Places to Eat in Gulf Shores Alabama

Places to Eat in Gulf Shores Alabama – the BEST restaurants to eat at the beach. Dive bars, fancy white table cloth restaurants and everything in between. Make sure to bring your stretchy pants – SO much delicious food!!

Originally posted January 5, 2019

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The Best Gulf Shores Restaurants

Gulf Shores is quickly becoming one of our favorite beaches. We’ve been down a total of four times now and are already planning our next trip. We ate SO much food! It was a tough job, but we did it for YOU! We wanted to be able to tell you all the best places to eat when you head down to the Gulf Shores area for Spring Break and Summer Vacations.

Gulf Shores offers some of the best food on the Gulf Coast! We hit up dive bars, fancy white table cloth restaurants, and everything in between. Breakfast, nachos, chicken sandwiches, fish tacos, steaks, and SOOOO much more.

Check out everything we ate below. Have you ever been to Gulf Shores? Did we eat at your favorite place? If not, leave me a comment with your favorite spot so Chicken Legs and I can check it out on our trip next time. There are so many fun places to go to, we always have a hard time choosing where to go!

Lucy Buffett’s Lulu’s

2 fruity cocktails on the bar

Lucy Buffet’s Lulu’s is a super popular restaurant in Gulf Shores. I was excited to eat here. I have eaten at the Destin location, but this was my first time eating 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 is a really popular place. You can expect a long wait during beach season. Hang out in the arcade or play outdoor games while you wait.

Don’t forget to stop in the gift shop on your way out. Pick up a fun t-shirt, some seasonings, and a cookbook!

If you are looking for live music and good food, add Lulu’s to your list!

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

200 East 25th Avenue, Gulf Shores, AL

Pink Pony Pub

pink pony pub

No trip to Gulf Shores is complete without a stop at the famous Pink Pony Pub. As you can see, it is located directly on the beach!

interior of pink pony pub

I love the Pink Pony Pub sign inside the bar!

drinks at the pink piny pub

We started with a few fun cocktails!

oysters at pink pony pub

We also snagged a few appetizers/snacks. Garlic Herb, and Chive Chargrilled Oysters.

plate of nachos

The Mucho Nachos lived up to their name. Chips topped with onions, tomatoes, jalapeños, and Monterrey jack with ½lb of seasoned Angus beef. They are HUGE!

You can eat and drink in the bar or outside at a picnic table. Either way, it is a sure-fire good time.

Pink Pony Pub – https://pinkponypub.net/

137 E Gulf Place, Gulf Shores, AL

Sunset Cork Room

plate of fried goat cheese

Sunset Cork Room is one of the best fine dining restaurants in Gulf Shores. It is a local favorite.

We started the evening with an order of fried goat cheese.

plate of crab cakes

We also tried the crab cakes. Both were delicious!

plat of chicken marsala

Chicken Marsala – pan seared chicken served with pasta, mushrooms, and a marsala wine sauce.

plate of smothered fish

Fried Grouper – fresh fish battered and fried and served with a cream sauce.

pan fried chicken over pasta

Panned Chicken Pasta – crispy chicken served over pasta tossed in crushed tomatoes.

slice of chocolate cake on a plate

We finished the meal with the chocolate torte. Delicious!

If you are looking to celebrate a special occasion, this is a great spot! I recommend getting a reservation. It was packed the night we went.

Sunset Cork Room – https://www.sunsetcorkroom.com/

225 E 16th Ave, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

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 Cheesecakehttps://www.hopescheesecake.com/

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

Sunliner Diner

outside of sunliner diner

The Sunliner Diner is one of our favorite breakfast places. It has such fun decor! They have a classic car inside the restaurant that you can eat in! I want to eat in it on my next visit.

Sunliner Diner - Gulf Shores/Orange Beach, AL

We started the morning with some mimosas and biscuits.

The top right biscuit is the Bacon & Cheddar Biscuit. It also has ranch in it, so I deemed it a Crack Biscuit.  It isn’t much to look at, but it was DELICIOUS!

You can snag their biscuit recipe herehttps://www.plainchicken.com/crack-buttermilk-biscuits/

The other biscuit was the Glazed Cinnamon Biscuit. The icing makes the biscuit!

fried chicken and eggs

Nashville fried chicken, farm fresh eggs, hash browns, and a classic biscuit. 

You can get the chicken plain, spicy or super spicy!

plate of corned beef hash

The Corned Beef Hash is one of their specialties. It is enough to feed four people!

