Nestled along sweeping coastlines, Surf City's dining scene is as vibrant and varied as its surf culture. From seafood shacks serving up the day's freshest catch to upscale eateries where each dish is a culinary wave ridden with finesse, the restaurants here offer a taste of the oceanic lifestyle. Whether you're craving the casual air of a beachside grill or the intimate ambiance of a fine dining establishment, Surf City's eateries promise to tantalise your taste buds while immersing you in the laid-back, sun-kissed ethos of this coastal haven.
Casual, contemporary window selling tacos, nachos & wings, plus beer & wine, with patio seating.
The food is good, the shrimp taco was loaded with shrimp, but a little sweet; the fish tacos were good, but could’ve used more flavor. There is a parking lot, which is nice, and although there is a constant line of people, they take care of folks pretty quickly. We waited 10 mins in line…if that. Service was on point. The 4 stars is only because they don’t provide free water/water cups. They have canned water or canned drinks only. That being said, the surf shop (that’s connected) has fountain soda, lemonade, and tea that is bottomless.
4 / 5
The tuna nachos and pork nachos were fabulous. As were the tacos! Only complaint was the chicken was very bland and the chicken bowl someone in our group ordered was bland and dry- could’ve used seasoning and some crema/ sour cream or something - otherwise it was a great beachy vibe with good food and the line moved fast.
4 / 5
Shaka Taco in Surf City, NC is a hidden gem that offers a mouth-watering selection of fish and shrimp tacos. I was blown away by the freshness and quality of the ingredients, as well as the creative and flavorful combinations that the chefs came up with. The fish tacos were perfectly cooked, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, with a hint of spice that added a nice kick to each bite. The shrimp tacos were equally impressive, featuring succulent shrimp that were marinated with a zesty blend of herbs and spices. What really stood out to me was the attention to detail that the staff put into each taco, from the handmade tortillas to the generous portions of toppings and sauces. The ambiance of the restaurant is also worth mentioning, with a laid-back and beachy vibe that makes you feel right at home. Overall, I highly recommend Shaka Taco to anyone looking for an authentic and delicious taco experience. Whether you're a seafood lover or just looking to try something new, this place won't disappoint!
5 / 5
We went today for the first time & it was super busy but, we loved the atmosphere! As far as food, I got the fish taco, tuna taco, & carne taco. The tuna was over cooked so I likely won’t choose that one again. The carne was decent and the beer batter cod was honestly the best. I truly enjoyed it! My only recommendation would be offering a salsa that’s spicier than mild please. That would have been perfect!
5 / 5
Fresh and delicious - are truly on point when it comes to Shaka Taco. The commitment to using fresh ingredients is evident in both the pineapple guacamole and the taco bowls with shrimp and carne asada. The flavors are bright and bold, with just the right balance of spice and seasoning. The pineapple guacamole is truly a standout dish, with the sweet and tangy pineapple complementing the creamy avocado perfectly. The chips are freshly made and provide a perfect crunchy texture to accompany the dip. Moving on to the taco bowls, both the shrimp and carne asada are cooked to perfection and pair perfectly with the fresh, colorful array of toppings. We ordered carryout to skip the line. Then, we wandered next door to Eventide to snag a drink and stuff ourselves silly. Overall, Shaka Taco provides a top-notch experience with their commitment to fresh ingredients and delicious flavor combinations. I highly recommend giving them a try - you won't be disappointed!
5 / 5
Easygoing tavern serving hearty American fare in a vibrant, casual space with plenty of TVs.
The oysters are CRAZY expensive here, $36 for a dozen. Most other restaurants in the area charge about half that. The High Seas Linguine was fantastic. I really wish I hadn't ordered the oysters, feeling like I got scammed.
4 / 5
Honestly, the first thing we do when looking for new restaurants is review the google online reviews. We looked at the reviews and they were mostly good with a few random one star reviews. Normally, we might look for another place but not so this time because of the owner responses to the poor reviews. We appreciated how thoroughly the owner dissected erroneous claims about his business and his blunt approach. Based on this, we knew we had to try it! The food was amazing! We had the fish and chips and the mixed shrimp platter. The fish was breaded to perfection, flakey, and fresh. The shrimp was perfectly cooked as well. The Brussels sprouts were season welled with a delightful amount of kick that was not overbearing. The coleslaw was fresh and light. Anna, our server, was extremely attentive and made the experience even better. Overall, High Waters has great food, great atmosphere, great service and did we mention there is a television in the men’s room? If you’re in Surf City, check this place out.
