The holiday season means it’s time to indulge in all your favorite seasonal eats and treats. The holidays are the perfect excuse to break out Christmas classics or try something new, and in Wilmington and its island beaches, you can find plenty of holiday-themed food and beverages to savor.

Read on for our guide to holiday bites and brews: 

Festive Flavors 

Discover Wilmington and our island beaches’ food scene with plenty of festive flavors to enjoy. Reserve a table at Bluewater Waterfront Grill in Wrightsville Beach for a signature Christmas Eve prime rib dinner while enjoying spectacular views of the Intracoastal Waterway. Or, get in the holiday spirit with weekly Chef’s Specials like Cranberry Chutney Pork Chops at Freddie’s Restaurant in Kure Beach. Wind down after dining on authentic Italian cuisine at Tarantelli’s Ristorante Italiano in downtown Wilmington with Ginger Spice Bundt Cake and a festive Mrs. Claus cocktail or Christmas Moscow Mule.   


Celebrate the holidays in the comfort of your vacation rental with a variety of prepared meal options. Place your Christmas orders now at Pine Valley Market, Wilmington’s one-stop-shop for everything gourmet, to dine on slow-roasted turkey breast, cranberry relish and made-from-scratch pies like Caramel Apple Crunch. Order a Christmas-to-go meal package featuring entrees like brown sugar glazed ham from Sweet N Savory Café.  

Head to The Seasoned Gourmet on Market Street to discover the perfect finishing touches for your holiday feast, from artisanal spices and foods to gifts, bakeware and more. Pick up a bag of Hot Cocoa Shortbread Cookies or Moravian sugar cookies, both classic holiday favorites across North Carolina. Find over 185 different loose-leaf teas at Cape Fear Spice Merchants, where you can try holiday brews like Candy Cane Craze or Yuletide Toddy. Or, opt for the Tea Time with Santa sampler, the perfect gift to keep your loved ones warm this winter.  


Satisfy your sweet tooth with one of the seasonal flavors at Cape Fear Rum Cake like gingerbread, egg nog or cherry chocolate. If you can’t choose just one, take home one of the two-or three-pack samplers! If you’re looking for a decadent treat, head to Fudgeboat in Carolina Beach to try out their popular red velvet fudge, a holiday favorite of locals and visitors alike.  


Jolly Java 

Calling all coffee lovers! Start your day off right with a festive cup of Joe from one of Wilmington and its island beaches’ coffee shops and cafes. Sip seasonal lattes and special coffee flavors like the Peppermint Hot Chocolate at Cheeky Monkey Coffee Co. located in Historic Downtown Wilmington. 24 South Coffee House is known for its specialty lattes, like Chocolate Raspberry and White Chocolate Macadamia.   


Brewed fresh every day, sip on the Christmas Blend at Java Dog Coffee House to kickstart your holiday morning. Or, Bitty & Beau’s Coffee offers a variety of holiday flavors to savor – both hot and iced – like the Peppermint Bark Latte, Gingerbread Latte or Candy Cane Frappe.  

Stop by The Workshop in Wrightsville Beach to taste the season with a classic Peppermint Mocha. Venture to Carolina Beach to try Malama Café’s new Iridescent Holiday Blend or a Peppermint Mocha Chai from Crush & Grind on the Carolina Beach Boardwalk.  


Holiday Hops 

Cheers to the holidays in one of “America’s Beeriest Beach Towns.” Wilmington is home to many unique breweries offering a variety of seasonal sips and merry ales to taste test this winter. Front Street Brewery, Wilmington’s first brewery, serves award-winning craft brews by the glass or flight and features North Carolina’s largest bourbon and whiskey selection. Whether you’re naughty or nice, don’t miss out on Tiny Tim’s Christmas Ale, a vanilla java porter or the Sinful Stout, an English-style sweet stout with flavors of chocolate and coffee.  


Specializing in American and Belgian-style ales, Flytrap Brewing offers small-batch beers at the peak of freshness. Deck the halls with a berry-inspired brew like the Tart Cranberry Saison or the Black Currant Saison. Or, make your way to nearby Carolina Beach for a visit to the dog- and family-friendly Good Hops Brewing. Enjoy a Black Sky IPA during the winter or warm up with a Barley Wine, a strong and complex brew featuring flavors like caramel, honey and molasses.  


Complement signature small plates at 1900 Restaurant and Lounge in Lumina Station with holly-jolly libations like the Winter High Baller, a creation of bourbon mixed with pecan simple syrup, orange bitters and Bordeaux cherries.  

No matter how you choose to indulge, celebrate the most wonderful time of the year in Wilmington and Island Beaches where holiday flavors abound.  

Are you still searching for the perfect gift? Shop local this holiday season to find charming shops featuring locally made gifts, designer accessories, home decor, sweet treats and more.