History, the arts, dining, and shopping come together in New Bern, North Carolina.
The historic town holds a well-deserved reputation as one of North Carolina's culinary towns, with an ever-increasing influx of discerning visitors keeping its restaurants' chefs on their toes.
If you visit the city, you may only get the chance to dine at a few restaurants in a single trip, so deciding where to make a reservation might be tricky.
Each of the restaurants below is not just a place to dine.
Instead, each is a destination in and of itself, crowned with magnificent interior design, breathtaking scenery, and remarkable culinary experiences.
You could get hungry thinking about them, so buckle up and explore some of the best restaurants in New Bern, North Carolina!
Specializing in New American Cuisine, which features center-cut beef, the freshest seafood, delightful pasta, and seafood, the Chelsea is an excellent pick for exquisite dining in New Bern.
You can indulge in modern takes on regional and Southern favorites or go with Maryland crab cakes, served with steamed vegetables, crab meat, and rice.
The restaurant also serves dishes influenced by Cajun, Asian, Italian, German, and French cuisine.
With the ideal blend of modern elegance and vintage appeal, you can enjoy a meal with colleagues or family while taking in the views of downtown New Bern through the building's historic transom windows.
Located on 335 Middle Street, the Chelsea offers a banquet room upstairs that can accommodate up to 120 guests, or you can choose options from their extensive menu, and they'll bring the party to you!
You'll find great local flavor at Baker's Kitchen, along 277 Middle Street.
While it's a renowned breakfast spot, it also offers filling and delectable dishes for brunch and lunch.
They serve excellent country-fried chicken, served with generous gravy and scrambled eggs.
Baker's Kitchen may not be as upscale as some nearby eateries in New Bern, but it nevertheless draws many customers because of its delectable breakfast meals.
You can also sample their French toast with their famous Butter Syrup to understand why it's one of the most well-known restaurants in New Bern.
If you're in the mood for something a little different, you can savor a new and unique spin on comfort food at the Bay Leaf Indian Restaurant, in the heart of New Bern.
Bay Leaf serves traditional Indian cuisine from chicken tandoori to mango custard in a vibrant, contemporary environment.
Along with the usual Indian fare of chicken, lamb, beef, and seafood specialties like shrimp tandoori, they also serve plenty of vegetarian options.
You can also swing by around lunchtime, as the Bay Leaf Indian Restaurant features a regular lunch buffet with a fine selection of local and regional favorites.
Discover the taste of India in the chic downtown atmosphere and wash it all down with a dessert like mango kulfi (rich Indian ice cream made of thickened milk and mango.)
Morgan's Tavern and Grill
With structural beams and a historic site, Morgan's Tavern and Grill is the best place in New Bern to eat succulent steaks and excellent seafood.
Morgan's Tavern and Grill offers a diverse menu of dishes made with high-quality ingredients.
The lobster bisque (a rich, flavorful soup featuring a lot of crab meat that's smooth, creamy, and strongly seasoned) is everyone's favorite.
You can also try one of their seven gourmet hamburgers, all produced with 100 percent Angus meat.
Located on 235 Craven Street, the building was once the home of the New Bern Garage Company, which previously housed numerous Buick and Hudson automobiles and Henderson motorcycles.
The restaurant boasts an open floor plan, old brick walls, exposed wooden beams, and a cozy ambiance featuring some tools and artifacts from the building's previous life.
With breathtaking views along the Neuse River, the Persimmons Restaurant is famous for its top-notch food you can savor in a relaxed outdoor setting.
Founded in 2010, this sophisticated waterfront restaurant will amaze you with its seafood and New American cuisine.
Persimmons Restaurant features Southern comfort food like blackened salmon etouffee, tomato pie made with local hoop cheese, and pimento hushpuppies.
The restaurant's prime rib (a delicious piece of steak packed with juices and flavorful beef) entices guests who come for brunch at the waterfront.
Located on 100 Pollock Street, the restaurant lifted its name from a persimmon tree sitting on its compound, most likely dating back to the nineteenth century.
El Taco Loco
El Taco Loco fits the bill if you like venturing out of your comfort zone.
