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The Best Places to Eat in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach

When I visit a destination I love finding restaurants that are the local favorites and dining hidden gems. There are so many great places to eat in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama.

You can’t go wrong with these family-friendly recommendations during your next vacation to Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Gulf Shores Alabama

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When you visit Gulf Shores, Alabama you are most likely going to also be traveling through Orange Beach too.

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are only 13 minutes apart which means that there are lots of wonderful dining options in the area.

I’m sharing my experience at local restaurants from multiple visits to the area.

Sunliner Diner Gulf Shores

Breakfast at Sunliner Diner

100 E. 2nd Ave., Gulf Shores, AL 36542

Step back into the 1950s during your meal at Sunliner Diner. This is a fun restaurant for all ages.

 Breakfast at Sunliner Diner Gulf Shores

Sunliner Diner serves hamburgers and milkshakes for lunch and dinner along with breakfast all day.

car booth at Sunliner Diner Gulf Shores

The restaurant is large with plenty of seating for groups. If you’re lucky you may even luck out and get to sit in the car booth.

chicken and waffle Benedict at Sunliner Diner Gulf Shores

I tried the Chicken and Waffle Benedict. It was made with Belgian waffle, hand-battered fried boneless chicken breast, and two poached eggs covered with creole hollandaise sauce.

The dish was topped with chopped red bell peppers and green onions and drizzled with syrup, served with hash browns or grits.

The Big Daddy-O Breakfast at Sunliner Diner Gulf Shores

My son opted for The Big Daddy-O Breakfast, perfect for a healthy appetite.

It comes with three farm-fresh eggs made to order, bacon, sausage, griddled ham, and a pancake. It’s served with your choice of hash browns or grits.

Tacky Jacks Gulf Shores AL

Leave Your Mark With Duct Tape at Tacky Jacks

240 E. 24th Ave., Gulf Shores, AL 36542

Tacky Jacks offers menu options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and Fort Morgan.

Shrimp and cheese grits at Tacky Jacks
We visited Tacky Jacks for breakfast in Gulf Shores. I opted for the shrimp and cheesy grits made of Gulf shrimp seasoned over cheese grits and served with a biscuit.
French toast at Tacky Jacks Gulf Shores AL

My son opted for the French Toast with a side of scrambled eggs and bacon.

duct tape messages at Tacky Jacks Gulf Shores AL

If you want to leave your mark with a duct tape message before or after a meal, you need to visit the Gulf Shores location.

Tacky Jacks Gulf Shores AL

The hostess area has you covered with colorful pieces of duct tape already cut for guests to take and a Sharpie to use.

duct tape messages at Tacky Jacks Gulf Shores AL

It’s also fun to read the messages left by previous guests.

 Tacky Jacks Gulf Shores AL

Tacky Jacks has waterfront views of Portage Creek and activities along the water for guests to relax before or after they dine.

 The Hangout Gulf Shores

Celebrate at The Hangout

101 E. Beach Blvd., Gulf Shores, AL

If you are celebrating anything or just want to have a good time with friends or family, The Hangout knows how to work it with a crowd.

This restaurant doesn’t just have an energetic atmosphere, it also has great food.

Snapper Po'Boy The Hangout Gulf Shores

The Snapper Po’Boy is a great option if you want to switch things up from a traditional Po-Boy sandwich.

The sandwich is made with fresh snapper blackened, grilled, or fried with shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, red onions, and drizzled with chipotle aioli, served with fries.

blueberry mojito at The Hangout Gulf Shores

There are plenty of cocktails to choose from. I tried the Blueberry Mojito which was really refreshing.

Hang Out Wings with fries at The Hangout Gulf Shores

My son doesn’t care for seafood so he opted for the Hang Out Wings with a side of fries.

Live music at The Hangout

If you visit in the evening there’s a good chance that you can enjoy live entertainment before or after your meal.

You also might see customers dancing on their chairs or tables…I told you that it’s a fun place with a group.

Check out The Hangout website for upcoming live music and special events.

photo areas The Hangout Gulf Shores

If you’re waiting for a table The Hangout has several photo-op areas, retail shops, a gigantic sandbox, a foam machine, a fire pit, and more to help you pass the time.

