OBX Connection Home > Outer Banks Restaurants > Big Al's Soda Fountain And Grill
Big Al's Soda Fountain And Grill - Outer Banks Restaurants
Big Al's Soda Fountain And Grill Contact Information & Reviews

Big Al's Soda Fountain And Grill


Leave A Review

Hwy 64 (Across From Christmas Shop)
Manteo, NC 27954


Fifty's theme restaurant featuring blue plate specials, seafood, burgers, sandwiches & a soda fountain with ice cream favorites. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner. Open all year.

Big Al's Soda Fountain And Grill Reviews - Add A New Review
Rating: Better than expected 11/13/2015
Reviewer: ThomasTiger

Big Al's seems to take a beating in the reviews, and we avoided it the first few times we visited the OBX. We finally gave it a try mostly because it was convenient and we had someone with us who was a big fan of old Coca-Cola memorabilia, which is the primary means of decoration.

We were surprised by how good the food (and milkshakes!) were. Everyone in our party enjoyed the food and the servers were very pleasant and attentive.

Unless you're a huge fan of Coca-Cola art, I'm not sure Big Al's is worth the trip, but if you're in the area at lunchtime, you could certainly do worse in Manteo.

Rating: They need a new cleaning crew! 8/31/2015
Reviewer: jdj1991

This dining area was clean and the food was pretty good. Prices are in line with those in the area. The restrooms need a lot of work. Dirty, run down, no supplies and smelly.

Rating: Disappointing 2nd visit 5/20/2013
Reviewer: Quiglets

Visited there with a large group (2 softball teams) this past weekend. The waitress warned us that they were short-handed and asked for our patience. The food was okay, the atmosphere was great... until the girl's food arrived while we were still waiting for drinks. Some of them didn't get their milkshakes delivered until AFTER they were done eat their meal. We appreciated the waitress' honesty, but were SEVERELY disappointed that none of the other employees stepped-up to help. The manager was no where to be found, and the rest of the restaurant was not that busy. We won't be returning when we're in town for the tournament next year.

Rating: Over Priced- Can do Better at McDonalds 5/15/2013
Reviewer: SusanM

Ate here in May 2012. The decor was nice but the staff was so in taking order and getting the food. When you have to wait 30 minutes for your food for only 2 people and there are only a handful of people inside and then the food is just so so....McDonalds would have been better and alot cheaper.

Rating: Nostalgia Plus Good Food Equals A Winner 5/5/2013
Reviewer: Poppa Bear

Big Al's has accurately and faithfully recreated the diners of my misspent youth. That was the factor that got us to visit. The food will be the reason we will return. The meatloaf tastes homemade. Add in the green beans and slaw and you have an old-fashioned meal that delivers a lot of food at a reasonable price. We did not try the shakes or malts but those around us who did praised them highly. Big Al's is definitely worth another visit for a burger and chocolate lunch.

Reviewer: BeachBumBob

If you find yourself on a day trip over to Manteo and the crowds are packing up the waterfront area, Big Al's makes a great stop if you are looking for classic soda fountain grub. I recommend any of the burgers and they have GREAT sweet potato fries!

Rating: Cool place 10/6/2010
Reviewer: J. Watson

Well, with 3 guys in tow we stopped at Big Al's and I am so glad we did. We were on our way to see the Lost Colony and I wish we had gotten there an hour earlier..time to take it all in, dance to the jukebox and savor my cherry coke. All the guys and the mom loved it. We will be back!

Rating: Dinner and Dancing 8/12/2010
Reviewer: Diana

We try to stop in and have dinner or lunch here at least once while we are on vacation. Last night I got the flounder and oyster combo and it was so good! Hubby had gone fishing earlier and he brought his cleaned fish in and they fried it for him. We were entertained by the children having a blast on the dance floor, dancing to music from the jukebox. This is a very kid friendly place. Thanks again Big Al!

Rating: Coca-Cola Haven! 8/3/2010
Reviewer: Lisa

Every year we venture down to Manteo and one of the places we have to stop is Big Al's for lunch. As a Coca-Cola collector, I enjoy looking at all stuff they have and I always seem to find something new. The food is average, nothing special, but it is the atmosphere I keeps me coming back.

