Apple Uglies & The Best Outer Banks Breakfast
If you’re visiting Hatteras Island in Outer Banks, North Carolina, you’ll find no shortage of fabulous restaurants. You’ll find places touting the best burgers, the freshest fish, and the most delicious crab cakes. However, there’s only one place where you should get an Apple Ugly, and that’s at Orange Blossom Bakery & Cafe in Buxton. OBX breakfast doesn’t get better than this!
My sister-in-law and her family from Berlin and Ocean City, Maryland have been visiting Outer Banks yearly for decades. They change the city they stay in, switch between bayside and oceanside, rental house or condo, but one constant remains—a visit to Orange Blossom for Apple Uglies.
So when we decided to join the family this year on their Outer Banks vacation, there was no doubt I would have my first Apple Ugly!
Discovering Apple Uglies
What is an Apple Ugly?
Picture the biggest, fluffiest, apple fritters ever, that’s Apple Uglies. The outer dough is slightly crisp and glazed with sugar. The inside is thick, soft, and fluffy with loads of apples.
I hadn’t felt the desire to eat an apple fritter in many years, yet, I went to the Orange Blossom Cafe twice in one week for an Apple Ugly!
And my husband, Mike, who rarely eats pastries or donuts made the mistake of not getting one on our first visit. You know he did not make that mistake twice!
Yup they’re that good! And in the summertime, there’s a line out the door for apple uglies to prove it!
How Big are Apple Uglies
In a word—huge! I enjoyed my first Apple Ugly over a couple of days. Out of the seven of us, none could eat a whole one in a single sitting. So, although $5 may seem like a steep price, it’s actually a bargain!
Although they taste light and fluffy, they feel pretty heavy in the bag. Apple Uglies are pretty dense so if you see it and think, I can eat that whole thing, I wouldn’t commit until you hold one. And if you don’t finish your Apple Ugly, save even the smallest piece for a snack, you’ll thank me!
Chocolate Covered Ugly
Chocolate lovers can order a chocolate ugly which, of course, is an Apple Ugly pastry drenched in chocolate. At the Orange Blossom Bakery, they nicknamed them Krupas which in Polish means turd. Where else can you get a Turd and an Ugly and be happy?
The Apple Uglies Story
The Orange Blossom Bakery & Cafe has been serving food and drinks for over 40 years. Before that, it was a motel! Doris and Allan Oakham and Lillian Hundley were the ones who turned it into a bakery and are responsible for the creation of the Apple Uglies.
Legend has it that it was actually an accident created by a visiting baker who was using up leftover donut dough! They were delicious but they all agreed, ugly!
The Orange Blossom Menu
When you arrive at Orange Blossom Bakery and Cafe, get in line and order at the counter. Only one line exists whether you are ordering sweet or savory items. You’ll receive the baked goods upon ordering, and your name will be called when the sandwich or whatever else you order is ready.
Orange Blossom Bakery Menu
There’s actually a lot more to the Orange Blossom Menu than Apple Uglies. You’ll find the usual breakfast baked goods like donuts, muffins, and cinnamon rolls, as well as, seasonal fruit fry-pies. We tried the peach and blueberry fry-pies and for me, the packed with peaches pie wins between those two.
Orange Blossom Cafe Menu
In addition to iconic baked goods, the savory items are also quite yummy! I suggest ordering a savory breakfast item to eat there, and take a bag of Apple Uglies back to your OBX vacation rental. The Breakfast Burrito and the Mondo Breakfast Sandwich are both favorites with our family. The burrito has eggs, cheese, pico de gallo, and choice of sausage, ham, or bacon.
The Mondo, my favorite, is as big as it sounds with egg, cheese, bacon and sausage on homemade bread or biscuit—biscuit please! I’ve been eating biscuits on this foodie road trip since New Braunfels, TX, and this biscuit ranked up with the best of them. For me, the Mondo is the best breakfast Outer Banks has to offer! As good as it was, I could not finish my Mondo, but the leftovers heated well the next day in the condo microwave.
I have to admit, I had a small piece of my Apple Ugly while I was waiting for my Mondo. I just couldn’t take the suspense! So, I broke off a piece of the warm corner and was happy I did. It definitely lived up to the hype and family lore!
Before You Go to Orange Blossom for Apple Uglies
Orange Blossom Bakery Info
Orange Blossom Bakery and Cafe is open 7 days a week from 6:30 am to 11:00 am. Yup, those are both am—just 4 1/2 hours per day! And in case it’s not obvious, if you want an Apple Ugly or Mondo for your Outer Banks breakfast, go early! Orders are not taken online or by phone.
During COVID, the indoor seating is closed, but if you’re lucky, you can nab a table or a seat on the porch.
Don’t hesitate to order extra Apple Uglies to take home and freeze. We did!
Orange Blossom Bakery Location
You can get your Apple Uglies and Mondo Breakfast Sandwich at 47206 Highway 12 in Buxton, NC.
Where to Stay in Outer Banks
Outer Banks Vacation Rentals
The best places to stay in Outer Banks are vacation rentals. We stayed on Hatteras Island in Rodanthe and loved it. The movie “Nights in Rodanthe” was actually filmed there, unlike the Netflix “Outer Banks” series which is filmed in South Carolina.
Avon is also considered one of the best towns in Outer Banks and has more shops and restaurants than Rodanthe. The best argument to stay in Avon may be that it’s closer to the Orange Blossom Cafe and Apple Uglies! But we appreciated the quietness of Rodanthe, and there still were lots of options for activities.
Outer Banks vacation rentals are plentiful, but do fill up sometimes a year ahead of time. You should decide if you want to stay in a condo or a house. Outer Banks home rentals and Outer Banks condo rentals can be found on the sound and the ocean—decision #2. Most of the OBX vacation rentals that are condos have pools. If you can splurge for a waterfront condo or home rental, I think it’s worth it, it’s especially worth it if you plan on eating in. You may think you’re not going to be in your room much, but we spent many hours taking in the views. And your pool may even have a view too!
Outer Banks Sound Side Rentals
On the sound side, you’ll have magnificent sunsets. My sister-in-law and her family stayed right on the OBX sound. Their condo had 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, a large open living room/dining room, and a huge lanai with a 180 degree view of the sound. We hung out watching the kite surfers at sunset every night. Stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, fishing and other water sports are also popular on the Outer banks sound.
Outer Banks Ocean Side Rentals
Those who stay in Outer Banks ocean side rentals enjoy gorgeous sunrises. We stayed with my brother-in-law in a 2 bedroom 2 bath condo with a small balcony and partial ocean view. We booked too late for an ocean front room, but it was still just a short walk to the beach. Every day we swam and took long walks by the ocean. Others in our party surfed and fished as well. We caught a few incredible sunrises. They were perfect motivation for Apple Ugly mornings!
No matter which OBX rentals you choose, be sure to start at least one morning with a sunrise over the ocean and a mouth watering Apple Ugly!