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The Best Restaurants in Carolina Beach

The Best Restaurants in Carolina Beach

The Best Restaurants in Carolina Beach

I had the pleasure of working with three outstanding restaurants in Carolina Beach recently. So I am excited to share these with you. Carolina Beach is my absolute favorite local beach. It is the perfect mixture of a small coastal area, but yet still has tons of great restaurants and things to do in the area. Basically, everything in the area is locally owned, and that really shows in the hospitality at each business. So with this said, here are what I consider to be the best restaurants in Carolina Beach

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The Lazy Pirate

The Lazy Pirate is one of the most unique restaurants that I’ve ever been to. It is a huge establishment, yet it is completely owned and operated locally. The owner, Jamie, was very kind in hosting us. He has done a great job with the business and the atmosphere is outstanding. We sat outside under the large Tiki Hut – which is actually the largest tiki hut structure on the East Coast. Their menu is full of classic bar favorites – but with a unique twist. For example, read about the southwest chicken egg rolls below. Also, you should order a rum bucket and thank me later! 🙂

PS: please excuse the color distortion on the photos -this is due to it being dark with neon lights in the background.

Our Menu:

    Our take on a classic bang bang shrimp—succulent Calabash shrimp dressed with
    both scratch Buffalo sauce and chipotle aioli and finished with tuxedo sesame seeds
    Spicy aioli, charred chipotle salsa
  • LOBSTER MAC*****
    Bubbly cheesy, decadent cauldron of lobster and pasta shells will change your world!
    Served with garlic bread.
    Adobe BBQ spare ribs, crispy potato wedges and fried super sweet corn.
  • DANNY JOE’S  PO’BOY*****
    Calabash style shrimp,  fresh greens, creamy coleslaw,
    firecracker sauce, tuxedo sesame seeds on a toasted hoagie

**Stars indicate my personal favorites on a scale from 1-5**

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Havana’s has been one of my favorite Carolina Beach Restaurants for years now. It has a much more upscale vibe, as compared to other restaurants in the area. However, Havana’s has not lost its small-town charm. The food is delicious, my favorites are the firecracker shrimp and the scallops! There are several different seating options for guests to choose from – I always enjoy dining outside. Our entire experience was fabulous and it is quite easy to see why Havana’s is one of the best restaurants in Carolina Beach.

Our Menu:

  • Crispy Calamarilightly fried and served with a side of Thai Chili sauce*****
  • Volcano Shrimplightly fried and tossed in our Thai Chili sauce*****
  • Mediterranean PastaElissa’s signature pasta tossed in sun-dried tomato & kalamata olive coral sauce. Served with shrimp or chicken****
  • Scallops Casino – six Diver Sea Scallops topped with applewood bacon butter. served over rice pilaf & steamed asparagus *****
  • Pleasure Island Filetgrilled beef tenderloin topped with our herb steak butter. served with smashed Yukon potatoes and sauteed green beans*****

**Stars indicate my personal favorites on a scale from 1-5**

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Uncle Vinny’s Ristorante

Uncle Vinny’s Ristorante was a new find for me – but that didn’t make it any less delicious. Italian food is my absolute favorite style of food, and everything about Uncle Vinny’s was extremely authentic. It is a small, locally-owned restaurant – which in my opinion makes for the best kind of Italian dining. My favorite dish was the Penne Santa Lucia, which you can read about below.

Our Menu:

  • Fried Calamari – sliced squid tubes lightly floured and flashed fried served with a side of marinara sauce *****
  • Penne Santa Lucia – Italian sausage, roasted red peppers and onions simmered in a marinara sauce served with penne pasta *****
  • Chicken Parmigiana – fried breaded medallions topped with our homemade tomato sauce and mozzarella oven-baked and served with a side of fettuccine alfredo ****
  • Jalapeno Pizza ****
  • Traditional Tiramisu *****
  • Lemon Cake ***

**Stars indicate my personal favorites on a scale from 1-5**

The Best Restaurants in Carolina Beach


Every restaurant that is featured in the blog is truly outstanding and I highly recommend each one. If you have any questions about Carolina Beach, including where to stay or questions about these restaurants – please let me know! I’d love to chat more with you about it. Follow along on Instagram or Facebook to keep up with my future travels and adventures. Thanks so much for supporting my journey so far – I couldn’t do this without you.

Thanks to The Lazy Pirate, Havana’s, and Uncle Vinny’s for hosting me during my time in Carolina Beach. All reviews and opinions are honestly and organically my own. 

Until next time,

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2 thoughts on “The Best Restaurants in Carolina Beach

  1. When you come back to Carolina Beach, be sure to check out Hoplite, Soul Flavor, Michael’s, The Spot, The Dive, Hang Ten, Fork and Cork, Pop’s Diner, Salt Fish, The Deck House, Lake Park Steak House, Shuck-n-Shack, and Olde Salty’s. If you only visited the three mentioned, you missed so much great food!

    1. Oh I totally believe you! I am sure that there are tons of amazing places. However, I only had 3 days in the area. I love the idea of adding more restaurants to this post when I return!

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