If you're looking for a delicious dining experience, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama, have got the perfect plate! Whether it's fresh-caught seafood or classic Southern cooking that gets your taste buds going, this area is sure to satisfy with its abundance of culinary delights.
Here's a list of our favorite spots to satisfy your hunger while visiting this part of Alabama, starting with dessert!
1. Creamy Milkshakes at the Sunliner Diner
The Sunliner Diner is a 50's themed diner located at 100 E. 2nd Avenue in Gulf Shores. It's easy to spot its shiny red retro building with antique cars parked in the front.
Step inside and the 50's theme continues with waitstaff dressed similar to what Joanie and Chachi would wear - if they worked in a diner.
The diner has a pretty extensive menu, which is cleverly printed to look like a newspaper. Items on the menu include Chicken and Waffles ($16.99), The Big Daddy-O Breakfast ($14.99), The Jukebox (burger with three patties and topped with three types of cheese, bacon, fried green tomato, onion ring, fried egg, and fried pickles and drizzled with hollandaise sauce - all on top of a brioche bun for $18.99), as well as cocktails like the Bushwacker ($12.99) or an entire Bloody Mary pitcher ($34.99)
I recommend that you go there, if for nothing else, for the desserts. If you go with a crowd, you can order the Happy Day Sundae ($49.99). Alternatively, you can always go with one of their signature milkshakes. They are large enough to easily satisfy the sweet tooth of two adults.
The Sunliner Diner is open Sunday - Thursday from 7 AM until 9 PM and Friday and Saturday from 7 AM until 10 PM. Breakfast is served all day and lunch and dinner start at 11 AM.
2. Peaches and Cream Dessert
The Peaches and Cream dessert at Voyagers is a work of art that you will want to dig into. It's made with peach-shaped cheesecake and it has a bourbon caramel core,
graham sand, greek yogurt crémeux, and basil gel.
Voyagers is located inside Perdido Beach Resort at 27200 Perdido Beach Blvd Orange Beach. I recommend that you make reservations. Voyagers opens at 5 pm every day with a final seating at 9 pm.
3. Shrimp Fra Diavolo
Just because you are at the beach does not mean that you cannot enjoy pasta. Quite contraire!
The Shrimp Fra Diavolo marries seafood and pasta and is made with gulf shrimp sautéed with roasted mushrooms, onions, chargrilled lemon, fresh spinach, and arugula with spicy marinara and angel hair pasta.
Cobalt is open Sunday – Thursday from 11 AM to 9:30 PM and Friday – Saturday 11 AM until 10:00 PM. It's a great place to enjoy dinner bayside.
4. Catch of the Day
The bronzed tripletail and the grouper at Coast Restaurant at The Beach Club are so good at this casual restaurant that you will want more. The creamy tazzo sauce will tempt you to lick your plate, but you’ll want to refrain from doing so at this casual, upscale restaurant.
The Beach Club Resort and Spa is located at 925 Beach Club Trail in Gulf Shores and is open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch from 11 am until 3 pm and for dinner from 5 pm until 8 pm. Dinner reservations are encouraged.
5. Blackened Gulf Tripletail
The Flora-Bama Yacht Club is casual beach dining at its finest. The Yacht Club is located near the Flora-Bama Ole River Grill on the shore of Old River.
The food is always good and the atmosphere is always lively. Time your visit right and you might get to enjoy live music and a great sunset.
The Blackened Gulf Tripletail ranks among my husband's favorite seafood dishes at the beach. It's served with creamy Cajun dirty rice and steamed local vegetables, and topped with Orleans sauce.
I like salads and the Greek salad with fried shrimp does not disappoint. Neither does the Frozen Mojito.
Flora-Bama Yacht Club is located at 17350 Perdido Key Drive, at the Alabama-Florida state line. It opens daily at 11 AM and closes at 9 PM Sunday - Thursday and at 10 PM Friday and Saturday.
6. Fish and Shrimp Basket
Next door to the Flora-Bama Yacht Club, the Flora-Bama Ole River Grill offers lots of great flavors with their seafood baskets with French fries and coleslaw on the side! For a truly beach-y meal, the best way to go is with some tasty fish and shrimp in one yummy basket.
The Flora-Bama Ole River Grill is located at 17400 Perdido Key Drive in Perdido Key, Florida. The restaurant opens daily at 11 am and closes at 10 pm Sunday through Thursday and is open until 11 pm Friday and Saturday.
7. Picnic Cobb Salad
The Picnic Cobb at Picnic Beach is a delicious salad made with a base of romaine lettuce and topped with roasted corn, candied pecans, boiled egg, tomato, smoked chickpeas, and sweet onion vinaigrette. It's perfect for those times you don't want fried food and want something on the light side.
