Wilmington is well-known for its amazing local restaurants and unique locations. Off-campus dining can get expensive for students, but a meal plan isn't for everyone, so some students use the money normally spent on a meal plan and put it toward eating off campus or preparing their own food. A variety of grocery stores are near campus, as well as a lot of fast food restaurants, such as McDonald's, and quick-stop places like Hibachi Bistro or Little Caesars, for quick eating and late-night snacks. These are going to be the most financially feasible for students. When it comes to sit-down locations and "real" dining, Wilmington can't be beat. Downtown Wilmington not only provides a historic and beautiful location, but the dining options are also great. Ethnic, grill, diner-style, and upscale seafood restaurants are all there, just to name a few. The fantastic seafood continues to Wrightsville Beach with multiple locations, as well as a lot of casual, Baja/Mexican, and pizza joints. Students keep a list of places they want to eat at while they're at UNCW to make sure they experience them all.
Wilmington dining is convenient for students and offers an immense variety, though eating out for students should be kept in moderation while keeping student finances in mind. When parents come to visit, it's actually difficult to decide on a location, and you never have to search hard to find a place to take a date. The Riverboat Landing downtown has little, individual outdoor patios on a second-floor balcony and overlooks the riverfront for a sweet, romantic spot. Dockside Restaurant and The Oceanic offer amazing views of the beach and sound side. National favorites like On the Border and Red Robin are here, and dessert locations are plentiful. From downtown to the beach and on most streets in between, Wilmington is a foodie's heaven and offers availability to everyone.