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Corolla Restaurants

Choosing where to dine in Corolla is an enviable task. Discriminating vacationers demand top-quality dining, and Corolla restaurants have stepped up to serve them well. Whether you’re looking for breakfast, lunch or dinner, fast fare or intimate dining, you’ll find it here.

There are four fast-food chains here, but all of the other Corolla restaurants are locally owned, allowing for creativity and individuality you’ll never be able to find at a chain. We have to say that that’s one of the aspects of Outer Banks restaurants that locals are most proud of—that even given the hundreds of dining choices here, only a tiny percentage of them would be found anywhere else. 

Seafood is the main event in almost every Outer Banks restaurant because that’s what is the freshest and that’s what everybody wants. Tuna, mahi mahi, rockfish, flounder and a variety of other fish, plus blue crabs, clams, shrimp, scallops, mussels and oysters are the most popular catches. If you’re here in early summer, don’t miss a chance to taste the regional delicacy of fresh soft-shell crabs. Of course, local chefs also serve meats, pasta, vegetarian offerings and fresh regional produce. Mainland Currituck County is home to many farms, so fresh vegetables are available year round.

Restaurants in Corolla are able to serve liquor in addition to beer and wine, so expect to find a full bar in many establishments. In the height of summer, restaurants can be quite crowded. This is a testament to their quality, but it’s also a sign that you need to make reservations. You should know, too, that dining out in extremely large parties can be taxing to some restaurants, while others can handle it with ease. If you must dine out en masse, always call ahead to make sure your restaurant of choice can accommodate a large party (and to give them a warning that you’re coming).

Dining is casual here, even in the finest restaurants. Dressing up means putting on long pants (or nice shorts) and a collared shirt or a sundress. Most Corolla restaurants close for at least part of the winter and early spring, though a few stay open year round. Call ahead if you’re visiting in the off-season.

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Agave Roja—Modern Mexican

  • 807-B Ocean Trail, Monteray Plaza
  • Corolla

Agave Roja’s modern Mexican fare is a welcome addition to the Corolla restaurant scene. A little more upscale than the traditional Mexican restaurant but still relaxed and casual, Agave Roja is a place to sit down and savor a meal. The interior is contemporary, with tile, woodwork and colorful reds and oranges that lend a lively style. Enjoy Mexican fare prepared with skill, and sample some new twists on Latino cooking. The menu includes creative starters, soups, salads, seafood dishes (think fish tacos, snapper Veracruz,), tacos, enchiladas, steak, chicken, kids’ meals and so much more. Wait until you see their variations on guacamole. Agave Roja has a full bar featuring more than 50 varietals of tequila, fresh-made Margaritas, mojitos, sangria, signature cocktails and beer. Agave Roja serves lunch and dinner seven days a week.

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Corolla Cantina Bar & Grill

  • 1159-B Austin Street, Corolla Light Town Center
  • Corolla

Corolla Cantina’s motto is “Fresh Ingredients–Fresh Mexican–Fresh Taste,” and the bright flavors coming from their kitchen is all the proof you’ll need. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Corolla Cantina specializes in affordable California/Baja Mexican-style tacos, burritos and quesadillas. Start the day with a breakfast burrito (your choice of eggs, chorizo, sausage, bacon, potatoes, onions, Mexican cheeses and salsas). Later, choose from a variety of Coastal or Inland menu options featuring grilled or blackened fish with Baja seasoning, grilled or blackened shrimp with a lime and garlic marinade or shredded chicken, pork and carne asada. Fortify a salad by adding shredded chicken or pork, carne asada or shrimp. Gluten-free options are available. Corolla Cantina’s menu includes kid favorites such as chicken fingers, ground beef tacos and cheese quesadillas. Dine inside or enjoy summertime breezes on the front deck.

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Corolla Pizza and Deli

  • 1152 Ocean Trail, Austin Complex
  • Corolla

Celebrating their 25th anniversary this season, this longtime family owned and operated local favorite serves up fresh hand-tossed pizza by the pie or slice. They also offer delicious hot and cold subs, sides and more. Their Philly cheesesteaks are authentic too, as the owners are originally from Reading, Pennsylvania. They’re open almost all year round for lunch and dinner with free delivery and take-out service. Call them from the road, grocery store or beach but definitely call before you’re hungry! For a sweet treat try their ice cream shop next door, Corolla Scoops & Sweets.

