The Basics: Southern Cooking at its Best

Posted Jul 2nd, 2019 in Foodie Fodder


There’s something very comforting about The Basics, a popular Downtown Wilmington restaurant that excels at southern cooking and casual fine dining. Maybe it’s because they serve familiar recipes made with fresh, regional ingredients alongside one-time specialties the chefs have concocted that day. Or, maybe it’s because it’s one of the few restaurants that serves a variety of food all day.

Owner of The Basics, Mary Long, is no stranger to the restaurant business. Before putting down roots in Wilmington, she owned and operated two other eateries that focused on southern cuisine in Athens, Georgia. She vacationed in Wrightsville Beach several times before deciding to move to North Carolina and fell in love with the character and community of Downtown.

Mary loves the perfect blend of locals, tourists and students in the center city. Each community is unique, yet everyone gets along. The restaurant is popular with college students and area workers at lunchtime and she has customers from far and wide who revisit the restaurant whenever they’re in town.

Breakfasts are popular with the tourists, especially since more hotels have recently opened in downtown. The blueberry oatmeal pancakes, chicken biscuits and shrimp and grits are timeless favorites. The lunch menu includes soups, salads, sandwiches and several southern specialties like Brunswick stew, po-boys and smoked pork barbecue. The dinner menu boasts southern staples like fried green tomatoes and meatloaf alongside entrees like Dijon-crusted lamb chops and melt-in-your-mouth filet mignon. Or, you can mix it up at the weekends with a leisurely brunch.

Everything is made in-house at The Basics by chefs who love what they do and who have been with the restaurant for many years. Executive chef Nick Sellers has fun creating three unique specials each day so there is something new each shift, every day. The baker is very talented too and has been making spectacular desserts that are awesome on their own or as a satisfactory conclusion to any meal.

It’s no surprise that the customers are as loyal as the staff because they enjoy the consistency of familiar faces and reliable service. So, if you’re looking for a restaurant with quality menu options that combine traditional favorites with exciting specials that are made from scratch from the best ingredients, you should try The Basics on the Front Street side of the Cotton Exchange.

Hours: Mon-Fri Breakfast, 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., Lunch 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Dinner, Mon-Thurs 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Fri, Sat 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Brunch, Sat, Sun 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

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The Basics Gourmet Soul
319 N Front St
Wilmington, NC 28401

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