceptional fried shrimp, each dish demonstrates a commitment to quality and flavor.
In summary, Crab Sea in Durham stands as a quintessential seafood destination, offering an array of fresh and delectable dishes accompanied by generous portions. With an inviting ambiance, exceptional customer service, and a diverse menu, this establishment earns praise as a must-visit spot for both first-time visitors and returning seafood enthusiasts.
Address: 4831 NC-55, Durham, NC 27713, United States
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Phone: +1 919-316-1311
7.Sho Nuff Seafood – best seafood in North Carolina
Tucked away on 9th Street and W Club Blvd, Sho Nuff Seafood is a culinary gem in Durham that beckons seafood lovers with its delectable offerings and inviting atmosphere. Patrons are welcomed to a haven of fresh and flavorsome seafood dishes that leave an indelible mark on the taste buds.
From the onset, the grande spicy shrimp (P&D) steals the spotlight, offering a perfect balance of spice and flavor. Guests are delighted by the generous portions and reasonable prices, making it an excellent value for the superb quality. The precision in cooking ensures every dish, whether it’s the fried lobster tail or the meaty crabs, leaves a lasting impression.
Despite minor hiccups in service observed by some customers, such as issues with napkin availability and personal phone calls, the overall experience is rated highly. The restaurant’s potential shines through, promising an improved dining experience with a focus on small yet crucial operational aspects.
The dedication of the staff and management is evident, with a personal touch felt by visitors. The owner’s warmth and interaction with guests add a personal charm, elevating the dining experience beyond just a meal.
The transition from a food truck to a brick-and-mortar establishment has been met with enthusiasm, with patrons drawn to the flavorful crab legs and perfectly cooked shrimp. The addition of fried lobster tail to the menu has proven to be a highlight, captivating diners with its exquisite flavors and generous portions.
Regular visitors express their fondness for the garlic butter sauce that complements the seafood boil plates, harmonizing with the corn, potatoes, and sausage to create a delightful ensemble of flavors. The expansion of the menu, coupled with the anticipation of the food truck’s return, adds to the excitement surrounding this culinary destination.
Sho Nuff Seafood’s loyalty rewards program offers an extra incentive for frequent patrons, enhancing the overall dining experience. Located near Trinity Avenue in Durham, this establishment continues to captivate seafood enthusiasts with its flavorful offerings, friendly staff, and promising potential, making it a must-visit spot for anyone seeking a delightful seafood feast in the area.
Address: 1104 Broad St, Durham, NC 27705, United States
Phone: +1 919-972-9212
8.1618 West Seafood Grille – best seafood in North Carolina
Tucked away in an unassuming converted fire station, 1618 West Seafood Grille stands as a remarkable culinary gem in Greensboro, North Carolina. This hidden treasure consistently exceeds expectations, leaving patrons dazzled and eager to spread the word about its universe-class experience.
Upon entering, guests are greeted with an ambiance that marries warmth and creativity, setting the stage for an exceptional dining journey. The staff, notably Will and Damien, elevate service beyond mere hospitality, infusing each interaction with entertainment, wit, and genuine care. Their dedication transcends conventional service, turning an evening into a delightful, memorable affair.
The menu at 1618 West Seafood Grille is a testament to culinary craftsmanship. Dishes like the Ahi tuna and shrimp offerings emerge as rare treats, not just for the palate but also for the eyes—so exquisite that even those averse to photographing meals couldn’t resist capturing their beauty. The seared tuna impresses with its flavorful profile, while the shrimp dish and seafood sliders garner praise for their delectable taste and execution.
For enthusiasts of seafood and gastronomic exploration, this restaurant offers an array of options that will satiate even the most discerning of palates. The ahi tuna with wasabi mashed potatoes stands out as an absolute must-try, alongside other savory delights like sea bass and grouper.
Complementing the exceptional cuisine is an extensive wine list, drawing commendation from patrons who appreciate a perfectly paired bottle. The option to bring one’s own selection to be corked further enhances the dining experience, adding a personalized touch to an already impressive offering.
Whether it’s a date night, a gathering of friends, or an unexpected find for out-of-towners, 1618 West Seafood Grille consistently delivers an unforgettable experience. The emphasis on creativity, warmth, and attention to detail—from the innovative dishes to the welcoming ambiance—reflects a commitment to excellence that distinguishes this establishment as a culinary treasure in Greensboro.
In summary, 1618 West Seafood Grille transcends its unassuming exterior, offering a universe-class dining adventure that captivates and delights all who step through its doors. For those seeking an extraordinary culinary journey, this restaurant shines as the Koh-i-Noor of Greensboro, leaving patrons dazzled and eager to return for more.
