5 Best Restaurants in New Hanover County

In the coastal region of North Carolina, New Hanover County beckons with its unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. This thriving county offers a lifestyle like no other, from its pristine beaches and picturesque waterways to its charming downtowns and lively communities. Whether you're a nature enthusiast, history buff, or food lover, there's something for everyone in New Hanover County. With its temperate climate, diverse recreational opportunities, and a strong sense of community, it's no wonder why so many people are choosing to call this area home.

Before diving into the culinary delights of New Hanover County, it's essential to understand what makes this coastal destination truly special. With its stunning beaches, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant communities, New Hanover County offers a lifestyle that combines the best of coastal living with the comforts of home. As you explore the top restaurants in the area, each establishment serves as a culinary ambassador, showcasing the diverse flavors and warm hospitality that define this charming region. From cozy cafes to waterfront eateries, these restaurants invite you to experience the essence of New Hanover County through every delicious bite.

One of its biggest draws is its stunning coastline, which boasts miles of sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and breathtaking sunsets. Whether you're lounging on the shores of Wrightsville Beach, exploring the serene beauty of Masonboro Island, or casting a line off the Kure Beach Fishing Pier, you'll find endless outdoor adventure and relaxation opportunities. Water sports enthusiasts can take advantage of world-class surfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, and boating, while nature lovers can explore the county's many parks, nature preserves, and scenic trails. With its mild climate and year-round sunshine, New Hanover County is a paradise for those who love the great outdoors.

Best Restaurants in New Hanover County

The Sawmill Cafe and Catering

Since its inception, The Sawmill Cafe and Catering has been a cornerstone of Wilmington's culinary scene. Step inside, and you're greeted by the comforting aroma of freshly brewed coffee and sizzling bacon. The cozy atmosphere invites patrons to linger over their meal, soaking in the warmth and hospitality that defines Southern dining. Each dish on the menu tells a story of tradition and innovation, with recipes passed down through generations and modern twists that keep diners returning for more. From fluffy buttermilk pancakes to savory shrimp and grits, every bite at The Sawmill is a testament to the chefs' dedication to excellence and their love for local flavors.

Boathouse Restaurant

Perched on the banks of the Intracoastal Waterway, Boathouse Restaurant offers diners a front-row seat to the beauty of coastal living. As you dine on the expansive outdoor deck, you're treated to panoramic views of passing boats and the shimmering waters beyond. The menu reflects the restaurant's maritime surroundings, emphasizing fresh seafood sourced from local fishermen. Indulge in a platter of oysters on the half shell, or savor the delicate flavors of a perfectly grilled mahi-mahi fillet. For landlubbers, there are plenty of options to choose from, including juicy steaks and tender chicken dishes. Pair your meal with a glass of wine from their thoughtfully curated selection, and toast to an unforgettable dining experience at Boathouse.

The Bridge Tender

With its prime location overlooking the Wrightsville Beach drawbridge, The Bridge Tender is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. Step inside, and you're transported to a bygone era of coastal charm and hospitality. The restaurant's nautical decor and cozy fireplace create an inviting ambiance for intimate dinners or lively gatherings with friends. The menu features a mix of classic favorites and seasonal specialties, with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients. Start your meal with a bowl of creamy she-crab soup, then move on to the catch of the day, expertly prepared and served with your choice of sides. Save room for dessert, and indulge in a slice of homemade key lime pie or decadent chocolate torte before bidding farewell to this beloved culinary landmark.

Amanecer Cocina

For a taste of Latin America in the heart of Wilmington, look no further than Amanecer Cocina. This family-owned restaurant is a labor of love, with recipes passed down through generations and a commitment to preserving the flavors of home. As you step through the door, you're greeted by the tantalizing scent of spices and herbs, beckoning you to take a culinary journey south of the border. The menu celebrates Latin American cuisine, with dishes inspired by the diverse culinary traditions of Mexico, Colombia, and beyond. From sizzling fajitas to tangy ceviche and mouthwatering empanadas, every dish at Amanecer Cocina is a testament to the richness and complexity of Latin American flavors. Wash it all down with a refreshing margarita or a cold cerveza, and savor this culinary gem's vibrant colors and bold flavors.

The Green House Restaurant

Nestled in the heart of Carolina Beach, The Green House Restaurant is a beacon of sustainability and culinary creativity. The restaurant's commitment to using locally sourced, organic ingredients is evident in every dish, from the garden-fresh salads to the hearty main courses. Step inside, and you're greeted by the earthy aroma of freshly harvested produce and the warm glow of candlelight. The menu changes with the seasons, reflecting the region's bounty and showcasing the kitchen staff's talents. Start your meal with a plate of crispy fried green tomatoes, then move on to the catch of the day, expertly prepared and served with a side of seasonal vegetables. Save room for dessert, and indulge in a slice of homemade fruit cobbler or a scoop of artisanal ice cream, made with locally sourced dairy and fresh fruits. As you dine, you can feel good knowing that your meal supports local farmers and promotes sustainability in the community.

Discover Your Dream Home in New Hanover County

Ready to embark on your journey to homeownership in New Hanover County? Let Tory Kuehner and the dedicated team at the Tory Kuehner Group guide you every step of the way. With a wealth of experience and a commitment to excellence, she is your trusted partner in finding the ideal new build home for you and your family. Contact Tory Kuehner today to begin your search and turn your homeownership dreams into reality.

*Header image courtesy of Tory Kuehner


The Tory Kuehner Group combines their passion for golf & real estate to help you find your slice of paradise in Porter's Neck, Figure Eight, Landfall, & Wrightsville Beach. Contact us today so we can guide you through the buying and selling process.