Category Archives: Surf City NC Restaurants

My Topsail Island Date Night Secret

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By Donna Byrd

Alright, all of you moms and dads, aunts, uncles, and grandparents who are vacationing on Topsail Island! You’ve probably spent the last few days doing everything in your power to ensure that your children are having a blast at the beach. Believe me, I’m certain the little darlings are building up enough beach memories to last a lifetime!

But now it’s your turn! You have a baby sitter in place so you and your honey can have a date night. It’s time to kick back and have a quiet dinner where you can actually hear the background music, have a wonderful glass of wine, look deeply into one another’s eyes and….OK…You get the drift. But the question you ask is: “Where can we go? What can we do?”IMG_2756 (Large)
Well, at the risk of the entire population of adults on the island showing up on my date night at my favorite places, I’m willing to share my most guarded secret with you. I’m sure others have figured out this fun combination of places to go, but because you don’t live here and don’t know, AND because I”m a fun-loving and unselfish person, I’ll tell you. I want everyone to experience this fun, romantic evening.
To begin with, this evening outing is in Topsail Beach, on the south end of the island. If you’re staying in North Topsail, it may take you twenty -five minutes to get there, if you’re staying in Surf City, fifteen minutes. IMG_2928 (Large)Your first stop will be Quarter Moon Book and Gifts. It’s actually, next to The Gift Basket, which is on the corner.
Now, you may be wondering, “What’s romantic about a bookstore or gift shop? Do you expect us to read sonnets and love poems to each other? What’s dreamy about a gift shop?” Well, that delightful shop turns into more than books and gifts at night. It has a wine and coffee bar, not to mention a cozy and comfy couch and chair grouping at the back of the shop.IMG_2777 (Large)
I don’t know about you guys, but surrounding myself with my favorite things: books, wine and coffee in a smart atmosphere is like slipping into something “a little more comfortable.” Even better, if the weather’s nice, you can sit on the front patio, a sunny, happy place by day, but an intimate, romantic place by moonlight. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, there is live music from 8:00 – 11:00. Who’s ready to go?
Bill and I went to the Quarter Moon Wine Bar around 6:00 p.m. last Thursday night. It was our 37th Wedding Anniversary! We ordered a chilled bottle of white wine and because it was still so warm outside, opted to sit on the soft, green velvet couch deep inside the shop and sipped away as we dreamed and talked of our future. The shop was pretty quiet that time of day and for some reason, we dreamed in whispers and imagined ourselves living out our dreams.IMG_2913 (Large)
Now here is the second part of our fabulous date night combination! Before Bill ordered our wine at Quarter Moon, he slipped over across the street, to the Beach Shop and Grill, a wonderful restaurant that serves a marvelous breakfast and lunch but at night turns into a sophisticated dining room!  He gave our name to the hostess and she gave him one of those restaurant beepers that light up and buzz when it’s your turn to be seated. He had it in his hand as we sipped our wine at at Quarter Moon and after a while (I’m not sure how long because we were having such a wonderful time at the lovely wine bar, ) our buzzer summoned us for our romantic dinner.
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We held hands as we crossed over the street to The Beach Shop and Grill.  It’s in a beautifully old established building with a beach shop on one side and the restaurant on the other. The inside walls are pine paneled and give you the old fashioned “cottagey” feeling the moment you walk into it’s doors. But don’t let that fool you! It’s feels as sophisticated as an “old school” country club that specializes in seafood and steaks. We were seated and given menus. They had excellent Rose’ wines for $25.00 a bottle.
There was no way we could turn down that deal and they brought us out an ice bucket and chilled our wine down a bit. We ordered different entrees on the menu so that we could share a bit if we wanted to. Bill ordered pasta with seafood, a concoction of mussels, clams, shrimp and the star of the dish, a lovely piece of  tuna covered in a herbed, light tomato sauce. It was beautiful and so delicious. I ordered the Delmonico steak with blue cheese crumbles and herbed butter.  It was served with sweet potato fries and braised brussel sprouts. IMG_2857 (Large)IMG_2860 (Large)
I’ve had this dish three times at the Beach Shop and Grill and it is my favorite! Usually, we stay away from deserts, but it was our anniversary! We splurged and got the Krispy Kreme bread pudding drenched in a wonderful sauce.IMG_2894 (Large) As usual, the meal was excellent and  made our anniversary even more special!
After our leisurely dinner, we paid our bill and decided that since the night was so beautiful and considerably cooler, we’d sit out on their patio for a while. We met some great folks from Pennsylvania and chatted with them for a while. They were vacationing but while on the island, were looking for a vacation home to buy! IMG_2917 (Large)That was convenient for them and us since Bill works for Treasure Realty. Maybe he could help them find the perfect home!
After our new friends were called to dinner, we were in no hurry, so we meandered back over to the Quarter Moon Book and Gift Shop. By then, there was a guy singing with his guitar out on the patio, entertaining everyone. We sat out under the moon at Quarter Moon. It was quite the romantic evening.
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Now, I’ve shared with you my “go to” date night secret. I let the cat out of the bag and now I’m sure all of folks will now be
heading down to Topsail Beach for the perfect romantic dinner. I would if I were you. Yes…get that baby sitter and make your plans now! It’s time for you adults to make some memories of your own!

