Top Dog Café began in 1995 as a quaint “little place” to get a burger or hot dog. We were two “corporate refugees” searching for a way to live and work “at the beach” when we initially built the café from the ground up because we wanted to have our own place without any controlling landlord involved. Then, as the area developed more and more, we added to the restaurant twice in order to better accommodate the larger and larger, visiting families. Our menu also expanded to include seafood, salads, wraps and dinner entrees with an “island twist” to satisfy the diversified tastes of our discerning customers.

We had envisioned the café as a casual, rustic, " Keys - style " environment where our customers could at least briefly escape the every day “rat race” to relax and enjoy the mystical ambience of Hatteras Island as they dined on great food on our screened porch. The eclectic décor is a collection of memorabilia reflecting the character of the Island plus us and our staff and some of the interesting places we’ve visited. Photos abound of customers, friends and family in their world travels in our Top Dog T-shirts; “’Sunami” and “Cyclone” burger “survivors” with their trophies and medals after polishing off the 1 ½ pound and 2 pound burgers; the local house and pier used for the production of the movie “Nights in Rodanthe” starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane; Joe’s favorite New York “Giants” and local wildlife and pets.

The upstairs of the café, a favorite of many, reminds one of the galley of an old pirate ship with it’s weathered, wooden interior; nautical souvenirs and high ceiling sporting a crow’s nest complete with a pirate and Jolly Roger flag.

Other restaurants in the area have come and gone or changed owners over the last 16 years but Top Dog Café has remained steadfast as the one on which you could rely for consistently great food and service. We hope you’ll join us for a great experience and take home some wonderful memories.

Joe & Pat