5 Must-Try Seafood Dishes in Kill Devil Hills and Kitty Hawk, Outer Banks

You don’t take a vacation to Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, or anywhere else in the Outer Banks without wanting to eat some delicious seafood—I mean it’s just one of the essentials on a beach vacation. On my recent visit to the Outer Banks I scouted out some of the best seafood dishes in Kill Devil Hills and Kitty Hawk. Most of these restaurants offer plenty of seafood dishes for your Outer Banks beach vacation, but these are the dishes that stood out to me.

Beer Can Shrimp from Kill Devil Grill ($21)

A heaping pound of beer can shrimp from Kill Devil Grill are some of the best steamed shrimp you'll find in the Outer Banks
A pound of Beer Can Shrimp from Kill Devil Grill in Kill Devil Hills, Outer Banks, NC

For some reason, a stop at Kill Devil Grill has become my traditional first stop on an Outer Banks vacation. The signage and shape of the restaurant has a fun, ‘50s diner feel, but the menu is packed with fresh seafood.

The Kill Devil Grill in the Outer Banks, North Carolina, has a fun retro vibe.
Look for the retro sign for Kill Devil Grill

My go-to is a pound of Beer Can Shrimp. A plump pound of shrimp arrive steaming hot, plated with the end of the can of PBR they were cooked in combined with a helping heaping of Old Bay. This dish is a classic done just right. Add a split of Zonin Prosecco and your trip is off to the perfect start.

Pair beer can shrimp with a Zonin Prosecco split for a perfect start to your Outer Banks beach vacation
How Marco Style does Beer Can Shrimp

If you go for a full meal, make sure to check out the specials boards hanging throughout the restaurant for the freshest catch in Kill Devil Hills.

Kill Devil Grill is a Marco Style Outer Banks dining pick


Blackened Sea Scallops from Mako Mike’s ($12)

If you head to the Outer Banks, make sure you try the Blackened Scallops at Mako Mike's in Kill Devil Hills, NC
Blackened Sea Scallops from Mako Mike’s in Kill Devil Hills, NC, are totally unique and full of flavor

Mako Mike’s has a large menu with traditional seafood dishes, wood-fired pizza, pasta, and even prime rib, but one of the restaurant’s newest appetizers is like nothing I’ve tried before. Perfectly cooked, blackened sea scallops perch atop creamy, yellow stone-ground grits and rich, smoky red pepper relish. At the top of the plate a bright green onion puree freshens and brightens, creating a distinctive flavor combination that’s a spicier, fresher, more creative spin on the shrimp and grits vibe.


Jalapeno Crab Balls at Goombays Grill & Raw Bar ($13)

Jalapeno crab balls are a must-try crab appetizer in the Outer Banks, North Carolina
Jalapeno crab balls from Goombays are a perfectly crabby appetizer with a kick

Mostly crab with the right amount of filler to bind, these tasty bites are studded with bits of chopped jalapenos to provide an extra satisfying kick. They are fried to crispy and hot, but not at all greasy. Dip them in the accompanying zesty cocktail sauce and you’ve got an ideal Outer Banks appetizer.


Wanchese Fishermans’ Risotto at The Black Pelican ($24)

The Black Pelican's Wanchese Fishermans' Risotto is one of the most seafood-packed, creative dishes in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
Wanchese Fishermans’ Risotto from The Black Pelican is stuffed with seafood

If you never think a dish has enough seafood, this one is for you. Creamy roasted garlic risotto arrives steaming hot and overflowing with scallops, shrimp and jumbo lump crab meat, not to mention bacon, sweet corn, tomatoes, and spinach to dial up the flavor. The whole concoction is topped with a crispy sweet potato nest, adding an extra layer of texture to an already creative dish.


Crabmeat ‘N Butter at Awful Arthur’s Oyster Bar ($16)

Anyone looking for a delicious Outer Banks Seafood Dish needs the Crabmeat 'N Butter at Awful Arthur's in Kill Devil Hills
For every seafood purist, Crabmeat ‘N Butter from Awful Arthur’s Oyster Bar is pure heaven

There are a million ways you can get fancy with crab meat, but if you are a true seafood lover, this is the best way to enjoy it. A tiny crock of warm, fresh crab sprinkled lightly with Old Bay and chopped parsley served with melted butter, more Old Bay and cocktail sauce on the side so you can dress and dip as you please. No cracking or shells, just glorious, succulent crab meat heaven. What else could you ask for? Wash it down with a signature oyster shooter if you’re brave enough.


5 Must-Try Seafood Dishes in Kill Devil Hills and Kitty Hawk, Outer Banks, North Carolina


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