The Lifesaving Station - Sanderling Resort

4.1
529 Reviews
$30 and under
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.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
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
What 529 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on all time ratings
4.2
food
4.1
service
4.1
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
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Audrey
Baltimore
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Quality food and service. I was very impressed with the restaurants effort to make my vegetarian pasta vegan, and reading my reservation notes to decorate the dessert with a happy birthday message. Highly recommend this quiet spot that’s almost always open even during off-season.

LG
LeeG
Richmond
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our anniversary dinner. The food was amazing. We thoroughly enjoyed our dinners. I would highly recommend this restaurant.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2021
Overall1food1service3ambience2

Food was way overpriced and it was not prepared well. I ordered scallops and it was very salty and cold. My partner order southern fried chicken that was dry and over cooked. The food also took almost an hour and we didn’t even order starters or appetizers and there was only one table besides us in the restaurant. I don’t mind paying high price for food but the quality of their food is like diner food. Absolutely would not to recommend this place to anyone I know.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Great meal and outstanding service in a beautiful setting.

SW
StephenW
Baltimore
8 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and atmosphere

MN
MaureenN
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is one of the loveliest, most consistent restaurants on OBX. Food has always been excellent. But last night, especially, our service, start to finish, was warm, welcoming and made our evening!

M
vipMayoplan
New England
122 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Convenient and great location next to the Sanderling. This is the only notable restaurant connected to a hotel in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
The menu is local and regional, from Fried Chicken to Fresh Fish options.
The service was great and engaging.
The only hiccup is the wine list. I would expect the selections to be geographically diverse, unfortunately they love California too much and 80% of the options were from this one area, and many of them are mass produced options that can be on a menu at Applebees.
Other than that, it's a great option for those staying at the Sanderling. The breakfast was just as good the next morning with innovative dishes that includes local seafood and original regional grits

SZ
vipSusanZ
Philadelphia
17 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2021
Overall3food4service4ambience2

Food was good disappointment that we couldn’t sit on the ocean front

D
Duckleberry
Wilmington
2 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really love dining at Life Saving Station. Since we are local- we really miss the discount you used to give locals. Hopefully u will reinstate the discount- we’ll come more often!

JC
JCMLMF
Washington DC
49 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

We have had a meal at the Lifesaving Station at least once a year since it opened. This year it was a late lunch; the ability to make a reservation was crucial given the overwhelming crowds combined with restaurants being open limited days per week. The host was charming and personable; the wait staff was attentive and terrific. The food was better than ever. The only negative? The HORRIBLE music turned up so loud we couldn't hear the wait staff or each other. We asked for it to be turned down, but even that wasn't enough.

RF
RonF
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Table for 8 -- Well served and well fed. Had 2 small children that were also well taken care of. Excellent server.

B
vipBuffalove
New York Area
33 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Samantha, our server was so incredibly nice!!! She had so many tables to wait on but made sure we were taken care of!!!

Definitely order the chocolate bread pudding for dessert it was so good!!!

p
ppie
Orlando
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2021
Overall2food3service2ambience1

There were 4 of us. My dinner was very good (house salad with tuna & cup of chowder). The fried chicken was over breaded & dry, the Steak was mediocre & the tuna dinner had little taste which was served with blah risotto. Our waitress was OK, but not very friendly & I had to find her to get me another glass of wine. Oh yes, my chowder was very good but I had to send it back for heating which took longer than necessary. The ambience is stark upstairs with a limited menu. I would not return due to the cost vs the quality.

TC
TheresaC
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Lovely place with well prepared and presented food. The service was a bit lacking. Husband asked for a beer halfway through our meal and was done by the time he got it. We’ll pay for good food, but found this priced a bit high.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2021
Overall4food3service3ambience4

Wonderful setting for a Resturant. The food was of average quality and overpriced. The staff was friendly and responsive. This is a real diamond in the rough, a little polishing and it could be a great place.

SS
vipScottS
Pittsburgh
11 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The food was great. Service was amazing.

I
vipItalophile
New England
24 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Nice setting , welcoming host snd waitstaff. Nice outdoor setting.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great dinner date with the hubby during our vacation in Duck. The staff were friendly and attentive. Excellent Ny strip and Fillet mignon. Bright dining room with historical nautical decor.

