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Exploring the Best Places to Eat in Wilmington, NC

Wilmington, NC is a bustling coastal city known for its vibrant art scene, stunning beaches, and diverse culinary offerings. Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner for two or a casual lunch with friends, there’s something to suit every taste in Wilmington. To help you find the perfect spot for your next meal, we’ve compiled a list of the best places to eat in the city. Read on for our top picks!

1. The Pilot House

If you’re looking for an upscale dining experience, The Pilot House is the perfect spot. Located in the historic district of downtown Wilmington, this restaurant offers an extensive menu of upscale seafood dishes. From oysters Rockefeller and crab cakes to steamed mussels and shrimp and grits, the menu features something for everyone. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, with a cozy fireplace and beautiful views of the Cape Fear River. The Pilot House also has an extensive wine list, perfect for pairing your meal with a glass of your favorite vino.

In addition to its delectable dinner menu, The Pilot House also offers brunch on Sunday. With dishes like banana pancakes and lobster Benedict, it’s the perfect way to start your day. The Pilot House is also available for private events, so if you’re looking for a special venue for a celebration, check them out!

2. Caprice Bistro

Caprice Bistro is a French-inspired restaurant located in Wilmington’s historic downtown district. This restaurant offers an extensive menu of classic French dishes, from mussels and steak tartare to roasted chicken and escargot. For dessert, try the classic crème brûlée or the decadent chocolate mousse. The atmosphere at Caprice Bistro is sophisticated and stylish, perfect for a romantic evening out or a special celebration.

For an extra special experience, try the four-course prix fixe menu. This menu includes a selection of appetizers, entrées, sides, and desserts, all prepared with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. It’s the perfect way to sample some of the best dishes that Caprice Bistro has to offer. The knowledgeable and friendly staff are also more than happy to make recommendations and help you find the perfect meal.

3. The Little Dipper

The Little Dipper is a popular gastropub located in Wilmington’s bustling downtown area. This restaurant is known for its creative and delicious dishes, like the fried pickles with ranch dip and the smoked gouda mac and cheese. Try the house-made veggie burger for a healthy yet satisfying meal, or the pulled pork sandwich for a more indulgent option. The Little Dipper also has an extensive selection of craft beers, perfect for pairing with your meal.

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If you’re looking for a fun night out with friends, The Little Dipper also offers live music, trivia nights, and other events throughout the week. This restaurant is also kid-friendly, so it’s the perfect spot for a family dinner. No matter what you’re in the mood for, The Little Dipper has something for everyone.

4. Manna

Manna is a unique restaurant located in Wilmington’s trendy downtown area. This restaurant specializes in Mediterranean-inspired dishes, like falafel, hummus, and tabbouleh. For a heartier option, try the shawarma platter or the beef kebab. Manna also offers vegetarian and vegan options, like the eggplant sandwich and the veggie platter. The ingredients are always fresh and the portions are generous, making this the perfect spot for a casual lunch or dinner.

If you’re in the mood for a lighter meal, Manna also offers a variety of salads and wraps. The Mediterranean salad is a favorite, with feta cheese, olives, and tomatoes. Wash it all down with a glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice or an icy beer. Manna is also available for catering, so if you’re hosting an event, check them out!

5. The Fortunate Glass

The Fortunate Glass is a cozy wine bar located in Wilmington’s historic downtown area. This restaurant offers an extensive selection of wines from around the world, as well as craft beers and spirits. The knowledgeable and friendly staff are more than happy to help you find the perfect bottle for your meal. In addition to its extensive wine list, The Fortunate Glass also offers a small menu of light snacks, like cheese plates, hummus, and olives.

The atmosphere at The Fortunate Glass is relaxed and inviting. Enjoy your meal while listening to live music or take part in one of their wine tastings. The Fortunate Glass also hosts special events throughout the year, so if you’re looking for a unique night out, check them out!

6. The Dixie Grill

For a casual meal with a southern twist, look no further than The Dixie Grill. This restaurant is known for its classic southern dishes, like fried chicken and mashed potatoes, gumbo, and mac and cheese. The Dixie Grill also offers a variety of sandwiches and burgers, like the classic cheeseburger and the fried oyster po’boy. The portions are generous and the ingredients are always fresh, making this the perfect spot for a casual lunch or dinner.

