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11 oyster specials to check out at Wilmington-area restaurants


Oysters are a local specialty in Wilmington, North Carolina. Known as the “Oyster Capital of North Carolina,” many restaurants in the area showcase oysters on their menus. Here are 11 oyster dishes worth trying at Wilmington-area restaurants.

Cape Fear Seafood Company is a popular seafood spot near downtown. Their oyster roast features one dozen fresh oysters roasted over an open fire with garlic butter and Parmesan. The bubbling hot oysters have a smoky flavor from the fire. Another option is the crispy fried oysters served with chipotle aioli for a spicy twist.

Circa 1922 is a fine dining restaurant that is also downtown. Their charred octopus appetizer includes six pan-seared oysters with the tender octopus. The oysters and seafood are delicately cooked with the creamy spinach and bacon sauce.

Located near the riverfront, Catch is a seafood restaurant highly rated for fresh catches. Their oyster sampler allows trying four types of oysters, such as the smaller kusshis from Pamlico Sound or plumper standards from nearby areas. It’s a great way to compare different flavors.

For a lunch spot by the water, try Fish Bites near Carolina Beach. Their oyster po’boy is made with six fried oysters on a toasted hoagie roll with lettuce, tomato, and remoulade sauce. It’s the perfect sandwich to enjoy on their outdoor patio.

South Beach Grill on Wrightsville Beach serves upscale coastal fare. Their oyster specialties include oysters Rockefeller baked with Pernod cream sauce and spinach or char-grilled oysters drizzled with chimichurri butter. The best part is that both these pair well with the scenic ocean views.

Pilottown neighborhood’s PinPoint Restaurant stands out for innovative seafood. Their half-dozen seared oysters come topped with Porthole pimento cheese, warm bacon vinaigrette, and scallions for a rich yet unique take.

Across from the historic district, Hieronymus Restaurant serves classic shells. Their oyster shooters include five plump oysters served on the half shell with cocktail and mignonette sauces. It’s a no-frills approach to appreciate the natural oyster taste.

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The elegant Brasserie du Soleil features French-American meals. Their Oyster Pan Roast broils six oysters with white wine, lemon, herbs, and vegetables. Plated on a sizzling cast iron pan, it’s perfect to share.

Near the Hugh MacRae park, Elijah’s Restaurant grills oysters nightly. Their dozen chargrilled oysters are basted with brown butter, lemon, and crab seasoning. Presented family-style, they make a festive appetizer.

For oceanfront dining, try King Neptune in Wrightsville. Their crispy fried oysters come with hushpuppies, coleslaw, and spicy remoulade for an indulgent picnic-style plate.

Lastly, the Boathouse Restaurant offers classic coastal cooking. Their fried oyster basket includes a full pound of plump local oysters hand-battered and fried to a golden brown. It’s enough for two to share.

With these oyster specials, you’re sure to find your new favorite at a Wilmington-area restaurant specializing in the region’s signature shellfish. Bon appétit!

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