5 / 5
Place is very inviting. The staff was very friendly. We had a little hiccup with one of our drinks sitting on the bar for a few minutes... but it was still good! We ordered the crab Nachos for appetizer. Very good. Their Bloody Mary is an appetizer in itself!! I ordered the Shrimp Po Boy with their ranch chips... man that was on point! My wife ordered the Salmon with scallops and shrimp with potatoes. Very pleasing to the palate!! The sauce and Potatoes knocked it out of the park!! Afterward I ordered a bit of their homemade ice cream.. strawberry and chocolate. Oh my goodness... while it wasn't what I was expecting I have to say it was very tasty!! Almost like a frozen mousse. Very nice place to get a snack and drink!! We will be back.
4 / 5
I've been here a few times and it's a great local hangout with honest sports bar food. On my most recent trip I ordered the Shark's Breath burger, medium rare. The fries were crispy and perfect and the burger was the most perfect medium rare I've seen in a few years anywhere. It was messy and spicy and I was very impressed. This place deserves more business. Love it, will always return.
5 / 5
Timothy B. Barnhill
HIGHLY recommend! Loved the replica draw bridge in the middle of the restaurant. The food was OUTSTANDING ... service was OUTSTANDING (thank you Autumn). The owner even came to our table to check on us ... thank you so much for a great dinner! We will be back the next time we visit Surf City!!!!
5 / 5
Came in on a random weekday before the major summer rush. Our waitress was so kind and friendly. I ordered the steak tacos (not sure if that was the specific name) they sounded delicious with some Carolina gold BBQ sauce and onions. Sigh. The sauce kind of ruined it for me. It was a very heavy taco, the overly sweet sauce with the fried onions that were greasy? Too much. I just ate the meat and pickled onions I requested. Slightly disappointed that there were no other things to dress the tacos, like a green or fresh vegetable to give the taco some texture contrast. The sauce on the wings though? Fantastic. Delicious. The wings themselves? Made well and good. Would I come here again and recommend? Yes.
4 / 5
We stopped in after arriving here for our vacay. The food that was being served around us looked delicious and we had high hopes. I ordered a burger and had Mac and cheese as a side. The burger was decent, but the bun was so dry. The Mac and cheese was gross and had no flavor. My husband got the wings and said they were ok. We ordered the boneless chicken for our son and they were dry. The service was horrendous. We were constantly looking for our server from placing our order to getting our check, she was never any where to be found. I had an empty drink for 20 minutes and my drink was sitting at the bar and another server finally delivered it to me. The mermaid water was good! The food also took a long time for us to get. Despite all of that, there were so many flies, even though we sat inside. The AC also didn’t appear to be working. It was very hot and by the time we left, we were quite warm. If we would have know how warmly was going to be, I think we would have gone elsewhere.
2 / 5
My husband and I have vacationed at Topsail for many years and just discovered this restaurant. The service there was wonderful, very friendly and special requests were no problem. Had absolutely the best wings, burgers, and fries that we've ever had!
5 / 5
Food is cooked to order which takes a little bit of time before you receive it. I don’t mind at all because you’re food is fresh/hot. Tried a little bit of everything. Loaded tots, hot honey shrimp, pork belly and the wings (Thai chili) were all good. Spicy margarita was also really good.
5 / 5
The food is AMAZING! Every item we had was fantastic. They have great vegetarian options as well. They host a very large drink menu which is great. From craft beers, to mix drinks, and everything in between. The staff was awesome and the atmosphere was 10/10.
5 / 5
Family-friendly hub for steamed & raw shellfish, wings & beers served in a no-frills setting.
This place is busy and fun. It has a lively atmosphere, happy people, amazing employees, and fantastic food. We came on Halloween weekend. They have it completely decked out in decorations and everyone's wearing costumes. Such a fun party. We ordered the nachos and fish and chips and it was ready in minutes. Amazingly fast service. We met the owners personally as they were there to have a Halloween party. Chatted with us for a bit. The host Evan was so friendly, helpful and kind. He works so hard, helping everyone, making sure everyone's taken care of. Happy to lend a hand. Our waitress, Savannah was sweet and kind. Check this place out. Amazing. 🙌 so many yummy food options we will be back to try more.
