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  5. Nags Head
Rusty's Surf & Turf, Buxton, NC

Rusty's Surf & Turf

4.6
4.6
245 Reviews
$30 and under
Seafood
Rusty’s Surf & Turf Outer Banks restaurant brings the bold flavors of the tropics to Hatteras Island. Owner Rusty Midgett left the island and honed his restaurant and kitchen skills in some of Philadelphia’s best restaurants with top chefs in the industry. He is inspired in the kitchen by the places he has traveled on surf trips and by his training in classic French and Italian restaurants. Let him surprise you with creative yet simple preparations. Offerings on the menu include fresh fish, shellfish, all natural chicken, pork, steaks and pasta in styles ranging from local to global, all served in a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. Chef Rusty and his team have the resources and knowledge to turn all of these dishes into mouthwatering creations that will please the whole family.

The restaurant is fun and colorful with an ever-changing local art collection. Rusty’s has a full bar featuring craft cocktails and craft beer.

Make a reservation

2 people

11:00 PM


Booked 11 times today

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    Seafood, American, Global, International

  • Hours of operation

    Dinner Wed–Sun 5:00 pm–8:30 pm

  • Phone number

    (252) 995-4184

  • Payment options

    MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Neighborhood

    Nags Head

  • Parking details

    Private Lot

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Popular dishes

What 245 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.6
4.6 based on recent ratings
  • 4.6Food
  • 4.7Service
  • 4.5Ambience
  • 4.3Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Coastal North Carolina

    Fit for Foodies

  • Coastal North Carolina

    Good for Groups

  • Coastal North Carolina

    Healthy

  • Coastal North Carolina

    Seafood

  • Outer Banks

    Most Booked

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Filters

  1. G

    pGecko

    San Francisco

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    Go for the specials! The printed menu items didn’t grab me but when our excellent server, Paul, described the specials my taste buds woke up. There were several enticing options and Paul included the prices which is sooo appreciated and ranged from teens to 30s. We ended up w the Mahi-Mahi and fish tacos and shared. We were hungry so added the calamari from the appetizer menu, typically pedestrian but what a pleasant surprise. The calamari was very creatively spiced as were our entrees. The fish tacos were fresh and crispy and the Asian twist on the Mahi gave the mild fish a nice zing. The side veggies were bright and perfectly cooked and portions were ample. The beer and wine menu is not vast but the selection is decent. I’m sure there are winners from the regular menu (I hear the shrimp and grits are good) but we’d go again for the specials and Paul’s well-timed attention.
  2. G

    Good

    Tampa

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall4food4service5ambience3
    Rather stark dining area where there was more space than tables. Server was attentive and always ready to help. Food was good, but like many places on Hattaras Island, was a bit pricey.
  3. JG

    JesseG

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall2food2service5ambience2
    Way too expensive for what it is. Ordered steak medium and it was just about burnt. Okay quantity. Server was great though.
  4. S

    Stephenm

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The starters were very good. The main course was amazing. the homemade desserts stole the show though...will definitely return on another visit
  5. RW

    RossW

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Had an incredible meal..Rusty and his staff were awesome..we will be back
  6. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 4, 2022

    overall1food3service1ambience2
    Made reservations for date night at 7:45, we arrived a little early around 7:40 and when we got there we were told we would have to wait a few minutes to give the kitchen a break(?). 15 mins passed, and the hostess sat 3 other people prior to us. We asked about it, and was sat within minutes of asking. Like they basically forgot. We were seated at a dirty table, I used to work in a restaurant so I know how things can be, I try to let that go. We stopped a bus boy to clean off the table and he had a pretty crabby attitude about it, wiped it and said “is that better?” Did put any cleaner or anything on the table just wiped it with a dirty cloth. At this point I was kinda ready to go, but we had waited for late for these reservations that there was not very many options to chose from if we had left. Browsed over their very limited menu. Decided to go with the garlic shrimp, which did not taste very fresh, more like frozen and very much rubbery from either the fact it was frozen or the cooks didn’t cook it correctly. Enough said, I could’ve made it better at home. I can’t say I’ll be back or if I would even recommend this place to anyone.
  7. LM

