Published by Christina Riley. Last Updated on November 21, 2023.
When working your way through all the fun things to do in Jacksonville, Onslow County’s largest city, you’re going to get hungry, and we’re here for you. Whether you’re stationed at Camp Lejeune, a local, or simply visiting, we’ve uncovered quite a few amazing restaurants in Jacksonville and its Onslow County surroundings for all appetites.
Dine out on the freshest seafood, devour the best hot dogs, or indulge in a wide variety of international cuisines. We guarantee that these Jacksonville NC restaurants will keep your palate on its toes.
Because Onslow County is fairly spread out, we’ve organized this guide into the following sections:
- Best Restaurants in Jacksonville NC
- Restaurants in Jacksonville’s Surroundings (Swansboro and One Bonus in Beulaville)
Whether you’re a new resident, a frequent visitor, or a local, we’re leaving no detail behind. If you live in the Jacksonville area and are wondering, “What are the best places to eat near me?” we think this NC travel guide will help you out!
List of Restaurants in Jacksonville
- American Dream Cakes*
- Blend Cafe
- Duck’s Grille & Bar
- El Cerro Tacos*
- Jeff’s Burgers, Dog, and Shakes
- The Kettle Diner
- Liliana’s Colombian Restaurant & Bakery*
- Marrakesh Mediterranean Cuisine*
- Mi Cabana*
- The Milk Road*
- Old Siam*
- Paleteria Deya*
- Pho 7*
- Pollos Tete*
- West Indian Kitchen*
- YoBre’z Frozen Dessert Bar
*Denotes a Jacksonville restaurant on the Visit Jacksonville NC International Food Trail
Note: Our food guides are always growing, so if you don’t see your favorite restaurants in Jacksonville and elsewhere in Onslow County on this list, let us know, and we will get our stretchy pants out for our next trip to the area!
American Dream Cakes*
Address: 1130 Western Blvd
If you are looking for a custom cake or a decadent dessert in Jacksonville, American Dream Cakes is the place to go! Offering 10-15 different flavors of gourmet cupcakes, American Dream Cakes is Onslow County’s longest-operating family-owned bakery. You’ll walk in wanting one of everything!
Address: 109 Marine Blvd
Breakfast, coffee, and fresh pressed juice are just some of the things we love about Blend Cafe. Sitting along the New River, this Jacksonville restaurant has an excellent outdoor patio. Not only is the food delicious, but the decor inside is just absolutely fantastic!
My coffee came with an inspirational message handwritten on the cup and I was so pleased with my lemon berry toast! Blend Cafe definitely feels like a family-owned and loved place.
Duck’s Grille & Bar
Address: 1207 Gum Branch Rd, NC
Duck’s Grille & Bar is a lively restaurant, so much more than just great food! Join them for their monthly events, such as a DJ Dance Party, live music, and even Dueling Pianos!
Enjoy a variety of sandwiches, burgers, pasta, and seafood at this Jacksonville restaurant.
El Cerro Tacos*
Address: 2222 Gum Branch Road
You’ll find some of the best birria tacos at El Cerro Tacos in Jacksonville! Inside, you’ll find beautiful decor with murals sprawling floor to ceiling and cute neon lights. But it’s what comes out of the kitchen that is most important! The menu is expansive, with everything from traditional Mexican dishes to simple yet flavorful tacos.
Order the bacon explosion for an appetizer for a fun treat! The bacon-wrapped jalapenos are served with a side of chorizo queso and have the right amount of heat to leave you wanting more! This might be one of our favorite Jacksonville restaurants along the International Food Trail!
Jeff’s Burgers, Dog, and Shakes
Address: 2550 Onslow Dr, NC
Hand-cut fries that are made fast and fresh to order? Sign us up!
Jeff’s Burgers, Dogs, and Shakes is a legendary restaurant in Jacksonville, namely for its burgers and milkshakes!
With affordable prices, this is one of the best fast-casual places to eat in Jacksonville NC, and all of the dishes are made with quality ingredients.
