There are so many places to get a great cup of coffee or a wonderful cappuccino on the Outer Banks that it’s next to impossible to pick a favorite. Nonetheless, Outer Bean in Kitty Hawk has always been one of those places that we just keep going back to.
It’s so much more than just a coffee shop. Fantastic smoothies, great breakfast items, killer sandwiches, and homemade soups—and whenever she can, owner Necla Rader makes everything with organic ingredients.
Then there’s the feel of the cafe—friendly, leisurely. A place that has become an ideal location to meet friends for a cup of coffee or lunch.
And now there are two of them.
The newest Outer Bean is in the Barrier Island Shops on the north end of Duck Village.
It’s a lot smaller than the original, so some of the items can’t be made there. Paninis, the soups…there is just no room to make them.
But everything else that made the original Outer Bean so special is on the menu—everything freshly made, coffee drinks, smoothies, and great sandwiches. Especially right now—this being summer—the tomato basil sandwich is amazing. Or try the Mediterranean salad that’s based on Necla’s Turkish upbringing.
Of course, there are the smoothies, perfect for a hot day. These are full-flavored smoothies made with real fruit, no concentrates in them, just the ingredients. Protein drinks and freshly squeezed juices.
For the sweet tooth in a coffee drink, there is are the usual suspects made with organic coffees—Reeses cup, S’more mocha, and Milky Way.
Walking into the new Outer Bean, there is a feeling as though it’s its own little work of art. This is one of the most different looking and best designed shops to open on the Outer Banks in some time.
When we talked to Necla about the look and feel of the cafe, she mentioned that unlike the Kitty Hawk location where she took over an existing coffee shop, this new location reflects her ideas about what she wanted.
Although it is a small space, so small there is no room for seating, the feeling is almost restful and anything but closed in or cluttered.
Much of that feeling comes from the rough cut cedar that is used for the counters, shelving, and trim. Chris Whitehurst and his All Ears team put the shop together.
Chris mentioned that Necla seemed to want an “organic” feel to the cafe, and that is probably as good a description as there is.
There has always been an ADA approved door on the inside of the building across from the reception desk. That ADA approved entrance, though, made one of the most significant changes to the design of the shop possible.
There is now a door facing the parking lot, an important consideration for anyone heading north to Corolla who wants to stop in for a quick coffee drink or a smoothie.
As Chris explained it, that west-facing wall was mostly windows, and the windows had to be replaced. Since they were already taking the window out, replacing it with a door entailed very little extra work or expense.
When we’ve stopped by the cafe, we noticed people found seating on the wooden bulkhead outside. Necla has put in some wooden statuary by the parking lot to give the outside of the shop more presence. The statuary is a low-cut wooden design. It’s not designated for seating, but there is a possibility that folks will relax with a smoothie or sandwich there.
The shop is small, and a little bit tucked away, but it is perfect for anyone heading to Corolla. Stuck in weekend traffic? A visit to the Duck Outer Bean is a great excuse before the last leg of the journey north.