Hot date in the Port City? Whether you call Wilmington home or you’re just passing through, the waterfront city offers plenty of sweet spots to cozy up and grab a bite. If you’re after the inside scoop, look no further: we’ve got you covered. Buckle up and let’s explore the most romantic restaurants in Wilmington NC!
1. Riverboat Landing
For over 30 years, couples have canoodled at this Wilmington landmark, situated on the bank of the Cape Fear River. The menu features regional Southern dishes with a French and Mediterranean flair, sure to captivate your taste buds. The main appeal, though, lies in the building’s architecture: constructed in 1857, the charming building features balconies just cozy enough to fit a table for two. Call ahead to ensure you snag one of these gorgeous spots and enjoy the splendid view while you dine!
2. The Little Dipper
Enjoy a unique dining experience sure to delight at this Wilmington staple. As the name might suggest, there’s some dipping involved, because this restaurant features everybody’s favorite novelty: fondue! Prepared table-side by your server from quality organic ingredients, the delicious concoctions come in numerous flavors, from the hearty cheddar ale fondue with your choice of light lager or a fuller dark, to the delicately spiced fontina fondue with garlic and basil.
This one-of-a-kind eatery transports diners to the Far East with both amazing visuals and authentic flavors. Exquisite taste profiles pulled from across the Orient mingle together in the Thai-Vietnamese dishes served at this fantastic eatery. It’s not just the food that wows here, either. Stepping into the venue is like being transported to another country. Enjoy your meal in the exotically decorated dining room, by the gorgeous lotus pond, or, for the ultimate experience, in one of the private Thai huts. A night at Indochine is sure to be a night you won’t forget.
After a day of perusing the shops and galleries of the Castle Street Arts and Antiques District, stop in at this Wilmington favorite for a sumptuous meal. Named for the historic Hall’s Drug Store the restaurant now occupies, Rx commits itself to honoring Wilmington in other ways as well. Namely through the use of local ingredients, sourced from a network of nearby farmers and ranchers, much of which is processed in-house. Because of this devotion to farm-to-table, the menu is constantly rotating. Stop in and check out what their head chef has dreamed up for the night!
5. Kabob and Grill
Wilmington’s first Indian restaurant upholds a tradition of excellence to this day. At this inviting eatery, the rich smells of the subcontinent’s unique flavor profiles waft through the air, tempting passers-by with the promise of a rich experience. The array of vegan and vegetarian options makes this an excellent choice for more limited diets. Combine the succulent dishes with the gorgeous views of the Cape Fear River available from the outdoor patio and you have the recipe for a perfect date night!
6. Caprice Bistro
In the warmth of dark wood and deep yellows that make up this Parisian-style venue, diners can enjoy an authentic French experience without pretense or intimidation typically associated with the cuisine. Chef Thierry Moity is committed to bringing the tastes of the country to all diners. His central provincial roots mixed with his wife’s northern border traditions contribute to wonderful dishes, from saucisse du jour to traditional French onion soup.
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Popular enough to have two locations across the city, Catch is a wonderfully innovative seafood restaurant. Committed to supporting sustainable fishing practices, all of the fish served at Catch come from the Cape Fear River, while the produce utilized here comes from local organic farmers. All of this contributes to these dishes being some of the freshest, most delicious you can find in Wilmington.
8. Circa 1922
Enjoy small plates North Carolina style at this wonderful small plates restaurant. Most of the dishes are offered tapas-style, perfect for sharing on a date night. The kitchen also serves up a three-course prix Fixe menu which, paired with offerings from the full wine bar, makes for a delicious meal. The wide-ranging menu even includes sushi, making for a selection that’s sure to please any diner.
9. Genki Sushi
This popular, award-winning sushi bar will definitely require reservations, as it’s one of Wilmington’s favorites. Located in the heart of Wilmington, this restaurant is truly a treasure. Striving to offer diners a taste of Japan, Chef Danny sources the freshest fish and produce with which to prepare his dishes, making for a truly authentic and wonderful experience.
10. 22 North
Head to historic Wrightsville Beach and you’ll find what locals call “the best kept secret on the beach!” Exhibiting classic Creole and French fare, 22 North prides itself on having the most eclectic Southern comfort food in Wilmington. If you find yourself at this innovative eatery, make sure you grab a bowl of the award-winning she-crab soup. Or, venture a bit out of your comfort zone with some hearty buttermilk alligator bites. Don’t miss capping off your dinner with one of their rich homemade desserts, like the silky Key Lime pie. You surely won’t be disappointed.
Wilmington isn’t typically lauded for its food scene, but after dining in one of these restaurants, you’ll definitely be wondering “why not?” If you’re looking for somewhere that won’t disappoint for your next date night, try one of these romantic restaurants in Wilmington NC!
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