Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 5.01mi
  2. Distance: 9.50mi
  3. Distance: 9.58mi
  4. Distance: 11.83mi
  1. Distance: 5.01mi
  2. Distance: 9.50mi
  3. Distance: 9.58mi
  4. Distance: 11.83mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 5.01mi
  2. Distance: 9.50mi
  3. Distance: 9.58mi
  4. Distance: 11.83mi
  1. Distance: 5.01mi
  2. Distance: 9.50mi
  3. Distance: 9.58mi
  4. Distance: 11.83mi

About The Bistro at Topsail

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
Wine Spectator Award of Excellence Winner 2016
Wine Spectator Award of Excellence Winner 2016
One of the Best Bourbon Bars in America 2016


MENUS CHANGE DAILY
Visit our website for today's menu


Sorry but due to the limited size of our dining room we are unable to accommodate groups larger than 10 people

602 B Roland Ave
Surf City, NC 28445
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
American, Contemporary Southern, Southern

Hours of Operation:
Dinner
Thu–Sat 5:30 pm–9:00 pm

Cross Street:
Surf City Swing Bridge

Dress Code:
Resort Casual

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(910) 328-2000

Website:
http://www.topsailbistro.com/

Parking Details:
Parking lots in front of restaurant

Executive Chef:
Chef/Owner Bud Taylor

Additional:
Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
We will gladly book your special event on location.

The Bistro at Topsail Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.4

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.5

service

4.4

ambience

4.3

value

4.0

Noise

Moderate

92% would recommend it to a friend

Waterfront (28)
Creative Cuisine (25)
Scenic View (25)
See All
Local Ingredients (25)
Good for a Date (23)
Great for Outdoor Dining (20)
Special Occasion (20)
Fit for Foodies (17)
Neighborhood Gem (16)
Casual (14)
Good for Anniversaries (14)
Quiet Conversation (14)
Romantic (13)
Worth the Drive (12)
Good for Birthdays (11)
Notable Wine List (11)
Organic (11)
Cozy (10)
Handcrafted Cocktails (10)
Healthy (10)
Good Vegetarian Options (10)
Seasonal (9)
Authentic (8)
Business Meals (5)
Bar Seating (4)
Fun (4)
Gluten Free Options (4)
Good for Groups (2)
Hot Spot (2)
Paleo Friendly (2)
Sunday Lunch (2)
Tapas (2)
Tasting Menu (2)
Vegan (2)
Comfort Food (1)
Great Beer (1)
Happy Hour (1)
People Watching (1)
Pre/post Theatre (1)
Spicy (1)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
Sort by
S
994 reviews
Loading Reviews ...

 
·Dined on December 10, 2017

The Bistro had but one flaw, and we considered it major. Half or more of their chairs in the dining room are metal, cold and narrow. They are also used outdoors. The lack of good seating should scare away anyone who is of medium or larger girth, or who doesn't want a cold derriere, unless you want to eat at 5:30 because we were told the chairs were first come- first serve.

Tags: Cozy, Creative Cuisine, Waterfront, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Tapas, Local Ingredients, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value3

vip
 (Wilmington)·Dined on December 2, 2017

Food was excellent. Service has been slower than expected the past few visits.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service3
value4

 
·Dined on November 30, 2017

Overall..... wonderful!!! Only recommendation is more space between table and chairs.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Organic, Seasonal, Good Vegetarian Options
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 26, 2017

Way too dark, no lighting on table. Too cold on a chilly nite, easier to read menu. Restaurant is way more impressed with themselves than we were with the restaurant. Chef has a bad attitude if asked for dressing on the side. Enough said.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Creative Cuisine, Casual, Waterfront, Scenic View, Cozy, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on November 25, 2017

Consistently good with excellent service and beautiful view!

Tags: Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Business Meals, Casual, Neighborhood Gem, Scenic View, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Waterfront, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Great for Outdoor Dining, Notable Wine List, Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 25, 2017

Awesome dinner as always! Top notch food and service, every time we dine at the Bistro.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Gluten Free Options, Local Ingredients, Good Vegetarian Options, Paleo Friendly, Organic, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 19, 2017

We love The Bistro. The food is excellent and the service is friendly and accommodating. When we arrived at 7:15, the noise level was a little high but by the time we left, it was easy for my wife and I to converse.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Richmond)·Dined on November 17, 2017

Excellent food and server. Martini made to perfection. Fried pickles to die for. My husband enjoyed the catfish and I enjoyed the fresh fish of the day. We shared the bananas foster for dessert..also very good!