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Fat Crabs Rib Company

  • 1159 Austin Street, Corolla Light Town Center
  • Corolla

This is a great local dine-in or take-out restaurant with a very casual family atmosphere. The menu features seafood including steamer pots, blue crabs, crab legs, shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels, oysters, and fresh fish, and all kinds of BBQ including North Carolina pulled pork, beef brisket, smoked ribs and chicken. They also offer homemade soups, Southern-style sides and desserts. Open daily for lunch and dinner, April through October.

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First Light Breakfast & Burgers

  • 793 Sunset Boulevard, TimBuck II Shopping Village
  • Corolla

First Light feels a bit like Restoration Hardware meets surf shack with reclaimed hardwood floors and cool, red bench seats at the bar. In addition to lunch and dinner, they serve brunch mid-week. Their handmade biscuits, waffles with fresh fruit and a variety of omelets and Benedicts are a special treat for breakfast. Their juicy burgers are made with hand-formed patties, and they also have sandwiches, salads, entree items and a kids’ menu. This is exactly what you would expect from a Corolla establishment—laid back and super friendly. First Light serves liquor, wine and beer. They are closed January though mid-February.

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Giant Slice Pizza

  • 785 Sunset Boulevard, TimBuck II Shopping Village
  • Corolla

Giant Slice Pizza has been a Corolla favorite since 1994. Located in TimBuck II, Giant Slice bakes hand-tossed New York-style pizza in their stone ovens with your choice of more than 18 toppings. Other popular choices are their appetizers, stromboli, calzones, subs, baked wings and Italian desserts. They offer dine-in, carry out or delivery service that is free from Pine Island through Ocean Hill. They can happily accommodate orders both large and small.

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Mike Dianna’s Grill Room

  • 777 Sunset Boulevard, TimBuck II Shopping Village
  • Corolla

Mike Dianna’s Grill Room has become a legendary Outer Banks restaurant. Fine dining with a casual atmosphere, it is most well known for its excellently prepared meats — offering all-natural and USDA Prime beef, pork, chicken and veal — cooked over a hardwood grill. The fresh, local seafood is treated just as beautifully, and there are daily pasta specials. The distinctive wine selection has won Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence for the past nine years. They have an outdoor deck and bar with live music seven days a week in season. From Memorial Day through Labor Day they serve lunch outside on the deck daily, starting at noon. The restaurant opens for dinner at 5 p.m.; reservations are recommended. Most nights they serve beverages until midnight. They are kid friendly and offer a kids’ menu. Mike Dianna’s Grill Room can accommodate rehearsal dinners, small intimate weddings and other family gatherings.

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North Banks Restaurant and Raw Bar

  • 794 Sunset Boulevard, TimBuck II Shopping Village
  • Corolla

North Banks, in the west building of TimBuck II, is casual, contemporary and high-energy. Filet mignon and lobster are the house specialties. They also have several preparations of local fish every night and a raw bar offering up the freshest local delicacies. It’s open for lunch and dinner and has a fully stocked bar featuring specialty drinks including their house special flaming martini. Take-out is available.

North Beach Movie Diner

  • 815 E. Ocean Trail, Monteray Plaza
  • Corolla

North Beach Movie Diner is your one-stop source for a meal and a movie. The only theater on the Currituck Outer Banks, North Beach Movie Diner is open year round and located near the Food Lion in Monteray Shores Plaza. The theater shows all first run movies on its three state-of-the-art movie screens, each featuring digital projection and Dolby 7.1 digital sound. Movie tickets are $11.50/adult and $9/youth (age 10 and younger).

