We have been going to the Outer Banks for the last 22 years and have sampled alot of restaurants. The absolute best restaurants are the Colington Cafe in Colington (just west of the Wright Memorial), the Blue Point Bar & Grille in Duck and Argyle's Restaurant on the bypass (MP 2.5) in Kitty Hawk. All three places are more for adults and maybe teens but not children. Although haven't been there in years, Owens on the Beach Road in Nags Head is good. The Windmill Point on the bypass in Nags Head is good as well. It has alot of memorabilia from the S.S. United States (don't miss having a drink at the kidney shaped bar). Basnight's Lone Cedar on the Causeway (Nags Head to Manteo) is the very best for seafood, but unsure if they will be reopened when you go....they had a fire this Spring.
Check the reviews at a message board where I post....it has reviews by regular folks like us - http://www.obxconnection.com/outer-ba...
Enjoy your visit. One thing....I have no trouble getting a table since we always go in September/October, however be prepared for long waits in the summer at prime times.
Meridian 42 in Southern Shores is excellent (upscale - not for children).
Although many people dislike it, my family loves the buffet at Jimmys. If you go there expect long waits and *no atmosphere* but the food and variety are good and they have great mixed drinks and non-alcoholic versions for the kids. I've heard that Carolina Seafood buffet is better, but I've never been there.
Tortugas Lie sounds like a fun place. It's another place that gets very mixed reviews.
Most of these places have websites with menus, descriptions, prices etc. - just do the usual searches.
Lucky you, love it down there. Some places which pop into mind that we've enjoyed are:
Owen's - seafood, steaks
Penquin Isle (but maybe more for without the kids one night) - seafood, steaks
Pigman's BBQ - obviously, bbq
La Fogata (mexican)
I know these aren't exactly what you were asking for, I couldn't remember all the names of where we've been - it's been a few years since we've been down there but those for some reason were the ones that came into my head first.
We LOVED Penquin Isle. There was another place in either Duck or Corolla which was really wonderful, can't remember the name offhand, seafood/steaks. My nephew lives down there - I'll drop him an email and see if he knows which place I'm thinking of.