Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Outerbanks restaurant guide: specialty food

We spent five days in Duck, North Carolina (part of the Outerbanks, in case you're new to these terms) over our spring break, and this is a place we spend several weekends or weeks each year, depending on our vacation schedules. Most of the time we cook because so many of the restaurants are expensive, have long waits, or both, especially during the in-season. But at times like spring break, Duck is getting rejuvenated with tourists, but it's not yet overrun, so there are ample opportunities to eat good food on a reasonable budget.

Before we dive in, keep in mind that Duck, Kill Devil Hills, Corolla, and the other places I'll mention in the Outerbanks tend to operate on a seasonal schedule, so if you're around between November and early April a lot will be closed. Always call ahead and have five back-up plans before you head out.

Here are some favorites I offer you in this Outerbanks restaurant guide, part 1.

Non-restaurant spots
In walking distance from Matt's parents' beach house there are some of my favorite things.

Perhaps the best one:
Duck Donuts
Location: sound side, Duck Village
Food: doughnuts and coffee
Price: super cheap
Get here early in the morning in the summer, or be ready to wait in a long line. These baked-fresh, served-hot cake doughnuts come with a variety of toppings. My faves: chocolate or cinnamon sugar. No matter what, though, you really can't go wrong. It's located on the sound side, so you can enjoy your doughnuts right on the water!

Duck's Cottage
Location: Duck Village, sound side, in the Waterfront Shops
Food: coffee and pastries
Price: expensive coffee (a la Starbucks)
This place combines two of my favorite things: coffee and books. So, while you're waiting for the barista to cook up your favorite $4 beverage (mine's some variety of mocha) you can browse this independent bookstore. Keep places like this in business!

Candy and Corks
Location: Duck Village, sound side, in the Waterfront Shops
Food: candy and wine
Price: mid-range candy prices
And this place combines two of my other favorite things: candy and wine. Seriously. Half the store = candy (the front); half the store = wine (the back). The lady who owns this shop doesn't make her own chocolate, but she does get it from local sellers. I recommend getting some dark-chocolate covered pretzels and a bag of red licorice.

Candy and Corks is all the way at the end of the line of shops on the sound.

Tommy's Market
Location: Duck Village, next to the Waterfront Shops
Food: gourmet grocery, prepared foods, deli and butcher, wines
Price: expensive!
A word of caution: don't go here for actual groceries. Also avoid the alcohol. Matt tried to get us a bottle of sparkling wine, a brand we've had before that costs about $9 per bottle, and here it cost $17. This place is awesome for two things: homemade dips (salsas, cheese, artichoke) which are all reasonably priced, and these big, fat cookies that look more like small biscuits and come in some excellent flavors.

Next up...installment 2 in this 3-part series: Outerbanks cheap eats!

1 comment:

  1. This post makes me happy and sad! I'm super happy to be getting the Steph's best eats in Duck, but then i had to see those fabulous donuts! How you taunt me!