Published by Carl Hedinger. Last Updated on April 25, 2023.
There’s no need to go hungry at the beach when you’ve got these Topsail Island restaurants waiting. From Surf City up to North Topsail Beach, over to Sneads Ferry, and down to Topsail Beach, these places perfectly pair with one of North Carolina‘s most beloved beach vacation spots.
It’s not all seafood, as Topsail boasts an impressive variety of restaurants and dining options! Because we’re frequent visitors to this part of Eastern North Carolina, we’ve come up with our own list of the best restaurants on Topsail Island.
Each spot will keep everyone in your group happy and certainly not hungry!
Along with great food, we’ll also try to include as much backstory as we can find about each restaurant. Also, don’t forget to read up on all of our choices because there’s even a bonus pick from the Pender County and Onslow County sides of the mainland, too!
Read More: Famous Foods from North Carolina
Map of Topsail Island NC Restaurants
List of Topsail Island Restaurants
- Surf City Restaurants
- Coastal Wing and Spirits
- Daddy Mac’s Beach Grille
- The Daily Grind
- Island Delights*
- Max’s Pizza
- New York Corner Deli
- Sears Landing
- Shaka Taco
- SurfDog Bites and Brews
- Topsail Steamer
- North Topsail Beach
- Beach Bum’s Pizza, Bar, and Grill
- Seaview Restaurant*
- Splash by the Sea
- Topsail Beach
- Breezeway Restaurant*
- The Beach Shop & Grill
- Sneads Ferry Restaurants
- Riverview Cafe
- Salty Sistas
- Special Mention: MeMa’s Chick’n and Ribs
*Denotes a seasonal restaurant.
Surf City Restaurants on Topsail Island
We start this guide to restaurants in Topsail NC with the island’s biggest town, Surf City!
Coastal Wing and Spirits
108 Triton Lane, Surf City, NC
Fresh, local, and oh-so-delicious are what you’ll find at Coastal Wing and Spirits, located on the mainland side of Surf City. It’s in the same spot as Salty Turtle Beer Company—winner of 2021’s Best NC Brewery!
These two pair excellently for a meal out. And while Coastal’s wings are outstanding, we double-dog dare you to order Crispy Smoked Pork Belly or one of the raved-about Angus Burgers!
But also get a dozen smoked wings because they are also insanely delicious! From flavors ranging from Alabama White Sauce to Carolina Reaper, there’s a wing sauce for everyone!
Daddy Mac’s Beach Grille
108 N Shore Dr, Surf City, NC
Daddy Mac’s Beach Grille features some of the island’s best beachside views and is at the top of the list for the best Topsail Island seafood restaurants. Their specialties include fresh local seafood du jour and crab cakes, which can be cooked to your preference.
They’re open year-round for lunch and dinner, except for Sunday dinners and all-day Monday. Due to their popularity, there’s often a bit of a wait during peak hours.
However, you can order one of their signature cocktails while waiting.
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The Daily Grind
114 N Topsail Dr, Surf City, NC
A stop at The Daily Grind is a must for those early mornings! Pair one of their various coffees or lattes with a homemade doughnut or bagel for a morning pick-me-up!
If you have time after lunch or dinner and want to stop by, they also serve delicious ice cream.
Evenings at the Daily Grind are also a memorable experience, as they usually have live music playing. End the day by relaxing on the spacious outdoor patio with some wine from their wine bar while listening to music.
316 N New River Dr, Surf City, NC
Island Delights is a truly delightful 50s-inspired diner and ice cream shop in Surf City.
While they serve burgers and fries, they’re most popular for the ice cream bar, which features 22 flavors of ice cream, banana splits, sundaes, milkshakes, and more!
Island Delights is rooted in local traditions and is dedicated to keeping the community safe and happy. Check their Facebook Page for updates on operating hours and any changes to the menu.
Island Delights closes for the winter season but opens again in the spring.
602 Roland Ave, Surf City, NC
Max’s Pizza is a beach vacation tradition! Many families love this Topsail restaurant for its homemade dough and a special blend of cheeses. They also offer gluten-free pizzas!
Beyond pizza, Max’s also has awesome pasta options at affordable prices.
New York Corner Deli
206 N Topsail Dr, Surf City, NC
There’s nothing quite like a good deli sandwich on the beach, and one of the best Topsail Island restaurants for that is New York Corner Deli. Serving breakfast and lunch, the sandwiches are packed full of meat and soups are made in house.
Feeling something sweet? Add a slice of NY Cheesecake, cannoli, or even Italian gelato!
806 Roland Ave, Surf City, NC
Sears Landing offers an authentic sea dining experience. It is the only Topsail restaurant with its own port for boats to dock.
Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Sears Landing uses only the freshest ingredients for its Southern cuisine-led menu!
107 B N Shore Dr, Surf City, NC
The first Surf City restaurant I go to when I cross the bridge is Shaka Taco! Known for its fresh ingredients, great beer selection, and also eats, Shaka Taco is a favorite of both locals and visitors to Topsail Island.
Customers can order from a window and enjoy their meal on the attached patio. The menu has tacos, wings, quesadillas, and bowls. We’ve had every combination and everything is a hit!
Our personal favorite is the shrimp tacos; don’t leave without trying one (or three!).
SurfDog Bites and Brews
204 N New River Dr. A, Surf City, NC
We at NC Tripping take our hot dogs very seriously. And SurfDog Bites and Brews is our go-to when we are in Surf City!
Beyond hot dogs, the menu includes salads, sandwiches, bowls, widely praised hot dogs, and more. There’s also a section on the menu where you can choose fried chicken or a burger to be dressed in a way that’s named after an area town.
