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Where can I go food shopping in Duck, NC?

My wife and I are renting a beach house with our two-year old son in Duck, NC during the last week of June. While we might attempt to venture out for an occasional meal, many of our meals will be prepared and enjoyed at the beach house. We enjoy shopping at farmers markets, and places where we can buy from local vendors and/or enjoy local fare. Does anyone have any suggestions in or around Duck to purchase food for our visit? Thanks in advance!

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  1. There are two small local produce stands in Duck as well as Dockside Seafood Market that carries a lot of local fresh seafood. Everything else can be sourced at the Harris Teeter or Food Lion in Kitty Hawk. If you're travelling down HWY 158 on your way to the Outer Banks, there are several roadside produce stands along Currituck mainland that are more affordable than what you'll find in Duck. My favorite is Tarheel Produce in Grandy, just south of the Cotton Gin. They have fresh produce as well as seafood.

    1. We stay in Corolla and shop at the Food Lion and Harris Teeter. The FL has better prices and across the street, at the north end of the Timbuck II shopping center is the Seaside Farm Market, run by a very lovely lady. They have fresh produce, baked goods, canned goods and a nice selection of seafood (at decent prices, vs. some of the seafood markets down there).
      We particularly enjoyed the jumbo shrimp and made shrimp cocktail a couple times. Very nice enjoying that with fresh lemon and a view that can't be beat.

      btw... we ate in at the house most meals, but on the rare dinner out, we felt that Blue Point Grill in Duck was really a great meal. Well worth the splurge.

      4 Replies
      1. re: monavano

        Love the Seaside Farm Market. We stay in Whalehead and get all of our produce there. We go in July, so the peaches are available. They are so good. I always stop by the market the night before we leave and buy a bushel of peaches. They also have a great selection of boiled peanuts- which I had never had until visiting NC. My cousin buys the boiled shrimp from the market to bring home with her.

          1. re: monavano

            Every year- Lighthouse Drive-OF. CAnt wait until next month. To keep it food centric- Every year we have a fried turkey night. Food Lion does not carry turkeys in the summer, so we headed to HT. We bought t wo frozen turkeys, and put them in the second fridge to thaw out. On the night of our turkey fry, as we were openeing the turkey, we noticed that the birds were stuffed!!! I had never heard of a frozen, stuffed bird. The thought of anyone actually eating the stuffing is horrible! We took out the stuffing, and gave the birds a good rinse before frying them up. We now bring our own turkeys every year!

            1. re: macca

              I've done a baked chicken several years, eating off of it for days! This year, DH said "nyet" to the chicken.
              I brought down chicken chili, a flank steak, asparagus veloute and just about every condiment, oil vinegar and spice I could think of, if it fit.
              Planning ahead is so key. We know what to take as far as kitchen and bath, and have had to buy extra stuff that we forgot much less now.
              But yeah, a frozen stuffed bird would be a bit disconcerting to cook.
              +1 Lighthouse across from OF, but thankfully with a still very good view, considering the newer mansions going up now!

      2. Food Lion is a national chain, I am not sure how much locally sourced produce they really do carry. The Food Lion in Kitty Hawk and the one on the Corolla Road are a good 20 minute drive from Duck. You can purchase assorted items ahead of time (dish soap, soda, water, TP etc) and bring with you in your car.

        For convenient shopping in Duck there is always Tommy's Gourmet Market. They will have many regular daily type items (bread, ice cream, milk etc.) Of course it will be more expensive than Food Lion but you will save time and support a small business that is a Duck institution. They also have a deli and will have have fresh daily breakfast type rolls as well as pies. My favorite is the tart Jumbleberry Pie.

        There are also fresh fruit and seafood vendors nearby.


        9 Replies
        1. re: scoopG

          I found Tommy's to be very pricey. I wouldn't do my week's shopping there just like I don't do my week's shopping at Whole Paycheck.
          I need to stretch my budget so sorry, no can do the local thing for all of my food needs. And ps., I bet the FL and Seaside market (and other local markets) were both sourcing their corn and peaches from Georgia last week.
          It would just get out of hand and hey, I'm cooking to save $$.
          I'd love to stimulate the local economy 3x a day, every day but the wallet would crap out!
          There are lots of local market there for treating yourself to local seafood, goods and produce, but you have to be savvy about it, know what IS local and what is in season.
          Plus, I think the locals who work at the HT and FL need their employment dollars just as much as the mom and pops.
          This doesn't need to be about the evils of large corporations and the Walmarts of the world. Unless the OP wants to stop in the Walmart in Southern Shores ;-)

          1. re: monavano

            Whoa whoa, simmer down please.

