Aqua Restaurant and Spa - Duck, NC

4.6
990 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
One of the most beautiful waterfront restaurants in Duck on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, AQUA Restaurant offers fresh regional cuisine in a casual and elegant setting. Our mission is to create delicious culinary masterpieces with locally farmed ingredients, fresh locally caught fish and all natural meats for our guests to enjoy. Our innovative wine list, craft beers and creative cocktails are second to none, carefully chosen to complement our Chef’s savory creations. Whether you are looking for a tasty lunch or dinner, live music, a beautiful sunset or good times with friends and family, AQUA is the place to be!
What 990 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.7
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We always come here in the off-season. Everyone enjoyed their meals (short ribs, black bass and duck.). Only negative is use larger shrimp for your skewers. Paige was a delight. She knew the menu and ingredients very well. Her recommendations were spot on.

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B
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great NYE meal, with a fun server and great wine.

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a fantastic meal on New Years Eve! Our server was great and very attentive. The food was fabulous. I can’t say enough good things. We will definitely dine at Aqua again when we are visiting the beach.

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OT
Savannah
3 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

New Year’s Eve dinner. We had 4 different entrees. All were hot, everyone loved what they ordered and our service was excellent. A must when in Duck.

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DL
Charleston
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our party of 4 had reservations at Aqua for New Years Eve. Table was ready on time and we had drinks promptly plus our waitress was excellent with service. She answered all questions clearly about chef specials and preparation options. I won't speak for others in our party, but my wide eye tuna was one of the best prepared and tasting that I have ever had (I'm 72 and have traveled globally for business and pleasure - Tuna is my favorite meal). I wish I had gotten our server's name to salute her - she was the perfect balance of attention without any influence on our schedule. I read reviews about noise at Aqua, but I never noticed anything objectional during our meal. Overall, the total dining experience was one of the best ever at the Outerbanks. I'll return to Aqua.

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B
Wilmington
13 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food as usual. It changes slightly from year to year, but always excellent! Wait Staff is always pleasant and excellent!

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MR
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed our visit celebrating our anniversary. Staff surprised us with a couple of glasses of champagne with our desert.

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EM
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 4

Had a bad piece of salmon, sick for two days. Will not come back anymore

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RM
Wilmington
6 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Superb food, as always. Paige provided outstanding service. Our group tanged in age from 12 to 70s, and it was good for all. One of our favorite spots.

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RM
Wilmington
7 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always, food was superb, service by Alice was wxcellent

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D
Richmond
159 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Husband had 8 fried oysters & Caesar salad. I had the Thai curried shrimp over rice. Both lunches we're delicious and we had a nice table overlooking the Sound.

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w
1 review
Dined on November 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

C.J. was terrific waiter . Oysters on half shell were fabulous .

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OB
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wow! We were greeted and seated at our reservation time. The service and food presentation & quality we’re outstanding! Ambiance was comfortable, unstuffy, relaxed but still upscale. We’ll be back!

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LG
Charleston
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place. Food is amazing , beautiful sunset views. They take food allergies very seriously. Two thumbs up!

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BR
Wilmington
12 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

It is always a wonderful experience. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, ambiance is very nice and the food delicious.

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C
Philadelphia
19 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful lunch at the bar and a fabulous conversation with our barmaid. She’s finishing getting her massage license so we hope to continue to see her.

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w
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

For the prices the portions are miniscule. The chocoalate torte dessert serving was smaller thanmy big finger. Service was pretty good.

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NS
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Exceptional service, my Husband and I have been coming to Duck for our Fall Vacation for many years and decided to try something new to Celebrate our wedding anniversary. We were very please for all the service we received in Aqua. We will be regular customers from now on.

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PS
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Great night with friends, food was wonderful. Enjoyed the music and service was very good.

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DB
Charleston
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Excellent menu and awesome service. Did not feel rushed. Presentation of food was great. Beautiful location.

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BB
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Was disappointed. On the Open Table Reservation form I noted that this was an anniversary celebration. I had asked for a table with a sunset view and was given a table in the corner with only one seat having a view. The other looked straight through an outside fan. Other tables were taken or not offered. Waitress seemed to be in a hurry to wait on us and several other tables. Restaurant was not crowded so there was no rush. Food was good but felt it was overpriced. Like I said, we were disappointed. This place has been our 'go-to' for anniversaries in the past but next year.........think we will be looking elsewhere.

