Just a few that I think are worth mentioning:
Flaming Amy's Burrito Barn
4002 Oleander Dr.
Great local place with lots of character, fresh huge burritos and other baja cuisine and an incredible salsa bar at moderate prices.
Middle of the Island Restaurant
216 Causeway Dr. Wrightsville Beach
Look for an orange building on the right on the way to Wrightsville Beach. Another great local place with fresh seafood, home cooked meals and daily specials. Moderately priced and crowded in a good way. Get there early.
7324 Market St.(Hwy 17) Ogden, about 7 miles NE of Wilmington
Family owned diner with huge portions. Friendly, neighborhood place, great for breakfast, daily specials.
6301 Oleander Dr.
Fresh local seafood and other choices at good prices. Haven't been there in a few years, but it was a good, comfortable place to find a great meal.