The Diner features a variety of options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. At breakfast adults can choose from a breakfast platter of two eggs, home fries, toast and a choice of bacon or sausage, select a Belgian waffle with a choice of bacon or sausage, or start the day with a breakfast sandwich. Kids will be happy with the kids waffle or kids egg breakfast. The Movie Diner’s appetizers include onion rings and fries, chili cheese fries, nachos, jalapeno poppers, hush puppies and more, while barbecue, sandwiches, burgers, rib-eye steaks and shrimp or chicken tender baskets satisfy bigger appetites. The Diner’s full ABC license means all your favorite cocktails are only a few splashes, stirs or shakes away! The beer selection includes most of the popular domestics, a nice selection of imports as well as a couple of beers from North Carolina-based microbreweries.

What if you’re looking for The Game instead of a movie? The Diner is still the place to go for all your favorite sporting events. Decked out with multiple 60-inch TVs and DirectTV Sports Pack, the North Beach Movie Diner has you covered! They even have pool tables where you can test your eight ball skills.

Theme nights include Teen Night (on Fridays from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. featuring karaoke, live music, snacks and more) and Dance Party Night (dance to one of the best sound and light systems on the Outer Banks Wednesday from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.). They even offer a Check-in Party every Saturday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. where you can watch a movie or sporting event, play arcade games, calm those hunger pangs or sip an icy beverage, all in air-conditioned comfort while awaiting access to your beach rental.

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Northern Lights Bakery

  • 109 A Austin Street, Corolla Light Town Center
  • Corolla

A terrific stop in Corolla to stop in and grab a sweet treat! They have everything from freshly made donuts and cupcakes to a wide variety of breakfast pastries, cookies, and pies. Their full line of specialty coffees and smoothies are sure to delight. They also specialize in cakes for all occasions.

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Outer Banks Coffee Company

  • 807 Ocean Trail, Monteray Plaza
  • Corolla

The sunny-orange atmosphere in the coffee shop is enough to wake you up, but you’ll want to try the coffee too — they have quite a variety and it’s roasted fresh in the shop to delight your olfactory senses. All the usual coffee drinks are offered as are tea and homemade pastries and other sweets, all baked in the Coffee Company’s bakery. They have newspapers available so you can enjoy your morning paper, sitting inside or out, and you can also take advantage of their free WiFi.

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Outer Banks Restaurant Tours

  • Various Meeting Places in Kitty Hawk, Duck and Corolla

Outer Banks Restaurant Tours provides walking and driving tours of restaurants in three locations on the Outer Banks. On each tour, chefs and owners greet you, talk to you about their background, their restaurant, their food and their passions and give you a behind-the-scenes look at their restaurant. You are treated to delectable samples of signature dishes, paired with wine, beer or a mixed drink. Along the way, you’re also likely to learn a little history about the Outer Banks and local food sourcing and get a few wine or beer tasting tips. The best thing about these tours is that for the price of one dinner out, you are able to sample the cuisine at multiple restaurants in one afternoon. What better way to find the best places to eat if you are a new visitor to the area? The Duck Walking Tour takes you on foot from one end of the quaint town to the other, sampling great food and strolling on the boardwalk where you’ll have gorgeous views of the Currituck sound. The Kitty Hawk/Kill Devil Hills Driving Tour transports you in their company vehicle to the rock stars of the Outer Banks restaurant scene, and the Corolla Driving Tour features a short ride in their vehicles on the north end of Corolla where some surprising plates of delicious food await you. Even if you are a return visitor or if you are fortunate enough to live here, these restaurant tours allow you to revisit your old favorites and rediscover them in a whole new, more personal way. Outer Banks Restaurant Tours also offers a Brews and Bites Tour on Wednesdays and a Winery Tour on Thursdays. New to the schedule for 2014 is a BBQ class: Secrets of a BBQ Master! Tours start the week of May 19, 2014, and run through the end of September 2014. Reservations are required.

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Route 12 Steak and Seafood Co.

