Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General South Archive >
May 3, 2007 06:47 AM

Good Grocery/Seafood on 158 to Duck NC

Going to Duck 2nd week in June - a group of 13 (7 late teen boys and 6 adults) with a big house so we'll be doing a lot of our own cooking. Bringing the staples and lots of wine but looking for places for fresh fruit, veggies, baked goods and seafood - roadside stands, farmers markets, fishmongers. Really want a crab boil one night. Coming from the north we'll be on Rts 168 then 158 as we get towards Duck (Saturday afternoon). Also, are there any "must do's" in the area? Looking forward to doing mostly nothing and enjoying the company but may want a day or two out. Thanks in advance for any suggestions/recomendations.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. We go the the OBX every two years- a group of 25+. There are lots and lots of fruit/vegatable stands on 158 before the wright bridge. Once you get on the Outer Banks, there are Food lion and Harris Tweeter supermarkets. We prefer Harris Tweeter. Like you, we bring the staples, buy the produce on the way. Just a heads up- I don't think there is ANY good pizza anywhere in the vicinity ( we stay in Corolla), so don't even try. Better off to make your own, or grill your own. There is a fish market- I think it is near the walmart right after you go over the bridge- but am not too sure. We caught some little blues and tossed them on the grill- great snack!
    I will be interested to see the responses on the crab boil- we have not done that, but it is a great idea for our next visit ( summer of 08).
    If you want some BBQ, go to the lighthouse in Corolla- and in the back, near the Twiddy offices, there is a BBQ shack ( a real shack). We thought is was great, but I will have to say- being from the Boston area, I am certainly no expert on BBQ. You are g oing to have the time of your life, and I would bet you will make this a plce you return to time and time again. Our extended family looks forward to it erery other year. AS an aside- not sure if you found the places that will rent you beach chairs, umbrella, gas grills. They deliver them to your house on Saturday, and pick them up again the next week. Wonderful place!

    1. joeysmom220- Here is a thread that gave me some ideas.... Also, if you type OBX in the search bar, you may find more info.

      10 Replies
      1. re: macca

        The other threads gave some good info and also generated some more questions. Will peaches be in season the beginning of June? Sounds like roadside stands are plentiful along 158 so the fresh fruit problem is solved. Found that there are a couple of seafood markets but will crabs be available in June and where is the best place for that item by the bushel?
        One of the couples goes to Awful Arthurs yearly but another couple wasn't very impressed by them. We'll only be going out one - maybe 2 - nights. What would compare? I see a lot about Blue Point (seems $$$) and Austin Creek. We'll want seafood. Suggestions? Also read about Weeping Radish - that sounds interesting for a lunch - worth the drive and fighting traffic?
        Thanks again

        1. re: joeysmom220

          We go around the 10th of July every time- and the peaches are in season then. Not sure when the season starts. But I will say thery are unbelievable. I always go to a roadside stand the day before we leave and stock up on them to bring home.Never been to awful arthurs. I did visit Weeping Radish when they had a place in Corolla, Good bar, sandwiches- great glasses and tshirts! I think they are in Manteo now- would not make a trip that far just for the Weeping Radish. Manteo is a quaint seaside place, lots of boat tours, shops etc. If you are in the area, however, it is worth a stop.
          There is a place in Corolla that sells steamed crabs, shrimp boils, etc. Forget the anme of it- and have never tried it. Hope other hounds can chime in, as if it is good, we will add it to our list. Hope to hear more responses. I am starting a list to use for our next trip down. Can't wait.

          1. re: joeysmom220

            I would not bother going to Weeping Radish. I was there last Friday for a late lunch/early dinner on our way home from Kitty Hawk and was very disappointed. They've taken their chicken wings off of the appetizer menu - which I used to love (got them very hot). The chicken salad for $10.98 was thinly shredded lettuce, a few vegies, and some cold, stir fried chicken strips with absolutely no seasoning at all. The potato soup was lukewarm and also had no discernable seasonings.

            They said they are reworking their menu - but the dinner menu is way over priced for what is offered, and in my case, poor food at that. The lunch menu has some sandwiches and a burger listed that may be better.

            Disappointing - as I used to enjoy the Weeping Radish in Corolla and Manteo for a cold beer and the great wings.

