The Locals Guide To The Best of Topsail Island

Here on Topsail Island, we have literally dozens of amazing places to eat. From restaurants featuring our great local seafood to quick and easy places to grab a slice of pizza. You’ll never want for variety during your Topsail Island beach vacation, but this week we're going to pull back the curtain a bit and share with you, our staff’s favorite places to eat on Topsail Island. Now we understand this is a subjective list, these are just some of the places our local staff and crew like to eat and there are even more than we had space to highlight in this post. For even more recommendations make sure to check out our Live Like A Local page on our website where we give you all the staff picks.  We look forward to hearing about your family’s favorite places to eat. Make sure to leave a comment below with your family’s favorite places to dine or snack. 



They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and well…our staff agrees. If you want to start your day off right and have all the energy you need to explore all that Topsail Island has to offer, then head to one of these great breakfast places. From coffee to french toast there is something for everyone. 

Sugar Island Bakery

Located at 206 N. Topsail Drive, Surf City, NC you'll find a paradise full of homemade baked goods. Forget about your diet when you stop by the Sugar Island Bakery & Supplies this is a place where you treat yourself. Each day the staff at the bakery makes all of their baked goods from scratch and as their website notes, this doesn't mean they thaw out some pre-made baked goods. Whether you're looking for a warm piece of apple pie or a special order cake for a birthday or other event the folks at Sugar Island Bakery have you covered. If you would like to contact them for a special order cake they can be reached at (910) 254-1110. Store hours are as follows: Weds-Sat 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday 12 pm to 4 pm. One final word about Sugar Island Bakery, it is also a great place to find the perfect summer read as they have a small but well-stocked bookstore. Looking for something local to read? Check out our previous post: The Best Authors From Topsail Island You Should Be Reading.
Staff's Favorite Dish: Pastries and Coffee (They are all amazing!)

Batson’s Galley

Larry and Linda Batson have created a warm and friendly environment that is sure to make locals and visitors alike feel more like your hanging out at your grandma's kitchen than a restaurant and I doubt Larry and Linda would want it any other way. Open daily from 6 am to 8 pm, this is one of our staff's favorite places for a great family breakfast. If you leave Batson's Galley without feeling like you've not only made a friend but had a great meal, we would be surprised. Located in Surf City this is the perfect place for a casual breakfast during your Topsail Island beach vacation. While best known for their breakfast Batson's also has a hearty lunch and dinner menu for your enjoyment. You can start your day off right at 14260 NC Hwy 50, Surf City, 28445. We look forward to seeing you there.  
Staff's Favorite Dish: French Toast and Omelets 

Beach Shop and Grill

When you've been around since 1952 you don't have much to prove anymore, yet every day of the week Cheryl and Jeff Price of The Beach Shop & Grill prove once again why the Beach Shop is a Topsail Island institution. Serving up amazing food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner it would be a shame to miss a meal at the Beach Shop during your Topsail Island vacation. Some of the highlights on the menu are the Shrimp Burger with a Cajun remoulade on a fresh brioche bun. For dinner head, straight for the South End Fried Seafood Platter featuring fresh NC flounder. You can find the beach shop at 701 S. Anderson St, Topsail Beach, NC. The Beach Shop doesn't accept reservations and can get busy so plan accordingly.
Staff's Favorite Dish: Country Breakfast 



A lunch during your Topsail Island beach vacation can take on many shapes and forms. Maybe you're looking for that quick bite to eat during a break from the beach or maybe you're looking for a romantic lunch on the water. Have kids? No problem we have the perfect place for everyone in the family...even the vegetarian! Here are the places you'll find our staff grabbing a quick bite to eat. 

