If you’re looking for your next coastal foodie adventure that’s a little different from regular beach fare, head to Wrightsville Beach. This island, located just a bridge away from historic Wilmington, is not only a paradise for outdoor and watersports enthusiasts, but foodies as well.From oceanfront dining, farm-to-table menus and culinary events, Wrightsville Beach is the perfect place for delicious coastal fare.
Read on for a foodie’s perfect day at Wrightsville Beach.
Early risers, rejoice! SUNdays Café, located at the south end of Wrightsville Beach, serves everything from creamy iced lattes to delicious breakfast pastries starting at 6:30 a.m. Locally owned and laid-back, SUNdays is the perfect place to relax and enjoy high-quality coffee while prepping for the food-filled day ahead. Surfers are known to gather here before hitting the waves, so you’ll also get a taste of the famous Wrightsville Beach surf culture that attracts beachgoers from across the country. Or head to Drift Café for breakfast, where you can choose from lighter options like an acai bowl or fill up on a stack of pancakes or eggs benny. Add a cup of craft coffee or superfood smoothie to your order and kickstart your day.
Head straight to Oceanic Restaurant, a Wrightsville Beach staple, for brunch that features Southern-infused seafood and an unbeatable view from the Crystal Pier. Order the Breakfast Tacos or, if you have a sweet tooth, the Bread Pudding French Toast served with fresh berries and perfectly warmed syrup. While the lunch and dinner menus are equally as mouth-watering, you can’t beat a peaceful morning spent oceanfront.
After spending the morning on the beach and maybe even catching a wave or two, grab a snack from Adapt Kitchen & Juice Bar. Located within Robert’s Grocery, the juice bar offers nutritionally dense juices and smoothies alongside plant-based baked goods. For a healthy and refreshing lunch, SurfBerry Café serves up acai bowls, smoothies and cold-pressed juices that are organic, vegan and bursting with flavor, making it the perfect spot to fuel up for an afternoon of adventure with its on-site standup paddleboard, kayak and surfboard rentals.
No foodie adventure is complete without an authentic farm-to-table meal. Many of the island’s restaurants fit this description, including Bluewater Waterfront Grill. Taking inspiration from the waterfront, the restaurant offers a menu of traditional American fare and seafood dishes that rotate seasonally. Just across the bridge, Dockside Restaurant has been a local tradition for nearly 30 years, serving delicious meals that showcase the region’s natural flavors.
EAST Oceanfront, a chef-driven restaurant, located at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort, is set in a posh oceanfront garden and serves some of the best coastal food in the state. Find seafood-centric dishes reflecting locally sourced ingredients from fresh seafood to produce grown in the resort’s garden or from nearby purveyors. EAST Oceanfront offers options from land to sea and is sure to give foodies the ultimate dining experience, complete with an exquisite selection of wines, spirits and local craft beers to round out a top-of-the-line meal.
After dinner, head to The Palm Room for delicious handcrafted cocktails and live music. Located near Johnnie Mercer’s Pier, The Palm Room is historic to Wrightsville Beach and has been serving locals and tourists since 1955. Check their social media for an up-to-date list of performers. Wrightsville Beach Brewery offers a variety of cold brews to enjoy in its beer garden, which frequently features live music.
Taste of the Town
Consider planning your trip around the Annual Taste of Wrightsville Beach in November to enjoy the island’s delicious and diverse flavors from over 35 local food, beer and wine-tasting booths along the waterfront. Local celebs rate dishes for "Best in Show," while the public has a chance to vote for the "People's Choice" winner.
Find more sustainable seafood and farm-fresh restaurants with our foodie favorites.