Royal James Café

117 Turner Street
Beaufort, NC 28516

Royal James Café is the oldest continually existing business in Beaufort’s historic district and 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 and 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.

While they only have a menu board inside, a few favorites are the hamburgers ($2) and cheeseburgers ($2.25),  You can upgrade to the double hamburger ($3.25) or the double cheeseburger for ($3.50) and you’ll be glad you did.  If you are thinking of adding lettuce or tomato, it’s something they just don’t offer. You can add french fries or onion rings with a small order ($2) or large order ($4). Other items on the menu include Turkey Melt ($7), Mesquite Chicken Sandwich ($7) or the Shrimp Burger ($8).

For beer selections, you can choose from Domestic ($3.25), Imports ($4.25) or Craft Beer on tap ($5).run

In-season, breakfast is available from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. The only serve a Egg & Cheese Sandwich ($2) with Bacon or Ham additional.

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.

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


Sunday 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Monday 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Tuesday 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Wednesday 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Thursday 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Friday 11:00 am - 12:00 am
Saturday 11:00 am - 12:00 am

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:


Free Parking:
Street Parking:

New Downtown Parking Regulations outlined below:

Free Parking: January 1 – April 30
- All parking in Downtown Beaufort is FREE, with NO time limits.

Paid Parking: May 1 – Sep. 30
- Paid parking applies to ALL marked spaces with the following parking limits:
- Four-hour, non-renewable parking limit for on-street fee-based spaces on Front Street west of Queen Street, for two fee-based parking lots on Front Street, and five fee-based spaces in front of Town Hall on Pollack Street.
- Unlimited time parking for the fee-based surface lots on Turner, Craven, and Queen Streets.
- Unlimited time parking for the fee-based on-street spaces in the 100 blocks of Turner, Craven Streets, and on Front Street east of Queen Street.

Paid Parking Guidelines:
- $1 per hour on all numbered parking spots.
- Handicap/motorcycle/golf cart spaces exempt.
- 7 days a week from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
- All paid parking spaces are numbered.
- Twelve (12) Pay to Park solar powered kiosks are located along Front and Turner Streets.
- Look for ‘Pay Here’ signs to find kiosks.
- Coins and credit cards accepted, no paper bills.
- Receipt doesn’t need to be displayed in the vehicle, but is needed to extend time.
- Kiosks are covered after the season.
- All proceeds after expenses will go towards downtown streetscaping improvements.

Free Parking: October 1 – December 31
- All parking in Downtown Beaufort is FREE, with NO time limits.

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