Restaurants Made Famous

Popular film and television productions have cast a spotlight on the dining scene in Wilmington's historic downtown and our Island Beaches. Visit these hot spots and hang outs where actors and actresses spent time while filming here.


CATCH Modern Seafood Cuisine has become well-known from the appearance of James Beard nominee Chef Keith Rhodes on the competition television series Top Chef on Bravo, and gained even more notoriety when celebs starting singing the praises of this favorite nosh spot.  Robert Downey, Jr. (Iron Man 3) and Cobie Smulders (Safe Haven) were fond of CATCH, as was Gwyneth Paltrow who received a private cooking lesson from Chef Rhodes during Iron Man 3 filming, and gushed about it on her popular lifestyle blog GOOP.  Paltrow also favored Roko Italian Cuisine, where she dined with co-star Ben Kingsley. Actress Rachelle LeFevre (Under The Dome) was such a fan of CATCH, she blogged about her experience and invited their food truck to be part of her wedding! LeFevre's love of Wilmington's foodie scene didn't stop there, as she also blogged about Rx and manna on Pass the Butter.

Straight to the Pinpoint 

Pinpoint Restaurant has celeb diner connections, including the cast of One Tree Hill during the August 2015 Return To Tree Hill fan reunion event. The apartments above Pinpoint were once occupied by young cast members of Dawson’s Creek during their first season of filming when it was a coffeehouse where the stars spent much of their free time hanging out. Actor Dean Norris (Under the Dome) has also dined at Pinpoint, as did rocker Grace Potter.

Dawson's Creek and Port Land Grille

Port Land Grille was a favorite of Katie Holmes and still has her testimonial on their website and reportedly left them a lovely note during her final week of filming Dawson's Creek. Many other celebrities have been partial to this Lumina Station location, including Jennifer Aniston, Joshua Jackson, Vanessa Redgrave, Sandra Bullock, Steve Buscemi, and James Van Der Beek who returned several times during the show’s final season.

Restaurants by the River

While filming Sleeping with the Enemy in 1990, Julia Roberts was seen having drinks at The Pilot House with her brother, Eric Roberts, who was filming The Lost Capone. Jennifer Aniston (We’re the Millers) dined at manna, Wilmington’s Four Diamond restaurant serving locally grown food fused with international flavors. Emma Roberts (We’re the Millers) and Michael Caine (Journey 2) favored the coffee at Folks Café, while Ashley Judd celebrated her birthday at Circa 1922 during filming of Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.

Restaurants by the Sea

Restaurants on the beaches are always popular with the Hollywood East set, including Jennifer Aniston and Julianne Hough (Safe Haven) who were spotted at The Bridge Tender, and John Travolta who treated his family to a meal at Bluewater Grill. Funny man Will Ferrell shared a waterfront meal with his dad at South Beach Grill in Wrightsville Beach while filming Eastbound & Down, while funny lady Melissa McCarthy enjoyed a dish at Havana's in Carolina Beach while filming TammyThe Oceanic is a popular spot for star gazing, both on the pier and in the sky, as they have hosted William Baldwin, Jamie Lee Curtis, Mary-Margaret Humes, Harvey Keitel, and the Dawson’s Creek cast. Dockside was the go-to waterfront spot for Katie Holmes, Joshua Jackson, Kerr Smith, Chris Klein and Nicolas Sparks, who liked the scenery so much he included it in his movie The Choice along with Brasserie du Soleil.