Updated at: 15-11-2023 - By: John Lau

Nags Head, a charming town on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, offers a vibrant and diverse bar scene that caters to a wide range of preferences.

Whether you’re seeking a laid-back oceanfront tiki-style bar, a lively spot with live music, or a cozy dive bar, Nags Head has something for everyone.

From popular favorites like Tortugas Lie and Outer Banks Brewing Station to hidden gems, the town’s bars and nightlife establishments provide an array of experiences for locals and visitors alike.

In this article, we will explore the best bars in Nags Head, NC, offering insights into the unique ambiance, drink selections, and entertainment options that make each establishment a standout choice for a memorable night out.

Whether you’re a craft beer enthusiast, a cocktail connoisseur, or simply looking for a relaxing spot to unwind after a day at the beach, Nags Head’s bar scene has something to offer for every taste and occasion.

Top 12 Best Bars In Nags Head

Lost Colony Water Front

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The Lost Colony Brewery has a waterfront beer garden located at the Nags Head-Manteo Causeway, offering a stunning view of Roanoke Sound.

The brewery is known for brewing British and Irish style ales using imported grains, hops, and yeast with water that matches that of the British Isles.

The Waterfront Beer Garden provides a variety of cold draft beers, including favorites like Kitty Hawk Blonde, Pamlico Pale Ale, Nags Head IPA, Hatteras Irish Red, Nut Brown Ale, Holy Hand Grenade, and seasonal offerings.

Visitors can enjoy the indoor bar or sit outdoors on the large, pet-friendly patio to take in the scenic views of the water, boats, ospreys, and pelicans.

The Beer Garden does not serve food, but patrons are welcome to bring their own, and there are nearby restaurants and cafes for convenience.

The Lost Colony Brewery Waterfront Beer Garden is open daily from 1 to 9 p.m., and visitors can also find Lost Colony Brewery beers at Lost Colony Tavern in downtown Manteo, as well as in local stores and bottle shops.

Fish Heads Bar and Grill

Fish Heads Bar and Grill is a rustic waterfront pub located at a fishing pier in Nags Head, North Carolina. It features a large deck, seafood eats, draft beer, and live music.

The restaurant is known for its fun atmosphere, great view, and locally sourced food. It offers a variety of seafood options and has a knowledgeable staff that can assist patrons in finding the perfect meal.

Fish Heads Bar and Grill is a lively hangout with entertainment and events during the summer season.

The restaurant is open from Wednesday to Sunday, with varying hours of operation. Additionally, it is associated with Fishing Unlimited, which provides boat rentals and fishing gear.

The Outer Banks Fishing Pier, with its associated facilities, is also located nearby and is a popular destination for serious fishermen and fun-seekers.

Fish Heads Bar and Grill has received positive reviews on platforms like TripAdvisor and Yelp, with patrons praising its great beer selection, happy hour shrimp, and overall experience.

The restaurant’s address is 8901 S. Old Oregon Inlet Rd, Nags Head, NC 27959, and its contact number is (252) 441-5740. .

Lucky 12 Tavern

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Lucky 12 Tavern is a popular dining spot located at mile post 11 1/2 on the beach road in Nags Head, North Carolina.

Established in 2006, it has quickly grown to iconic status with locals and visitors alike. The tavern offers a diverse menu featuring seafood, burgers, wings, pizza, and more.

It is known for its thin New York style pizza, whole wings, and a variety of beers on tap, including many North Carolina craft beers and regional special releases.

Lucky 12 Tavern also holds all ABC permits to serve a variety of drinks, including wine and martinis.

The establishment is open Monday through Saturday from 11:30 AM to midnight, offering lunch and dinner options.

Visitors and locals consider it one of their favorite spots on the beach, and it has received positive reviews on platforms like TripAdvisor.

For those interested in the beer selection, Lucky 12 Tavern has about 20 taps and over 70 bottles covering local, regional, and national beers.

The tavern also offers a lunch menu, dinner menu, and a kids menu.

If you’re in the area and looking for a fun and affordable dining experience featuring local produce and a wide selection of beers, Lucky 12 Tavern is worth a visit.

Mama Kwan’s Tiki Bar & Grill

Mama Kwan’s Tiki Bar & Grill is a popular restaurant located in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.

It offers a splashy and festive dining experience with Pacific Rim flavors and renowned mahi mahi tacos, along with a variety of tropical drinks.

The restaurant is open every day for lunch and dinner, with reduced hours during the winter months.

Mama Kwan’s has received positive reviews, with a 4.5 out of 5 rating on TripAdvisor and 839 reviews on Yelp.

The restaurant is known for its vibrant atmosphere and flavorful cuisine, making it a must-visit dining destination in the area.

Tortugas Lie

Tortugas Lie is a restaurant located in Nags Head, North Carolina.

