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20+ Flavorful Restaurants in Jacksonville, NC (+ Onslow County)

Published by Christina Riley. Last Updated on April 10, 2024.

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When exploring 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 several amazing restaurants in Jacksonville and its Onslow County surroundings for all appetites.

Dine on the freshest seafood, devour the best hot dogs, or indulge in various international cuisines. 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!

Read More: Eastern North Carolina (and 100+ Amazing Places to Visit)

List of Restaurants in Jacksonville

To visually plan your trip, these Jacksonville restaurants can be found on our Eastern North Carolina map and our NC Travel Map.

  • American Dream Cakes*
  • Blend Cafe
  • Duck’s Grille & Bar
  • El Cerro Tacos*
  • Filipino Cuisine*
  • 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!

Read More: 100+ Unique Things to Do In North Carolina (Your NC Bucket List)

American Dream Cakes*

Address: 1130 Western Blvd
Website

American Dream Cakes 2

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!

Blend Cafe

Address: 109 Marine Blvd
Website

Blend Cafe

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!

Blend Cafe NC

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
Website

A photo of inside Ducks Grill, one of the restaurants in Jacksonville, 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. 

Read More: 30+ Amazing NC Coastal Towns (+ Things to Do in Each One!)

El Cerro Tacos*

Address: 2222 Gum Branch Road
Website

Jacksonville El Cerro Tacos 1

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!

Read More: 50 of the Best Day Trips from Raleigh (Fun Getaways!)

Filipino Cuisine

Address: 331 Western Blvd C
Facebook

I don’t think I’ve ever had my Instagram DMs blow up quite as fast as when I posted a teaser for Filipino Cuisine. Everyone wanted to know where to score lumpia- and Jacksonville has the market secured.

Filipino Cuisine Jacksonville restaurants

Lumpia is crispy (typically pork and cabbage filled) rolls from the Philippines, an appetizer that I can easily devour 20 in one sitting if I don’t watch it. Beyond lumpia, Filipino Cuisine serves up hot and fresh delicacies from the islands.

Filipino Cuisine Jacksonville restaurants inside
A rare moment without any hungry patrons

Even on a Tuesday morning before lunch, the line was constant for adobo, sinigang, and more. We highly recommend this stop along the Jacksonville International Food Trail!

Jeff’s Burgers, Dog, and Shakes

Address: 2550 Onslow Dr, NC
Website

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
Website

a breakfast platter at one of our favorite restaurants in Jacksonville 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.

Read More: 30+ Amazing NC Coastal Towns (+ Things to Do in Each One!)

Liliana’s Colombian Restaurant & Bakery*

Address: 4075 Gum Branch Rd #5, NC
Website

Lilliannas Colombian

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
Facebook Page

a mediterranean platter of meat, onions, and rice

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! 

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Mi Cabana*

Addresses: 1153 Western Blvd, 521 Yopp Rd, and 135 Glade Ln #1425, NC
Website

Chimichangas at Mi Cabana
Chimichangas at Mi Cabana.

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
Website

a cup of coffee with a biscuit

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.

a takeaway bag from the milk road with a delicious leige waffle

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.

Read More: 50+ Easy Day Trips from Fayetteville (Great Getaways!)

Old Siam*

Address: 1215 N Marine Blvd, NC
Website

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.

Paleteria Deya*

Address: 224 Brynn Marr Rd, NC
Website

mexican ice pops from Peleteria Deya

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!

Pho 7*

Address: 423 Yopp Rd, NC

Pho 7 Jacksonville 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.

Pollos Tete*

222 Brynn Marr Rd, NC
Facebook Page

Pollos Tete Jackonville 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
Facebook

West Indian Kitchen Jacksonville restaurants

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!

When you walk into West Indian Kitchen, Mama Lucie or her husband Bill will be the ones to greet you. They do it all, from pressure-cooking ox tails to hand-stuffing empanadas. Like many of the international restaurants in Jacksonville, West Indian Kitchen has a food truck, too. It has become one of the most popular spots on and off base for foodies, and Mama Lucie’s sweet smile is such part of the reason why.

Mama Lucie West Indian Kitchen

We ordered the ox tails, goat curry, spicy rice, and braised cabbage- and every bite was better than the next! I don’t think I’ve ever had cabbage with so much depth in flavor.

Dine on the best of the islands right here in Jacksonville, NC. 

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
Website

the exterior of Boro Restaurant & Bar

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
Website

a seafood boil with crab, oysters, shrimp, and vegetables in a tin bowl

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 want something fried, they also offer delicious seafood baskets, hot dots, and po’boys!

Read More: 17 of the Best Things to Do in Duplin County (Duplin Winery and Even More!

Saltwater Grill

Address: 99 W Front St, Swansboro, NC
Website

a finely decorated dish of bacon wrapped scallops, asparagus, and crab risotto

Saltwater Grill overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway and offers fresh and delicious seafood, steaks, and other flavors. Enjoy your meal in the 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!

Read More: How to Explore the NC Oyster Trail (10+ Adventurous Ways!)

Swansboro Food and Beverage Company

Address: 106 Front St, Swansboro, NC
Website

a signature sandwich from Swansboro Food & Beverage Company

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.

Read More: 11 of the Best Spring Break Destinations in North Carolina!

Yana’s Ye Old Drugstore

Address: 119 Front St, Swansboro, NC
Facebook Page

a breakfast fritter with strawberries and whipped cream

This is probably our favorite place for breakfast in Jacksonville NC (although the 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!

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The Last Jacksonville NC Restaurant (Mike’s Farm)

1600 Haw Branch Rd, Beulaville, NC
Website

quintessential southern food with biscuits, mac&cheese, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans!

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 where it’s easy to spend hours.

The dinner is served family-style, and there is no shortage of deliciousness. Mike’s Farm’s mac ‘n cheese is famous, and we don’t need to tell you why! Just look at that plate!

Read More: Christmas in North Carolina (14 Holiday Events, Lights, and More!)

Ready to Dig Into these Restaurants in Jacksonville?

Whether you live in Jacksonville, visiting Swansboro, or vacationing on Emerald Isle, there are plenty of delicious and unique restaurants.

We hope you can dig into some fresh seafood, classic Southern food, and a few international flavors while in the area. Of course, we want to know which of the many restaurants in Jacksonville and its Onslow County surroundings are your favorites!

Let us know in the comments section or by email. Also, remember to share your Jacksonville, NC, food adventures in our Facebook Group!

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!

1 thought on “20+ Flavorful Restaurants in Jacksonville, NC (+ Onslow County)”

  1. I have recently relocated to Jacksonville, NC from Duluth, GA. I needed a fresh start. Thank you for this page to inform me and others of the events, and restaurants!

    Reply

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