The Quarter Moon Books and Gift Store is located at:

708 South Anderson Blvd., Topsail Beach, NC     910-328-4969

The Beach Shop and Grill is located at:
701 South Anderson Blvd., Topsail Beach NC      910-328-6501
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Surf City’s Fancy Sushi Asian Fusion: “Cooking” Seafood the Old Fashioned Way…not!

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by Donna Byrd

For all of you sushi lovers out there who have just moved or are visiting the Topsail Island area, you may be wondering where a person has to go to  get good sushi.  IMG_2439 (Large)I know that many of us have become quite fond of the little rolls of rice, raw fish and delicate vegetables and when the craving hits, you head to your favorite Asian eatery – no matter what or where.

Well, I have good news for all of you sushi addicts. Fancy Sushi Asian Fusion, formally Nikki’s, is open year round to meet your every sushi, Japanese and Chinese food craving. It’s located on Topsail Island, right in the heart of Surf City and it’s the only Asian fusion restaurant in the area! Well, you can drive to Hampstead or Jacksonville – but this is it on the island.

My husband was in the mood for sushi last week and we headed over to Surf City to the flat, blue, rather unassuming looking building on what I call the Beach Road. It was my first visit to this restaurant but my husband assured me that it would be really, good foodIMG_0392 (Large).

We stepped out of the hot, sunshiny bright day into the cool, dim restaurant. As my eyes adjusted, I checked out the dining room. It was very pleasant and more upscale than I imagined it would be. To my left there was a full liquor bar and the area where the restaurant’s skilled artisans crafted sushi rolls. We were seated immediately and given menus by a pleasant waiter.

I couldn’t believe the vastness of the menu. There were thirty (I counted!) regular sushi roll offerings and twenty-one special rolls, all with the choice of sushi rice or brown rice. I’m always impressed with any restaurant that offers brown rice as an option. Also, there were sashimi and tempura entrees, all served with miso soup or ginger salad.IMG_2435 (Large)

The other side of the menu had just about every kind of Chinese food and combination available, one hundred and two, to be exact! There were also sixteen chef selections that looked familiar to me. I think there may have been a few Thai dishes on that part of the menu, too.

I was glad to see that there were also lunch AND dinner portions so that you could control the size and cost of your meal.  I don’t know about you, but that’s important to me. I thought the prices were very reasonable.IMG_2436 (Large)

Bill chose sushi; a tuna roll, spicy, crunchy cooked salmon roll and a tuna avocado cucumber roll with a ginger salad on the side. I got one of my favorites; chicken and snow peas with fried rice.

When the server brought out the sushi, I couldn’t believe how beautifully presented it was. There was a beautiful flower painted on the side of plate with different colored sauces. It was so beautiful, I hated for him to start eating!

My choice was delicious! It was a large portion and Bill helped me eat it. Next time I visit, I may be a little more adventurous and try some of the sushi. I had some of Bill’s and it made my mouth happy! We asked our server what the most ordered dishes are and he told us they were Nikki’s Beach Bum Rolls and General Tso’s or Sesame Chicken. IMG_0388 (Large) 

While we were there, we spoke with Vivian, the manager. She explained to us that two years ago, Alex Ouyang bought Nikki’s Sushi Restaurant. He changed the name to Fancy Sushi Asian Fusion but kept some of the menu choices that Nikki’s offered. I’m sure that if you had favorite dishes at Nikki’s, you could also find them on the new menu too.

