The city of Wilmington conceived the Riverwalk in the 1980s as a way to bring interest back to the historic banks of the Cape Fear River. The area now serves as a top destination for tourists and residents alike for entertainment, dining, and shopping.
Some of the top spots on the Riverwalk include The Cotton Exchange and the USS North Carolina Battleship. After visiting these must-see sites, top off your experience by enjoying one the Riverwalk's restaurants for the best waterfront dining in Downtown Wilmington.
The George on the Riverwalk boasts excellent waterfront views and is the only restaurant with dock space in Downtown Wilmington. They specialize in Southern coastal cuisine and feature some of the area's best seafood on their distinct brunch, lunch, and dinner menus.
Favorite dishes at The George include George's Shrimp and Grits, Bacon-Encrusted Scallops, and Bangkok Tuna. The bar offers a host of North Carolina craft beers as well as a robust wine and martini list.
Elijah's Restaurant has been known for their great indoor and outdoor waterfront views in Downtown Wilmington since opening in 1984. The menu is highlighted by traditional seafood fare, but there are other options like pasta dishes, sandwiches, and burgers.
People flock to Elijah's for their oyster and raw bar, and this Riverwalk restaurant has regular daily lunch specialties like vegetable linguine, crabcakes, fish and chips, and popcorn shrimp.
Dock Street Oyster Bar is just steps away from the riverfront in the heart of Downtown Wilmington. For 17 years in a row, they have been voted by Encore Magazine readers as the Best Oyster Bar in town.
They also feature other award-winning seafood options like shrimp, snow crab legs, mussels, and clams. Diners who cannot decide which of these delicacies to dive into can try them all with the Dock Street Steamer Plate.
Pilot House has a unique waterfront setting, and their building is a historic residence in Downtown Wilmington that dates back to 1870. This Riverwalk restaurant has been open since 1978, and their traditional Southern cuisine is made with fresh, local ingredients.
Some of the more unique dishes at Pilot House include sweet potato grouper with mushroom ravioli and shrimp and grits with kielbasa sausage. Guests enjoy a tremendous outdoor deck, and there is also ample indoor dining space with river views.
Founded in May 2017, Anne Bonny's Bar and Grill is a new addition to the Riverwalk dining scene and brings visitors as close to the water as possible. The waterfront restaurant is situated on a barge, making it the only floating locale in Downtown Wilmington.
This casual, pet-friendly concept features calabash-style seafood in addition to burgers and sandwiches. The bar offers some of the best specials in town and has a full lineup of craft beers and frozen cocktails.
Whatever brings you to the Riverwalk, take advantage of one of these waterfront dining options in Downtown Wilmington for remarkable food and river views.
Cover photo courtesy of Flickr