Best Restaurants in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach, AL

Best Restaurants in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach AL -13 of the BEST places to eat at the beach. Dive bars, fancy white table cloth restaurants, and everything in between. Seafood, pizza, nachos, waffles, burgers, Bushwhackers. Make sure to bring your stretchy pants – SO much delicious food!!

Originally posted January 2020

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Where to Eat in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach AL

My favorite part of a beach trip is the food! Beach food is my favorite. Today I am sharing the Best Restaurants in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach, Alabama. We hit up dive bars, fancy white table cloth restaurants, and everything in between. Seafood, burgers, nachos, waffles, pizza, Bushwhackers. Bookmark and pin this post to reference for your next beach trip. You don’t want to miss these places.

Check out everything we ate below. Have you ever been to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach? Did we eat at your favorite spot? If not, leave me a comment with your favorite spot so Chicken Legs and I can check it out on our next trip.

What to Order at The Flora-Bama Yacht Club

Our first stop on our trip was for lunch at the Flora-Bama Yacht Club. I ate here on my first trip to the Alabama Gulf Coast and loved it. I had to bring Chicken Legs! We started with a bushwhacker. It was SUPER cold and delicious. For our entrees, we got a burger and a blackened fish sandwich.

Flora-Bama Yacht Clubhttps://www.florabamayachtclub.com/

17350 Perdido Key Drive, Perdio Key, FL 32507

bushwhacker in a glass

What to Order at Cobalt, The Restaurant

I ate dinner at Cobalt on both of my trips. I didn’t mind. The food was DELICIOUS.

On my first trip, Chicken Legs and I tried their Bushwhacker. It differs from other bushwhackers in the area because they make the drink when you order with fresh scooped ice cream. YUM!

I sampled a trio of appetizers:

  • Cobalt Caviar – A refreshing blend of black beans, edamame, corn, red onion, roma tomatoes, and cilantro tossed in a light vinaigrette and served with corn tortilla chips.
  • Cobalt Crab & Shrimp Dip – Hot creamy blend of fresh blue crab & tender bay shrimp with roasted sweet red peppers, Parmesan & Swiss cheese. Accompanied by grilled French bread.
  • Firecracker Shrimp – Lightly dusted bay shrimp, fried & tossed in our spicy remoulade sauce. I don’t even like shrimp and I ate a ton of this!
caesar salad

Dinner entrees are served with a house salad or soup. Chicken Legs upgraded his house salad to a caesar salad. He said it was great!

plate of rare ahi tuna

For entrees, Chicken Legs got the Yellowfin Tuna. It was seasoned with peppercorn & coriander & seared rare. They served it over traditional Hoppin’ John with Louisiana Hot Sauce Hollandaise & chef’s Worcestershire sauce.

bowl of grilled chicken pasta

I got the Zydeco Chicken Pasta. Blackened chicken with spicy housemade tasso ham, sweet onions, bell peppers & fresh fettuccine tossed in Cajun alfredo. SOOOO good! I wish I had the leftovers right now!

bowl of fried grouper over risotto and red sauce

Entrees on my blogger trip were this Bronze Gulf Grouper served over Parmesan risotto topped with sauteed blue crab & a Creole tomato sauce. Looks AMAZING!

plate of chicken with cajun sauce

I got the Free Range Breast of Chicken on this trip. Pan-roasted chicken served over roasted red pepper and fontina cheese grits with Cobalt greens and a Creole tasso gravy. I wanted to lick the plate!

For dessert we sampled:

  • Creole Cheesecake – housemade Creole cream cheese with a roasted pecan crust, pecan praline & caramel sauce.
  • Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee – Traditional French custard with a crisp shell of turbinado sugar

Cobalt, The Restauranthttps://cobaltrestaurant.net/

28099 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561

strawberry cocktail

What to Order at Luna’s Eat & Drink

We stopped in at Luna’s Eat & Drink for lunch. Since we were on vacation, we started with a cocktail. Luna’s Tropical Splash – Coconut rum, muddled fresh strawberries, and mint mixed with housemade sour mix. Cheers!