Picnic Beach Bar and Grill Gulf Shores AL

Coastal Vibes at Picnic Beach Bar & Grill

128 E 1st Ave, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

Picnic Beach is a great casual restaurant that offers indoor and outdoor seating.

Picnic Beach Bar and Grill Gulf Shores AL

There is a parking garage for restaurant patrons to park for free located directly under the restaurant. Their menu features fresh, clean ingredients including organic cocktails.

buffalo chicken basket at the Picnic Beach Bar and Grill Gulf Shores AL

My son opted for the Buffalo chicken basket made with marinated chicken tenders, hand-breaded and gently fried served on top of a mound of fries drizzled with house-made buffalo sauce and creamy ranch.

Mahi Mahi sandwich at Picnic Beach
I enjoyed the Mahi Mahi sandwich made with blackened fresh mahi-mahi, red onion, tomato, and lettuce topped with house-made herby tartar sauce.

I requested aioli sauce for my fries in addition to tarter sauce and it was hard to pick my favorite sauce because each one was so good!
swings at the Picnic Beach Bar and Grill Gulf Shores AL
Picnic Beach has beach vibes inside and out along with a pair of swings for guests to strike a pose for.
outdoor seating at Picnic Beach Bar and Grill Gulf Shores AL

If the upper seating area is full there is additional seating to the right of the staircase.

Lulu's Gulf Shores

Fun, Food, and Music at Lulu’s

200 East 25th Ave., Gulf Shores, AL

Lulu Buffet is the owner of Lulu’s and yes, she’s also the sibling of legendary musician Jimmy Buffet. Good times run in the family because there is a LOT to do here before or after your meal.

Mountain of Youth at Lulu's Gulf Shores

You can listen to live music most evenings, play at the arcade, play beach volleyball, challenge yourself on the Mountain of Youth 3-story climbing aerial course, or just relax with a drink from the bar.

Lulu's Gulf Shores

During your visit, you can enjoy views of boats passing by on the Intercoastal Waterway. You’ll probably notice Tacky Jacks on the other side of the water.

Smoked tuna dip Lulu's Gulf Shores
The menu features scratch-made recipes that were created by Lulu.

Pro local tip- If you order the smoked tuna ask for tortilla chips instead of crackers.
Summer shrimp salad at Lulu's Gulf Shores
If you order the Summer Shrimp Salad you also get two fried green tomatoes served with Lulu’s Wow sauce…the sauce is definitely wow-worthy!
chicken finger basket at Lulu's Gulf Shores

There are special menu options for gluten-free, dairy-free, shellfish-free, seafood-free, egg-free, and soy-free and there is even a small vegan menu.

If someone in your party has special dietary needs you’ll be impressed by LuLu’s extensive allergy menu.

Bread Pudding with a twist! Served with Vanilla Custard Sauce.

Save room for the Hot Fun Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding made with Krispy Kreme donuts and served with vanilla custard sauce.

Sassy Bass Cookout Tiki Gulf Shores

Dinner at Sassy Chophouse + Cocktails

8818 AL-180 Ste C, Gulf Shores, AL

Sassy Chophouse + Cocktails and Sassy Bass Cookout Tiki are great dining stops before or after your visit to Fort Morgan.

Tiki Rita at Sassy Chophouse and Cocktails

Their award-winning Tiki Rita is definitely worth trying! The drink is made with Caz adores Reposado, Cointreau, agave nectar, and freshly squeezed juices.

Creole shrimp skillet at Sassy Chophouse and Cocktails

The Shrimp Creole Skillet is a fantastic option with bread to soak up all of the additional sauce. The dish is made with Gulf shrimp sauteed in their tangy island sauce and served with crusty dipping bread.

pina colada cake at Sassy Chophouse and Cocktails

Make sure that you save room for the Pina Colada cake! This cake is a vacation in a glass, flavorful and moist.

Sassy Bass Cookout Tiki

During our visit, Sassy Bass Cookout Tiki was a few weeks away from reopening but you can see that the area is set up with shade canvases, fire pits, and string lights.

Milkshakes at The Yard Gulf Shores

Over the Top Mega Milkshakes at The Yard Milkshake Bar

3800 Gulf Shores Pkwy., Gulf Shores, AL

The Yard Milkshake Bar is THE place if you want an over-the-top IG-worthy dessert.

