20 BEST Surf City Restaurants (NC) To Try!

From spending the day at the beach, to surfing, to fishing off the pier, there are plenty of amazing things to do on Topsail Island.

In between the sunshine and swimming, it’s best to refuel at some of these amazing Surf City restaurants.

Best Surf City Restaurants (North Carolina)

1. Enjoy an Oceanside Meal at Daddy Mac’s Beach Grille

Daddy Mac's Beach Grille
photo courtesy of Daddy Mac’s Beach Grille  / Best Surf City NC Restaurants
  • Price: $$
  • Cuisine: American
  • Address: 108 N Shore Dr (GPS)
  • Website: See menu

Daddy Mac’s Beach Grille is open all year for lunch and dinner and is one of Topsail Island’s best seaside restaurants.  This is where you can relax on a patio overlooking the ocean where surfers catch waves and people fish from the nearby wharf.  

the casual atmosphere and outgoing staff are just the beginning! The food is amazing, and traditional coastal recipes inspire many dishes. Incredible fresh, local seafood aside, if you have a craving for something from the land, steak, pasta dishes and other meat-based items are on the menu. 

A selection of vegetarian and gluten-free items are also available. Complement your meal with a delicious original cocktail or one of the beers or wines on offer. 

2. Enjoy Traditional Mediterranean Dishes at Santino’s Italian Trattoria

Santino's Italian Trattoria
Best Surf City Restaurants
  • Price: $$
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Address: 205 S Topsail Dr (GPS)
  • Website: See menu

Hailing from New York, the family who runs this laid-back restaurant specializes in serving authentic New York-style pizza and other traditional Italian delights to the people of coastal North Carolina.  

On the menu, you’ll find a variety of delicious subs, pasta dishes, pizzas, salads, wings, and seafood dishes such as shrimp scampi and salmon. Everything is homemade, fresh, and expertly prepared.   

3. Love the Scenery and the Food at Riverview Cafe

Riverview Cafe
photo courtesy of Riverview Cafe / Best Surf City NC Restaurants
  • Price: $$
  • Cuisine: Seafood restaurant
  • Address: 119 Hall Point Rd, Sneads Ferry (GPS)
  • Website: See menu

Situated in a beautiful location overlooking the New River in nearby Snead’s Ferry, Riverview Cafe has been serving traditional southern seafood dishes since 1946. 

Grilled salmon, broiled scallops, crab legs, and shrimp are popular choices, but you’ll also find salads, hushpuppies, steak and chicken on the menu. For dessert, there’s a selection of homemade pies.  Outdoor seating is available. 

4. Keep it Simple at Max’s Pizza

Max's Pizza
  • Price: $$
  • Cuisine: Pizza restaurant
  • Address: 602 Roland Ave # A, Surf City (GPS)
  • Website: See menu

It’s a simple place with classic offerings, but the food is delicious and there’s plenty of it to choose from at Max’s Pizza.  Besides pizza, you’ll also find subs, burgers, sandwiches, pasta dishes, salads, and a wide selection of appetizers. There’s plenty of beer and wine to go with your meal too!

5. Wine and Dine in Casual Comfort at Beach Shop & Grill

Beach Shop & Grill
photo courtesy of Beach Shop & Grill / Best Surf City NC Restaurants
  • Price: $$
  • Cuisine: Bistro
  • Address: 701 S Anderson Blvd, Topsail Beach (GPS)
  • Website: See menu

Step out of your Topsail Beach rental and enjoy this classic Surf City restaurant. This long-standing, seasonal favorite in Surf City opened in the early 1950s as a soda shop and today, it’s a comfortable place to go to enjoy delicious food made with the best fresh, local ingredients available. 

While seafood dishes, such as shrimp and grits, are the main draw, you’ll also find an assortment of pasta dishes, sandwiches and burgers.  Do you have a sweet tooth? If so, a variety of handmade desserts are available including Key Lime Pie. The beverage menu features craft cocktails and over 250 wines from all over the world. 

6. Get a Taste of the Big Apple at New York Corner Deli

New York Corner Deli
photo courtesy of New York Corner Deli / Best Surf City NC Restaurants
  • Price: $$
  • Cuisine: American, Deli
  • Address: 206 N Topsail Dr (GPS)
  • Website: See menu

Feel like you stepped off the North Carolina beaches and into New York City when you walk through the door of New York Corner Deli. This place serves some of the best sandwiches around, but there’s so much to choose from on the menu, that even the pickiest of eaters will find something they enjoy and at great prices too! 

There are salads, soups, burgers, and more made with the freshest, highest-quality ingredients available. To top it all off, a slice of homemade New York cheesecake will hit the spot! Or perhaps some authentic Italian gelato or a classic milkshake is more to your liking. 