Next time you want really fresh seafood, think sushi! You won’t be disappointed with Fancy Sushi Asian Fusion restaurant. It has really great reviews on Yelp and Google.  The prices are right, the food is wonderful and the staff is helpful and friendly. Plus it has a full bar with several great Japanese beers and SAKI.  Oh, yeah!  IMG_0397 (Large) Isn’t that what a good restaurant is all about?


Fancy Sushi Asian Fusion is located at:

124 New River Drive, Surf City, NC 28445


Open Monday – Thursday: 11:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Friday – Saturday: 11:00 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Sunday: Noon – 9:30 p.m.

They do catering!

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Bringing Da Bronx to da Beach: The New York Corner Deli

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By Donna Byrd

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One of the things I like best about blogging for Treasure Realty is that I get to check out the
wonderful restaurants in our area so that I can tell all of you guys about them. It’s always good to get a “heads up” on places to visit if you’re vacationing on Topsail Island or if you’ve just moved to our beautiful coastal area.  Last week, I decided to pay a visit to one of my favorite eateries in Surf City: the New York Corner Deli.

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I can remember the first time I went to lunch at this
very popular eating establishment. I was visiting family, (at the time I lived in Alabama) and we stopped in after a church service on a Sunday afternoon. I was told that “Everything they have is good, so whatever you order, just like they say in da Bronx, ‘forget about it…’ You’re going to like it!”

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They were right! Since then, I moved to the area and do a little happy dance every time I know I’m going to eat at the restaurant that brought “da Bronx to da beach.” The sandwiches and food are authentic in every way. You get the flavors, quality, size and feeling of being in New York City, all the while enjoying the little southern seaside town of Surf City.


Thursday, I was able to sit down with Alex Hoffman, one of the family members who owns and operates the New York Corner Deli. He told me that in 2004, his father Barry and his mom, June, opened their restaIMG_2327 (Large)urant in Surf City, after having owned a delicatessen in New York City for over a decade.  Now that he and his brother Barry are grown, they too, have joined their parents in bringing the best of New York to Surf City.


Continuing in their tradition of keeping every thing as authentically “New York” as possible, they order their corned beef, pastrami, roast beef and much of their meats from New York. Some of their breads also come from there too. The cheesecakes and desserts are made in house, as well as the tuna, chicken and other salads.IMG_2295 (Large)


When you step into their southern restaurant, you might as well be in a New York deli. There are several glass cases of fresh salads and meats. On the counters is a chalk board with the specials of the day written on it. (You’ll always do well to order from that board, by the way. It will never steer you wrong! If there is soup involved, try it!)  Pictures of New York City’s skyline and famous iconic landmarks cover the walls. If you eat upstairs, you can sit next to Yankee Stadium.IMG_2310 (Large)


Breakfast is served all day and yes, they even offer a lox platter. That’s a pretty rare menu option for a deli in the south! But hey! Da Bronx is now at da beach!


The New York Corner Deli is open seven days a week year round from 7:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Consider them also for your catering needs.

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The New York Corner Deli

206 N. Topsail Dr. Surf City, NC 28445


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Island Delights, Surf City – It Lives up to Its Name!

by Donna ByrdIMG_2074 (Large)


I suppose that I have been by the Surf City ‘50’s style restaurant, “Island Delights,” more times than I can count since I moved to Sneads Ferry about five years ago. Each time I drove by, except during the winter months when it’s closed for the season,  I’d look over at the happy, bright yellow building and think to myself, “I’d sure like to check out that place but there are so many cars there and people coming in and out that I’ll have to try again later. Whatever they have, it must be good!”IMG_2049 (Large)

Well, Monday was my day! I was driving by and saw only three cars out front and decided I’d give Island Delights a try. I couldn’t let the vacationers have all the fun around here!

I got out of my car and immediately, heard a bit of song on a gust of wind. “Sherry” by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons blared out from the sound system, setting the mood for a retro good time. My mood automatically lifted a few notches as Frankie soothed my soul. I looked up into the deep blue sky, shielding my eyes from the bright sunlight and saw the American flag and pirate flags on top of the building, flapping in the stiff breeze. Any establishment that loved America and stood by Topsail’s pirate heritage was alright by me!IMG_2067 (Large)

Walking into Island Delights was like entering a ‘50’s and 60’s fun museum/diner. My eyes were assaulted by colorful memorabilia of days gone by. There were at least two, old fashioned jukeboxes with records; the real deal! Life size cutouts of James Dean, Marilyn Monroe and comic book characters, Betty Boop,  Archie and Jughead smiled down at me from their places of honor on the wall.  A mystical Merlin the Magician, in his purple velvet robe looking down at his crystal ball, was in his wooden box office, open for business, available to tell your fortune for a quarter. There was a splendid, old as the hills, red Coca Cola drink machine near the ice cream counter. Boy, did that machine bring back some memories! An iced down, co’cola in a little green tinged bottle, back in the day, was one of the best treats in life!IMG_2047 (Large)

Before I could even get up to the counter, I was greeted by a cheerful server, Ginger. She and Samantha were taking orders as customers walked in. “Do you want one of our specialty sandwiches, salads or sides or do you want ice cream?