  • 786 Ocean Trail, TimBuck II Shopping Village
  • Corolla

Route 12 has a casual atmosphere that’s appealing for the whole family. You can get fresh seafood, choice grade beef, duck, pasta dishes and ribs. A few of their must-try selections are the crab bisque and the Ahi tuna pepper filet. Their raw bar is well known for having a good selection of oysters, clams, shrimp, Alaskan crab legs and more. Route 12 is open for lunch and dinner in season, with limited hours and a limited menu in the winter. This year they will open for breakfast daily at 7 a.m. and will also serve brunch on Sunday. They feature daily specials and a full ABC license and wine selection. Kids are welcome with a menu of their own. It’s located immediately south of the main TimBuck II complex, next to Brew Thru. Call ahead for reservations, especially in the busy summer months.

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Salt Water Grill

  • 811 Ocean Trail
  • Corolla

Salt Water Grill’s “Carolina coastal kitchen” debuted its menu with items that show their fresh take on classic dishes. Start your experience (and that’s what owner Chuck Read insists you will have here) with a shrimp corn dog and stone ground mustard dip or their house-braised pork belly with country potato salad and blackberry bourbon BBQ sauce. Their all natural beef is served up two ways: the S.W.G. Surf and Turf is a combination of plump fried oysters and root beer braised short ribs with roasted vegetable potato hash and tabasco butter or the 14 oz hand-cut rib eye steak topped with a tomato bacon jam. Their menu has a range of local and domestic items (local tuna and mahi, Gulf shrimp, all natural beef, pork and chicken) freshly prepared to suit any taste bud. Traditional coastal dishes like shrimp and grits and crab cakes are given an update when served with the right accompaniments and sauces that highlight the flavors. In season Salt Water Grill is open for lunch (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and dinner (5 p.m. to 10 p.m.) daily. Off season dinner service begins at 5 p.m.

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Steamers

  • 798 Sunset Boulevard, TimBuck II Shopping Village
  • Corolla

A local favorite, Steamers has been dishing up fresh and gourmet cuisine to Corolla beachgoers since 1994. Their casual take-out/eat-in restaurant serves high-quality steamed, grilled and fresh fried seafood as well as signature items like baby back ribs, vegetarian black bean soup and classic Key lime pie. Diners place their order at the counter and can then enjoy a craft beer or glass of wine while they wait. Take-out diners can choose from an a la carte and Steamer Pots To Go® menu, the original Outer Banks New England Style Clambake and the ultimate beach party fare. Eat-in diners can enjoy their meal at one of the three tables inside or a picnic table on the deck overlooking Currituck Sound, ideal for watching the sunset. Located in the heart of Corolla at the TimBuck II shopping center, an adjacent mini golf course and a Kids Meal menu make this restaurant especially family friendly.

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Stonie’s Ice Cream and Fun

  • 817 B Ocean Trail, Food Lion Shopping Center
  • Corolla
  • (252) 453-2240

Stonies Ice Cream and Candy Store is located in the courtyard by the Corolla Theater and Food Lion in Corolla. They serve a huge variety of Edy’s products including soft serve frozen yogurt for a healthier choice. Need some fudge or taffy? They have you covered. Stop in today and get your sweet tooth fix!

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Sundogs Raw Bar and Grill

  • 807 Ocean Trail, Monterey Plaza
  • Corolla

For lunch and dinner, this is a great family-friendly restaurant. The grill offers an array of appetizers along with steamed seafood, salads, sandwiches, burgers and full entrees like seafood and ribs. Be sure to check out their new raw bar that features several varieties of oysters and other delicacies, plus they have daily happy hour specials including 33% off crab legs Monday through Friday from 3 to 5 p.m. A children’s menu is available. Looking for a little action in quiet Corolla? Sundogs is the place. They are open until 2 a.m. in the summer season and have live entertainment seven nights a week. Tuesday and Saturday it’s live music; Karaoke happens on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday with kid hours from 9 to 10 p.m.; DJs spin on Friday; and trivia night is Sunday. They also have 11 large flat panel TVs and a huge projection TV for sports and a fully stocked bar where you can hang out and shoot the breeze. No one younger than 21 is allowed after 10 p.m.

