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17 Best Restaurants in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach, Alabama

From waterfront dining on fresh seafood to cozy cafes for breakfast, here are some amazing restaurants in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama.

Looking for the best places to eat on your beach vacation? I’ve got you covered with these delicious Orange Beach and Gulf Shores restaurants.

I’ve spent a good amount of time eating my way around Alabama’s Gulf Coast, and I’ve got the best recommendations for your beach getaway.

Parts of my visit were hosted by Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism. As always, all opinions are my own!

Seafood platter at Wolf Bay Lodge. Orange Beach, Alabama

Best Restaurants in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach

1. The Hangout

Seafood, Beachfront, Family-Friendly

The Hangout is a fun restaurant is located right on Gulf Shores’ main public beach. They have a menu of seasonal seafood, live music and dancing, games and contests, a foam machine, and really fun decor made of nostalgic items like vintage lunch boxes, matchbox cars, and rubber duckies.

Start with the Fried Calamari appetizer. For your meal, I recommend the Hang 10 Burger or The Lifeguard Burger if you’re really hungry (it’s a pound of meat stacked high with cheese, fried onions, a fried egg, thick bacon, and fried pickles, and it comes with a lifeguard whistle).

The Shark Attack is their signature cocktail that’s a lot of fun. This beautiful blue drink comes with a toy shark filled with grenadine that you pour in for a blood-in-the-water effect.

101 E Beach Blvd, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

2. Original Oyster House

Seafood, Oysters

The Original Oyster House has been a Gulf Shores institution since 1983. It’s a laid-back, casual seafood restaurant with chargrilled oysters that have won numerous awards.

It’s also usually pretty crowded. But don’t worry, you can go shopping at the boutiques in the attached shopping center while you wait.

Start with their Homemade Seafood Gumbo or their Shell Shocked Oyster Sampler. I recommend the Parmesan Baked Shrimp for your meal. They also serve a great Bushwacker here.

701 Gulf Shores Pkwy, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

3. DeSoto’s

Seafood, a Gulf Shores Classic

Fried shrimp with fries and mac and cheese from DeSoto's Seafood Kitchen, Gulf Shores, Alabama

DeSoto’s Seafood Kitchen is one of the most beloved restaurants in Gulf Shores. For many, it’s not a trip to the beach without a meal at DeSoto’s.

This local, family-owned restaurant serves fresh seafood, chicken, pasta, steak, home style sides, salads, and sandwiches. They have lunchtime specials with great prices.

I recommend the Fried Shrimp home-style lunch special with Mac n Cheese and French Fries. They bread they provide the table is incredible as well.

138 W 1st Ave, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

4. Wolf Bay Lodge

Seafood, an Orange Beach Classic

Wolf Bay Lodge is a family-owned restaurant and a Gulf Coast tradition. They started as a bait shop along Wolf Bay in the 1940 before changing to a restaurant in 1973. The original restaurant was destroyed by a fire in 2008, and they reopened with a location in Orange Beach.

Their menu features hand-battered, made-from-scratch, and cooked-to-order seafood.

Start with the Fried Crab Claws for an appetizer. If you’re in the mood for a whole lot of seafood, go for the Captains Platter or the Wolf Bay Platter. My personal favorite was the buttery and delicious Shrimp Scampi.

24131 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561

5. LuLu’s

Seafood, Waterfront, Family-Friendly

LuLu’s is an iconic Gulf Shores restaurant that’s owned and operated by Lucy Buffett, sister to singer Jimmy Buffett. And this is more than just a restaurant: there’s a ropes course, a sandy play area, an arcade, live music, and a gift shop.

The restaurant is located right on the Intracoastal Waterway, so you can watch boats go by as you eat. The menu is full of fresh seafood from Lucy’s own recipes.

LuLu’s is the place to eat in Gulf Shores if you have allergies. They have an extensive allergy menu that includes gluten free, dairy free, shellfish free, seafood free, egg free, soy free, and a small vegan menu. Allergy menu items are prepared in a separate area and a manager handles allergy orders from start to finish.

For an appetizer, get the Smoked Tuna Dip with tortilla chips. The Crab Melt Nachos are also great for an appetizer or for a meal. I recommend the Grilled Shrimp Tacos for your meal. To drink, I went with the Loopty Lu, but a Bucket of LuLu’s Rum Punch is also a top-notch option (and you get a souvenir bucket).

200 E 25th Ave, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

6. Sunliner Diner

Diner, American, Breakfast

The Sunliner Diner is a fun step back in time. They go all-out with the 1950s theme, and it makes the experience so much better.

They serve classic diner food and all-day breakfast here. Plus, you can get hand-spun milkshakes.

I had the Avocado Toast, but the Chocolate Chip Pancakes and the Chicken & Waffle Benedict are also great options. And you can get a milkshake for breakfast!

100 E 2nd Ave, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

7. BuzzCatz Coffee & Sweets

Breakfast, Cafe

BuzzCatz Coffee & Sweets is a cute local cafe with an adorable cat theme. Their menu offers simple breakfast foods, homemade pastries, coffee, tea, lite lunch items, and even ice cream.

I highly recommend their BuzzCatz “Pop Tarts”, which are large homemade versions of the name brand you probably ate as a kid. If you need more to get you through the morning, their Breakfast Hollah is made with fresh Challah Dough filled with scrambled eggs and cheddar cheese.

25689 Canal Rd Suite A, Orange Beach, AL 36561

8. Cobalt

Seafood, Waterfront

Cobalt is a large waterfront restaurant with great views of the bay from every table. When the weather is nice, I definitely recommend dining outside on the patio.

