Published by Christina Riley. Last Updated on October 29, 2023.
The historic town of New Bern is packed with a treasure trove of great food spots. After eating our way throughout the birthplace of Pepsi, North Carolina, we want to share the best New Bern restaurants for any and all meals that you’re seeking.
Whether you are searching for yummy Southern comfort food, fresh seafood, and other local favorites, we guarantee you won’t leave New Bern hungry! Well, if you do, maybe you’re doing something wrong.
From historic taverns to beautiful waterfront views, our guide covers the best restaurants from breakfast through dinner, with some great lunch spots in between. Just thinking about them is making us hungry, so let’s hurry up and get started.
Whether you’re a new resident, a frequent visitor, or a local, we’re leaving no detail behind. If you live in the New Bern area and are wondering, “What are the best things to do near me?” we think this NC travel guide will help you out!
New Bern Restaurants
These restaurants in New Bern NC have been listed in alphabetical order and do not showcase any rankings. Also, our stomachs are only so big so if there’s a place we missed, please feel free to KINDLY let us know and we’ll take a closer look!
- Baker’s Kitchen
- Captain Ratty’s Seafood
- The Chelsea
- The Country Biscuit
- Cow Cafe
- Cypress Hall
- El Taco Loco
- MJ’s Raw Bar and Grille
- Morgan’s Tavern & Grill
- Persimmons Waterfront Restaurant
- Poppy’s Bites and Barrels
- Savage’s Pizza
- Spunky McDoogle’s
227 Middle St
When we think about a memorable breakfast in North Carolina, we always have Baker’s Kitchen near the top of our list! Classic American breakfast is served all day alongside their fresh and scrumptious bakery options.
While you’re eating, make sure you add butter syrup to…. Everything! Also, don’t forget to order a dutch potato.
If you don’t waddle out of Baker’s Kitchen then you’re doing it wrong!
Captain Ratty’s Seafood
202 Middle St
Another great food spot in the middle of historic downtown New Bern is Captain Ratty’s Seafood. Here, you’ll find a warm and welcoming tavern vibe with beautiful rooftop dining.
Serving up fresh seafood and delicious steaks since 1999, we think Captain Ratty’s will rank high among your favorite restaurants in New Bern, N.C.
335 Middle St
Located in the once-famous spot where Pepsi was created, The Chelsea is now an upscale bistro serving hungry diners fresh seafood, center-cut beef, and delightful entrees.
Dine downstairs in the bistro or enjoy a quiet dinner upstairs overlooking the historic streets of New Bern. From Blackened Mahi to a Candied Bacon Ribeye that is set to impress, the entire menu stands out making it difficult to choose what to order!
Our hot tip though? Save room for dessert! Especially the South African Pudding!
The Country Biscuit
809 Broad St
Are you even in the South if you don’t start your day with a biscuit?
The Country Biscuit is a simple Southern staple breakfast diner with affordable plates and massive biscuits.
Choose from a traditional two eggs and bacon or a coastal flounder and grits! And if you’re trying to grab an early bite, The Country Biscuit opens at 5:00 am!
319 Middle St
With more than forty flavors of homemade ice cream, the Cow Cafe should be on everyone’s list of New Bern restaurants!
The “Cow” theme runs as thick as the ice cream, with 500+ different kinds of cow gifts and black and white spots everywhere you look.
Also serving delicious sandwiches including a Cuban Cow and Grandmoo’s Chicken Salad, the Cow Cafe will bring a smile to any child at heart!
219 Middle St
Cypress Hall will always be our most recommended restaurant in New Bern! With New Bern local Chef Ashley Moser captivating taste buds, the menu at Cypress Hall is inventive, carefully executed, and always a delight.
We highly recommend scoring reservations ahead of time for Cypress Hall because we at NC Tripping certainly aren’t the only ones raving about this foodie hot spot!
Whatever you order will be delicious, but make sure to save room for their iconic strawberry cake.
The recipe is kept secret, and we can see why. Moist, sweet, and a family tradition that you can only taste to believe.
