Thanksgiving Dinner at the Outer Banks

Spending Thanksgiving at the Outer Banks but don’t feel like cooking? Don’t worry, many Outer Banks restaurants are open and offering either buffets or special menus for the holiday. Though you will find turkey on any holiday menu, you’ll also find items that say ‘Thanksgiving’ to locals; such as oysters and other shellfish.  And don’t forget to make the reservations. Thanksgiving and Christmas are the only times of year restaurants insist on them.

Here are a few of our favorite places.


Corolla is a place for enjoying nature and reflection in the off season. Therefore no restaurants are open Thanksgiving Day. (Though many take out places are.) If you’re staying in Corolla on Thanksgiving, we recommend either cooking in your vacation rental home, taking out, or visiting Duck.


Red Sky Café

Red Sky’s buffet is so famous; it was even featured on WAVY TV 10. Chef Wes is a master of putting together different things for a unique experience. Offerings include salmon, turkey, roast beef, oysters, and more. They’ll even be a few surprises, like cranberry relish and shrimp and grits. 252-216-8646

Lifesaving Station at the Sanderling Resort

The Sanderling offers a four course meal in a beautiful historic lifesaving station.  You have a choice of three different items for each course. Beef, turkey, rockfish, crab cakes and duck are just a few of the items on the menu. 855-412-7866


Fishbones Sunset Grille & Raw Bar

This charming restaurant has great food a fantastic view of the sound. It specializes in Caribbean/Outer Banks fusion dishes. It has the usual ham, beef and turkey, but it also has its own unique dishes like apricot dressing and Mahi.   252-261-3901  

Kitty Hawk

Ocean Boulevard

Offering upscale dining and a great experience, this is one of the few restaurants that don’t do a buffet. Instead, they offer a Four Course Celebratory Menu  with children under twelve offered a  limited 3 course menu for  a much smaller price. 252- 261-2546

Kill Devil Hills


Beachside Bistro

This is one of the few truly ocean front restaurants on the Outer Banks. It’s normally casual dining, but they go all out for Thanksgiving with panko encrusted turkey breast, baked ham, roast beef, oyster stuffing and more.  252-255-1063


Jolly Roger

If you’re looking for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings, check out the Jolly Roger.  This restaurant has a Thanksgiving dinner more like you’d find in restaurants up north or further inland. So if you’re not the biggest seafood fan, here’s where you’ll want to go. (And if you’re staying in 457 Lakeside Villas, you’re in walking distance.) 252-441-6530


Captain George’s 

Of all the places on this list, Captain George’s is the only one that offers a buffet year round. In addition to the traditional Thanksgiving feast, Captain George’s also offers local favorites like shrimp and crab legs. It’s your chance to get your fill of seafood and turkey.  252-480-6677


Port O’Call Restaurant

With their unique Victorian antiques and Gaslight Saloon theme, dining here is an experience in itself. When you combine it with their traditional Thanksgiving feast featuring local and traditional favorites, it’s an experience not to be missed. Now in their 50th year. 252-441-7484

Nags Head

Owens’ Restaurant

Founded in 1946 by Bob & Clara Owens, Owens is oldest restaurant still in the family. Their buffet features local favorites such as shrimp, rockfish, oysters, and of course, turkey. All meals have the traditional Owens taste and great service. 252-441-7309


Basnightâ??s Lone Cedar  Thanksgiving on OBX

Basnight’s is pleased to hold their 9th Annual Thanksgiving Feast. Shrimp & grits, fried oysters, redfish, rockfish, crab dip, ham hock, prime rib, and pork tenderloin are just a few of the delicacies that wait you. And did I mention there’s turkey?  252- 441-5405


Mulligan’s Raw Bar and Grill

For over 20 years, Mulligan’s has offered great food at great prices. Their Thanksgiving buffet has all the Outer Banks favorites from turkey, ham and oysters as well as some other Outer Banks favorites like crab cakes and oyster stuffing. 252- 480-2000


Pamlico Jack’s

It’s oyster season and Pamlico Jack’s is having their annual Thanksgiving Oyster Feast. If you don’t care for oysters, don’t worry, they have plenty of turkey, beef, ham and even fried shrimp on their buffet. And their chocolate mousse is amazing! (252) 441-2637


Kelly’s Outer Banks Restaurant and Tavern

A local’s favorite for over 30 years, Kelly’s Thanksgiving buffet offers a variety of salads, sides and desserts in addition to their traditional main courses of ham, turkey, beef and more.  No one leaves hungry from this buffet.  252-441-4116

The Outer Banks is a great place to be at Thanksgiving. Our large homes can accommodate the entire clan, while the restaurants can take care of Thanksgiving dinner. Good friends, family, the beach, good food and no dishes to clean after. What could be better?

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