Last Updated on December 20, 2022
Last Updated on December 20, 2022
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 either, 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 could 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 side of the mainland, too!
Here’s an overview of how we’ve organized this guide:
- 11 Restaurants in Surf City
- 3 Restaurants in North Topsail
- 2 Restaurants in Topsail Beach
- 2 Restaurants in Sneads Ferry
- Special Mention: MeMa’s Chick’n and Ribs
Read More: Famous Foods from North Carolina
Topsail Island Restaurants (Surf City)
We start this guide to Topsail Island restaurants with our picks from Surf City. If you’d like to visual plan your adventure, our North Carolina Travel Map can help with that!
*Denotes a seasonal restaurant.
Coastal Wing and Spirits
108 Triton Lane, Surf City, North Carolina 28445
Fresh, local, and oh-so-delicious is 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 get an order of 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 28445
Daddy Mac’s Beach Grille features some of the best beachside views and seafood on the Island. Their specialties include fresh seafood du jour and crab cakes, which can be cooked to your preference.
They’re open for lunch and dinner year-round except Sunday dinners and all-day Monday. Due to their popularity, there’s often a little bit of a wait in peak hours.
However, you can order one of their signature cocktails to drink while you wait.
Read More: Spirit-Filled Distilleries in North Carolina
The Daily Grind
114 N Topsail Dr, Surf City, NC 28445
For those early mornings, a stop at The Daily Grind is a must! Pair one of their various coffees or lattes with a homemade doughnut or bagel for a morning pick-me-up!
If you have some time after lunch or dinner and want to stop by, they also serve delicious ice cream.
Evenings at the Daily Grind are a special experience as well, as they usually have live music playing. End the day by relaxing on the spacious outdoor patio with some wine from their wine bar, all while listening to the music.
316 N New River Dr, Surf City, NC 28445
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
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
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 28445
Sears Landing offers the true sea experience, with its own port for boats to dock at as well as a parking lot. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Sears Landing uses only the freshest ingredients for their Southern cuisine-led menu!
What makes them an authentic seaside establishment, however, are the pirate legends surrounding the property. To better understand that, here’s a quick history dive.
Bonus Sears Landing History
The previous owner of Sears Landing, Howard Batts, came up with the name after hearing a story his father told him about the land. According to him, a pirate named Sears arrived on NC’s beaches many years ago and started a trading post on the site of the restaurant.
Sears also ferried people to and from the island that is now known as Topsail. This trading post and ferry site became known as “Sears Landing.”
In the 1940s, a bridge was built to facilitate the crossing of the military to and from Topsail, thus rendering the ferry service useless. The swing bridge has been built and rebuilt over the years due to damage.
Because of this history, the name Sears Landing was chosen. Legend has it, however, that you might see an old gray pirate lurking around now and then!
Read More: 125+ Interesting Facts About North Carolina
107 B N Shore Dr, Surf City, NC 28445
For the best taco selection around, you can’t go wrong with Shaka Taco! A relatively newer establishment, Shaka Taco prides itself on having some of the freshest food and ingredients on Topsail.
Customers can order from a window and enjoy their meal on the attached patio. Their menu consists of tacos, wings, quesadillas, and even acai bowls for a fruitier taste!
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 28445
SurfDog Bites and Brews is perfect for enjoying comfort food by the beach. Their menu includes salads, sandwiches, bowls, widely praised hot dogs, and burgers named for different attractions and cities.
Many customers especially enjoy drinking ice-cold beer along the beach.
302 S Topsail Dr, Surf City, NC 28445
Topsail Steamer puts a twist on classic seafood dining by offering prepared seafood steam pots for you to take home and enjoy.
The process is simple: pick one of their 7 Bay Buckets–which are just varying mixtures of seafood, meat, and veggies– or make your own Bucket.
You can order online and have it delivered or order in person. Next, take your steamed pot home, follow the easy instructions to prepare the pot, and enjoy!
This creative dining service makes it easy for families to enjoy a fresh meal in a quiet place without the hassle of preparing it themselves.
Topsail Island Restaurants (North Topsail Beach)
Before we swing down to Topsail Beach, we want to focus on some great Topsail Island restaurants on the northern end.
*Denotes a seasonal restaurant.
Beach Bum’s Pizza, Bar, and Grill
4021 Island Dr. North Topsail Beach, NC 28460
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 all of 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 28460
Sometimes it’s the places that share space with a fishing pier, a tackle shop, and a motel that win our hearts. Seaview Restaurant is that, thanks to tasty seafood, hush puppies, and other reliable yummy sides.
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 coming back for more.
Check Seaview Restaurant’s Facebook Page for hours. They do 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 28460
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 any of the 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 (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 28445
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 here!
The first Breezeway Inn and Café opened in 1949 and mainly served the military personnel in 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 28445
The Beach Shop & Grill is a higher-end bistro that prides itself on using only local and fresh ingredients.
The restaurant first opened as Warren’s Soda Shop in 1952 and became the current Beach Shop in the 1970s. Now, 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 for you to dig into!
119 Hall Point Rd, Sneads Ferry
This is a Topsail restaurant that is going to get me in a lot of trouble with the locals…. But I promise that it isn’t as big of a secret as you might think!
Riverview Cafe is located on the mainland overlooking the river. In business for more than 75 years, Riverview was packed when we walked in for an early dinner. Serving what I might say was the best seafood in North Carolina, the menu is expansive and everything is cooked to order. Not only that- but 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
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 a 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 on the search for somewhere new to eat.
If you know of a place that we should try next, please feel free to let us know in the comments or by email. Either way, we’ll hungrily wait for your response.
Until then, here’s a restaurant that you’ll encounter while driving toward Topsail.
Special Mention: MeMa’s Chick’n and Ribs
602 US-117, Burgaw, NC 28425
While MeMa’s Chick’n and Ribs is about an hour from Topsail Island, their food is simply 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 keep coming back to.
As the name suggests, MeMa’s is known for their chicken and meat options, but they also offer fish and hot dogs. They have great portion sizes, and they cater as well.