Friday, January 11, 2019

Favorite Wilmington Eats

One of the questions I get asked most on Instagram is where I like to eat in Wilmington! We are sometimes creatures of habit, and we tend to go to the same places over and over again, but one of our goals this year is to try at least one new restaurant each month! There are so many great places that I haven't tried and I'm sure I've left off a ton of favorites, but these are some that we love to frequent.

Seaside Ambiance:

Bluewater - If you want a good meal with a beautiful view, check out Bluewater! It's a great tourist favorite but plenty of locals enjoy it as well. Located on the Wrightsville Beach, just over the bridge. 
What I Order: Crab Dip

Dockside - Need a quick bite to eat while out on the boat? This is a great option. Beach coverups are accepted and it's a great summer happy hour spot.
What I Order: Fish tacos

Bridge Tender - One of my family's fave places to go during the summer - or year-round, if we're being honest. Great seafood and steaks and it overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway, on the Wilmington side of the bridge.
What I Order: Crab Dip Appetizer, Blackened Mahi with Mashed Potatoes and Brocollini, Key Lime Pie

Downtown/Riverfront:

PinPoint Restaurant - the menu of this downtown favorite changes daily and offers seasonal favorites that are sourced from local farmers, fishermen, and markets when available! It's been awhile since I've been but it's on my date-night dinner list for 2019!

Elijah's - Overlooking the Cape Fear River, Steve and I used to grab a bite to eat here on his lunch break when his office was located downtown. From seafood to steaks, they have something for everyone.
What I Order: Fish Tacos

Mexican:

Live Eat Surf Restaurants - this includes Tower 7, K38, K-Bueno, and Cruz. All great options! Tower 7 is located right on the beach, so it's often crowded during the summer but most definitely a crowd fave. Steve and I love checking out K-38 for half priced fajitas on Tuesday nights. You won't be disappointed. 
What I Order: Tacos in a Blanket, Queso, Wannabe Margarita

Beer Barrio - This little taco bar is located in the heart of downtown Wilmington. We love sitting at the bar for appetizers and tacos and there is always a great local beer selection available.
What I Order: Tequila Chicken Tacos, Guacamole 

Italian:

Osteria Cicchetti - fun fact: Steve got this for take-out the night we got engaged! Safe to say it's one of our favorites. Great Italian dishes with a nice atmosphere.
What I Order: Fried Mozzarella, Tortellini Michaelangelo 

Italian Bistro - located in Porter's Neck, this is one of our favorite new spots an easy dinner. We normally dine-in, but it seems as though take-out pizza is a huge hit here as well.
What I Order: Pesto Tortellini 

Brunch:

Boca Bay - looking for the ultimate brunch buffet? Look no further. There's literally something for everyone, from an omelet to eggs Benedict to salmon. 
What I Order: everything

Sweet 'N Savory - I've had SNS plenty of times (it's a great brunch, lunch and dinner spot) but I tried the french toast for the first time right after Christmas. No words. Fun fact: It was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives
What I Order: French toast

The Basics - Located downtown, this is a great breakfast and brunch spot. Especially when the weather is nice, we love to head downtown on a Sunday morning, grab breakfast here, and then wander around. 
What I Order: Migas Mexican Scramble

Coffee:

Bitty & Beau's - Coffee with a cause? Absolutely. Bitty and Beau's is run by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It's a place that leaves you happier than when you arrived and it's a must-visit in Wilmington.

Drift Coffee & Kitchen - this is the perfect spot for a coffee date with friends and is also one of my fave spots for a coffee meeting. True story, I've never had avocado toast but I've heard it's amazing here. Another true story - Drift had a shop in Ocean Isle, but, wanting to expand, they also operated a coffee cart out of Stephen's old office building here in Wilmington. Steve would stop by their cart just about every morning, and now they have an amazing spot that is perfect for meeting friends. 
What I Order: Ham, Egg & Cheese Toasty and Caramel Mocha

Bespoke Coffee - Downtown and need a pick-me-up? Walk into Bespoke for a quick cup of coffee or stay awhile in this beautiful space.

Port City Java - there are several of these located around time and some feature a drive-thru, so if you're in a hurry but want a cup of coffee, this is a great option. This is also Steve's go-to (pretty much every day). 