Did I want a quarter pound, freshly patted (never frozen) burger and fries? Of course I did! Did I want a luscious strawberry shake or one of their twenty-two flavors of hand dipped ice creams on a salted caramel cone? Of course I did! Boy, before I opened my mouth to answer them, I had to get a grip on myself. I noticed on the walls, there were large words of delightful things; Cotton Candy, Candy Apples, PopCorn, SnowBalls….all written in neon lights to remind me: This was a place of Island Delights.IMG_2057

As much as I wanted it all, I stuck with the cheeseburger and fries. I also ordered a large orangeade. As I stated in an earlier blog, the merit of a restaurant is measured by how good it’s orangeades are. As for the ice cream and other delights, I would have to wait for another time to try those. I was trying to maintain my diet!

While waiting for my order, I took a few pictures of other people’s orders; good looking corn dogs, french fries with a brown gravy dripping all over them, thick burgers and big onion rings. They all looked like amazing works of food art. I also reminded myself that when folks are on vacation, they’re not necessarily maintaining a diet. They’re having fun and eating everything their hearts desire! Oh, I wish I were on vacation!IMG_2038 (Large)

I spoke with Ginger and she told me that Island Delights had been in Surf City for twenty-four years. Family owned and operated by Lacy and Weston Atkinson, Island Delights has become a favorite eating place and according to a Google review, a “quaint pit stop” for casual dining and treats. Folks that remember coming to the Surf City restaurant as children are now bringing their children and grandchildren to make beach memories. I know for a fact that good food is directly connected to the memories I made with my family at the beach!

Samantha came out from the kitchen with my cheeseburger. It was made exactly as I had ordered, with mustard, chili and extra pickles. A nice pile of crisp, golden fries was stacked by its side. An Island Delight fit for a queen, or a king, a tourist or a local! Next time I drive by, I’ll pull in for ice cream!


Island Delights is located at:IMG_2075 (Large)

316 N. New River Drive, Surf City, NC 28445


Sunday – Thursday, 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Friday and Saturday, 11:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Decided You Want to Go Out for Thanksgiving? These Topsail Island Restaurants Are Open for Your Convenience

by Donna Byrd


With Thanksgiving less than a week away, I’m sure most of you are making plans for that one, special meal that usually is remembered throughout the year. I know I am! My husband, Bill and I plan to make the long trip out to Nashville, Tennessee and spend our Thanksgiving holiday with our six children, their spouses, our two grandchildren and a host of everyone’s friends and family members. Obviously, our Thanksgiving meal has turned into quite the event and yesterday, we decided that we needed to rent a tent to house our big party. Lord have mercy!IMG_2667

I realize that many of you have traveled a great distance to come to our fair coast and spend your Thanksgiving holiday with your family, enjoying a beach house with sweeping views of the ocean or sound. There’s nothing like coming together as a family at the beach! “Real” life is put on hold and for a brief, few days, your focus becomes centered on those you love the most as you’re surrounded by the glories of the sea!

For those of us who get to live in this Topsail Island/Sneads Ferry/Surf City paradise year round, we realize that we indeed, do live in a sanctuary of beauty and peace. The magic of all things “coastal” surrounds us all the time and for that we are most grateful!

Just in case there are those of you that would rather spend your special day enjoying family and friends and NOT be slaving away in the kitchen, I have done a bit of homework and found a few restaurants in the area that are open on Thanksgiving Day. These fine dining establishments will be working extra hard  to make your Thanksgiving experience pleasurable and memorable.  If you know of a restaurant I have overlooked, please make a comment about it at the bottom of the blog.