Every course was executed perfectly. We will be back!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 16, 2017

Chef Taylor has done everything right. The restaurant overlooks the waterway and there is outdoor dining in addition to beautiful views from inside. The menu has just enough selection of meat, poultry and seafood. Everything is locally sourced and the meals are so delicious. My favorite is the pork chop and my wife loves all the fish dishes. The wine selection is excellent. The atmosphere is hip and the service is outstanding. This is the best dining experience and if you haven’t tried it go right now.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 4, 2017

Excellent food and service, as usual. The Bistro consistently serves fresh and delicious food.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Great for Outdoor Dining, Organic, Good for Birthdays, Quiet Conversation, Romantic, Good Vegetarian Options, Creative Cuisine, Scenic View, Waterfront, Local Ingredients, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Healthy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on October 28, 2017

Delectable food...every bite full an explosion of flavor. Crab dip, a swordfish special, Bistro's version of bananas Foster and chocolate torte were our selections. Perfection!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service4

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on October 27, 2017

Highly recommend! Excellent food with a beautiful scenic view. Suggest making a reservation. Small room open to the restaurant with a water view that sits 10 people. Great place for a small group!!

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Waterfront, Casual, Scenic View
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on October 21, 2017

TOO NOSY!!!! every visit this summer ,had to shout to be heard unless we ate on the patio

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience2
service3
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on October 20, 2017

Best restaurant hands down on Topsail Island. Award winning Chef Bud Taylor rocks!!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Handcrafted Cocktails, Worth the Drive, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for Anniversaries, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Authentic, Scenic View, Bar Seating, Organic, Notable Wine List, People Watching, Healthy, Fit for Foodies, Waterfront, Local Ingredients, Good for a Date, Cozy, Great for Outdoor Dining
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 20, 2017

My husband and I enjoyed our 39th wedding anniversary dinner at the Bistro. The service, food and atmosphere were Great! A perfect evening. Thanks

Tags: Waterfront, Cozy, Special Occasion, Healthy, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on October 17, 2017

Perhaps the best duck I've ever had, although I was disappointed to have to wait for my table even though I had a reservation.

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Greensboro)·Dined on October 17, 2017

From the beginning this evening was a disaster. I had an Open Table reservation for over a month for a 6:45 pm seating. When I made the reservation, I added a comment that we would prefer outdoor seating. The night of the reservation, the weather had turned cold and it was in the 50's outside. The restaurant basically said that since I had made the reservation for outside seating and we did not want to sit outside in the cold that we would have to wait for them to work us in inside. While we waited, we went to the bar. I ordered a cocktail from their menu and some of the ingredients for the cocktail they were out of . My companion ordered a glass of red wine. Guess what? THEY were OUT of it. When we were finally seated, I ordered the Swordfish (the only seafood on the menu except of catfish), THEY were OUT of! We left after the appetizer and went to Beauchaine's instead.

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience1
service1
value1

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on October 14, 2017

Bistro has a great cocktail selection and the food is outstanding. Numerous gluten free options are available. Staff is extremely nice and attentive

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience1
service1
value1

 
·Dined on October 13, 2017

We visit Topsail every year and this has been one of our favorites ! It a lovely place for a special occasion and celebration. Amazing cocktails and wonderful local food.

Tags: Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on October 8, 2017

DISSAPOINTED
Visit to surf city North Carolina. This restaurant was recommended by rental owner. Reservation required, used open table, arrived earlier to see if we could be seated (with empty tables). Hostess snarled that they were already 15 minutes behind schedule. While at the bar they could have informed us since it's NOT a large place that one of their signature meals is no longer available. We were given the hype on the pork chops ( another signature). Tough fatty with no taste. Flat iron steak order meadium. Served blood rare. Sent it back so I could eat it. Tough. No taste , potatoes hard. Low country egg roll tooo much greens no sausage .
Bar tender David ..super
Waitress ..was lovely.
head hostess/madame NASTY
FOOD was so dissapointing that I needed to write review.