            Read my post again. I told the OP to stock up on basic items ahead of time. Did I mention Tommy's was more expensive? Check. Tommy's also has true gourmet items not found in the Food Lion.

            The OP specifically said they were looking for food shopping in Duck. Tommy's has been a Duck staple for almost as long as the Duck road has been open.

            I made no mention of any "evils of large corporations" so if it "doesn't need to be about" that then why are you even bringing it up?

            1. re: scoopG

              OMG.... shutter.... I just had a Mom flash back (simmer down)!!

              But really, you DID imply that FL was not to be patronized because it is a "national chain". To which I say, "so what? who cares?"
              It behooves anyone in Duck to go to Corolla to do their major shop for the week, and augment with the many lovely and wonderful independents like Tommy's.

              If I were to stay in Duck, that's what I would do and I base my recs. on many years in OBX.

              So, there's nothing wrong with my reading and comprehension skills. You IMPLIED that the OP should avoid FL because it's a chain, and that he should patronize local mom and pops, and I find that sort of thing elitist and out of reach for most people and I DO bring the basics... I fill the refrigerator and cabinets with them! There is still lots to buy to take care of most every meal and snack.
              This comes from an avid farmers market patron, btw.
              "Read my post again". Could you be any more insulting? Why don't you read again and point out to me where the OP asked for "gourmet items"?

              1. re: monavano

                I implied nothing.

                I said nothing negative about Food Lion nor did not tell the OP to avoid Food Lion at all. I did not tell the OP to support "Mom and Pops" - I only mentioned Tommy's Market. Once again the OP asked for Duck recs.

                There is absolutely no reason to go shopping in Corolla if one is staying in Duck.

                1. re: scoopG

                  "There is absolutely no reason to go shopping in Corolla if one is staying in Duck."

                  We spent a week last July in a house just north of Duck and just below the Sanderling complex. Shopping in Corolla was easier all around with lighter traffic and more parking. Plus, Harris Teeter is worth it.

                2. re: monavano

                  If you are celebrating a birthday during you stay, or you are looking for a special bakery then check out Tulios in Loblolly Pines Shopping Plaza in Duck.


            2. re: scoopG

              Tommy's is wonderful, but it *is* pricier and caters to the more gourmet crowd. Wee Winks in Duck, surprisingly, has been completely renovated this year and carries a nice selection of gourmet items and has been around a lot longer than Tommy's...but both are great for specialty items, but neither particularly source locally. I was trying to give the OP places that offer local food and produce. Food Lion and Harris Teeter in Southern Shores offer your standard grocery items at affordable prices. The stores in Corolla are a bit farther away and definitely much more crowded. And, the Harris Teeter does offer fresh local seafood selections. However, Dockside Seafood in Duck and the two produce stands in Duck are your best places to find LOCAL seafood and produce IN Duck.

              1. re: SweetPhyl

                Wee Winks - of course SweetPhyl - I forgot about them! It should be noted that both Wee Winks and Tommy's are the source in Duck for the daily newpsapers (NYT, Washington Post, USA Today etc).

                1. re: scoopG

                  Yes, how in the world could one survive an excursion to the backwoods without the New York Times! One shudders to even think it.

            3. Also, on the cheap in Corolla (Timbuck II) is Bad Bean Burrito and it's excellent.
              We always do our big shop on our first day, and once that's tucked away, we get burritos and salsa/chips at BBB.

              1. Local seafood is right there in Duck. As SweetPhly noted, there is Dockside N' Duck (in the Wee Winks Square). Another fresh seafood vendor in Duck is the Station Bay Marina at 1566 Duck Road.

                1. I'm a local... and worked at HT's for many years. You do NOT want to buy your seafood from them...or Food Lion. It is mostly frozen import and of low quality, and not handled properly. (Believe me...I know first hand!) The ONLY place to buy "FRESH" seafood is at Carawan Seafood in Kitty Hawk. (Located just over the bridge, in front of Walmart.) I've been going to them for 28 years.