No matter how you plan to spend your day, please have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Madison’s Prime Rib, Steak and Seafood

105 Sugar Lane, Sneads Ferry, NC  28460


Nathan and Cari Taylor have been the proprietors of this Sneads Ferry favorite for almost six years. They are inviting you to join them this Thanksgiving for their mouth watering buffet! Let them do all the cooking so you don’t have to! The menu is roasted turkey, stuffing, blackened steak, shrimp, flounder, fried and baked chicken and a host of vegetable sides to complete the perfect meal. IMG_2661There’s a fresh salad bar that stretches a mile and a dessert bar too! Since it’s a buffet, it’s all you can eat. There’s plenty of room for your family to spread out and enjoy so let the good folks at Madison’s serve you this Thanksgiving!

Madison’s will open at 11:00 a.m. and close at 6:00 p.m.

Adult buffet is $11.99 and children age 10 and under, $5.99.



Gallagher’s Sport Bar and Grill

614 N. New River Drive, Surf City NC 28445


Known for its great burgers, friendly staff and local seafood, this Thanksgiving, Gallagher’s is “going off the menu” to bring your family that special meal one thinks of when thinking “tradition.” The special menu is served family style and includes your choice of ham or roasted turkey, herbed stuffing, sweet potato souffle or mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, fresh cranberry relish, fresh baked cornbread and pumpkin or apple pie. Sounds delicious!The bar will be open and the football games you love will all be playing on their TV screens! Sounds very homey and casual!  Get out of the kitchen and let Gallagher’s do your cooking!

Gallagher’s opens at 11:30 a.m. and closes at 9:30 p.m.

The special Thanksgiving dinner is $14.99 for adults and $6.99 for children. Reservations are accepted for parties of 12 or more.




2020 Highway 172, Sneads Ferry, NC 28460


IMG_2691Everybody, of course has heard of Denny’s. This chain restaurant is known all over the nation for its American comfort food. It’s open twenty-four hours a day and Thanksgiving will be no exception! As a matter of fact, they have already been serving their Thanksgiving menu for much of the fall season. If you want to visit them on Thanksgiving Day, you can have their Autumn breakfasts: Pumpkin-Pecan pancakes or an apple-smoked, gouda sausage skillet meal. The Thanksgiving traditional meal is turkey and dressing, cranberry sauce and your choice of two sides. Good old Denny’s! It never disappoints!



Blackbeard’s Waterfront Bar and Restaurant

316 Fulcher Landing Road, Sneads Ferry, NC  28460


IMG_2679For those families who often eat two Thanksgiving meals the week of Thanksgiving because they are juggling two families or different groups of friends, let me recommend the “All you can eat Thanksgiving Buffet” at Blackbeard’s Cafe on Tuesday evening, November 24 at 7:00 p.m. Let one of your dinners be hosted there! The menu is, roasted turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, yams, collards, rolls, pumpkin and pecan pie. Sounds like a feast to me!

Tickets are on sale for $17.99. If you buy your early, you’re entered into a raffle for a free turkey! Get your tickets at the restaurant!

Surf City’s Hunga Bunga Java Coffee Bar – Where Coffee and Community Come Together

by Donna Byrd


“Coffee and friends are the perfect blend.”   Something a wise person once said.


While driving down the beach road on Topsail Island this morning I had a brilliant idea. I spotted a cheerful little patio tucked away in a small shopping area and saw that it belonged to Hunga Bunga Java Coffee Bar. I remember my cousin Linda, a long time resident of Topsail Island,  telling me when I moved to the area, that the best cup of coffee on Topsail Island was in that shop. I figured it was time to go in and try a cup to see if she was right!

As soon as I walked into the building, the wonderful aroma of coffee greeted me like an old friend. I took a quick look around the place and noticed that there was a small arrangement of cloth covered tables by the counter and to the left there was a large space that could have been anyone’s comfortable living room. There were several groupings of couches and chairs that begged me to come “and make myself at home.” I was groovin’ on the vibe!


I walked up to the counter and introduced myself to the friendly looking lady behind it. She told me her name was “Kari” and that she was the owner of the coffee bar. I explained to her that I was writing a blog for vacationers and newcomers to the area that would give coffee and tea lovers information on where they could get their “fix.” She told me a bit of the shop’s history. 

Hunga Bunga Java Coffee Bar opened for business in 2004. Kari and her family have lived in this southeastern coastal area of North Carolina since the 1980’s, after having moved from New Jersey. She loves serving the Topsail Island locals and its many vacationers year round.IMG_2522

Kari said the thing that the put her coffee bar on the map is the experienced baristas she employs. Not only are they trained to make gourmet speciality coffees, but they come with previous experience. She tells them that she wants her coffees to be personal; made like you would make a cup for someone who was visiting in your own home. People recognize the difference and it makes them feel special.  