Their menu features elevated seafood, with unique creations by three local chefs.

I recommend the Tuna and Avocado Stack and the Firecracker Shrimp, both of which are on the appetizer menu but are great for meals. I also loved the Bushwacker here.

28099 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561

9. The Gulf

Seafood, Beachfront

The Gulf is a restaurant made from old shipping containers and recycled materials. There is a ton of outdoor seating so you can dine right on the beach.

Their changing seasonal menu features fresh seafood, with everything from tacos to sandwiches to seafood boils.

I recommend the Lobster & Shrimp Roll, some Parmesan Truffle Fries, and their Cheesecake for dessert.

27500 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561

10. Ristorante Carmelo

Italian, Pasta

Ristorante Carmelo serves innovative Italian cuisine made from recipes passed down through generations.

Stepping into the restaurant is like walking into a cozy Italian home. You’ll enter through an archway of wines and be seated at an intimate table where you’ll find a menu of authentic Italian food.

For an appetizer, I recommend the Italian Meat & Cheese Platter and the Calamari. I recommend the Pollo Parmigiana for your meal. And for dessert, try the Tiramisu and the Lemon Ricotta Cake.

25747 Perdido Beach Blvd suite 1, Orange Beach, AL 36561

11. CoastAL

Seafood, Beachfront

Shrimp tacos from CoastAL, Orange Beach, Alabama

CoastAL is a beachfront restaurant in Orange Beach serving up local seafood with beautiful coastal views.

They have live music, a beach boardwalk, retail shopping, and a bar with waterfront views. You can dine at the CoastAL Restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating, or you can eat at the CoastAL Beach Bar with a covered outdoor patio.

I went to the Beach Bar and would recommend the Island Shrimp Tacos, the Blueberry Mojito, and the Bushwacker Tiramisu.

25722 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561

12. The Village Hideaway

Pub, American

The Village Hideaway at The Beach Club Resort & Spa is a pub-like restaurant serving up pizzas, salads, wings, tenders, pasta, burgers, sandwiches, and wraps.

They also have an arcade, billiards, 11 flat screen TVs, and an HD golf simulator.

I recommend the Buffalo Chicken Totchos, the Chicken Caesar Wrap, and the Peach on the Beach to drink.

925 Beach Club Trail, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

13. The Southern Grind

Coffee, Breakfast, Cafe

The Southern Grind is a really cute and beachy coffee shop. They have a location at the Hotel Indigo that’s attached directly to the hotel, and they have another location at The Wharf.

They offer their own specialty coffee blends, but they also have a menu of Southern comfort food, breakfast, homemade sweet treats, sandwiches, and salads.

I recommend the Biscuits & Gravy or Croissandwich.

Indigo: 22843 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561

The Wharf: 4751 Main St #116, Orange Beach, AL 36561

14. High Tide Daiquiris & Mimosas

Cocktails, Breakfast, Lite Lunch

High Tide Daiquiris & Mimosas is a really fun restaurant and bar where you can get daiquiri flights and mimosa flights. They have a Gulf Shores location that’s on the water of Little Lagoon and you can take out the swan and flamingo peddle boats. They also have a really cute Orange Beach location.

On the food menu, they have coffee, breakfast bagels, muffins, and croissants, sandwiches, and charcuterie boards.

The daiquiri and mimosa flights are really the highlight here, though. They have so many fun flavors to choose from. And you can mix the daiquiri flavors to make something totally unique.

Get a flight of daiquiris like the Bushwacker, Pimento Cheese, and Key Lime. The Bushwacker was my favorite.

Gulf Shores: 807 Gulf Shores Pkwy, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

Orange Beach: 24823 Commercial Ave, Orange Beach, AL 36561

15. Tacky Jacks

Seafood, Waterfront

Tacky Jacks, Orange Beach, Alabama

The colorful Tacky Jacks restaurant got its start in 1979. Today, there are three Tacky Jacks locations that are accessible by both land and sea.

This casual seafood restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day of the week. Their menu is full of po’boys, sandwiches, wraps, tacos, and seafood platters.

I recommend the Tacky Shrimp, their specialty dish, along with the Gator Bites.

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

Orange Beach: 27206 Safe Harbor Dr, Orange Beach, AL 36561

Fort Morgan: 1577 AL-180, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

16. Roasted Oak

Coffee, Breakfast, Wine

Muffin from Roasted Oak, Gulf Shores, Alabama

Roasted Oak is located in the lobby of The Lodge at Gulf State Park. If you’re staying at this hotel (and even if you’re not), it’s a great place for breakfast in the morning.

They have coffee and pastries for breakfast. They also have grab-and-go and lite bites for lunch. And in the evening, they become a wine bar with wine, beer, and cocktails.

21196 E Beach Blvd, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

17. City Donut

Donuts, Ice Cream, Boba Tea

City Donut is Orange Beach’s oldest donut shop. This family-owned local business makes traditional yeast and cake donuts fresh and from scratch every day.

Their donut flavors change daily and there’s always something new. They also offer a full ice cream menu and boba tea.

25751 Perdido Beach Blvd suite a5, Orange Beach, AL 36561

Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Restaurants Map

Is your mouth watering for these delicious Gulf Shores and Orange Beach restaurants? Use the map below to find your next meal!

I hope you enjoy dining at these top restaurants in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama!

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17 Restaurants in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach, Alabama

What are your favorite restaurants in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama? Let me know below so I can try them out next time I visit!

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