Dockside Dining at Outer Banks Marinas

By Molly Harrison | Wednesday, May 1, 2024

A view of the water can take just about any dining or drinking experience to a higher level. For water views on the Outer Banks, you can find several restaurants overlooking either the Atlantic Ocean or the Currituck, Roanoke and Pamlico sounds. Quite a few restaurants are based at marinas, where watching the harbor activity and maybe strolling the docks after you eat always makes for a memorable meal. Many of these marina-based restaurants also offer dockage, so you can come by boat. If you’re planning to arrive by boat, you may want to call ahead to ask the details on that so you’ll know where to go when you get there.

Photo: The Landing Grill serves breakfast, lunch and dinner at Wanchese Marina.

In this blog I’m going to tell you about 14 places where you can dine or drink dockside on the Outer Banks. Plus, I’m also going to fill you in on a famous Intracoastal Waterway marina restaurant based on the Currituck mainland.

What inspired this blog topic is the opening of the new Oregon Inlet Fishing Center. After two years of construction, the gorgeous new fishing center building opened on May 1 with a retail store, a ticketing area, a conference room and a new restaurant, Sea Chef Kitchen. If you haven’t seen the new building, you’re going to be impressed – it’s a major upgrade from the dilapidated old marina store serving hot dogs and chips. The new building actually takes Oregon Inlet Fishing Center back to its roots; there used to be a building with a restaurant where the new one is now, but it was destroyed in the Ash Wednesday Storm in 1962. There has not been a sit-down restaurant at Oregon Inlet Fishing Center in more than 50 years, so this is an exciting development.

Sea Chef Dockside Kitchen

Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, South of Nags Head

Perched above the docks with indoor and outdoor dining available, this restaurant offers spectacular views of Oregon Inlet as well as the legendary fishing Oregon Inlet fishing fleet. The new restaurant bills itself as a casual, counter-service fish shack and bar, but the food is a step well above that. Chef Mac Buben runs the restaurant alongside his father, Jeff Buben, a James Beard Award-winning chef, if that tells you anything. The menu features soups and salads, shareable appetizers, fried seafood platters, burgers, sandwiches and desserts. It’s open for lunch and early dinners; they close at 8 p.m.

Photo: Sea Chef Dockside Kitchen is the new restaurant in the new building at Oregon Inlet Fishing Center.

Blue Water Grill and Raw Bar / Mimi’s Tiki Hut

Pirates Cove Marina, Manteo

On the second story of the building overlooking the marina, Blue Water Grill offers excellent views of the boats in the Pirates Cove charter fleet and the Roanoke Sound beyond. This is one of the most popular restaurants and bars on Roanoke Island, and they do take reservations so plan ahead, especially at dinner. Blue Water serves full-service lunch and dinner daily, with a focus on local seafood and wild and farmed oysters from around the country, plus sandwiches, salads, entrees and lighter fare on the higher end. Mimi’s Tiki Hut is also onsite; it's a fun little outdoor bar right on the docks. You can order food from Blue Water at Mimi’s.

1587 Restaurant and Lounge

Town of Manteo Marina/Docks

1587 overlooks Shallowbag Bay and the boats at the town docks. They are right along the boardwalk, where you can walk before or after dinner. 1587 is a higher-end dinner restaurant, bar and lounge, a place for a nice, quiet dinner. The cocktail menu is inventive, and the dinner menu features entrees using local produce and seafood. Reservations are recommended.

Poor Richards Sandwich Shop

Town of Manteo Marina/Docks

Poor Richards is a popular sandwich shop by day. It’s right on the docks and you can sit inside or out. After hours, Poor Richards is a bar that stays open late and often has live music.

Stripers Bar and Grille

Shallowbag Bay Marina, Manteo

Stripers offers water views from every seat with indoor dining and outside seating on their screened porch. They’re open for lunch and dinner Wednesday through Sunday serving drinks from the full bar and a menu of apps, sandwiches, seafood, steaks and entrees.

Photo: Stripers at Shallowbag Bay Marina in Manteo has plenty of outdoor seating and plenty of dockage for your boat.

