Wilmington, North Carolina is a port city known as a gateway to Cape Fear’s coastal beaches. Its long riverwalk is located right in downtown’s historic district, and is lined with several shops, galleries, and restaurants. If you’re out and about with a pet, you might imagine that many of these restaurants are off limits to you, but Wilmington is actually home to several great dog friendly restaurants. We’d like to share some of the best ones!
If you want to spend time enjoying pet friendly restaurants in the city of Wilmington, this list will help you figure out where to go! Finding gifts for your loved ones can be difficult, but GiftYa cards will make a great present that they can appreciate. Treat a friend with a virtual GiftYa card that they can use for their next trip restaurant hopping!
1611 Pavilion Place | Wilmington | sweetnsavory.cafe
Sweet n’ Savory Cafe is a scratch kitchen in the Wilmington neighborhood. They offer innovative scratch made food that is served daily. Their main focus is serving brunch and lunch. The menu is long and filled with amazing options like a four egg omelet called raj’n Cajun with blackened shrimp, onions, and peppers, classic egg benedicts, avocado toast, and breakfast burritos.
There is also a list of breakfast entrees that include huevos rancheros, biscuits and gravy, shrimp n grits, and chicken and potato poutine. The lunch menu includes crispy brussels with candied bacon, tomato basil soup, cranberry apple salad, and baja shrimp wrap. They also have a list of delicious sandwiches. You can try Not Your Average Cuban sandwich with jerk pork, Gotta Love Grouper with tartar sauce, and French Dip with shaved prime rib. The options are abundant at this cafe!
“Hands down one of the best places to eat. Me and my family ate here yesterday and it was the best. Good on price, the best food, a HUGE variety of choices, and good service. This place is a great place to get some food. Compared to the restaurants here this place is good on price. Not as good as McDonald's prices but good for a dinner place.”–Yelp Review
5564 Carolina Beach Rd | Wilmington | ruckerjohns.com
Rucker John’s is a family owned business that was first opened back in 1988 in Emerald Isle. They have a strong commitment to providing quality meals. They give their customers fresh, delicious food that is made in house daily. They cut their own fries and prepare their own salad greens and dressings. They also hand cut their steak, use certified angus beef, use all natural ham and turkey, and use certified fair trade coffee.
This restaurant is on a mission to create a unique dining experience for each of their guests. They make sure that they leave with good memories and the desire to return and even bring their friends. Everything is made to order and your satisfaction is a top priority. They are happy to accommodate any special requests that you may have. Their menu is a mix of juicy burgers, fresh seafood, flavorful ribs, and specialty salads. The kid’s menu has smaller portions of their most popular meals, and they have a wide variety of wines and beers on tap.
“Service is wonderful. Nice relaxing atmosphere and it's cozy. The food is always on point. I have never had a bad meal. We have been going there for 14 years and love it. The salads are so good. The honey croissants will melt in your month. Always a good bet when you have out of town guests. My family loves it!”–Yelp Review
9 N Front St | Wilmington | frontstreetbrewery.com
Front Street Brewery was opened back in 1995. It sits right in the middle of downtown and has been producing award winning craft beer ever since its inception. This restaurant breathed life back into a formerly abandoned historic corridor. This is the seventh brewery to open in Wilmington’s history, and currently the longest running one. They work hard and collaborate with other creators in the region to give customers the best beer in the state!
In Front Street’s 26 years of service, it has amassed over 109 craft beer awards. This place is not just a business, they are a team and a family dedicated to bringing people the best food, service, and craft beer. The menu is extensive and features many amazing foods and drinks. You can have an awesome time there with your pet!
“I would highly recommend their Famous pulled chicken nachos! They are tasty and you will have enough for two meals. The sauce is homemade and delicious. We drive an hour just to have these delicious nachos when we visit our friends at the beach. The service was outstanding and the price was reasonable. Don't miss out on visiting Front Street Brewery.”–Yelp Review
128 S Water St | Wilmington | thegeorgerestaurant.com
The George on the Riverwalk is a restaurant that first opened in 2004. They have a fun Caribbean fusion theme that makes the place really fun and creative. Their menu is Caribbean inspired as well as their decor. The place is a fun mix of bright pastel coral, sea foam green, and silver. They offer a dining experience in Wilmington that is really like no other. George's original menu blended Caribbean, European, and Latiin elements with Southern dishes. It has now found itself in the style of “Southern Coastal Cuisine.”
That style of cuisine led them to create dishes like George’s shrimp and grits, bacon crusted scallops, Bangkok tuna, and several other great meals. They also have an impressive collection of North Carolina craft beers, wine, and martinis. And one of their absolute best features is the riverwalk views on the historic Cape Fear River.
