Calling all food lovers! The food scene in Wilmington is bursting with fresh flavors and unique eats with options ranging from classic coastal cuisine and reimagined American favorites to international fare and more. Taste your way across our coastal city and find some of the area’s most popular and delicious bites loved by locals and visitors alike.
Start the Day with Craft Coffee & More
Get your food tour of our coastal destination off on the right foot with a caffeine boost accompanied by specialty pastries, donuts, smoothies and more from area coffee shops. Try new takes on handcrafted lattes topped with Insta-worthy latte art, or a popular cold brew variation.
Visit Spill Coffee Co., Wilmington’s first mobile coffee cart run out of a refurbished vintage truck. The shop also has a permanent location in midtown near the Wilmington Municipal Golf Course. Enjoy small-batch coffees with house-made syrup flavors like lavender and rose, or sip on a “special spill” latte like The Royal, featuring turmeric and cinnamon, or The Bomb Shell, made with an extra dose of collagen.
Fuel Your Afternoon
For lunch, dine in at a variety of local spots or opt to take your meal to-go for a lovely afternoon picnic. Find vegan-friendly options at an up-and-coming food hall in downtown Wilmington or savor unique sandwiches, snacks and more.
Visit the Mess Hall at The Outpost in the emerging Cargo District. The food hall is housed in refurbished shipping containers and serves unique options like the Vegan Smashburger and tater tot bowls. Find reimagined vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options made from locally sourced ingredients at Sealevel City Vegan Diner. Try the Kimchi Tempeh Reuben or opt for signature dishes like the Lentil Burger.
Enjoy hit throwback music from the 90s while savoring elevated grilled cheese sandwiches, Belgian-style fries and craft cocktails at Crust Kitchen and Cocktails. Just looking for a snack? Try Crofton’s Pretzels, Wilmington’s first and only artisan soft pretzel bakery. Enjoy daily flavors like spinach artichoke parmesan, buffalo and pimento bacon.
Noteworthy Noshes & Unique Libations
Wind down in the evening with a delicious meal paired with a specialty craft cocktail or an original local brew at one of Wilmington’s most happening spots.
Now open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Seabird – a new restaurant concept from James Beard semi-finalist Chef Dean Neff – highlights coastal cuisine with locally sourced, in-season seafood and creative vegetable dishes made from the freshest local produce. The restaurant is located in the heart of historic downtown and offers a unique dining experience defined by community and sustainability. Design features include a U-bar designed to be a laidback space for customers to enjoy a drink, an open kitchen with banquette seating and booths on either side, and a chef’s table directly in front of the kitchen window.
Tacos and tequila are a classic combination, and tacobaby in Historic Downtown Wilmington takes this pairing to the next level with contemporary options including eclectic proteins like duck confit, grouper, short rib and more, alongside a bar offering 36 tequilas and eight small-batch mezcals. Or, savor Latin American-inspired innovative cuisine at Savorez, serving flavorful flare from tapas to nightly specials like Big Cahoona Tuna and Scallapagos Islands.
Also located downtown, YoSake features delicious sushi in addition to a full pan-Asian menu served in Tokyo vogue décor on the second floor of the historic Roudabush building. Specialties include the Shanghai Firecracker Shrimp and Steamed Pork Dumplings, along with drinks like the Pomegranate Ginger Mojito. Tantalize your taste buds at Rumcow, offering inventive Southern cuisine with Asian flair. Enjoy signature dishes like Cajun-Fried Gator Bites, Pulled Pork Sushi Rolls and Shrimp and Grits Tacos alongside an ever-changing specialty cocktail menu and on-tap kombucha.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with a one-of-a-kind treat from one of the area’s most popular ice cream or gelato shops. Indulge in funky flavors, including spiked options for adults, or try other specialty confections like gelato milkshakes, sundaes and more.
Step off the scenic Wilmington Riverwalk for a scoop of award-winning Italian gelato at GelaRto. Choose from 24 flavors or try other unique treats like gelato sandwiches, shakes and more. Imported from Turin, Italy, each gelato batch is made from scratch using high quality, fresh ingredients including whole fruit and milk from the shop’s own herd of dairy cows. Experience a new twist to the cupcake concept at The Peppered Cupcake. This shop offers creative, exciting flavors like the Shock O’ Lata and Devil’s Vanilla, with special flavors rotating each day.
Live like a local with unique and trendy food finds across Wilmington, where you’re sure to find delicious eats around every corner. Or, check out more tasty options in nearby Carolina and Wrightsville Beaches.