7. Enjoy a Taste of Mexico at Margarita’s Mexican Grill & Cantina

Margarita's Mexican Grill & Cantina
photo courtesy of Margarita’s Mexican Grill & Cantina / Best Surf City NC Restaurants
  • Price: $
  • Cuisine: Mexican restaurant
  • Address: 204 N New River Dr (GPS)
  • Website: See menu

Easily one of the best restaurants at Surf City for those craving a legit taco. Authentic Mexican food is hard to come by in the Surf City area so many Mexican food lovers find themselves at Margarita’s Mexican Grill & Cantina and never leave disappointed! Some of the delicious items available on the menu include steaks, salads, and fajitas. 

8. Kick Back at Coastal Wing & Spirits Co. 

Coastal Wing & Spirits Co.
photo courtesy of Coastal Wing & Spirits Co. / Best Surf City NC Restaurants
  • Price: $$
  • Cuisine: Chicken wings restaurant
  • Address: 108 Triton Ln (GPS)
  • Website: See menu

Friendly, laid-back, fresh, and local with a southern flair. This is how one might describe the atmosphere and food offerings at Coastal Wing & Spirits Co. and that’s without going into how delicious the food actually is! Of course, there are wings, but there are also burgers, sandwiches, tacos, and salads. 

And to wash down your meal? How about an excellent selection of craft cocktails, beers, wines, and handcrafted sodas? If you’d like to dine in without missing that big game, rest assured that there are several big-screen televisions in the dining area. 

9. Indulge in Authentic Oriental Cuisine at Fancy Sushi Asian Fusion 

Sushi Asian Fusion 
Best Surf City Restaurants
  • Price: $$
  • Cuisine: Sushi Restaurant
  • Address: 124 N New River Dr (GPS)
  • Website: See menu

At Fancy Sushi Asian Fusion, you’ll enjoy a pleasant, comfortable environment as you dine on Japanese sushi and a variety of Chinese dishes.

Among the authentic Oriental offerings on the menu are a variety of vegetarian, chicken, seafood, and meat-based dishes made with the restaurant’s signature sauces. You can request dishes to be made to your preference whether it be low-sodium or to go easy on the spices. 

10. Chill with Great Food and Live Entertainment at JM’s Pub & Grub

JM's Pub & Grub
photo courtesy of JM’s Pub & Grub / Best Surf City NC Restaurants
  • Price: $
  • Cuisine: Bar and grill
  • Address: 522 N New River Dr (GPS)
  • Website: See menu

At JM’s Pub and Grill, the food is amazing, the people are incredibly friendly, the atmosphere is laid-back, and the music is lively.

American cuisine and traditional comfort food are the main offerings with seafood dishes, sandwiches and salads being only a few of the items you’ll find on the menu. 

11. Grab and Go at SurfDog Bits & Brews

SurfDog Bits & Brews
  • Price: $
  • Cuisine: American comfort foods
  • Address: 204 N New River Dr A (GPS)
  • Website: See menu

If you’re looking for a quick, delicious meal after a long day, SurfDog Bits & Brews is a relaxing place where you can choose from a wide variety of traditional comfort foods. 

Salads, burgers, hot dogs, wings, salads, and sandwiches are some available items.  You’ll also find a selection of draft beers, craft beers, wines and fresh teas. 

12. Stuff your Face and Party Hard at Hulas Bar and Grill

Hulas Bar and Grill / Best Surf City restaurants
  • Price: $
  • Cuisine: American, Bar and Grill
  • Address: 2107 N New River Dr (GPS)
  • Website: See menu

It is said that Hulas Bar and Grill has the best cheeseburgers in Surf City and on all of Topsail Island, but that’s not all this lively place is known for! If you come for the food, you’ll enjoy large portions of delicious and fresh pub grub.  

If you stay after the kitchen closes, you’ll enjoy billiards with other friendly patrons, televisions displaying whatever big game is on at the time, a live DJ and a spacious dance floor. The food may be limited late into the night, but the beer keeps flowing!

13. Enjoy Good Times and Good People at 10th Street Bar & Grill

10th Street Bar & Grill / Best Topsail Restaurants
  • Price: $
  • Cuisine: Bar and Grill
  • Address: 2111 N New River Dr (GPS)
  • Website: See menu

At 10th Street Bar & Grill, you get the best of both worlds. You get to sit down to a delicious meal and enjoy a lively atmosphere with friendly staff, great live entertainment, and drinks late into the night. 

14. Have Pizza and More at Michaelangelo’s

  • Price: $
  • Cuisine: Pizza restaurant
  • Address: 13460 NC-50 #102 (GPS)
  • Website: See menu

It’s referred to as a pizza restaurant but locally-run Michaelangelo’s is way more than that! Yes, there’s a wide selection of genuine New York-style pizzas on the menu, but there are also plenty of other items to choose from too. Subs, salads, sandwiches and appetizers are just some of the delicious options available.