The Kettle Diner
Address: 300 Marine Blvd, NC
If you want high-quality diner food, look no further than The Kettle Diner. Serving up casual and tasty dishes since 2001, The Kettle Diner is one of our absolute favorite breakfast restaurants in North Carolina!
Serving breakfast all day is just one of their specialties; try their ever-changing daily specials paired with friendly service.
Liliana’s Colombian Restaurant & Bakery*
Address: 4075 Gum Branch Rd #5, NC
Liliana’s is one of our favorite Jacksonville restaurants for the flavors but also for the range of meals they offer. Whether you’re starting your day with a Colombian breakfast or searching for a tasty dinner, this is the place to eat.
Just don’t forget to take home a dozen merengue (delicious cookies) and other baked goods.
Also, Visit Jacksonville has included Liliana’s and a few more restaurants in Jacksonville in this guide as part of their International Food Trail. Which other food spots in the area do you think are on the trail?
Marrakesh Mediterranean Cuisine*
Address: 409 Western Blvd, NC
The pictures truly don’t do the food at this restaurant justice, as the flavors at Marrakesh are just incredible. The decor at this Mediterranean restaurant is bright and beautiful, with dishes that are equally stunning.
Don’t skip the appetizers, and make sure to order the kabobs!
Addresses: 1153 Western Blvd, 521 Yopp Rd, and 135 Glade Ln #1425, NC
Mi Cabana’s three locations are ready to serve some of the best Mexican food in NC. Start with a hand-crafted drink from the bar to complement your tacos, burritos, or chile rellenos.
As on of the top Mexican restaurants in Jacksonville, NC, they offer many classic Mexican dishes, including chimichangas taquitos. They also prepare familiar dessert favorites like churros and flan.
The Milk Road*
Address: 4240 Gum Branch Rd, NC
Veteran-owned, The Milk Road strives to bring together the Jacksonville community over warm mugs. They small-batch roast their beans to serve specialty roasted coffee paired with their signature liege waffles.
These doughy brioche waffles are made with imported pearl sugars and cooked to caramelize on a cast iron. They are best served with a hand-poured coffee or Shakerato.
Address: 1215 N Marine Blvd, NC
Largely thanks to the area’s military population, there is no shortage of international cuisine to try. In our opinion, Old Siam is one of the best international restaurants in Jacksonville.
With a beautiful and classy interior styled after Thailand, Old Siam has a vast menu at affordable prices. We ordered their tofu Panang curry, which Christina cannot stop praising!
The tofu was perfectly crispy and bursting with flavor, and we can’t wait to try more dishes from their menu.
Address: 224 Brynn Marr Rd, NC
Mexican ice pops (paletas) are perfect on hot days in Jacksonville, or really any day, to be honest. Step inside Paleteria Deya next to Pollos Tete (see below) and try not to take too long to decide on what you want.
Beyond delicious paletas, Paleteria Deya makes milkshakes, fresas con crema, banana splits, and more!
Address: 423 Yopp Rd, NC
Great Vietnamese food is always welcome in our lives, and Pho 7 is here to deliver. Grab some pho (soup) and/or bun (noodles), but try to save some room for a fresh summer roll or fried spring roll.
Of course, you’ll have a hard time getting out of your seat after eating a heaping bowl of noodles or rice. That’s why Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk is always our go-to after meals.
222 Brynn Marr Rd, NC
Pollos Tete is one of the more unassuming restaurants in Jacksonville, but this veteran-owned stop will blow you away with strong and diverse flavors. Peruvian chicken is possibly the most delicious smoked variety, and you’ll want to order a half-sized bird so you have some to take home.
Their “standard” sides include hand-cut and fried yuccas. Of course, a premium add-on of some fried plantains (maduros) is in order here.
West Indian Kitchen*
Address: 93 Western Boulevard F
Get some of the finest and delicious Caribbean cuisine from West Indian Kitchen. Serving melt-in-your-mouth jerk chicken, savory curries, and authentic sides- this Jacksonville restaurant is not to be missed! Serving both lunch and dinner, dine on some of the best of the islands right here in Jacksonville, NC.
