6 Seafood Restaurants in Wilmington, NC Where You Can Catch the Freshest Fare in Town

Source: Yelp

So you are here today because you are looking for the best seafood restaurants in Wilmington huh? Probably searched something like “best seafood restaurants in Wilmington North Carolina” or “what’s the best seafood restaurants for dinner in Wilmington” on your phone right? 

What’s that? How did I know that? Well I mean this is the internet, so there’s only so many places you can access this from after I write it and it gets published. But even if I’m wrong and you got up and found your laptop and are looking at this on your browser, I have good news for you! Because today I have a list of the best seafood restaurants you can find in Wilmington, North Carolina. 

And GiftYa doesn’t even have that strong of a presence in Wilmington yet. As such, none of the restaurants on this list accept our convenient digital gift cards as of the date of this writing. 

And since you know I have no bias in promoting any of these restaurants on account of them being partnered with GiftYa, you can trust I am giving you my totally 100% unbiased opinion.

Wait a sec, what is a GiftYa, anyway?

For those of you who have never used GiftYa’s convenient digital gift cards, I’ll take a moment to explain them here because GiftYa are offered at thousands and thousands of restaurants and locations around the United States. So even if you don’t use one for seafood in Wilmington, you might find them useful next time you’re on the road or looking for the perfect gift to send someone on your list.

A GiftYa is a digital gift card that can be sent within seconds right from your phone and linked with a credit or debit card of your choice. These gift cards can be used at a variety of locations but are particularly popular for restaurants. 

This is especially true if you are out traveling and don’t love to carry cash around with you. Instead you can just carry your gift cards right on your phone that you take with you everywhere already. You don’t even have to worry about keeping track of the gift cards and the balances because your phone does all of that for you. There really isn’t a more convenient option when it comes to buying gift cards and gifts for yourself or others.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get into the part of the article that we’ve all been waiting for: our list of the absolute best seafood restaurants in Wilmington, NC.

Without further ado:

Fish Bite’s Seafood Restaurant

Enjoy Exceptional Fresh Seafood From This Wilmington Local-Approved Spot

6132 Carolina Beach Rd | Ste 11 | www.fishbitesseafood.com

When you’re in a beach town like Wilmington, you don’t have to pay top dollar to spend an evening eating some of the best and freshest seafood around. Fish Bite’s Seafood Restaurant serves up a variety of seafood options fresh and fast for brunch, lunch, and dinner. With great service and impressive serving sizes, it’s no wonder that Wilmington locals rate Fish Bite’s so highly.

But once you actually get to Fish Bites Seafood Restaurant, how do you choose from all of the fresh, local fare on the menu? Here’s what locals recommend. Fish Bites is known for its fantastic selection of soups, like creamy lobster bisque and hearty clam chowder. Moving on to the main course, you won’t want to miss fan favorites like Fish Bite’s stuffed flounder or soft shell crab sandwiches. Whether you’re in the mood for shrimp scampi, fish tacos, or seafood mac and cheese, Fish Bites is sure to satisfy.

“Had a great meal at Fish Bites while I was visiting NC and couldn't believe the affordable price for the oysters! We got a bucket of 25 for $18 and shucked them ourselves which was a really fun experience. Highly recommend getting a bucket if you enjoy oysters. All the food was great and you MUST try the cakes at this restaurant (take them to-go if you don't have room for dessert - that's what we did)! Can't wait to come back in the future.” - Yelp Review 

Fish Bite’s Seafood Restaurant doesn’t offer GiftYa digital gift cards just yet, but check back soon because we are always adding new restaurants and attractions in Wilmington!

Cape Fear Seafood Company

Locally Owned and Operated Restaurant Specializing in Regional American Seafood

5226 S College Rd | Ste 5 | www.capefearseafoodcompany.com

Ever wonder what kind of delicious fish are lurking in the waters of the Atlantic just off of the North Carolina coast? Stop by Cape Fear Seafood Company to find out. Cape Fear Seafood Company prides itself in using the freshest ingredients available, prepared with love, and highlighting the excellent seafood that the Wilmington area has to offer.

Our State Magazine recently named Cape Fear Seafood Company one of the top five restaurants in all of North Carolina with the best shrimp and grits. If this classic southern dish doesn’t quite hit the spot, the menu is packed with other mouthwatering options. Chowder, lump crab cakes, shrimp diablo, jambalaya… the list goes on and on.

Plus, the relaxed atmosphere will have you feeling right at home as you enjoy some of the best seafood in the Wilmington area. 

“Great food.  Attentive, not intrusive server. Pleasant atmosphere. All in all Íd go back. Soon I hope” - Yelp Review

You can’t get a digital GiftYa gift card to Cape Fear Seafood Company at the moment but be sure to check back soon as new restaurants and locations in Wilmington are added all the time!

Shark Bar and Kitchen

Fresh Seafood Right on the (Salt) Water

13 E Salisbury St | Wrightsville Beach | shark-bar.com

Sure, all of Wilmington is a beach town, but sometimes you just want to get  out of the city and enjoy a nice day on the water. And when you’re done soaking up the sun and playing in the surf, Shark Bar and Kitchen in Wrightsville Beach is there to serve you some of the best seafood in the area, right on the water.