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GG
Raleigh
43 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 5

This visit was disappointing. Our server was very professional and friendly, but hard to find at times. The food was not on a par with past visits. The Charcuterie and cheese plate was like something from a grocery store. Nothing special about it, and no description from the server as to what it was. The kids menu food looked terrible. It looked like no care went into the preparation or presentation. Chicken strips that looked dry and cold, and pasta that looked like a mushy pile of cafeteria food. The salad had no seasoning, and the dressing was bland.

We normally love Aqua, but not this visit.

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KA
Washington DC
71 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

In addition to the amazing sound view, the food and service were outstanding. I had the duck, and it was absolutely the most delicious duck I’d ever had. While I was dining, there was live music at the bar and it made for a fantastic meal.

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OT
Raleigh
4 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful meal, complete with appetizer, entree, wine and decadent dessert. Didn’t feel overly full despite having 3 courses. The sunset was beautiful. Our waitress was knowledgeable and came at just the right moments. We didn’t have to wait forever for our food. Quite enjoyable!

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SC
Naples
8 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Traditional dishes that are well-prepared, attentive service and quiet atmosphere made for a pleasant weeknight dining experience.

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OT
Raleigh
15 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Excellent food and great service. All around great dining experience.

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f
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

I ordered a bottle of the NC local white blend wine. After 10 minutes, told it wasn't available. I then ordered a glass of white sangria, also not available. Ordered crab dip for an appetizer. It was microwaved crab w/cheese in it - awful. My husband had the shrimp and grits - just OK. I ordered the Fruita de Mer. Maybe 6 small mussels and if there was any other fish in w/the tons of pasta in my plate, I couldn't find it. Would never go back, never recommend. Waitress was awful. She spoke to other people for over ten minutes at each table which delayed her taking our orders and bringing our food.

My recommendation: when at the beach, go to a mom & pop restaurant. There is no fine dining.

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TK
Raleigh
5 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Had a very nice birthday dinner at Aqua Restaurant in Duck. The butternut squash and leek soup was excellent, as was the Bangin' Shrimp appetizer. We both had the same entree -- beef filet with sauteed mushrooms, Vidalia onions, and asparagus over mashed potatoes. Delicious -- and large enough portions that we were able to have another dinner at home with the leftovers. A complimentary dessert would have made the evening better, especially since we let the restaurant know that this was a birthday celebration through the Open Table reservation process. In addition, we let our waitperson know about the special occasion. Still very pleased with our Aqua experience!

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OT
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Can't believe Aqua has been open for 10 years and I hadn't visited before. Some friends went earlier in the week and recommended we check it out. My partner and our guest were all very pleased with everything about the restaurant, including the wonderful view of the Sound, the gracious service staff, the live background music, and -- especially -- the quality of the meals. Two of us had the duck breast, one rate and one medium well, and thought it among the best we've had. My partner had the seafood pasta which he found delightful. We all agreed that Aqua now ranks high on our "must visit" list of OBX regular haunts.

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J
Wilmington
3 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Great meal. Waitress was super. She hs two pitt bulls

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L
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

Did not care for food or service

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JM
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Group of six friends; enjoyed ourselves very much. Food was good; waitress was the best.

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LC
Richmond
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Soup was excellent. Entrees we had were just OK. Food lacked depth of flavor. They looked good in print. Just didn’t meet our expectations.

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TD
Washington DC
18 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our first time at Aqua and we were amazed. The view, food and wait staff were exceptional. We will definitely be back.

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WK
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service and meal. Beautiful view at sunset. Seated immediately upon arrival. Crab dip appetizer not to be missed.

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G
Richmond
37 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was very good. We had the Tuna special, Salmon, Black Bean Cakes. Everything was great. Great views of the sound. We enjoyed it very much.

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OT
Baltimore
13 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Loved it, as always. Great seared tuna, perfectly cooked, excellent service, great ambiance

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AB
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 3

The hostess became argumentative when seating our party of three after we reserved days in advance for outdoor seating, I spoke to her on the phone prior to arrival and she was pleasant and then it was as if she didn’t remember our call and accused me of only having two in our party and not having reservations, but rest assured, she was the only Carol in the place who would have spoken to me on the phone. We were sat indoors instead of on the deck as reserved, she gave my infant a menu as if a 10 month old would be reading and ordering a filet, and we were then told the ceviche appetizer was sold out, our entrees arrived and were cooked perfectly, but were not seasoned well and tasted flavorless. Needless to say this was $150 not well spent on two enteees, an order of fries and one round of drinks.

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DT
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great quality food, good service! Wonderful view, all of our meals were exceptional.

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BN
Atlantic City
30 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and friendly knowledgeable staff! The view was beautiful especially when the sun was setting. I highly recommend dining at Aqua

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