Best Nightlife

Out of all the clubs and bars in a city, 10Best narrows the options to those places with the most appeal and the best reputations. We offer a carefully vetted selection to let you explore Outer Banks nightlife on your own. If time is really tight, though, and you don't have the leisure to look through all our offerings, we present our Outer Banks Best Nightlife list. Here, we distill the best businesses down to a special selection of ten. These places promise a stellar experience and a taste of the city that you just can't miss.


This Caribbean-themed hangout offers a great menu of light Tex-Mex dishes to accompany the array of micro-brewed beers on tap. Sample some of their many hot sauces and spices from around the world, and check out their tapas schedule featuring a different country's cuisine each week. A favorite among locals for its modest food and drink prices, Chili Peppers also features live rock and blues music every Tuesday night.

Read more about Chili Peppers Restaurant & Bar →

Having grown up in the area and traveled extensively around the Equator, owner Chris Vlahos knew that a Caribbean bar and restaurant would fit perfectly at the Outer Banks. Barefoot's festive, tropical flare makes it an excellent beach bar. Not as much of a dive as its fellow surfside bars, Barefoot's attracts plenty of families for dinner before clearing a few tables for live music later in the evening. Live reggae, rock, and cover bands create a relaxed, fun atmosphere.

Read more about Barefoot Bernie's →

Tortuga's Lie is the authentic beach bar. Its laid-back atmosphere attracts surfers, bohemians and other locals to crowd around the modestly sized bar every night throughout the summer. Vivid local art with the tortuga as its focal point (tortuga is Spanish for turtle) helps create a hip and trendy bar experience. On Wednesdays, sushi from freshly caught fish is offered as a late-night snack after 10pm.

Read more about Tortuga's Lie Shellfish Bar and Grill →

The Pit

Although it began as a small surfshop on the Beach Road, the store soon became a local hangout. That led to a gnarly idea: surfshop by day, club by night. Now, this unique hybrid has expanded and become one of the Outer Banks nightlife hotspots. Headlining a broad mix of musical acts, The Pit attracts a similarly broad guest list. Too young to drink? Don't worry. The Pit offers 18 and under nights on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, but partyers of age shouldn't be discouraged. On Mug Night Thursdays, patrons can bring in their own mug - no matter the size - and enjoy beverages.

Read more about The Pit →

Striper's Bar & Grille

Three floors, each overlooking the vast, moonlit waters of the Roanoke Sound, offer three unique ambiances. On the first floor, guests can enjoy a hardy meal or just a few drinks around the smoker-friendly bar with an adjacent screened porch. A dining room is located on the second floor. The third floor features a sleek private club and adjoining deck where guests can enjoy a drink under the open night sky.

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Although artifacts and antiques adorn every corner of this family restaurant, don't be surprised to find biker gangs, college students and pretty much anyone looking for a good time coming through the doors after dinner hours. Live music nights on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays usually draw the biggest crowds to this bar and saloon. Port O'Call also tends to attract a wilder crowd, so be wary of certain bathing suit "contests."

Read more about Port O'Call Restaurant & Saloon →

While most live music in the Outer Banks consists of lone acoustic guitar players and cover bands, The Outer Banks Brewing Station consistently brings in established musical talent throughout the summer. Large projection screens energize the dance floor with light shows and dancing silhouettes that coincide with the music. In front of the live entertainment and dancing, two floors of bars are available to serve their home-brewed ales and lagers.

Read more about Outer Banks Brewing Station →

By day, Mama Kwan's is one of the top lunch and dinner spots on the Outer Banks - thanks in part to its famous fish taco. By night, the zesty island flare and modest prices attract customers for festive nightlife. Mama Kwan's draws a healthy crowd of college students, locals, and late-nighters who gather not only for the cheap food and drink, but also for frequent live music during the summer. This beach bar often hosts rock and reggae bands.

Read more about Mama Kwan's Tiki Bar & Grill →

With its selection of old-school pinball machines, vintage billiard tables, and plenty of flat-screen TV's, this beach bar attracts a diverse customer base. Young and old, locals and vacationers, bikers and surfers all flock to the fun-filled atmosphere of Lucky 12 for lunch, dinner and fun. Once there, they can enjoy a great selection of beers on tap and a kitchen that stays open late. DJ's also frequent the tavern.

Read more about Lucky 12 Tavern →

Considered one of the premier restaurants in the Outer Banks, Basnight's also plays host to romantic, waterside nightlife. Guests can enjoy their favorite cocktail while gazing at the Roanoke Sound from anywhere in the restaurant, including the bar.

Read more about Basnight's Lone Cedar Cafe →