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Anna Marie

Try Pop’s Diner for a taste of nostalgia at Carolina Beach

A woman sipping coffee outside
Hi, I’m Anna Marie. I’m a wife, mother, Irish dancer, and pug mom living in North Carolina. I also love to travel. Come along for the ride! If you see something you like, don’t be afraid to say, ‘Pull over and let me out.’

I go to the beach in the off-season because it’s the perfect time and place for a writer to write. However, I still like to explore and enjoy being a tourist as well. While spending a winter weekend working on my book at Carolina Beach, North Carolina,  I was directed to Pop’s Diner by a local. Pop’s is a delightful, old-time diner and proved to be the perfect spot for lunch.


Fabulous, Fun Atmosphere

Before I even walked inside, I could tell this is a fun place. The kitschy 1950’s/1960’s style décor is bright and cheerful. Old-time shiny red booths and good ole rock and roll music enhance the dining experience. The walls are covered with memorabilia and the nostalgia extends right down to the floor where I discovered James Dean looking up at me as I dined.


Full Menu & Large Portions

Arrive hungry because at Pop’s the menu is extensive and portions are large. A full menu is offered for lunch, dinner, late night, dine in or take out.  Reading the menu is a hoot.  Every menu item has a special name like Mary’s Mac-n-Cheese Bites, Sheila’s Shrimp Po’Boy, and yes there’s even a Triple Bypass Burger.

I had Joelberg’s Smoked Chicken Salad sandwich. The portion was so generous, I chose to forgo the bread on the second half and use a fork to savor every bite of the chicken salad.

Don’t forget to save room for dessert. Pop’s offers milkshakes, soft serve ice cream, and confections such as Puffy’s Fried Oreos, Tator Tot’s Heath Bar Pie, and Elisha’s Sundae Delight. The names are fun and the desserts are HUGE.


Joelberg’s Smoked Chicken Salad with Sweet Potato Fries

Friendly Service, Casual, Family Fun

The service is quick and friendly. No, this isn’t a romantic restaurant with an ocean view, but it’s a casual spot for a hearty, reasonably-priced meal while you’re visiting Carolina Beach.

There’s limited street parking so you may wish to walk to Pop’s if you’re close by. One other tip, pick up a copy of the Visitors Guide magazine to find a coupon for Pop’s and save on your meal.

You can always tell a place is good if you see locals eating there. My visit was during the off-season, and still, the local crowd arrived for lunch. The food was good and I’m delighted I asked the desk clerk at the hotel for a restaurant recommendation.  I left Pop’s with a smile on my face, a full stomach, and I can’t wait to return with the family next trip.

Pop’s Diner
104 N. Lake Park Blvd.
Carolina Beach, NC



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2 thoughts on “Try Pop’s Diner for a taste of nostalgia at Carolina Beach”

  1. I totally agree the beach during the off-season is a great place for writing! Sounds like you had a good chance to try out this place without the crowds. I’ll have to check it out the next time I’m at Carolina Beach.

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