            I did finally make it to Tortuga's Lie after trying for the past 2 trips. I was very impressed - loved it and will definitely be back. Their Baja Fish Tacos were delicious and the conch fritters were also excellent. I highly recommend it - looks kind of divey - but who cares? The food and staff are great! (Beach road - around milepost 10.5)

            1. re: joeysmom220

              Awful Arthur's has been around forever and has a very loyal following, but the food is unpredictable. The raw bar is very fresh, so I'd stick with that if you go. The other entrees get expensive for what you get.

              Crabs will be in season and there are seafood shops all over. If you want to go deep-sea fishing, this is the time. Tuna is biting now through the beginning of June. I like jet skiing on the Sound. If it's your first time to OBX, you might want to check out Jockey's Ridge.

              1. re: mojoeater

                Thanks for the info on Tortuga's Lie - sounds like a place for lunch one day. Most of what I'd read on Weeping Radish was good german food and beer - didn't sound like that from the description. Can anyone advise on Austins Creek or Blue Point?
                Glad to hear crabs will be in season - thanks for that info. Went to the Jockey's Ridge site - that is now on the list to do - thanks again. Any other "must do's"? I'm an OBX virgin but the rest of the group isn't - I like to explore and they like to vegatate. I welcome any and all suggestions!

                1. re: joeysmom220

                  We have been going to Corolla every year since 1995 and actually bought a house there in 2000, and I think that we have tried almost everything. Just a few short notes on the above. For seafood stop at the Seamark on the right hand side of the road just after you cross the big bridge (in the Walmart shopping center). Their produce usually is lousy, but they do have really good fresh seafood. There is a seafood market in the Food Lion shopping center in Corolla that is pretty good too. Stay away from Tommy's in Duck unless you want upscale steaks or seafood. The quality is excellent but you really pay for it.

                  The BBQ stand by the lighthouse is really good. He starts smoking the night before and do not miss the baked beans! Tortuga's is great, but you will have the wait from hell during the season. Also try Mama Kwan's on 158 (about mile post 9 1/2) for the fish tacos. Again a long wait but well worth it. Finer dining in Corolla - we go to Mike Diannes in the Timbucktoo shopping center. Really good steaks and an excellent wine list.

                  What to do? Jockey's Ridge is always fun and get a kite if you have kids with you. The breezes are great. I would travel down to Oregon Inlet (on the way to the Cape) in the afternoon to watch the fishing boats come in. Youi can often buy some fresh tuna or other seafood right off the boats if they have had a good day. The aquarium in Manteo is fun for kids. The kayak trips out of Duck are good according to my daughter, but we have not done that yet.

                  There is a short boardwalk nature hike just to the north of Corolla that takes you down to a picturesque overlook of the sound that is worth it. We did run into some cottonmouths but they were well off the boardwalk. The best of all is a good book and some peace and quiet. Our attractiveness to the Outer Banks is just feeling the stress roll off of you as you approach the area. You will be faced with much traffic coming and going on Route 12, so plan ahead for shopping and meals and hope that you have a memorable time. We love it,

                  If you want restaurant recommendations, just ask as we have eaten at the majority of the options. Some are really good and some are really bad. We normally go in the off season as our kids are grown, but reservations or long waits are the rule in the summer. If you have to have pizza, Corolla Pizza in the Winks shopping center isn't TOO bad.

                  1. re: Maryland Crab

                    I couldn't remember the name of SEamark in my earlier post. We have gotten fish there and enjoyed it. For some reason, I have never even noticed the fish market in the Corolla Food lion plaza- will have to check it out next year.
                    As you noted, the pizza is wanting.WE have never had good luck- I am pretty sure we tried to order from Corolla Pizza one year- but the surf was up and everyone was on the beach.
                    To the OP- if you have a four wheel drive vehicle, headnorht- past Corolla into 4 wheel drive territory. Go at dawn or dusk and you are almos 100% certain to see the wild horses. We stayed in 4 wheel drive country one summer 9 too remote for our tastes), and watching the horses ws so incredible. We would wake up in the am, and they would be right outside our door with their babies. Jsut make sure to keep a good distance away and do not feed them. They are wild, and are protected. But an unbelievable sight. If you do not have a four wheel drive vehicle, there are places you can rent an off road thingy to take a tour.