DH
vipDennisH
New England
14 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place with amazing food! Try the scallops!

WG
WineGuy
Philadelphia
9 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience3

Nice place

Report
OT
OpenTable Diner
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic service and delicious food! Very accommodating to our 13 month old. Thank you!

P
vipPhil
Wilmington
39 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fun local restaurant at the Sanderling resort, fa orite breakfast spot for us

DS
vipDavidS
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on April 23, 2021
Overall3food4service2ambience3

The food was very good. Noise from the adjoining bar was a bit obnoxious. While the majority of our party received cocktails after about 15 minutes, they forgot mine and after two reminders, I received my drink with dinner. The bottle of wine that I ordered for dinner came well before any cocktails.

JD
JeanneD
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on April 22, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Good food you don’t have to drive if you’re a guest, service a little slow

o
vipoceanpark
Richmond
43 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience2

Disappointed in the seared tuna. Not sure it was even tuna. Requested medium rare and was done and no flavor or taste. Limited menu. requested flat iron steak. Later told they didn't have any that night. Should have been told when we were given the menus not after we ordered. Ordered mixed drinks and tonic was flat. Mentioned to bartender and his comment was oh, yes it is.
Understand they are under new management so hopefully they can improve before tourist season begins.

DM
DarylM
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2021
Overall3food5service5ambience5

Food and service was excellent. The manager who seated us embarrassed us because we were late. We were watching the sunset from our room 50 feet away. He sat another couple before us who were early and said he gave away our table in a half empty restaurant, and never acknowledged us again, not even for water. Heard they let everyone go earlier in the week.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2021
Overall3food4service3ambience3

Lamb Loin pretty good

OT
OpenTable Diner
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful!!!

Report
OT
OpenTable Diner
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on March 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was great and had a wonderful server!

BM
BobbiM
Richmond
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great dinner followed the next day with an outstanding breakfast. Service was spot on as well. I’ll be back.

JO
vipJOEMAV
Raleigh
27 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent server. Very good coffee. Large quantities.

S
Susan
Wilmington
2 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and the service was outstanding. One of our go to favorite places while we are in the Outer Banks.

KT
KTJ1
Raleigh
6 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything and everyone at The Life Saving Station was excellent. We appreciated their COVID precautions. Food was fabulous, as was the entire crew. Special shout out to our server Courtney, who was delightful, knowledgeable, professional, and very hard working. Thank you to the entire LSS crew.

M
vipMannomom
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Always love to come here. Cozy, great food, good service, historic building, open year round, local friendly.

LH
LawrenceH
New England
34 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience4

We love the Life Saving Station, we eat there at least once everytime we are at our home in Corolla. The food is excellent, great mixed drinks and wine list.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Phoenix
3 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Slow night, but everything was Excellent.

AB
AlanB
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2021
Overall4food5service2ambience4

We have visited the Sanderling Lifesaving Station many times. The food is always excellent and that was the case this time, as well. The service, though, left something to be desired. Our waitress was slow to initially arrive and then forgot to bring the beer one of our party had ordered until his meal arrived and he brought it to her attention. Once the meal arrived, we were never offered refills on our iced teas. Probably just a "one off" but our experience could have been much better.

s
sherriej
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2021
Overall2food4service2ambience3

It was valentine's day but it wasn't that crowded. We were at sat and brought our drinks and had our order taken and that's the last we saw of our waitress for 25 minutes. Tables around us were served appetizer, main, and dessert before our bread came out. When our food was delivered it was wrong, I didn't like the drink I ordered and the Mgr removed it from the bill so that was nice. The "apology" from our waitress was " i apologize for the problems but that's how things go on busy holidays " umm, no. I did not like the fixed Valentine menu but can understand the need. The regular menu looked good bit I don't think I'll be back to try it.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Kansas City
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2021
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Potatoes under cooked and the asparagus was over cooked - salmon, surf and turf was done very well.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Wilmington
6 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Romantic Valentines dinner

FAQs

The Lifesaving Station - Sanderling Resort offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (252) 449-6654.

The Lifesaving Station - Sanderling Resort is rated 4.1 stars by 529 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.

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