Great weather and a large, happy crowd made for the best Chowder Cook-off yet.

The 2017 Outer Banks Taste of the Beach is now history and all we can say is this may have been the best one yet. It was certainly helped along by some great weather, but the food that was available and the level of participation really made this a special time.

There were so many of the smaller events that we cannot possibly report on all of them, so rather than leave anyone out, we’ll just report on the three major events—the BBQ & Wings Cookoff, Chowder Cook-off and Grand Tasting.

 BBQ & Wings Cook-off

Serving up pulled pork at the BBQ & Wings Cook-off.

Great weather sure helped things along this year. With affair at the Nags Head Event Site, there was plenty of room to move around and with temperatures in the upper 60s or low 70s folks were taking advantage of early spring to sit outside and enjoy.

Jonny Waters & Company was back for a third year with his country and blues tunes, creating a wonderful backdrop to the day.

But it’s really all about the food and there was a lot of it. It’s dangerous to review likes and dislikes in something like this, because everyone’s taste is unique. 

However, the ribs from Simply Southern were absolutely fantastic. Since that was the Judge’s Choice and People’s Choice, it looks it’s unanimous. 

Chowder Cook-off

If the weather on Friday was wonderful the weather Saturday was spectacular, and that brought out the biggest crowd yet at the Chowder Cook-off at Southern Shores Crossing. The event sold out and it was packed…but in a good way.

The big winner this year was Stripers, but we’re going to go out on a limb and say we really enjoyed the smoked corn and clam chowder from Metropolis in Corolla. They did get second place in the People’s Choice award, so evidently we weren’t the only ones who felt that way.

Local band Aquarium had the perfect mix of songs for the day. Great harmonies, tight musically and wide selection of classic rock.

Grand Tasting & Bartenders Bubbly Bash

At the Ocean Boulevard booth at the Grand Tasting. NC shrimp on a spicy cornbread.

Wrapping everything up a Port O’ Call in Kill Devil Hills, the Grand Tasting says it all. 

This is the time when chefs pull out all of the stops and the creativity goes to a whole new level.

There was a wonderful seafood chowder from Cafe Lachine that was just a bit spicy, full and rich. The rockfish ceviche taco from Coastal Cravings was very nice…there were so many selections, trying to even write about all of them is near impossible.

The event also includes champagne cocktails. We were working so we didn’t get to try too many of those, but the reports were universally positive.

Music in two rooms with Natalie Wolfe playing acoustic guitar in one room and Soul One kicking out jams in the main bar.


Plan now to be on hand next year for the Outer Banks Taste of the Beach. It will be worth the trip.

The Winners
Chowder Cook-off

People's Choice: 

3rd Place – Cravings

2nd Place – Goombays

1st Place – Stripers

Judges Awards;

3rd Place – Dirty Dick's Crab House

2nd Place – Metropolis

1st Place – Stripers

BBQ & Wings Cookoff

Judges Award for Best Pork BBQ – Pamlico Jack's

Judges Award for Best Ribs – Simply Southern Kitchen

Judges Award for Best Wings – Cafe Lachine

People's Choice Award for Best BBQ – Frogman's BBQ

People's Choice Award for Best Ribs – Simply Southern Kitchen

People's Choice Award fir Best Wings – New York Pizza Pub