Restaurants & Bars

The area has been a culinary paradise since the first explorers saw foot-long oysters and wild grapes along the shoreline some 500 years ago. Wilmington’s port city status brought edibles and influences from around the globe. Rich soils and so much fresh seafood provided added bounty that shaped an eclectic cuisine like no other.

The local foods cooperative Feast Down East makes sure chefs have premium ingredients from area farms. Staff and volunteers connect cooks and devoted growers, assuring diners flavorful ingredients – organic and sustainably raised. Can’t decide what to eat? Mix it up. Creative chefs are rooted in classics, but they’re known for inventing irresistible combinations. And it’s not just them. Master bartenders stir the perfect Old Fashioned or creative martinis. Breweries pour nationally recognized craft beers, and wine flows from award-winning lists. No worries if you’re not an oenophile. Seasoned sommeliers guide you.

Casual and fine-dining establishments pepper the landscape, but no need to dress up or break the bank at either. The buzz-phrase here is “upscale casual.” Khaki pants are fine even at the fanciest restaurants, and affordable prices are everywhere. Beautiful weather most days of the year mean you can dine outdoors in gorgeous settings. Choose sidewalk café tables or a pier extending over the sea. Sit on a riverside deck and watch boats cruise by at sunset. Relax, feel at home and remember to save room for dessert at these restaurants, where the food is always good, the prices are great and you’ll leave satisfied.

 

7 Reasons to Hang Out in Wilmington’s South Front District

Loving where you live is easy to do if you reside here in Wilmington. It’s even easier for the residents near the new hot-spot in town - the South Front area! This section located on S. 2nd St. has it all - a pizza place, taco truck, tapas bar, wine bar, salt spa, yoga shop, you name it they got it!

From Sea to Seaview’s Kitchen

It’s been the vision over the last decade for the Seaview Crab Company owners trifecta – brothers Joe and Sam Romano and Nathan King – to not only harvest from our fertile coastal waters and serve the Wilmington area with the freshest catches of seafood, but to also conserve the ocean and beaches in the community where they’ve thrived from the beginning.

Market Street Discovery

Regarding the beer at JohnnyLukes, there are 18 to 20 beers on tap at any given time, and they are rotated regularly by Bar Manager Zack Kerr. Wilmington Brewing’s Tropical Lightning, the ubiquitous local favorite, is on the list, along Edward Teach offerings.

Can There Be a Best of Anything?

Fermental holds beers of every stripe and style, from every state and from most nations, including some beers that are decidedly VERY difficult to find. Pilsners to saisons to radlers to goses to browns to porters to BBA stouts so thick they pour like used motor oil to a beer made with four leaf clovers, there is something here for everyone.

Welcome to Skytown Beer Company

As it turns out, there’s a lot. There’s an airy, bright, welcoming and chic interior design (the handiwork of Carol Jensen), and a space that also includes four-seater tables, a neat curved bar, a relaxed easy chair and sofa “living room” seating area and gleaming mash tuns within an arm’s reach.

The Fork n Cork in the Port City

Big, it ain’t. And at first blush it looks like the kind of place where you’d have go outside to change your mind. But a place doesn’t have to be airy and grandiose to be worth visiting, especially when the beer menu has almost 50 beers and the food that comes out of the kitchen is this good.

Who’s Who: Brian Ballard of Pour Taproom

After growing up in the Midwest, Brian Ballard, Owner of Pour Taproom in Wilmington, NC, moved around a bit, from Arizona to Florida to New England to Greensboro, North Carolina. When he decided to leave the corporate world to start a business, he wanted to stop moving so much and lay down some roots.

Steam Engines

None of the folks running the chic restaurant in Wilmington’s Embassy Suites hotel is named James Watt (who perfected the steam engine). Their names are Alan Nelson, Nicole Boudrieau and Tyler Powell. But eventually, they could collectively take on the name Hero, the Greek who actually invented the device in the first century.

Wilmington’s Original Mexican Restaurant

When Manuel Ibarra and his two brothers first opened the doors of El Cerro Grande in Wilmington in January of 1991, the restaurant drew so many that it ran out of food in less than two hours. Nearly three decades later, the Ibarra family continues to impress the Port City with quality Mexican food and exceptional service. Now with three locations in Wilmington, El Cerro Grande is proud to be known as Wilmington’s original authentic Mexican restaurant. 

Zócalo Street Food and Tequila

The vision of Zócalo Street Food and Tequila came to Emmanuel Ibarra in 2016. After spending many years working in his family’s successful Mexican restaurant, Emmanuel, along with his brother, Salvador, and a childhood friend decided they wanted to do something unique and modern.

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