Going out to eat is one of the best things about vacation. Going out to eat is one of my absolute favorite things to do on vacation, period! The last thing anyone wants to do after spending a day on the beach is to go back to your beach rental, cook dinner and clean the kitchen!
Even though having a full kitchen in a beach rental is a great perk about vacationing at Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, you want to experience some of the best and new restaurants popping up in Gulf Shores.
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Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are prominent tourist destinations, so there are plenty things to do and of fun places to grab a bite to eat. But, of course, you want to avoid accidentally going somewhere that is not the best.
Keep reading for a list of the best restaurants in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Many of these restaurants are open during the off-season so if you are planning to vacation in Gulf Shores in the Winter, check to make sure these locally-owned restaurants are open!
What is Alabama’s most famous food?
Alabama is known for its barbecue. Like many southern states, you can find a unique twist on Barbeque, and Alabama is known for its White BBQ sauce. Alabama is also known for its delicious Fried Green Tomatoes, Smothered Pork Chops, Collard Greens, Fried Chicken, and Shrimp and Grits.
What food is Gulf Shores and Orange Beach known for?
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are known for their delicious seafood. If you are looking for an absolutely delicious meal, the fresh seafood will win you over. Many restaurants in gulf shores have grilled shrimp, fresh fish, and even southern favorites like gumbo.
What Drink are Gulf Shores known for?
Gulf Shores is known for its boozy cocktail, a Bushwacker, a mixture of a mudslide, and a pina colada. The Bushwacker is for you if you like a creamy, delicious cocktail!
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1. Lucy Buffett’s LuLu
Looking for coastal cuisine, live music, and delicious cocktails? Lulu’s is the place to be! Lulu’s is a great place to bring the family for casual dining after a long day at the beach.
Everything Lulu’s makes is served from scratch, so the wait to enter the restaurant is worth it! It is full of family fun and is its entertainment venue with fun activities to entertain the kids!
During the busy season, Lulu’s can have a long wait – up to three hours! Luckily there are tons of fun outdoor games for the kids while you are waiting.
First-time visitors might be overwhelmed, but if you have a party of 10 or fewer people, you can reserve a wait time via the Yelp app, so you are not stuck in long lines or a 3-hour wait!
There is something for everyone here at this local favorite! Lulu’s has allergy-friendly menus, activities for the children, live music, and cocktails for the adults. If you need a place to get away, check out Lulu’s Gulf Shores on the Alabama Gulf Coast.
What to Eat
If you are with a large group, order the Fried Okra! This deep-fried Sothern treats come in large portions, so you must ensure you have enough hands to grab and eat them!
The Fried Green Tomato BLT is the perfect lunch or dinner option to keep you going. The fried green tomatoes are delicious on a loaf of bread and a side of french fries or hush puppies.
For dinner – you can get a slice of key lime pie or wash down your meal with a Bushwacker!
2. The Ruby Slipper Cafe
A true New Orleans Favorite, the Ruby Slipper Cafe brings yummy breakfast, brunch, and lunch items from New Orleans to Gulf Shores. One step into this restaurant, and you know why it is my favorite place to grab breakfast.
The Ruby Slipper is a popular place to grab brunch during the week because brunch shouldn’t just be for the weekend! This popular restaurant is quickly expanding its reach all over the south.
What to Eat
I have had a good item on the menu. The two dishes I tend to gravitate to are the Southern Breakfast which comes with two eggs, grits, bacon, fried green tomato – and a biscuit, or the Which Chocolate Bread Pudding Pancakes. Either meal will provide a hearty breakfast to prepare you for a day of sightseeing or lounging on the beach.
If you want to start happy hour a little earlier, you can always get their award-winning Bloody Mary with bacon-infused vodka or tequila. If you are ready to party, their seasonal mimosa flight comes in four flavors and is delicious!
The CoastAL restaurant concept is one of the newest places in Orange Beach and will be a nice bar scene once it is fully opened in 2023! CoastAL is the one of the few beachfront restaurants in Orange Beach and the views are spectacular!
If any restaurant knows how to do outdoor dining, it is CoastAL. The patio allows you to take in the Alabama Coast, but if bad weather approaches, the tent can easily protect all the patrons from the weather.
If you forgot anything for your beach vacation, you can stop by their CoastAL company gift shop and purchase anything you need!
