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Where can I find good seafood restaurants?

Liz Biro

When it comes to seafood, fresh and simple is best. Dishes should let the seafood’s delicate flavors shine. Lots of Wilmington restaurants feature wonderful seafood dishes, from extravagant to plain. These three spots do a little of both, but none of them require fancy dress.


Downtown Wilmington


Chef/owner Keith Rhodes knows good seafood. A Porters Neck native, he grew up eating local seafood, and his love for the bounty of North Carolina’s coastal waters is clear at Catch. Whether Rhodes is doing Vietnamese fried rice with crab or a simple fried flounder platter, the seafood is fresh and perfectly cooked. His work has been recognized in numerous publications, and in 2007 he won the N.C. Department of Agriculture’s Best Dish in North Carolina contest, in the casual category for Catch and the fine dining category for Deluxe, where Rhodes is the executive chef. A second Catch location is coming soon to Market Street’s far north end.

Pelican Seafood

4332 Long Beach Road, Oak Island [Map this]

(910) 454-8477

The whole, jumbo shrimp sautéed in cumin, curry and coriander (CCC Shrimp) is the best shrimp dish I’ve eaten in the Cape Fear region. It’s sizzling hot, messy and so worth the drive to Oak Island. The garlic grilled oysters on the half shell are delicious, too. Lebanese owners Tony and Jeanne-Darc Wehbe do lots of simple fried and grilled seafood, too, all of it fresh from their adjacent seafood market. Bonus: the restaurant is super-casual. Flip flops welcome.

Provision Company



The crab cakes are fat, the steamed shrimp keep coming, the beer is always cold and the stunning waterfront view is free at this tiny dive overlooking Cape Fear River’s mouth. Pelicans stop by the docks almost as often as boaters.

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5 Responses to “ Where can I find good seafood restaurants?”

  1. On September 28, 2009 at 2:47 pm Mike Barker wrote:

    Being from the Cheasapeake Bay area I find this area to be the HOME of OVERCOOKED seafood.
    It is hard to find truly well cooked seafood, as applies to ALL types, here in Wilm. The shrimp are frequently soft and slimy and fish other than “big” fish(tuna, grouper, Mahi, Mahi, etc) is almost ALWAYS overcooked. I am sure if one can afford the TOP-OF-THE-LINE places you may find ALL seafood to be cooked properly???? but as for the Family types of places, they leave a lot to be desired.

  2. On October 9, 2009 at 10:50 am C B Lewis wrote:

    When it come to good seafood, i can say that Midtown Seafood Rest. on Oleander Dr. is just as good as you can find around Wilmington, N C. We have been several times and we all were well pleased, plus the price was well in line for what you received. Also Pirate’s Table Seafood Rest. Carolina Beach Rd. has been in business for years and it serve great seafood at a great price.Many of us have been to these two Rest.many times, and all were very please with the food plus the service. Thanks — C B Lewis

  3. On March 12, 2010 at 7:37 am Tom Reece wrote:

    I’ve been here all my life and I’ve eaten at probably every one in New Hanover Co. Fish Bites on Carolina Beach Rd is my favorite. No frills just good seafood

  4. On July 11, 2010 at 7:17 pm w.e. wrote:

    Something Fishy is pretty good,the best is Dales Seafood at Lake Waccamaw ,is fantastic. MidTown is too expensive,the food not all that good,and the selections are not either Of course Calabash is right down the road.

  5. On April 5, 2011 at 1:11 pm Bethany wrote:

    Havana’s Fresh Island Seafood is well known on Carolina Beach for their food, service, and atmosphere. Many banquets and wedding services have been held in their upstairs banquet room, or their beautifully landscaped yard/deck. Their exquisite menu has been thoughtfully prepared by the owner Pete Donat (who has spent more than 18 years developing and managing some of the most successful restaurants in Wilmington) and their talented Executive Chef Charlie Blake (who also has years of experience running kitchens in Massachusetts and Wilmington). You just can’t go wrong at Havana’s Fresh Island Seafood!

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