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Fresh seafood, southern cuisine, and the Downtown Wilmington waterfront all seem to go together seamlessly, and the fare and atmosphere at The Pilot House is no exception to this rule.

Found within a former historic residence that dates back to 1870, this prime waterfront destination is a fine choice for an elegant dinner, breezy lunch, or just a nice drink and appetizer that’s steps away from the Cape Fear River.

The Pilot House is located in a quieter section of the waterfront, with lush views of the open water and the natural landscaping front and center. This environment highlights the seafood-centric menu, which features a solid array of starters and snacks, shellfish specialties, sandwiches, entrees, meats and poultry, and even pasta.

Diners of all tastes can certainly be accommodated with the range of items, but visitors who love coastal fare will want to consider the seafood selections, which include southern specialties like Sweet Potato Grouper with mushroom ravioli, the shrimp and grits with kielbasa sausage, and the crunchy catfish with a cracker crumb crust and red eye gravy. With a colorful array of dishes that can cater to any sized appetite, or land or sea-faring craving, The Pilot House is a crowd-pleasing destination for good food with an incredible riverfront view.

VIEW OUR MENU

All our dishes are cooked with fresh local meat, poultry, vegetables, and sustainable seafood, indigenous to our area. Our menu ranges from "down home cooking", to Cajun, as well as fused traditional Southern fare with a contemporary twist.


ABOUT THE PILOT HOUSE

In May 1978, The Pilot House Restaurant was founded by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Wright Jr. as the first dining establishment in the newly restored historic Chandler's Wharf.

In our many years of service, we have endeavored to maintain a tradition of Southern regional cuisine. All our dishes are made from scratch using the freshest ingredients, as well as seafood and fowl, indigenous to our area. Our menu ranges from "down home cooking", to Cajun, as well as fused traditional Southern fare with a contemporary twist.

The restaurant has received laudatory press from Southern Living Magazine, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Fodor's, Mobil Travel Guides, and Frommer's.

The Pilot House Restaurant has been Wilmington's preeminent spot for regional fine dining, serving our locals, countless tourists and celebrities for over 25 years.

OUR HISTORY

The Wharf itself had been a bustling port for many decades of the 19th and early 20th Centuries. In those times, naval stores were an important commodity to the state of North Carolina. Naval stores are products prepared from the sap of the Long-Leaf Pine - a species once abundantly indigenous to the region. The products are tar and pitch, which were used as waterproofing agents in shipbuilding, and turpentine, and important solvent.

William Craig constructed the original restaurant building as a residence in 1870. Mr. Craig was a cooper, or a maker of wooden barrels. Many of Mr. Craig’s barrels were almost certainly used for the storage and transport of the naval stores. The house was moved to its present grounds in 1977 from a location on Wooster Street.

Originally, The Pilot House Restaurant served a limited menu of salads and sandwiches, which were carried by the customer from the service window to an outdoor dining area (which is now the main dining room, or “porch” as locals know it). As the menu grew, most of the food was prepared in a remote kitchen in the wharf. In 1988, the secondary structure was built to house the modern kitchen, additional dining space, and offices. A riverfront deck was built was built in 1993, which extended from the original old porch of the restaurant to Nun Street. In early 2004, our existing bar was turned into a private dining area and part of our riverfront deck became the new home of our bar which offers a spectacular view of the Cape Fear River.

The Pilot House is Open 7 Days a Week!

Sun-Thurs 11:30am - 9pm
Fri and Sat 11:30am - 10pm

Please call for all reservations.
910-343-0200

Wilmington
Hours
  • Tuesday11:30AM-09:00PM
  • Wednesday11:30AM-09:00PM
  • Thursday11:30AM-09:00PM
  • Friday11:30AM-09:00PM
  • Saturday11:30AM-10:00PM
  • Sunday11:30AM-09:00PM
Categories
Restaurants
Victory Beach Vacations

Victory Beach Vacations

Visitors who are on the hunt for the postcard-perfect vacation rental in the heart of the Carolina Beach or Kure Beach area will find an enticing selection and plenty of friendly customer service when they rent through Victory Beach Vacations. Based in Carolina Beach in the coastal Cape Fear region, Victory Beach Vacations has more than 100 vacation rentals in all shapes and sizes to ensure that every vacationing family can find their dream home away from home on the beach.   When you book your Cape Fear getaway with Victory Beach Vacations, the fun doesn’t end when you leave the beach, it continues with an array of privately-owned properties outfitted with all of the amenities needed for a fabulous beach vacation.   Jenna Lanier, General Manager, explains that her family first opened the rental and property management business in 2002. At the forefront of Victory Beach operations is Lanier’s mother, Caroline Meeks. Meeks is both the Broker in Charge and co-owner with husband, Buck Meeks, who manages the Field Services team with Lanier’s husband, Scott.   For nearly 20 years, the Victory Beach team has worked tirelessly to establish a network of top-of-the-line rental properties for Cape Fear visitors to enjoy. “As far as our properties go,” explains Lanier, “they are all updated, well-furnished and appointed. “We have always performed post-cleaning inspections and since the pandemic, have put freshly laundered duvets over all of the comforters between rentals.”   Lanier emphasizes how important the guests experience is “we strive to give our guests a relaxing, stress free, memorable vacation.” This emphasis on customer service has led to Victory Beach Vacations having a 4.8 Google rating with over 300 reviews by happy owners and guests.In addition to Victory Beach’s superior sanitation practices, the company offers properties for every type of visitor. Choose from luxury oceanfront houses and condos to more reasonbly priced 2nd row properties with oceanviews. Many properties include pools and hot tubs as well, perfect for outdoor entertaining, and many are dog friendly.   Lanier also notes that all properties are within walking or driving distance to Pleasure Island’s main attractions – Carolina Beach and Kure Beach. The former, as described by Lanier, is the more commercialized of the two destinations and features a boardwalk, outdoor dining options and a plethora of weekly activities including fireworks, live music, amusement park pop-ups, and movies under the stars. Kure Beach offers a more residential feel with its fishing pier, intimate restaurants and family favorite, North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher.More water fun awaits, too. “There is a harbor and a canal that feed into the intercoastal. We have several properties on the harbor so guests can bring their boat, kayak, [or jet ski] and travel between islands,” says Lanier.   A stay with Victory Beach Vacations is an annual pilgrimage for most. “A large percentage of guests are previous guests. Some even reserve the same property for the next year as they’re checking out,” Lanier says. “It’s almost like it’s their personal vacation home.”   Even before guests arrive at their vacation destination, the Victory Beach Vacations’ website greets them with a live beach cam and exquisite aerial footage of both Carolina and Kure Beaches. See for yourself by scanning the QR code and call Victory Beach Vacations at 910.458.0868 to book your Cape Fear getaway. Start making your memories today! —Grace Silipigni