Classic Vibes and a Modern Menu

By Molly Harrison | Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Everyone longs, in varying degrees, for the way the Outer Banks used to be. Little pockets of that satisfying nostalgia still can be found in places like Old Nags Head Cafe. Situated in a 1930s building, this gem of a restaurant feels like visiting in a friend’s Nags Head beach cottage in the 1960s, with the welcome modern additions of avocado toast, Baja-style fish tacos, microbrews and espresso.

Situated on the beach road with picture windows that overlook Nags Head’s historic cottages, the cafe serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast draws regulars in for house-made Bloody Marys, homemade granola, fresh-baked biscuits, traditional breakfast platters and coffee roasted by the on-site Tarheel Roasting Co. Lunch lures hungry guests from the beach and nearby Jockey’s Ridge with half-pound burgers, a killer crab cake sandwich, fish sandwiches, homemade pimento cheese, salads and more.

Dinner just might be when Old Nags Head Cafe shines the brightest. Diners enjoy signature cocktails made with fresh-squeezed juices plus six beers on tap, canned microbrews and wines at the cozy bar before moving onto favorites like Southern fried chicken, house-smoked pulled pork BBQ, Crab Corn Chowder, Low Country Shrimp & Grits and many other seafood specialties, including old-school fried and broiled platters. Everything is fresh and cooked to order, and that attention to detail really makes a difference. Old Nags Head Cafe serves breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Sunday and dinner Thursday through Sunday. 


3948 S. Virginia Trail | The Beach Road | Nags Head
(252) 441-1141


About the Author Molly Harrison
Molly Harrison is managing editor at OneBoat, publisher of She moved to Nags Head in 1994 and since then has made her living writing articles and creating publications about the people, places and culture of the Outer Banks. When not working she practices and teaches yoga and spends as much time as possible outside and in or on the water with her husband and two children.