Royal James Café

117 Turner Street
Beaufort, NC 28516

Royal James Café is the oldest continually existing business in Beaufort’s historic district. It has its own local flavor and character that keeps people coming back again and again. With early ‘50s Formica, wood and neon look, this café and pool room draws an interesting mix of locals, tourists, families, and singles.

Locally known as “The James,” the limited menu has unlimited appeal for burger connoisseurs. The hand pattied burgers are made with 90% lean, fresh ground beef. Try ordering your burger “All the Way” with their famous secret chili sauce, mustard, and onions.

You’ll have to see menu board inside to place your order at the counter. The favorites include hamburgers and cheesebu0rgers ($3). You can upgrade to a double hamburger or double cheeseburger for ($4) and you’ll be glad you did.  If you are thinking of adding lettuce, it’s something they just don’t offer. Toppings include mustard, ketchup, mayo, onions, relish, tomato, and bacon ($1)

French fries come in two sizes – small ($2) and large ($4). Onion rings ($3) are available. Other items on the menu include Hot Dogs ($2) or Hot Ham & Cheese Sandwich ($3). They also have a Kidz Grilled Cheese ($2) for children.

For beer selections, you can choose from Domestic, Imports, or Craft Beer on tap.

Looking for something different? Try the Poor Man’s Steak & Eggs! Just add a fried egg to a hamburger or cheesebuger for an extra $1.

Listed on Garden & Gun magazine’s “Guide to the South’s Best Burgers,” the survey was based on readers’ favorite burger joints via Facebook. The James has been favorably mentioned in editorial publications from the Atlanta Constitution-Journal to Southern Living and Our State magazine. You’ll find regulation antique Brunswick pool tables, an Internet-connected jukebox, video games, and a flat-screen TV normally tuned to North Carolina sports.

The Royal James takes its name from a pirate ship that cruised these waters under Blackbeard and Stede Bonnet 1716-1718, capturing at least 32 ships from here to the Delaware Capes. Its tale is told in “The Pirates of Colonial North Carolina.” It was given the name The Royal James Café in 1983.

We’re surprised Guy Fieri of the Food Network didn’t discover “The James” in his travels throughout the country with his show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Today, you can discover what makes the Royal James Cafe a favorite with locals and visitors alike.

Enjoy live music on weekends.

This is a cash only establishment with an ATM available on site.


Sunday 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Monday 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Tuesday 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Wednesday 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Thursday 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Friday 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Saturday 11:00 am - 11:00 pm

We strive to ensure our information is current and accurate. We always encourage you to call ahead to the restaurant to ensure they are open. Days, hours, and menus may change, particularly in the off-season.

Off Season Hours:

In the off-season, Royal James Café may close earlier than the posted hours.




Primary Cuisine:Burgers
Cuisines Offered: American, Burgers


ADA Compliant Facilities
Kid Friendly
Family Friendly

Payment & Discounts

Cash Only


Street Parking

Meals Served

Late Night

Dining Style

Casual Dining
Table Service
Counter Service

Dining/Food Service

Walk-Ins Welcome

Beverage Options


Music & Entertainment

Weekend Entertainment
Live Music


Pickup Catering


Group Tour Info