Johanna’s at the Wanchese Tiki Hut

Safe Harbor Outer Banks, Wanchese

The dockside tiki hut at Safe Harbor is now run by Johanna Lachine, a well-known Outer Banks caterer. She is serving up fresh-pressed juices, wraps, salads, baskets, poke bowls and drinks from the bar. Currently, it’s open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday to Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Landing Grill

Wanchese Marina

Landing Grill is open from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., so you can get breakfast, lunch or dinner here. Some of their seating is directly overlooking the harbor, and they offer anything from the menu to go if you're headed out on a boat trip. Whether you’re there for eggs and pancakes or fish sandwiches, burgers or pizza, they have big menus that will please everybody.

Great Gut Deli

Thicket Lump Marina, Wanchese

It’s officially Great Gut Deli, but the locals call it Annie’s because of the owner Annie Davis. Very popular with the locals, the deli serves amazing homemade sandwiches and salads and tasty daily specials for lunch Tuesday through Saturday. The views of the sound are beautiful, and there’s indoor and outdoor seating. Beer and wine are served here.

Photo: The dock at The Wreck is the place to be for a Hatteras sunset.

The Wreck Tiki Bar and Snack Shack

Hatteras Landing, Hatteras

A favorite for good times in Hatteras village, The Wreck offers a super-casual and super-fun tiki bar atmosphere with great food and drinks. They serve lunch and dinner and frequently have live music and events. You’ll find apps, their signature CrunchWraps, paninis, sandwiches, quesadillas and more, plus they have food you can pick up to go for the ferry ride (they are next to the ferry docks) at their Snack Shack. In season they serve lunch and dinner most days.  

Harbor Grill and Deli

Hatteras Harbor Marina, Hatteras

Harbor Grill and Deli is a popular local restaurant with waterfront dining. Their shrimp burgers are legendary, and they also serve fish sandwiches, fried seafood, burgers, salads, wraps and Tiki Tacos. Enjoy their food on site with a great view or order ahead for your fishing trip.

Hatteras Sol Waterside Grill

Teach’s Lair Marina, Hatteras

Locally sourced seafood and breathtaking sunset views are the hallmarks of Hatteras Sol. Overlooking Teach’s Lair Marina, the restaurant is a place for a nice dinner and drinks. It's small and very popular so try to arrive early. The menu features creative preparations of cocktails, starters, salads, entrees and desserts. Outdoor seating is available.

Breakwater Restaurant

Oden’s Dock, Hatteras

Breakwater Restaurant at Oden’s Dock is a longtime Hatteras restaurant. Soundfront dining is available inside or on the deck. They have a full bar and a range of dishes from seafood, pasta and steaks to sandwiches and a kids’ menu. It’s one of the nicer restaurants in Hatteras, a place for dining instead of just eating. It’s open for dinner only, and the sunset hour is popular.

Dinky’s Waterfront Restaurant

Village Marina, Hatteras

Open for dinner only, Dinky’s is a nice restaurant overlooking Village Marina and Pamlico Sound. Beyond the marina, you can enjoy sunsets and beautiful views of the sound. Dinky’s is a nice restaurant with a large dinner menu, with original starters, steamers, salads, local seafood, a large choice of entrees and desserts.

SmacNally’s Waterfront Grill & Bar

Anchorage Marina, Ocracoke

Right on Silver Lake Harbor with all open-air seating (most of it covered), SmacNally’s is a favorite Ocracoke hangout. Open for lunch and dinner every day, they serve beer and wine, fresh seafood, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, apps and salads.  

Photo: Sit and sip right on Silver Lake Harbor at SmacNally's in Ocracoke.


Coinjock Marina Restaurant

Coinjock Marina

Coinjock Marina has been a popular stop for boaters along the Intracoastal Waterway in 1978, but you can access it from land of course. If you’re coming to or leaving the Outer Banks from the north, it’s worth a stop in Coinjock. The food is good, and it’s fascinating to watch the parade of boats up and down the ICW in the spring and fall. Open for lunch and dinner daily, they serve local seafood and steamers, wings and apps, steaks and entrees, and they’re known for their 32-ounce prime rib. Lunch is a little more casual with sandwiches and lunch plates.

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.