You might recognize The Yard from their episode on Shark Tank. The business started in Gulf Shores and has since expanded to 23 locations.

Milkshake at The Yard Gulf Shores

I ordered the Peanut Butter Brownie Bliss and my son ordered the Cookie Dough Delicious. I got about halfway through it before I had to tap out.

You can opt to have your milkshake in a paper bowl or a souvenir mason jar.

There are monthly seasonal milkshakes along with classics on the menu. The hardest part is narrowing down all of the creative milkshake options…and attempting to finish a giant milkshake.

If you opt for the quart size over the pint be prepared to share.

Home-made PopTart at BuzzCatz Coffee & Sweets in Orange Beach

Try a Homemade “PopTart” at BuzzCatz Coffee & Sweets

25689 Canal Rd., Orange Beach, AL

Serving up homemade pastries made fresh daily, there are lots of great breakfast options at BuzzCatz Coffee & Sweets.

peach Home-made PopTart at BuzzCatz Coffee & Sweets

We tried two of the BuzzCatz “PopTarts,” a flaky pastry made with a handmade filling. (Cherry and Peach)

blueberry muffin at BuzzCatz Coffee & Sweets

You also can’t go wrong with any of the housemade pastries including cinnamon rolls and muffins.

BuzzCatz Coffee & Sweets

The bigger challenge will be narrowing down your options.

latte at BuzzCatz Coffee & Sweets

BuzzCatz serves locally roasted coffee. I enjoyed a hazelnut latte in the relaxed atmosphere.

omelet at BuzzCatz Coffee & Sweets

I’d also recommend their three-egg omelet with veggies and cheese for some extra protein in between pastries.

outside BuzzCatz Coffee & Sweets

There is ample seating for guests both inside and outside or you can take your order to-go.

CoastAL Orange Beach

Try An Incredible Chicken Sandwich at CoastAL Orange Beach

25722 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL

Coastal Chicken sandwich at CoastAL Orange Beach

CoastAL Orange Beach has an incredible chicken sandwich that’s worth the hype!

Coastal Chicken sandwich at CoastAL Orange Beach

The CoastAL Chicken sandwich is made with crispy fried chicken, aged white cheddar pimento cheese, tomato, red onion, green leaf lettuce, dill pickle chips, and peach aioli.

Rumor has it that the chicken is brined in sweet tea and after you try it, you’ll understand why it’s one of their signature sandwiches.

Key West Margarita at CoastAL Orange Beach

CoastAL has plenty of great options to choose from when it comes to craft cocktails.

I opted for the “Key West Margarita” made with Patron tequila, gran gala, agave syrup, key lime juice, orange juice, and sea salt foam.

outdoor seating at CoastAL Orange Beach
CoastAL offers plenty of outdoor seating for guests. The restaurant is “first come-first serve” so plan accordingly, especially if you have a large party.
outdoor seating at CoastAL Orange Beach

In fact, CoastAL is only steps away from the white sand beach and beautiful views of the ocean as the only beachfront restaurant in Orange Beach, Alabama.

As an added bonus, parking is free for CoastAL customers and Orange Beach residents.

The Southern Grind at INDIGO Orange Beach

The Southern Grind at INDIGO

22843 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 

pastries at The Southern Grind at INDIGO

The Southern Grind is another breakfast option that can be a sit-down restaurant or to-go option.

seating area at The Southern Grind at INDIGO

There are several tables outside and there is plenty of seating inside, including a few large tables too.

The Southern Grind at INDIGO

While you’re waiting on your food, you can browse the gift shop filled with great decorations that you might want to bring home.

I’m a big fan of sweet AND savory so my dad and I split two menu items.

Belgian Waffle with Fresh Strawberries & Cream

We tried the Belgian Waffle with Fresh Strawberries & Cream. The Belgian Waffle was topped with powdered sugar & raspberry drizzle and served with our choice of bacon, sausage, or ham.

Mexican Omelette at The Southern Grind at INDIGO

For our protein, we tried the Mexican Omelette. It was made with 3 eggs scrambled, diced tomatoes, chopped onion, sausage, chopped jalapenos, and cheddar cheese, served with 2 flour tortillas and a side of salsa.