Luna’s has a popular Meat & Three menu for lunch, but we opted to order off the regular menu. We started with the Beer Cheese Dip. A creamy blend of Swiss, cheddar, and dark beer. Served with soft pretzel bites. Those pretzel bites were DELICIOUS! SO was the beer cheese dip. I could have just eaten this and been happy.

blackened swordfish sandwich

Chicken Legs got the blackened swordfish sandwich and couldn’t stop raving about how good it was. He usually isn’t a fan of swordfish, but he absolutely LOVED this sandwich. 

hamburger with onion straws and fries on a plate

I got The Beerger – a beer-basted burger on a sweet sourdough bun with Luna’s beer mustard, fried onions, and Luna’s beer cheese. It was the same beer cheese on it as the dip. SO good! The bun was SOOOO good. We also LOVED their fries. 

fried pecan pie with caramel sauce

We couldn’t leave without trying the fried pecan pie. It was served with vanilla bean ice cream and topped with bourbon molasses. O-M-G! SO good!

Luna’s Eat & Drinkhttps://www.lunaseatanddrink.com/

25689 Canal Road Ste. B, Orange Beach, AL

What to Order at Hope’s Cheesecake

We made a stop at Hope’s Cheesecake on the recommendation of some of my Instagram followers. OMG! This place is cheesecake heaven. SOOOO many choices. We tried three flavors – Key Lime, Snickers, and Red Velvet. We loved them all, but our favorite was the Red Velvet. This will definitely be a stop on every trip! P.S. – They ship nationwide. YASSS!

Hope’s Cheesecake – https://www.hopescheesecake.com/

210 E. 20th Ave., Gulf Shores, AL 36542

bushwhacker cocktail

What to Order at Fisher’s Dockside/Downstairs

Fisher’s is located at the Orange Beach Marina. They have two restaurants onsite – Dockside/Downstairs which is more casual and Upstairs that is a bit fancier. Chicken Legs and I went to the downstairs restaurant on our trip. We started with a Bushwhacker. Fisher’s bushwhacker was a little different. It had a coconut flavor to it. We liked it.

We sampled the Ham & Scallion Hushpuppies and the Boiled Peanuts. Both were great!

fish topped with black eyed peas

Chicken Legs got the Gulf Fish & Grits for his entree. Gulf fish, stone-ground yellow grits, black-eyed pea salad. He said it was delicious.

chicken sandwich on toast with fries

I got Bill’s Yard Bird Chicken Sandwich. Fried chicken breast, bacon, pepper jack, spicy honey mustard, on Texas toast. It was AH-MAZ-ING! I would eat this again and again.

What to Order at Fisher’s Upstairs

On my blogger trip, we ate at Fisher’s Upstairs. The upstairs restaurant is beautiful. Decorated in a nice beach theme and white tablecloths. We had a special meal prepared by the chef. They brought out several dishes for us to sample. The delicious food just kept coming and coming.

  • Beet Salad
  • Seared Jumbo Scallops
  • Brussels Sprouts Side
  • Fish of the Day

After eating half the menu, they brought out dessert. Pumpkin cheesecake, ice cream, and chocolate. 

Fisher’s Upstairs was an amazing dining experience. If you want one special meal at the beach, come here. It will not disappoint!

Fisher’s at Orange Beach Marinahttps://fishersobm.com

outside of the sunliner diner in gulf shores

What to Order at Sunliner Diner

chocolate milkshake

This is the Shake Supreme – Chocolate milkshake spun with hot fudge and a chocolate brownie topped with whipped cream, a Hershey’s bar and a cherry. Have Mercy!

waffle on a plate topped with whipped cream

Since we were already on a sugar high, we got the Cereal Waffles. Two waffles infused with Trix cereal, drizzled with sweet doughnut glaze, and topped with whipped cream. It was actually really good. 

Since it was breakfast, we also ordered some traditional breakfast food too. Avocado toast with an egg, biscuits, and gravy, an omelet with hash browns, and a biscuit. The biscuits are delicious! You can snag their biscuit recipe herehttps://www.plainchicken.com/crack-buttermilk-biscuits/ They gave it to me on my first visit. It is one of the best I’ve eaten!

Sunliner Dinerhttps://www.sunlinerdiner.com/gulf-shores/

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

What to Order at Anchor Bar

Anchor Bar is the number one rated place in Orange Beach on Yelp. I had TONS of recommendations to eat here, so Chicken Legs and I checked it out for lunch.

Since we were on a quest to find the best Bushwhacker in Orange Beach/Gulf Shores we HAD to give Anchor Bar a try, Their bushwhacker is vanilla and delicious! We also tried the Orange Beech Smash – orange vodka, orange syrup, OJ, soda, and Sprite. Very refreshing.

burger cut in half with tater tots

For the food, we tried the More In Than Out Burger – mustard seared hamburger patties, topped iwth American cheese, lettuce, onion, tomato jam, and Wicked mayo spread.

hot wings with waffles

We also got an order of the Nashville Hot Wings and Waffles. SO spicy and delicious! It was served with candied jalapeno syrup. YUM!