Lunch/Deli Spots:

David's Deli - A club sandwich is one of my fave things to get for lunch, and David's Deli is normally where I get one. They also have burgers, salads and more, and it's located right before crossing the bridge onto Wrightsville. 
What I Order: The Club Sandwich with fries

Sweet 'N Savory - I've mentioned it above, but for a delicious sandwich and an after-lunch sweet treat, stop here.
What I Order: Johnny Appleseed on a croissant

Pender's Cafe - Walking into Pender's takes you back in time. A great "mom n' pop" burger joint, this is a great lunch option for classic old-school burgers and fries.
What I Order: Cheeseburger, fries & lemonade

Trolly Stop Hot Dogs - To be honest, I actually don't like hot dogs at all, but my entire family does and their favorite place to go is Trolly Stop! I hear it's great, so stop in to get one the next time you're at Wrightsville Beach!

Steak:

Portland Grille - Steve has actually been here more than I have but it's another great weekend or date night spot. Its "progressive American cuisine" offers something for everyone and I can guarantee you won't be disappointed. It's a great place for a good steak though I normally opt for seafood.
What I Order: Sea bass with pound cake mashed potatoes

Port City Chop House - this one of our fave date night spots. We love checking out their 5-7pm happy hour specials and if you have a sweet tooth, the skillet cookie is a must.
What I Order: Beef Tenderloin Tips with Grand Marnier Sauce

Burgers:

True Blue Kitchen and Butcher - this is a relatively new addition to the Wilmington restaurant scene, but it's unique in the fact that it not only serves as a restaurant but also a butcher shop. The appetizers are delicious and the burger is probably the best one I've had in Wilmington (personal preference).

JohnnyLuke's - this restaurant has a great bar area as well as a rooftop bar and seating arena that's perfect for happy hour or even a casual birthday party. Steve and I like to go sit at the bar for a quick after-work dinner.
What I Order: New Orleans The Kicker Burger

Fork 'N Cork - Located downtown, this little restaurant is tough to get into without calling ahead, but it is definitely worth the wait. Their burgers are delicious but every so often, they offer a Monte Cristo sandwich that is absolutely amazing.

AcaĆ­ Bowls & Smoothies

Adapt Kitchen & Juice Bar - located on Wrightsville Beach, this is the perfect spot to grab a smoothie or bowl. I've walked the loop at WB and then stopped in for a refresher and it is (insert raising hands emoji here). We will also snag coffee here when we're staying at the beach house.

Pizza

Benny's Big Time Pizzeria - owned by chef Vivian Howard, this pizza spot is the perfect place for date night, girls' night, and all the things. The pizza is amazing as is the dessert.
What I Order: Southern Fried Chicken Parm + Tony Pepperoni Pizza

Local Neighborhood Spot:

Ogden Tap Room - this is located not too far from our house, so it's a fave spot for us to meet some of our best friends, who are also our neighbors. 
What I Order: Chicken and Waffles (burger is great, too)

Girls' Night Out/Date Night:

The Little Dipper - Looking for a great place for a girls' night or birthday? Check out The Little Dipper. I went for the first time in years to celebrate my best friend's birthday a few weekends ago and it was so good. Fondue is always a fun experience if you want to hang out and chat for a bit. The meal was delicious, but let's be honest: I was there for the dessert!
What I Order: Tuscan Sundried Tomato Cheese Fondue, "The Undecided" (I chose Filet, Ravioli, and Pot Stickers), and the Milk & Cookies Chocolate Fondue

Indochine - Love Thai food? This is your spot. It's a great place to go in the warm weather seasons so you can take advantage of the beautiful gardens and outdoor dining.
What I Order: Pork Pot Stickers, Chicken Thai Fried Rice

Ceviche's - I first tried this spot for a friend's birthday but have since gone back to meet friends. In complete transparency, I haven't tried their ceviche as I'm not a huge fan of the dish (seafood isn't always my favorite), however there are so many other great options that regardless of your favorite food, there is something for everyone!
What I Order: Guacamole Sampler, Chorizo y Goat Empanada, Arroz con Pollo

Places I Want to Try:

There are so many amazing restaurants we want to try and the list below doesn't even begin to cover it!
  • Catch
  • Manna
  • Roko
  • Rx
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