Coffee drinkers have plenty of ways to enjoy their coffee including their House Blend, Single Origin, Cold Brew, Nitro Draft, and Dublin Cold Brew (Guinness, cold brew, cream.) There are plenty of non-coffee drinks too.

scenic views at Flora-Bama Yacht Club

Dine on the Border at Flora-Bama Yacht Club

17350 Perdido Key Dr., Perdido Key, FL 32507

state line divide sign at Flora-Bama Yacht Club

Take a picture near the dividing line and then enjoy a meal with scenic views of the Ole River nearby.

outdoor dining at Flora-Bama Yacht Club

Guests can enjoy the casual laid-back setting of dining on the beach or inside the covered dining area at Flora-Bama Yacht Club.

The Flora-Bama complex of restaurants and bars is also within walking distance, across the street from the world-famous Flora-Bama Lounge, Package & Oyster Bar.

Bacon & BBQ Fire-Roasted Oysters at Flora-Bama Yacht Club

For appetizers, we tried their Bacon & BBQ Fire-Roasted Oysters. They are made with char-grilled Louisiana oysters and finished with Sriracha-cured bacon, butter, New Orleans BBQ sauce, and cheese.

I personally prefer char-grilled oysters over raw ones.

Greek Shrimp Nachos at Flora-Bama Yacht Club

We also tried the Greek Shrimp Nachos. I normally would not have chosen this option but it was AMAZING!

The Greek Nachos are made with fried wonton chips smothered in a spinach-feta-cream sauce, topped with grilled Gulf shrimp, tomatoes, crumbled feta, Kalamata olives, peppadews, banana peppers, green onion, and red onion.

Bushwacker signature drink at Flora-Bama Yacht Club

For drinks, the “Bushwacker” signature drink at Flora-Bama Yacht Club is a fan favorite. It basically tastes like a boozy frosty from Wendy’s. You’ll find variations of the drink throughout the area.

Blackened Gulf Tripletail at Flora-Bama Yacht Club

Whenever you see Tripletail on the menu, I would suggest trying it.

I ordered the Blackened Gulf Tripletail and it was wonderful! It was served with creamy Cajun dirty rice and steamed local vegetables, topped with Orleans sauce. 

Blackened Shrimp Tacos at Flora-Bama Yacht Club

My dad ordered the Blackened Shrimp Tacos made with house slaw, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, and spicy mayo drizzle.

Flora-Bama Yacht Club at night

I highly recommend visiting Flora-Bama at some point during your vacation.

King Neptune’s Seafood Restaurant in Gulf Shores

Try Royal Reds at King Neptune’s Seafood Restaurant

1137 Gulf Shores Pkwy., Gulf Shores, AL 36542

If you like mom-and-pop restaurants, this is the stop for you.

King Neptune’s Seafood Restaurant sources its Alabama wild shrimp from Bon Secour Fisheries. You’ll find both locals and visitors dining inside or at the picnic tables outside.

Royal Reds at King Neptune’s Seafood Restaurant

They are known for their Royal Reds which are deep-water shrimp. Royal Reds are often compared to the texture of lobster and are sweeter than regular Gulf shrimp. Once you try them you can’t go back!

I tried Royal Reds for the first time in Coastal Mississippi a few years ago, and now I order them at least once whenever I’m dining near the Gulf.

Shrimp Po-Boy Sandwich at King Neptune’s Seafood Restaurant

You also can’t go wrong with their fried shrimp Po Boy sandwich.

OSO at Bear Point

Waterfront Views From OSO at Bear Point

5749 Bay La Launch Avenue, Orange Beach, AL

This waterfront restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

 marina near OSO at Bear Point

You can drive or boat to this waterfront restaurant at Bear Point Harbor.

sunset at OSO at Bear Point

If you happen to dine outside at OSO at Bear Point during sunset you’re in for an extra treat.

grilled pineapple margarita OSO at Bear Point
Their Grilled Pineapple Margarita is a fantastic option if you’re in the mood for a cocktail.
tuna bowl at OSO at Bear Point
The drink paired well with the Tuna Bowl made with ancho-dusted rare tuna, candied jalapenos, dark rum sauce, sriracha chili mayo, mango salsa, and cilantro sour cream.
chicken Alfredo at OSO at Bear Point
If you’re in the mood for a non-seafood option the Chicken Alfredo is a great option.
entrance for Fresh off the Boat in Orange Beach

