The Lifesaving Station - Sanderling Resort

4.3
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484 Reviews
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$30 and under
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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 484 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Quiet
78% of people would recommend it to a friend
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P
vipPmen
Richmond
45 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very enjoyable dinner. Food was well prepared and came to us at the proper temperature. Very pleasantly surprised. Plenty of flavor and selection. Wine menu could use a few more selections.

DF
DavidF
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food, service and atmosphere were all excellent. Without exception the food was matched with equally outstanding service.

TB
vipTheBucks
Philadelphia
44 reviews
Dined on February 18, 2020
Overall3food3service5ambience3

Off season on the Outer Banks is tricky... we were alone in the dining room. Bar very busy and loud as expected. Entrees were pricier than expected but service good. I would try this place in a busier time to compare, wasn’t to our liking in off season. Husband felt food and all were great... to me just a bit off.

BB
BBdiner
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Good food. Service was slow, but congenial.

MJ
MJB81
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Valentines Dinner. Fixed price menu. Chateaubriand with lobster for two was our selection. Entree was cool; lobster was sparse and no taste.

Other than the above, overall great time.

SD
StevenD
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and atmosphere were excellent. Our waitress, Sarah, was outstanding.

w
williama
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

There are no words to describe the experience that my wife and I had at The Lifesaving Station. Everything was outstanding. Service was outstanding and the food. Well what can we say. Outstanding. We thank you for that and look forward to coming back.
Bill and Jayne Abrams

MK
MaryK
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We come here every year in the winter. the food is great, as is the service. they are very accommodating.

JB
JohnB
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall1food1service5ambience4

Dine at LSS several times a year. Without a doubt, the worst meal I ever had. The quality of lamb was so poor I could not eat it. I wanted nothing to do with the accompanying itemscandvorderbseparately.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Richmond
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome food and service.

BD
vipBarbaraD
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great time was had by all. Food was great.

SW
SusanW
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience4

The bartender was lovely and she made me a few wonderful drinks that were quite memorable. Love the staff at the Sanderling!

DB
DianneB
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very good 4 course meal in an attractive dining facility. It had great atmosphere and presence. Service was outstanding. It was well worth it and highly recommended.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Food was good. Service was also good considering they were short staffed from a last minute sickness from our understanding. There was a nice selection from the Christmas menu. We were glad the restaurant was open.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Richmond
4 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Food was good but not great. Felt a little rushed, could have had more time in between courses.

SM
vipSteveM
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food

AN
ANTHONYB
1 review
Dined on December 12, 2019
Overall1food1service4ambience3

For a restaurant that sells itself as upscale the main dish was below what you would expect at a low level diner. The eggplant rolontino was awful. Over breaded greasy coating with slab of unmelted cheese and a side order of left over spaghetti. They thought if portion was big would be OK. Not. The crab/corn chowder was excellent though

DB
vipDrBeanes
Baltimore
11 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

A really very delicious Thanksgiving menu and good wine pairings! We were seated right away and had a beautiful view of the sunset over the sound. Comfortable setting with interesting historic background of the building once serving as a life-saving station. Despite hectic demands of the Thanksgiving dinner crowd, service was attentive and friendly. I had the crab-dip appetizer, turkey entree, and flourless chocolate cake. Generous portions. Look forward to trying this restaurant's regular menu.

j
jonl9
Greensboro
4 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really exceptional food, equally good and caring service personnel.

c
cookie
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The entire staff was very friendly and attentive. The Thanksgiving menu was well planned and executed. The mushroom bisque was delicious, and the addition of pine nuts was inspiring. Since the portions were so generous we enjoyed the leftovers for lunch the next day.

j
jonl9
Greensboro
4 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Superb staff, friendly, supportive, responsive. Superb food, each meal was wonderful. The room is clean,, the bed comfortable. we did have to to ask for more toilet paper. We intend to come back.

The one issue was the acoustic liveliness in the dining room, a couple of loud people or groups and the noise fills the room, difficult for me as I've a hearing issue.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent fine dining! Staff are very friendly and responsive.

TM
ThomasM
1 review
Dined on November 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful atmosphere. Wonderful presentation of food. Exceptional menu selection. Restaurant is part of the Sanderling Inn Resort in Duck, North Carolina. While menu items may seem pricey to some it is well worth it. Would definitely go again if staying at the Resort.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Richmond
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

October 20 & 21, 2019, we enjoyed delicious meals at the Lifesaving Station. We have stayed at the Sanderling Resort and eaten at the Life Saving Station for 12 years or more. This resort continues to draw us back to this special restful resort. It is our HAPPY PLACE!

p
vippolee
Richmond
30 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall3food2service3ambience3

The $22 lobster roll was dreadful. Over cooked, rubbery and tasteless. The Cuban sandwich is not really a Cuban. No pickle on the sandwich, no moisture on the bread, very much inedible. The Sanderling is a lovely resort but this restaurant is always consistently bad and it is the only one open on site after this weekend! If Sanderling wants off season lodgers, they have got to up their off season restaurant game.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Raleigh
11 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Nice place, very nice service and the deck outside is a nice spot.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Western NC
3 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall3food2service5ambience5

We have eaten here a number of times and this visit did not live up to what we expected. We had guests with us who had never been to the Outer Banks and this meal was a disappointment.

P
vipPeanut
Charlotte
10 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience2

...but it would be qualified. Dined at TLS at Sanderling a few times in the past and was looking forward to it again. First, let me say the food was very good and our server was very nice. I say 'nice' but lacked training by management; their fault, not hers. I'm not a wine snob but I do appreciate wine served properly. I expect to be shown the bottle and given a taste to give approval. Our server made use of an empty table to open and fill all 4 glasses away from the table. On the second bottle, the same. I discreetly commented that I would like to taste ahead of time. On our 3rd bottle, she still used the open table. My other source of disappointment was the bright overhead lighting that made it feel more like a cafeteria than a nice restaurant with some ambience. Finally, I know it is a resort so one has to put up with 'resort mentality' but really people, must you wear a ball cap inside during your meal?

AI
AlexInRaleigh
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall3food5service2ambience4

Good place in terms of food but the service is not as good as the price would demand. We ordered appetizers and they were served together with the meal so we sent them back. This is a mistake I certainly would not have expected here. The general Manager service follow up during the meal was also weak. I would have expected a more genuine inquiry at a place this level. The food however was great and the servings were generous.

PN
PaulN
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a great dinner. Service, food and restaurant very nice.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Raleigh
5 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The lamb was amazing!!

AC
AngieC
Charleston
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We’ve waited 3 long years to return...best food in the area! It’s amazing!!

BH
vipBernardH
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Food was excellent and Vanessa, the hostess, was outstanding! We watched handle a group of grouchy customers graciously with a smile on her face the whole time.

LS
vipLizS
New York Area
56 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Long hour wait for our food, but the gracious manager helped make up for it with complementary glasses of wine for the four of us. Two of had the scallops/shrimp/gnocchi special. It was fair. One had filet mignonette, also fair. The fourth had filet of sole, very thin and only fair. There were no desserts that interested any of us.

F
vipFoodie
Washington DC
21 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We ate several meals here, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The food was delicious, the portions big, and the service prompt and nice.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

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

LK
vipLisaK
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
MikeG
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

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
vipRobert6
Savannah
12 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

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
StephenP
Richmond
13 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

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.

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The Lifesaving Station - Sanderling Resort is rated 4.3 stars by 484 OpenTable diners.

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