Places to eat in Wilmington

  • the george
    the george
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  • mixto
    mixto
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    riverboat landing
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Most Viewed Restaurants in Wilmington

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    The Reel Cafe: Seafood and More by the River

    by jmpncsu Written Jul 28, 2012

    The Reel Cafe has seafood and bar food, as well as having several bars. The food and service are good, but what sets the restaurant apart is setting and outdoor dining. Besides indoor the seating, the restaurant has outdoor seating and a rooftop bar. The outdoor seating is right on the corner of Dock Street and S Front Street, a perfect spot for people watching with food or drinks. And the rooftop bar has a great view of the Cape Fear River one block to the west.

    Favorite Dish: I don't really eat seafood, so I usually get a burger or something, but my wife loves the crab legs.

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    Red Robin's: Casual Burgers and Wraps

    by msbrandysue Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Red Robin's is more famous for their stacked burgers than anything else... However, my mom and I go there for their salads and wraps. I have tried all of their wraps and hard time deciding which one to order each time I go...which is fairly often (sometimes up to once a week).

    It can be loud in there...Most of the waiters are high school or college kids having a good time. It's very family oriented and has discounts for kids on certain nights with the mascot showing up once a week. In fact their website says Parents Magazine named them one of the top 10 family restaurants.

    They usually have games on to watch which I've always liked. They also have a small bar and arcade.

    Alcoholic drinks are served!!!

    Sun-Thu: 11a-10p, Fri-Sat: 11a-11p

    *This is not near the downtown, river area. It's a car ride away in a quite nice shopping center.

    Favorite Dish: The BBQ Chicken Wrap

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    riverboat landing: cafe style

    by doug48 Written Nov 17, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    riverboat landing is a nice cafe style restaurant on water street in the riverwalk area of downtown. this eclectic restaurant serves italian, greek, and american fare. in my opinion one of the better moderately priced resturants in wilmington. great location across the street from the cape fear river.

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    mixto: mexican/south american

    by doug48 Written Nov 17, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    mexto is a very interesing mexican/south american restaurant. they serve typical mexican cuisine and some south american specialities. i ordered the argentine steak which was good. they have a full bar and serve a good mojito. the decor is a little strange with dia de los muertos pictures on the walls. a very unique restaurant in downtown wilmington.

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    the george: on the river

    by doug48 Written Nov 17, 2010

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    the george is a cafe style restaurant with a deck on the cape fear river. they are known for their steaks and carolina low country cuisine. i have dined here twice and was statisfied with their food and service. when the weather is nice the deck is a nice place to watch the sunset.

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  • Indochine: Nirvana

    by Sorianophoto Written Sep 19, 2009

    Atmosphere for days, both inside and out! Fantastic asian food! If there is a heaven, Indochine will be there, and there won't be a long wait for a table in the backyard.
    This review could be chalkful of superlatives and hyperbole and they would all be justified. I didn't rush to the restaurant when all the locals said I should. I waited for co-workers to tell me about "Mr. Miyagi's Garden", their nickname for the back yard dining area at Indochine. Ok, I will try this. It's a good thing there wasn't a long wait the first night I went or I never would have left in a huff and never experienced the most extraordinarly nuanced Massaman Curry ever.
    The interior is a bit busy, looking nearly like a World Market and Pier One blew up and dropped tiny Buddha knick-knacks every where, but it entertains the eye while you wait for the dish that entertains the rest of your senses.
    Mr. Miyagi's Garden is incredible, step down a couple steps and enter a carefully crafted garden of exotic tropical plants and well placed tiki hut private dining areas. Get there early if you don't want to wait for a tiki hut as this jewel doesn't take reservations. It's always crowded and the bar is small and crowded, not that you would want to get drunk and miss all the flavors when dinner is served.

    Favorite Dish: Massaman Curry in a bowl big enough to serve an entire family. It's flowery, but not too much, it's spicy, but not too much, it's rich with coconut milk, potatoes, chilis, chicken, and garlic.
    Galloping Horses - crispy rice paper wrapped around chicken, wrapped around tiger prawn shimp and deep fried. Skip the orange wasabi dipping sauce and let the flavors burst in your mouth.
    The Pad Thai was spot on perfect.
    Buddha's Feast in a Nest was excellent mild brown sauce stir fry of veggies.