The menu changes seasonally at Anchor Bar. I can’t wait to go back and check out what is on the menu next time.

Anchor Bar & Grill http://anchorob.com/

4575 South Wilson Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561

What to Order at The Village Hideaway

The Village Hideaway is located at The Beach Club Resort & Spa. We stopped in for lunch on the blogger trip. We started with the Loaded Riptide Fries and fried pickles. You can’t go wrong with either one!

The Loaded Riptide Fries were dusted with their signature Riptide Rub and smothered in Queso and Cheddar Cheeses, and finished with Bacon Relish, Candied Bacon, and scallions. I could have made a meal out of these fries!

bowl of mac & cheese

For our entrees, we got the Macaroni & Cheese – elbow Macaroni Smothered in Sharp Cheddar, Long Horn, and Provolone Cheeses and finished with Classic White Sauce.

basket of bacon cheeseburger and fries

Alabama Slam-Ma – a half-pound beef patty with Tomato Bacon Relish, Cheddar Cheese and Candied Bacon. Have Mercy!

pizza topped with sausage and pepperoni

Their pizza was recommended on Yelp, so we tried The Carnivore -house pizza sauce, Pepperoni, Bacon, Italian Sausage, Canadian Bacon & Blended Cheeses. It was good!

The Village Hideaway is a great place to watch a ballgame. They also have a fun arcade area and a golf simulator in the restaurant! Fun for the whole family!

The Village Hideawayhttps://thebeachclub.spectrumresorts.com/dining/the-village-hideaway/

925 Beach Club Trail #8142, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

What to Order at The Ruby Slipper Cafe

Ruby Slipper is a favorite in Orange Beach. I’ve been several times and it is always delicious! They have the biggest mimosa’s ever! Get one or two!

avocado toast

We started with the Salmon & Avocado Toast – Smoked salmon, avocado, pico de gallo & capers served on multigrain toast points smeared with herbed goat cheese and topped with a poached egg. This is the ULTIMATE avocado toast!

Next up were some pancakes and bacon!

  • White Chocolate Bread Pudding – A breakfast twist on New Orleans’ classic dessert, buttermilk pancakes mixed with white chocolate French bread pudding, finished with a white chocolate whiskey sauce.
  • The Seasonal Creme Brulee Pancakes – a homemade creme brulee custard layered on top of their fluffy buttermilk pancakes. The custard is topped with sugar and flambeed to create a caramelized sugar crust, complete with whipped cream and strawberries.
scrambled eggs over tortilla chips

Skinny Migas – A Tex-Mex egg white scramble with onion, tomato, cilantro, pepperjack
cheese & spinach, served with avocado, chipotle sour cream & crispy tortilla chips.

chicken Benedict on a biscuit

And FINALLY, the Chicken St. Charles Benedict – Fried chicken served over a buttermilk biscuit, topped with two poached eggs, finished with a pork tasso cream sauce.

chicken Benedict on a biscuit

To die for delicious! In addition to breakfast at the Ruby Slipper, we also took a biscuit making class. They shared the recipe for their famous buttermilk biscuits with me. You can snag the recipe here: https://www.plainchicken.com/ruby-slipper-buttermilk-biscuits/

The Ruby Slipper Cafehttps://www.therubyslippercafe.net/location/ruby-slipper-orange-beach/

24151 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561

What to Order at Pleasure Island Tiki Bar

I asked my Instagram followers where their favorite Bushwhacker was in Orange Beach/Gulf Shores. I got several recommendations for Pleasure Island Tiki Bar. We made a pit stop to check it out and we were not disappointed. We said this was our FAVORITE Bushwhacker in the area. It was SO creamy and delicious. I could drink WAY too many of these. The tiki bar also has food. It is your typical bar food. They also have live music. It is a very eclectic place and we will definitely be back!

Pleasure Island Tiki Barhttp://pleasureislandtiki.com/2019_tikibar/index.php

27844 Canal Road, Orange Beach, AL 36561

2 fruity cocktails on the bar

What to Order at Lucy Buffett’s Lulu’s

We ate lunch at Lucy Buffet’s Lulu’s on the blogger trip. I was super excited to eat here. I have eaten at the Destin location, but never at the original location in Gulf Shores. We started with some cocktails because it’s 5 o’clock somewhere! Amiright?!

holding a bushwhacker

While fruity drinks are great, you must try a Bushwhacker at Lulu’s. It is one of the best in town!

We got basically every appetizer on the menu – LOL!