Sear’s Landing

Back in Surf City, you'll find Sears Landing, a fun, and unique restaurant. The friendly staff at Sears Landing offers a full menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Now we will warn you this place is popular so plan accordingly. Weather permitting take advantage of dining outside on the covered deck. The crew at Sears Landing prides itself on using local ingredients, which of course here on Topsail Island means local seafood and that means our choice on the menu is of course, going to be a seafood combo. Sears landing is also great for boaters as you can pull right up to their dock grab a bite and get right back on the water. Hours are as follows: Breakfast 8-11 Lunch/Dinner 11-close 7 days a week. 
Staff's Favorite Dish: ICW Fish Sandwich

New York Corner Deli

Located in the heart of Surf City you'll find the family owned and operated New York Corner Deli. Jason and Jessica Ward are the new owners of and continue the tradition of delivering delicious New York style eats to Topsail Island. The motto of the restaurant is "From Da Bronx to Da Beach" and it shows. This is a casual family style deli so feel free to stop by for a quick bite to eat or grab a sandwich to go. Located at 206 North Topsail Drive, Surf City, NC and open for breakfast and lunch from 7:30 am till mid-day, 365 days a year you're sure to find yourself stopping by the New York Deli more than once during your Topsail Island Vacation. To get started though you need to try The Benvenuti which is a chicken cutlet sandwich smothered in mozzarella, roasted peppers, and creamy balsamic vinegar. How can you go wrong with a sandwich like that, and that is just the beginning. Finally, before you leave, you have to try some traditional cannoli.
Staff's Favorite Dish: Reuben or Cuban Sandwich 

Surf City Pier

You may have heard us mention Surf City Pier in our prior post: How To Have A Fantastic Fall Fishing Trip where we mention the pier as one of the places you must fish while vacationing on Topsail Island. So how does a place famous for fishing also find its way into the hearts of visitors and locals alike. Well, first off there is just something special about the piers on Topsail Island. Maybe it is that childlike joy we all feel watching the waves roll off the Atlantic under the pier. Whatever it is nobody will deny there are a certain charm and magic present at the Surf City Pier. Located in the heart of Surf City at 112 S. Shore Drive. The pier is open 24 hours a day seven days a week (March-December). The Grill is the perfect spot to grab a burger, before wetting a line on the 937-foot long pier. This is also a great place for a quick vegetarian bite to eat as our staff loves the Black Bean Burger. Whether you come for the food, the fishing, or just to relax and watch the waves roll by, everyone is invited to the Surf City Pier. 
Staff's Favorite Dish: Mosquito or Black Bean Burger



Maybe more so than any other meal of the day, dinner is that special moment when you sit back and take stock of your amazing day on Topsail Island. You might be with a large party, including generations of your family. Maybe you are on a romantic week-long getaway and just want to enjoy a great bottle of wine and watch the sunset. For the true foodies, we even have nationally recognized award-winning restaurants that will blow you away with their atmosphere and cuisine. No matter your choice dinner is special during a Topsail Island vacation and our local picks are all special in their own way. 

The Bistro at Topsail 

Looking for that perfect place to celebrate a special occasion during your Topsail Island beach vacation. Then look no further than The Bistro at Topsail. Oh, and in case you are a panicking about Valentine's Day...yes they will be open!

When you're rated one of the Top 100 Most Scenic Restaurants in America and received Wine Spectator Magazine's Award for Excellence, in 2015, 2016, and 2017 you know you're doing something right. and that something is The Bistro at Topsail.

Located at 602 Roland Ave, Surf City, NC, The Bistro is your go-to place for an elegant dining experience. I think one TripAdvisor comment said it best about The Bistro "phenomenal in every way". The Bistro is very popular so reservations are a great idea. But what makes The Bistro so amazing? First is the fact that many of the ingredients come from the owner's farm in Holly Ridge, NC just six miles away from the restaurant. That is true farm to table cooking.  Seafood is all locally sourced and incredibly fresh. The menu itself is a beautiful array of southern cuisine, delicious wines and incredible deserts. The Bistro also features an award winning bourbon bar. In 2016, the American Bourbon Association named The Bistro The Best Bourbon Bar in America. You get the picture, this place is special and easy to see why it is a staff favorite.  
Staff's Favorite Dish: 14 Spice Flat Iron Steak 

