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.
Thanks again to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism for hosting my visit. All opinions are my own. This article contains affiliate links.
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.
Breakfast Options 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.
We tried two of the BuzzCatz “PopTarts,” a flaky pastry made with a handmade filling. (Cherry and Peach)
You also can’t go wrong with any of the housemade pastries including cinnamon rolls and muffins.
The bigger challenge will be narrowing down your options.
BuzzCatz serves locally roasted coffee. I enjoyed a hazelnut latte in their relaxed atmosphere.
I’d also recommend their three-egg omelet with veggies and cheese for some extra protein in between pastries.
There is ample seating for guests both inside and outside or you can take your order to-go.
22843 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL
The Southern Grind is another breakfast option that can be a sit-down restaurant or to-go option.
There are several tables outside and there is plenty of seating inside, including a few large tables too.
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.
We tried the Belgian Waffle with Fresh Strawberries & Cream. The Belgian Waffle was topped with powdered sugar & raspberry drizzle, served with our choice of bacon, sausage, or ham.
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.
Dine on the Border at Flora-Bama Yacht Club
17350 Perdido Key Dr., Perdido Key, FL 32507
Take a picture near the dividing line and then enjoy a meal with scenic views of Ole River nearby.
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.
For appetizers, we tried their Bacon & BBQ Fire-Roasted Oysters. They are made with char-grilled Louisiana oysters finished with Sriracha-cured bacon, butter, New Orleans BBQ sauce and cheese.
I personally prefer char-grilled oysters over raw.
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.
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.
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.
My dad ordered the Blackened Shrimp Tacos made with house slaw, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, and spicy mayo drizzle.
I highly recommend visiting Flora-Bama at some point during your vacation.
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 their Alabama wild shrimp from Bon Secour Fisheries. You’ll find both locals and visitors dining inside or at the picnic tables outside.
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.
You also can’t go wrong with their fried shrimp Po Boy sandwich.
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.
Guests can dine inside or enjoy the large patio space that looks out on the Marina.
Their marinated crab claws are very popular so we opted to try the Fried Crab Claw Basket instead of an appetizer.
The fried crab claw basket is served with coleslaw, fries, hush puppies, and a housemade cocktail sauce.
If there was a bottle of the cocktail sauce available for purchase, I would have bought it. It was the best I’ve tried.
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.
Unique Flavors at Anchor Bar & Grill
4575 S. Wilson Blvd., Orange Beach, AL 36561
The limited menu at Anchor Bar & Grill is locally sourced with intention. They specialize in making each of those menu items AMAZING!
The restaurant has covered views and areas where you can dine in the sun while enjoying beautiful views of Terry Cove.
We opted to try a few of the menu items so that we could sample a few of the popular flavors.
The poke bowl is so fresh and flavorful. This dish is made with marinated Gulf tuna and AL Rum cured Ora King salmon with avocado, sweet onions, pickled mustard seeds, wasabi tobiko, and sesame-crusted arancini.
The meal is an edible work of art served in a beautiful clay bowl by local artisan, Maya Cantrel. You can find more of her work at The Clay Studio at the Coastal Arts Center.
More In Than Out Burger
The “More In Than Out Burger” is totally worth the extra napkins. The sandwich is made with Anchor mustard seared Louisiana wagyu beef, topped with American cheese, iceberg lettuce, caramelized onion, and tomato jams.
How to Make the “More In Than Out Burger
You’ll appreciate the art of making the sandwich after you watch the video.
We also tried the O.G. Brisket Tots. They are made with crispy tater tots topped with smoked wagyu brisket, pickled red onions, queso, sour cream, tomato jam, fresh jalepenos, topped with a sunny side up farm egg.
We didn’t come close to finishing everything but it was fun sampling bites of all of the flavors.
Dine at Original Oyster House
701 Highway 59, Gulf Shores, AL
Original Oyster House has several awards under their 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 three 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.
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.
We decided to split the Crab Cakes with rémoulade sauce and the Crab Stuffed Flounder.
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 saving room for dessert after our delicious dinner. We both have a sweet tooth and wanted to try their homemade pies.
We opted to split both the key lime pie and the peanut butter pie.
You need to see the peanut butter pie from another perspective to truly appreciate it.
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.
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.
There is plenty of room for groups both inside and outside in the courtyard areas.
Fun Facts: Big Beach Brewing Company is the southernmost brewery in Alabama and the brewery began in the garage of a local dentist.
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.
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