302 S Topsail Dr, Surf City, NC
While Topsail Steamer isn’t your classic Topsail restaurant, we still want to mention it as a fantastic way to eat well while at the beach. The take-home steam pots are perfect for a group, and it’s very easy to put together.
The process is simple: pick one of their 7 Bay Buckets–just varying mixtures of seafood, meat, and veggies– or make your own Bucket.
You order online, take your steamed pot home, follow the easy instructions to prepare the pot, and enjoy!
Topsail Island Restaurants in North Topsail Beach
Before we swing down to Topsail Beach, we want to focus on some great north Topsail restaurants.
*Denotes a seasonal restaurant.
Beach Bum’s Pizza, Bar, and Grill
4021 Island Dr. North Topsail Beach, NC
Beach Bum’s Pizza, Bar and Grill combine tasty pizza and cheese bread with yummy seafood and appetizers.
To keep things fresh, Beach Bum’s also offers daily drink and food specials to accompany live entertainment. You can enjoy this inside Beach Bum’s or grab some take-out.
Either way, this will quickly become one of your go-to Topsail Island restaurants.
124 Fishing Pier Ln, North Topsail Beach, NC
Sometimes the places that share space with a fishing pier, tackle shop, and motel win our hearts. Thanks to tasty seafood, hush puppies, and other reliable yummy sides, Seaview Restaurant is that.
The breakfast here is another huge draw. Dig into some pancakes and/or an omelet, and you’ll see why.
Choose one or the other because you know you’re returning for more.
Check Seaview Restaurant’s Facebook Page for hours. They take a winter break but typically open back up in late winter or early spring.
Splash by the Sea
790 New River Inlet Road North Topsail Beach, NC
Splash by the Sea is one of the most in-demand restaurants on Topsail Island.
On regular nights, you can order shareable plates, a Splash 4 x 4 Pizza (4 meats and 4 cheeses), Shrimp n’ Grits, or other delicious mainstays.
Keep up with this oceanfront restaurant’s Facebook Page for special menus, typically featured around holidays.
Splash by the Sea doesn’t take reservations, so it is highly recommended to arrive early, especially on busy weekends.
Topsail Island Restaurants in Topsail Beach
We close out this guide (before our bonus pick) with Topsail Island restaurants in Topsail Beach.
*Denotes a seasonal restaurant.
634 Channel Blvd, Topsail Beach, NC
The Breezeway is a waterfront restaurant with stunning views of the ocean and Topsail Sound.
This restaurant is famous for its fried seafood and hush puppies, but its expansive menu also includes soups, salads, and meat dishes.
They do close for the winter season, but if you’re visiting in the spring, summer, or fall, don’t miss a meal at this Topsail restaurant!
The first Breezeway Inn and Café opened in 1949 and mainly served military personnel from nearby Camp Davis. As Topsail Island itself began to grow, so did the Breezeway.
In 1972, the current Breezeway Restaurant and Motel replaced the original, but their ambiance and food have stayed the same.
The Beach Shop & Grill
701 S Anderson Blvd, Topsail Beach, NC
The Beach Shop & Grill is a higher-end bistro that prides itself on using only local and fresh ingredients.
The restaurant opened as Warren’s Soda Shop in 1952 and became the current Beach Shop in the 1970s. The Beach Shop & Grill is a hotspot for locals and visitors alike.
Their menu includes lunch options such as fried chicken sandwiches, fish tacos, and poke bowls and dinner options like salads, crab cakes, and tuna.
BSG’s impressive cocktail selection is available all day.
Sneads Ferry Restaurants
Sneads Ferry is easy to access from North Topsail and has some awesome restaurants to dig into!
119 Hall Point Rd, Sneads Ferry, NC
This is a Topsail restaurant that is going to get me in a lot of trouble with the locals…. But I promise it isn’t as big of a secret as you think!
Riverview Cafe is located on the mainland overlooking the river.
Serving what I might say was the best seafood in North Carolina, the menu is expansive and everything is cooked to order. Also, they have one of the best lunch specials around!
And save room for dessert- because the pie case was piled high with tempting and drool-worthy desserts! We promise this restaurant is worth the drive away from the beach!
Read more: Amazing Things to do in Swansboro, NC
2004 NC Highway 172 Unit B Sneads Ferry, NC
Starting as a food truck, Salty Sistas grew so quickly that they had to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Sneads Ferry. With an emphasis on fresh and local, Salty Sistas also is a fixture in the community with a mission to give back to charities.
Family-owned, you can find an assortment of delicious choices on the menu, including a full-service bar, restaurant menu, and bakery! We highly recommend the bang-bang shrimp tacos and an ice-cold beer!
Ready to Dig Into these Topsail Island Restaurants?
We love these Topsail Island restaurants and hope you enjoy your experiences with them, too. Of course, we’re always searching for somewhere new to eat.
If you know of a place we should try next, please let us know in the comments or by email. Either way, we’ll hungrily wait for your response.
Until then, here’s a restaurant you’ll encounter while driving toward Topsail.
Special Mention: MeMa’s Chick’n and Ribs
602 US-117, Burgaw, NC
While MeMa’s Chick’n and Ribs is about an hour from Topsail Island, their food is to die for that we couldn’t leave it off this list!
With a rustic country vibe and welcoming staff, MeMa’s is the kind of place you just return to.
As the name suggests, MeMa’s is known for its chicken and meat options but also offers fish and hot dogs. They have great portion sizes, and they cater as well.
More Things to Do Beyond Topsail Island NC Restaurants
We’ve created many more NC Travel Guides that feature these wonderful restaurants on Topsail Island along with more things to do in the area.
Here are a few of them.