3 of the best fish sandwiches in North Carolina


The best fish sandwiches are towers of tender, fresh fish fried to perfection, and these restaurants do them exactly right, starting with seasonal N.C. seafood.

Traditionally, the fish will be contrasted by crisp, refreshing slaw and a smear of zingy tartar sauce.

You’ll find the real thing up and down the North Carolina coast, deep into the Piedmont and all the way to Asheville, too. Here are three of our favorites.

Stop wishing you could have one of those fried fish sandwiches people keep posting on Instagram. Go get one.

O’Neal’s Sea Harvest

618 Harbor Road, Wanchese, 252-473-4535, onealsseaharvest.com

All seafood is locally caught and purchased daily at this Outer Banks market and restaurant on Roanoke Island. The lunch-only spot is known for lightly fried seafood and putting gourmet touches on fish sandwiches. Recently, grilled golden tilefish landed with fresh spinach, tomato and lemon remoulade on a potato roll. Don’t miss the fries seasoned with Old Bay.

Salt Box Seafood Joint

2637 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd., Durham, 919-237-3499; 608 N Mangum St., Durham, 919-908-8970; saltboxseafoodjoint.com

Chef Ricky Moore’s tribute to fish camps and seafood shacks has been featured in just about every major food magazine since he opened his first location in 2012. This year, Moore is a semi-finalist in the James Beard Awards best chef southeast category. The New Bern native brings native North Carolina seafood to the inland masses via walk-up, take-out and online ordering services. Fresh catches, fried or griddled, are posted daily and land on the classic fish sandwich, topped with slaw.

Seaview Crab Co.

1515 Marstellar St., Wilmington, 910-769-1554, seaviewcrabcompany.com/midtown

Much respect if you can leave the parking lot before digging into your fish sandwich. Mine came with crispy fried flounder stacked two pieces high, tangy mojo aioli, greens and a tomato slice. Normally, I shun tomatoes on fried fish sandwiches, but the fish’s extra-crispy breading and the toasty grilled roll totally stood up to the juicy tomato.

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