Tender house-made corned beef hash, green and red peppers, sweet Vidalia onion hash browns topped with two poached eggs, horseradish cream and served with a classic biscuit.

eggs benedict

They also recommended the Chicken & Waffles. It is served with two poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, and hash browns.

waffle on a plate topped with whipped cream

Cereal Waffles – two waffles infused with Trix cereal, drizzled with sweet doughnut glaze, and topped with whipped cream. It was actually really good. 

chocolate milkshake

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

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

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

Tacky Jack’s

Tacky Jack's - Gulf Shores/Orange Beach, AL

Tacky Jacks is one of the most famous restaurants in the Gulf Shores area. It is also one of my favorite restaurants in Gulf Shores! It has a super fun atmosphere and great food! The unique thing about Tacky Jack’s is that you write your name on a piece of colorful duct tape and tape it to the restaurant’s walls!

We started the meal with some cocktails. The Margarita and Bushwacker. I liked Tacky Jack’s Bushwacker better than the Flora-Bama Yacht Club. I mean, they are both good, but I just preferred Tacky Jack’s. Maybe I need to go back and do some more taste testing! LOL!

plate of nachos

LOOK at these nachos! OMG! SO good!! They are called Mexican Garbage. They are the ultimate in Beef and Cheese Nachos. Corn tortilla chips topped with meat, two kinds of cheese, tomatoes, onions, black olives, sour cream, jalapeño peppers, and salsa.

boom boom shrimp

Firecracker Shrimp – fried shrimp tossed in Asian Chili Sauce. This reminded us of Bang Bang Shrimp – really good.

plate of fish tacos

Blackened Grouper Fish Tacos served in soft fresh flour tortillas with blended cheese, shredded lettuce, tomato, and Tacky Jack’s special sauce. Served with chips & salsa. The special sauce is kinda spicy. So if you are sensitive to heat, ask for it on the side.

bacon cheeseburger and fries

The TJ Burger was hands down my favorite! Two quarter-pound patties cooked to perfection on the griddle. Served on a fresh butter toasted bun with lettuce, tomato, American cheese, fries & chips. I added bacon because everything is better with bacon.

Tacky Jack’s is definitely in the running for our favorite place to eat and relax in Gulf Shores. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is also a great place to kick back with an adult beverage at Jacks Bar downstairs. Downstairs also offers a children’s sand pit, live music and great views of the waterway.

There are three locations – Gulf Shores, Orange Beach & Fort Morgan. 

We ate at the Gulf Shores location on this trip.

Tacky Jack’s https://www.tackyjacks.com/home

240 E 24th Ave, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

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!

Check out their daily happy hour specials from 3 to 6 pm.

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

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

Safari Club at The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

I dined at Safari Club on two trips. It is located at the new Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. The menu is HUGE! It has offerings from all the countries and areas that the zoo animals are from.

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/

If you are dining with a large group, ask about the private room in the back. They also offer outdoor dining.

Safari Clubhttps://safariclubgulfshores.com/

20499 Oak Rd E, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

Perch

Perch is a fine dining restaurant located at The Lodge at Gulf State Park. It is an eco-friendly hotel by Hilton.

We started the meal with some yummy appetizers. Onion rings, deviled eggs & ceviche.

pork chops and apples

Pork Chop: Apple Brined Pork Chop, Pecans, Roasted Apples, and Potato Puree

sliced steak on a plate

Triple Cut Grilled Sirloin served with Potato Puree, Asparagus, Peppered Au Jus

pork belly stack

Double-Smoked Pork Belly: Sliced Pork Belly, Tomato Bacon Jam, Balsamic, and Chimichurri Sauce. It is AMAZING!!!

smores tart

The S’mores Tart is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Perch at Gulf State Parkhttps://www.perchgsp.com

21196 East Beach Blvd. Gulf Shores, AL 36542

The Yard Milkshake Bar

2 crazy milkshakes and a cup of edible cookie dough

No trip to Gulf Shores is complete without a trip to The Yard for a crazy milkshake and some edible cookie dough! This is the perfect place to cool off in the summer heat!

The Yard Milkshake Bar – https://www.theyardmilkshakebar.com

3800 Gulf Shores Pkwy, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

Thank you to the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism Board for hosting me on this trip. The tourism board planned and paid for 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.

