Authentic Cuisine in Elizabeth City, NC

Authentic Cuisine in Elizabeth City, NC

Find out where some of the best places are to sample a variety of flavors

By Jessica Walker Boehm on Mon, 03/20/2017 - 16:37

Elizabeth City may be small, but its cuisine scene is mighty. The community lays claim to several can’t-miss restaurants that feature authentic flavors from around the world that perfectly complement the area’s diverse population.

Not sure where to begin? No problem. Here’s a sampling of Elizabeth City’s most delicious (and diverse) dining spots:

Japanese Food

Locally owned Toyama Japanese Restaurant is a favorite destination for those seeking traditional Japanese dishes and fresh sushi. Popular menu items include chicken yakisoba – a Japanese noodle stir-fry dish – and the seaweed salad, as well as the super spider roll, which includes fried soft-shell crab.

In addition, many reviewers rave about the family-friendly restaurant’s top-notch customer service, and several say the food selection, presentation and quality is similar to what is typically only found in much larger cities. Located in downtown Elizabeth City, Toyama Japanese Restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner.

Mexican Restaurants

Serving up authentic Mexican cuisine for lunch and dinner daily, Plaza Azteca offers an extensive menu with such favorite dishes as the quesadilla ranchera, enchiladas chipotle and the plaza del mar that includes grilled tilapia, scallops and shrimp. Locals recommend ordering guacamole – it’s made fresh tableside – and many say Friday night is the best time to visit the restaurant as there’s live acoustic music followed by karaoke.

Another favorite spot for Mexican eats in Elizabeth City is La Tiendita, which offers $.99 tacos every Tuesday and fresh tamales on Sundays. The lunch and dinner destination's menu also includes staples such as carne asada, burritos, fajitas and Mexican sandwiches. Diners also can enjoy $.99 lime margaritas and karaoke on Thursday nights, and local bands often take the stage on Saturdays at 10 p.m.

Caribbean Cuisine

Craving quality Caribbean food? Check out Island Breeze Grill, a downtown Elizabeth City restaurant serving lunch and dinner Monday through Friday and Sundays. The menu features such selections as jerk chicken, red snapper, curried goat and “rasta pasta,” a dish that includes jerk chicken breast strips, angel hair pasta, green onions and sweet fried plantains. Diners can pair their entrees with one of the many available side dishes – all of which are meat-free and made from all-natural ingredients – such as sweet potato fries, candied yams and sweet corn.

Island Breeze Grill also offers a buffet each Sunday, ideal for those looking to taste a little of everything, and regularly hosts theme nights, such as open mic night and trivia night.


Jessica Walker Boehm is a journalism graduate of Belmont University and has been a regular contributor to since 2010. From shopping and dining to parks, schools and health care, sh...

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