Tags: Scenic View, Notable Wine List, Great Beer, Organic, Great for Outdoor Dining
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience3
service2
value1

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on October 7, 2017

Food was good not great but overpriced .. 1 shared app ..2 house salad and 2 entrees no alcohol with tip $111.00

Tags: Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value3

 
·Dined on October 7, 2017

It was fantastic as always! Pork chops and grits were divine. I never would have thought to combine the two, but it was a great pairing. Only one disappointment; they ran out of trigger fish. Needless to say, my husband was very disappointed. Overall, it was a wonderful evening, as always at The Bistro.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Romantic, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Waterfront, Authentic, Handcrafted Cocktails, Cozy, Quiet Conversation, Scenic View, Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine, Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on October 6, 2017

We have eaten many meals at this restaurant and the one thing I can say is you can get a great to average experience. My wife enjoyed a meal in mid summer which she raved over so we booked her birthday meal this weekend. We had a lovely fall evening on the patio and a full moon rising over the marsh. The highlight of the meal.
The food is on the upper price end so I expect exceptional service and quality. First they charge for homemade bread. It was a run of the mill baguette. Traders Joes does better. My trigger fish was over cooked and the sautéed greens and polenta was good. Another meal was flank steak which came to the table stone cold. Worse we finally had to go find our waitress to get the meat reheated. Poorly handled all around. Fortunately my wife's pork chop was to her satisfaction.
We love the location and the idea of farm to table dining and will pay for the experience. Personally the unpredictability kills it for me. Far to expensive to not get good food and service.
Fall is not the busy time so the Bistro should have been able to handle a superior meal. It is unfortunate because the fine dining options are very limited in Topsail

Tags: Seasonal, Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients, Scenic View, Great for Outdoor Dining, Waterfront
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service3
value4

 
·Dined on October 5, 2017

dissapointed. Looking for seafood but due to limited items wound up with flat iron steak. My son in law finally settled for a burger. We were all four very disappointed with our food when it arrived. Would not try again.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
·Dined on September 30, 2017

Food (a shrimp and grits variation) was good--B+--but be careful where you are seated. Our group of five had two people in direct line of sight of the staff wait station, a brightly fluorescent-lit room with a washer and dryer churning away and wait staff coming and going. While the restaurant ambience is comfortable and positive, watching the mechanics of a restaurant is distracting in the extreme and negatively changes the quality of the dining experience. I mentioned it to our wait staff member who referred me to the manager who looked over my shoulder to check our whatever might be going on that was more interesting than talking to me--she essentially blew me off.
An attractive screen and lower wattage lighting would go a long way in creating a more pleasant dining experience.

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience1
service2
value2

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on September 30, 2017

Expensive. Poor quality of food. Ordered pork chop. Tough and fatty.

Tags: Scenic View
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service3
value2

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 29, 2017

Anniversary

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Richmond)·Dined on September 26, 2017

This is truly the upscale restaurant for Topsail. Unique menu items and wonderful local produce, etc. We were fortunate to be there in late September and able to snag a reservation. Thoroughly enjoyed our outside seating.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on September 22, 2017

We love The Bistro and we at there 3 times in one week while on vacation! We did the same last year! The Bistro serves the BEST food in the area. We are foodies so we know the Bistro is a true treasure. Our only complaint is that the metal chairs they have for seating are extremely uncomfortable. Also, new servers should be trained as to how to open a bottle of wine. Our server the last night opened the bottle and then filled both glasses without letting us taste the wine first. That is a pretty basic step that should not be overlooked. Good food and good wine are both easy to find at the Bistro! They have an very good wine list. Everything on the menu is amazing! We look forward to next year!

Tags: Cozy, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on September 20, 2017

This is a mixed review. Was nice to find an upscale restaurant in Topsail/Surf City area. Unfortunately we were unable to get a reservation before 8:00 so we missed the views the restaurant is known for; recommend you plan ahead and go for sunset. We were seated (right on time) in a lovely private room that was nicely decorated although not quite right for the area.

The cocktails were very nice (esp. the bourbon smash). We skipped appetizers (due to late hour) and got right to meal. The trigger fish was AMAZING but it was not served as described on the menu so my dining companions were very disappointed (potatoes and kale instead of zucchini). The grits served with the pork chop were uninteresting and heavy. The steak salad was good.