Rating: Kids' favorite meal on the Outerbanks 8/2/2010
Reviewer: Jack

We (2 dads, 3 boys (14,12,10)) were there last Wednesday after visiting Fort Raleigh National Park. It was packed, so we opted to sit at the soda fountain counter. My 12 year old knows his burgers (we've got the Vortex, the Varsity, Five Guys, and Fosters here in Atlanta) and he said he thought this was his favorite burger and the onion rings ranked highly too). We all enjoyed the Coke theme and put some money in the Jukebox. They do handmade shakes there too. Honestly, the only thing that would have made it slightly better was to charge a little more for the shakes so that instead of them just pouring the shake into the glass, you'd get the metal cup with the extra in it.

We were staying in Salvo (about 30 miles from the place). Some of the other kids asked to go there another day after hearing the reviews, but it was too much of a hike for that. However, it's definitely worth a visit if you are going to Fort Raleigh, the Lost Colony, Manteo, Wanchese or anywhere near Nags Head.

Rating: Big Al's - it rocks! 7/23/2010
Reviewer: Mary R Clark

Big Al's for lunch is one of the most important family traditions we celebrate each year during our vacation to the OBX. Co-owner Vanessa (Big Al's wife in real life) is so sweet to remember us, and the visits with Big Al when he's happened to be there were such fun. The food is yummy, the music is tops, the decor is fascinating - This is definitely a five-star restaurant which we return to again and again and again ... Love all of you!

Rating: Eh 7/9/2010
Reviewer: S

I wasn't expecting miracles here, but honestly, I could get a better meal at Steak n' Shake. I had the grilled chicken sandwich and it was fine, but my side order of onion rings (only six onion rings, mind you) was flat out cold. The food took 45 minutes to come out even though we were literally the only ones in the restaurant, and the server neglected refills and forgot my sister's fries until the last second.

It's a cute place, I guess, but they need to concentrate WAY more on the food so that it catches up with the WAY overplayed decor.

Rating: Flashback fun, Diner food, pleasant diversion 9/28/2009
Reviewer: Tony

Good theme restaurant. Decent food with variety that goes beyond Burgers and shakes. Even though those are the best. Always had good service. The staff helped us plan three different birthday parties. One was before we even arrived on the Banks. Got a set up for 10 to 15 people to celebrate the big day.

Rating: Yes, I did dance !! 9/28/2009
Reviewer: Robin Stanley

We very much enjoyed the restaurant. Especially with a little background with Capt. Al. Made it even more fun. Steak and Salad were good !!

Rating: Awesome place! 9/28/2009
Reviewer: Crys

This was a great place! The food and atmosphere were really good. The kiddos loved the dance floor. Everything we had was very good. (shrimp, buffet, chicken)

Rating: Great Food, Great Time and Memories 5/21/2009
Reviewer: Anonymous

We three couples (fromIndiana, Michigan, and Tennessee) absolutely love to go to Big Al's. Our visit yesterday was so much fun. The waitress was excellent plus plus....making us feel right at home. Our visit with Mrs Big Al was great. She was quite interested in Michigan....she was born there and has never been back. By the way, the scallops are great....as well as everything we experienced. Thanks Mr. & Mrs. Big Al. Sittlers, Manns, and Manns

Rating: The Best 5/20/2009
Reviewer: Dawn

This is a really great place to go with your kids, the dance floor rocks and the food is wonderful. The milkshakes and malts are great, the service is real wonderful, we love the fiftys theme - if you want a blast from the past go to BIG ALS

Rating: Awesome! 5/20/2009
Reviewer: Joe Monroe

Excellent food! We really enjoyed the seafood and desserts. Probably the fairest prices anywere. We fed our family of eight for under $100.00

Rating: great food 5/18/2009
Reviewer: Paul W.

We're seafood lovers - and I got the very best fried oysters that I have eaten - ever!! Great atmosphere - service was great and price was right.