Address: 1618 W Friendly Ave, Greensboro, NC 27403, United States
Phone: +1 336-235-0898
9.Shake Shake Seafood Monroe in North Carolina
Nestled in Monroe, North Carolina, Shake Shake Seafood offers a delightful rendezvous for seafood aficionados seeking an unpretentious yet flavorsome dining experience.
The restaurant has garnered a notable following, drawing in patrons with its vibrant flavors and casual ambiance. It’s a spot where messy indulgence meets delectable seafood fare.
Entering Shake Shake Seafood, one can anticipate an interactive dining affair, where bibs adorned with a cheerful crab illustration await, along with gloves for the seafood bag experience. The table setup, complete with spacious buckets for discarded shells, adds to the casual, fun-loving atmosphere, although heed the advice: wearing white might be a risky choice given the deliciously messy nature of the feast.
The star of the show at Shake Shake Seafood is undoubtedly the seafood bags. A customer’s testimony reflects the joy of indulging in the medium heat with house special seasoning, relishing a delightful combination of shrimp, snow crab, corn, and potatoes—a low-country feast that delighted a seasoned crab lover. The prices are reasonable, and for around $30, a bag filled with seafood galore promises satisfaction for one or two diners.
Notably, the service shines through as attentive and prompt, ensuring cups stay refilled and dishes arrive piping hot. While the crab Rangoon might lack the expected crab content, other appetizers like fried calamari delight the taste buds.
Even for solo diners, the experience at Shake Shake Seafood remains gratifying. Boiled shrimp and crab claws arrive steaming hot, perfectly seasoned to individual tastes. While the utensils provided may not be ideal for cracking claws, the seafood itself stands out for its delightful flavors.
The menu offers a decent variety, from fried options to seafood boils, catering to different preferences. The seasoning choices, ranging from mild to hot, ensure patrons can customize their spice levels to suit their palates.
While not positioned as a high-end seafood establishment, Shake Shake Seafood Monroe stands out for its authenticity and generous portions. The overall consensus among patrons is that it triumphs over nearby chains, delivering a more satisfying seafood experience.
In conclusion, Shake Shake Seafood Monroe wins hearts with its unpretentious charm, flavorful offerings, and a lively atmosphere perfect for a family outing, casual lunch, or solo cravings. For those seeking a messy-yet-delightful seafood feast, this spot beckons with its promise of delicious crustaceans, friendly service, and an experience worth returning for.
Located in: Poplin Place Shopping Center
Address: 2841 W Hwy 74, Monroe, NC 28110, United States
Phone: +1 704-774-1158
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10.Mike’s Inland Seafood – best seafood in North Carolina
Nestled in Boone, North Carolina, Mike’s Inland Seafood stands as a beacon of exceptional seafood dining, drawing patrons from far and wide with its Southern charm, quality cuisine, and inviting atmosphere.
For many, the idea of relishing seafood in the mountains might seem unconventional, yet Mike’s Inland Seafood defies expectations, offering a dining experience that rivals coastal establishments, even impressing visitors from seafood-rich locales like Florida.
The consensus among patrons echoes the sentiment of exceeding expectations. The restaurant prides itself not only on its flavorful dishes but also on its warm hospitality—a trait embodied by staff members like Sarah and Robin. Their attentiveness and Southern charm elevate the dining experience, making guests feel not just welcomed but also cared for.
The menu at Mike’s Inland Seafood boasts an extensive selection, providing a delightful dilemma for diners trying to choose from the array of tantalizing options. From flounder filets, shrimp combos, and broiled shrimp to cod with teriyaki marinade, each dish is prepared with precision and garners praise for its exceptional taste and portion sizes.
One recurring highlight at Mike’s is the hush puppies, hailed as the best by multiple diners—a testament to the restaurant’s dedication to perfecting even the smallest details of its offerings. Specials and daily catches add a touch of variety to the already impressive menu, encouraging patrons to return for new culinary adventures.
The affordability of the meals surprises and delights many, considering the quality and quantity of the dishes served. Generous portions of trout, salads, sides like hush puppies and onion rings, coupled with friendly service, leave diners satiated and content without denting their wallets.
Beyond the food, the legacy of Mike’s Inland Seafood as a go-to destination since 1998 speaks volumes about its consistency in delivering top-notch seafood. The absence of generic, prepackaged fare resonates with patrons seeking genuine, quality seafood experiences.
In summary, Mike’s Inland Seafood transcends geographical expectations, presenting a dining haven where mountain meets oceanic flavors. The blend of quality dishes, generous portions, affordability, and Southern hospitality make it a must-visit in Boone, capturing the hearts—and appetites—of locals and visitors alike. For those seeking a taste of exceptional seafood amidst the mountains, Mike’s is an indisputable choice, beckoning patrons to indulge in its savory offerings time and again.
Address: 174 Jefferson Rd, Boone, NC 28607, United States
Phone: +1 828-262-5605