Enjoy beautiful views of the ocean as you chow down on a number of beach bar favorites from blackened mahi mahi tacos to crab cake sandwiches to firecracker shrimp. Shark Bar and Kitchen also has a fully stocked bar complete with a variety of frozen drink offerings, so you can cool off after a day in the sun with a delightful frosty drink. The newly renovated upstairs is “gorgeous” and even features a raw bar, too.

“This is a great place right off the beach! My wife and I had the lobster salad and loved tater tots. The lobster was chilled with great flavoring. The toys had perfectly cooked pork, cheese and some fancy sauce. Both delicious. We are outside in the sun and our young waitress was polite and awesome. Two cons: small servings and big price, and no beer on tap (cans only).  But damn the food is tasty. And big menu options!” - Yelp Review 

Unfortunately Shark Bar and Kitchen isn’t one of the best seafood restaurantsS in Wilmington participating with GiftYa just yet, but check back soon cause they might be any day now.

Hieronymus Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar

Innovative Farm-to-Table Food Serving Wilmington Since 1979

5035 Market St | Wilmington | www.hieronymusseafoodnc.com

If the marker of a successful restaurant is its ability to weather any storm and stick around through the years, it’s no wonder that Hieronymus Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar has made it onto our list of the best seafood restaurants in Wilmington. For over 40 years, they’ve been dishing out some of the best Cape Fear cuisine. That includes local seafood, veggies, cocktails, and beer.

Be sure to try the she crab soup or crab leg dinner – locals keep coming back for more. If crab isn’t much to your taste, you can also enjoy a number of other fresh seafood dishes like fried shrimp, raw oysters, blackened scallops, crispy calamari, and much, much more.

“I love Hieronymus for many reasons. Locally owned, different sections in to air on depending on your mood, and the delicious food. I have eaten here several times mostly at the oyster bar. Tonight I ordered the scallops with a side salad. The Italian dressing was great and the scallops were perfect.  Their cheese biscuits are really good, too.  I always love their she crab soup and shrimp and grits. You can't go wrong with anything here.” - Yelp Review 

Right now you aren’t able to get a GiftYa digital gift card to Hieronymus Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar but check back because there’s more seafood restaurants in Wilmington added all the time.

Tidewater Oyster Bar

Fresh, Lovingly Prepared, Expertly Seasoned Seafood for Over 30 Years

8211 Market St | Unit DD | tidewateroysterbar.com

The benefit of finding a seafood restaurant in Wilmington is that, when you’re so close to the water, the seafood is going to be fresh. Tidewater Oyster Bar and head chef Robert Pickens know a thing or two about local seafood since their multitude of menu offerings are sourced straight from the sparkling waters off the coast of North Carolina.

On top of excellent seafood – be sure to try the oyster po boy, gumbo, and wahoo ceviche – Tidewater Oyster Bar is known for its excellent service. Don’t forget to end your meal with something sweet off of Tidewater’s dessert menu – pecan pie is a southern favorite, and locals can’t get enough of the slices they serve here.

“I’’d go here daily if I could afford to! The food and service are excellent every single time for me.  Everything I've had on their menu is mouth watering excellent and everything that is supposed to be delivered hot, is delivered hot!

The staff are upbeat and they really care about our experience. Seriously, every day.” - Yelp Review 

There aren’t GiftYa digital gift cards available for Tidewater Oyster Bar as of the date of this writing, but there might be now! Be sure to check GiftYa itself for all the gift cards available for the best seafood restaurants  in Wilmington.

Fish House Grill

Fresh Seafood with Beautiful Views of the Sparkling Wilmington Water

1410 Airlie Rd | Wilmington | www.thefishhousegrill.com

Fishhouse Grill is one of Wilmington’s hidden gems, literally. It’s tucked away off of highway 74, beneath the bridge to Wrightsville Beach. Be aware that parking is across the street. But once you make it through the doors,  you’re in for a seafood dining experience unlike anything else in Wilmington. 

Sit back and enjoy picturesque views of the boats that line Wilmington’s shoreline as you savor some of the best seafood in the area. Fish House Grill is known for their crab cakes and mahi mahi, but you can’t go wrong with their shrimp, oysters, or other fresh fare either.

“Really really good. Surprisingly good! I had low expectations but needed a drink and something not fried. I was on the water and knew I could get a drink at a million places but wasn't sure about food. Fish House delivered.

Phenomenal salmon. Stiff cocktails  A+ location on the water View of beautiful boats” - Yelp Review 

As always we’re busy adding attractions and b restaurants in Wilmington to GiftYa all the time but you can’t get one for Fish House Grill just yet. Check back soon.

And that’s a wrap on the best seafood restaurants in Wilmington!

When it comes to serving up fresh seafood, restaurants in Wilmington, NC definitely have a steep advantage over other cities. There are lots of great seafood restaurants in town, but we’ve sorted through them to bring you a concise list of the best of the best.

And don’t forget, next time you’re looking for a gift card to any of the amazing restaurants in Wilmington, NC, be sure to check GiftYa’s catalog of digital gift card options. We’re adding new restaurants and attractions all the time, so you’re sure to find something you like!

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