This beloved Mexican eatery has existed since 2002 and offers mouthwatering birria tacos, tortes, and tres leches that will make you crave dessert!
Located on 2408 Dr. M.L.K Blvd, the modest eatery is just a short drive from the city center and is the kind of establishment that is easy to miss.
However, you'll find some of the biggest and most excellent burritos you'll ever eat at El Taco Loco—one of New Bern's best-kept secrets.
After moving to New Bern from Morelia, Mexico, founder Carmen Corona noticed the lack of authentic Mexican food and decided to share her cooking skills with New Bern.
MJ's Raw Bar and Grille
Go to MJ's Raw Bar and Grill if you crave oysters in any style.
Since 2005, this eatery has continued enticing patrons with its fresh shrimps, clams, crab legs, and oysters seasoned perfectly with Old Bay.
However, the signature crab cakes with the tasty Jamaican tartar sauce are to die for!
If you add a crab pretzel, you might need to go around Union Point Park and run a few laps to burn off your meal!
Situated one block from the gorgeous waterfront, MJ's Raw Bar and Grille can fit ten people around the bar and up to 100 in the cozy interior.
Poppy's Bites and Barrels
Poppy's Bites and Barrels, formerly known as Beer Army Gastropub, changed its name in recognition of Corporal Ben DeFonce (also known as Poppy), a prominent Marine and two-time recipient of the Purple Heart.
The restaurant is a living tribute to veterans who gave their lives in service to their country.
If you are curious about the people who protect this country's freedom, check out this restaurant in New Bern.
Poppy's Bites and Barrels serves inventive cocktails, bourbon, wine, and beer with contemporary twists on traditional southern fare.
The eatery sits across from the beautiful Christ Episcopal Church, meaning you can take a scenic stroll after your meal.
Moreover, Poppy's offers the best burgers in New Bern, and you can pair them with various beers and liquor.
Located on 319 Middle Street, this downtown bistro is a haven for those who are into sweet treats.
Cow Cafe prepares superior ice cream, distinctive popcorn flavors, and more than 500 types of cow-themed presents.
While the café's menu also features some divine desserts, a wide array of hot plates, soups, wraps, and substantial sandwiches are available.
There is a large barnyard play court with rocking cows, tractors, and many other toys to keep your little ones busy and happy.
Likewise, murals surround the "The Farm" dining area.
The front dining space offers a lively vibe with a "moo choo train" that circles the area and a "Bovine Boutique" decor that makes Cow Cafe fun for all ages.
Launched in 2012, Savages Woodburning Pizzeria offers New York-style pizza baked in an authentic brick oven fueled by oak and hickory wood.
The pizzeria's menu is enticing and starts with its specialty pizzas, which include vegetarian-friendly and meat-based pies.
You can choose a meal from an incredible selection of freshly cooked Italian dishes available at Savage's Wood Burning Pizzeria, including antipasto salad, mozzarella, tomato salad, calzones, wraps, sandwiches, appetizers, and much more.
Nestled on 303 Metcalf Street, Savage's is undoubtedly kid-friendly, with indoor and outdoor seating available for guests who prefer to unwind with the downtown area in the background.
Located on 219 Middle Street, Cypress Hall offers a taste of Southern food prepared with the finest ingredients sourced from Eastern North Carolina.
The menus at Cypress Hall are ever-changing.
However, chefs recommend that you start with soul-warming comfort food like pimento cheese made of pork rinds and onion to inspire you to reconsider what it means to prepare and eat food in the South.
Save room for dessert, of course.
You might even start with dessert, especially if you order the restaurant's strawberry cake.
Cypress Hall has an ample interior, with a modest balcony offering access to a private dining area and views into the Kitchen and its distinctive pizza oven.
Since several people gush about Cypress Hall, book a reservation in advance to secure a table.
Captain Ratty's Seafood
After long hours of sightseeing in New Bern, Captain Ratty's Seafood is a great spot to unwind.
With numerous large dining areas, a contemporary wine bar, the recently refurbished Stubbs Pub, and a rooftop with views of the river and the city, this place gives you diverse meal options.
Tucked away on 202 Middle Street, the award-winning restaurant combines a culinary scene that supports a broad menu with an elegant, chic atmosphere.
