Manteo Restaurants You Must Try | Best Places to Dine in Manteo, NC

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My husband and I thought the Outer Banks was unique the first time we went. We saw white-sand beaches, crystal-blue oceans, islands, boat journeys (the only way to and from certain islands), lighthouses, historic sites, and well-known beach towns.

As we drove west on Highway 64, we passed through Nags Head and found the beach village of Manteo (pronounced Maneo by the locals).

It’s a charming, gorgeous village on historic Roanoke Island, which is, certainly, part of the Outer Banks. It’s an easy drive from Norfolk, Virginia, and three hours from Raleigh or Jacksonville, North Carolina, and there will be some terrific eateries in Manteo awaiting your arrival.

Manteo is said to be fascinating by some. We both agree. We couldn’t wait to go back and discover all she had to offer. We eventually made the trek back and remained for over a week. We fell in love with the little port town, its history, its people, and, of course, the great Manteo eateries.

This is my list of 11 Manteo, North Carolina Must-Try Restaurants.

Are you planning a trip to other cities in North Carolina? Check out our gastronomy guides to the cities listed below:

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  • 7 Best Banner Elk Restaurants¬† & 6 Best Things To Do In Banner Elk NC
  • 7 Best Fayetteville NC Restaurants & 9 Fun Things To Do In Fayetteville NC
  • 5 Must-Try Greer SC Restaurants¬†

Manteo’s Top 10 Restaurants

Waterfront Grille Avenue

207 Queen Elizabeth Avenue, 252-437-4800

Avenue Grille is a casual, family-friendly restaurant located in the Waterfront Shoppes. You may walk in or come by boat, with views of Shallowbag Bay and Manteo Harbor.

Its specialty include fresh, locally caught fish and shellfish meals, but their menu also contains options for meat eaters, vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free diners.

The kids meal variety pleased me, and the key-lime cheesecake on the dessert menu seemed delicious.

Seared Tuna Sushi, Bayou Shrimp and Grits, and Fish Tacos are some of the most popular meals.

I had a lovely supper salad with slow-smoked beef brisket, mashed red potatoes, and fresh green beans. Did I tell you about the key lime cheesecake for dessert?

The large dining area is surrounded by windows, so every table has a great view of the lake. You may also dine on the terrace while taking in the vista and the nice wind. Craft cocktails, locally brewed beer, and wine are available at the full-service bar. The Avenue is a casual, comfortable restaurant in Manteo.

A Greek Kitchen with Olives

207 Queen Elizabeth Avenue, 252-423-3322

The minute you enter through the door at Olives, your senses are awakened. The scent instantly welcomes you, a wonderful blend of spices such as rosemary, oregano, cinnamon, kalamata olives, meat, fresh-baked bread, cheese, and coffee.

After that, your attention will be drawn to a massive glass cabinet containing Greek delights. Looking farther into the room, you’ll see a wall of windows facing the shoreline, each with a table. When you take your seat, you can hear Gayle, the owner, quietly playing traditional Greek music.

When you peruse the menu, your mouth floods with real Greek food such as gyros, moussaka, spanakopita, chicken karas, baklava, and more.

The pizzas are delicious, and they are all baked with a cauliflower crust.

The Mezede (appetizer) tray includes dolmades, olive salad, roasted garlic, feta cheese, tzatziki, hummus, and bread. This Manteo restaurant will transport you to the Greek Islands.

Southwestern Restaurant and Wine Bar Ortegaz

201 Sir Walter Raleigh Street, 252-473-5911

Ortegaz offers a comfortable, informal ambiance with a southwestern flare in Manteo’s historic downtown neighborhood, situated in a totally restored and rebuilt 70-year-old structure.

They provide everything from house-made chips and salsa and street tacos to Wasabi Shrimp and Carne Asada, all crafted with the freshest local fish and fruit.

You may order a Cubano Press Sandwich, Sizzling Fajitas, a succulent meatloaf, and, of course, the day’s catch.

Ortegaz has two huge dining rooms, an outside terrace, and bar seating, so there is always space. Come the whole family for lunch or supper, or just for a glass of wine. Ortegaz restaurant in Manteo is unbeatable for Southwestern and Mexican cuisine.

Sandwich Store and Pub Poor Richards

305 Queen Elizabeth Avenue, 252-473-3333

We asked numerous people where to dine downtown in Manteo after arriving and seeking for a restaurant. Everyone had Richards at the top of their list.

Poor Richards, a Manteo staple since 1984, employs only the best Boars Head meats and cheeses. They claim their Rueben is the finest, but with all the amazing sandwiches, burgers, and wraps on the menu, you’d have to persuade me. Soups and salads are also available.

I chose the daily special lump meat crabcake sandwich and cucumber salad from the blackboard menu on the wall. The finest crabmeat sandwich I’ve ever had! With crisp lettuce, red-ripe tomato, and house-made tartar sauce, the bun was so fresh and flavorful. The cucumber salad was light and refreshing.

You may enter from either the street or the harbor side boardwalk. There is plenty of seating both inside and out on the back porch, where you can watch the people on the promenade and the boats come and go in the harbor. This is a great option for informal beach eating in Manteo.

Restaurant Darrells

252-473-5366521 US Highway 64

Since 1960, Darrells has been a beloved family-owned Manteo restaurant. Visitors going into town can’t miss it since it’s conveniently positioned on Old US Highway 64 (Manteo’s sole main route).

Classic Outer Banks delicacies such as fried oysters, wood-fired BBQ, and Hatteras clam chowder are available. The portions are generous, and the pricing are reasonable.

