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Yummy Crystal Coast Breakfast Venues

Thanks to the Crystal Coast Tourism Office and MMGY NJF Public Relations firm for sponsoring my visits to 4 Corners Diner and The Banks Grill! All thoughts are my own.

The Crystal Coast is home to some of NC's best beaches, offering sun, sand, and surf to its residents and visitors. While many started out as small coastal seaside communities, Atlantic Beach actually was intended to be a resort community. 

Undeveloped and wild, most coastal communities and their beaches were actually hard to access. The development of roads, motorcars, and bathhouses made Atlantic Beach become a popular spot for vacationers looking to escape the hustle of the city and enter a more relaxing atmosphere the coastal air and sun offered.

Today, Atlantic Beach is home to 2.7 miles of land and water that is accessible via the Atlantic Beach Causeway, off of Morehead City. Rt. 58 makes it possible to travel all the way down the Crystal Coast, easily accessing Pine Knoll Shores, the small community of Salter Path, and ending up on Emerald Isle just before hitting the mainland around Swansboro. 

These communities host parks, major beach access points, and of course, piers for fishing and walking! No matter if you are planning to fish, spend the day walking along the beach, or just want a quick bite to eat, head over to Atlantic Beach's Oceanana Pier and Pierhouse. 

The Pier offers fishing, for a small fee, and beach access as well. A motel owned by the same family also is on site, allowing guests the opportunity to fish and utilize the beach for surf and sun as well. 

I was told that one of the best breakfast places is at the Oceanana Pier House, but alas, their winter hours went into effect the Wednesday I was visiting (unbeknownst to me) and so I missed that opportunity. I always encourage you to check out Facebook AND Google before heading out to a destination in the off season, as their hours can randomly change based on employee reliability and patronage.

Unfortunately, I did check it out and still didn't realize hours changed until my arrival. The Pierhouse offers free parking for its patrons, which is always a plus during high season, although I am told it can get quite filled in those warm summer months. 

After talking with the pier attendant for a bit about options (all of his recommendations were back on the mainland, and I wasn't traveling back that way), I walked out onto the pier for some beautiful morning views and to spot the fishers throwing their rods out hoping to catch anything. 

I decided to head out to find another breakfast location, as I was becoming hungry and didn't want to venture back to the mainland. A couple of options popped up on Google that seemed open in this off season time, so I took my chances and went to the next diner down the road. 

Located at the causeway light intersection, Four Corners is a family-friendly diner that has existed for many years and changed hands a couple of times. They claim that they are the oldest restaurant location on Atlantic Beach. 

When I entered the building, I was met by an ole fashioned diner, complete with bar stools that were taken up by local fishers. Other patrons, most of the retired age, dined in various places across the diner, as there was a front side and back side section off the front diner bar. Upon going to the restroom, the building was actually larger than I thought it was, and it can seat quite a few families! 

I think my arrival time was now pushing 10:00 AM, so I wasted no business in ordering coffee and my meal, as my stomach was started to rumble. The staff were quick, attentive, and hustled their rears off to meet the needs of their customers. 

I could tell that they cared about their tables, their work, and loved talking with the locals. Their menu breakfast selections are typical, ranging from pancakes to eggs & bacon, but there were specials boards up throughout the restaurant that sounded appealing as well. 

I decided I couldn't go wrong with a typical egg, sausage, and home fries breakfast. It did not disappoint. Breakfasts that come from diners like this usually are great, because it's what they do day in and out, and usually do it well. The eggs and sausage were cooked well, and I loved the crispness of the home fries. The coffee was drinkable and strong enough for my liking, In typical diner fashion, prepacked creamers and jams were in bowls on the tables for easy access. 

I would definitely recommend heading to 4 Corners if you want a good fast breakfast! Granted, I can't say how fast they would be at prime breakfast hour in high summer season, but for that fall Wednesday, it was perfect timing! 

My second breakfast recommendation is in Morehead City. Thursday Morning, before heading out to Harkers Island to catch the ferry, I dragged my sleepy self out of bed and over the bridge to get into Morehead City. 

While The Banks Grill sits off in the corner of a sleep shopping center, it is home to a varied menu that locals and visitors alike love! When I asked the server what they were known for, she responded that their grits are pretty famous. I've seen talk about their cinnamon rolls and biscuits as well. 

My stomach isn't exactly "starving" super early in the morning, but I knew I needed to eat pretty heartily since I was adventuring to Cape Lookout. After browsing the menu selection choices ranging from typical breakfast plates to sweets (they had beignets that I knew would send me on a sugar high), I decided that a breakfast sandwich was the way to go.

My breakfast sandwich boosted a huge XXL biscuit, fried chicken, and two eggs (scrambled, for me). I usually dissect my breakfast biscuits and sandwiches, rather than eat them whole, and this time was no different. 

Starting with the crispy fried chicken, then moving onto the eggs, and finally after requesting jam, the biscuit was consumed. The biscuit isn't your typically fluffy style biscuit. It was grilled and flatter, but still just as delicious! 

The homemade Island Jam made it even better. The Island Jam was made of mango, strawberries, and oranges! Two little oranges accompanied the plate. Other sides were available if I desired, but I decided my stomach wasn't that hungry. The coffee that day, which I forgot to get a photo of, was a New Orleans blend. It seems that they have seasonal specials on Mimosas, food, and coffee!

I loved the atmosphere, and it was obvious that this is a staple breakfast joint in Morehouse. From healthcare workers to retired folks enjoying their cup of Joe, to a family outing, this is exactly the place to visit on your next trip to the Crystal Coast. 

I know many of us don't often eat breakfast out, especially with kiddos, because they may or may not eat what is ordered, but I would highly recommend checking out the Banks Grill! It should be a staple visit when you travel to or from the Crystal Coast.. and if breakfast isn't your thing, then they are open for lunch until 2:00 PM! 

There are many other breakfast places that the Crystal Coast features that I didn't get to visit. While at the Aquarium, the tour guide told me that Atlantic Beach Coffee not only boasts great coffee but also gooey cinnamon rolls that people love, so one day I'd love to check that out! 

Since I did visit these diners, the 4 Corners CafĂ© and The Banks Grill are two of my recommendations for your family's visit! 

I would go back to both of them for breakfast again as the service was attentive, the food was yummy, and the locations were ideal. 

4 Corners is a little bit difficult to navigate out of, as there is a new traffic pattern right at that intersection, but it wasn't too bad compared to Wilmington roadwork.  The Banks Grill is easily accessible. Both have lots of parking available! 

Want to grab Breakfast at these venues?

The Oceanana Pier and Pier House is located at 700 East Fort Macon Road in Atlantic Beach, NC. 

Follow The Oceanana on Instagram and Facebook


The 4 Corners Diner is located at 100 East Fort Macon Road in Atlantic Beach, NC

Follow 4 Corners Diner on Facebook 

The Banks Grill is located at 2900 Arendell Street, Ste 3, Morehead City, NC. 

Follow the Banks Grill on Facebook and Instagram

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