                  2. re: joeysmom220

                    If you are an OBX virgin then you have to take the time to drive down to Buxton to see the Hatteras light house - it is amazing and beautiful. Long drive from Duck, but a pretty one - take a picnic and stop somewhere along the way for a picnic on the beach.

                    Also check out the Roadside Bar & Grill in Duck for lunch - their clam chowder is some of the best I've ever had.

                    See this link for SweetPhyl's excellent restaurant list:


                    1. re: Jeanne

                      Northbanks Restaurant in Corolla is my favorite. Great menu with fresh seafood. Bartenders steam anything you want. Maybe 50 seats in all?

                    2. re: joeysmom220

                      Across the street (and maybe down a couple blocks) from Jockey's Ridge is a good seafood shop -- can't remember the name, but I think it's family owned and named for the family. I couldn't believe the varieties of seafood and fish they stocked, and so much of it was local. I wanted to go every day.

                      Jockey's ridge is extraordinary. The hiking is good. The little pools between the dunes are fascinating -- we sat and watched one for 30 minutes one day. Cycling in that area is pretty good, too. Kite-flying is fantastic there.

                      Go to Kitty Hawk, too, to the Wright Bros museum. There's a lot to see and do there -- we took a paper airplane workshop that was such fun!

                      If you're there at the end of June, peaches may just start to be in season, but it's really a July fruit in this part of the south.

              2. Hey Joeysmom...20 year OBX local here...
                Seamark does indeed have great seafood, but farther north, you can find Bluewater Seafood in the Currituck Club (across from the liquor store in Corolla) and they do a terrific job.

                Also, don't miss a visit to Currituck Heritage Park in Corolla, MP11 in Corolla, next to the lighthouse. It houses the fabulous Whalehead Hunt Club and the new OBX Wildlife Education Center. Both are open for tours and then you can climb the 214 steps to the top of the prettiest lighthouse on the east coast...I just love that red brick! Just north of the lighthouse in the renovated one room schoolhouse is the Corolla Wild Horse Museum--they do horse painting for the kids on Tuesdays, 11-2. I would recommend a stop at the Corolla Visitor's Center upon arrival to get the scoop on all the coold things to do on the north beach. They're located next to the ABC store in the Currituck Club and across the street from Bluewater Seafood. As for restaurants, check out my post referenced's pretty comprehensive. One note, Basnight's Lone Cedar burned down a coupla weeks ago...a real tragedy. Happy Trails!

                4 Replies
                1. re: SweetPhyl

                  Locals are the best resource - they usually know it all!
                  I am a PA transplanted Florida native - S FL before condos - where South Beach meant small hotels that cateres to old folks and SW FL when the population of Naples was 8K - now it's closer to 150K. I moved because it just got too crowded. Corolla looks to me to be the end of the line - and probably the least populated. Wish we were staying there rather than Duck.
                  I have a couple of questions for you. As a local, where do you go for dinner? The local place with decent food and resonable prices. Also, where would you go to see the sun set alone. Naples had the most awesome sunsets - awe inspiring is probably a better term. I used to love to sit on the beach and see no one - just that sun. Are there any places like that on the sound side? Or at least the least crowded area. Looking forward to seeing your area of OBX.

                  1. re: joeysmom220

                    Lookin forward to hearing more about the local places. We love staying in Corolla- and you ar right- it is the end of the line. So beautiful. We always get a place on the water and the sunrises are spectacular. Will have to take a trek to the sound to see the sunset on my next visit. have fun

                    1. re: joeysmom220

                      Hands down, our favorite place is The Blue Point in Duck, but, for dinner on the less expensive side, we like Black Pelican, Art's Place for a great burger, Seamark for steamed seafood (if you don't mind eating IN a grocery store, their prices can't be beat and really tasty seafood stuff.). In Corolla, Route 12 in TimBuckII is terrific and there's a new carry out Southwest place called Donkey Hotay's "Fear the Donkey!" in The Corolla Light Shops and just across the street at the Whalehead Club/Currituck Heritage Park you can catch the BEST sunsets on the OBX. Not too crowded and spectacular scenery. Have fun!

                      1. re: SweetPhyl

                        Don't forget Baldie's burgers and ice cream in Duck for lunch. They say they'll even be open during the off season, with chili and soups being added to their menu.


                  2. The local papers are reporting that Basnight's could be reopened as early as the end of this month (August). I'm looking forward to finding out what the inside of the new place looks like.