Austin Seafood Company in Nags Head.

Sure the fishing is great on the Outer Banks, but not everyone is a fisherman and not every fisherman manages to bring home the catch of the day for the family. And honestly?—blue fish is an acquired taste . . . that not everyone acquires.

The Outer Banks, though, is a fisherman’s paradise, even if grey trout is sitting in that favorite hole just off the beach. And even if the fish aren’t biting in the surf, local commercial fisherman can always be counted on to bring in the bounty of the sea.

To help with the “it just got away” fisherman and the “I’d rather just go somewhere and buy it” crowd, here are five locally owned places to buy local seafood from local families.

Whalebone Seafood Market

101 E Gray Eagle St., Nags Head

Phone:(252) 441-8808

Whalebone is actually on the Bypass just before Whalebone Junction. Owned by the Daniels family—one of the original fishing families, it’s always neat and clean and the seafood fresh.

Austin SeafoodCompany

711 S Croatan Hwy, Nags Head

(252) 441-7412

Austin’s might be the oldest seafood market on the Outer Banks. Jimmy Austin opened his doors back in the early 1960s. Jimmy passed away in 2010, but his family has kept the tradition going. Huge selection.

Carawan Seafood 

5424 N Croatan Hwy, Kitty Hawk

(252) 261-2120

About as family owned as it gets, Carawan always has a good selection on hand. Knowledgeable staff, too. During spring and summer, there is a small but nice selection of local produce on hand. 

Dockside N' Duck

1216 Duck Rd, Duck

(252) 261-8687

Owned by the same family that manages the produce stand out front, Dockside n’ Duck is the best stocked seafood store around. The family has a couple of commercial fishermen supplying the story, so some of the catch of the day really is the catch of the day.

Dockside North Seafood Market

819 Ocean Trail, Monterey Plaza, Corolla

(252) 453-8112

Great service and great selection. Established in 1987, Dockside North was one of the first businesses to open in Corolla.