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  • Boleros Cuban and Mexican: Muy Bueno!

    by Sorianophoto Written Sep 19, 2009

    A local Cuban and Mexican Restaurant in a small strip mall near Target off Market and New Center Drive. Not fancy, not a chain, come as you are style. In the four months I stayed in Wilmington for work, I went to this restaurant about 15 times. It was never busy, the service was good, and the food was really good.
    The Lomo de Puerco isn't on the menu, unless they are running a special, but it is available as it is part of a large platter of food, the name of which I cannot recall. It is slow-cooked perfection. The jicama slaw served with it is to die for. If you can, request a large bowl of it, it's jicama and cantaloupe heaven.
    The cuban sandwich is perfection. I think they must bake the bread in-house for it to be so perfect. It's usually on the weekly special. Ask for the jicama slaw on the side. Regardless of what the menu says, they serve curly fries with the cuban.
    The chicken enchiladas were good and are best washed down with a Strawberry Smoothie with Rum. Oh, those huge Strawberry Smoothies. Those are worth a full day's travel.

    Favorite Dish: Lomo de Puerco, Chicken Enchiladas, Jicama Slaw, Strawberry Smoothies.

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  • Slice of Life Pizza: Just OK

    by Sorianophoto Written Sep 19, 2009

    Boring, just OK pizza and hot hoagies.

    Favorite Dish: I had a slice of pepperoni on one visit, a meatball sub on another. The pasta salad that came with the sub was huge, probably would have been good with less vinegar and olives.

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  • Oceanic: Pay for the view and drinks, but not food

    by Sorianophoto Written Sep 19, 2009

    The restaurant has a killer view as it sits on Wrightsville Beach. It's a mixed atmosphere. You see middle age New Englander's trying to impress each other by picking an expensive restaurant and paying the tab, and then there are bikini wearing 30 year olds covered in sand, sunscreen, and tape protecting their new noses. It's odd.
    The staff is slow, the food is all deep fried, there isn't a fishing industry left there so the fish came from further up the coast and some of it tasted like freezer burn.
    The plus side is that the frou-frou drinks are good.

    Favorite Dish: The signature dish, Oceanic, was barely edible. Campbell's makes a clam chowder that tastes better than that. Everything else was deep fried and terrible. Oh, and who deep fries scallops when they have a wine bottles stored in every nook and cranny?
    Joe's Crab Shack in landlocked Minnesota has better seafood.
    Skip this one and get anything from the menu at Port City Chop House.

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  • Paddy's Hollow: Ribs!!!

    by Sorianophoto Written Sep 19, 2009

    I was so excited to try all the BBQ in NC so I wasn't excited when a friend and fellow traveler suggested we go to an Irish Pub for dinner. I was so surprised to find the ribs at Paddy's to be the best I experienced in Wilmington. The rub/sauce is similar to a Memphis style sauce. Fall off the bone smoky goodness.
    The restaurant has a nice patio area overlooking the Hilton Riverside, but I bet the view used to be of the river. Ceiling fans above the patio almost make it comfortable, but summer is not the time to eat outdoors in NC.
    The indoor dining is set back in a brick-lined room that resembles an old wine storage area. The restrooms are close to the entry and need a remodel, perhaps a different entrance so they aren't what you smell when you are waiting for a table.
    It's not fancy and it's not a dive, but the food is good and so is the beer.

    Favorite Dish: The ribs. Get the full slab. Seriously.

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    On the Border: Best southwest/ mex food in town.

    by banfam4 Written May 26, 2009

    There aren't many Mexican food places in Wilmington. Being from CA, we love our Mexican food. On the Border is a chain restaurant which actually serves more of a southwest Tex style than Mexican.

    This OTB never has any wait. They bring your food fast and service is great. It's near Mayfaire Town Center, an upscale outdoors shopping mall, which is the only place I like to shop in Wilmington. It's also near the beach.

    We usually go to OTB once a week or every other week since it's really the only place we ever eat out at other than Chick-fil-a ,which is also just as frequently.

    Favorite Dish: My favorite is the steak fajita salad. Sometimes I actually get something different and will get 2 chicken or beef crunch tacos with 2 sides of grilled veggies instead of rice and beans. There is no cost to substitute rice, beans, or both for grilled vegetables or a side salad. Their grilled veggies are squash and zucchini and is pretty much my favorite thing they make. Sometimes there's red peppers in it too but I think it depends on the cook of the day since I've even seen them even distinctly sliced differently.

    Their kids menu is good. My boys usually get grilled chicken bites, corn on cob or side salad. It comes with a drink- they like pink lemonade or chocolate milk. It also comes with ice cream which my boys or course love since it also has chocolate syrup, whipped cream and a cherry. Well I get the cherry.

    My husband loves their trio fajitas which is steak, chicken and shrimp. He also likes the fajita salad.

    When you are seated they bring you complementary chips and salsa. It's good for my boys who don't like to just sit and wait. Though they do have kid menus to color. I usually skip the chips but I will ask for extra salsa for my salad instead of dressing. Their salsa is good.