    LaurieM

    West Virginia

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 4, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Very friendly staff, excellent service, delicious food (including dessert), good portion sizes. Can’t wait to go back again and love that they use OpenTable!
  8. P

    carltonPm

    Richmond

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on September 4, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Outstanding food and excellent service! We routinely travel from KDH to Buxton just for a great meal that isn’t overpriced OBX style!!
  9. TH

    TabithaH

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 2, 2022

    overall3food3service5ambience4
    Rusty's was okay. The tuna I had was good but not a lot of flavor. The green beans listed as garlic beans were refrigerator cold but had a nice crunch and little garlic flavor. Ifbthey had been warm/hot, would have been better. My husband had the seafood pasta which didn't have a lot of flavor either. The sauce was a bit too thin to cling to the pasta and seafood. We maybe would try again. The service was great and staff was friendly and welcoming.
  10. ID

    IrishDog33

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Appetizers: fried oysters and hush puppies Drinks: Local Mexican lager, local Kolsch and a mule Dinner: swordfish special, Asian mahi mahi special, seared tuna and fried scallops with fried fish. All of the food was delicious. Drinks were flowing and the server was excellent. Highly recommend.
  11. DA

    DougA

    Wilmington

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This is our third annual visit to Rusty's.. we have never been disappointed!! The food was excellent and the service was top notch. We're looking forward to our next vacation so we can visit again!!
  12. MJ

    MJM06

    Wilmington

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 28, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Very yummy food! We especially liked the shrimp linguine, hush puppies, and seared tuna.
  13. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Richmond

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    The food is original and and plated so beautifully!! So Delicious! Amazing service too! We will come back again and again!
  14. BW

    BethW

    Wilmington

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Every bite was delicious! Even days later we are still talking about how great our dinner was. We will definitely go back.
  15. DH

    DebbieH

    Wilmington

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Mahi-mahi was the best ever. Congrats to the cook. Shrimp was awesome too. Hush puppies yum. Drinks were excellent. Kat our waitress was the best. Great meal and service
  16. TH

    THERESAM

    Greensboro

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Everyone enjoyed our meals. From Mahi mahi, shrimp to the ribeye. Our waiter was attentive and answered all our stupid questions. Thank you for making our dinner special.
  17. BS

    BradS

    Washington DC

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food, drinks and the waitress was outstanding!
  18. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Wilmington

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Rusty’s is always delicious, one of our favorite restaurants on the island.
  19. JH

    JohnH

    Detroit

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 11, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Had a great dinner with fantastic service at a very reasonable price. Two thumbs up! 👍👍
  20. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Pittsburgh

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on August 11, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Friendly staff, nice menu selection
  21. DP

    DianeP

    New York Area

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on August 10, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Great food! Interesting music choices but overall a great experience
  22. p

    parcg

    Western NC

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 6, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wonderful meal. Great staff, great food. Best shrimp and grits i’ve ever tasted.
  23. BK

    BillK

    New York Area

    4 reviews

    3.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on August 5, 2022

    overall3food4service3ambience3
    The Hawaiian marinated steak was very good, as was the fried fish of the day. Both were cooked perfectly. I'm usually a cole slaw fan, but I didn't like theirs at all. Though we liked everything we ate, we were a little disappointed because, although we came in early for dinner, they were already out of one of our first choice entree and both of our first choice desserts.
  24. TS

    TheresaS

    Washington DC

    3 reviews

    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on August 4, 2022

    overall3food2service4ambience4
    Rusty’s has been a favorite but our dinner last night was overpriced and underwhelming. The fresh catch, Whiting fish, was dismal in its broiled preparation and delivery. It wasn’t that the fish was bad it was just blah. Clearly no effort by the kitchen to make it a tantalizing dish, especially sad as it was the “fresh catch of the day.” The crab cakes are ridiculously overpriced and minuscule in size, given the price and compared to other local restaurants. And finally, Key lime pie, at $10 a slice, is not worth it! The service was fine, as Rusty‘s is a friendly place, but everything was really rushed. Good food makes up for a lot but not last evening.
  25. HM

