Historic Downtown Wilmington Riverfront In The Running To Be Named One of USA Today’s 20 Best Al Fresco Dining Neighborhoods

Downtown Wilmington Al Fresco Dining

After receiving the award for the best riverfront in the United States, the historic downtown Wilmington riverfront is leading the pack for USA Today’s 10Best’s title of Best Al Fresco Dining Neighborhood. A panel of traveling foodies have teamed up with USA Today’s 10Best to nominate 20 streets and neighborhoods and readers can cast their vote through Monday, August 17 on the 10Best website. To view the current leaderboard, where Wilmington is sitting in first place, click here.

Historic Downtown Wilmington NC is winning the vote with it’s prime location along the Cape Fear River, rich history of nearly 300 years, and the mile-long Riverwalk, which was named the Best American Riverfront by USA Today’s 10Best in 2014. The foodies and 10Best highly recommend the historic district which is filled with great al fresco venues. Many downtown venues offer al fresco dining along the sidewalk on Front Street as well as on patios with views overlooking the Cape Fear River. The Reel Cafe was of particular interest with an option for Rooftop Dining as well. Our beach town weather is also an attraction and provides options for outdoor dining throughout most of the year. The 200+ restaurants and shops within walking distance of the Riverwalk provide limitless options. Where are your favorite places to eat downtown in Wilmington?

A quick survey around our office created this list of recommendations:

  • Circa 1922
  • The Copper Penny
  • Dock Street Oyster Bar
  • Fork N Cork
  • The Basics Gourmet Soul
  • Chops Deli

Which of the following are your favorites?

A Slice Of Life Pizzeria & Pub Kabob and Grill
125 Market St 5 Water Street
Aubriana’s Kat 5 Kava
115 S Front St 123 Grace St
Barge Snack Bar Kilwin’s Ice Cream
108 S. Water Street 16 Market St
The Basics Gourmet Soul Le Catalan French Cafe Wine Bar
319 N Front St 224 S. Water Street
Beer Barrio The Little Dipper
34 N Front Street 138 S Front St
Bella’s Bar Local Louie’s Hot Dogs
19 Market St 204 1/2 Princess St
Betsy’s Crepes Luna Caffe
127 N. Front Street 604 Castle St.
Black Sea Grill manna
118 S Front St 123 Princess Street
Bourbon St. Restaurant NeMa Lounge and Eatery
35 N Front St 225 S. Water Street
Buzz Roost Nikki’s Sushi Bar
15 S. Front Street 16 S Front St
Caprice Bistro On A Roll
10 Market St 125 Grace St
Chops Deli Paddy’s Hollow
130 North Front Street 325 N Front St
Circa 1922 Peking Gourmet
8 N Front St 120 S Front St
Coastal Cupcakes Pender’s Cafe
129 Princess St 205 N Front St
The Copper Penny The Peppered Cup Cake
109 Chestnut St 105 S S. Front Street
Cousins Italian Deli Pilot House Restaurant
7 N 3rd St 2 Ann St
Detour Deli and Cafe PinPoint Restaurant
510 1/2 Redcross Street 114 Market Street
Dixie Grill Port City Cheesesteak
116 Market St 204 Princess St
Dock Street Oyster Bar Port City Java
12 Dock St 502 N. Front street
Elijah’s Port City Java
2 Ann St 300 N Front St
Fat Tony’s Italian Pub Port City Java
131 N Front St 21 N. Front St.
Flying Pi Kitchen The Reel Cafe
402 Chestnut St 100 S Front St
Folk’s Cafe Reggae Hut
706 N. 4th street 121 Grace St
Folks Cafe Rx Restaurant and Bar
1201 Princess Street 421 Castle St
Fork N Cork Saigon Bistro
122 Market 21 N. Front Street
The Fortunate Glass The Scoop Ice Cream & Sandwich Shop
29 S Front St 365 N Front St
Front Street Brewery Shuckin’ Shack
9 N Front St 109 Market St
The George On The Riverwalk South ‘n France
128 S Water St 822 Orange St
The German Cafe Stuffedwich NC
316 Nutt St 11 Market St.
The Greeks Mediterranean Deli & Market Sunny’s Sushi & Lounge
124 Princess St 141 N Front St
Hell’s Kitchen Tar Heel Creamery
118 Princess St 15 S. Water Street
Hot Pink Cake Stand Ted’s Fun on the River
114 N Front St 2 Castle St
The Husk The Trolley Stop
33 S Front St 121 N. Front Street
I Love NY Pizza Riverboat Landing
28 N Front St 2 Market St
Innovations Wayfarer Deli & Bistro
301 N Water St 110 S Front St
Island Fresh Mex Grill Yosake Downtown Sushi Lounge
310 N. Front Street 33 S Front St
Java Dog Coffee House Yummi Banh Mi
307 N Front St 21 N. Front Street
Jester’s Cafe
607 Castle St  

Historic Downtown Wilmington, NC is in good company with these other locations around the United States:

  1. Historic Downtown – Wilmington, N.C.
  2. 5th Avenue South – Naples, Fla.
  3. Main Street – Greenville, S.C.
  4. Vail Village – Vail, Colo.
  5. Larimer Square – Denver
  6. State Street – Santa Barbara, Calif.
  7. River Walk – San Antonio
  8. Wicker Park – Chicago
  9. Peachtree Road – Atlanta
  10. Adams Morgan – Washington
  11. Rittenhouse Square – Philadelphia
  12. French Quarter – New Orleans
  13. Meatpacking District – New York
  14. Back Bay – Boston
  15. Garden District – New Orleans
  16. Georgetown – Washington
  17. Riverwalk – Chicago
  18. Dupont Circle – Washington
  19. Lake Travis & Lake Austin – Austin
  20. Montana Avenue – Santa Monica, Calif.

Voting ends at 11:59 am EDT on Monday, August 17th, and you can cast your vote every day, so be sure to vote for our great city!

Wilmington continues to prove itself as a great place to live, work and play and provides many of the conveniences of the larger cities that make the list with a number of other great features including golfing, boating, equestrian and those looking to find all that the Carolina coast has to offer in many of our waterfront and island communities. The historic charm of Wilmington has captured many visitors, vacationers, and college students and turned them into lifelong residents.

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