You can try their New England clam chowder, a thick and creamy made of salt pork, milk, potatoes, onions, and clams.
Indulge in the delectable salads and seafood specialties at Captain Ratty's Seafood.
The Country Biscuit
In the South, locals start their day with homemade buttermilk biscuits, and so should you.
Since it opened in 1978, the Country Biscuit has served Southern dishes on large platters for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
This delightful place not only offers breakfast platters and specialties but also serves soups, salads, and sandwiches for lunch.
While the biscuits catapulted this restaurant to fame, they also serve Southern staples like pork chops, country ham, and fried flounder, which will keep you coming back for more.
Mellow lighting, quiet music, and pleasant interior hues combine for an intimate dining seating at the Country Biscuit.
Moore's Old Tyme Barbeque
Hush puppies, collard greens, and scratch biscuits come to mind when you think of the traditional meals found in Eastern North Carolina.
There are a few locations that fit the bill.
Long established and steeped in history, Moore's Old Tyme Barbeque serves barbecue cooked in the Down East style with a vinegar base, slaw, hush puppies, and various other country culinary staples.
Moore's Old Tyme Barbeque is a family business that has operated for over a hundred years.
After making the largest BBQ sandwich, the restaurant earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2010.
Nestled at 3621 Doctor MLK Jr Blvd, the restaurant's rustic decor reflects the current craze for using natural building materials like metal and wood.
The inside walls serve as a virtual history tour of the Moore families, the workers, and Craven County.
Since 1921, Spunky McDoogle's has offered delectable pub fare with a distinctive Irish flair, becoming an icon in New Bern.
As New Bern's only Irish Pub, Spunky McDoogle's is a terrific place to unwind, have a drink or a meal, and spend a fun night.
Located at 1908 S Glenburnie Rd, Ste H, Spunky McDoogle pairs good meals with good drinks to make one deliciously unique experience.
You can savor regional specialties like country fried steak & chicken pot pie alongside their signature corned beef & cabbage daily in the restaurant.
Half Time Pub & Grub
If you're a sports enthusiast on the hunt for a friendly hangout to catch the big game, Half Time Pub & Grub has a lot to offer.
This well-liked hangout, drawing locals and tourists alike, sits in the western part of New Bern, just outside the city center.
The eatery's menu is surprisingly extensive, with a little bit of everything, including starters, soups & salads, sandwiches, burgers, wings, and specialized kids' dishes.
Half Time Pub & Grub is a terrific spot to celebrate no matter the occasion since it has plenty of space at the bar, tables, and several big-screen TVs displaying the major games.
Lawson's On The Creek
With so much to do in the city, sometimes all you need is a quick meal.
Luckily, many New Bern restaurants can give you what you need.
Located at NC History Center, Lawson's On The Creek offers a deli-style cafe's house-made salads, signature sandwiches, deli salads and dressings, panini tots, and kid's meals served with a bag of chips.
Conveniently located at 529 South Front St, Lawson's On The Creek presents a large waterfront setting with an unusual mix of all things natural and cultural from the Inner Banks.
Families of all ages, nature enthusiasts, and those who enjoy the water, will feel at home here and have no trouble finding a few things to keep them occupied.
Carolina Grill is a well-known seafood and southern restaurant located south of downtown New Bern.
It has something to whet any appetite, with a menu featuring a beautiful selection of seafood specialties and a variety of southern favorites that blend in beautifully with the seaside setting.
If you love seafood, treat yourself to large platters of fried oysters, scallops, shrimp, and flounder at Carolina Grill.
Located at 998 US HWY 70 EAST, the restaurant offers a wide selection of sandwiches ranging from the classics like the club and ham melt to the more unusual, like the Caribbean chicken wrap and Carolina shrimp po'boy.
Whether you prefer fine dining, simple home cooking, or traditional southern food, you will find practically everything to suit your tastes in New Bern.
Most restaurants in the city widely feature fresh seafood dishes, but local chefs are ready to tantalize your taste if you're in the mood for international cuisines.
Broaden your food horizons with these best restaurants in New Bern, North Carolina!