  • Fried Green Tomatoes served with LuLu’s Wow Sauce
  • Onion Ring Basket – Hand-breaded and seasoned to perfection! Served with LuLu’s Wow Sauce.
  • A Mountain of Fried Okra! – Yep, deep-fried Southern Style. Served with LuLu’s Ranch Dressing.
  • L.A. (Lower Alabama) Caviar – Black-Eyed Peas in Balsamic Vinaigrette ~ a LuLu’s Original! You can get the recipe here: https://www.plainchicken.com/la-caviar-dip/
basket of crab claws

The crab claws are also not to be missed. They sell half-pound and full-pound baskets. This could easily be a meal with some onion rings or fried okra.

bowl of shrimp and grits

Shrimp & Grits – Shrimp and Andouille Sausage in a Tasso and Tomato Cream Sauce. Served with Gouda Grits. Get in my belly!

pulled pork nachos

Pullled Pork Nachos – Fried Corn Tortilla Chips with BBQ Pulled Pork, Tomatoes, Jalapeños, Cilantro, Queso, melted Cheddar Served with LuLu’s Sassy Salsa. You can add chicken, crab, shrimp or beef. You can also order nachos without meat.

crab melt and fries on a plate

One of Lulu’s signature menu items is the Crab Melt. I can see why. It is delicious! It is basically a cheesy crab cake spread on a hoagie bun. YUM!

basket of chicken fingers and fries

Chicken Finger Entree with fries, honey mustard, and hushpuppies. My favorite!

slice of bread pudding

I don’t think you are allowed to eat at Lulu’s and not get the Hot Fun Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding. It is served with Vanilla Custard Sauce. This is worth the trip to Gulf Shores!

Lulu’s Gulf Shoreshttps://lulubuffett.com/gulf-shores/

200 East 25th Avenue, Gulf Shores, AL

What to Order at Safari Club at The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

I dined at Safari Club on both trips. It is located at the new Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. The zoo opens on February 1, 2020, but the restaurant has been open for a few months. The menu is HUGE! It has offerings from all the countries and areas that the zoo animals are from. The restaurant is also Alabama’s first certified “Green Restaurant” meaning that they are a leader in conservation, recycling, and reduced waste.

As I said, the Safari Club menu has a lot of choices. There is definitely something for everyone! We sampled several appetizers on our visits.

  • Baby Back Ribs – Guava BBQ sauce, apple, fennel, jicama slaw with citrus vinaigrette 
  • Crunchy Goat Cheese – crunchy almond crust, fig jam, fresh berries
  • Singapore Chicken Satay – Asian spice paste, Peanut satay sauce
  • Coconut Shrimp – Gulf shrimp, crispy coconut shell, plum sauce
plate of burger and fries

Safari Club cooks on a wood-fired grill. They told us that the burger was one of the most popular items on the menu. We gave it a try and it was delicious!

  • Bacon Cheese Burger – wood-grilled half pound fresh ground patty, bacon jam, pimento cheese, lettuce and tomato 
tomato pizza

All of their pizzas are cooked in a wood-burning oven. The chef also recommended the pizza. I never turn down pizza!

  • Margherita Pizza – tomato sauce, Fresh Mozzarella, Roma tomato, fresh Basil

I could have done with fewer tomatoes, but otherwise, it was good.

plate of shrimp and grits

Gulf Shrimp and Grits – three-cheese creamy stone-ground grits, jumbo shrimp, thick-cut bacon, tomato and scallion.

grilled steak topped with butter over potatoes

Their steaks their uniquely prepared. First, they season and place the steak in a seal in a bag then immersing in a sous vide water bath for tenderness and even cooking. The steaks are then removed from the bag and placed on their wood grill and cooked for a flavorful crusty finish. All steaks are served with house-roasted fingerling potatoes and seasonal fresh vegetable garnish.

All of the desserts are made in-house. We tried three on our visits.

  • Key Lime Pie – white chocolate macadamia nut cookie dough crust, fresh whipped cream, and lime sugar
  • Australian Tim Tam – chocolate sponge cake, chocolate mousse, chocolate ganache. 
  • House-Made Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

The Key Lime Pie was the hands-down winner. I have the recipe on the blog: https://www.plainchicken.com/white-chocolate-macadamia-nut-key-lime-pie/

Safari Clubhttps://safariclubgulfshores.com/

20499 Oak Rd E, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

entrance to The Panty in Orange Beach, AL

What to Order at The Pantry

Don’t want to get cleaned up and go out? Just want to relax in the condo and have someone else do the cooking for you? Then you must check out The Panty at The Wharf. They sell tons of gourmet snacks and hot meals to make your beach trip extra special!

