Fresh and Local

By Molly Harrison | Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Rusty's Surf & Turf ceviche

When Buxton native Rusty Midgett left Hatteras Island to pursue his chef career, he went to work alongside renowned chefs in Philadelphia. His professional training, combined with experiencing the flavors of the world on surf trips, resulted in opening his own restaurant on Hatteras Island.

At Rusty’s Surf and Turf in Buxton, Chef Rusty has perfected his style of bringing global flavor to local cuisine. His food has been described as both beachy and elegant, a combination that stands out on the Hatteras Island restaurant scene."

For the surf side of his menu, Chef Rusty focuses on fresh fish and shellfish caught by the local watermen he grew up surfing and fishing with. Whether it’s Low Country Shrimp and Grits, Pamlico Paella, Caribbean-Spiced Red Drum or Coconut Mahi Bites, each dish is elevated to simple perfection. On the turf side, Rusty’s features hormone-free steaks, chicken and pork plus pasta and vegetarian dishes. The chef is a master with the smoker, and his Slow-Smoked Baby Back Ribs are proof.

Featuring a relaxed atmosphere and a wealth of creative cuisine that can’t be discovered anywhere else on the island, Rusty’s is open for dinner nightly in season. Reservations are encouraged and can be made online; however, walk-ins are welcome. A fun little bar, serving craft cocktails, N.C. beer and wine, is also onsite. 

(252) 995-4184
47355 N.C. Highway 12

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.