    HeatherM

    Pittsburgh

    23 reviews

    5.0

    23 reviews

    Dined on August 4, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Reservations made, walked in and sat down. Service exceptional, food freshly prepared, timely and delicious. The paella was outstanding. Save room for their enormous scratch made cakes…yum!
  26. R

    Robert

    Richmond

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on August 3, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    May have been the best scrimp & grits ever. Planning on it next year.
  27. JO

    JOANNAH

    Baltimore

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on July 31, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Delicious food and drinks!!
  28. CE

    CarmenE

    Richmond

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The food was seasoned well and the server explained each one of the dishes to us. She cared about us as a customer.
  29. TM

    TimothyM

    New England

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on July 29, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Paul was great and food always good year after year.
  30. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Indiana

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 28, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This is an amazing find in OBX. The staff was supper friendly and social. Food was excellent.
  31. F

    Finickyfoodie

    New York Area

    22 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    22 reviews

    Dined on July 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We were a party of seven and every meal we had was amazing! Crab cake and mahi-mahi specials were delicious and fresh. Excellent shrimp and grits, as well. The appetizers of fried green tomatoes and calamari were incredible. On top of all this delicious food, the service was outstanding! Our waitress was friendly, attentive, and informative. We can’t wait to go back! Just a note, we made a reservation on open table, which I recommended since there can be a wait. Happy we were able to do this as there are very few restaurants that take reservations.
  32. DB

    DanielB

    Wilmington

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Awesome Place, delish food, would definitely eat there next time in Frisco
  33. PH

    PhilH

    Philadelphia

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 23, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Outstanding food, nice quaint atmosphere and beach decor! Great service!
  34. DM

    DebM

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 22, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Very accommodating for our family dinner. Large group. Great food. Good variety. Great service!
  35. B

    Brooks

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 20, 2022

    overall3food4service3ambience4
    Good had good flavor. Steak was a little undercooked. Seemed short staffed, but so is everyone these days so that isn’t an issue. Something’s seemed fancy, like plates and presentation of food, but then plastic container and butter pats came out. Just an odd mix. Would try it again.
  36. KG

    KrisGarryson

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 16, 2022

    overall4food3service5ambience4
    We enjoyed the dinner. A bit pricey for the meal. Deserts were ehh. We took them to go but the banana pie was actually a cake and it was dry. My husband got the fish if the day (mahi-mahi) it tasted good but it was a small portion and it had a kick that he was unaware of. The waitress was amazing and she made it all the worth. I didn’t like sitting outside but the girl who seated us didn’t seem to care we preferred indoor. But we made it work.
  37. EB

    EmilyB

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Amazing food ,very clean best staff one of favorite restaurants on the trip
  38. HE

    HERMANF

    Charlotte

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on July 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    THE SERVICE, THE AMBIANCE, THE OUTDOOR SEATING - EXCELLENT!!!
  39. R

    Ricky

    New York Area

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great service, food and value.casual ambiance, fun but not loud
  40. DG

    DG99

    Raleigh

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on July 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Absolutely one of the best restaurants we've dined at across the US! Service was exceptional - Kat was personable, prompt, and professional. Some good wines and cocktails to choose from, and great dinner from the coconut mahi appetizer through the main course, to dessert (banana pudding cake was excellent!! ) If you're staying nearby, add this to your must stop list!

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Physical distancing

    • Limited number of seated diners
    • Distancing maintained in common areas
    • Extra space between tables
  • Protective equipment

    • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
    • Staff temperature check required

FAQs

Rusty's Surf & Turf is rated 4.6 stars by 245 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

11:00 PM


Booked 11 times today
Google Map for Rusty's Surf & Turf

47355 N.C. Highway 12, Buxton, NC 27920

Additional information

  • Neighborhood

    Nags Head

  • Hours of operation

    Dinner Wed–Sun 5:00 pm–8:30 pm

  • Cuisines

    Seafood, American, Global, International

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    Private Lot

  • Payment options

    MasterCard, Visa

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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