Aqua Restaurant and Spa - Duck, NC

4.5
971 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!
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Contemporary American, Seafood
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Hours of operation
Open 7 days a week
Lunch 11:30 - 3:00
Dinner 5- til
3-5 bar menu
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Phone number
(252) 261-9700
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Chef Cory Bryant
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Private party facilities
Overlooking the Currituck Sound, with an amazing view from every seat. Sunsets light up the sky every evening. Waterfront decks and bar provide an unforgettable and elegant event on the water,in the quaint village of Duck on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
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Private party contact
Event Coordinator: (252) 261-9700
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Route 12 North
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Parking details
Parking in front of restaurant and across the street. Overflow allowed at Scarborough Faire Shops.
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Entertainment
Live music on our waterfront deck in season performed by local artists in a variety of styles.Select weekends during the off season we bring live music into the bar.
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Special events & promotions
AQUA Restaurant is the perfect venue for your special occasion. The diverse waterfront location and design offers a magnificent view and amenities that appeal to a party of 15 to 100.

The Southern end of the restaurant can be semi-private. A tasteful bamboo screen offers an intimate feel and private restrooms keep conveniences at hand. Available for 30 and fewer guests.

The Main dining area, with vistas of sunsets on the Currituck Sound and wildfowl a flutter, translates the delightful energy of AQUA; while offering waterfront tables where everyone truly does get “a view” of the water. Available for 40-60 guests.

Craving the divine intimacy of AQUA, all to yourself? Be our guest, our only guest…AQUA is available for 65-100 clients, to enjoy, dance, toast and create memories all evening. Wrap around decks, green space, beanbag toss, music inside or out…the flow of the evening is bliss.
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 971 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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Charleston
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
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 7 days ago
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
39 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
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
69 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
13 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
10 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
15 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
33 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
11 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
24 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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MD
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great service, beautiful view

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LG
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

We go to Aqua at least one night each time we vacation in Duck. We love the atmosphere and watching the sunset from the outside deck in back of the restaurant. The food is always good, although they might benefit from having a kid's menu offering more than chicken tenders and buttered pasta.

One disappointment this time was we specifically ordered our salad and soup and asked the waiter to hold off on our entrée order as we wanted to have a leisurely dinner. However, he insisted if he put the entrée order in, there would be plenty of time between our first course and our entrée. Unfortunately, our entrée came before we completely finished our first course, just as we were hoping to avoid!

We definitely recommend Aqua, as the food and atmosphere never disappoint!

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J
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Was a great dinner for our last night as a family in Duck! Although there is a lot of garlic and scallions in the entrees which makes me not able to have many of the meals.

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LH
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Great views, good food, nice service

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M
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding restaurant- always try to make our reservations early when when come to OBX to be sure to get a table close to sunset. Food & service some of the best we have encountered.

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OT
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything we ate was masterfully prepared and delicious.

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FO
Baltimore
29 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

My husband and I ended our week at the beach with a visit to Aqua. The setting and dinner meal couldn't have been better. We sat at a table with a water view....fabulous....and I loved the tile fish special offering. It was one of the best meals I've ever had in the OBX. My husbands salmon was excellent as well and our waiter was very nice and efficient. We will definitely return!

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R
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I enjoyen the beautiful water view. The food was excellent as well as the service.

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on August 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food/great service

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VV
Pittsburgh
6 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a special lunch with my granddaughter while in Duck on vacation. This restaurant is our favorite in Duck. The entire family has one dinner here every week that we come to Duck. Our most memorable pictures of the family vacations have been taken on the deck with the sunset! Just beautiful!

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S
Washington DC
177 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

The salmon, pompano, shrimp and grits, and seafood pasta were all outstanding. Our only disappointments were the length of the wait for the food, and the fact that there was a "miscount" and, well over a half hour after our orders were taken, the special of the day (tuna) was no longer available. There were apologies from our server and from the manager, which we certainly appreciated, as well as a complimentary charcuterie plate, which we appreciated even more. Things happen, and we will gladly return to Aqua.

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LP
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

We were seated before our reservation time, the waitress was great. We had a combination of appetizers and entrees and all of it was delicious. Overall a great place. We have never had anything less than a great meal here.

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C
Cleveland
3 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 2

Slow service; food was not delicious; pricing was high. Sat by the window- good view of harbor.

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JS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We ate at Aqua twice during our week in the Outer Banks. We had excellent service both times and the food was fantastic. Loved the sashimi tuna...and the shrimp appetizer was amazing, too. On a Thursday night we sat outside and there was live music and the view was spectacular. Highly recommend this place!

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TN
San Antonio
8 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the deck! Open Table reservation is a must. Was seated immediately even with a waitlist going. Service was fabulous.

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S
Chicago
40 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Aqua has some great views and the service was wonderful. The crab cakes were quite large and delicious. We also enjoyed the wedge salad, the butternut squash soup, the chicken and tuna. They were also very accommodating to some special food requests and that was very important.

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N
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious Lobster Mac and cheese, Shrimp Cevice and Crab Cakes! Beautiful waterfront location and view from table. Located on south end of Duck NC Boardwalk so great for after dinner stroll to the north end of the Duck NC boardwalk!

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JW
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

Disappointing. We were not advised of the "specials" for the day. The server claimed it was an oversight.
Maybe it was, but...
Corn crab chowder not memorable. I had the crab cakes. Just so so.

My wife had the chicken. She liked it.

Seems overrated.

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S
Richmond
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

best meal we had on the Outer Banks. service was superb, food excellent, and overall wonderful experience. make reservations early.

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