YoBre’z Frozen Dessert Bar
Address: 715 Gum Branch Rd, NC
If you are near the coast, you need some ice cream from YoBre’z Frozen Dessert Bar! Featuring more than 160 ice cream flavors (including sugar-free and dairy-free), YoBre’z is sure to have something for the whole family.
From their super fun milkshakes to homemade waffles for ice cream tacos, we guarantee a sweet time!
List of Restaurants in Jacksonville’s Surroundings (Swansboro and Elsewhere)
Onslow County is pretty large, but most of our favorite restaurants in Jacksonville’s surroundings sit in the nearby town of Swansboro. There are plenty of delicious places to eat that make for a great night out away from Jacksonville.
- The BORO Restaurant
- Church Street Deli
- The Low Country Kitchen Boil
- Saltwater Grill
- Swansboro Food and Beverage Company
- Yana’s Ye Old Drugstore
- Bonus (Mike’s Farm)
The BORO Restaurant
Address: 109 Front St, Swansboro, NC
The BORO is one of the most popular restaurants near Jacksonville! Overlooking the water, The BORO has food as appealing as the location.
Live music performs outside on the stage every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Grab a sandwich for lunch or a seafood basket for dinner, and get a taste of local life.
The Low Country Kitchen Boil
Address: 101 Moore St, Swansboro, NC
When on the water, you MUST get a Low Country Boil. Coastal Carolina Style from The Low Country Kitchen Boil comes with corn on the cob, Italian sausage, and the freshest seafood you’ll ever taste.
If you are looking for something fried, they also offer delicious seafood baskets, hot dots, and po’boys!
Address: 99 W Front St, Swansboro, NC
Saltwater Grill overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway and offers fresh and delicious seafood, steaks, and flavors. Enjoy your meal in their spacious dining area or get a bird’s eye view from the second-story deck overlooking the docks.
Make sure to order their specialty, Angels on Horseback: tiger shrimp and scallops wrapped in bacon topped with crab in a lobster cream sauce. If you’re lucky, they may have live music on the outside patio to add to the ambiance!
Swansboro Food and Beverage Company
Address: 106 Front St, Swansboro, NC
Classically Southern but with a seafood twist! Swansboro Food & Beverage Company is located in the historic Capt. Charlie’s building, where generations of seafood lovers have dined and devoured coastal Carolina classics.
Enjoy fantastic food in a friendly environment that makes you feel like you’re eating with the family. Attached to the restaurant is a market where you can pick up some pimento cheese and crackers before embarking on a river cruise.
Yana’s Ye Old Drugstore
Address: 119 Front St, Swansboro, NC
This is probably our favorite place for breakfast in Jacksonville NC (although he restaurant is technically in Swansboro). It has a ’50s vibe with classic American cuisine. While at Yana’s Ye Old Drugstore, enjoy a traditional breakfast or a grilled burger next to Elvis.
If you only order one thing, make sure it’s a fritter. Pictured above is their strawberry fruit fritter, and words cannot describe how delicious it was–you need to taste it for yourself!
The Last Jacksonville NC Restaurant (Mike’s Farm)
1600 Haw Branch Rd, Beulaville, NC
We’ve saved the last of our restaurants in Jacksonville’s surroundings for one of the most unique dining experiences in North Carolina. Before you ask yourself, yes, you need to head out to Mike’s Farm at least once!
Whether you’re stopping by for one of their famous chocolate layer cakes from the bakery or joining them for dinner, Mike’s Farm is a place where it’s easy to spend hours.
The dinner is served family-style, and there is no shortage of deliciousness. The mac ‘n cheese at Mike’s Farm is famous, and we don’t need to tell you why! Just look at that plate!
Ready to Dig Into these Restaurants in Jacksonville?
Whether you live in Jacksonville, are visiting Swansboro, or vacationing at Emerald Isle, there are plenty of delicious and unique restaurants.
We hope you can at least dig into some fresh seafood, classic Southern food, and a few international flavors while you’re in the area. Of course, we want to know which of the many restaurants in Jacksonville and its Onslow County surroundings are your favorites!
Beyond Jacksonville Restaurants (NC Travel Guides)
We’ve created many more NC travel guides beyond these fantastic restaurants in Jacksonville and nearby! Here are a few of them!