From a high stool at The Bean's large window overlooking Oriental Harbor, a customer may sip fresh-brewed, organic, fair trade coffee, enjoy a bagel or Danish and write a grocery list or plan a bike route. At one of the intimate square tables, a couple can sip smoothies or lick ice...more about The Bean
Atmosphere is just as much a part of dining as the meal itself in the restaurants dotted along the sailing capital of Oriental, NC and surrounding Pamlico County. Several restaurants will offer outdoor dining or patios right on the water as a reminder that your meal, particularly seafood, didn't travel far to reach your plate.
The residents of Oriental are a social bunch as well, so many of the more intimate restaurant settings offer a chance to meet and hang out with friends. That's also why you'll find such a high number of restaurants and bars with outdoor seating, each providing an opportunity to dine, dance and mingle.
Coastal cuisine and gourmet meals are a staple for dining in Oriental. Local offerings like shellfish off the grill and oysters from the raw bar serve up a more classic dining experience but don't be surprised to find roasted lamb, lobster or sushi either. Just because Oriental is small and a little off the beaten path doesn't mean the chefs cook for simpler palates.
No meal is complete without dessert and Oriental has plenty of fresh bakeries and coffee shops to appease your craving. End any meal or start the next one with handmade pies and cinnamon buns, or smoothies and lattes.
There's one other important point to keep in mind. As the sailing capitol of North Carolina, Oriental is used to having visitors that are only able to stop in for a short trip and those that need to grab a meal on the go. So feel free to call ahead with a takeout order as most restaurants are willing to accommodate.
Whether you are looking for fast food, a gourmet meal, sit-down dining, local seafood or a little of each, you have several outstanding restaurants, raw bars, coffee shops, cafes and grills to experience.