Rating: My kids love Big Al's! 9/23/2007
Reviewer: Dee

Every time we visit the OBX my kids request we stop & eat at Big Al's. Nice family friendly atmospher and the food is good!!!

Rating: Touristy 9/15/2007
Reviewer: tim

Over priced - they make you go pay in a gift shop, save your time and money - stay away.

Rating: yuck 9/3/2007
Reviewer: Avalon Pier troll

Terrible atmos. terrible food. torrist trap gift shop w/junk that a torrist wouldn't even buy!

Rating: Excellant 7/27/2007
Reviewer: Big Al

First time there and it was all that I was told about it. Hamburger and shakes were the best. I would like to know when you get your new T-Shirts. BigAl1930@,msn.com

Rating: Excellant 7/27/2007
Reviewer: Big Al

First time there and it was all that I was told about it. Hamburger and shakes were the best.

Rating: Fun Spot 7/2/2007
Reviewer: Melody

Love the nachos with the homemade salsa. The black beans and rice are excellant. Milk shakes are the best!

Rating: Great Family Restaurant 6/26/2007
Reviewer: Donna Geddes

Good food, good fun for the whole family

Rating: Great Place to Eat 6/25/2007
Reviewer: David

My family and I really enjoyed the food and the atmosphere. My daughter got the biggest kick out of dancing in the restaurant. The next time we come to the outer banks we will definitely stop in

Rating: Nice 1950's Style Dinner 6/22/2007
Reviewer: Matt

This is a great place to visit if you are looking for good ol fashion american food in 50's style surroundings. They have a dance floor with a juke box will all of the classic tunes. They have more Coke a Cola memorabilia than I have ever seen in one place. The burgers, fries & shakes are great so are the deserts but as for anything else it is kind of hit and miss. It is worth the trip to Manteo, Nc to visit Big Al's plus there are some really nice shops to visit within walking distance when you are done eating.

Rating: The best 6/22/2007
Reviewer: Cameran Casablanca

I adored the Coca-Cola themed atmosphere very much. My family and I visit Manteo at least four times a year and always stop for the great service!!!

Rating: Big Al's at OBX 6/18/2007
Reviewer: Mary

I have been going to Big Al's since 2003. I went as a friend recommended it and I am so grateful to her. I love the place, decoration, family environment and employees willingness to do a good job. You can't miss on this great chance for great music, memorabilia and cool dancing floor! Shakes are a must have:)

Rating: Don't do it! 6/6/2007
Reviewer: Lisa

This place was bad. We went there last year. The service was awful. The foreign waiter kept wanting to discuss politics. The service was slow and the food was run of the mill junk. Nothing special here, folks.

Rating: Coke, coke everywhere! 5/18/2007
Reviewer: The Lewis Family

A must see collection! We really enjoyed ourselves. Kid friendly place. Food was great, and so was our service; thanks to Martin! You won't, however, find breakfast here. Friendly cashier, Aida, told us too go to Grits Grill, on the beach. Now, that is what we call, "Southern Hospitally!"

Rating: dont mess with the big bopper! 2/21/2007
Reviewer: Tami Brown

This place is great! Food is yummy~ love the titles~ Sandra Lee ~ Our family loves to dance and get the I danced at Big Al's sticker! The place is busy~ but you are on vacation~what's your hurry? enjoy the jukebox music, the ice cream. Relax and enjoy life a little bit on OBX! Our family has been going to Big Al's for a long time! it's like a family friend!

Rating: GREAT 2/12/2007


Rating: BAD SERVICE 11/28/2006
Reviewer: Chrissy

We went to Big Al's for what reason I do not know. We ordered sandwiches and fries that's it, we waited for our sodas for almost 20 min adn then 1 1/2 hours for our food. If you want to wait almost 2 hours for sandwiches by all means go to Big Al's.

Rating: bad 8/30/2006
Reviewer: anonymous

I took my guests there, in for the week, at their request and was excited to try the place cause had heard that is was so family oriented. There were terrible nauseous odors at back door and terrible odors and visuals in the bathrooms. There was a sign in bathroom asked that bad stuff be reported but waitress and all staff so overworked I didnt' have the heart to stop them to add a disgruntled comment to their day. Service was good. Ambiance ok and food fair, not great, especially in the competitive region of restaurants.

