The Bistro at Topsail

4.5
1108 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Southern
Top Tags:
  • Waterfront
  • Scenic View
  • Creative Cuisine
Award Winning Farm to Plate restaurant on Topsail Island.
Winner James Beard Foundation BBP 2017
Open Table Top 100 Most Scenic Restaurants in America
Finalist North Carolina Best Chef 2017
4-Time Wine Spectator Award of Excellence Winner 2015-2018
One of the Best Bourbon Bars in America 2016


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Sorry but due to the limited size of our dining room we are unable to accommodate groups larger than 10 people
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Southern, Seafood, American
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Hours of operation
Dinner
Tue–Sat 5:30 pm–9:00 pm
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Phone number
(910) 328-2000
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Resort Casual
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Executive chef
Chef/Owner Bud Taylor
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Surf City Swing Bridge
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Parking details
Parking lots in front of restaurant
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Special events & promotions
We will gladly book your special event on location.
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 1108 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
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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3.0Dined 3 days ago

The food was satisfactory although limited menu and pricey. The interior is very attractive but the noise level was so bad our table of four could not communicate to each other. We have visited this restaurant before and did not have this experience. It's a really nice restaurant but the noisy atmosphere really ruined the evening for us.

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5.0Dined 4 days ago

I moved to area two years ago and was disappointed in my dining options until I found The Bistro. The food is amazing and offers gluten free for my friend. I will return and as often as possible.

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

With our last night of vacation, we wanted something special. After reading local reviews, we weren't disappointed. Veggie eggrolls as an appy for for people was perfect (two cut into halves). The duck was great, hard to find it anywhere and was pleased with rich flavor! Shrimp and grits were great! Catfish and grilled cauliflower steak entrees were also wonderful. Too full for dessert. Only (slight) issue was we found the bartender wasn't as friendly as we typically find in the south. However, we then realized she was the ONLY one on duty for the bar area and dining patrons...OK, we get it! Will return next time in town.

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4.0Dined 5 days ago

We made a long drive from Wilmington up to the Bistro just to have dinner. The view from our outdoor seats right on the water overlooking the marsh was really nice. Our server was good but she forgot to put my salad order in and we were her first table of the evening. When it came it was very skimpy with a few blackberries, pine nuts & goat cheese. Not much for $7.00. The menu is very limited with only about 8 entrees. My wife had the corn meal crusted catfish which she enjoyed. I had the strip and it was very good and a large one. But at $44.00 way overpriced. If back in Wilmington again in the future we'd probably not make a 60 mile round trip drive to go back.

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

We have visited The Bistro quite a few times now. We have yet to be disappointed. Everything, from the moment you enter until you leave, is far above average. The staff are all friendly and eager to make your experience everything it should be. The view is gorgeous and the cuisine excellent, to say the least.

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4.0Dined on August 7, 2018

First time I was able to eat at The Bistro since they moved to their new location on the water. New location a great upgrade as you can now eat outside with the view of the water. We sat inside but was still able to benefit from the beautiful views. The new location also is more spacious so there are more tables and they aren't so close together. There is also a separate room for perhaps a special occasion or larger party. What hadn't changed was the excellent food! We tried the seasonal salad options--all 3 wonderful. We also had the steak, shrimp and grits and vegetarian entrees which were superb. The only suggestion is the fried cauliflower was a little dry and would have benefitted with a sauce to accompany it. Prices are still somewhat high and nothing is complimentary--if you want bread that's an $8 appetizer! Although staff was friendly and warm, our server seemed to lack some both food and beverage knowledge. There were also very long waits before we got our wine (including the first wine served was incorrect) and an extremely long wait for our entrees. Although many tables had guests, they weren't super busy. Although they seemed to have a bad night for service, the food did not disappoint and I would certainly come back in hopes it was just an off night for staff.

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5.0Dined on August 4, 2018

The food and service were great. We enjoyed the bar before our meal. Definitely order the egg rolls—-they were great along with the steaks.