                  As far as produce goes..... right now, very LITTLE is actually local. Most of it's coming from the same place the grocery stores are getting theirs from. (Including the "Big" roadside market in Grandy (across from the gas station). There's a great Farmer's Market on Saturdays in downtown Manteo with local produce, from local farmers. I also highly recommend the stand in Grandy near the Cotton Gin, as SweetPhyl has. $2 a lb for the largest, whitest button mushrooms you've ever seen. A great variety of "fresh" shrimp and fish in iced down coolers. Pineapples for 2 bucks.

                  As far as Tommy's goes... Skip it. Any gourmet item you need can easily be found at HT's. I should also say that HT's does offer quality meats. Any cut you want. Just stay away from their seafood.....

                  And if you're looking for some hardshell crabs, I know a place......

                  (I was actually on vacation myself in Corolla last week and not a drop of rain. This week... another matter!)

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: Phoebe

                    We have bought seafood from the market in the FL all. Do you have any info on that? We were pleased- I think we got shrimp and swordfish. We have also had good luck with the shrimp from he truck behind the Seaside Market. Would appreciate any comments on either of these places, as we are going next month. Thanks

                    1. re: macca

                      We really enjoyed the jumbo shrimp from Seaside market. Not sure where they're sourced from, but they were firm and fresh.

                      1. re: monavano

                        WE bought a TON of shrimp from there to cook up on the grill. My cousin buys the steamed shrimp to bring home every year- have to admit, I love shrimp, but have never had steamed shrimp. Maybe I will try some this year.

                      2. re: macca

                        macca.... I have never purchased seafood from FL... and purchase very little meat from them . (For meat, I go to HT's.) Most of the FL's here have an odor to them in those 2 depts. that should NOT be there. (Especially in the "off'" season.) Because of the quick turn around in sales for the summer... I'm sure it's fine. I still prefer and highly recommend Carawan.

                        1. re: Phoebe

                          OOPS_ I was not clear- never bought the seafood at FL- but at the fish market in the FL plaza. The fish market is to the left of FL, around the strip mall.

                          1. re: macca

                            I'm interested in that seafood market too, so any experiences anyone?

                            1. re: macca

                              macca... Which plaza and strip mall are you talking about? There's a FL in Corolla, KH, KDH, and 2 in NH? (None in Duck)

                              1. re: Phoebe

                                (I think it's the store in the Monterey Plaza near the FL in Corolla)

                                1. re: monavano

                                  Sorry- monavano is right- I am talking about the FL in Corolla. Just looked it up- it is the Dockside North Seafood Market.

                                  1. re: monavano

                                    Dockside 'n Duck is in the heart of Duck. Dockside North is located in Monterey Shores Plaza. (Operated by the same people) I used to buy at D.North for years, when my family was visiting & we'd rent a house in Ocean Hill/Corolla. Unfortunately, their quality went downhill. Too many opened clams and mussels for my liking... and their prices got high.

                                    Another thing I'd like to point out is that the houses in Duck and north up to Corolla are typically a lot more expensive to rent. The will get you "comin' & going"... just like the toll road......(Chesapeake Expressway). They charge you more... because you have more... or are at least willing to part with more. I will say one final time... I highly recommend Carawan Seafood. Their quality CAN'T be beat.... and their prices aren't bad either! Try them once... I know you won't be disappointed.

                        2. Great posts so far! Thanks to everyone for their input. To the extent that some of the surrounding towns also have good options, I would certainly welcome those names as well (as some of you have already included).

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: liebersh

                            Please report back and have a great trip!

                          2. A few more to add to your list...

                            Duck Donuts- Great FRESH donuts!!! Try the maple ones...

                            Pizzazz Pizza- Not bad for carry out or delivery

                            Blue Point Grill- Great food... $$$$... but worth it!!!

                            Roadside Bar & Grill- Great casual place for lunch. Fun
                            people watching on the outside deck.

                            1. Two Duck staples are also the Duck Deli (since the late 1980's) and Elizabeth's. Elizabeth's is not as good as they seem to think they are but one can have a decent meal there. Reservations a must!

                              Duck Deli:

                              Elizabeth’s – open for dinner only; 6 pm from Tuesdays to Saturday only.

                              16 Replies
                              1. re: scoopG

                                Elizabeth's seems to think they're the cat's pajamas and bee's knees. Their website is so uppity that I won't be spending my dollars there ever.
                                It's Blue Point or bust for us!

