Southport’s Yacht Basin is located where the Intracoastal Waterway, the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean meet; it’s also where an amazing convergence of waterfront dining options lure diners to experience local seafood, trend setting restaurants, seafood dives and quaint coastal-village charm. This area in what was once a fishing industry town, connects firmly to Southport’s sea-faring history with a slew of restaurants now lining the docks. Any of the decks, patios and outdoor dining options are perfect for watching for dolphins, sunsets and passing boats. What’s more, plenty of waterside “parking” means you can boat right up to dinner!
The eye-catching aqua exterior of Fishy Fishy Café hints at the Caribbean influenced fare of this favorite hot-spot! Dine outside or in on specialties like Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Shrimp, Fish n' Chips, Asian Tuna or Blackened Salmon. Live music makes for a great night out, and the bartenders can mix up a cool cocktail! If Fishy Fishy looks familiar, fans of the guilty-pleasure TV series Revenge may recognize it as the setting for the bar where Jack worked!
Next door you'll find Provision Company, named the #1 Seafood Dive in NC in the Spring of 2012 by Coastal Living magazine. There’s always a line out the door as folks queue up for a menu featuring grilled yellowfin tuna or grouper salad sandwiches, hamburgers and hot dogs as well as salads, sides and desserts. Conch fritters and steamed shrimp are featured alongside daily specials, and cold beer is serve-yourself, straight out of the cooler on the honor system! Does it get any better? All seating is outdoors and offers prime views of the sunset and passing boats.
Sitting high atop pilings where the road meets the Cape Fear River, The Frying Pan offers a commanding view of the river and Bald Head Island. From this lofty perch, fresh and local favorites such as sweet potato biscuits, pan seared seafood, a variety of fried seafood specialties, and mouth-watering homemade desserts are served up with spectacular waterfront views. Interesting fact, while its moniker certainly hints at a cooking style, the restaurant also pays homage to Frying Pan Shoals, a long, shifting area of rocky shoals just off the coast and nicknamed the Graveyard of the Atlantic, as the area is littered with shipwrecks.
And what waterfront dining experience would be complete without a stop at an ice cream parlor? The tagline for Flava’s Ice Cream is “more flavors, more fun,” and with homemade brownies and cookies complementing custom and tried and true ice cream flavors, it’s the perfect after-dinner stop. And you can pick up their obligatory t-shirt too!
For other delicious restaurants in Southport, for more information on NC's Brunswick Islands and to start planning your next coastal getaway, visit www.ncbrunswick.com.
This blog was updated on December 8, 2020.