Darrell’s speciality is seafood, but they also provide land cuisine and daily evening specialties including meatloaf, chicken pot pie, and their famed boiled drum (fish). The daily lunch offerings usually include under $10 selections.

We chose Darrells for an early breakfast since many restaurants in Manteo are only open for lunch and supper. My spouse had a bacon-cheddar omelet with home fries and biscuits and gravy, while I filled myself on wonderful sweet-potato hotcakes. Needless to say, neither of us was able to complete our dinners.

The two dining rooms were roomy, the staff was kind, and even the owner, Ali, granddaughter of the original owner, stopped by for a short hello.

Carolina Bar-B-Que Inc.

252-305-8844908 US Highway 64

Carolina Bar-B-Que Company is the place to go for authentic North Carolina barbecue. Mike Weaver, the proprietor, is passionate about BBQ (and people), and it shows.

The menu consists of basic but delectable pig and brisket barbecue plates and seafood baskets, as well as hamburgers, hotdogs, and sandwiches with all the country fixins (sides) and apple, pecan, or sweet potato pie for dessert.

When you approach, you may see smoke pouring from the nearby smokehouse. You can’t wait to go inside once you catch a scent of what’s smoking. The huge dining area, with its nautical and rural decor, is lively and appealing, even down to the red-and-white checkered tablecloths.

Ordering is also straightforward. Order at the walk-up window and pick up your meal at the pick-up window. Don’t forget to bring some sweet tea or freshly squeezed lemonade. In Manteo, do you want some barbecue? This is the location.

The Blue Water Restaurant and Raw Bar

2000 Sailfish Drive 252-473-1955

The Blue Water Grill is the sibling restaurant of the popular Blue Moon Beach Restaurant in Nags Head. With hardwood flooring, teak wood benches, and Ball-jar candles on each table, it provides a warm and welcoming ambience. Trophy sailfish perch above the full-wall bar, and the open, vaulted ceiling is crisscrossed with long wooden beams. Every table provides a spectacular view of the sound and harbor.

The cuisine changes periodically, but always includes fresh, local fish and shellfish, as well as vegetables. The lunch and dinner menus vary somewhat, and both include daily specials. The raw oyster bar is a must-try, as are the delicious specialty drinks.

Mimis Tiki Hut is located outdoors on the deck, near to the marina. It includes complete outside seating and offers a very informal, laid-back feel. Have a drink while watching the boats arrive and go. If you are hungry from the fresh air, they provide the same cuisine as the Grill.

Blue Water is a top-notch seafood restaurant in Manteo.

Restaurant Shaddai

252-423-3013112 US Highway 64

Shaadais, the Outer Banks’ first Peruvian and Mexican restaurant, immediately became a local favorite.

Pollo-A-La-Brava, Peruvian rotisserie chicken, is their trademark dish. Authentic Peruvian meals such as Mahi ceviche, Sauteed Lomo Steak, and Jalea Mixta mixed seafood deep-fried with cassava and salsa criolla are also available.

Mojarra, carne asada, fajitas, tacos, and nachos are all true Mexican dishes crafted with the finest ingredients.

The huge eating space is relaxed and pleasant, featuring tables and chairs as well as booths. The portions are generous, and the pricing are reasonable. The staff is polite and helpful in describing some of the menu’s less-familiar foods.

Visit this Manteo eatery for a taste of the south.

Stripers Grill and Bar

100A S Bay Club Drive 252-475-10211

You know you’ve arrived at Stripers Bar & Grille the instant you step through the doors. The first thing you notice, just past the big three-sided oak bar, is the wall of windows with a stunning view of Shallowbag Bay.

Stripers is a three-story restaurant with lots of seats and fantastic lake views from every table. Relax at the bar and mingle as you dine, or unwind with a specialty drink. The outside balcony offers views of the bay and marina.

Stripers offers a large menu, including a wonderful Sunday brunch, and their speciality is steamed and fried seafood, all of which is obtained locally wherever possible.

Additional menu choices include burgers and sandwiches, as well as spaghetti, meatloaf, and prime rib. We spent the day on the balcony drinking speciality drinks and munching on a dish of steamed crab legs.

Stripers, like other Manteo eateries, is a fun and welcoming venue with a casual, relaxed atmosphere. The sort that keeps you coming back for more.

Caf and Brewery Lost Colony

208 Queen Elizabeth Street, 252-473-6666

You already know that my list would be incomplete without a brewpub (brewery and eatery). The LostColony Tavern does not let you down.

There have been some modifications lately, but in line with the rich local heritage, Lost Colony now combines Old World tastes with classic British Isle meals. You’ll find meals like bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie, and fish and chips, as well as Outer Banks staples like Pamlico Sound crab cakes, Carolina barbecue sandwich, and a Virginia Dareburger.

The fresh English Garden Salad and Guinness Stew pleased my taste buds, while my spouse devoured his Lost Colony Steak & Ale Pie. They also offer a fantastic kids menu with everything priced under $8.00.

The Lost Colony Brewery (on a separate site) specializes in British and Irish-style beers with names like Kitty Hawk Blonde, Nags Head IPA, Kill Devil Scotch Ale, and my personal favorite, Raleigh Buxton Brown, all of which are award winners made with ingredients imported from the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. The Tavern currently has a Signature Cocktails program that focuses on Irish Whiskeys, Scotch Whiskeys, and London Dry Gins.

This Manteo restaurant offers a vibrant, active ambiance and is located in the middle of downtown. The environment is lighthearted, easygoing, and laid-back, with courteous service. There is plenty of seating both indoors and outdoors on the tiered patios hung with lights.

Which of these Manteo eateries do you wish to try the most? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below!

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