10 BEST Holden Beach Restaurants (NC)

Holden Beach is situated between Southport and Ocean Isle Beach on the beautiful Carolina coast. During the day there are plenty of things to do in Holden Beach, but in between surf lessons and visiting The Museum Of Coastal Carolina you’ll probably get hungry.

Located on the coast, Holden Beach provides fresh seafood and waterfront dining with stunning ocean views. The local cuisine blends Southern and coastal influences, featuring dishes like shrimp and grits and crab cakes in many Holden Beach restaurants.

The family-friendly and casual atmosphere, along with a variety of dining options, adds to its appeal. Let’s dig into some of the best eats on the beach!

The Best Holden Beach Restaurants

1. LouLous Waterfront Restaurant

LouLous Waterfront Restaurant
photo courtesy of LouLous Waterfront Restaurant / Best Holden Beach Restaurants

When you dine at LouLous Waterfront Restaurant, you don’t just dine on top-quality, well-prepared delicious dishes made with fresh seafood and produce, but you also dine with a view of the ocean. 

There’s something on the menu for even the pickiest eaters in your travel party and the best part about the menu is there are items for every budget. Whether you want to sit down to some fried, boiled, or steamed seafood or enjoy familiar staples such as burgers, steak, sandwiches, grilled chicken, pasta dishes, salads and hushpuppies, you’ll find something to satisfy that appetite you worked up while exploring the area. 

A selection of desserts is also available if you’re someone who likes a sweet treat after your main meal. You can dine indoors or outdoors on the spacious patio where live music is often hosted and the sunsets are out of this world. The bar is very nice too and it serves an array of beers, wines and signature cocktails. 

2. The Cove Restaurant

The Cove Restaurant
photo courtesy of The Cove

The Cove Restaurant is farm-to-table dining at its best in Holden Beach.  This family-run establishment specializes in fresh, healthy dishes made with local ingredients whenever possible. Take a seat indoors or outdoors when weather permits and enjoy a variety of menu items including seafood dishes, salads, tacos and burgers.  

For dessert, the top choice for those in the know is the amazing homemade ice cream which is available in both hard and soft-serve forms.  

3. Castaways Raw Bar & Grill

Castaways Raw Bar & Grill

There’s more to Castaways Raw Bar & Grill than just sushi and other raw seafood delights; there’s also the full bar, lively atmosphere and oceanfront location.

Enjoy a variety of items from the menu including a selection of soups, salads, flatbreads, sandwiches and seafood dishes followed by a relaxing evening sipping on craft beer in the bar where you can watch the big game or enjoy some live music. 

4. Mini Jalapeno Mexican Restaurant

Mini Jalapeno Mexican Restaurant

For those times when you want to go somewhere laid-back where you can try another type of food besides seafood in Holden Beach, head to Mini Jalapeno Mexican Restaurant to enjoy fine, authentic Mexican food. Tacos, burritos, churros, fajitas, enchiladas, quesadillas…they have it all! 

Also enjoy a selection of soups, salads, seafood dishes and vegetarian options to go with your main course. And for dessert? Only mouth-watering, traditional Mexican specialties to satisfy any sweet tooth! 

5. The Scoop

the Scoop

At The Scoop, breakfast and lunch are served and you can expect delicious, quality items that make for the perfect start to any day that will be spent exploring the Holden Beach area and beyond. Bagels with your choice of spread, sandwiches, burritos, burgers, cheese steaks, tacos, hot dogs, quesadillas, nachos and so much more are available on the extensive menu.  It’s one of the best Holden Beach restaurants if you’re feeling a lazy day on vacation!

There’s also a wide variety of specialty waffles, such as chocolate chip, blueberry and banana nut, and the ice cream served here is quite popular and is the perfect treat either on its own or after your meal. 

6. Mankins Causeway Café

Mankins Causeway Café

If you think of cafes as places where you enjoy coffee and sweets in a chill environment, you haven’t been to Mankins Causeway Café.  While it is quite chill, it also features more than just coffee and sweets! 

Hamburgers, steaks, chili, sandwiches, seafood dishes and hot dogs are some of the tasty menu options available and of course, the all-time favorite staple almost anywhere you go in the world, french fries, are available as a side to whatever you choose. 

The tea and coffee are good too but make sure to plan your visit strategically as this popular food joint tends to get crowded at peak times.

7. Dock House Seafood & More

Dock House Seafood & More
photo courtesy of Dock House Seafood & More

There are many places to enjoy seafood around Holden Beach but the Dock House Seafood & More offers more than just top-quality, local seafood. Of course, the seafood is the main draw but if it’s not your thing, there are many other delicious items on the menu for you to enjoy such as Chicken and Waffles, steaks, Mac-N-Cheeseburger and a variety of soups and salads. 

A selection of craft beer and specialty cocktails are also available and all of this delicious food and refreshing drinks are complemented by a spectacular view of the water. 

8. Provision Co.

 Provision Co.

Provision Co. is simple, it’s laid-back, it’s traditional and it’s familiar but it’s also a place where you go to enjoy delicious, well-prepared food while overlooking scenic views of the water. 

Whether you arrive by car, on foot, or by boat, everyone is welcome here! On the menu, you’ll find a variety of seafood dishes, sandwiches, salads and main courses such as steamed shrimp, crab cake dinner, grilled grouper dinner and yellowfin tuna dinner. 

9. Simply Barbecue

Simply Barbecue
photo courtesy of Simply Barbecue

Barbecued pork ribs, pulled pork and beef brisket. Sounds delicious, right? At Simply Barbecue, you can enjoy delicious items such as these and so much more. Everything is home-cooked, smoked and crafted right on the spot.  

And if you can’t decide what you want, why not order a sampler that offers a plate of different kinds of barbecued meats so you can try them all? A variety of sides are also available including cole slaw, cornbread and salad and the apple crisp hits the spot if you’re craving dessert. 

Would you believe that this eatery is not a full, sit-in restaurant?  That’s right, it’s a food truck so you can bet your food gets to you quickly and you can eat it right there on-site or anywhere you wish. 

10. Mermaids Island Grill

Mermaids Island Grill

If dining on traditional comfort food in a casual, waterfront location sounds like you’re kind of dining, Mermaids Island Grill is just the spot for you! Burgers, chowders, sandwiches, nachos, wings, salads, chicken fingers, shrimp and barbecued dishes are just some of the tasty choices on the menu.  

If you’re seeking something a bit different, there’s a selection of Greek and maritime-inspired dishes as well. 

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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