Where to Eat Dinner on the Outer Banks in January

By Molly Harrison | Wednesday, January 11, 2023

The winter months are slow on the Outer Banks. Nightlife all but grinds to a halt in January, but you can always go out to eat for some out-of-the-house entertainment. In fact, this is the best time of year to enjoy the local restaurants if you prefer the less-crowded conditions of off-season dining.

Many restaurants on the Outer Banks close for all or part of the winter, but there are dozens that are still open. If you’ve lived on or been visiting the Outer Banks for a long time, then you know this is a far cry from the old Outer Banks. It wasn't all that long ago that almost every single restaurant on the islands closed down all winter.

Photo: Getting a table for NC Coast's standout cuisine is a challenge in the summer, but it's open now and much easier to get in.

As the years have gone by, however, the off-season is changing. It's definitely slower than the summer, but with visitors and second-homeowners flooding in for holidays and holiday weekends, the restaurants have reason to stay open. Those that close for the entire winter are an exception now, and most just take a break for a few weeks in January or February. If you're coming into town for Martin Luther King Day weekend, there are many restaurants open to serve everyone. So where will you eat? Here’s a list of what’s open in January from Corolla to Ocracoke.

Corolla

Agave Roja

Mama Easley’s

Okinawa Sushi & Grill

Uncle Ike’s Sandbar and Grill

Wild Goose Wine Bar

Photo: Uncle Ike's Sandbar and Grill in Corolla has a lot more breathing room in January.

Duck

Bangkok Thai Sushi

Coastal Cravings

Lifesaving Station Restaurant

NC Coast Grill & Bar

Pizzazz Pizza

Red Sky Café

Roadside Bar & Grill

Sweet T’s Coffee, Beer & Wine

Village Table & Tavern - reopening January 25

Southern Shores

Cosmo’s Pizzeria

Pizza Stop

Shun Xing Chinese

Steamers - reopening January 25

Photo: The Pony and the Boat Comfort Kitchen in Kitty Hawk serves up a tasty plate of winter oysters.

Kitty Hawk

Art’s Place

Barefoot Bernie’s

Black Pelican Restaurant

Himalaya Indian and Nepalese Cuisine

Hurricane Mo’s

I Got Your Crabs

La Fogata

Longboards Island Grill

Max’s Pizza

Ocean Boulevard Bistro & Martini Bar

Pok’s Art Asia Fusion Kitchen

The Pony and the Boat

Sandtrap Tavern

Sanya Sushi Bar

Shipwrecks Taphouse and Grill

TRiO Restaurant & Market

Vilai’s Thai Kitchen

Photo: 3 Tequilas Mexican Restaurant in Kill Devil Hills is a family-oriented favorite.

Kill Devil Hills

3 Tequilas Mexican Restaurant

Captain George’s Seafood

Chilli Peppers

Dare Devil’s Pizzeria

Food Dudes Kitchen

Fuji Japanese Steakhouse

Jack Brown’s Burger Joint

JK’s Steaks and Seafood

Jolly Roger Restaurant

Khan’s Mongolian Grill

Mama Kwan’s Grill & Tiki Bar

Noosa Beach Grill

Plaza Azteca

The Saltbox Café - reopening January 25

Slice Pizzeria

Thai Room

Two Roads Tavern

Photo: Dirty Dicks Crab House is open all year for signature cocktails and good food.

Nags Head

Blue Moon Beach Grill

Dirty Dicks Crab House

La Fogata Mexican Restaurant

McGrath’s Burger Shack

Single Fin Bistro Bar & Grille

Tortuga’s Lie Restaurant

Manteo

1587

Blue Water Grill & Raw Bar

Darrell’s Restaurant

El Shaddai

Lost Colony Brewery & Café

Ortega’z Southwestern Grill

Stripers Bar and Grill

Wabi Sabi

Wanchese

Landing Grill

Hatteras Island

Angelo’s Pizza

Boardwok South Restaurant - reopening January 25

Gidget’s Pizza & Pasta

La Fogata Mexican Restaurant

Lighthouse Sports Bar & Grill

Neptune’s Kitchen and Dive Bar

Oceana’s Bistro

Tavern on 12

Photo: Enjoy Ocracoke's Flying Melon Cafe on weekends in January.

Ocracoke

Flying Melon Cafe

Ocracoke Oyster Co.

Plum Pointe Kitchen

For all the details you need on these restaurants, visit our Outer Banks Restaurants listings.

About the Author Molly Harrison
Molly Harrison is managing editor at OneBoat, publisher of OuterBanksThisWeek.com. 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.