Ocean’s Edge

Ocean's Edge also known locally as the Topsail Shrimp House offers spectacular food, paired with an equally breathtaking view. This oceanfront restaurant is one of those places where you could throw a dart at the menu and never be disappointed with the meal. Of course, when you have two names and one of them includes "Shrimp House" you know you can always quench your craving for great local shrimp at Ocean's Edge. The atmosphere is casual and family-friendly, but it is also a great place to have a special dinner away from the kids. Our staff has a secret about Ocean's Edge and that is their mouth-watering Black Angus Ribeye. So if you have a steak lover in the family and also looking for seafood at one great dinner location, then look no further than Ocean's Edge. Ocean's Edge is located at 2000 New River Inlet Rd, #2701, North Topsail Beach, and can be reached at (910) 328-0582. They do accept reservations for parties of six or more. 
Staff's Favorite Dish: 12oz Black Angus Ribeye

Daddy Mac's

Head over to 108 N. Shore Drive, in Surf City to visit the good folks at Daddy Mac's Beach Grille in the heart of Topsail Island. The setting is casual and the prices are moderate so this is a perfect place for the whole family to enjoy a great meal. Open Mon-Sat from 11 to 3 for lunch, 5 to 9 for dinner with a brunch served on Sundays from 10 to 3. Now that you know how to get there and when to go, let's dive into why this place is a must stop for a lunch while on your Topsail Island Vacation. First (and this is no small thing) the view is incredible. Nestled right on the ocean the deck seating provides patrons with a truly stellar view that epitomizes beach dining. The restaurant features a full cocktail, beer, and wine list, so this is a great place for a quick drink with friends. There is more though, much more. Daddy Mac's features a full menu of sandwiches, salads, and seafood platters. You simply can't come to Topsail Island and not have a meal at Daddy Mac's.
Staff's Favorite Dish: Seafood Stuffed Flounder


Pizza and Burgers

Is there ever a bad time for a great slice of pizza or a juicy burger prepared just the way you like it. We agree, so in this section, we're going to give to two places that are great for lunch and dinner and two of our staff's favorite places that are casual fun and frankly the type of place you know everyone will enjoy. 

Santino’s Pizza

Sometimes you just crave a great slice of pizza and on those days you need to look no further than Santino's Pizza and More. Located at 205 S. Topsail Drive, Surf City, NC you'll find a little slice of pizza heaven. This isn't to say all they serve up at Santino's is pizza, far from it. Calzones, lasagna, and of course great pizza are all on the menu at Santino's. The atmosphere is casual and family friendly with reasonable prices and great quality ingredients you simply can't go wrong on your family's pizza night with Santino's. You can stop by Santino's Tues-Sat 12 pm to 9 pm and Sunday from 5 pm to 9 pm.
Staff's Favorite Dish: Anything and Everything

Fat Burgers Sports Bar and Grill

Looking for the perfect burger, or maybe a place to gather up with the guys and tell fishing stories. Look no further than Fat Burgers Sports Bar and Grill in Sneads Ferry. Think of Fat Burgers like being at a neighborhood cookout, except with a great bar, and all the sports you can ever imagine. A friendly and fun place where you're sure to bump into more than a few locals, this is a favorite place of our staff's to gather to watch the big game or just to relax and enjoy a great burger in a casual atmosphere. While the name may sound like it isn't the perfect family location nothing is further from the truth and you'll find families enjoying the great food and casual atmosphere so don't worry about the little ones. Finding Fat Burger Sports Bar and Grill is easy just punch in 1044 NC Hwy 210, Sneads Ferry, NC 28460. Prices are moderate and the atmosphere is casual so it's ok to rock your favorite flip-flops here.  

We hope you enjoy our local's guide to the best of Topsail Island. Keep an eye out for future posts coming this summer with even more insider info to all of the best of Topsail Island. No matter where you decide to stay, North Topsail Beach, Surf City or Topsail Beach your Topsail Island beach vacation rental will put you just minutes away from amazing dining experiences. If you have a favorite place to eat on Topsail Island, let us know in the comments below.

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