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3.0Dined on August 4, 2018

I can't believe a restaurant at the beach that claims to have the best seafood in town did not have an ocean fish on the menu, but is is true. Yes, they had catfish (fresh water) and swordfish (a shark, not a fish) along with shrimp and scallops. Pro: the food was good but not great, wait staff did well, and it has a great view. Con: country music.

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4.0Dined on August 3, 2018

Food was terrific and views amazing! Love to come for a special evening out!

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3.0Dined on August 3, 2018

We came for our anniversary and had a beautiful view of the sound from the patio. We had the steak and swordfish plus an appetizer. The food was overpriced for the quality and we both got sick for 48 hours after the meal.

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5.0Dined on August 1, 2018

Food was oustanding. All local ingredients (with the exception of the steak which we did not order). The catfish and grits was so incredibly flavorful. Also loved swordfish with the sweet fresh local tomatoes, and the light sauce accompanied the oyster mushrooms perfectly. The low country egg rolls were also a standout stuffed with the spicy collards! We sat outside and enjoyed the beautiful view being right on the water.

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3.0Dined on August 1, 2018

The food is good but overpriced. They don't like to make any changes to the menu, which limits your options. To bad they don't offer some type of bread before the meal.

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4.0Dined on August 1, 2018

Excellent food and cocktails. We ordered the roasted peppers with goat cheese for an appetizer, peach/fennel and local tomato salads, and split the (huge) strip steak. Peach tart and chocolate torte for dessert.
The best dishes by far were the peach/fennel salad and the steak. We would have liked to see more seafood on the menu, and we were not blown away by the desserts (they were good, not outstanding).
One of the best parts of the meal was the lovely view of the Intercoastal Waterway, complete with wild alligator swimming by!

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5.0Dined on August 1, 2018

Delish fresh food. The staff is very knowledgeable with the menu and aupply recommendations if requested.

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5.0Dined on July 31, 2018

Wonderful dinner. Wonderful service. Thank you Zoey. Our favorite place to have dinner at Topsail.

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4.0Dined on July 28, 2018

Shrimp & grits and catfish entrees were fantastic! Nice bourbon bar and great view out the back of the building.

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5.0Dined on July 28, 2018

We really love the food at the bistro. Might be a little more expensive than the quality warrants. There is not a big selection but it’s worth trying something new or different. Our only complaint is that the chairs are so uncomfortable. If you’re lucky enough to get a padded chair and a table at the window then you will be extremely happy. When you make your reservation be sure and ask for it. Although that won’t guarantee you get either one. But do make reservations.

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5.0Dined on July 25, 2018

By far the best restaurant on Topsail Island. It’s classy and the food is authentically delicious. If you’re on the island on vacation and you’re looking for a “real” restaurant where you can look nice, be served professionally, enjoy good wine and eat delicious food made lovingly with local ingredients, The Bistro is your place. Make a reservation in advance!

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5.0Dined on July 24, 2018

Went with my wife for our 7 year anniversary. It was perfect. One of the best dates we’ve ever had. Would love to come back.

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5.0Dined on July 24, 2018

We had an excellent meal of seafood (steaks looked great as well)with a great view of the inter-coastal. The service was excellent despite being full. The noise level was high which surprised us. As small as the restaurant is people were talking very loud.

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5.0Dined on July 24, 2018

The food was delicious, very attentive service, and a beautiful view!

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5.0Dined on July 22, 2018

Favorite restaurant on Topsail for a nice upscale meal. Beautiful with great views and local farm to table menu. I had the New York strip while my husband had the swordfish and we both loved it. The pimento cheese is the my favorite appetizer. Can’t wait until we can go again.

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5.0Dined on July 21, 2018

Fantastic as always. My wife and two kids go almost every weekend and truly enjoy ourselves everytime.

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5.0Dined on July 21, 2018

The food was different, fresh ingredients and perfectly executed. The low country egg roll is to die for!

