What Food Is Wilmington Known For?

what food is wilmington known for

Wilmington, NC is a small city located on the shore of North Carolina, known for its traditional cooking and hospitality. 

The area is known for its delicious comfort food, from staples such as fried chicken and hush puppies to the freshest seafood dishes like Calabash style crab cakes and shrimp. The city is also home to some of the finest restaurants in the state that offer a variety of different cuisines.

Whether you’re looking for a place to get an oyster or a place to grab a burger, there’s a place for you. Below, you’ll find some of the best restaurants in the city with the best food Wilmington NC.

Flaming Amy’s Burrito Barn

The restaurant is a favorite among locals and tourists. It offers a wide variety of tasty burritos and tacos.

The owners, Amy and Jay Muxworthy, opened the restaurant in Wilmington, NC in 2000. Over the years, the restaurant has become a staple in the Wilmington community. In fact, it has been featured in television interviews and online publications.

The restaurant features a build-your-own stir-fry buffet. Customers choose from a variety of meat fillings, which are then topped with melted cheese. All of the foods are prepared fresh, so you can expect flavorful and satisfying dishes.

The menu includes vegan, gluten free, and low-fat options. There are also several desserts to choose from. You can also order takeout meals. And if you’re looking for a little more comfort, there’s even a patio.

Flaming Amy’s Burrito Bar provides a fun, lively, and affordable dining experience for people of all ages. It’s open during the day, and offers an outdoor patio and bike racks for cyclists.

Circa 1922

Circa 1922 is a fancy restaurant that serves up a fine dining experience in the middle of downtown Wilmington.

They boast a surprisingly large cocktail list and some of the best food around. A full menu is on offer, as well as a dozen small plates to choose from. 

The venue is also dog friendly, which is a novelty in its own right. Some of the other notables include a good ol’ fashioned buffet and a selection of upscale cocktails.

For something a bit more hands on, the bar is a great place to start. On the menu is a full array of cheeses, meats, and a small but tasty selection of seafood. While the main dining room is a tad stuffy at times, the bar is a great place to enjoy a cocktail or two. 

Those looking for a more relaxed setting may opt to head out to the patio or take the plunge into the kitchen for a more intimate dining experience.

Copper Penny

Copper Penny is an excellent place to get a burger or a beer. The establishment boasts an extensive selection of brews, as well as a number of unique craft beers on tap. 

In addition to its beer offerings, the menu features a variety of upscale pub foods, from a steak and bacon sandwich to a hot roasted pork patty.

This establishment also features a nice-sized patio. A business casual dress code is in place. It is located in the heart of historic downtown Wilmington. During the weekend, parking can be a challenge. Try Walnut Street, between 2nd and 3rd, for a convenient parking spot.

Among its other features, Copper Penny offers a quick seating service for groups of all sizes. It is a family-friendly restaurant, as well. Young children are welcome, with crayons available for free. They accept all major credit cards, and even offer a takeout option.

Considering that this establishment is situated in the middle of a major business district, it’s no surprise that it has received numerous “best staff” awards. 

For the same reason, the establishment has undergone a few modifications. One notable change is that it’s moved to a more traditional to-go station.

Caprice Bistro

Caprice Bistro is a French-influenced restaurant located in downtown Wilmington. Its location near the waterfront offers a beautiful, relaxing atmosphere. The menu offers a wide variety of choices, from crepes to salmon rillettes to tri-chocolate mousse.

Thierry and Patricia Moity, owners of the restaurant, moved to the United States from Belgium. Before opening the bistro, they owned a restaurant in Charlotte called Patou. They chose a smaller city and wanted to create their own restaurant.

When they decided to open Caprice, they decided to go for a classic French bistro. Since then, the restaurant has had a good number of fans. Their cuisine is French and Belgian inspired.

With a menu full of tasty treats, Caprice is ideal for a romantic dinner. They also offer food delivery. There is an upstairs sofa bar for drinks.

Caprice has a good menu, excellent service and a lovely setting. In addition, the menu changes regularly to match the season.

Kid Shelleen’s Charcoal House & Saloon

Owner Harry’s Hospitality Group is a family owned and operated business that has a knack for turning out a good steak, but if you’re in the mood for something a bit more elegant, it’s a short drive to the city center. 

On the menu you’ll find a wide selection of traditional American fare and an impressive wine list. Among the staff are a group of locals whose business focuses on providing an excellent dining experience. 

They’re on hand to offer advice and a warm welcome to first timers. It’s a well laid out facility with a nice outdoor patio to boot. A great place to go for your next date night dinner. To make your evening even better, the restaurant is open until midnight. 


Ceviche’s in Wilmington is a good place to go for fresh seafood. 

Their mahi-mahi and jerk shrimp skewers will get the taste buds tingling. They also serve a few non-seafood items such as pickled cabbage and a coconut curry sauce. Plus, they make their own hot sauce. Not to mention the cocktails.

For a modest fee you can choose from a menu of about a dozen appetizers and entrees. The list isn’t short on gluten free options. There’s even a deli counter for the aficionados. While they do serve a decent margarita, you might want to consider ordering the red or white wine instead. 

One of the best parts is that they source their wares locally. That is, when possible. If you don’t care to cook, they will deliver your grub to you.

As for their service, the restaurant does a good job of ensuring a speedy experience. Their staff seems to be more than aware of gluten intolerance issues, and it’s easy to tell because they aren’t too busy to talk to you.

Del Pez Mexican Gastropub

The good ol’ dandy is that Del Pez is indeed a worthy contender. 

Getting there is a bit of a schlepping affair, but that’s par for the course. Del Pez is one of the few notables in the greater Wilmington metro area. It is also one of the few restaurants in the city that serve breakfast all day.

The booze is in the same venue. Despite the aforementioned qualms, it is a great place to grab a pint or two while getting down to business. Besides, you’ll be in the right state of mind for the night.

Final Word

Wilmington is known for its delicious seafood, but the city also has a variety of other cuisines available, including Italian, Mexican, and Asian. All in all, Wilmington is a great place to find delicious food for all tastes. 

No matter what type of food you are looking for, Wilmington has something to offer that will satisfy any appetite.

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