I asked Kari where she got the roasted coffee beans for her wonderful coffee and she said she got it locally, from Java Estate, a company in Hampstead. “Oftentimes,” she laughed, when the roasters make their delivery in the mornings, they have me make them a cup before they go. They love they way we ‘make’ their coffee!”  

When asked about the coffee bar’s number one seller, Kari said without giving it much thought, “Our Signature Lattes.” She showed me a menu of them and then asked me if I’d like one. I chose the “Topsail Turtle,” a chocolatey, nutty and caramel concoction that is one of their top three best sellers. She made it for me herself and now that I’ve had it, I’ll have to go back for more!  They also offer “essential espresso drinks, frappes, smoothies and the freshest of exotic coffees.”

I won’t be the only one seeking out this special coffee bar. I looked online and saw that many customers have written glowing reports, including Yelp, with one five star rating after another! Kari said she’s even had people from Seattle, the coffee capital of America, seek out her exotic coffee shop! If it’s special enough for the folks of Seattle, it’s special enough for us! Way to go Kari!


I noticed that there were some yummy looking baked goods and desserts on the counter. Sugar Island, a local bakery and coffee shop a few blocks away, makes the goodies for Hunga Bunga Java Coffee Bar. Kari says the owner of that shop is up at three o’clock in the morning like a little elf, making her delicious treats. I like how there is a spirit of comradery with these Surf City merchants. They put a hometown feel into their businesses that make me feel as if I’m in the mythical town of “Mayberry, NC.” I think that a lot of our visitors expect to feel that when they visit small, North Carolina towns.

I looked around for more on the counter top. A counter top tells me a great deal about a place. Not only were there goodies and healthy snacks, but there was a container placed out front so that customers could donate their change for animals that need help. Kari said that they do a lot for animals that are hurt and need homes. Often, she has taken in dogs that need homes and has kept them until they are placed. She said people sometimes bring pets that they find in the area that are lost until their owners are found. Some folks that live nearby know that if their pet is missing, there’s a good chance it’s at Hunga Bunga Java Coffee Bar.


Underneath the counter, in a glass covered area, a local artist, Angelic (her real name,) displays her jewelry. Beautiful paintings (also by local artists) were for sale and hung on the walls, making the place colorful and cheerful. To the side there was even homemade laundry detergent, made by Kari herself, who got the recipe from Pinterest.

Hunga Bunga Java Coffee Bar is also a place for those seeking relaxation. This winter season, on Thursday nights, there is meditation class with Linda Noble. Also, there are often spontaneous music jams with the local regulars. Kari has an amplifier and if someone just happens to have a guitar, well…you never know what may happen!


I loved visiting with Kari. It was obvious that she has put her heart and soul into her cozy coffee shop. By the time I left, I felt as if I had a new best friend. Hunga Bunga Java Coffee Bar serves up more than just coffee. I think it’s true! “Coffee and friends ARE the perfect blend.”

 Hunga Bunga Java Coffee Bar is located at 614 N New River Drive, Surf City, NC  28445. The telephone number is 910-328-5282.



Even a Rainy Day on Topsail Island is Magical

by Donna Byrd


I love Wednesdays because that’s my husband’s day off. Usually, in the warmer months, Bill golfs for half of the day at one our beautiful, local golf courses and then spends the rest of his day with me, maintaining the yard, fixing things around the house, visiting places we haven’t been before, walking the beach or (my favorite) shopping.

This past Wednesday, we awakened to a rainy, gray day.  It was obvious that golf was not in the forecast and neither was working in the yard. What could we do on a warm, rainy Wednesday to make it feel special? We took a ride down the beach road and searched for a cozy lunch at a place we’d never been before.

I’ve always loved a rainy day at the beach and when I was growing up and we’d go to the beach on vacation, the week would usually have at least one rainy day. That was the day we doctored our sunburns, read books and magazines, ate at one of our favorite seafood restaurants from the cheaper lunch menu and then explored the local shopping scene.

This Wednesday with Bill felt like one of those days. As soon as the car left the high bridge and began making its way down the beach road, it began to rain in earnest. The windshield wipers were having trouble keeping up with the big drops, but I didn’t care. I loved the sound of the rain hitting the glass and the rhythm of the wipers slapping against the sheet of water. It seemed as if we were in our own world on that deserted beach road, safe and dry while all nature outside was fending for itself in the pouring rain. I know it makes me seem like an odd sort of person, but that feeling makes me feel satisfied and content.


