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Guidebook for Wilmington

Craig

Guidebook for Wilmington

Food Scene
Right around the corner and extremely popular. Consistently good food in cool atmosphere. Asian, Thai, Vietnamese, Vegetarian, Vegan and Gluten Free dishes. No reservations. Almost crowded, but service is efficient. Bar is tight, but you can get a drink and wait in the tiki bar area in back - walk through the narrow bar area and out the wooden door. Pleasant outdoor dining space in back also. My only complaint is that the menu is, in my opinion, a bit too big. But then I always get the same thing - Shrimp & Scallops in a Nest. The mussels in coconut milk app is also recommended (you'll want to keep some broth to put over rice with your entree).
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Indochine Restaurant
7 Wayne Drive
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Right around the corner and extremely popular. Consistently good food in cool atmosphere. Asian, Thai, Vietnamese, Vegetarian, Vegan and Gluten Free dishes. No reservations. Almost crowded, but service is efficient. Bar is tight, but you can get a drink and wait in the tiki bar area in back - walk through the narrow bar area and out the wooden door. Pleasant outdoor dining space in back also. My only complaint is that the menu is, in my opinion, a bit too big. But then I always get the same thing - Shrimp & Scallops in a Nest. The mussels in coconut milk app is also recommended (you'll want to keep some broth to put over rice with your entree).
One of the best pubs around with very good food. One of our regular takeout spots. I've enjoyed everything I've had there with the exception of the disappointingly puny Reuben.
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The Copper Penny
109 Chestnut Street
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One of the best pubs around with very good food. One of our regular takeout spots. I've enjoyed everything I've had there with the exception of the disappointingly puny Reuben.
Our go-to for burgers. Great sandwiches too; good choice of beers. Intimate space, some outdoor seating. My rec: Lamb burger, crispy Brussels sprouts, (unfiltered, unpasteurized) Red Oak lager.
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The Fork 'N' Cork
122 Market Street
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Our go-to for burgers. Great sandwiches too; good choice of beers. Intimate space, some outdoor seating. My rec: Lamb burger, crispy Brussels sprouts, (unfiltered, unpasteurized) Red Oak lager.
Nearby Italian spot with good pizza and good service.
Elizabeth's Pizza
Market Street
Nearby Italian spot with good pizza and good service.
Very casual beach vibe, often crowded with locals. Southwestern food. Cold beer. Efficient wait staff. Sister restaurant at Wrightsville Beach, Tower 7, is also good.
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K38 Baja Grill
5410 Oleander Drive
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Very casual beach vibe, often crowded with locals. Southwestern food. Cold beer. Efficient wait staff. Sister restaurant at Wrightsville Beach, Tower 7, is also good.
Excellent southern breakfast/brunch.
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The Dixie Grill
116 Market St
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Excellent southern breakfast/brunch.
Cool tiny spot serving unique Latin American dishes. Fresh. Chef was driving force behind popular Ceviche's, which is also recommended.
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Savorez
402 Chestnut St
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Cool tiny spot serving unique Latin American dishes. Fresh. Chef was driving force behind popular Ceviche's, which is also recommended.
Tiny Italian spot at Kure Beach. No reservations. Go early to avoid a long wait in summer.
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Freddie's Restaurant
111 K Avenue
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Tiny Italian spot at Kure Beach. No reservations. Go early to avoid a long wait in summer.
Iconic hot dog spot at beach. It's lasted this long (since the 70's) for a reason.
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Trolly Stop
94 South Lumina Avenue
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Iconic hot dog spot at beach. It's lasted this long (since the 70's) for a reason.
Our personal favorite for nearby takeout pie. Maybe a tad better than Elizabeth's, but they're comparable. Service at Slice gets horrible reviews. Looks like we need to give Crispino's, a new well-reviewed pizza place on Market St. a try.