gumbo, bread and popcorn on a table

We picked up lunch for our boat tour with Anonyme Cruises from The Pantry. We had Chicken & Sausage Gumbo, fresh bread, caramel popcorn, and gourmet chocolate. The gumbo was made by Orange Beach Concierge and it was THE BEST gumbo I’ve eaten! We also picked up some water and some fun canned cocktails. It was PERFECT for our boat ride.

charcuterie board on a boat

We stopped in at The Pantry a second time for some charcuterie boards for our Crusin’ Tiki’s boat ride. I could have made a meal of this yummy meat and cheese board tray. SO good and SO pretty! We had four types of cheeses, four types of meats with fresh and dried fruits, and crackers. We also grabbed some chocolate and cocktails. You can’t have a tiki cruise without cocktails!

The Panty/Orange Beach Concierge is a one-stop-shop. It has grab-and-go sandwiches, pastries, chocolates, salads, dips, and you can order large pans of various foods for a crowd. Make sure to check them out!

The Pantry/Orange Beach Conciergehttps://orangebeachconciergeservices.com/food-to-go/

4790 Wharf Pkwy W F106, Orange Beach, AL 36561

Where to Stay at Orange Beach, AL

Beachfront Rental in Orange Beach, AL

Our favorite place to stay in Orange Beach is Turquoise Place. The condos are AMAZING and you can’t beat the view! You get sunrise and sunset!


I have stayed in a 3-bedroom and a 4-bedroom condo. They are both fabulous! You can see photos of the 4-bedroom and the 3-bedroom on this post: https://www.plainchicken.com/turquoise-place-by-spectrum-resorts/

I also have a video tour of the 4-bedroom and the PENTHOUSE! If you stay in the penthouse, invite me!! Pretty please!

I had such a fun time exploring all the delicious food choices in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

I have a list going for our trip back:

  • Big Mike’s
  • Pirate’s Cove
  • Papa Rocco’s
  • The Beach House
  • Bahama Bob’s for a Bushwhacker

What are your favorite places to eat in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach? What should I add to my list?!?!??! Let me know in the comments!

Steph

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Thank you to the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism Board for hosting me on this trip. The tourism board planned and paid for part of the trip. I was not asked to share the trip on the blog. I chose to share the trip because I had a great time and thought my readers would enjoy reading about the trip.

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Comments

  1. Big Mike’s is a delicious steak! My meat eater loved hit!! We ate at Cosmos and GTs which I would say was just ok. I was disappointed in them. They are owned by the same people so dishes were similar. The firecracker shrimp was good at both. I think they own cobalts as well as lunas maybe. We ate seafood at Desotos first night and it was good. They get seafood fresh. It’s not fancy but the seafood was on point. I wanted to eat at the original oyster house because it was recommended many times to us but we didn’t make it. Overall Big Mike’s steakhouse was our best meal. Get there early!! They don’t advertise their hours. We thought they opened at 4:00 but got there at 3:15 and they were open. We walked right in but by 4:30-5 there was 1-1.5 hour wait for 4 people. The place is small!! Filet was delish! I would go back there tomorrow!

  2. The Point restaurant in Perdido Key is worth the little drive over. Their food is amazing and they have live music. Every Thursday Rhonda Hart plays and she’s fantastic!

  3. We’ve owned a home in Gulf Shores since 1993. Mikee’s in Gulf Shores and Villagio Grill at the Wharf are two of our favorites. It’s a bit of a drive, but Tin Top is excellent.

  4. We ate at Fin & Fork last year for our last night in Orange Beach. It is so delicious!! We also like Gulf Coast Steamer in Gulf Shores. We always go to Lulu’s at least once every trip. We are actually heading down next week for our vacation and can’t wait!!

  5. If you like philly cheesesteaks there's a place in Foley called South Foley
    Cheesesteak Company. The best we ever had and the fresh cut fries are so good!

  6. Desoto’s Seafood Kitchen
    Very good home style cooked food and Seafood.
    Never disappointed!!
    Voted best Lunch and Dinner for 14 years in a row!!

  7. A trip to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is never complete without a visit to Sea'N Suds. Great gumbo, fresh Gulf Shrimp and a wonderful view.

  8. For a more upscale experience, try Voyagers inside the Perdido Beach Resort. Also, Original Oyster House never disappoints.

  9. I would definitely recommend The Gulf – Orange Beach, and Hub Stacey’s at The Point in Perdido Key next time you’re in the area. We preferred The Gulf over Flora-Bama. Loved Cobalt and Fisher’s!

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