Picnic Beach also makes delicious smoothies like the Bama Breeze Smoothie pictured below.
Picnic Beach is located at 128 East 1st Avenue in Gulf Shores. Because of Hurricane Sally, Picnic Beach is currently closed. Let's hope that it reopens soon!
8. Fish Sandwich
Fans of the tiny house movement will get a kick at The Gulf in Orange Beach. The Gulf is unique in that it is constructed of shipping containers and it is all outdoor dining. There are plenty of seating and lounging areas with great views of the beach and Gulf of Mexico.
The menu at The Gulf is subject to change because the focus is on local ingredients. Be prepared when you go to The Gulf - it's a popular place and long lines will form. Consider ordering a drink before getting in the line to order your food.
The Grouper Sandwich is lightly breaded and fried and goes perfectly with French fries. It's a hearty sandwich served in an amazing atmosphere.
The Gulf is located at 27500 Perdido Beach Boulevard and is open daily from 11 AM until 9 PM.
9. Fried Shrimp and Fried Okra
LuLu's is practically a destination in itself. There is a ton of fun stuff there to keep kids happy, like a playground and volleyball court, and boating enthusiasts will enjoy its location at Homeport Marina in Orange Beach.
The food will keep everyone happy.
If you like to order appetizers, I recommend the L.A. (Lower Alabama) Caviar and/or the Mountain of fried okra. Both are delicious and will disappear quickly.
If you like shrimp, then you definitely need to order Lulu's fried shrimp with French fries and coleslaw. My husband can't get enough of it and we stop every time we go to the beach.
Because LuLu's is a popular spot, be prepared to wait. I recommend heading over to LuLu's website (click here) and getting in line via the waitlist. It's not a reservation but will place you in line when there is a wait.
LuLu's is located at 200 E 25th Avenue in Gulf Shores and is open daily from 11 AM until 9 PM.
10. Lambert's Throwed Rolls and Country Cooking
Let's address the elephant in the room. No, Lambert's Cafe is not located in Gulf Shores or Orange Beach. However, it's only about a 30-minute drive from the beach to its location at 2981 S. McKenzie in Foley, Alabama.
Lambert's is known as the home of the "throwed" roll, so naturally, you need to go and experience the thrill of catching a freshly baked roll.
Another thing that the restaurant is known for is their pass-arounds. What's a pass around? Servers meander through the restaurant scooping out hearty servings of black-eye peas, potatoes and onions, macaroni and tomatoes, fried okra, boiled cabbage, sorghum, and apple butter. The pass-arounds are included with your meal and are unlimited.
Lambert's Cafe is open 11 AM until 8 PM daily.
11. Build Your Own Bloody Mary
The Bloody Marys at the Brick and Spoon in Orange Beach are amazing! To place an order, you are given a Build Your Own Bloody Mary pad to use to check off items that you would like in your Bloody Mary.
The base price is $12.50 and it includes vodka, up to 7 veggies, herbs, and seasonings. Meat and cheeses are available for $0.75 each. You can also make a selection for the temperature of your drink (mild, medium, or hot) and a rimmer (plain, salted, peppered).
Because it's not really wise to drink on an empty stomach, consider ordering one of their tasty breakfast treats like the Bananas Foster French Toast made with Battered Brioche, Caramelized Bananas, Fosters Sauce, Pecan Pieces, House Whipped Cream & Powdered Sugar. It's pretty heavenly.
The Brick and Spoon is located at 24705 Canal Road in Orange Beach and is open daily from 7 AM until 2 PM.
12. Hearty Southern Breakfast
Located on Perdido Beach Boulevard, The Ruby Slipper Cafe brings New Orleans flair to Alabama's Gulf Coast. They serve breakfast, brunch, and lunch and you should not leave there hungry.
The Southern Breakfast consists of two eggs any style, stone-ground grits, applewood-smoked bacon, buttermilk biscuit & fried green tomato. Quite a hardy breakfast, right?
The Ruby Slipper also serves cocktails (Brandy Milk Punch, anyone?), omelets, Benedicts, oatmeal, sandwiches, and more.
The Ruby Slipper Cafe is located at 24151 Perdido Beach Boulevard in Orange Beach and is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM until 2 PM and until 3 PM on the weekends.
13. Avocado Toast
Not only is it the prettiest Avocado Toast, but the Avocado and Toast at Foodcraft will probably also be the best you have ever eaten. It’s made with smashed avocado, roasted tomato, two poached eggs, local field greens, shaved radish, and farmers’ cheese.
Foodcraft is located at 21196 E. Beach Blvd in Gulf Shores and is open for breakfast from 7 am until 11 am, lunch from 11 am until 2 pm, and for dinner from 5 pm until 9 pm.
That's over a dozen dishes to try when you are in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Why not something new and delicious the next time you are at the beach?