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Tomato Patch Pizzeria

  • 803 Albacore Street, Monteray Plaza
  • Corolla

Operating since 1993 with the same Greek family, Tomato Patch offers gourmet pizzas with a variety of standard and more unusual toppings (like salami, gyro meat, caramelized onion or grilled eggplant). The Tomato Patch also serves calzones, classic pasta dishes, garden salads and unbelievable wraps.Try a seafood platter or a delicious po’boy sandwich. Looking for something different and authentic? They have lots of exciting items to choose from. Order the fish lavraki or a gyro for a real taste of Greece, or try Linda’s tasty crabcakes for something more traditional. They’re open for lunch and dinner. Tuesday nights they do something really fun — it’s Kids’ Night, and the small fries get to make their own pizzas! Dr. Unk’s, the full-service bar within the restaurant, has a fully stocked bar and some really fun drinks to choose from. Try an elixir to cure what ails you! Don’t miss this great family-friendly restaurant in Corolla.

Bacchus Wine & Cheese

  • 891 Albacore Street, Monteray Plaza
  • Corolla
  • (252) 453-4333

Bacchus is located on the south end of the plaza and offers wine, cheese and gourmet foods. You can get fantastic deli sandwiches, paninis, subs, wraps and salads for take-out or to eat in. Their sandwiches are made with Thumann’s meats and cheeses. There are yummy gourmet side items and sinful desserts as well. Order a glass of wine or have a bottle of beer as you enjoy your lunch here. They also have an amazing wine selection – more than 4,000 bottles in every price range! Combine that with a variety of hand-cut domestic and imported cheeses and it’s one-stop happy-hour shopping. They are open every day in season. Ask about the daily and weekly wine tastings, catering services and gift baskets. See Shopping for more about the wine and gourmet foods.

Bad Bean Taqueria

  • 785 Sunset Boulevard, TimBuck II Shopping Village
  • Corolla
  • (252) 453-4380

A cool and comfortable taqueria, Bad Bean will exceed your expectations and has quickly become a favorite stop for locals and visitors to the Outer Banks. They consistently deliver a delicious experience by using fresh simple ingredients cooked with integrity. The fresh-made salsas and guacamole are perfect with the house-made corn tortilla chips. Don’t miss the pan-seared mahi-mahi (fish) tacos topped with Jicama slaw and homemade salsa fresca, quesadillas or a giant burrito. Like margaritas? They make them shaken and on the rocks with their own house-made mix—it’s the real deal! They have a casual, family-friendly atmosphere so sit back, relax and enjoy. Take-out is available, and be sure to ask about party packs for large groups. If you’re in Kill Devil Hills make sure to visit their sister restaurant, Bad Bean Baja Grill. Its all the great things you love about the Bad Bean with an expanded menu and full service bar.

Big Buck’s Homemade Ice Cream

  • 794 Sunset Boulevard, TimBuck II Shopping Village
  • Corolla
  • (252) 453-3188

For a tasty treat, head to Big Buck’s Homemade Ice Cream. Choose from more than 50 flavors of made-from-scratch ice cream plus sherbet, sorbet, soft serve and frozen yogurt. You can get any flavor made into a shake, split, sundae or float, even a brownie sundae — yum! Big Buck’s has an espresso bar and all the espresso-based coffee drinks you need to pick up your day. Candies, homemade chocolates and taffy are also available. Check out the Big Buck’s Ts, and don’t forget the ice cream cake! They have a flavor for every occasion.

Bunkers Grille and Bar at The Currituck Club

  • 620 Currituck Clubhouse Drive
  • Corolla
  • (252) 453-0061

Whether or not you’re golfing, make time for a meal at Bunkers. Located inside the beautiful clubhouse on the spectacular Currituck Club grounds, they offer lunch daily from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. with chef specials and house-made soups. The menu features a variety of appetizers, salads and sandwiches, and they are kid friendly with a special menu, high chairs and booster seats. Full bar service is also available, and dinner is also served during summer months, with extended dining hours and entertainment. They happily host weddings and private events such as family reunion dinners, and they offer off-site catering as well. Bunkers is open year round, every day but Christmas, and is completely open to the public.

