Breakfast on the Beach: My Favorite Restaurants on the NC Outer Banks

The truth is, my husband doesn't like to take time for breakfast in a restaurant when we head to the North Carolina Outer Banks. "We're here to fish," he always says. But for those times when we don't book a room with a microwave for his frozen Jimmy Dean Sausage biscuits, I have a few favorite breakfast destinations.

The Jolly Roger

The Jolly Roger has a huge breakfast menu, but it's the breakfast beverage that keeps my sisters and me coming back for more. On Sunday mornings, glasses are lined up on the bar waiting for the legal alcohol hour to strike so everyone can partake of that favorite hangover remedy - a perfect Bloody Mary.

The building that houses the Jolly Roger at milepost 6.5 in Kill Devil Hills was built in 1937 as Dean's Place, a gas station and grocery. Some claim the restaurant is haunted with a friendly ghost. The Jolly Roger is the oldest Italian restaurant on the beach. In addition to breakfast, Jolly Roger serves a variety of fresh caught local seafood, steaks, prime rib, and home cooked favorites. Nighttime entertainment includes Alan Ross Karaoke Roadshow seven nights a week.

Sam & Omies Restaurant


Sam & Omies is one of the most historic destinations for breakfast, originally opened by a couple of fishermen as a pre-fishing stop more than 70 years ago. In addition to breakfast, Sam & Omies serves a lunch and dinner menu and has a full bar. The restaurant is conveniently located in Nags Head at milepost 6.5 near Whalebone Junction, close to the beach, shopping and sightseeing.

Henry's Family Restaurant

Some of our local friends introduced us to Henry's several years ago. Henry's is a local favorite with three generations of family active in the business. The breakfast menu features omelet specials every day, and lunch and dinner specials feature local seafood, prime rib, chicken and pasta. Henry's is located on the bypass at milepost 5.5 in Kill Devil Hills, which is convenient for us on the way to Avalon Pier.

Bob's Grill

At Bob's Grill, the theme is "Eat and get the Hell out!" The odd marketing slogan is too funny not to witness in person. I'm told Bob actually yells it out now and then, though I can't say I've personally heard him. Bob's serves a limited breakfast menu all day, and the owner Bob McCoy is said to cook much of the food himself. You can find Bob's at milepost 9 on the Beach Road in Kill Devil Hills.

The Dunes Restaurant

The Dunes was dubbed "The Best Breakfast Bargain around" by Southern Living Magazine in 1994. In addition to a breakfast buffet, the restaurant boasts an all-you-can-eat seafood feast and salad bar. Located at milepost 16.5 in Nags Head, The Dunes is one of my sister, Julia's favorites.

Nags Head Fishing Pier

That's right, Nags Head Fishing Pier. It's hard for me to resist combining fishing and breakfast, since I can eat while my husband gets an early start. Nags Head Fishing Pier offers breakfast with a view. Watch the sunrise before you hit the planks, and you can bring your catch back to the pier restaurant later for lunch or dinner where they will clean and cook it for you. If your luck isn't with you, they also offer a "Carolina Style Cooking" menu. The restaurant is located in the pierhouse at milepost 12 in Nags Head.

Your Favorite Breakfast Spot?

Is one of my faves yours, too? Then let us know! Or select "Other" and tell us about it in the Comments section.

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Comments 9 comments

Deborah 8 years ago

Jolly Rogers is definitely my favorite. The Bloody Maries got me hooked but the seafood omlet keeps me coming back. They also make homemade bread everyday in any flavor you can think of.

In case you couldn't tell Jolly Rogers is my favorite!

02SmithA profile image

02SmithA 8 years ago from Ohio

I have been to Nagshead once, but haven't gone to any of these places. Sounds like Jolly Rogers and the Nagshead Fishing Pier need to be stops on my list next time!

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Karen LaVelle 8 years ago from Texas

Unfortunately, I have never been to NC. It's a wonderful article, though, and maybe someday, I will get to visit there and now, I have a list of recommended restaurants! You keep making me so hungry with these food articles and comments...I might even gain some weight! =o)

Luna di Blu profile image

Luna di Blu 7 years ago

Great article! It combines two of my favorite things - NC beaches and food! :) When we visited OBX a few years back we stopped for breakfast at a cute little place whose name escapes me. Inside everything was brightly painted (lots of blues) and there were sayings and quotes written all over the walls and ceilings. Does this ring a bell with you? I was thinking maybe it was Henry's as I remember that it was family-run place.

Can't wait to go back and try your suggestions!!

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dineane 7 years ago from North Carolina Author

I wouldn't call Henry's "brightly painted," but there are lots of blues :-) I'll have to think about it, and chat with my sisters - maybe we can figure out which it is - thanks for the comment!

Italian Foodie 7 years ago

Italian food is my absolute favorite, and I have tried almost every restaurant of its kind in Raleigh, NC. Also, I have been to the Urban Food Group restaurants (Vivace, Frazier's, etc.) several times, and the food is simply delicious. I just found out they have opened Vivace ( in Midtown, Charlotte, which is going to be a huge hit for the locals there!

David 6 years ago

Even I am an Italian food fanatic....Recently, I visited Vivace Italian Restaurant & must say it is the perfect place to enjoy great meal.

SeasideVacations 5 years ago

Great post. Thanks for sharing those tips.

Great choices for breakfast. They are all great, but my vote goes to the Nags Head Pier because you get to watch the waves crashing as you grub down.

Please let us know if we can help you plan your next trip to the Outer Banks.

Seaside Vacations

4820 N. Croatan Hwy

Kitty Hawk, NC 27949

(866) 884-0267

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Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

I love the Outer Banks and enjoy eating at the Nags Head Fishing Pier because it has an awesome view of the ocean.

Have eaten dinner at the Jolly Roger but didn't realize it served breakfast. Thanks for sharing this information.

Voted up, useful and interesting.

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