5 / 5
What a gem. We had several recommendations of other seafood spots to try while we were staying in Surf City, but ended up heading Shuckin' Shack because it was closer and was the only spot that had crab legs specifically on the menu. I was hesitant at first because it seemed kind of like a chain restaurant and I like to eat local when possible, but, boy was my mind blown. We loved it so much we ended up going two nights in a row. The first night I had the "surf n turf" which is a half pound of crab legs and 5 chicken wings. The crab legs were some of the best I've ever had. No joke. The wings were *full* wings, meaning drum, flat, and tip so "only getting" 5 of them is the same as getting 10 wings from B-Dubs. The hot buffalo sauce was amazing, and the wings were breaded and crunchy. So delicious. For $23 bucks that combo is unbeatable. Night two I tried the scallop appetizer and another half pound of crabs. Those blackened scallops were excellent. It was pretty small for the price, but huge flavor. My wife had two of their buffalo shrimp appetizers which were amazing. My mother in law got the shrimp and grits which she absolutely raved over. All my kids are well, and the fried cod kids meal was a hit. Service was spectacular both nights. I highly recommend this spot. The food is incredible.
5 / 5
Absolutely fantastic food and drinks! Our waitress, Kelly, was great with our group of 6 adults and 3 kids. Be prepared to wait a bit for larger groups (only one larger table to accommodate), but know that it is absolutely worth it! Apps came out quickly (crab balls and char grilled oysters were my favorites) and drinks were delicious (highly recommend the saltmarsh margaritas and dawn patrol oyster shooters). Crab legs cooked to perfection along with everything else we got. Will definitely be back next time we visit Topsail!
5 / 5
This is the first place my brother wants to go when he visits from Minnesota. He raves about the oysters and large selection of IPA beer there. The staff is always energetic and friendly. Genuine hometown atmosphere. Large portions of food served and the Cod sandwich was delicious.
5 / 5
A chain restaurant that doesn't feel like one. Great seafood, cooked well but not over done. Unique flavors of sauces to go with the seafood. The horseradish sauce is not for the faint of heart, it cleared my sinuses. Reasonable price for what you get. Not cheap but good value.
5 / 5
Wil van der Meulen
We ordered a The Topsail Clam Bake (Low Tider), it serves 2-3 people. We had leftovers of mostly potatoes, a corn cob & some shrimp & kielbasa. It comes with 2 dozen littleneck clams, 1 lb. peel-and-eat shrimp, 1/2 lb. of kielbasa, corn, red potatoes, onion, homemade seafood seasoning, cocktail sauce, and butter. They also provide a small roll of brown paper for your table (liquid will seep through). $72.00+ tax which comes out to about $26/person if you have 3 people. Pricey (reason for 4 stars) considering you have to cook it, no table service & you have to clean up. But it was an experience we wanted to try. A little disappointed that, for that price, the cocktail sauce isn't homemade. That being said, the seafood was VERY fresh! I picked it up around 2:00...cute shop. No one was in the front of the shop, so I waited about 5 minutes for someone. There's no bell to get an employee's attention & it's loud in the back, so they wouldn't here me. All the orders are in a small fridge by the register. The young man who helped me was very professional & let me know everything I needed to know about how to cook it. The bucket also comes with directions. Hubs used a propane stove outside to do the cooking. The bucket lid has a hole in the top to let out steam. The instructions say to put the lid on while cooking but not on too tight...the point is for the steam to only come out of the hole. Don't push the lid on all the way because you will need to open the pot to add the seafood after 20 minutes. It was all very tasty & easy to do. We added our own garlic toast to the meal. Will we do it again? I don't know...pricey. We've eaten at places that have steam pots with the same ingredients, that is enough for 2 to share, for around $30. BUT I would recommend it for the experience & to splurge at least once while on vacation.
4 / 5
Had a steamer pot delivered by gold belly for Father’s Day and it was 10000/10. Freshest and easiest seafood dish for any occasion. LOVE the crab. Huge huge fan!
