Beaufort, NC is a charming little historic town on the waterfront, perfect for boating, shopping, and dining.
The local eateries have incredible food, fun atmospheres, and fantastic craft cocktails.
Check out this list of the best restaurants in Beaufort, NC. You will want to try them all.
The Rhum Bar at Front Street Grill
The Rhum Bar at Front Street Grill is the best place to catch the sunset in Beaufort, NC. Their back deck overlooks the waterway for amazing views. If you are lucky, the dolphins will swim by to entertain.
In addition to the beautiful views, The Rhum Bar is famous for their fantastic drinks. One of my personal favorites is their Painkiller. It is the best in town, and maybe in North Carolina. The Painkiller is made with Cruzan Dark Rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, creme de coconut, and topped with nutmeg. If you want to feel really good, make it a Level 2 with a shot of Goslings.
The food at the Rhum Bar is excellent also. They are known for their killer pimento cheese with their homemade crackers, jerk wings, and truffle fries.
Some other suggestions are the burger, fried grouper bites, fresh salads, crab cakes, shrimp and grits, or the steak.
They also serve a delicious brunch. Don't miss out on the Bloody Mary topped with a fried soft shelled crab or the white chocolate pancakes. They are incredible!
Address: 300 Front Street, Beaufort, NC 28516
Beaufort Grocery Co
Beaufort Grocery Co is a cute little bistro in the historic district. It is perfect for a fun lunch, brunch on Sundays, or date night.
For lunch, Beaufort Grocery offers homemade soups, fresh made salads, deli sandwiches, fresh baked bread, and INCREDIBLE handmade desserts.
For dinner, the menu changes to a more sophisticated selection featuring heavier entrees such as fresh seafood, steak, thick cut pork chops, and lamb. The menu changes seasonally.
Our favorite item on the appetizer menu is the Carolina Crab Dip. It is loaded with huge chunks of crab meat in a thick creamy cheese sauce.
For lunch, we love the Gougeres. They are handmade parmesan pastries filled with your choice of filling-chicken salad, shrimp salad, pimento cheese or egg and bacon salad.
I am also a huge fan of the Sonnamabeach. It is a large sandwich filled with Capicola, Polish ham, and salami with provolone and mozzarella cheese, served on crusty garlic bread with herb aioli, grilled onions and peppers and greens.
For dinner, a favorite is their thick cut pork chops. It is stuffed with cheese and topped with a Marsala Demiglaze.
Save room for dessert. They are wicked good. A personal favorite of mine is a gigantic slice of their chocolate covered peanut butter pie. It is rich, decadent, sweet, and creamy and perfect for sharing. However, Beaufort Grocery is famous for their cheesecakes, so you may want a slice of that as well.
The Beaufort Grocery offers a full bar menu. You can enjoy mimosas or a bloody Mary with your brunch. Or drink a glass of wine with dinner.
Address: 117 Queen St, Beaufort, NC 28516
Royal James Cafe
The Royal James Cafe is a little dive restaurant serving fresh cooked hamburgers, hotdogs, and beer. While there are no fancy frills at this restaurant, the food is REALLY GOOD!
Try the hotdogs. They are sliced down the middle, cooked flat on the grill top, then topped with your favorite toppings.
The hand-patty burgers are the best in town, served hot and juicy.
Prices are cheap. A cheeseburger runs $3 and a hot dog cost $2.
The Royal James Cafe has pool tables and often has live music. It is a great place for casual fun in a relaxing atmosphere.
Address:117 Turner St, Beaufort, NC 28516
No Name Pizza and Subs
They are known for their incredible pizza and juicy burgers. The pizza dough is made fresh daily creating a crust that is crispy and light. The burgers are large and made fresh.
They also have large selection of appetizers, subs, salads, Italian dishes, and Greek dishes.
Some additional order suggestions include: meatballs with cheese, homemade chips, Greek gyro, lasagna, baked spaghetti, and limoncello cake.
Address: 408 Live Oak St, Beaufort, NC
34° North Restaurant
For a date night, try the 34° North Restaurant. It is located on the waterfront, at the Beaufort Hotel. Their menu features fresh seafood, hand cut steaks, and local ingredients in a beautiful contemporary setting.
They offer breakfast, lunch, brunch, and dinner.