El Taco Loco
2408 MLK Blvd
If you’ve had your fill of Southern or seafood, then we highly recommend El Taco Loco! Loved by locals since 2002, this authentic Mexican restaurant serves up delicious birria tacos, tortes, and crave-worthy tres leches!
Founder Carmen Corona moved to New Bern from Morelia, Mexico, and quickly wanted to share her recipes and love for cooking.
The ingredients are always fresh and we’ve been told they have the biggest burritos in Eastern North Carolina!
MJ’s Raw Bar and Grille
216 Middle St
If you’re looking for superior seafood, MJ’s Raw Bar and Grille is one of the downtown New Bern restaurants that will blow you away!
Unpretentious and always busy, we always recommend an order of their signature crab cakes with delicious Jamaican tartar sauce! Add in a crab pretzel, and you might just need to walk off your meal with a few loops around Union Point Park!
Morgan’s Tavern & Grill
235 Craven St
With exposed beams and a historic site, Morgan’s Tavern is one of our favorite spots for a delicious and easy lunch in New Bern!
The building itself was built in 1912 and was home to the New Bern Garage Company where many Buick and Hudson automobiles and Henderson motorcycles once sat.
While you are being shown to your table, make sure to pause and check out some of the displays across the restaurant. They feature some of the tools and memorabilia from the building’s former life.
But of course, you’ve come to this New Bern restaurant to eat! Morgan’s Tavern has a very large menu and is one of the many New Bern restaurants with outdoor seating. Dine on delicious chicken salad on a fresh croissant, ask about the soup of the day, or enjoy a pasta bowl at dinner!
Persimmons Waterfront Restaurant
100 Pollock St
One of the best New Bern restaurants on the water, Persimmons Waterfront Restaurant sits on the Neuse River and is both among locals’ and visitors’ favorite restaurants in New Bern!
Locally owned since 2010, Persimmons is known for its high-quality menu items in a casual outdoor atmosphere.
Dine on southern comforts like tomato pie made with local hoop cheese, blackened salmon etouffee, and their carvable sweet corn and pimento hushpuppies. Persimmons serves an incredible brunch that comes highly recommended by local foodies!
But the name? When the building was being constructed they had to dredge the marina. One of the things they found was a persimmon tree probably dating back to the nineteenth-century lumber mill that used to occupy that spot.
Today, that same persimmon tree can be seen at their host stand when you first enter the restaurant!
Poppy’s Bites and Barrels
313 Pollock St
This gastropub sits across from the beautiful Christ Episcopal Church, so you’ll have a scenic walk after your meal.
Speaking of which, you’ll find the best burgers in New Bern at Poppy’s!
You’ll have a large selection of beer and spirits to pair them with. Barrel Flights are extremely popular and we think they complement the thick candied bacon at Poppy’s.
303 Metcalf St
If you are looking for incredible pizza, Savage’s Woodburning Pizza is a must! This NY-style pizzeria burns real oak and hickory in a hot brick oven to make delicious pies.
And if you are looking for a great lunch special, Savage’s has an excellent selection, all for reasonable prices! Located near Tryon Palace, enjoy quality ingredients and friendly service!
Note: They do not do food delivery at Savage’s Pizza
1908 S Glenburnie Rd
The last of our New Bern restaurants is certainly not the least. Spunky McDoogle’s is the town’s only Irish pub and has been serving tasty pub food with an Irish flare since 1921.
Grab a draft pint, a bottle, or some wine and enjoy what many reviews note as the liveliest spot in New Bern.
Ready to Enjoy these New Bern Restaurants?
We hope you enjoy these New Bern restaurants as much as we have. If you have any favorites from this list (or beyond), we’d love to hear about them.
Feel free to let us know in the comments below or by email. Don’t forget to share your New Bern adventures in our North Carolina Travel Facebook Group!
Beyond New Bern Restaurants (NC Travel Guides)
Beyond our favorite New Bern restaurants, there are plenty of fun things to do in this town. Here are some additional NC travel guides created by us to help you explore the birthplace of Pepsi!