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Jun 2, 2009 02:01 PM

Restaurants in Morehead City, NC Area

Hi Everyone -

We are headed to Atlantic Beach from the DC later this week. Anyone have some current restaurant suggestions for the crystal coast area? We will have a 3 year old with us, so nothing too formal. Any activity ideas (other than the beach and fishing) would also be appreciated. We'll be driving so any on the way destination would also be useful. Thanks.

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  1. For very casual, try El's Drive-in in Morehead and Big Oak Drive-in in Salter Path. There is a casual seafood place across the street from Big Oak that is reputed to be very good, but I can't vouch for it personally. Go to the Beaufort waterfront and find a place to sit outside while looking at all the boats...your child will love it. None of the restaurants are great along there, but the scenery is great. Also, I highly recommend doing a search on here for ideas; there are lots of posts regarding this area.

    1. Since you'll be on the coast, please don't pass up the opportunity to support one of the local seafood restaurants that ACTUALLY SOURCES FROM LOCAL FISHERMAN as opposed to some national distributor that brings in flash frozen seafood. Surprisingly, most seafood restaurants even on the coast take this short cut. There really is a difference in taste and quality of doing things the hard way, and you're supporting a local industry that needs a good "shot in the arm."

      Carteret Catch is a good program for finding such restaurants:

      From this list, I can vouch for Bistro by the Sea in Morehead City. They even have a portion of the menu set aside for delineating what is "fresh and local" on a given evening.

      5 Replies
      1. re: mikeh

        I have't been down there in a couple years, but we always enjoyed the Sanitary Fish Market on the waterfront in Morehead City. I 'm not sure where they get their seafood these days, but can't imagine it not still being local!

        1. re: RetiredPowerGuy

          Weird coincidence. Here in the Cincinnati area 3 days ago I saw a lady wearing a t-shirt advertising the Sanitary Fish Market in Morehead City--I wrote down the name and city to see if it was in an area of NC that I visit (it wasn't). But if someone that far away thinks that much of it, I guess that's a good sign.

          1. re: RetiredPowerGuy

            Sanitary gets a lot of negative reviews on this board. Because of this, I have avoided it.

            1. re: carolinadawg

              Going to the Sanitary has been something of a tradition for many people, but the food really isn't that great any more. It's not *bad*, but there are so many other better options down that way.

          2. re: mikeh

            Thanks so much for this link - I've been burned before at waterfront restaurants that are serving anything but the catch of the day. The site also had references for where to by fresh seafood in case we want to actually cook a night or two.

          3. I've always enjoyed the Beaufort Grocery when I've been in Beaufort. Also a friend recommended the Shark Shack on the main drag in Atlantic near the intersection with Durham Ave. And I second the nod for El's Drive-in. There are other nice places in Beaufort.

            1. Check out for a look at all the area restaurants. In Atlantic Beach a good choice for you would be Amos Mosquitos - great food, family friendly. You can check out their menu at this site too. Other area activities include the NC Aquarium in Pine Knoll Shores and the Golfin' Dolphin in Cape Carteret. Lots of stuff along Hwy. 58. Hope this helps... enjoy your visit!

              1. We attempted to eat at Mrs. Culpepper's last night, but they're on extremely limited hours at the moment- 12-3 most days, IIRC. There was a sign up saying that they'd be open Tue-Sat 11:30-8:30 starting on the 16th. We ended up going back up to New Bern and eating at Tryon Palace Seafood. I had a couple of unbelievably good softshell crabs.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Naco

                  Tryon Palace Seafood - excellent, your post in the other thread plus this one has moved it to the top of my "next to try" list. Do you happen to know what their hours/days of operation are?

                  1. re: mikeh

                    No idea. I forgot to get a menu or anything with that on it.

                    Now is a good time to go down there too, as softshell season is in full swing. Tryon Palace is so good that I despair of ever trying any of the taquerias in New Bern.