The bar food is phenomenal, and the drink menu is extensive! Since this is the only beachfront restaurant with a dedicated parking lot and beach access, this is a must for lunch or dinner! It will be fun to see how busy this location is during the summer months.
What to Eat
For starters, get the Pimento Cheese spread and the Tuna Poke Nachos! Both are delicious, but the wontons on the Nachos elevate the bar food. The Ancient Grain Salad with Jumbo Fried Shrimp is a delightful combination. Adding that little bit of seafood while on the beach was such a delicious touch. The CoastAL Chicken Sandwich comes with crispy fried chicken breast and pimento cheese.
4. Villaggio Grille
Villaggio Grille is located at The Wharf and is one of Orange Beach’s fine dining restaurants. If Italian food is your jam, you must have lunch or dinner at Villaggio Grille. You will always have a great seat with indoor or outdoor seating options.
Villaggio Grille also has Takeout Family Meals if you want to skip eating out and bring a big family meal home.
What to Eat
The 6-ounce New York Strip or Grilled Salmon are two great meals for lunch! You cannot go wrong with ordering a steak or seafood at Villagio Grille. The New York Strip came with truffle Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, and a Demi Glace.
They also have an extensive wine menu to pair perfectly with whatever entree you choose.
5. Southern Grind Coffee House
Southern Grind Coffee House at The Wharf is the cutest store in Gulf Shores, Alabama! Between the delicious food and adorable decorations for purchase, you will never want to leave here. Grab a quick coffee, pick me up or stay a while and enjoy a meal.
What to Eat:
With an extensive breakfast and lunch menu, you cannot go wrong with anything on the menu. An Avocado Egg melt with three scrambled eggs and avocado is a great way to start your day. Or you can skip breakfast altogether and get an affogato! Cold brew Ice Cream and espresso is one way to ensure you wake up for the day!
6. Kilwins Orange Beach AL
Kilwins at The Wharf is so cute! You can watch the employees make candies, Fudge, and candy-dipped apples. Don’t come here starving because you might leave with over a hundred dollars of sweets!
What to eat
Ice cream, Fudge, Candy, oh my! If you have a sweet tooth, you can do some damage here! Make sure you buy a slice of Fudge. Luckily you do not need to eat it all in one sitting – the Fudge is good for up to seven days!
7. The Yard Milkshake Bar
If you are looking for Instagrammable good food, stop by The Yard Milkshake Bar! This original location started the crazy photographable Milkshakes by topping off milkshakes with unique things. The owner also owns Island Ice Cream & Treats, where you can get an over-the-top Sundae.
What to Eat
These milkshakes are on the pricy side – so unless you want to try multiple flavors, you can probably get away with ordering one for the family. There is also an option to get delicious over-the-top ice cream!
Pro Tip: I’ve you’ve been to the Yard before, I would always get whatever was on the seasonal menu. Or Chocolate – you can never go wrong with chocolate milkshakes!
8. BuzzCatz Coffee & Sweets
If you are a cat lover like me, you will want to pop into Buzz Catz Coffee & Sweets for breakfast, coffee, and sweets. There are so much cat memorabilia that I expected a cat to pop out under the table and rub my leg. Unfortunately, this is not a cat cafe, but the great food and drinks are delicious.
What to Eat
The Chai Latte was delicious, paired with a handmade apple pop tart and an egg and bacon Hollah. The Hollah is a housemade Challah dough filled with fresh scrambled eggs and cheddar cheese.
9. Pier House
Another place for Upscale dining is the Pier House in Orange Beach AL. When you first walk in, you see a stunning art gallery you may pursue before or after dinner. Take your time to look at the local art – some pieces I wanted to take home with me!
What to Eat
When in doubt, I always order a steak. The steak was cooked to perfection with seasoned local vegetables and mashed potatoes. There was also a lump of herb-crusted cream cheese on top of the Steak that brought a different flavor to the dish.
What to eat in Gulf Shores, Alabama, and Orange Beach
The next time you are in the Gulf Shores area or road-tripping on the Alabama Gulf Coast, refer to this list of popular restaurants for Orange Beach and Gulf Shores. You are bound to relax and have a good time on your next vacation while dining out.
The best places to eat while on the Gulf shores. and Orange Beach area! Even if you leave your beach house. With a few meals, you will be happy and not hungry!
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