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Ocracoke updates?

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Heading to Ocracoke for our honeymoon in mid-late March. Just curious if there's any up-to-date info on the island's restaurants.

We abhor poorly-prepared food, and had the best meals of our stay on Hatteras last year in our hotel room, with me shopping at Risky Business and preparing it on a portable butane-fired camp stove. We'll be staying at a spot with a kitchen, most likely.

Nothing is worse than over-cooked fish, so any advice on restaurants that are worth it would be appreciated. We love raw oysters and that sort of thing (can anybody get that wrong?). Sandwiches are always nice, pizza is good, we're not picky eaters, we just want good food, even if that means making it ourselves with some of that superb, fresh local seafood.

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  1. We were in Ocracoke last May, and ended up cooking all of our meals at our rental house. We brought more than enough groceries with us, and never had to venture into any of the restaurants. We did buy seafood (shrimp and something else I've forgotten) at the fish market a couple of times, and it was very good. Enjoy Ocracoke - it's lovely and we had the best week long vacation last year.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jennie

      Risky Business, the seafood market on Hatteras, was amazing. Little place, but maaaan that was a treasure trove of good fish. I guess I never knew how good the fishing was off the Carolina coast. The fishmonger said the sheer variety was due to N.C. jutting out closer to the Gulf Stream than most of the East Coast, so you have access to the fish that prefer those waters as well as those that live closer to the shore.

      Anyway, we ate like kings every night, just sauteeing up the choice catch of the day with a little butter and a sprinkle of lemon, sitting on the back deck and watching the sun go down. I've always heard that truly fresh fish needs little in the way of preparation to be good, and that is indeed the case. The best we had was mackerel, which was unbelievably tasty. I guess it's hard to get mackerel anywhere but the coast, so it was a first for us.

      I don't plan to eat much besides fish, I'll tell ya that.

    2. My wife and I spent our anniversary on Ocracoke Island this past October and we had a fantastic time riding bikes all throughout the town, and just flat out relaxing! Our favorite restaurant on the Island was Café Atlantic.

      It is one of our top five restaurants on my profile. It is your typical small town restaurant, nothing too fancy and the food is simply prepared by the owner operators. Some of our favorite dishes were The Grilled Tuna, Crab Cakes, and Scallops. It was easy to get a table early, but even in late October by 7:30pm there was a wait. Service is okay, again remember small town nonchalant attitude, overall best on the Island.

      Another place we enjoyed going was Howard’s Pub. A good place to get your raw Oysters. It is a local casual hangout open all year long; fun place, food is okay, but the people watching is excellent!

      I hope y’all have a great time; the island is a great place to just do nothing but enjoy each others company.

      Also, if you have not reserved a place to stay, the Captian's Landing was a nice place with a kitchen, and a great view of the lighthouse.

      Best of Luck,

      Fat Tony

      1. THe best fun is to charter a small boat to go out in the inlets for red drum...bring it back after captain cleans and then take it to any of the restaurants in ocracoke and they will cook it for you however you like it. Cafe Atlantic is the best on the island and they will cook for you.

        Howard's Pub is open 365 days a year.

        Be careful in March...some places are just starting to reopen.

        1. I love Ocracoke, my wife and I try to hit it every year. Mid to late March will be a great time to be there, but a fair amount of the businesses may be closed, or have shortened hours.

          The food on Ocracoke is just okay. We end up cooking most of the time (unfortunately rare for us), but here are a few that we like pretty well:

          Thai Moon -- Thai takeout only; pretty good, but not on par with the best Thai in the Triangle

          Flying Melon -- updated American, heavy on the seafood; our favorite restaurant on the island; breakfast is particularly good

          Ocracoke Coffee Company -- cafe; good coffee drinks, surprisingly good bagels, and a tasty granola and yogurt breakfast; great place to hang out

          Backporch -- this has the reputation as being the best fine dining on the island; it's a charming place, but the food is not standing up too well; the seafood is good, though

          Slushy Stand -- pretty good ice cream

          Jolly Roger -- awful food, but beautiful view

          Howard's Pub -- decent beer selection, mediocre bar food

          I think that's most of the places we hit with any frequency. Congratulations, and have a great time!

          1. While you're there try to find the local version of clam chowder. It's brothy, not creamy, and has a distinctive flavor.

            On our honeymoon in 2001, my husband and I enjoyed meals at the Ocracoke Inn. Nothing fancy. Just nice. BIG hearty breakfasts.