                                1. re: monavano

                                  Just looked at their website- you are spot on! I love the quote:

                                  Please call for reservations well in advance of your visit to the Outer Banks. You don't want to be disappointed by waiting too late to make a reservation.

                                  But I guess they need to play it up- the Outer Banks does have some good restaurants, but that is not the primary reason most people visit the area. I like the Blue Moon Grill in Nags Head- shrimp and grits are great, and are not seen on many menus in the Boston area, so they are a treat.

                                  1. re: macca

                                    What really got me was Elizabeth's charge for plate sharing! What a*holes.
                                    they make is sound like they went to the moon and back for you by offering filtered water. Seriously? I should get down on my knees because you treated the awful tasting water?
                                    Too many rules. I'm on vacation, not summer school.

                                    1. re: monavano

                                      The plate sharing charge is as much as a full entree in many places. I wonder how the food is.

                                      1. re: macca

                                        Many years ago, it was really good. Now.... just a little above average. Better $$$ spent at Blue Point, 1587 in Manteo, or the Brine and Bottle on the Causeway in Nags Head.

                                    2. re: macca

                                      They're a winery? They actually make and bottle wine there? Doubtful.

                                      They should change their name to Elizabeth's Cafe and Wine Cellar.

                                      1. re: Leepa

                                        No, they're not a winery. Many years ago, they used to be known for their wine list. VERY pretentious now (and back then too!) The $$$ they charge nowadays ... and the level of the food that's served... don't match. $$$ better spent elsewhere... or just go splurge on some local seafood and have a FEAST at home for 1/4 the $$$$ !!!!!!

                                        1. re: Phoebe

                                          It's worth going to Elizabeth's once to see what all the fuss is about - if you can get a table!

                                            1. re: scoopG

                                              scoopG... No, it's not!!! Unless you're paying??? A BIG waste of money to see what all the fuss is about!!!

                                              1. re: Phoebe

                                                The place is packed every night and reservations are difficult to get. Why is that? It is right in Duck. It is important to check on these places annually as staff turnover is high. One can eat well there - as well as any other spot in a place not known for destination-dining.

                                                1. re: scoopG

                                                  sG... Mako Mike's is packed every night too. How many millions/billions of burgers are sold by Mickey D's worldwide? Does that mean it's quality food? No reservations needed......

                                            2. re: Phoebe

                                              But their website says the name is Elizabeth's Cafe and WINERY! Ridiculous (on their part!).

                                              1. re: Leepa

                                                It should read Watery, not Winery. You know, they filter their water!
                                                Please genuflect now.

                                            3. re: Leepa

                                              Dont think this question was directed at any of my comments!!

                                        2. re: scoopG

                                          Talk about a pretentious website! I'm down there at least once a year and I would never go. In the first place they are not showcasing local seafood. And I despise restaurant websites that don't post their prices.

                                          There are many more very good restaurants in the area to enjoy - I'd say skip Elizabeth's!!!

                                        3. Thanks for all of the responses. The week in Duck was terrific. Dockside Seafood Market was a staple - I purchased fish from there at least four different times, each day better than the next. Purchases included mahi, swordfish, softshell crabs, old bay shrimp, clams, mussels and tuna steaks. I would also recommend the produce stand outside of Dockside, which is actually run by the daughter of Dockside's owner and her fiancé - they have really nice local berries, and make fresh orange, lemon or lime ades.

                                          Roadside was the highlight for our dinner on the town. Great service and terrific food. Maybe the best crab cakes of my life.

                                          We also ate out at Blue Point which, while good, I did not like as much as Roadside (we went for lunch, which, in retrospect, I would have pushed for dinner as it appears it has better dinner options). We brought in donuts one morning from Duck Donuts (delicious, although the ones without any glaze were actually better than the glazed variety) and went to Harris Teeter for staples when necessary.

                                          We look forward to this becoming an annual tradition and thank everyone for their responses!

                                          3 Replies
                                            1. re: liebersh

                                              Glad you enjoyed a few from my list. I've been to Roadside many, many times. Never a bad meal. The staff is great! Hope the line at Duck Donuts wasn't too long. I know it can be bad during the summer months!

                                              1. re: liebersh

                                                I'm putting Roadside on the list for next year.
                                                Bad Bean Burrito
                                                Blue Point
                                                Fat Crab
                                                Corolla Village BBQ

                                                List. Done!