The verdict was that we would give the restaurant another try on our next visit to Topsail but were not blown away by our first experience as hoped.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Seasonal, Good for Groups, Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service4
value3

 
·Dined on September 9, 2017

Once again we loved our meal and experience at The Bistro. We go a few times a year, but love to go for my birthday when we really splurge on Chef recommended wine and pairings. This meal was fabulous. I had spiced flank steak with roasted vegetables. I took it as the chef recommend it be prepared, which was a tiny bit on the rare side but amazing. My husband had the shrimp over grits. But those grits were so creamy, I swear they tasted almost like rissoto. We opted for the chefs recommended wine pairing, a delicious cab. It was the perfect complement. We both selected hand crafted martinis to start, and bananas foster for dessert. I would highly recommend.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Hot Spot, Authentic, Happy Hour, Worth the Drive, Bar Seating, Waterfront, Notable Wine List, Quiet Conversation, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Business Meals, Pre/post Theatre, Healthy, Neighborhood Gem, Comfort Food, Tasting Menu, Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Great for Outdoor Dining, Seasonal, Handcrafted Cocktails, Local Ingredients, Sunday Lunch, Scenic View
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on September 6, 2017

The Bistro is our go-to place in the area for special occasions, date night or a fine dinner with friends. It's consistently good food and service!

Tags: Scenic View, Handcrafted Cocktails, Creative Cuisine, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on September 2, 2017

Great restaurant for the Topsail area! Food, service were A++. Must try when in the area.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on September 1, 2017

We have been many times and hope this was an off night for them rather than the new norm. We had a reservation and our table was given to someone else after we checked in causing us to wait almost 30 minutes for a table. Then we were seated outside where the lights were not working to see menu, food, etc. They had no candles which a quick trip to any nearby store would have solved. All in all wait staff seemed new and disorganized. Food was good but not excellent as we have become used to.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience1
service2
value3

 
 (St. Louis)·Dined on September 1, 2017

The woman who greeted us was rude and because we were 10 min early told we could wait at the bar which didn't have any seating. When we were seated and had placed our drink order we waited we waited quire a while to place our order. The menu selections were disappointing. The obligatory shrimp and grits which my husband ordered and turned out to be disappointing, much better at the beach dog. I was very disappointed that the only fish offer was the red drum and catfish. Apparently the menu is changed every nite but not on the website. The beignets were actually donut holes with granulated sugar. I can remember how awesome the meals at the old location were and continue to be disappointed at the new location. Just not worth the trip.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience3
service3
value1

 
 (Nashville)·Dined on September 1, 2017

No flexibility at the bar. They have a signature drink and not many other options. And the signature drink wasn't the best. They do offer bourbon. Not a full bar.
My friend ordered the bananas foster and it came out with barely any sauce. She asked for a little more, agreeing to an up charge. The waitress came out and said the kitchen declined her request for more sauce. The was less than a drizzle of the sauce, which makes bananas foster. A few minutes later, as my friend was getting ready to return the dessert, the waitress came out with a little container of more sauce. Kind of ridiculous. We were told no twice at that dinner: no to a hurricane or pain killer mixed drink, and no to more sauce. I don't think I have ever been told no at a restaurant before. Understandable if you don't have the ingredients to make a drink, but I don't think that was the case. I am guessing the chef, and/or the manager get by being very specific with what they want the restaurant to be. Not my kind of place. This was the third time I have been to the Bistro, the other times were good. Nothing out of this world. Too many other restaurants in Topsail to try.

Tags: Scenic View, Cozy, Waterfront, Great for Outdoor Dining
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service5
value3

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on August 29, 2017

My husband and I visited The Bistro several years ago prior to their move to the new location. Frankly, we enjoyed the old location much better. The intimacy and coziness is lacking at the new location.
We dined on the outdoor patio and it was a pretty setting.
Even though I had to send my shrimp dish back due to the shrimp being raw, they fixed me a new one and the dish was outstanding. The cheese grits were very tasty. Excellent flavor. My husband ordered the catfish meal and he was rather underwhelmed at the piece of fish he received. Disappointing.
Any nice restaurant would either comp your meal or do something special as a result of having to send a meal back, however, they did not do a thing. Disappointing.
We will try other restaurants next time!

Tags: Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service3
value2

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on August 26, 2017

Local and organic. We loved everything. Easy, warm atmosphere high end but not pretentious. Notables were the collard green egg rolls, duck and seasonal salad with fried goat cheese. Solid wine list and the key lime pie was terrific. Best on Topsail island.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients, Seasonal, Notable Wine List, Waterfront, Good Vegetarian Options, Organic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on August 25, 2017

Food and service were both impeccable. Wonderful atmosphere with stunning views of the water. We will definitely be back next time we're in Topsail

Tags: Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Local Ingredients, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Business Meals
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on August 24, 2017

Fantastic dinner!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

Report this review as inappropriate?

If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.