Here's a synopsis of our week of dining out in ocracoke. We didn't cook at all, and were pleasantly surprised with the quality of food on the island.
Dajio - Had breakfast, lunch and dinner at what is probably the best restaurant in town. Would recommend ordering apps for a meal as they were better across the board. Highlights included baked clams, tuna ceviche, shrimp &grits, crab Mac and cheese, crab cake ( jalapeño cornbread served in the bread basket is used for filler. Utterly delicious), cioppino and creme brûlée french toast (breakfast, very clever). One minor quibble, there is no salt on the table and a swordfish entree desperately needed some.
Back Porch - Only ate here once, but had a great dinner. Easily the best service and probably the best beverage program. As per usual, apps were more interesting than mains. Our kids were allowed to order whatever they wanted, and chose ribeye and duck breast both cooked med rare. There was no way they were going to finish their entrees, so we ordered a few apps to round out the meal. Tuna poke (although fairly simple, this was my favorite dish of the trip), shrimp empanadas, crab beignets, grits and greens and the ribeye are all recommended. Duck breast was a bit over cooked and not very successful. They mixed a good mojito and had an interesting wine list. Very good meal.
Flying Melon - We ate here twice, once for breakfast and once for lunch. The menu is the same as they offer a brunch menu from 9-2. Breakfast items were better than lunch items, although everything was decent. Fresh squeezed lemonade, scallop and bacon omelet, grits with real butter, breakfast mash, French toast and anything with their delicious homemade hollandaise gets the thumbs up. Pulled pork sandwich and creme brûlée (I swear theyused instant vanilla pudding) were not my favorite.
SmacNalleys - Went here for a burger and homemade curly fries. Outdoor seating only right on the water. Burgers were cooked perfectly med rare, fries were great and a plate of steamed shrimp were very tasty. From what I gather, that's all you want to order there. Worth a lunch.
Howard's Pub - We had to stop by here for a number of reasons and I had low expectations. The food, however, was pretty good and a lot better than expected. We enjoyed raw oysters, hatteras style clam chowder, a perfectly blackened piece of mahi, coconut cake and good beer. Not somewhere to look for culinary creativity, but you can pick through the menu and have a nice meal. The beers are overpriced, but their selection is large.
Eduardo's Taco Truck - Sort of authentic Mexican takeout. Nice to grab and take on the beach. Really good guacamole and decent tacos, with the carne asada being a surprising favorite. They were out of huaraches on both of our visits. Points were lost on the round, straight out of the bag tortilla chips with the guacamole and on the carnitas. I swear they use the prefab version from US Foods. Still pretty tasty food, and much better than your average tex-mex place.
Thai Moon - Better Thai food than anything I've had in nc so far. Fresh spring rolls, fried spring rolls, shrimp in red curry, beef fried rice and pad Thai were all enjoyed. The pad Thai, which I rarely order but was talked into, was one of the better versions I've had.spice level was mild due to children, but they furnished a dried pepper mix for customizing. Sushi is offered pre made in a refrigerator and was better than, say, whole foods, but unless you need a sushi fix I would stick to the great Thai options.
Sweet Tooth - This was our favorite of the candy stores. Abita root beer float is worth the trip
Zillies - Fun place to have a beer or glass of wine, especially if the weather allows you to sit outside
All in all, the dining on ocracoke was above average. Service tends to be slow, but there's very little reason to be in a rush while youre there. Much better than most nc beach towns.