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When it comes to luxury dining, Wilmington is one of the best places to visit. From restaurants serving up delicious seafood to historic bistros and elegant restaurants, there are plenty of choices when it comes to choosing places to eat in Wilmington NC. From classic Southern fare to contemporary seafood, the city is a culinary lover’s dream.

The city is surrounded by the Intracoastal Waterway and Cape Fear River, and is home to an eclectic dining scene. A number of new and old restaurants are spicing up the downtown and waterfront area, and offering some of the finest food in the state.

Circa 1922

Located in historic downtown Wilmington, Circa 1922 offers a taste of the sea. Its menu is full of indulgent cheese and charcuterie plates as well as seafood dishes. The restaurant also features a wide range of beverages, from coffee to creme brulee and more.

A former shoe cobbler, Circa 1922 once operated as a hardware supply company. Today, the restaurant is a popular destination for tourists looking for international cuisine. It is also known for its sushi and seafood.

In addition to its large selection of cocktails and wine, the restaurant has a wide range of tapas. From shrimp spring rolls to fried calamari, guests can try their hand at a variety of dishes.

Aside from the extensive menu they offer, the restaurant also features live piano music on Saturdays. Visitors can enjoy a meal in a rustic setting with a speakeasy vibe.

Interesting thing – As part of owner Ash Aziz’s Urban Food Group, Circa 1922 is one of six restaurants in downtown Wilmington. Each one focuses on unique local sourcing, which supports the economy of the area.

Elijah’s Seafood Restaurant

Elijah’s Seafood Restaurant, formerly a maritime museum, is one of Wilmington’s most popular eateries. It offers a variety of seafood, as well as a menu of Italian specialties. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner.

Elijah’s is known for its waterfront views and relaxed atmosphere. Located on the Cape Fear River, this seafood restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating. The menu at Elijah’s Seafood Restaurant varies seasonally. This seafood restaurant features traditional coastal favorites such as stuffed chicken Marsala and blackened Mahi on linguine. For dessert, try the salted caramel vanilla crunch cake.

Aside from its seafood offerings, Elijah’s has an extensive wine list. There is also an alcove beer garden that is connected to the main dining area. In addition to its great food, Elijah’s has a rooftop bar that offers panoramic views of the city. During the summer months, there is live music.

Brasserie Du Soleil

One of the best luxury restaurants in Wilmington NC is Brasserie du Soleil. This French bistro and diner serves lunch and dinner. The restaurant is located in the historic district of the city.

The restaurant features a full bar and offers live music during the summer months. Guests can enjoy a panoramic view of downtown Wilmington. Also, the restaurant’s oysters are some of the city’s freshest.

Cape Fear Seafood Company

The Cape Fear Seafood Company is a locally owned restaurant specializing in fresh, regional seafood. It also has a selection of prime steaks and fresh made desserts. 

Some of its specialty dishes include grilled shrimp taco baskets, fried oyster po-boys, figure eight stuffed flounder, and crab risotto. They also offer wine and spirits and Bloody Mary Oysters.


Another notable restaurant is Catch on Market Street, which sources fresh seafood from local fisheries and sustains sustainable fishing practices. This upscale seafood restaurant serves up award-winning crab cakes, a menu of boutique wines, and craft beers.

Genki Sushi

Located on the historic Wilmington waterfront, Genki Sushi is a unique sushi destination. With a friendly staff, delicious food, and an inviting atmosphere, Genki Sushi is one of the best luxury dining options in Wilmington, NC.

The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner. Genki’s menu features traditional and exotic Japanese dishes. Customers can choose from more than two dozen varieties of sushi and a host of sharable entrees. In addition to the sushi, Genki’s menu includes sushi pizza and curry dishes.

Genki offers a number of vegetarian and gluten-free options. For those with special dietary needs, Genki’s chefs are happy to prepare a custom roll or dish to meet your specific requirements.

Genki’s sushi bar is run by Southeast Asian chef Danny. His team serves fresh ingredients and high-quality sushi. They also offer a number of lunch and dinner specials.

Steam Restaurant and Bar

Steam Restaurant and Bar is a local favorite that serves American Cuisine and local ingredients. It’s located near the Wilmington Railroad Museum and offers sweeping views of the Cape Fear River.

The restaurant is open for dinner on weekdays and brunch on weekends. You can enjoy indoor or outdoor seating. There is also a great beer selection and an impressive wine list. Steam also has a fun cocktail menu that is well worth checking out. For example, the Green House has a mocktail that is both delicious and refreshing.

Another fun spot to check out is the Rum Cow. This award-winning seafood restaurant features a variety of namesake cocktails. They also offer a wide range of seafood-based dishes.

PinPoint Restaurant

Located in historic downtown Wilmington, PinPoint is a great local spot for lunch, dinner, or cocktails. Small but cozy, it’s a popular destination for brunch. With a banana leaf papered ceiling and tall windows, you’ll enjoy the view while sipping on one of their signature cocktails.

The PinPoint Restaurant is a chic, local dining destination. It is a popular destination for a romantic date night. The restaurant is also a great spot for craft cocktails and the menu also includes classic Southern dishes with a modern twist.

In addition to a menu of fresh seafood and poultry, the restaurant offers refreshing desserts. This Wilmington NC eatery is open for brunch and dinner. You can book a table by visiting the website.



Savorez, located in Wilmington, is a Spanish-inspired restaurant that features Latin American and fusion dishes. They have popular vegetarian options and a variety of fish and meat tapas. Their menu is a great choice for a family.

In addition to serving high quality food, Savorez has a fun and festive atmosphere. They are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. During the summer months, you can dine outside on their beautiful rooftop deck with a panoramic view of downtown Wilmington.

Wilmington Has Unforgettable Food Scene

There is a wide variety of restaurants in the area. The food scene includes up-and-comers as well as AAA Four Diamond establishments. Wilmington is home to several notable chefs. Some of these include Jason Frye, the author of the acclaimed Moon North Carolina guidebook series. He is also a food and travel writer and barbecue judge.

Another notable chef is Ryan Smith, the executive chef of the Staplehouse in Atlanta. His restaurant has a stellar reputation for its cuisine and service.

A popular American restaurant, Smoke on the Water offers a waterfront setting and smoked BBQ. The back deck offers beautiful views of the harbor and sunset. There is a fire pit on the deck as well. Another Wilmington, NC eatery, Ceviche’s Café, offers a colorful and flavorful menu. This Mediterranean-inspired spot uses fresh local produce.

Other Wilmington restaurants include Seabird, which serves seasonal seafood. Catch, which features a mix of local and organic seafood. Ceviche’s is a Latin American seafood restaurant that serves a variety of seafood-based dishes.

If you are looking for a more laid-back atmosphere, you may want to try the local favorite Dixie Grill. This down-home southern restaurant features affordable prices, friendly service, and delicious food.

Information sourced by the author for All content is copyrighted with no reproduction rights available. Images are for illustration purposes only. Featured image by Jason W. Smith — Personal work, CC BY-SA 3.0