Corolla Scoops & Sweets

  • 1152 Ocean Trail, Austin Complex
  • Corolla

Last stop for ice cream before Virginia! From the owners of Corolla Pizza and Deli, and located at the North end of Corolla, this fun little shop serves Hershey’s hand-dipped ice cream and all the usual goodness that goes along with that such as sundae’s, milkshakes and more. They’re open daily in season.

Corolla Village Barbecue

  • 1129 Corolla Village Road
  • Corolla
  • (252) 457-0076

Locals sing the praises of the Carolina pork barbecue sandwiches served at this little restaurant that sits in the heart of old Corolla village. At meal times, the delicious smell of hickory-smoked barbecuing pork, ribs and chicken lures customers from all over the village. This is a carry-out restaurant only, but there are a few picnic tables close by. You can also get soft-serve ice cream here, the perfect treat on a hot summer day. It’s open for lunch and dinner, until 8 p.m., in season.

Cosmo’s Pizza

  • 110 Corolla Light Town Center
  • Corolla
  • (252) 453-4666

The whole family will love these pies and subs homemade with fresh meats, vegetables, sauces, dough and cheese blends. Try one of the specialty pies or build your own. Open in-season for lunch, dinner and late night, guests will also enjoy super salads and sodas or a cold beer or mixed beverage at the bar.

Crafty Cow Burger Bar

  • 817 C. Ocean Trail
  • Corolla
  • (252) 453-3212

The simplest joys in life are often the most satisfying. Your favorite blue jeans straight from the dryer, listening to your favorite band live or a perfectly cooked burger. This is Crafty Cow Burger Bar. Crafty Cow’s passion is to offer a modern twist on burgers that sets a standard and go to the extreme to taste the best. Using regionally sourced products, their burgers are 100% natural, handcrafted and made fresh daily. They also offer a distinctive assortment of the best craft beers and wine in a comfortable and relaxed environment. Guests can dine inside and catch up on the latest sporting events on one of four high-definition TV’s, chill in the courtyard while enjoying a variety of live local music or takeaway a bag of sliders for the beach. No matter what, Crafty Cow has got you covered. Craft Burgers, Craft Beers. They’re not like the other guys.

Crumbles—The Cookie Shop

  • 785-D Sunset Boulevard, Timbuck II Shopping Village
  • Corolla
  • (252) 453-0080

Sweet tooths rejoice. Crumbles specializes in homemade cookies, whoopie pies, rum cakes by special order and cupcakes in a variety of irresistible flavors. They do all of their baking on site, and their bakery cases are full of tempting treats. Popular flavors are red velvet cupcakes and Reese’s peanut butter cup cookies. Also popular are their “cake balls,” a crumble of cake and icing dipped in decadent chocolate. Crumbles makes extra-large birthday cookies as well as cupcakes for birthdays, weddings and special occasions. They’re open seasonally, May to Labor Day, daily from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m.

Dairy Queen

  • 807 Ocean Trail, Monteray Plaza
  • Corolla
  • (252) 453-3130

You probably know what to expect from this national chain: soft-serve ice cream, served in cones, cups, shakes, sundaes and a variety of creative concoctions, plus delicious ice cream cakes. Orange Julius originals and smoothies are new to Dairy Queen this year.

Duck Donuts

  • 601 Currituck Drive, The Shoppes at the Currituck Club
  • Corolla
  • (252) 453-3210

Here’s a real Outer Banks treat! These donuts are made fresh to order and are served warm. Choose your coating (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, lemon, peanut butter or maple glaze) and then your topping (peanuts, coconut, sprinkles and more). Sinfully good! Order by the dozen to bring home to the family. They also serve locally roasted premium coffees, juice and cold drinks. This location serves warm donut sundaes that are fabulous! Be sure to check out their other locations in Duck, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills.

Dunkin’ Donuts

  • 809 Ocean Trail, Monterey Plaza
  • Corolla
  • (252) 453-OBX1 (6291)

Visit the Dunkin’ location in Corolla for coffee, breakfast/lunch sandwiches and, of course, doughnuts of all kinds. They serve breakfast all day, and they’re open until 12 a.m. in the summer for all you doughnut die-hards!

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