“Love dinner on the River! They had warm heaters on the dock so we wouldn't get cold, but it was honestly pretty warm out already. Dinner was fantastic! Shrimp n grits were so flavorful! I also had a bite of the steak and it was mouth watering! I'll have to get that next time! Nothing like a bunch of comfort food to soothe the soul! Service was great! Great with suggestions and very attentive!”–Yelp Review
106 S Water St | Wilmington | annebonnyswilmington.com
Anne Bonny’s Bar & Grill is Wilmington’s only floating bar and restaurant. It is located downtown on the riverwalk and specializes in Calabash style seafood, shareable appetizers, burgers, and other pub food. They have a full bar that offers handmade cocktails, frozen tropical drinks, local beer, and different red and white wines.
This casual pet-friendly restaurant provides an open air waterfront atmosphere that is like no other along the Cape Fear. It is a place where both locals and tourists can enjoy delicious seafood and a lovely atmosphere on the river. Since it was opened in 2017, this restaurant has been a downtown favorite. And it’s easy to see why that is when you stop by and try it out for yourself!
“I love going to Anne Bonny's! Not only for the view but the drinks! I am always looking for pet friendly places that can be reliable with good food and beverages, entertainment and service! I love bringing my family when they visit because of the experience. I don't eat out too often but this is a regular place for me to go! I recommend!”–Yelp Review
1410 Airlie Rd | Wilmington | thefishhousegrill.com
The Fish House Grill is housed in one of Wilmington’s most coveted properties. Their waterfront location at the Wrightsville Beach Drawbridge provides a great environment for their guests to enjoy their fresh and delicious seafood. The food is also well priced. This restaurant provides great quality for a really low price.
At this restaurant, you can enjoy the fresh beach air, watch the boat traffic on the waterway, all while enjoying great food. And your pet gets to enjoy the deck as long as they remain leashed. The menu includes many great dishes that will enhance the gorgeous atmosphere. For starters, you can have calamari, fish house fish stew, and soft pretzels. They have Mahi Mahi, shrimp, and pulled pork tacos, soft shell crab sandwiches, and fried oysters.
“Dog friendly patio and great views! We had the calamari appetizer, the clam chowder and the oyster po boy. All of the food was excellent! But all else was great and we will be back!! I highly recommend.”–Yelp Review
6722 Wrightsville Ave | Wilmington | famoustoasteryofwilmington.com
The Famous Toastery of Wilmington serves food that they make fresh daily. They serve both breakfast and lunch all day every day. This is a dog friendly place that has a gallery of dogs on their website. Your puppy will be quite comfortable in this space. This restaurant also hosts big events like wedding receptions, wedding showers, baby showers, and birthday parties.
The Famous Toastery has a long menu filled with great choices. They offer various omelets, pancakes, breakfast quesadillas, and avocado toast. There are also different wraps, sandwiches, salads, and burgers. They also have a list of breakfast specialties on the menu. Some of those specialties are quiches with various add-ins like spinach, ham, and gruyere, and granola bowls. The lunch specials include mac and cheese and meatloaf & gravy.
“My first meal was at the Famous Toastery when I visited Wilmington and it was a wonderful experience! Our server was SO kind. I ordered the avocado toast with a side of grits and it was tasty! They have a large menu so there is something for everyone! Highly recommend visiting this spot for breakfast. There is a ton of seating (two levels to the restaurant) and outdoor seating as well!”–Yelp Review
4544 Fountain Dr | Wilmington | ptsgrille.com
If nothing else on the list has caught your attention, PT’s Olde Fashioned Grille is a small chain that offers an amazing version of traditional fast food. They have a few locations around North Carolina and serve up burgers, sandwiches, and fresh-cut fries in a comfy and laid back setting. They also serve salads, hand squeezed lemonade, and beers on tap.
This restaurant has been providing customers with a high quality dining experience since 1980. Their focus on great food and customer service has earned them many loyal customers. People of all ages enjoy this restaurant. You get to fill out your own menu and choose from a variety of burger meat and toppings. They also only serve fresh food. None of their products are ever frozen, which makes for the best of quality burgers and fries.
“I've probably had about everything on the menu and have had anything I don't like. My favorites being the black bean burger! Super tasty fries, I go there for the fries. I noticed that they will wait to cook your burger when you arrive for a pick up order. I was about 10 minutes late for my order yesterday but my burgers were fresh because they waited! I had to wait a few extra minutes but it was worth it!–Yelp Review
When you want to eat out with a pet, your choices can be somewhat limited. When you’re in North Carolina, the restaurants that would refuse you don’t matter much at all since you have more than enough amazing dog-friendly restaurants to choose from!