Oh, seafood. When it is good- it’s good, when it’s bad though it’s bad. It can also be a little pricey. So if you are planning on indulging in some fresh delicious seafood you want to know that it’s going to be worth the money. And luckily for you, we know some spots. It’s no secret that North Carolina is home to some great seafood. Especially on the coast- Calabash seafood is famous and there is a reason why. So when Yelp published its top 100 seafood spots I knew we’d find at least a few of the North Carolina seafood restaurants mentioned. But what are the best and highest-rated North Carolina seafood restaurants? Keep reading to find out.

A total of seven restaurants in North Carolina were included on this list. This is in contrast to 6 South Carolina spots (though overall SC ranked higher than NC).  And spoiler alert only one is actually in Calabash. Several are in the Wilmington vicinity, a couple on the Outer Banks, and finally one in Charlotte. So unless you’re lucky enough to live at the beach, most of these will have to be vacation visits. If you need a sign to book a trip- this is it.  Whether it’s raw oysters, delicious sandwiches, fried seafood platters, crab cakes, or unique offerings you can find what you’re looking for on this list.

The Best North Carolina Seafood Restaurants

To create this list Yelp identified businesses in their seafood category that had an abundance of reviews praising the term “seafood”. From there restaurants were ranked using factors like the total rankings. Only 10 restaurants per state were able to be included in this list to ensure “geographical diversity”.

It’s now past daylight savings time, it’s warm, and what better way to celebrate that than some fresh seafood, a cold drink, and perhaps a patio with a water view? Your next spot to do just that is waiting. So give this list featuring the best of the best North Carolina top-rated seafood restaurants a look. You can view the full Yelp list here. Did your favorite make the list? Let us know!

  • 95. The Kill Devil Grill

    If you can’t tell by the name The Kill Devil Grill is located in Kill Devil Hills. Here you’ll find “righteous dishes with a Southern twist”. The Kill Devil Grill menu features fresh seafood including shrimp, crab cakes, daily catches of fish, and more as burgers and “classic American munchies”. And while I’m sure the seafood is incredible it’s the desserts that catch my attention on the menu. See the full menu here.

  • 76. Fin & Fino

    There are two locations of Fin & Fino one in uptown Charlotte and the other in Huntersville at Birkdale Village. Fish and shellfish are delivered daily to ensure the freshest cuisine. The menu rotates but you’ll always find “fresh fish, scratch-made pasta, raw bar favorites”.  You can also get al la carte fish, caviar, and a wide variety of seafood entrees. Fin & Fino describes itself as a “seafood social house” and focuses on the experience. Make sure to try their cocktails and wine list. View the menu here.

  • 64. Mama Easley's

    Mama Easley’s Grub Hub is found in the Outer Banks town of Corolla. They are open seasonally and offer what they describe as the best seafood in Corolla. On the menu, you’ll find sandwiches like a po boy and fish sandwich, baskets of fried fish, shrimp, oysters, scallops, or clam strips, as well as starters and salads. See the full menu here.

  • 58. Fish Bites Seafood Restaurant

    At Fish Bites Seafood Restaurant you’ll find Wilmington’s only live lobster tank as well as “the freshest seafood in town”. Signature entrees include the Fish Bites Tuna Filet, Stuffed Flounder, and The Fisherman’s Stew. Popular appetizers include Oyster Bombs, Shrimp Bombs, and Grouper Cheeks or try the fresh catch prepared however you like it! See the full menu here.

  • 52. I Got Your Crabs

    I Got Your Crabs is a family restaurant in Kitty Hawk. They are locally owned and supplied by commercial fishermen in Kitty Hawk. As the name would suggest blue crabs are the focus (and highly recommended). But they also serve a variety of seafood. Some dishes that caught my eye? The seafood tacos, blue crab nachos, and a variety of seafood plates. See the full menu here.

  • 49. Topsail Steamer

    I’ve seen Topsail Steamer in Surf City on Topsail Island numerous times. Somehow I’ve never paid it a visit. Its menu features only the restaurant’s signature Bay Buckets®. These are single-use seafood steam pots “packed with the highest quality and fresh seafood, meats, veggies and home-made seasonings”. You can choose one of 7 options featuring a combination of seafood like shrimp, clams, scallops, and/or lobster tails. Or you can choose to build your own pot! See the menu here

  • 48. Waterfront Seafood Shack

    You can’t have a list of the best seafood in North Carolina without including at least one restaurant in Calabash. You’d lose creditability instantly, though the fact that only one made the list is a little shocking. While I’ve seen this Waterfront Seafood Shack numerous times it isn’t one I have visited.  Waterfront Seafood Shark is a “Fresh Catch Seafood Restaurant and Market”. Visitors enjoy outdoor, riverfront dining and seafood that quite frankly couldn’t get any fresher. The menu features steamers, sandwiches, platters, and combination plates of things like blue crab, mahi, grouper, shrimp, flounder, and more. See the full menu here

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