Experience Fresh Off the Boat

27267 Perdido Beach Blvd #105, Orange Beach, AL

Located at SanRoc Cay Marina, the name “Fresh Off the Boat” says it all when it comes to the freshness of the fish.

view from patio at Fresh off the Boat in Orange Beach

Guests can dine inside or enjoy the large patio space that looks out on the Marina.

dining area inside Fresh off the Boat in Orange Beach

Their marinated crab claws are very popular so we opted to try the Fried Crab Claw Basket instead of an appetizer.

fried crab claw basket at Fresh off the Boat in Orange Beach

The fried crab claw basket is served with coleslaw, fries, hush puppies, and a housemade cocktail sauce.

fried crab claws at Fresh off the Boat in Orange Beach

If there was a bottle of cocktail sauce available for purchase, I would have bought it. It was the best I’ve tried.

Pecan-crusted Redfish at Fresh off the Boat in Orange Beach

We also split the Pecan-Crusted Redfish.

The Redfish was topped with peach-pineapple chutney and served over stone-ground cheddar grits and fresh vegetables of the day. The flavors of the fish and cheddar grits were also VERY good.

the Original Oyster House Gulf Shores

Dine at Original Oyster House

701 Highway 59, Gulf Shores, AL

Original Oyster House has several awards under its belt including “Winner of Best Bites Challenge” and “Reader’s Choice Favorite” for their Fire-Grilled Oysters by Mobile Bay Magazine.

It’s also been voted one of the Best Seafood Restaurants in the southeast by Southern Living.

This is a very popular restaurant so be prepared that you could experience a long wait if you want to dine at a popular meal time.

seating near the Original Oyster House Gulf Shores

If you do have a wait, you’ll be given a pager that works while you browse the stores in the same complex. Another option is to enjoy the view around the corner on the back deck.

Crab Cakes  With rémoulade sauce

We decided to split the Crab Cakes with rémoulade sauce and the Crab Stuffed Flounder.

crab stuffed flounder at the Original Oyster House

The Crab Stuffed Flounder is made with mild flakey fillets stuffed with blue crab dressing, baked, and served with hollandaise that comes with your choice of sides.

Our main objective was to save room for dessert after our delicious dinner. We both have a sweet tooth and wanted to try their homemade pies.

key lime pie at the Original Oyster House Gulf Shores

We opted to split both the key lime pie and the peanut butter pie.

peanut butter pie at the Original Oyster House Gulf Shores

You need to see the peanut butter pie from another perspective to truly appreciate it.

peanut butter pie at the Original Oyster House Gulf Shores

I was really glad that we split both pies even though we somehow thought we would be bringing some home. The peanut butter pie is really rich which is perfect for splitting or boxing up the other half for later.

craft beers at Big Beach Brewing Company

Grab a Local Brew at Big Beach Brewing Company

300 E 24th Ave, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

While you are in the area, make sure that you stop by Big Beach Brewing Company for a drink before or after a meal.

craft beers at Big Beach Brewing Company Gulf Shores

There is plenty of room for groups both inside and outside in the courtyard areas.

Courtyard at Big Beach Brewing Company

Fun Facts: Big Beach Brewing Company is the southernmost brewery in Alabama and the brewery began in the garage of a local dentist.

Nedra McDaniel and Dad at Big Beach Brewing Company

My dad typically enjoys light beers and I enjoy sours. We both found an option that we enjoyed while listening to live music in the background.

There are up to 12 beers on tap at a time and you’ll also find IPAs, Stouts, Cream Ales, and Belgian-style beers available.

Looking for a Place to Stay in Gulf Shores?

Compare prices on hotels and vacation rentals and book your next vacation to Gulf Shores using the map above.

adventure mom on an open tandem gyroplane with BeachFlight Aviation

Looking for Unique Adventures in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach?

Check out my article on Fun and Unique Things to Do in Gulf Shores.

Thanks again to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism for hosting my visit. All opinions are my own.

4 thoughts on “The Best Places to Eat in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach”

  1. I like breakfast options in orange beach. Informative post and thanks for sharing best places to eat when visit Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

  2. Great post and thanks for sharing best places to eat when visit Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. I like dine at Original Oyster House.

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