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Where to eat in Wilmington North Carolina

Any suggestions for good restaurants in North Carolina, all suggestions welcome. Great breakfast place, elegant restaurant for dinner, best barbecue joint.

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  1. Elijahs on the corner of Water St. and Ann St.
    Excellent food, relaxed environment, and a nice view of the water.

    1. Thanks, I'll give Elijahs a try. How about a great breakfast joint?

      3 Replies
      1. re: sabrinaz

        I have to agree with wineandcheese on Elijah's. Nothing special. Nice view, but the food... '"meh". Same for any other place that's on the water, unfortunately. Pilot House is just so-so, Oceanic on the beach has mostly fried seafood.

        For fine dinnner dining, I'd recommend:
        Deluxe (downtown)
        Circa 1922 (downtown)
        Bijou Brasserie (downtown)
        Caprice Bistro (downtown)
        PortLand Grille (Lumina Station)

        I'll agree that Rim Wang is pretty good, but I personally prefer Banyan Asian Cafe for that kind of food. Also agree that Double Happiness is good and so is Marc's on Market.

        In my opinion, our biggest shortcoming in Wilmington restaurant-wise is a complete lack of breakfast places that aren't greasy spoons. We have a large number of those, from Whitey's to White Front to Omelet House, but they all serve your basic fried eggs, bacon and runny grits breakfast. We don't have anyplace that I'm aware of that has good flannel hashes, REALLY good biscuits and gravy, whole grain waffles, etc.

        1. re: Andiereid

          I also like Banyan too! Talk about a spot where it took me a little while to try because that location in the Ramada! There have been some scary places there before and Banyan was a pleasant surprise. Do you think that the encore reader awards were accurate? Did you see where the encore reader thought the runner up indian restaurant was Indochine? What was up with that? It seems to me the awards all went to the places that always place ads. How could Dock Street Oyster bar be in a tie for best Wilmington Restaurant??

          1. re: wineandcheese

            I never read Encore. The writing is utterly abysmal, and the people who vote to select most of the "best of" are the college kids, who don't usually trek off the beaten path for any of their food, and don't always have the disposable income to eat at some of the better restaurants. It's always the same places that win, and most of the better restaurants are overlooked.

      2. If you are coming into town on the weekend you have to go to Boca Bay for breakfast/brunch. I've been to several breakfast/brunch joints around town and it is by far my favorite because of the variety, quality of the food and price. If you are looking for a place to eat breakfast on a weekday try Jester's Java located on Castle Street (around 5th or 6th st) just a few blocks away from downtown.

        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. So, where for good, real seafood in Wilmington? I am going to visit family there soon and they never seem to go out.......I would like local, good, fresh seafood - I end up going to Pearl's everything and it's fun but there has GOT to be someplace else -
            Thank you!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Abacus

              Second the recommendation for Deluxe. I've probably said this ad nauseum on the Wilmington boards, but it really is our favorite place in town and I've never had a bad meal there. It has a great atmosphere, is right downtown, and they use local ingredients (including fresh catch seafood) and it's always prepared inventively and cooked perfectly.

              I'll also toss in a second for Catch, also downtown. As mentioned, it's the chef from Deluxe. He uses all freshly caught local seafood and does a really creative job with it. A lot of asian influence in his stuff, but he also has the good old-fashioned fried favorites. They're only open for lunch, though.

              Other recommendations for good seafood are PortLand Grille in Lumina Station, Dan's Mason Bistro on Masonboro Loop Road (also uses freshly caught, local seafood) and South Beach Grill on Wrightsville Beach.

              My experience with the places ON the water (Oceanic, Bridge Tender, Bluewater Grill, Pilot House, Elijah's) is that their food is decent, but not great, and a little overpriced for what you get. Great views, but mediocre food.

              Some folks have also recommended 22North on Wrightsville Beach. We ate there a couple of weeks ago and it was inconsistent. Might have been that they were having a bad night, but half our food was excellent and half was almost inedible. It was kind of strange. The soup was some kind of saffron, shrimp dish and it was out of this world, the little biscuits they gave us pre-meal were wonderful, and my husband said his seafood dish was "pretty good" (no raves), but my dinner was pretty bad. The mashed potatoes were so salty even I couldn't eat them, and I love salt. I'd probably go back and give them another try, but I wouldn't just rave about them.

              1. re: Andiereid

                Today we went to catch for lunch. Cute spot, small and full. The server seemed a little overwhelmed when we got there and it was obvious she was a little overwhelmed. Once we got menus it all looked very good. Then we tried to order. They were out of Flounder, tuna, salmon, and calamari. Ouch! She was saying how they usually were not busy on Mondays but today was beautiful and seems like everyone wanted to get out for lunch. They closed at 1pm instead of two and she had to turn people away saying they did not have any food! The curse of the restaurant business. Not busy when you think you will be and super busy when it's not expected. I felt bad for her. The crab sticky rice was great and we will try again.