One of the best parts about the Outer Banks is that for the most part we still have a thriving “Mom & Pop” economy. Yes, we have a few chain stores like TJMaxx and Kmart, but you can get your tackle, surf gear, hardware needs, medication and more through locally owned or operated retail stores. The same can be said, and even more so, with our restaurant scene. There are a few chain restaurants in “French Fry Alley” in Kill Devil Hills, and many locals wouldn’t be mad if a Chic-Fil-A popped up, but for the most part we like our restaurants like we like our food: local.
From high-end favorites like Blue Moon, Blue Point and 1587 to hole in the wall local haunts and seafood markets, there is something for every palette. Recently I discovered a new favorite place that is right in the heart of French Fry alley that’s independently owned and had to share.
Ladle’s is housed in an old Arby’s building in Kill Devil Hills and might be easy to pass by but is well worth the visit. They served the freshest salads, sandwiches and soups (similar to Panera) but unlike Panera, everything is made in house daily. There is a standard menu of soups and salads available everyday with killer daily seasonal specials added: pumpkin sausage soup in fall, watermelon gazpacho in the summer. You can even do a combo with a cup of soup and half salad if you are undecided. For big eaters in your family, they offer an unlimited soup and salad meal where you can try all their menu items. The best part is that not only is the quality fantastic but the portions are large and the prices are very reasonable. Ladle’s is open year round: stop by for lunch, you will not be disappointed!
Local tip: Be sure to check out their frozen selection- they freeze their leftover soups at the end of the day and offer them for sale the next day. 3 quarts of soup for $12! One quart feeds my family of four with a side of bread and salad at home. Get there right at 11am for the best selection.