Where to Find Fresh Seafood

For connoisseurs of good eats, there’s no place like Hatteras Island for some of the finest seafood that North Carolina has to offer. With easy access to the Gulf Stream, and miles of Pamlico Sound and Atlantic Ocean as hunting grounds for local fishermen, there’s always plenty of the catch of the day to go around.

So where do you find the freshest, most delectable seafood on the island? Chances are, the best seafood is just around the corner from your rental home.

Fish markets are available in every village, and they usually have the widest and best selection of local seafood. Pick up a few filets for the grill, or for extra value, buy fish and seafood that might need a little preparation before eating. For example, shrimp with the heads on that hasn’t been shelled or deveined yet is generally much cheaper than shrimp that is basically ready to eat.

Running short on time? Then check out the local grocery stores, particularly smaller grocers like the Village Grocery in Avon or Burrus Red & White in Hatteras for fresh seafood over the deli counter. (Local grocers are also a great place to pick up fresh seafood or shrimp salads for easy sandwiches.)

If you’re looking for a true off-the-docks selection, stop by the local harbors and see what’s available. The Avon Harbor Fish House, located in Avon Village along Harbor Road, is one of the last fully functioning fish houses of its kind. Pull into the red harbor house in the late morning or early afternoon and you’ll have your choice of whatever was caught that morning. Remember that quantities and type of seafood can be limited, since it’s all dependent on what was brought in that day.

If you’re a hands-off seafood lover, local restaurants offer plenty of dishes to feed your appetite. Ask about local specialties, and what’s fresh when you dine out. There are also several restaurants, like the Breakwater in Hatteras Village, where you can bring in your own fish, and the chefs will clean and cook it to your tastes. Just be sure you call ahead for details.

Whether you catch it yourself or let someone else do all the work, Hatteras Island is truly the seafood lover’s paradise, and with so many ways to sit back and enjoy a taste of the sea, don’t be surprised if you still crave the seashore after your vacation. For a treat to take with you, fill up a couple of coolers with fresh seafood to take home and pop in your freezer for an island treat you can enjoy long after your beach days have passed.

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