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Slice of Life Pizzeria & Pub Downtown
125 Market Street
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Our personal favorite for nearby takeout pie. Maybe a tad better than Elizabeth's, but they're comparable. Service at Slice gets horrible reviews. Looks like we need to give Crispino's, a new well-reviewed pizza place on Market St. a try.
Southern soul buffet. Expect to gain a couple pounds and return to do the same thing next week.
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Casey’s Buffet
5559 Oleander Dr
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Southern soul buffet. Expect to gain a couple pounds and return to do the same thing next week.
Downtown deli. Good sandwiches, salads, beers.
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Chops Deli
130 North Front Street
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Downtown deli. Good sandwiches, salads, beers.
Have not visited, but it is well-reviewed and looks unique and very much worth investigating.
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Pinpoint Restaurant
114 Market Street
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Have not visited, but it is well-reviewed and looks unique and very much worth investigating.
Average looking diner with above average breakfast/brunch dishes. Local fave, often packed. Cash only.
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Goody Goody Omelet House
3817 Market St
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Average looking diner with above average breakfast/brunch dishes. Local fave, often packed. Cash only.
Drinks & Nightlife
Cool relaxed bar, good selection of beer; billiards, pinball, foosball, air hockey, skeeball, darts.
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Blue Post Billiards
15 South Water Street
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Cool relaxed bar, good selection of beer; billiards, pinball, foosball, air hockey, skeeball, darts.
Decent dive with some good live music.
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The Whiskey
1 South Front Street
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Decent dive with some good live music.
Good selection of finely crafted suds
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New Anthem Beer Project
116 Dock St
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Good selection of finely crafted suds
Excellent brewer casual digs. Focus is appropriately on the very good suds. Low key outdoor seating, often with food trucks, occasional music.
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Flytrap Brewing
319 Walnut Street
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Excellent brewer casual digs. Focus is appropriately on the very good suds. Low key outdoor seating, often with food trucks, occasional music.
New piano bar. Nice digs, good bar and cocktail craft.
Tails Piano Bar
115 S Front St
New piano bar. Nice digs, good bar and cocktail craft.
Very nice intimate amphitheater hosting mostly blues, jam, indie, funk & country acts. Comfortable seating with excellent views of stage. Good sound and lovely backdrop at dusk. 4 or 5 beer vendors selling a few mainstream beers and a couple crafts. Parking is free and help-yourself on the surrounding grounds and streets.
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Greenfield Lake Amphitheater
1941 Amphitheatre Drive
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Very nice intimate amphitheater hosting mostly blues, jam, indie, funk & country acts. Comfortable seating with excellent views of stage. Good sound and lovely backdrop at dusk. 4 or 5 beer vendors selling a few mainstream beers and a couple crafts. Parking is free and help-yourself on the surrounding grounds and streets.
Self-serve, pay-by-the ounce (with wristband) from a huge selection of taps: ales, IPAs, sours, stouts, ciders, wines. Allow enough time for some serious sipping.
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Pour Taproom
201 N Front St
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Self-serve, pay-by-the ounce (with wristband) from a huge selection of taps: ales, IPAs, sours, stouts, ciders, wines. Allow enough time for some serious sipping.
OK food, live music on rooftop bar.
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Reel Cafe
100 South Front Street
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OK food, live music on rooftop bar.
Our "neighborhood bar" just around the corner. Good selection of wine and craft brews. Jazz on Sundays.
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Burnt Mill Creek Billiards & Wine Bar
2101 Market St
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Our "neighborhood bar" just around the corner. Good selection of wine and craft brews. Jazz on Sundays.
Parks & Nature
South of Kure, the Fort Fisher area is historically interesting, naturally beautiful, and has very good facilities - free parking, bathrooms, beach access, Cape Fear River access, NC Aquarium, four-wheel drive beach access, beach camping, surf fishing, Fort Fisher historic site, boat launch, and car ferry service to Southport (from which you can take passenger ferry to Bald Head). You can kayak fish the FF Basin or paddle out to explore Zeke’s Island Reserve and Bald Head Island reserve.
