It seems as though everyone does a best of list, and those lists serve an important purpose. Especially for visitors to the Outer Banks, it gives some indication of where to go to find good food. It’s never a complete list and personal choice always enters into it.
We’re starting with two dangerous categories—best burger and best deli sandwich, because, let’s face it—everyone has their own opinion when it comes to likes and dislikes in food.
A couple of years ago we talked about the best burgers on the beach, but things have changed. so it’s time to update the list.
Art’s Place and John’s Drive-in, both on the Beach Road in Kitty Hawk are two places that will probably always be on the list. They are about as authentic a local experience as there could be.
But there are some new contenders in the best of category.
Jack Brown’s Beer and Burgers
Beach Road, Kill Devil Hills
Jack Brown’s keeps it really simple—burgers, fries, and beer. A lot of different kinds of beer.
The burgers are cooked to order and the toppings and the ways they put everything together seem almost endless. There’s the Elvis Burger, served with peanut butter (of course); the Shocker with jalapeños, habaneros, hot sauce, and pepper jack cheese; and of course daily specials.
Although burgers are really what they’re all about, they do have a few other items on the menu—mac and cheese, grilled cheese. But really, the restaurant is all about burgers.
Two Roads Tavern
Bypass, Seagate North, Kill Devil Hills
Tucked away back in the corner of Seagate North, it might be easy to overlook Two Roads Tavern.
Their burgers are big, juicy, and wonderful. These are two hand burgers—it takes two hands to hold them and even then it’s a chore because there is so much between the buns.
Difficult to pick out a favorite, but for anyone wanting everything on one bun, go for the Hangover—bacon, hash browns, fried egg, and cheddar cheese with maple bacon jam. Or for an Italian flair, check out the Caprese—basil pesto, sliced tomato, balsamic reduction, and fresh mozzarella.
Two Roads actually has a full menu, including oysters. And a nice small wine selection with some great beers. But it’s really all about the burgers.
Best Deli Sandwich
A lot of places claim to have the best sandwiches, but we think we’ve managed to identify three of the best.
On the Waterfront, Manteo
There’s a reason why Poor Richard’s has managed to be the lunch place in downtown Manteo since 1984. They serve a great sandwich.
Sure, the setting is marvelous, right by the Manteo docks, and with some outdoor seating available, it just adds to the atmosphere.
But even in the winter, this is where the locals go to get a deli fix in Manteo.
They actually have a pretty full menu that includes burgers and various sausages as well. And their soup du jour is homemade. There is also a small bar area in the front of the restaurant, so beer and alcoholic beverages are available.
But ultimately, it’s all about the sandwiches.
Bypass, Kill Devil Hills (Almost on the Nags Head town line)
The only way to describe the size of the sandwiches Country Deli serves up is belly-busting. For anyone who has been to a deli in New York City and gotten one of those sandwiches that are so big that simply stretching your jaw to accommodate what is in your hand is a challenge…well, that’s country deli.
The original Country Deli opened in Nags Head in 1990. It was way too small. Just a counter and food prep area, refrigerators along the wall, and just enough room to come in and order.
The new location, which opened in 2017, has way more room and indoor seating. What they kept was a slightly off-kilter attitude toward what they do and those amazing sandwiches.
Kitty Hawk Deli
Bypass, Kitty Hawk
Kitty Hawk Deli is the newest entry into where to get a great sandwich on the Outer Banks. Tucked away in a blue building just a little north of Eckner Street, they have only been open about two years.
Just because they’re new doesn’t mean they don’t know what they’re doing.
A lot of their meats are cooked on site. Where that really comes through is in their Cuban sandwich. The pork between that crusty bread is so juicy and flavorful, it takes the classic to a new level.
It’s small, definitely a family-run business, and truly worth a visit.