Cape Fear Foodie: The Burrito Barn

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - With the unofficial start to summer nearly here, friends are starting to visit once again. That means runs to the beach, trips to breweries and picking the perfect place for brunch, lunch and dinner. Though picking a spot that fits everyone’s tastes can be difficult, especially when guests haven’t experienced our wide-range of restaurants.

And so a recent visit to Carolina Beach turned into a mind-numbing game of “what about this?” Seafood? Ehh. Bar food? Not so much. How about burritos? Yes, yes, that will do. Of course there are tortilla chip baskets full of Mexican options around, but one place nearly always hits the spot, Flaming Amy’s Burrito Barn.

With multiple locations around New Hanover County, Flaming Amy’s has a cult following that’s only grown over the 20-plus years it has been in business. Offering a wide-variety of nachos, dips, tacos and quesadillas, Flaming Amy’s has plenty of southwestern menu items. Though the undoubted tag-team champions here are the specialty burritos and the salsa bar (more on that in a minute).

With offerings ranging from Asian-themed, to a bacon double cheeseburger burrito, Flaming Amy’s boasts around 20 different burrito styles that also include seafood and vegan options (you can even create your own). Possibly the most famous burrito comes once a year, just in time for Thanksgiving, the famed “ChurkeyChanga.” It’s loaded with turkey breast, mashed potatoes, jalapeno cornbread dressing, then deep fried and topped with gravy and cranberry salsa. It’s a must-try menu item when it’s in season.

But for the summer, we only have a seemingly endless menu to hold us over, starting with classic chips ‘n’ queso and a platter of nachos. Flaming Amy’s gives you endless chips with your meal and a salsa bar that includes their exceptionally hot “Flaming Hot Salsa,” to a number of more exotic choices like pineapple and jalapeno or ginger peach. You can have as many salsas as you like and can even take them home with you.

Since I wanted to be a Nacho Nacho Man, I grabbed an order of the “Nacho Carnivore,” a take on classic loaded nachos with mounds of melted cheese. It was delicious.

My friend was feeling more like a herbivore and created his own quesadilla, complete with tomatoes, spinach and peppers. He said it was good and despite what the picture shows, nothing was left on his plate afterwards.

Make no mistake, the burritos are the star here. It’s the “Burrito Barn” for crying out loud. I’ve had a number of different creations before, but since we were at the Carolina Beach location, I was feeling fishy. Thus I settled on the “Baywatch.” (sadly Pam Anderson didn’t serve up my plate but I will say the service was excellent all around). The “Baywatch” has grilled flounder, shrimp, lettuce, tomato, cheese and homemade “Hasselhoff Jalapeno Tartar Sauce.” It’s a very clean burrito, the seafood tasted fresh, though I could have used a little more kick (that’s where the salsa bar can help). It’s also a great choice if you don’t want to feel weighed down at the beach.

Given the amount of people packed into Flaming Amy’s, it’s clear this restaurant is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Also, it’s incredibly affordable, every burrito is $10 and most items on the menu are $10 or less, plus they offer a full bar and have various drink specials throughout the week.

Burritos, salsa bar, drink specials, and a price point that won’t wreck your wallet, what more can you really ask for? This place has it all and is well worth a visit whether you’re at the beach or in Wilmington. As they say, “Eat Flaming Amy’s.”


Flaming Amy’s Wilmington is located at 4002 Oleander Dr, Wilmington, NC 28403

Flaming Amy’s Carolina Beach is located at 1140-A N Lake Park Blvd, Carolina Beach, NC 28428

Do you recommend a restaurant? Or know of a best kept secret that you want the rest of the Cape Fear to know about? Shoot me an email at and I would love to feature your selection. Cheers!

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