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Fort Fisher State Historic Site
1610 Fort Fisher Boulevard South
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South of Kure, the Fort Fisher area is historically interesting, naturally beautiful, and has very good facilities - free parking, bathrooms, beach access, Cape Fear River access, NC Aquarium, four-wheel drive beach access, beach camping, surf fishing, Fort Fisher historic site, boat launch, and car ferry service to Southport (from which you can take passenger ferry to Bald Head). You can kayak fish the FF Basin or paddle out to explore Zeke’s Island Reserve and Bald Head Island reserve.
Because it’s a bit further from Wilmington, Kure (pronounced Cure-ee) Beach, is a quiet family-oriented beach that is uncrowded except on holiday weekends. There are beach accesses around the centrally located pier (metered parking, public bathhouse, restaurants) and along Fort Fisher Blvd. (free parking but no restrooms). There are a few mostly quiet bars, good restaurants (including several in Carolina Beach), and free music weekly during the extended summer season. The park has 2 hard surface tennis courts, playground, ball field, basketball court, and disc golf course. Visitors tend to be families and young couples.
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Kure Beach
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Because it’s a bit further from Wilmington, Kure (pronounced Cure-ee) Beach, is a quiet family-oriented beach that is uncrowded except on holiday weekends. There are beach accesses around the centrally located pier (metered parking, public bathhouse, restaurants) and along Fort Fisher Blvd. (free parking but no restrooms). There are a few mostly quiet bars, good restaurants (including several in Carolina Beach), and free music weekly during the extended summer season. The park has 2 hard surface tennis courts, playground, ball field, basketball court, and disc golf course. Visitors tend to be families and young couples.
Wrightsville Beach is most popular and offers surfing, kayaking, stand-up paddling, sailing, biking, running The Loop, or just beaching it for the day. The park has tennis courts, playground, sports fields, and beach history museum. Visitors here tend to be very active. Beaches are often crowded on summer weekends and especially so on holidays. Parking (metered seasonally) is often scarce, so go early. Surfing is most prevalent at Columbia St. and Oceanic Pier. Watch for flagged surf zones in summer. Bars tend to be very casual and crowded with mostly young locals and get pretty lively on weekends. There are several good restaurants, including a few overlooking the water.
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Wrightsville Beach
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Wrightsville Beach is most popular and offers surfing, kayaking, stand-up paddling, sailing, biking, running The Loop, or just beaching it for the day. The park has tennis courts, playground, sports fields, and beach history museum. Visitors here tend to be very active. Beaches are often crowded on summer weekends and especially so on holidays. Parking (metered seasonally) is often scarce, so go early. Surfing is most prevalent at Columbia St. and Oceanic Pier. Watch for flagged surf zones in summer. Bars tend to be very casual and crowded with mostly young locals and get pretty lively on weekends. There are several good restaurants, including a few overlooking the water.
Essentials
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Harris Teeter
Oleander Drive
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Whole Foods Market
3804 Oleander Drive
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Everything Else
Liquor Store - Sale of alcohol is controlled (and taxed) by the Alcoholic Beverage Commission (ABC) in North Carolina. This is the closest place to buy spirits.
ABC Store
​523 S 17th St
Liquor Store - Sale of alcohol is controlled (and taxed) by the Alcoholic Beverage Commission (ABC) in North Carolina. This is the closest place to buy spirits.
Entertainment & Activities
AMC CLASSIC Wilmington 16
111 Cinema Drive
Brand new theater with a few good adjacent restaurants.
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Stone Theaters, The Pointe @ Barclay
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Brand new theater with a few good adjacent restaurants.
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Regal Mayfaire & IMAX
900 Town Center Drive
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Shopping
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Independence Mall
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Shopping & dining village. http://www.mayfairetown.com/
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Mayfaire Town Center
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Shopping & dining village. http://www.mayfairetown.com/