5 / 5
Yeah fresh hot buttery seafood! This is exactly what we want when we come to the beach. Super fresh seafood, and lots of it. For 3 of us, we got 5 crab clusters (meat so sweet), 2 lobster tails (deliciously sweet and tender, I could have eaten 7 more), a bucketful of shrimp, clams, corn, potatoes, sausage, and cornbread. Tons of melted butter. We are full. We are happy. This could be you! 2023 Update: we did it again! Just as awesome. We got lobster tails for everyone and a crazy amount of crab legs. This year we added cornbread and key lime pie as well. It costs a lot, but this is now something we really look forward to every year. It is worth every penny.
5 / 5
Ordering is so easy for some of the best seafood I’ve ever prepared. Picked up my order, manager was awesome with simple instructions. Got home and prepared one of the best meals ever prepared. The family was blown away. Clams were the topper!!!
5 / 5
This was by far one of the best places we went to while on the island. The staff was so friendly and knowledgeable. I'm vegan and the girl helped me make a vegan steamer pot!!!! I was so excited about that. My boy is a true meat eater and he loved all the options for his steamer pot. Give them a try You'll thank me later!!
5 / 5
Was a great experience. Enjoyed a couple of Surf City Blonde beers which tasted great, had some cheese curds and the Surf City burger 🍔 Lots of TVs to watch sports. Great location as it is 3 blocks away from the pier. 🌊🏄🏄♀️🏄♂️ Mr. Huntington Beach
5 / 5
Mr Huntington Beach Real Estate
Surf City is a fantastic place for a satisfying meal or watch your favorite sports game! I thoroughly enjoyed the sweet potato fries which were perfectly crispy, the carne asada nachos packed with flavor, and the French dip with grilled onions was simply mouthwatering. To top it off, the banana sundae was a sweet and creamy delight. Whether you’re a food enthusiast or a sports fan, Surf City has something for everyone. Don’t miss out!
5 / 5
Food was good, drinks were weak though. The flatbread had good flavor. Wings could have been sauced more but still tasted good. Great customer service everyone very nice and friendly. Have TVs all over the place so good to watch games at.
4 / 5
First time here for taco Tuesday this past week. Tacos are half off. They come in threes. We ordered carne asada and battered fish tacos, guacamole dip ($5) and chips plus French fries. Our favorite were the fish tacos and French fries were cooked to perfection. Their beers were also great and was also part of the Happy Hour for taco Tuesday. We tried their House IPA. Richie, our server, was friendly and great. Definitely will return.
5 / 5
Just had my first visit there yesterday and it won't be my last. Food was great. I met the owner and manager, both made sure we were well taken care of. Nice location, right on Main Street. Plenty of parking.
5 / 5
Open seasonally, this comfortable candlelit spot serves Lowcountry-inspired seafood.
My wife and I went for a lunch getaway & the experience was excellent. We thoroughly enjoyed our cocktails, food selections, dessert, and the friendliness of our knowledgeable server. The patio was the perfect atmosphere for our lunch date. We will definitely return and will look forward to trying the indoor dining area the next time we vacation here.
5 / 5
Dr Aaron Peters
Wasn't expecting such upscale experience! Lunch had more limited menu. Crab roll was quite good, even though I had to get some interpretation on the menu items. Hubs played it safe with smashburger. Fries were superb. Server was attentive & kind.
4 / 5
We have eaten at the Beach Shop & Grill many times over the years and the food, service and atmosphere are always wonderful. My favorite menu item is the ever evolving burger. It is always cooked to perfection and the chef-inspired ingredients (such as fried green tomatoes or bacon jam) are always amazing. Look at that slab of bacon on the picture I uploaded! Other menu items are more upscale if you want to go for a special occasion. The relatively new patio dining area is great on a cool evening. Highly recommended.
5 / 5
Day trip to check out Topsail Island and Surf City. Stopped at Beach Shop & Grill for lunch and split an awesome smash burger & fries with the bride. Very tasty and filling. Check the attached menu for other options... BTW, this place has been in business since 1952! Over 70 years! Congrats!
5 / 5
Robert B Butler
Talk about a 🔥 fall drink menu... This is Winston Churchill Breakfast, a craft Cocktail with #ryewhiskey and other deliciousness THIS is why the locals keep coming back 🤘
5 / 5