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The History

The Bistro at Topsail is Executive Chef and Owner Bud Taylor’s ode to Southern cuisine and family. Bud grew up across the water in Turkey Creek, N.C. where the kitchen was a focal point for his family. Bud’s family taught him to cook and those early lessons caused him to continue cooking, but always on his own. Instead of receiving formal training like many chefs, Bud went to school for graphic design and marketing. However, one Christmas Eve he cooked up a mess of collards for his family’s dinner. At that dinner, everyone was raving about the collards but no one knew who cooked them. When Bud finally told them it was him, the look of surprise on the faces of his loved ones motivated him to continue following his passion for cooking. Bud opened the Bistro at Topsail in June 2007, and is exemplary of his passion for Southern food and beverage.

Chef Bud and The Bistro at Topsail's recent recognition include winning The James Beard Foundations Blended Burger Project in 2017, NCRLA Best Chef North Carolina Finalist 2017, being featured in Food & Wine and Forbes magazines as an Open Table Top 100 Most Scenic Restaurant in America.  Chef Bud and his team have also received the coveted “Award of Excellence” from Wine Spectator Magazine for 4 consecutive years as well as a “Best Bourbon Bar in America” nod from the American Bourbon Association. 

The Food

Chef Bud, influenced by his family’s southern roots, creates a menu that is truly unique to Topsail Island’s dining scene. Drawing inspiration from local and seasonal ingredients as well as his childhood memories, Chef Bud puts his own self-taught culinary spin on classic Southern and Coastal foods. The Bistro at Topsail’s menu changes daily, allowing Chef Bud to take advantage of the freshest, local and seasonal ingredients. The result is satisfying, comforting dishes with unique yet familiar Southern flavors. 

The Farm

The Bistro at Topsail offers diners easy access to local, high quality ingredients. Our farm is just over 10 acres, located about 6 miles from the restaurant in Holly Ridge, N.C. We purchased the farm in 2014 to grow a variety of produce like heirloom tomatoes, bush beans, micro greens, okra, carrots and more. We are currently in the process of remodeling our barn to house a hydroponic system for micro greens and tomatoes. We recently planted an orchard and hope to raise a green house soon.

The Bistro at Topsail offers guests a dining experience that started when we tilled the ground, planted a seed and months later prepared the vegetables for their plate. The experience at the Bistro at Topsail is the purest example of Southern cooking.