Roanoke Island in Outer Banks, NC  - Vacation Travel Guide

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Outer Banks Area Features

Catch the Flavor of the Outer Banks

The coastal landscape of the Outer Banks lends itself to the extraordinary culinary environment that visitors have grown to love. There is much to relish, from the freshest seafood to the most flavorful produce. While here, indulge your palate and get the true flavor of the Outer Banks.

Carolina Shrimp

Shrimping is a huge source of income in the coastal Carolina fishing industry. Every year, more than 4.5 million pounds of shrimp are caught in the local waters and end up on dinner plates throughout the United States. The good news is that the shellfish is incredibly sustainable largely because shrimp only have a life-span of approximately 2 years. Three different types of shrimp are likely to be part of your culinary experience: pink, brown, and white (also known as green tail). All can be used in any recipe and once they’re cooked, you usually can’t tell which one you’re about to eat. However, the most abundantly caught (67%) are the brown shrimp. These are probably the shrimp you will be served, and they are often seasoned and steamed, fried and broiled. The local chefs have many interesting recipes to try using shrimp including soups and bisques, dips, stuffed shrimp or fish topped with a shrimp stuffing. Enjoy!

Small Bites with Big Flavor

Many regular visitors to the Outer Banks all seem to have one thing in common… grabbing a small bite to eat when they come off the beach. The seafood shacks and raw bars on the Beach Road specialize in locally caught seafood, juicy burgers, crispy chicken wings, and small plates. Fish tacos are particularly popular and you can find some of the best in the nation on the Outer Banks. To get a true sampling of incredible food, share a mixture of tasty appetizers from crab dip to a plate of nachos—try them with tuna on top! Stop in and stay for a spell—it’s a great reprieve after a day in the sun.

Hatteras Chowder

Native residents of the region are all familiar with Hatteras chowder. This Carolina staple is a clam chowder that uses local littleneck clams that are readily available, tender and flavorful. The recipe used in coastal Carolina differs substantially from its New England and Manhattan cousins but is very similar to Rhode Island chowder (except for the quahog clams). For true clam lovers, this soup really lets the flavor of the bivalve shine through. It consists of simple broth made with clam juice that is traditionally flavored with bacon, onion, and potato. This recipe has been handed down through the generations for over 200-years. On a cold rainy day, there is no better food to warm you up than Hatteras chowder.

Sustainable, In Season & Locally Caught Seafood

Many years ago, the oceans were “filled to the gills” with fish. That was before the fishing industry adopted proficient methods to harvest fish. Now, the United States is a worldwide leader in providing sustainable seafood that is both farm-raised and wild-caught. Visit to see how you can do your part in sustaining local fish populations, and when you dine or shop for seafood, ask for Outer Banks Catch by name.

Have a Drink

Beer, Wine, Liquor… The Outer Banks makes it all! There are three breweries in the region, each with several beers on tap: The Weeping Radish in Grandy, the Outer Banks Brewing Station in KDH, and the Lost Colony Brewery & Cafe in Manteo. For wine lovers, Sanctuary Vineyards is a popular stop that not only makes varietals that are commonly recognized, but also produces wines that are made with regional grapes. Rum made at the OBX Distillery is exclusive to the area. In fact, the relatively new company distills a rum that is made with locally sourced pecans and honey. Make a non-traditional mojito with their white rum, lime, soda water, sugar and a local fruit from a farmers market to enjoy after a long day at the beach. Delicious!

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