If you don’t go to a one room walk up fish joint, do you even go to the beach? John’s Drive-In was just about a half a mile down Beach Road (clever) from our house in Outer Banks. It’s safe to say that this was one of the top meals of the week. This little shack by the ocean boasts all made to order dishes so you can happily customize any of their delicious options.
Their menu features baskets and boats with different seafood options like dolphin (not actually dolphin), crab cakes, popcorn, shrimp, and more. You can also stick to the classic burgers and hot dogs if you’ve had enough seafood during your beach vacation. And of course they have soft serve ice cream treats because it wouldn’t be a shack on the beach without a little frozen treat to sell.
I opted for the John’s Crab Cake sandwich and it was marvelous. Crispy, fresh, flavorful and on a nice smooshy bun. Plus, they give you a hefty side of tartar or cocktail sauce on the side and I’m all about condiments so this is basically my dream come true.
Hello, little onion ring. Fancy meeting you here. If you want another side option besides onion rings, don’t worry, they have plenty of options. You can get french fries (with cheese), fried okra, or hush puppies. I’m kind of kicking myself right now for not getting hush puppies because they are probably amazing.
See, I wasn’t lying about that side of tartar sauce. So delicious. The prices for this little shack are pretty great too. Sometimes “beach food” is so overpriced and blah. John’s Drive In is super affordable and worth every penny. My sandwich was $5.50 which is about the average across the board for sandwiches. If you want a small burger, it’s only $2.50!
The Beard opted for the famous “dolphin pieces boat” which are also quite amazing. They come with coleslaw or fries or you can sub for some nacho cheesey fries for $0.50. Obviously, we would go with that choice. The dolphin pieces are the only menu option that is “market price” and if I remember correctly, they were still under $10 for the whole basket. Do yourself a favor and make a visit to Kitty Hawk to try out John’s Drive In.