In addition, they have a fantastic craft cocktail menu. They have an extensive collection of Whiskeys if you are a Whiskey lover.
The menu changes seasonally. We enjoyed the French Onion Soup, scallops, and crab cakes. Their Painkiller was delicious. My husband enjoyed the Irish Coffee.
The Crème Brûlée Cheesecake was not a disappointment.
I recommend reservations.
Address: 2440 Lennoxville Road, Beaufort, NC 28516
CRU Coffee Shop
CRU Coffee Shop is a cute little place great for coffee, food, beer, wine, and cocktails.
CRU coffee serves all of your coffee specialties from cold brew, lattes, espressos, smoothies, and slushies.
They serve a delicious breakfast menu featuring breakfast bowls, breakfast burritos, bagels, and my favoritei-the lox bagel with cream cheese, smoked salmon, capers, red onion, and olive oil.
For lunch and dinner they offer a variety of handmade sandwiches such as pimento and cheese, tuna melt, or the Italian. CRU also offers gluten free pizza, salads, and artisanal cheese platters.
You can purchase wine bottles to go from CRU's wine store or hang out at their bar and drink a glass of wine, cocktail, or draft beer.
Address:120 Turner St, Beaufort, NC 28516
If you like Mexican food, you have to try Mezcalito Grill. This restaurant serves fresh, made from scratch Tex-Mex.
They have a fun cocktail menu with a large selection of tequilas and Mezcal.The house margaritas are awesome.
They feature traditional dishes such as quesadillas, enchiladas, tacos, and fajitas. However they have some other special dishes such as fresh seafood, ceviche, and molcajete.
The street corn is FANTASTIC! The Mexican cheesesteak was fun too. It had loads of toppings and was so big!
Some other suggestions are the chimichangas, diablo shrimp, and carnitas skillet.
Address: 521 Front St, Beaufort, NC 28516
Aqua Restaurant makes the list for one of the best restaurants in Beaufort, NC for upscale menu featuring fresh local ingredients. They offer tapas, small plates, or entrees for the bigger individual appetite with a gourmet twist. The menu changes seasonally.
Their tapas menu is perfect for date night. You can order several of the tapas and small dishes to share for an intimate dining experience.
We enjoyed the stuffed jalapeno poppers, lamb chops, and crab cakes.
However, what really stole the show was their bananas fosters they made table-side. The presentation was beautiful. The bananas and sauce caramelized perfectly and the portion size was big enough for sharing. Every bite was incredible. I highly recommend if you see it on the menu.
Aqua also has a full bar menu with signature craft cocktails in addition to a large wine selection.
Address:114 Middle Ln, Beaufort, NC 28516
The Black Sheep is one of the best restaurants in Beaufort for their amazing made from scratch, gourmet brick oven pizzas.
All pizzas are created with high quality ingredients. Choose from any of their specialty pizzas such as the "Speckenwolf-topped with topped with Speck prosciutto, red onion, mushrooms and mozzarella, and finished with garlic, parsley and oregano. It is incredible!
Or try the Sausage and Pepper made with San Marzano red sauce, fennel sausage, caramelized onions, roasted poblano peppers, Ovalini, mozzarella, finished with Parmesan and Pecorino- So good!
They also offer fantastic gourmet sandwiches, delicious salads, and made from scratch desserts.
They have a full bar menu and a great wine selection.
Address: 510 Front Street, Beaufort, NC
Moonrakers is another great place for date night or girls night out. The inside of the restaurant is beautiful with dark wood floors, white table linnens. high ceilings, open views to the kitchen, and displays of stunning artwork. They also have a fun rooftop bar that overlooks the water for before or after dinner drinks.
The menu changes seasonally creatively incorporating fresh, local ingredients. The kitchen holds a large brick oven used to cook specialty dishes.
We enjoyed the scallops and grits, brussels sprouts with bacon jam, and the oyster gratin. When featured on the menu, the clam chowder is highly recommended.
They offer a signature fresh catch dish daily.
They have an extensive wine list and have won "The Award of Excellence" in Wine Spectator. Their craft cocktails are fun and inventive. I highly recommend the pineapple coconut mojito.
Thursday night is oyster night. You can enjoy them with house made cocktail sauce or champagne mignonette.
Address: 326 Front St, Beaufort, NC 28516
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