6551 Beach Drive Southwest, Ocean Isle Beach • (910) 575-7777
Those who frequent the no-frills Beaches Burgers know it’s not the décor you come for, but, instead, the succulent and hand-pattied burgers. You’ll have to get in line behind everyone else, but the mushroom and Swiss burger is worth waiting for.
Fat Andy’s Burgers
4655 Long Beach Road, Southport • fatandysburgers.com • (910) 269-7008
The best burgers are often served in the most unassuming of shacks, and it’s no different at Fat Andy’s, an institution Southport residents swear by. Fat Andy’s only accepts cash, but you won’t need a lot of it. The double cheeseburger comes cheap and full of flavor. Be sure to order the freshly cut fries, too.
P.T.’s Olde Fashioned Grille
Wilmington, Leland, Goldsboro • ptsgrille.com
Scribble down your desired burger toppings on a notepad, and take a seat on P.T.’s comfortable patio. If you’re looking for a place that appeals to a variety of taste buds, then P.T.’s is it. It offers great vegetarian options, and turkey and chicken sandwiches are also on the menu. Wash it all down with freshly squeezed lemonade.
Beach House Burgers
118 Fort Fisher Boulevard North, Kure Beach • (910) 458-8586
You can’t miss the brightly colored Beach House Burgers. This walk-up joint’s green, blue, and orange paint ropes you in, just like the smell of juicy patties being fired up on the grill. Get your burgers to go and head for the pier, which is just a block away.
Bros Sandwich Shack
41934 NC Highway 12, Avon • brossandwichshack.com • (252) 995-9595
When the opportunity to open up a restaurant on the Outer Banks presented itself last summer, brothers Matt and Josh took it immediately on what they call a “handshake deal.” Try the Cowboy Bro burger, which features a Sriracha barbecue sauce, and have a glass NC craft beer that’s on tap.
4105 North Croatan Highway, Kitty Hawk • spankysnc.com • (252) 261-1917
Vacations are meant for indulgence, so the next time you’re in Kitty Hawk, challenge yourself to eating the two-pound Viking Burger at Spanky’s Grille. Let it be known, though, that there’s no shame in sticking with the equally tasty and more modest quarter-pounder.
Crafty Cow Burger Bar
817 Ocean Trail, Corolla • craftycowburgers.com • (252) 453-3212
Though the ambiance is casual, the cuisine is elevated at Crafty Cow. You’d be hard pressed to find burgers elsewhere on the beach with topping combinations like avocado, goat cheese, and herb pesto, or ginger slaw and sweet chili glaze.
3706 Arendell Street, Morehead City • (252) 726-3002
No trip to the NC coast is complete without a shrimp burger, considered by many to be an epicurean experience. As its name implies, you won’t find any red meat on a shrimp burger, made famous by drive-ins like El’s. This burger holds deep-fried shrimp, ketchup, and homemade slaw, and pure goodness between its buns.
Purple Onion Café
4647 Main Street, Unit 1, Shallotte • (910) 755-6071
A Southern bistro, Purple Onion Café offers an impressive variety of burgers among its other menu items. Before making it all the way down to the beach, make a pit stop and satisfy your appetite with the Southern Bell Burger, which has homemade pimento cheese, fried green tomatoes, and purple onion jam.
Hang Ten Grill
308 South Lake Park Boulevard, Carolina Beach • hangtengrill.com • (910) 458-5959
When Hang Ten Grill fills up quickly in the summer, enjoy a game of corn hole while you wait. Then, sink your teeth into a Tsunami Burger, decked out with jalapeños, grilled onions, and pepper jack cheese.