The best thing about the food is everything is prepared with the freshest ingredients possible. 

15. Eat Like a Local at Island Delights

Island Delights
  • Price: $
  • Cuisine: Hamburger restaurant
  • Address: 316 N New River Dr (GPS)
  • Website: See menu

Island Delights is a popular favorite with families heading home or back to their hotel after a day spent lounging on the beach.

It must be the 22 delicious flavors of ice cream that are served there, or maybe it’s the super friendly staff.  But, then again, they do serve a wide variety of tasty options including burgers, sandwiches, pitas, salads, and subs.  

16. Kick Back at High Waters Bar and Grill

High Waters Bar and Grill
  • Price: $$
  • Cuisine: Bar and grill, Seafood restaurant
  • Address: 614 N New River Dr B (GPS)
  • Website: See menu

If you’re looking for a laid-back, cozy place to enjoy some good ol’ fashioned American comfort food and pub grub, High Waters Bar and Grill is the place to be.

Seafood dishes, burgers, steaks, wings, sandwiches, and salads are some of the items you’ll find on the menu and there are plenty of TVs to watch as you kick back after a long day of exploring. 

17. Fill up on Seafood, Sweet Treats and More at Salty Sistas

Salty Sistas
photo courtesy of Salty Sistas / Best Surf City NC Restaurants
  • Price: $$
  • Cuisine: Italian, Mexican, Steakhouse, seafoods and bakery
  • Address: 2004 NC-172, Sneads Ferry (GPS)
  • Website: See menu

If you want to sit down and have a meal at Salty Sistas, you’ll need to travel about 20 minutes away from Surf City to Snead’s Ferry unless, of course, you spot their popular food truck along the coast nearby! 

There’s something for everyone on the extensive menu at this amazing Topsail restaurant.  Love seafood?  How does a lobster roll, clam chowder, or oysters sound? Seafood not your thing? There’s a variety of wraps, burgers, tacos, salads and sandwiches to choose from. Just make sure to leave room for one of their scrumptious desserts! 

Of course, everything is made with care, using locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible. A full-service bar is on site too.  

18. Kick back with Beer and Tacos at Shaka Taco

Shaka Taco
  • Price: $
  • Cuisine: Taco restaurant
  • Address: 107 B, N Shore Dr, Surf City (GPS)
  • Website: See menu

Shaka Taco is one the most popular eateries in Surf City and for many good reasons! I’m not sure if it’s the beachy vibe that this taco stand radiates or the delicious food, but one thing that’s certain is you’ll get a top-quality meal with exquisite service. Tacos are the shining star of this place’s menu.  

There are tacos for everyone including seafood lovers, meat eaters, and vegetarians. Nachos, wings, and acai bowls are also on the menu and everything is made with fresh, local ingredients.  Enjoy your food on the cozy patio where dogs are permitted to join their families. 

19. Satisfy your Sweet Tooth at Daybreak Donuts

Daybreak Donuts
photo courtesy of Daybreak Donuts/ Best Surf City NC Restaurants
  • Price: $
  • Cuisine: Donut shop
  • Address: 303 S Topsail Dr, Surf City (GPS)
  • Website: See menu

Maybe not what you think of when you think best Surf City restaurants, but you don’t want to miss having a treat here.

While you won’t find a meal at Daybreak Donuts, you’ll find the perfect snack or after-meal dessert!  This is where you can make your own hand-dipped donuts that you customize to your preferred taste. 

There are a ton of flavors available, and they can be topped with a wide variety of glazes and toppings. Caramel Kiss, Lemonade and Chocolate Covered Cherry are just a few of the combinations you can create, and they sound delicious! Outdoor seating is available on a little porch looking out over a marsh.

20. Feast on Shellfish at Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar

Shuckin Shack Oyster Bar
  • Price: $$
  • Cuisine: Seafood restaurant
  • Address: 13460 NC-50 #101 (GPS)
  • Website: See menu

These restaurants are in Wilmington and also Carolina Beach so it’s only natural for Shuckin Shack to be one of the best Surf City Restaurants.

Steamed and raw shellfish is the main specialty at Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar, but you can also choose from various items including salads, wings, salads, and seafood dishes.

When you sit down to a meal at this casual eatery, know that you’ll be eating responsibly sourced food.  Beer and fresh signature cocktails are also served. 

Best Surf City Restaurants Map

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About Natasha

Natasha moved to North Carolina for college years ago (but she's not trying to age herself here). Her days were spent reading a book on the beach and enjoying a cold glass of sweet tea in between classes at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Upon graduation, she met her partner, Cameron, and they traveled the world together crossing 85 countries and seven continents. After, many years of international travel they settled down a bit and launched Lost in the Carolinas to share their experiences about and travel tips on South Carolina and North Carolina.

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