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5.0Dined on July 20, 2018

Perfectly cooked fish, along with seasonal and fresh ingredients. The butter bean hummus with ridiculously fresh, house made potato chips (more like planks!) were a perfect pair. I come here every year while on vacation, and dream of the experience. Cocktails are also fresh and inventive

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2.0Dined on July 19, 2018

This used to be our favorite restaurant at Topsail. This visit however was disappointing and we will likely go elsewhere on future nights out on topsail.
Our reservations were for 6pm. We had a twenty minute wait, and the bar was standing room only. When we were seated, we were told that if we wanted a burger that they were going like hotcakes and we should put our order in then to make sure we got one. This was a surprise to all of us, because over the years we have been eating at The Bistro, we knew their Angus burger was popular, so why were they running low so early in the evening?Our ten year old grandson definitely wanted the burger so we told the waitstaff to put his order in for one. We ordered our drinks, and I ordered my favorite cocktail. The burger was overdone, and the bun was burned, so my grandson asked for another burger. We were told that they were out of burgers. Since my grandson didn't want anything else, he ate his fries and a few bites of our meal. I ordered another cocktail and did not receive it, but it was on the bill. The waitstaff was surprised when I mentioned that I had not received my drink, and did not realize I had not received it.
I will give them points for taking the burger off of the bill, but certainly didn't feel that we received the attention during the meal.

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2.0Dined on July 18, 2018

Reservation was for 7pm but we weren't seated until almost 7:30 despite open tables.
My 10 year old loves duck but when I tried to order without the caramelized onions they refused saying the chef will not alter the menu. (Glad my son didn't have allergies).
We love the cucumber ginger martinis but when my husband asked for another they had run out of rum.
The blueberry salad and the swordfish was good but my husband had the $44 steak which he said had a lot of grizzle.
We really loved the Bistro over the years but it has definitely changed and not for the better. 😔

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4.0Dined on July 17, 2018

Everything we ate was unbelievable. We had the country egg rolls, the nc roasted duck and the Davis seafood shrimp. Everything was so great! Definitely recommend!!

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5.0Dined on July 17, 2018

I was at Topsail for a vacation. We go there every year and several years ago I had the shrimp and grits at The Bistro and loved them. They were just as good if not even better this visit. I also enjoyed the larger building and the view. I'll be back next year!

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5.0Dined on July 12, 2018

Second time there while visiting Surf City. We were celebrating our anniversary. Pricey but worth it.

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5.0Dined on July 11, 2018

We were visiting Topsail for first time and found this wonderful restaurant.
Everything about the evening was perfect. Our food was amazing and the service was really special and prompt. We will go there again when in the area!!

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5.0Dined on July 11, 2018

AMAZING FOOD!!! BEAUTIFUL LOCATION!!! GREAT SERVICE AND ATMOSPHERE!!! YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED!!!

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4.0Dined on July 10, 2018

Organic, local and fresh

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5.0Dined on July 7, 2018

This place is just amazing. Favorite place at Topsail and top 5 anywhere I've been. Great food done well with fresh ingredients

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3.0Dined on July 7, 2018

Found the place to be very loud so that it was difficult to have a conversation. The service was very slow and my meal was not prepared as requested. I also found my meal to lack flavor and felt that it was way overpriced. I could have made a meal at home for half the cost that would taste better.

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5.0Dined on July 6, 2018

Great views and the food was fantastic. All thee of us were more than satisfied with our meal.

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4.0Dined on July 5, 2018

Outstanding dining experience with interesting menu choices (best shrimp and grits dish I ever had) with creative starters. Everything was outstanding except for the long wait to get a table as there weren't enough menus. How does a restaurant not have enough menus?

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5.0Dined on July 5, 2018

Gorgeous sound side setting. Terrific service. Delicious food and drinks. Just perfection.

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5.0Dined on July 5, 2018

Excellent food, service and view! I’ve found a new favorite restaurant! I highly recommend the collard green egg rolls and the shrimp & grits ( when available)!

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5.0Dined on July 4, 2018

Excellent meal. Great food and service. Beautiful views.

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