Oak Island Waterfront Restaurants With Views and Outdoor Seating

This coastal town provides a great place for beach vacations in North Carolina. It has even been named one of the state’s best kept secrets. This hype also extends to the local food scene where area chefs and residents create fresh flavors with a side of incredible views. Scroll on to find the best Oak Island waterfront restaurants.

Oak Island Waterfront Restaurants: Relax, Eat and Feel Like a Local

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The Seahorse Eats and Drinks

With a location at Ocean Crest Pier, The Seahorse Eats and Drinks offers a casual spot for breakfast and lunch and a bar for nightlife.

Early birds can drop by for biscuits, eggs, breakfast sandwiches and hashbrowns. The signature pier sandwich comes with bologna, bacon, egg, cheese and hashbrowns. For lunch, select from sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers and nachos. This spot is a great option a beach break, live music and sampling local beer.

Lazy Turtle Bar and Grill

This casual spot overlooks the ocean and has lots of outdoor seating for lunch and dinner. Visitors can watch the waves and sunset.

Start with mini tacos, wings or shrimp fireballs. Then order salads, sandwiches, crab cakes, quesadillas, burgers, hot dogs and seafood entrees. Top options include mahi, scallops, shrimp and oysters. Lazy Turtle Bar and Grill also has a selection of cocktails.

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Island Way

For dinner overlooking the ocean, head to Island Way. This spot ranks among the best Oak Island waterfront restaurants for fine dining for dinner and special occasions.

Appetizers include oysters, beef tenderloin and bacon wrapped asparagus. Main entrees feature a variety of steaks and seafood, or guests may order salads and soups. Filet mignon, seasoned tenderloin and steak and shrimp are popular choices. Those looking for seafood can order flounder, lobster, grouper and catch of the day.

Koko Cabana

Koko Cabana serves lunch and dinner by the Yaupon Beach Fishing Pier. This means fresh food paired with incredible views all day.

The menu features small and large plates. Popular appetizers include fried green tomatoes, artichoke dip and shrimp. For the main course, try the salads or island bowls – all made in-house. Those interested in larger plates enjoy tacos, nachos, seafood and vegan options.

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Other Local Restaurants on Oak Island

Swain’s Restaurant

This family-owned favorite opens for dinner and offers pet-friendly seating in the outdoor courtyard. The Swain’s Restaurant team focuses on sustainable seafood, small farm meats and homemade desserts.

Those dining outside should start with tuna or pub chips. Next, try the tacos, sandwiches, po boys and subs. Those coming for seafood enjoy their favorites fried, grilled or blackened with options such as shrimp, fish, scallops, crabs, and clams.

Shagger Jacks

Shagger Jacks provides a place to hang out, and pets are welcome in the outdoor dining area. The restaurant is best known as a top place for dinner and more than 50 types of beer.

Visitors will find a large selection of salads, tacos, flat breads, fresh seafood and burgers. They also welcome families and have a kids menu with chicken tenders, corn dog bites and grilled cheese.

Planning a family vacation soon? Explore Oak Island’s top attractions and book a spacious vacation rental in Oak Island or Southport.