Lifestyles of Carteret County

Dining on the Crystal Coast

Dine fresh on the Crystal Coast! As a coastal community with deep fishing roots, the Crystal Coast specializes in fresh-caught seafood. In fact, the Carteret Catch initiative guarantees a fresh-fish experience in 20 local restaurants who’ve partnered with local fishermen to bring diners only the freshest tastes of the North Carolina coast! But whether you’re a fan of an ocean-caught meal, or you're looking for something a little more land-based, you'll find plenty of great options to satisfy your cravings.

Take a look at some of the top restaurants on the Crystal Coast!

Top Restaurants of Atlantic Beach

Pescara Wood Oven Kitchen

Coastal Italian dining with an exhibition oven kitchen and a charming outdoor terrace.

Amos Mosquito’s Swampside Cafe

It’s as unique as its name, with casual fine dining, marshlike decor, and Thursday night karaoke.

The Island Grille

Upscale seafood and meat eats, plus delicious brunch, in a chic spot just steps from the Atlantic Beach waterfront.

Table 9

Modern seafood and steak dishes, wine and cocktails, and a classy yet laid-back setting.

Top Restaurants of Beaufort

Clawson’s 1905 Restaurant & Pub

Southern favorites, like spicy shrimp and grits, served up fresh alongside award-winning beer.

Front Street Grill at Stillwater Café

Unique dishes, like sweet potato ravioli with blackfin crab, are served in a charming waterfront bistro in the heart of the Historic District.

Beaufort Grocery

French grace meets southern hospitality in a country grocery setting, complete with crave-worthy dishes like Thai Rubbed Roast Duckling.

34° North

Farm-to-table and sea-to-table eats served up in a down-to-earth setting on the Beaufort waterfront.

City Kitchen

Classic American flavors, cocktails, and live music in a casual waterfront setting complete with a tiki bar and outdoor patio.


Ultra-fresh seafood served in a truly unique setting of 14-foot open ceilings, custom murals, acoustical sails, and a dedicated wine wall.

Top Restaurants of Emerald Isle


Modern coastal cuisine and sustainable local seafood served up in an upscale yet laid-back setting.

The Village Market

Gourmet sandwich shop featuring fresh veggies, homemade dressing, and the finest deli meats on premium breads.

Kathryn’s Bistro and Martini Bar

All meals are paired with an accompanying martini, though you can choose from a booze-free seafood dish with a twist.

Rucker John's

"High-quality food and exceptional service in a fun and relaxing atmosphere!"

Top Restaurants of Morehead City

Ruddy Duck Tavern

Choose from an eclectic mix of burgers, thin-crust pizzas, and ultra-fresh seafood while enjoying the beautiful waterfront setting.

El’s Drive-In

Cooking with Paula Deen names its chili-, slaw-, mustard-, and chopped onions-topped burger as one of the "Best Burgers in America".

Red Fish Grill

Unique and laid-back atmosphere meets beautiful presentation and undeniably delicious classic and twisted dishes.

Floyd's 1921

Southern favorites, seafood, and live music blended for an evening filled with delicious flavors and plenty of fun.

Full Circle

Unique new takes on classic American favorites, brick oven pizza, and craft beers in a homey and comfortable space for a down-home Southern feel.

Circa 81

Locally-sourced eats for ultra-fresh flavors, plus unique cocktail blends and a chic-yet-comfortable setting.

Casa San Carlo

Authentic, delicious Italian food in a laid-back, casual neighborhood setting—the perfect blend of cozy and comfortable.

Explore All the Attractions of the Crystal Coast

The dining here is pretty exceptional—but it's not all about the food! Discover the world of possibilities that await in the Crystal Coast!