The Lifesaving Station - Sanderling Resort

4.2
448 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
American
Located in the original Caffey’s Inlet Life Saving Station No. 5, the Lifesaving Station is Sanderling’s casual, three-meal-a-day restaurant celebrating southern coastal cuisine. After the winter renovations, the second level now offers sweeping views of the Currituck Sound and available for large parties with an expansive kid’s menu.

The menu changes seasonally, and specials feature the freshest of the day’s catch. This season’s highlights are Shrimp and Grits, Crab Stuffed Flounder or Pan Seared Duck Breast. Since the restaurant's inception in 1985, the Sanderling Blue Crab Chowder has been a favorite.

The Lifesaving Station maintains an impressive wine list. At the newly renovated No 5 Bar now located on the first level, local North Carolina breweries are featured on tap while specialty cocktails include “Keeper’s Watch” . A new No 5 bar food menu is available all day.
What 448 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.1
service
4.3
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Quiet
81% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Filters
OT
Baltimore
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Quality of the good was much better than expected I was pleasantly surprised. Attentive and very professional server- Eddie. Highly recommended!

LK
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing as always. I make a point to have one dinner here during my Outer Banks vacations. I have never stayed at the resort but this is a definite destination for dinner during our trips

MG
Baltimore
6 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We went for two meals, the service and food at breakfast brought us back the next day for dinner! A "must stop" in the Outer Banks!

R
Savannah
2 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Well, we have been to The Life Saving Station before and it was enjoyable. This time it was even better as we had made a reservation over the Internet a few weeks before and our table was ready as soon as we arrived. It is a very casual place and there were children there. The service was great! My wife and I both had the scallops which I highly recommend.

SP
Richmond
10 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

We had a wonderful stay at the Sanderling, but our dinner at the Lifesaving Station was underwhelming. I ordered Yellowfin Tuna - rare and received the fish cooked s solid medium which ruins the taste, to me. The Oysters Rockefeller was utterly tasteless except for the extreme salt used. We did enjoy a nice breakfast there, but will not return for dinner.

RG
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was absolutely amazing. The service was incredible and our waitress was extremely helpful and friendly.

CG
Atlanta
14 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

Unfortunately, our first night at the beach was not so great. Our server was very confused despite there
Being only two or three other tables, and our food was almost inedible. Scallops were burned beyond recognition, tuna was tough. Maybe we just ordered the wrong thing, but I can’t tecommend.

OT
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

The place was pretty quiet. The server seemed hurried. The food tasted delicious but the fish small and very overdone. My wife's scallops we're almost charred but tasted good. Very expensive not great meal.

MM
Manchester
1 review
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderfully attentive service. The food was delicious and so fresh.

BR
Wilmington
1 review
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great, as always. Good food, good service, good views.

OT
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and exceptional service, which is a standard for The Sanderling Resort! ❤️

OT
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 5

The ambiance and service were great. We have stayed at Sanderling in the past and have always enjoyed it though we have only had breakfast at the Lifesaving Station.
My first course salad, local greens, was very nice. My husband had the Rockefeller Oysters and they were a big disappointment. They were nothing like Oysters Rockefeller, they were soggy fried oysters and almost inedible. My main course , seared scallops with risotto was also a big disappointment. The scallops were not seared they were charred with a thick black burned layer on the outside which of course made the scallops overdone. You don’t char scallops you sear them!. My husbands fried flounder on capellini was also a disappointment. The capellini was dry and would have benefited with at least some good olive oil.
This is s lovely spot that would benefit with better attention to the kitchen.

KL
Pittsburgh
2 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed our dinner at the beach and the cucumber martini is a must!

CS
Richmond
14 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Quiet respite from the busy Duck dining scene. The short ribs were on point. Well worth the trip.

BD
New England
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Slow service. Lots of noisy kids, $30 chicken and gravy looked like two Macdonald’s chicken fingers and honestly not as tasty

OT
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 4

The food was fine, but the service was very disappointing. The restaurant was maybe a third full at best. We waited 50 minutes for our rolls and then had to ask for them. It took a good hour for our food to arrive. We ordered no appetizer or salad, and there was no special request for our entrees. It was not the fault of our server. She was busy the entire time but the restaurant is terribly understaffed for its size and number of tables. We have eaten at The Lifesaving Station for 30+ years. This most recent experience was not in keeping with what I thought were The Sanderling’s high standards.

E
New York Area
20 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

The food was very good even though it was pricey and the restaurant was clean and nice. They were very good with my son’s peanut/tree nut allergies and they had an extensive kids menu. I would dine here again if I was in the area.

b
Pittsburgh
29 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The service was excellent and the food was very good for the most part. Only negative was the mussels starter - (over cooked). The duck was very good but the collard greens served with it were a little too bitter.

OT
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely wonderful! Each member of the staff that we interacted with was exceptionally nice. The food was delicious! We tried the chowder, hush puppies, duck, and scallops and all were phenomenal. The drinks were great as well!

SJ
Cincinnati
5 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Nice place to eat. Good service and tasty food. Comfortable outside eating on the deck.

TR
Richmond
1 review
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 5

We were seated for 20 minutes before my husband went to find someone to come wait on us. Our server appeared to be bothered by having to wait on us and service was slow for the entire meal, which is not typical. We ate outside for a beautiful sunset and the food was excellent, the only reason I’m giving this particular visit 4 stars.

EM
1 review
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I chose Lifesaving Station because of the location, reviews and it being family friendly. My husband and I took our 1 yr old grandson out for dinner here at 6:30 p.m. over the holiday weekend. The service was excellent; the waitstaff were all friendly, attentive and entertaining. We had a delicious pomegranate drink, nice house salads and wonderful scallops with risotto and roasted carrots. The 1 year old had a mountain of spaghetti and loved the carrots too. It was perfect for our needs and not crowded at that time.

OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

Not great. Duck was not cooked to liking. Food was mediocre at best.

DR
Baltimore
8 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

A very enjoyable meal at a quaint restaurant.. history behind this place is interesting.. food was excellent and prepared with care

OT
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a lovely Mother’s Day brunch! The menu provided a splendid selection for our group. The food was plentiful and delicious! The service was top notch!! We live in Corolla year round and love having The Sanderling in our backyard!

T
Richmond
9 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 4

Probably the worst service we have ever had. For $40 a plate for a brunch we would expect good service plus at LEAST a cup of coffee included. The waitress brought out the wrong course twice, plunked down extra silverware on our table quite brusquely when it was meant for another table and hurried away. She never looked at our table as she hurried past us numerous times. We felt invisible . I never got my coffee or a refill of water and my husband couldn't get her attention for a coffee refill in the cup she had originally filled half way spilling it on the side of the cup. At one point we called out when we called out "excuse me as she hurried past without acknowledging us for the umpteenth time . We said, " we would like some coffee and water." She answered quite rudely , "I JUST said I was getting it!." Sorry it was hard to hear her as she rushed past our table without looking our way. She also dropped an entire tray. The hostess finally came in to mop up the mess and we were able to tell her how bad the service was. s
She apologized saying the girl was new. She brought us coffee herself but no effort at compensation was made. On a positive note, the three courses were outstanding and it would have been a perfect Mother's Day gift if the experience was more enjoyable. We understand the wait staff is new as the season begins, but when you are spending $40 a person with no other options on the menu we should not be paying for ineptness. Even though the food was absolutely delicious we would be reluctant to return because eating out should be an enjoyable experience, not an irritating one.

BR
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Service was excellent through they had a computer glitch finding our reservation. Food was well prepared we had the tuna and the scallops entree . Scallops just slightly over salted but overall very good.

OB
1 review
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

Unfortunately, meat for both of our meals was over cooked and was not prepared as ordered. Very small portions when compared to our previous visit (6) months earlier and for a higher cost also.

TC
Houston
17 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Short ribs were tender and tasty, the mussels were fresh and floating in an amazing broth with crisp toasts to soak it up. Loved the fried oysters and wine list. Stacy and Lindsay were excellent hosts, we ended up eating at the bar. Would highly recommend this spot!

OT
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really enjoyed the food and experience. Crafted cocktails, high quality food and excellent service. When we go back to the OBX we are most definatley returning.

V
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The Lifesaving Station was a beautiful place to have dinner and enjoyed a lovely evening and stay at The Sandeling. The Host was very nice and accomodating and our Waitress Lindsey was a true professional! Thank you for a great evening and looking forward to another visit!

BH
Dallas
2 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It’s all good. Great food. Great staff. Beautiful surroundings. Menu options very good.

LC
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

This is my second time dining at the lifesaving station I enjoyed the food as much as I did on my first visit Service was a bit slow but it is off season on a holiday weekend so they may not have been expecting the higher volume I will definitely be going back next time I visit the outer banks

L
Charlotte
7 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Taylor was an awesome asset to a great meal. He was present, answered our questions, and made himself available without being annoying!! We will go back!

S
Washington DC
202 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First, thanks and appreciation to Taylor, our extraordinary server, who made an already fabulous dinner even more so. Fun, friendly, and knowledgeable, he was truly outstanding. The rack of lamb and the fried chicken were fabulous entrees. When the fruit tart was not as "chocolaty" as my wife had hoped, Taylor comped an additional dessert. We will request him next time. One question - why was the chocolate bomb dessert available only when ordering the Valentine's Day special menu? It was the end of the evening, we would up the last diners in the restaurant, and there were portions of the chocolate bomb remaining, but we were not permitted to order any (even happy to pay an upcharge). That was the evening's only disappointment.

M
Richmond
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 1ambience 3

Unfortunately we had a terrible experience on the 26th of December. We made reservations for 7:30 as we were arriving late. A table was saved for us, we were brought bread and water. We ordered appetizers and entrees. For the first 45 minutes after that, we had the one serving of bread and the one glass of water. After it became clear that there was going to be no idea when either would be coming out, we finally asked the waiter to just bring our appetizer and forget the entrees. He wasn't sure if he could do that. Finally, he did bring our appetizer. Mine was wilted Ceaser salad with wet croutons on top. My wife ordered clam chowder. It was barely warm and loaded with potatoes.
After the appetizers, it was clear that the entrees were, indeed, cancelled- thankfully. We were visited by the manager. She was very nice, apologized, and offered us a free dessert to take back to our room, and we declined. Though she was very nice and professional, she did say something about our waiter which, I don't believe, was part of the problem and not worth commenting on. She said that the waiter was having "personal issues." We didn't need to hear anything else about anything. We told her that we would try them again during our time at the Sanderling. But we decided not to.

DM
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Christmas dinner!

Report
SM
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent eating experience.. from walking in the door and being greeted by a very attentive employee, seated and drink order taken, was maybe 5 minutes. Meal was served hot and excellent taste. Server was very friendly and helpful. We can't wait to see you next year to help us with our Christmas dinner.

KC
1 review
Dined on December 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed a great dinner by the fireplace. Started by sharing the mussels and then had rockfish and duck. Both were tasty and came with terrific sides. We finished with the flourless chocolate torte.

M
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on December 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were celebrating 3 birthdays and the staff was very nice and we had a wonderful meal. Chef Andy came out to greet us and made some recommendations which were excellent! He brought us a wonderful complementary Tira Masu desert to share, Lovely restaurant, excellent food!

1
2
3
12

Tweets by The Lifesaving Station - Sanderling Resort