We decided to go to “Daddy Macs” for lunch.  It’s in a wonderful location; right on the ocean looking out over the Surf City Ocean Pier, Topsail Island’s first pier, built in 1948.   I was hoping to get a few good pictures of the pier from the restaurant’s back porch/deck.

The restaurant was casually beautiful! The dining area was surrounded by windows that gave majestic views of ocean waves tipped in foamy white, gray sky, seagulls and nautical birds trying to fly with the wind currents. We saw rain darkened, faded gray planks that made up the pier next door and the fishermen on it, covered in yellow, red and blue rain slickers.

IMG_2444 Although it was gray and misty, it was one of the most beautiful scenes I had witnessed at the beach. There was even a huge, bright, American flag that proudly flew from the pier, brightening up the dreary landscape.  I stepped outside in the rain to take some pictures.

We were seated in a booth by the windows. I had fried flounder, fries and slaw while Bill had one of Daddy Mac’s classic hamburgers. We took our time at the cozy table and watched the ocean swells through the rain splashing down the windows. The staff had some great music playing on a Pandora station. Our food was delicious and so was that “rainy day at the beach” lazy feeling. Ahhh…did I tell you I love the beach in the rain?

We couldn’t sit at the lunch table all afternoon and eventually we paid our bill and left. We met a sweet couple with a few kids outside on the front porch.  They were from Burnsville, North Carolina in Yancey County.  That little town is far away from here, right by the Tennessee border. They love to come to Topsail Beach in October when things aren’t quite as busy. Even they didn’t mind the rain.

We said our goodbyes and ran to our cars, sorry for our Daddy Mac experience to end. I wished the nice couple lived near Topsail. I knew if they did, we might become good friends.

We rode over the swing bridge, leaving the island to go home by way of Highway 17. Stopping at the new Dunkin Donuts on the mainland side, we got a coffee to share and began to make our way back to “The Ferry.” We took a few detours and discovered some roads we had not yet travelled. On a whim, we took a “dead end” that surprised us with its quaint homes and pretty twists and turns. The trees along the road were in full fall color and were swirling in the air with the rain. There was a little white chapel with a steeple and suddenly, the road ended. We could have driven straight off into the Intracoastal Waterway!

Stopping the car, we sat there drinking our coffee,  in our own little dry world, while the rain fell from the gray sky and we watched the dark gray water lap at the grassy shore. Even a rainy day at the beach is magical.  See you soon?

Sisters Organic Market – Surf City, NC

by Donna ByrdIMG_20150805_151649

Move over all of you organic markets in Surf City!  There’s a new kid on the block! Wait…there are no other organic markets in Surf City, Sneads Ferry, North Topsail Beach or down south on the island in Topsail Beach. Finally, we have our own  “back to nature”, organic market. Yes, that’s right, folks.  We no longer have to drive all the way to Wilmington or Jacksonville to buy our organic products. Sisters Organic Market, at 330 N. New River Drive is nowIMG_20150805_145110319 open for business.

I happened to be driving down the beach road heading toward Surf City one day last spring when I first noticed the new business as I was coming into town. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I noticed it was an organic market.  Our area has been in need of this type of market for years.  How fortunate we are to a finally have a place that supports clean eating and a healthier lifestyle!

My husband Bill and I stopped by Sisters Organic Market a few days ago.  We parked our car in front of the spiffy, yellow and green building and just sat there a few moments, taking in the cheerful, sunny patio.  There was a picnic table with benches with a happy, yellow umbrella over it offering shade.  A few potted plants and hanging baskets added to the charm.  Yet the thing that grabbed our attention were four or five large, painted rain barrels sitting around the front and edges of the building.  They were amazing and seemed to have been painted by a local artist. Of course, I wanted one!IMG_1963

We went inside and met Tina and Elly.  They were behind the counter and were very friendly and knowledgeable about everything in the store.  We asked if they were the “sisters” in the name of the store.  “Oh, no.” said Tina.  “We’re not the sisters but one of them is usually here at night.  The sisters are Michelle Wheeler and Cindy Holcomb.”

