My Favorite Wilmington, NC Restaurants

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If you're heading to the coast this summer, I recommend stopping by Wilmington, NC. The downtown area has a lot of charm, and a stroll on the boardwalk along Cape Fear River is relaxing. The city has a wide range of activities as well as amazing food. Here are some of my favorites.


Best Dining with a View

The Pilot House
The pilot house Is located along the Cape Fear River which runs right through the downtown area. The views are exceptional from the outdoor patio space and provides a perfect spot to kick back and enjoy a wonderful meal. I had shrimp and grits for the first time at this restaurant, which started my obsession with the dish. I loved it so much that a few years later I drove an hour and a half, down from Emerald Isle, just so I could have it again. It was that good. The menu has

Oceanic Restaurant
This is one of the best options for a oceanview in the city. It’s located on the ocean side of Wilmington, and offers views of sand and sea. The glass windows that line the restaurant allow you to take in the vistas while enjoying local seafood at it’s finest. The restaurant serves dishes like Carolina grit cake, lemongrass shrimp, shrimp and grits, as well as crab stuffed salmon. The kids menu offers several classics such as burgers, chicken tenders, grilled cheese, etc. The wait staff was exceptional.


Best Upscale Dining

Pinpoint Restaurant
PinPoint is located on Market Street, a charming tree-lined road within Wilmington’s historic district. The restaurant serves a variety of seafood and meat dishes, including pork fired pork chops (a pork chop covered in a pork rind breading), speckled trout and oyster several ways.

Manna is an upscale dining spot for a special night out while in Wilmington. Located in the historic district, the restaurant has an elegant feel that would make a perfect setting for vacation date night. The menu includes a variety of options such as speckled trout, hickory smoked pork and half chicken with a Carolina gold risotto.


Best Restaurants with Family

The Shark Bar
Shark bar is located on the ocean side of the city, within a condo community. The beach is just a few steps away which makes it a perfect place for those looking for a pre/post dinner stroll. The menu offers a like something for everyone. The restaurant has a raw bar, pastas, burgers, fired seafood platter and tacos.

The Copper Penny
The Copper Penny is a family friendly restaurant located in the downtown area. The restaurant is very much pub/style establishment, with a large bar and wood finishes. The menu for both adults and kids focuses on sandwiches and burgers. For those looking for a satisfying home comfort meal while exploring the area, this should be on your list.

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