John's Drive In

Categories: Seafood, Roadside Grill, Ice Cream/Yogurt Shop

Contact Information

3716 N. VA Dare Trail
Milepost 4.5
Kitty Hawk, NC 27949

Phone: 252-261-6227

Hours of Operation

Lunch: 11am - 5pm

Dinner: 5:30pm - 8pm

Closed Wednesdays

Meals served: Lunch, Dinner

  • Outside

“Little John, let me get a dolphin (mahi) sandwich with a side of fries and one ‘puppy cup’ for my best friend, Spot.” That’s what you’ll hear customers ordering at Johns Drive-In, located at milepost 4.5 on the beach road. Regarded as a local surfers’ hangout, Johns Drive-In offers a fun family-friendly outdoor lunch hot spot. Just a short walk from the beach, on a hot day, you can enjoy your homemade milkshake while sitting at one of their picnic tables, or while sitting on the beach watching the waves.


  • Health Department Grade:  99.5
  • Credit Cards:  MC, Visa
  • Attire:  Casual
  • On Site Parking:  Yes
  • Serve Safe Certification:  Yes
  • Green Initiative:  Yes
  • Take Out:  Yes
  • Outdoor Seating:  Yes
  • Kids Entertainment:  Yes
  • Samples:  Sample


On the outside of the Drive-In are pictures of the history of the Drive-In, and the customers that have had the pleasure of tasting the excellent food. John’s Drive-In was featured in North Carolina State Magazine, The Virginian Pilot, Boating Lifestyle, and on Food Networks ‘Drive Ins and Dives.’ 

So stop on by and take a trip down memory lane. John’s Drive-In window is always open, serving good food, good people, and good times.

Chef Biography

John's Drive In

John 'Little John' Tise and his daughter work the kitchen at John's Drive-In.

Owner Biography

John's Drive In

Johns Drive-In is a family-owned roadside grill, established 32 years ago by John ‘Big John’ and Pat Jennings, shortly after WWII.  John’s Drive-In is currently owned and run by Son, John ‘Little John’ Tise. Truly a family business, you’ll find owner and daughter working side-by-side, any day of the week. 

Specialties & Additional Menu Options

  • Beverage Specials: 

    Homemade Milkshakes

  • Course Specialties: 

    Dolphin Sandwich, homemade fresh tuna salad, hamburgers and subs!  Ask about a puppy cup for fido!


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