Since I didn’t get to meet the sisters, I did a quick “Google” research on “Sisters Organic Market” and found out that when Michelle’s mother-in-law became ill,  she began searching for healthy food alternatives that could help heal and nourish her. The other sister, Cindy was a  health care provider for the elderly and she too, needed better natural food sources to help those for whom she cared. In their search, the sisters realized that eating locally grown, organic foods and meats without preservatives and additives that were unnatural and chemically altered, was good for them too! They began to search for markets that carried these organic products but found that they were miles away from their homes or in large supermarkets that offered limited supplies, oftentimes scattered throughout the stores.IMG_20150805_151042686

Finally, deciding to use an empty building Michelle and her husband owned in Surf City, Michelle and Cindy decided to go for it opened Sisters Organic Market in January, satisfying their need for natural, whole foods and our community’s also!

Looking around the store, I noticed that it was rustic but had that “urban” atmosphere that one would want to experience when stepping into a health foods store. It was compact, yet offered a total grocery shopping experience, ranging from baby products, organic dog food, meats, fruits, produce, coffee and more. It was a true grocery boutique!

After offering me a cup of complimentary cup of coffee (available to all customers,)  I asked Elly to show me around a bit and tell me about the store’s wonderful products.

We started with the large selection of coffee beans, roasted locally in Hampstead at Quality Coffee.  IMG_20150805_145231820The beans were fresh and smelled wonderful.  There was a big, red coffee grinder nearby where you could grind up a pound or more to your liking. I wish I could have had the time to take my cup out and enjoy it out on the patio under the big umbrella but it’s nice to shop with a cup of coffee in your hands.  It feels homey!

Next to the coffee was a great selection of baby products made by the “Honest Company.”  My daughter uses these products and swears by them but she orders hers on line.   IMG_20150805_151020457It made me glad to know that there was a local place we could buy them. Now I can stock up on them when she and the baby visit us.


I was surprised to see organic pet products because so many of the residents on the island and nearby mainland have dogs and cats.  IMG_20150805_145505227Bill and I are getting a Maltese puppy next week and now I know where I’ll be buying his food!  Only the best for our little buddy.

Local skin care products by Bella Lynn Naturals ( was also displayed near the counter.  These products contain no parabens, mineral or petroleum oils and are made in Holly Ridge. There were also many vitamins and supplements that I myself have driven miles out of town to buy. IMG_1960 Elly said that they also will order any product they don’t have on their shelves and will find it for you if you request it. That’s a wonderful perk that oftentimes only a boutique grocery can offer!

The other half of the store contained shelves of healthy snacks, organic canned foods, honey, nut butters, jams and jellies, plus many alternative cleaning and hygiene products.

IMG_1945I was very impressed with the meat selections.  Elly said that they visit the local farms before they purchase meats from them to ensure that the animals are happy, loved, grass fed, free range and are given no non-gmo products to eat.   The farms they buy from are from La Grange, Burgaw and Porter’s Neck.  They carry beef, chicken, rabbit and lamb.

Elly also showed me individual meals made from “Clean Eatz” in Wilmington, N.C. These meals are made by a chef to give you a perfectly healthy, correctly portioned, balanced meal.  They are made for people who are busy and don’t have time to think about shopping and cooking but still want to eat well.   Each week they have a selection of meals delivered to the store for the freezer or refrigerator.   They are reasonably priced and delicious.  Elly loves them!IMG_1949

I also noticed nice deli meats and cheeses in the coolers, along with organic fruit juices.  There was a good selection of grains and flours.  Against the far wall were beautiful, locally grown fruits and vegetables.  This time of year the selection was especially full and colorful!

Sisters Organic Market is open year round. Do yourself a favor and stop by 330 New River Drive, Surf City. They are open everyday from 10:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. If you’d like more information, check out their Facebook page at  Their phone number is 910-541-2223.

Coming to Topsail Island This Summer? Don’t Miss the Surf City Pier!

With several prime fishing spots, two large cleaning stations with fresh running water, and a grill and ice cream shop with plenty of screened-in outdoor seating, the Surf City pier is the place to be this summer!

Continue reading Coming to Topsail Island This Summer? Don’t Miss the Surf City Pier!

Visiting the Topsail Area this Holiday Season?

If you are Spending the Holidays on Topsail Island this year or visiting the area…

Don’t miss out on these Good Tidings!

By Amy Baker


Spending Christmas on Topsail Island?

Topsail Island and the surrounding communities are all abuzz as the holidays are fast approaching! If you’re planning to be here for the Holidays, check out what’s happening on and around Topsail Island. If you haven’t made plans yet, we do have some great Christmas specials.

Pic of SC Christmas Tree

Continue reading Visiting the Topsail Area this Holiday Season?