There is a family friendly restaurant on the Outer Banks with views to please everyone, even the beloved dog.
Mulligan’s Grille in Historic Cottage Row in Nags Head has both indoor and outdoor dining areas to enjoy lunch, dinner and late-night snacks, 365 days a year.
Open for business for over two decades, Mulligan’s Grille is uniquely located between the beach road and the bypass so you can dine watching the waves and listening to live music on the Oceanside tiki bar on one side or enjoy the covered porch, overlooking Jockey’s Ridge State Park, on the other. There is even a doggy dining area outside for you and your four-legged pals. If eating indoors is preferred, enjoy a group of friends in the upstairs dining room, or hangout with locals and the big screen TV downstairs.
The menu is diverse, too. While locally harvested seafood is prominently featured on the menu, they also offer an extensive selection of salads, sandwiches, burgers and entrées.
If you have a taste for blue crab, you can find it prepared here in a variety of ways. Crab Manna is one of their most popular snacks, a crab pretzel featuring lump crab dip broiled on top of a jumbo soft pretzel and sprinkled with old bay.
Jumbo lump crab balls and a crab stack are also popular. The stack highlights the lump crab by layering it with hickory smoked goat cheese between fried green tomatoes and then topping with avocado and corn and drizzled with creamy chipotle. All of these appetizers are available for lunch or for dinner.
Mulligan’s is open all day, so stop by even if just for a nosh, like shrimp and grits poppers, shrimp, thick-cut bacon and stone-ground grits stuffed into a poblano pepper and then topped with pico de gallo and a creamy chipotle drizzle or the Greek eggroll billed as A Mulligan’s Original — feta cheese, beef, and onions rolled in phyllo and served with marinara.
In fact, many of the coastal, southern, influenced dishes are served all day and available of both the dinner and lunch menus. For lunch there are a few more sandwiches, like the blackened rockfish BLT, with rockfish, bacon, lettuce and tomato on a ciabatta bun with Cajun tartar and a side of beach fries as well as a Carolina pork Bahn Mi with house smoked pulled pork, Asian cucumbers, sliced jalapeños, carrot sticks and sriracha aioli. Dinner features a few more entrées.
The fried oyster dinner with salty oysters, beach fries, and southern slaw is always popular and their Mulligan’s Special Recipe Meatloaf is a local’s favorite, topped with Heinz 57 mushroom gravy and fried onions, served with buttermilk and black pepper mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables, and a Parmesan breadstick. Seafood combos are also a hit, try the broiled seafood platter with a lump crab cake, the fresh catch of the day, and jumbo shrimp served with similar sides.
There is also a raw and steamed bar featuring oysters and local shrimp, so stop by, and sit a spell. There are no bad seats.
Amy Gaw is a food entrepreneur who has eaten, cooked and written about food on the Outer Banks and surrounding areas for more than three decades. A clean food advocate with a focus on local seafood, Gaw is also a salt maker and the founder of Outer Banks SeaSalt.