Summer Fun-Outdoor Cocktailing on the Outer Banks
Staff Favorites –
It’s late afternoon on a summer day. You’ve spent hours upon lazy hours soaking up the sun on the beach. Still smelling of saltwater and coconut sunscreen, you go in search of the perfect outdoor bar to sit outside, toss back a cold one and maybe hear a few tunes.
Search no further. After hours of intense research, the staff of the North Beach Sun has compiled a comprehensive list of outdoor establishments to whet your whistle. Cheers!
Mike Dianna’s Grill Room gets big props for building a big deck addition in recent years to the front of the restaurant where patrons can lounge, sip and catch live music most nights during the summer. With a covered overhang to protect guests from the errant rain shower and plenty of seating, the Grill Room is a favorite Corolla destination for a summer evening. You never know when TR3 or some other cool act might grace their stage.
What the Sun loves best: The unpredictability. One night might be a jam session open to anyone, while another might end in barefoot dancing.
This hub of activity at the newly renovated Sanderling is lined with teak tables and orange umbrellas. Enjoy a wood-fired pizza or sandwich after a day on the beach, or hang here in the evening with live music.
What the Sun loves best: Great spot to chill after a surfing lesson (offered right beside the Sandbar by Kitty Hawk Kites).
Their tagline is “Like Key West, only closer”, and it’s the truth. Let the frozen daquiris, warm breezes, friendly staff and a panoramic sound view transport you to another lattitude.
What the Sun loves best: Being accessible by boat makes this place truly feel like a destination.
The Blue Point in Duck is completely renovating their outdoor bar area, slated to be open in May 2013. This upscale spot is perfect for a hip, adult evening with live music and killer sunset views.
What the Sun loves best: Look for the rhubarb daquiri on the new summer drink menu… divine!
This open-air eatery features two Mexican Talavera tile bars, Tex Mex menu and margaritas. Oh, the margaritas!
What the Sun loves best: An absolutely perfect way to end an afternoon in Duck is right here with a salted rim glass.
This sweet spot is the place to go for acoustic music on a moonlit evening.
What the Sun loves best: Being right in the heart of Duck, but feeling tucked away—hidden behind the Russian olives and romantic lighting.
Cravings offers a small seating area outside what was once a fast food restaurant attached to a gas and convenience store. Reasonably priced, very well prepared food (the restaurant was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives) and relaxing.
What the Sun loves best: Take Guy Fieri’s advice and check out the local catch.
Spectacular sunsets, great food, killer wine list and live music. The service is friendly, knowledgeable and professional. As close to outdoor perfection as it gets.
What the Sun loves best: The all-in-one aspect: cocktails outside, spa services upstairs and fine dining inside.
Not sure where else on this beach you can get killer fish tacos and a view to match… and the Hula Deck atop Rundown Cafe has both. With beautiful mosaic-tile tables, bimini shades over part of the deck and live music on summer nights, the Hula Deck is open during both lunch and dinner.
What the Sun loves best: The surf-hangout atmosphere, fish tacos and friendly service. Tell Michael and Mary we sent you!
The patio in front of Ocean Boulevard is a hip little space to listen to acoustic music throughout the evening on a warm summer night. When the season is really cranking, they add a portable bar to the outside to make getting drinks even easier.
What the Sun loves best: You’re sitting so close to the ocean that some nights it simply ROARS. And that salty ocean air smell… nothing quite like it.
This funky little joint is perfect for lazy, post-beach summer days with a Corona in hand. It’s small, cool and on Jazz Nights the crowd spills out onto the porch.
What the Sun loves best: The top deck on a summer day. Wear your sunscreen.
The covered deck at the Black Pelican is a casual place to grab a pre-dinner cocktail, listen to some tunes and eat the free (spicy or regular) peanuts.
What the Sun loves best: Nice views of the Atlantic make this deck hangout a little gem. Great place for live music.
Spend the afternoon on the beach in Kill Devil Hills and walk up with your sandy feet to their oceanfront deck. Open seven days a week in season and serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, the Beachside Bistro makes oceanfront dining easy and delicious.
What the Sun loves best: Stopping here mid-day—still in a swimsuit— for a sandwich and beer, just steps from the ocean.
This afternoon hangout is right across from Martin Street beach access, making it an easy place to grab a beer, play a quick game of cornhole and head back down to the beach.
What the Sun loves best: The casual, surf-vibe and the stuffed jalapenos. They’re spicy, but in a hurts-so-good kind of way. Say hi to Michelle, bartender extraordinaire and one of our favorite local photographers.
What’s not to love about live music in a big, fenced-in back yard with a pirate ship for the kids to play on? The beer is brewed on site (duh), the windmill makes it easy to spot and earth-friendly, and the picnic tables are a laid-back spot to take a load off.
What the Sun loves best: The kid-friendly aspect. It’s a fun and easy place to meet up with people, have a drink together and let the kids play on the pirate ship.
Rooftop sipping with a panoramic view of the ocean, award-winning burgers, cold beer, and good service make Mulligan’s deck a favorite. A wonderful place to kick back and enjoy a warm summer breeze.
What the Sun loves best: Great view, cold beer, good place to kick back. And the burgers. Holy deliciousness.
This open air spot overlooking the ocean really invites you to mosey up from the beach and grab a sandwich. Fishing off the pier? Bring your catch to the restaurant and they’ll cook it for you.
What the Sun loves best: Lazy beach Sunday afternoons here, sipping a cold one and listening to live music.
Rum Jumpers bar at Pamlico Jack’s is an authentically replicated pirate ship. Cool for the kids and fun for the adults, Pamlico Jack’s has a prime sunset views, live music and a tempting cocktail menu.
What the Sun loves best: Sunset here is simply unbeatable.
Outer Banks Fishing Pier’s Fish Heads
Lapping waves, a wide selection of beer and being seriously oceanfront are some of the big draws to Fish Heads. Hidden in South Nags Head down where it’s primarily beach cottages and rental homes, this place is quickly gaining popularity for it’s laid back, old-school feel.
What the Sun loves best: Outdoor dining, steamed 10 cent North Carolina shrimp and the “secret spot” vibe. You really feel like you’ve stumbled across a hidden treasure at Fish Heads.
The deck sits right on the sound like a wooden peninsula resting on the water. Food is innovative and very well prepared. Nice wine list. Almost 360 degrees of amazing views.
What the Sun loves best: Spectacular view and southern cuisine prepared with a real flair.
Third story outdoor dining and cocktailing with a wowza view of the Albemarle Sound makes Striper’sa standout.
What the Sun loves best: The view. The marina, the sound… simply gorgeous.
As close to an urban outdoor café as it gets on the Outer Banks. The beer is brewed by owner Paul Charron and the food is excellent.
What the Sun loves best: Grab a seat here for First Friday (first Friday of the month) and late night Tuesdays when downtown Manteo really comes alive and do some serious people watching.
Ortega’z has a funky little seating area right next to an alley where musicians play in the evening. Informal and relaxed, lots of conversations flow between pedestrians and customers.
What the Sun loves best: A great place to hang for live outdoor music on First Fridays.
The late night entertainment place to be in Manteo. Beautiful view overlooking the Manteo docks and harbor. Casual, yet a little bit funky.
What the Sun loves best: A cold drink on a warm evening overlooking Manteo harbor.