Hot List: 5 places to catch seafood tacos

Seafood tacos are a specialty at several Outer Banks restaurants. With fresh seafood and seasoned chefs, you can't go wrong. The Baja Fish Tacos pictured are from the lunch menu at Tortuga’s Lie: Two soft fish tacos stuffed with Jack cheese, sliced cabbage, and the restaurant's house-made Baja taco sauce. Sour cream and jalapeños served on the side. ($9.99)

1. Ortega'z Southwestern Grill and Wine Bar

201 Sir Walter Raleigh St., Manteo

(252) 473-5911,

When you visit the eatery in the Historic Manteo Waterfront District, you're likely to see some folks posing for photos by the restaurant sign.


Back in 2013, Guy Fieri made the joint famous when he filmed an episode of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” on the Outer Banks.

The TV host featured the restaurant's seafood tacos and gave them a big thumb's-up.

Marcello Ortega, who owns the grill and bar with his wife Lisa, cooks up the dish, which features fresh local fare, usually tuna, Mahi-mahi or rockfish.

Served on three flour or corn tortillas, the seafood tacos are seasoned with grilled garlic cilantro, white wine, southwestern spices and sour cream and stuffed with shredded lettuce.

The tacos ($14.99) are served with house-made black beans and rice.

2. Fish Heads Bar and Gril

8901 S. Old Oregon Inlet Road., Nags Head

(252) 441-5740,

The restaurant, which is on the Outer Banks Fishing Pier, is one cool spot.

Most locals say it takes them back to the “old Nags Head days.”

It's the only commercial establishment in South Nags Head.

Fish Heads is plenty lively in the summer, when there's live music in the salt air and folks gather to swap stories while grabbing a bite to eat and something from the bar.

The seafood tacos ($10.99) are a popular menu item.

Grilled Mahi-mahi, cabbage and lettuce, spiced with Pico de Gallo sauce, are stuffed into two flour tortillas and served with rice.

3. Mama Kwan's Grill and Tiki Bar

1701 S. Croatan Hwy., Nags Head

(252) 441-7889,

“Mama's World Famous Fish Tacos” are the signature dish at the eatery that sits on the strip of the U.S. 158-Bypass known as “French Fry Alley.”

A line on the menu reads that the tacos are “the most-ordered item on the menu.”

You know your Mama wouldn't lie.

The ingredients come on a large heated plate with four flour soft-shells on a small plate.

From there it's build-your-own, using marinated and sautéed fresh Mahi-mahi, shredded cheddar-jack cheese, scallions and shredded cabbage.

Jasmine rice and lime sour cream are also part of the package.

The fish can be grilled ($13.99) or blackened ($14.98). 

4. Tortugas' Lie Shellfish Bar and Grill

3016 S. Virginia Dare Trail, Nags Head

(252) 441-7299,

Guy Fieri visited the funky, cozy eatery on the beach road in 2013 when he filmed his show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” on the Outer Banks.

Though the congenial host and foodie didn't feature the fish tacos in the segment, Fieri enjoyed them off-camera, according to Tortugas' Lie owner Bob Sanders.

Served on two soft, flour tortillas, the tacos are loaded with chunks of grilled-Mahi-mahi and flavored by Jack cheese, sliced cabbage, cilantro, house-made sauce, sour cream and jalapenos.

They're served with traditional beans and rice, and sell for $11.50.

5. Goombays Grille and Raw Bar

1608 N. Virginia Dare Trail, Kill Devil Hills

(252) 441-6001,

The restaurant on the beach road is known for its lively bar scene and colorful interior.

And the food rocks.

A house specialty is the seafood tacos, which feature a variety of the fresh, local catch (tuna, Mahi-mahi, red drum, grouper and flounder).

You're served four soft flour shells and all the fixings, including lettuce, diced tomatoes, jalapenos, homemade salsa, shredded cheddar-jack cheese and sour cream.

The tacos ($13.99) are served with black beans and rice.

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