Beautiful summer weather creates the perfect opportunity to enjoy a meal outdoors. With the Cape Fear River and Atlantic Ocean at our doorstep, we have many great outdoor dining options in the Wilmington area. Here are some of our favorites.
BlueWater Waterfront Grill
Located overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway (ICWW), diners can enjoy excellent meals of steak and seafood or enjoy a cocktail as they watch boats and the occasional dolphin cruise by. They serve lunch and dinner, and host daily specials. On Sundays, during the summer, they have live music on the patio starting at 4:00 p.m.
Try: Hot Crab Dip and Seafood Linguini
This is THE restaurant in Wrightsville Beach to visit if you want to dine while overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It’s situated right on the historic Crystal Pier, which was renovated just last year. Diners can enjoy the restaurant’s seafood menu while taking in the views from the pier. During the summer, on Wednesdays and Fridays at 6:00 p.m., diners also get to enjoy live music.
Try: Fried Seafood Platter and Smoky Sweet Atlantic Salmon & Shrimp
Positioned opposite of BlueWater, on the Wilmington side of the ICWW, Dockside is a popular destination for boaters, who can tie a line right next to the expansive deck overlooking the water. They have a nice selection of seafood, burgers, and BBQ (of course, this IS the Carolinas!), which they serve for lunch and dinner.
Try: Shrimp & Grits and Cactus Jack Burger
The George on The Riverwalk
Diners enjoy beautiful views of The Cape Fear River at the deck positioned right on the Riverwalk in Historic Downtown Wilmington. The menu includes Southern Coastal cuisine, which has a wide range of choices. Seafood, pasta, steak, pork…they have it! The George serves lunch and dinner every day, and has an amazing brunch menu Friday-Sunday.
Try: Pecan Encrusted Grouper and Smothered Pork Chops
Built within the 1870 residence of William Craig, The Pilot House has a deep history and charm. Diners are served meals with Southern flair on the riverside deck. The menu includes a wide range of seafood, poultry, beef, and pasta selections – each one with a twist you would only expect of a Southern waterfront city. They serve lunch and dinner.
Try: Crunchy Catfish and Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breast
Ocean Grill and Tiki Bar
Nothing fancy here, but definitely spot on for food, drinks, and VIEWS of the Atlantic Ocean! The menu is strong in seafood with a little bit of good ole American dining for the kids. The Tiki bar is built on the old Center Pier, which was partially destroyed in 1996 by a hurricane, but this is the perfect spot for a night out with friends.
Try: Mahi Mahi Sandwich and Fish Tacos
Daddy Mac’s Beach Grille
Diners will enjoy the laidback and casual atmosphere as they take in the ocean views from the covered deck. The menu includes seafood platters, steaks, ribs, burgers, po’boys, and more! There’s also a long list of cocktails. They serve lunch and dinner 7 days a week, and brunch on Sundays.
Try: Maryland Crab Cakes and Shrimp Po’Boy
If your favorite isn’t on this list, we WELCOME you to add it in the COMMENTS below, so others can have the opportunity to experience it. Happy dining!