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Holden Beach, NC - and surrounding area - Restaurants to add to the agenda....?

Hi Chowhoundies,
Looking around, there doesn't seem to be much of anything here on CH about Holden Beach with regard to places to eat. We're going down that way in a few weeks & so I wanted to ask you all what your favorite places are. Doesn't have to be in Holden Beach - we'll be down there for a little over a week & will likely go to Wilmington one day, and who knows where else for day trips. And, we'll eat just about anything - not looking (necessarily) for anything upscale, although we may go out to a "nice" dinner once or twice while there. Just looking for good, local food.
Thank you very much!

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  1. Take a short trip to Calabash NC on the SC boarder. Famous for their lightly fried seafood. To save money we go during lunch. Easier to pay 8 bucks than the huge $20.00 Captains plate at dinner time.

    1. Southport is a charming little town not too far from Holden Beach...some beautiful old homes, an active waterfront and shops and art galleries. Yacht Basin Provision Company is a fun, funky place right on the water thats very casual. Ports of Call is a very good, more upscale choice.

      7 Replies
      1. re: carolinadawg

        I agree. Beaufort is so worth a visit. I haven't been in a long time so I can't give good recs, but I think you'd enjoy it.

          1. re: carolinadawg

            No, haha, I am NC born and raised lol. Look at my avatar-Atlantic Beach. I just don't get up there much these days. Dumb job.

            1. re: Sue in Mt P

              LOL, sorry I probably should have explained what I meant more clearly...I suggested Southport and you said "I agree. Beaufort..."

              1. re: carolinadawg

                Shoot! I did mean Beaufort. And I am losing it. You are right. Dumb job.

                1. re: Sue in Mt P

                  Thanks, y'all! I'm NC born & bred too - actually grew up near the southeastern coast. With that said, it has been quite a while since I've been to Holden Beach.:) I have read about how charming Southport is - haven't been there recently either. Thank you all for the suggestions - whether you're "losing it" or not - I'll fit right in :)

      2. The Purple Onion Cafe in Shallotte is great. !


        We also Like The Provision Company, which is on a side road just before the HB causeway.

        I love Holden. We daydream about our vacation all year long.

        Also, if you plan to cook, Capt'n Pete's Seafood Market, which is on the island side near the causeway, has terrific fresh fish and shellfish.

        1 Reply
        1. re: nikkihwood

          Nikki you and I must have been on the same page. +1 on both Purple Onion and Cap Pete's.

        2. I know it isn't seafood, but the pizza at Patronie's Pizza is EXCELLENT. Here's the link:

          I'll also second whoever said the Provision Company- either the Holden Beach or the Southport locations!

          1. Thanks for all of the input! Anyone else have suggestions?

            2 Replies
            1. re: AmyInNC

              avoid betty's - really bad. the hot dog place (seem to recall it starts with an "m", but may be mistaken) on the road in is ok, but not worth the praise it garners on the hot dog threads. we wound up eating in for the most part as there is little good resto food in the holden area and we prefer to veg out than drive around. we did enjoy the oyster festival at the beach immediately south of holden (if you'll be there during the right season). holden's a nice beach with gentle surf, but not a food destination unless you care to drive a bit.

              1. re: AmyInNC

                Adjacent to the fish market mentioned above, there is a Captain Pete's restaurant. We've never tried it - however, it is apparently under new ownership, and the menu is a little pricey for beach food, but interesting.


              2. Amy,

                I'm local and you have gotten pretty good info so far. There just is not a whole lot to choose from unfortunately.

                Have not been to Capt. Pete's since new owners so can't comment there. Patronies has excellent Pizza and good people who own / run the place. Provision Co. is good for a casual lunch or dinner.

                If you want Mexican, San Felipe or San Jose in Shallotte are a notch above average (San Jose has better Beer $). Stay away from Purple Onion unless you like Heartburn, everything from the griddle automatically comes with a side of grease. They also call themselves a Bakery but everything is from a box mix.

                There is not a good Breakfast place until N. Myrtle Beach. For a surprise treat pick up a box or 2 @ Boiling Spring Lakes Doughnut Shoppe (CLOSED on Monday), they are as good as anywhere.

                For a really good Burger or Sandwich try Duffer's in Shallotte. And yes Calabash for fried Seafood - I like Seafood Hut (you have to sit @ table outside) or Ella's. For grilled options and a bigger menu - Twin Lakes has never let me down, also a full Bar and decent desserts if you want to treat yourselves without driving all the way into N. Myrtle Beach.

                1. If you're going to venture to Calabash, then why not a few minutes further down, or over, to Ocean Isle? There's this little place called The Sugar Shack. It is authentic Jamaican-style food in a easygoing and family friendly atmosphere. We've gone to OIB since before I can even remember, and hadn't discovered The Shack until 3 years ago. Now, if we don't cook fresh caught shrimp from the intercoastal waterway, we go there.
                  The ribs are phenomenal!!!
                  Have a great trip!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: kelltic

                    They are staying at Holden Beach - Ocean Isle is actually closer than Calabash.

                    Sugar Shack is semi - authentic, yes the owner is Jamaican but everything has been Americanized (spice level turned way down). Almost everything is a bit too sweet for my taste. They do offer some of the right dishes though, just not what someone who is familiar with "Real" Jamaican flavors will be looking for (and I do like spicy, should admit).

                    I spent time over there after Hurricane Gilbert doing relief work, living and working in villages with no phone or power at times. I ate whatever the people I was helping had prepared, which all came from what that beautiful island still had to offer.

                    They also do a very good job with Ribs and Steak but you will pay for it. But hey, you are on vacation and by the time you figure gas money to drive to Myrtle Beach it is probably a wash -