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    Henrietta III dining experiences: Dinner Cruises

    by msbrandysue Written Mar 8, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you like to do things differently when travelling then try eating on a dinner or lunch cruise while touring the Cape Fear River.

    Henrietta III is the steamboat you see usually parked on the riverwalk. It leaves a few times a day and offers meals while seeing the Cape Fear River. They offer a Friday and Saturday night dinner and dancing cruise each week. My favorite would have to be the Sunset Tour.

    It also offers special outtings like Mother's Day cruises and Valentine's Day dinners. It's also available for weddings so if you're really wanting to go make sure it hasn't been reserved for the day.

    The HENRIETTA III Cruises depart from Water & Dock Streets. All Cruises board thirty minutes prior to departure. Public Parking can be found at various specified locations around Historic Downtown Wilmington. Public cruises go out rain or shine, April through December, and Private Charters cruise year round.

    A bit of History: Seawell named the boat for his daughter HENRIETTA. HENRIETTA was launched April 30, 1818 under the command of Captain Charles Taws. Her first run from Fayetteville to Wilmington was in July 1818. She ran the river between Wilmington and Fayetteville for forty years. When she was retired from service, she had run at least one and one-half million miles on the Cape Fear River and had earned no less than one and one-half million dollars for her owners.

    Prices for the dinner cruises for two are about $50. Lunch and sightseeing is about $25. Just a narrated cruise is $10.

    The HENRIETTA III Cruises depart from Water & Dock Streets. All Cruises board thirty minutes prior to departure. Public Parking can be found at various specified locations around Historic Downtown Wilmington. Public cruises go out rain or shine, April through December, and Private Charters cruise year round.

    Favorite Dish: I'm going to eat here next time. When we went the boat was not available... :(

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    Historic Downtown Shops: Small Shops

    by msbrandysue Written Feb 15, 2009

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    Historic Downtown was probably my favorite part of the trip. In the intersection of Market St (the main street) and 3rd street is a bunch of shops. They range from coffee shops to ice cream shops to clothing stores and art galleries. There are people drinking coffee at small tables and some getting a bite to eat. Others are walking around while some are on the benches taking it all in. And you'll see the big, beautiful horses carrying the tourist trolley around.

    It's fun to watch it all and explore. Don't miss it!

    Favorite Dish: Coffee and ice cream

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    The Cotton Exchange: Good Mixture for Your Taste

    by msbrandysue Written Feb 15, 2009

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    "In constant occupancy since the pre-Civil War decade, the Sprunt Building was home of the Cape Fear Flour and Pearl Hominy Mill in 1884--the largest of its kind in the South. In 1919-20, Alexander Sprunt & Sons rebuilt the structure to its current Neoclassic revival style to house the thriving cotton export business. They shipped cotton to ports in Europe, England, and America, and the Sprunt Building overlooked all the cotton compresses on the river and was, in actuality, a cotton exchange." From their website

    The Cotton Exchange is what you will come across first if coming in from the northwest side going towards the water. There appears to be plenty of parking here but it's for the Exchange only. However, I admit, I parked here then wandered out of the exchange and there was no one in the ticket booth anyways.

    Getting close to it I was excited because I saw a cute bookstore and small cafe. There was a little sidewalk sale but I figured I shouldn't start spending all my money quite yet. I had the whole day to make it through.

    There are a few main entrances but there are stairs. So, have your climbing shoes on if stairs are tricky for you. Upstairs are little shops but it was confusing for me to figure out how it was all set up. My family wasn't interested in exploring it as we had a big stroller, though and would have had to carry it up the stairs and there didn't seem to be a lot of room to maneuver it among the shop and restaurant set-ups.

    The variety of restaurants looked appealing. We had just eaten breakfast so we didn't try any.

    Favorite Dish: I liked the small cafes. Thought about getting coffee but family didn't want to.

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    Circa 1922: Tapas Bar

    by Hexepatty Updated Mar 29, 2008

    This March of '08 I ate at Circa 1922 and found the food fresh, fun and plenty of it. Reasonable costs for the servings, friendly staff and inviting atmosphere.

    I didn't go off the charts with inventivness in ordering. Eggplant Rollantine (fresh & flavorful ) and fried calamari (good, not oily and plenty). Dessert was chocolate coconut sushi (inventive but FAR too sweet to eat more than 2 - 3 pieces. They serve it with 8 pieces.)

    Favorite Dish: I had the three item stated above and one serving was enough to serve 2 - 3 people! My favorite was the Eggplant rollantine. Very flavorful and filling!

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