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“neat idea” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Live Oak Cafe

Live Oak Cafe
614 N Howe St, Southport, NC 28461-3426
910-454-4360
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Ranked #9 of 74 Restaurants in Southport
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Doing business, Outdoor seating, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Description: For current menu and wine list information, please visit our website
Southport, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“neat idea”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2010

we had dinner as a guest of my daughter for our anniversary a few years ago. the dinner was delicious. we were anxious to return. several months later we returned. the food was not like before. i asked around and found that the earlier chef had gone elsewhere. thats the restaurant i should find as this chef was a gem. i should try this restaurant again but i would not want to spend the money (quite costly) on a dinner like the second one.

    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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82 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    52
    18
    9
    1
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Enfield, CT
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
125 helpful votes 125 helpful votes
“You can do better than the Live Oak Cafe”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2010

My wife and I ate at the Live Oak Cafe recently and were largely disappointed with the experience. While the bread basket was good, there were only 3 small rolls and no more were offered. The tomato bisque soup with she-crab tasted a bit off. My wife's pork fillet was tasty, but the accompanying rice and vegatables were bland. My baked grouper tasted fine, but arrived barely warm from the kitchen. Service was spotty despite the fact that there were only 2 other groups in the restaurant. We would recommend the Pharmacy as a better value for Southport dining.

    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
“We still dont understand why this place...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2010 via mobile

We still dont understand why this place gets such high ratings. The atmosphere is cramped, the patrons are so loud around you that if its just the two of you all you do the entire time is get drowned out by others because they are so close. The food was also not very appetizing or worth the money. The dish i had included more garnish then food and overall the garnish won the taste battle. I have not recommended this place to others, but i have heard of others having a good experience. We may try again but there are too many other better restaurants in southport to waste a night here.

    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Sleepy Hollow, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Spectacular food and service, only steps from downtown Southport”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2010

My husband and I just had a fabulous, romantic dinner at the Live Oak Cafe. After researching several restaurants in the Southport/Oak Island area, we decided on Live Oak only this morning. As the restaurant doesn't open up until 5PM for dinner, I left a voicemail on their answering machine, half-expecting that I would need to call back after they opened to make a reservation. To my surprise, a very friendly gentleman called me back at 4PM and confirmed the reservation.

Upon arrival, we were promptly greeted and seated at our table out on the covered porch. The restaurant itself is a small house, so there are tables inside (well spaced apart in a few small rooms) as well as out on a covered porch. The ambience both inside and out was very romantic.

Our server, who was very attentive and friendly (but not intrusively so), brought us menus and our drink orders straightaway and took our food orders promptly. We shared the summer salad as a starter - bibb lettuce, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella slices, sunflower seeds, and herbs - and thank goodness we only shared a salad, because our entrees were ENORMOUS! I ordered the grilled ribeye, which was perfectly cooked and topped with a beautiful red wine reduction and horseradish cream sauce. My husband ordered the shrimp pasta, which was prepared with a delicious creamy pesto sauce (and which our server later revealed was about 7lbs of food. !!!) Everything was very flavorful, cooked exactly to order, and obviously freshly sourced.

Only two small drawbacks - (1) this restaurant, though very romantic and intimate, is not on the water - and the covered porch partially faces Howe Street (one of the main drags through Southport); and (2) the covered porch had a small hole in the screen and I was suddenly very enthusiastically bitten by a number of mosquitoes at the end of dinner.

Overall, we were very impressed with this little gem of a restaurant and will definitely be back the next time we vacation in the area. In fact, we may be back before we leave the area this trip! :)

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Florence, South Carolina
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Best food on the coast”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2010

Fantastic find.......this hidden gem in an old house has managed to find the best food and chef on the coast!!!! First glance tells you not to go in but it will be the best thing you do in southport. Service was first rate, the menu fantastic, food super fantastic and desserts to die for. Price was a little higher than others but well worth it. Hurry in it gets crowded quickly.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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