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Party Size
For 2
7:00 PM
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Booked 1 time today

The Lifesaving Station - Sanderling Resort

356 reviews
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$30 and under
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Top Tags:
  • Romantic (6)
  • Local Ingredients (5)
  • Good for Anniversaries (5)
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.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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American, Contemporary Southern, Comfort Food
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Hours of operation
Breakfast Daily: 7:00am - 11:30am; Lunch Monday-Saturday: 12:00pm - 3:00pm; Dinner Off Season 5:00pm - 9:00pm, In Season 5:00-10:00pm
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Phone number
(252) 449-6654
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Executive Sous- John Botkin
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Banquet, Bar Dining, Beer, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Wine
What 356 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3  based on recent ratings
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
  • 5
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OpenTable Diner (Mexico City)
5.0  Dined 5 days ago

Wonderful atmosphere. Decor is beautiful and the food and service were exceptional!

OpenTable Diner (New York Area)
4.0  Dined on February 14, 2018

We celebrated Valentine's Day at The Lifesaving Station - great pre-fix menu with multiple options for the five courses. Lovely fireplace burning adding to the atmosphere.

MJB81 (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined on February 10, 2018

We enjoyed a delicious, over-abundance Valentine’s 5-course meal, with signature cocktail. First and second courses were unique, delicious; but way too much. These would have been perfect shared, considering there was more to come. Meats were cooked as requested. Couscous could have been warmer. Fingerlings potatoes were great, as well as was the Baked Alaska and Signature cocktail. Service was excellent.
Great special evening.

OpenTable Diner (Baltimore)
4.0  Dined on January 14, 2018

We dined here for the first time and we're very impressed with the food quality, presentation and portions. Two of our party ordered the Rockfish and risotto which is pictured here and was delicious! We ordered a bottle of wine and it was served perfectly. We're excited to have such a fabulous restaurant opened through the off-season so close to our home and we'll be back again!

JasonB (Baltimore)
4.0  Dined on December 30, 2017

Every year when we are in Corolla/Duck, this is our go-to spot. I was a little worried as I saw some poor reviews that were recent, but we still made the reservation. We are glad we did, and we actually ordered an extra helping of the fried oysters. The Chicken and waffles were good, as was the rockfish, which had some really good risotto with it. The short ribs fell right off the bone, and the side of fries and grits were good too. all in all, a very good night at one of our favorites in the OBX.

Out4thenite (Richmond)
3.0  Dined on December 29, 2017

First time to Obx. Tried this restaurant. We found Better options not thru open table. Rice hard/chewy. My party sent back the chicken and waffles. Batter on chicken not crisp- and lacked flavor. Waffle kinda small- no flavor.

Guy at the front counter- chill out !! No need to :scream at people your”booked”, fuss at the wait staff about tables, try to be a bit more warm and friendly- this the south!!!

ServersDayOut (Washington DC)
1.0  Dined on December 25, 2017

We went for Christmas Dinner. It was our first time there and we were looking forward to a great meal - $60/four course holiday menu. The price was certainly reasonable, if the quality of the food and service had been up to par. Unfortunately, it was not. As a restaurant manager, the only thing that I can think is that they are not typically a fine dining establishment. The first clue was when the server asked us to please keep our used silverware after every course, instead of bringing us fresh utensils. The first two courses were fine, no complaints. (We did have to ask for the bread for our table - bread plates and butter knives were out when we were seated -
but that happens.) However, for the entree, I ordered the steak with foie gras. When it came out, my plate had the steak, asparagus, and scalloped potatoes. I noticed that it did not have the foie gras. I asked the server about it and she said "it does look like your plate is not complete" and told me to "hold on" while she checked. After several minutes, the server returned with a bowl of mashed potatoes with a sliver of foie gras. I am NOT exaggerating when I say it was smaller than a dime (if the picture is with the review, the small brown dot on the mashed potatoes is the foie gras). I would have been embarrassed to take that to a table, which may be why they put it on the potatoes, rather than sending it on a plate by itself. And why else send out more potatoes when I already had potatoes? My mother's pasta dish was lukewarm at best (her personal pet peeve is when food is not served hot enough). As for the desserts (choice of three, we had one of each), they were inedible. Apple dumpling had a whole way undercooked apple in it, the cheesecake was flavorless, and the compote that came with the cake was sour and a very strange consistency. The meal was so disappointing that it became a joke - we had a fabulous time laughing at it.

OpenTable Diner (Pittsburgh)
5.0  Dined on December 25, 2017

Absolutely great food and service. Loved the Christmas menu.

OpenTable Diner (Las Vegas)
5.0  Dined on December 25, 2017

Christmas Dinner for 6. Absolutely wonderful service and food. Bravo to the chef on the menu!

OpenTable Diner (New York Area)
5.0  Dined on December 5, 2017

Have been to Sanderling many times. Have come to take great food and service for granted. Consistent good food and service is a hallmark for this restaurant

Genieinsuffolk (Richmond)
4.0  Dined on November 29, 2017

Three of us had dinner there. The service was good, and two out of three entrees were very good. The shrimp and grits was weird: a lot of honey (!) and not much spice. The grits were good and the shrimp was, too, but overall it was not pleasant because it was so sweet.

Moe9 (Charleston)
4.0  Dined on November 25, 2017


LiliC (Raleigh)
3.0  Dined on November 25, 2017

We think the night crew for dinner is excellent. Chris, the manager is wonderful. The menu could be a little bit bigger but it was good overall. The morning crew for breakfast was not a good experience. We waited an hour for our breakfast and we had a 3 yr old with us. We decided to leave and get breakfast at another place. People that came after us were served before us and we were only 4. They seemed under staffed in the morning and disorganized. The following day we ordered our breakfast to the room to avoid the same experience from the day before. When we left there was no apology for the wait and for having to leave.

corgigirl (Washington DC)
3.0  Dined on October 2, 2017

We have enjoyed dining here the past several years when on vacation. This year however they weren’t seating in the upper level and the service was subpar for the prices paid; our waitress did not seem very knowledgable nor accommodating. The scallop entree was very tasty. Disappointing.

OpenTable Diner (Cleveland)
5.0  Dined on September 29, 2017

We have eaten breakfast and dinner here. Delicious food and an ample amount.