The atmosphere at The Dixie Grill is laid-back and inviting. Enjoy your meal while listening to some blues or take a seat at the bar for a cold beer. The Dixie Grill is also available for private events, so if you’re looking for a unique venue for a celebration, check them out!

7. The Basics

The Basics is a modern restaurant located in Wilmington’s bustling downtown area. This restaurant offers an extensive menu of classic American dishes, from burgers and sandwiches to salads and pastas. The ingredients are always fresh and the portions are generous, making this the perfect spot for a casual lunch or dinner. The Basics also offers an extensive selection of craft beers and wines, perfect for pairing with your meal.

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The atmosphere at The Basics is relaxed and inviting. Enjoy your meal while listening to some live music or take a seat at the bar for a cold beer. The Basics is also available for private events, so if you’re looking for a unique venue for a celebration, check them out!

8. The Little Pearl

The Little Pearl is a cozy café located in Wilmington’s historic downtown district. This restaurant is known for its delicious coffee and tea, as well as its mouthwatering pastries. Try the classic croissant or the house-made scones for a sweet treat, or the smoked salmon bagel for a savory option. The ingredients are always fresh and the portions are generous, making this the perfect spot for a casual breakfast or lunch.

The atmosphere at The Little Pearl is relaxed and inviting. Enjoy your meal while listening to some live jazz or take a seat at the bar for a cup of coffee. The Little Pearl is also available for private events, so if you’re looking for a unique venue for a celebration, check them out!

9. The Little Shack

The Little Shack is a popular seafood restaurant located in Wilmington’s bustling downtown area. This restaurant is known for its fresh seafood dishes, like the classic shrimp and grits and the seafood platter. The ingredients are always fresh and the portions are generous, making this the perfect spot for a casual lunch or dinner. The Little Shack also offers an extensive selection of craft beers, perfect for pairing with your meal.

The atmosphere at The Little Shack is laid-back and inviting. Enjoy your meal while listening to some live music or take a seat at the bar for a cold beer. The Little Shack is also available for private events, so if you’re looking for a unique venue for a celebration, check them out!

10. The George on the Riverwalk

The George on the Riverwalk is a popular restaurant located along Wilmington’s scenic Riverwalk. This restaurant offers an extensive menu of classic American dishes, from burgers and sandwiches to salads and pastas. The ingredients are always fresh and the portions are generous, making this the perfect spot for a casual lunch or dinner. The George on the Riverwalk also offers an extensive selection of craft beers and wines, perfect for pairing with your meal.

The atmosphere at The George on the Riverwalk is relaxed and inviting. Enjoy your meal while looking out over the Cape Fear River or take a seat at the bar for a cold beer. The George on the Riverwalk is also available for private events, so if you’re looking for a unique venue for a celebration, check them out!

11. Flaming Amy’s Burrito Barn

Flaming Amy’s Burrito Barn is a popular restaurant located in Wilmington’s bustling downtown area. This restaurant is known for its delicious burritos, quesadillas, and tacos. Try the classic burrito or the chicken quesadilla for a hearty meal, or the veggie taco for a lighter option. The portions are generous and the ingredients are always fresh, making this the perfect spot for a casual lunch or dinner.

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The atmosphere at Flaming Amy’s Burrito Barn is laid-back and inviting. Enjoy your meal while listening to some live music or take a seat at the bar for a cold beer. Flaming Amy’s Burrito Barn is also available for private events, so if you’re looking for a unique venue for a celebration, check them out!

12. The Calico Room

The Calico Room is a modern restaurant located in Wilmington’s historic downtown district. This restaurant offers an extensive menu of classic American dishes, from burgers and sandwiches to salads and pastas. The ingredients are always fresh and the portions are generous, making this the perfect spot for a casual lunch or dinner. The Calico Room also offers an extensive selection of craft beers and wines, perfect for pairing with your meal.

The atmosphere at The Calico Room is relaxed and inviting. Enjoy your meal while listening to some live music or take a seat at the bar for a cold beer. The Calico Room is also available for private events, so if you’re looking for a unique venue for a celebration, check them out!

Wilmington, NC is a vibrant and diverse city, with something to suit every taste. From upscale seafood restaurants to cozy cafes, this city has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner for two or a casual lunch with friends, the restaurants on this list are sure to please. Bon appetit!