Rating: Good sodas - food ok 7/30/2006
Reviewer: Dave F

We eat here almost every year. Not sure why.
The food is ok but the icecream, sodas and floats are pretty good. I'm amused at how they force you to pay in the gift shop. Don't go here and ask for Pepsi! There's Coca cola everwhere! My in-laws enjoyed the 50's music playing on the Juke box.

Rating: gimmicky garbage 6/12/2006
Reviewer: JJay

The food stinks. Tourist trap!

Rating: Don't bother 5/17/2006
Reviewer: Julie

The food was terrible and service slow and uncaring, What a let down!!

Rating: Don't bother 5/17/2006
Reviewer: Julie

The food was terrible and service slow and uncaring, What a let down!!

Rating: Burgers are not that great 9/14/2005
Reviewer: Dawn

Great atmosphere if you love coca-cola. The burgers are a big disappointment--nothing more than an overcooked soy bean burger. My 3 year old did enjoy her milkshake, though.

Rating: Great shakes and ice cream! 8/5/2005
Reviewer: Melody

We eat hhere everytime we vaction on the Outer Banks. Would not miss it! The fries are always crisp and the specials are wonderful. Be warned...it's popular in the summer so you could have a wait to be seated and the food is cooked to order so the kitchen can get backed up when busy.

Rating: Great Big Al Burger 6/4/2005
Reviewer: Arthur Gurganus

Really enjoyed the The Big Al Burger. I eat here every time I'm in OBX.

Rating: Tourist trap 2/16/2005
Reviewer: Chris Smolinski

Overpriced, slow, average food. If you're in Maneo, visit the Weeping Radish instead.

Rating: Poor aty best 10/26/2004
Reviewer: Anonymous

Unless you are a Coke fanatic, this place will leave you flat and it is a tourist dream come true. It has poor food, service is slow, and you have to pass the tourist junk counter to pay your bill. Avoid this place unless everything else is closed.

Rating: So, So... 10/26/2004
Reviewer: KT Mae

Interesting & fun decor/atmosphere. Great concept, but the Food is disappointing!!

Rating: OVERPRICED 8/16/2004
Reviewer: Sarah

You are paying for the atmosphere.

Rating: Big Al's, update 4/19/2004
Reviewer: Rob

Had to downgrade them one star for this year. Place was overwhelmed at lunch, too few servers, too long to wait. Food remained consistent, so hopefully this was only a one time event.

Rating: Good Place for a Family Lunch 1/24/2004
Reviewer: Neil

This place is made up to look like a '50s drive-in, but 99% of the "memorabelia" on the walls in Coca-Cola themed, so I have my doubts that this place is really owned by anyone named Al (Big or otherwise). It can get croweded, but sitting at the counter isn't so bad. The best part is that everything is made to order (no heat lamps here), and the prices aren't too bad for a tourist trap.

Rating: Big Al's 1/3/2004
Reviewer: Anonymous

Fun place to go. Food o.k.

Rating: Must see at Manteo 11/28/2003
Reviewer: Rob

We always stop for lunch when visiting the Aquarium or Christmas Shop. Lots of fun, good burger and fries, good service. The atmosphere is great!

Rating: Fun restaurant 11/17/2003
Reviewer: Anonymous

This is a fun place to take the family. The food is fun but nothing special.

Rating: Ya Hoooo 11/11/2003
Reviewer: jill

Had a great time at Al's been there 3 times. My momma is big on the 50's theme. Always clean....Only complaint....someone keeps marking up the womens room with graffiti and the only reason that's a complaint, is because I talked to a worker there they said they keep cleaning it off but it's there every week....felt bad for her. I kind of thought the graffiti added to the 'theme' of the place (plus it gave me something to do when I sat down LOL)

Rating: Lot's of fun 11/7/2003
Reviewer: Ace Mclean

This place was pretty neet. They have great burgers and onion rings. Not exactly "beachy", but the good food and service overcome the cartoonish atmosphere.