It serves seafood, Caribbean fare, burgers, sushi, and drinks in a casual atmosphere with a porch.

The restaurant is highly recommended by customers for its great food and drinks, friendly staff, and beach-oriented atmosphere.

It is also known for its volleyball games out back.

Outer Banks Brewing Station

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The Outer Banks Brewing Station is a wind-powered brewery, upscale pub, and live music venue located in Nags Head, North Carolina.

It is the first wind-powered brewery in America. The pub offers a variety of craft beers and upscale pub fare.

They also host live music events, with a calendar of events available on their website. The restaurant menus are available on their website as well.

The Outer Banks Brewing Station is a popular destination for unique food, home-brewed beer, and live entertainment.


Miller’s Waterfront Restaurant & Sunset Bar and Grill is a family-owned restaurant located in Nags Head, Outer Banks.

The restaurant has been owned and operated by the Miller family since 1982 and is known for its fresh local seafood, waterfront dining, and beautiful sunset views.

The Waterfront Sunset Bar & Grill is the newest addition to the Miller’s experience, located upstairs, and features delicious cocktails, a wide selection of craft beers, a full menu of creative casual fare, and the best views in Nags Head.

Miller’s Seafood & Steakhouse is another restaurant owned by the Miller family, located in Kill Devil Hills, not too far from Nags Head.

It has been an Outer Banks dining tradition since 1978, offering quality breakfast, dinner, and sushi in a family-friendly atmosphere.

Miller’s Waterfront Restaurant has received high ratings on TripAdvisor and Yelp, with many customers praising the food, portions, and views.

Mulligans Grille

Mulligan’s Grille is a restaurant located in Nags Head, North Carolina. It is known for its local seafood, burgers, and more, and has a laid-back setting with a beachfront deck.

Mulligan’s Grille has been known for the “Best Burger on the Beach” for over 20 years.

The restaurant has a menu that can be explored on their website, which includes photos and reviews.

According to Tripadvisor, Mulligan’s Grille in Historic Cottage Row is rated highly for food, service, value, and atmosphere.

Bad Bean Baja Grill

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Bad Bean Baja Grill is a popular Mexican restaurant located in the Outer Banks, NC.

The restaurant offers creative tacos, fajitas, and other Tex-Mex dishes, along with house margaritas, in a casual and vibrant setting.

The menu at Bad Bean Baja Grill features a variety of options to cater to different tastes, including local fish, shrimp, and ancho proteins.

The restaurant also offers daily specials prepared using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, allowing the flavors of each season to shine through in their dishes.

For those interested in visiting, the restaurant’s location is at 4146 N. Croatan Highway, The Bypass, MP 3.5, and can be reached at (252) 261-1300.

Basnight’s Lone Cedar

Basnight’s Lone Cedar Cafe is a waterfront restaurant located in Nags Head, North Carolina, specializing in serving locally caught seafood.

The restaurant is known for its fresh and local Outer Banks seafood, including fish and oysters from local North Carolina waters.

The Basnight family, who have a history of harvesting the fresh catch of the day, opened the restaurant in 1996 to continue the tradition of serving only the freshest Outer Banks seafood.

The restaurant takes pride in serving fresh, local food and is committed to being a “green” restaurant, focusing on fresh, local, and natural foods to ensure a healthful and delicious dining experience.

The restaurant also offers catering services and hosts events at its various locations in Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, Roanoke Island, and Manteo.

The restaurant’s operating hours are Sunday-Tuesday from 4:30-8 p.m., and Friday & Saturday from 4:30-8:30 p.m., with Wednesday and Thursday being closed.

For more information, you can visit their website or contact them at (252) 441-5405.

Kelly’s Outer Banks Restaurant & Tavern

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Kelly’s Outer Banks Restaurant & Tavern in Nags Head has been a well-known establishment in the area. However, it appears that the restaurant has closed its doors permanently, marking the end of an era.

The property that was formerly the site of the restaurant has been sold. While the restaurant was open, it offered a seafood-focused American menu and frequent live music in a homey setting.

The restaurant’s operating hours were Sunday to Thursday from 4:30 PM to 1:00 AM, and Friday to Saturday from 4:30 PM to 2:00 AM.

Despite its closure, Kelly’s Outer Banks Restaurant & Tavern has left a lasting impression on the community and visitors to the Outer Banks.

Kiiind Cocktails

Kiiind Cocktails is an Outer Banks mixology service that provides an in-home, elevated cocktail experience from Corolla to Hatteras.

They offer an informative and explorative mixology class or a mixologist for hire catering service.

Kiiind Cocktails provides a list of spirits to obtain, and they provide all mixers, tinctures, syrups, glassware, and equipment.

They specialize in in-home cocktail classes and catering. Kiiind Cocktails is located in Nags Head, and it is listed as one of the best clubs and bars in Nags Head on TripAdvisor.