Looking for restaurants in the Orange Beach area? Check out our list of Orange Beach AL restaurants here: https://www.plainchicken.com/best-restaurants-in-gulf-shores-orange/

Steph

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Comments

  1. Hello Steph, if you are still reading these, check these places out next time in that area… Tin Top @ Bon Secour, Sea and Suds on the beach (GS), S & S that will cook seafood to take home or you can cook (GS), Fishers on the Wharf (OB) fancy. These are our favorites……. Tons more to choose from though! Thank you for the recs above!!

  2. Big Fish and Villagio are our favorites…we have been going to OB for about 25 years. Fin and Fork has closed permanently. Like you, we also love Voyagers, for a fancy meal! And The Gulf for a great burger. Good to know about Red Or White, I did not know about that! Looks wonderful! Enjoyed your review. Now Im hungry. 😉

  3. I have been going to Gulf Shores/Orange Beach since I was 2 years old; definitely some yummy places to eat! We love to go to Cosmos Restaurant and Bar, Wolf Bay Lodge, Doc’s has great fried shrimp and a tasty Bushwhacker, Big Fish, GT’s on The Bay has a great fish sandwich! I’m sure I could go on and on about places to eat lol

  4. We love DeSoto's and Tacky Jack's. Can't beat Royal Oyster Bar for oysters and drinks, and their Sidewinder fries are awesome!

  5. All the ones already listed plus…Blues Burger best burger here. King Neptune’s has some amazing zydeco pasta. The Forge Pizza hands down best pizza around. Margarita Loco really good Mexican. Hazels or Kitty’s Kafe have the best breakfast. The Diner near Tacky Jacks has great food. Dragonfly bar and grill in Daphne is a place to try. Those are some of my favorites. Oh and you can’t go home without the exprience of a throwed roll from Lambert’s.

  6. The Shrimp Basket was probably our favorite dive when we were there a few years back. The red beans and rice are the best I have ever eaten. Worth ordering and having them shipped back to your house! The blackened fish with shrimp etoufee was my favorite entree there. The other food they have is great too, but mostly fried.

  7. Big Mike's is known for steaks but the best thing there is called the saltwater stack! Luna's, Lulu's, Acme Oyster House, and Original Oyster House. If you want a poboy to grab and take to the beach then hit up The Shrimp Basket!

  8. Bill’s By The Beach in Gulf Shores. It is just west of the public beach. Their Berry Blast salad with strawberry lemonade vinaigrette is great lunch and beach food. They have a dark chocolate espresso
    cake too which is beyond delicious. The Keg in Orange Beach is a hole in the wall where you don’t know the time of day but their burger and cheese fries are the best. At the FloraBama get the Solar Energy and Island Girl drinks. Cobalt has really good pizza and drinks. The bar outside is great too. Red Ruby Slipper is on Yelp where you can get on the list ahead of time. That cinnamon butter for their biscuit is addictive. In fact, I have someone who makes their own butters sold at local stores.

  9. Lived in Gulf Shores 10 years and had vacation home there before living there. Best Mexican hands down is Cactus Cantina-they now have 5 locations. Acme Oyster and Tin Top has best oysters hands down. The Diner on 2nd Ave across from Tacky Jacks is great and Fish River Grill in Foley were always are go to spots. Look forward to moving back down there soon

  10. We love Colbalt, Cosmos, and the Original Oyster House. The oyster house has awesome gator bites. Also Acme Oyster house is good. They have "Boo Fries" with roast beef, gravy, and cheese…I could eat those ALL DAY!!

  11. The BBQ crab claws at Cosmos are a must!!! Our other favorite is Fishers-great atmosphere. We enjoy the casual dining because of the atmosphere so we always sit downstairs (they have fine dining upstairs). OMG- their burger is my favorite on the island. My husband and I always split a dozen raw and the burger. They have homemade onion straws on the burger that are to die for. The GULF is our other favorite. If you go in the summer you must try their berry side. They do homemade whipped cream and the chips that came with hummus-they saturate in powdered sugar. It's seriously delicious.

  12. Mikee's is great. If you're wanting something that's off the beaten path and that the locals love, go to TinTop Bar and Restaurant near Bon Secour. It's FANTASTIC!!

  13. Bushwackers are good but you haven't had a Dipnwacker yet. This delicious adult beverage can only be found at The Flying Harpoon 2 in Orange Beach. While you are there, try their one of a kind "Kernfish Krawbread"!

  14. My hubby and I absolutely love Bahamas Bob's!!! I ALWAYS order their Crab Cay Baked Whitefish. The fish is stuffed with crabmeat stuffing, topped with shrimp, and baked. Its to die for!! My hubby loves their royal reds!!

  15. I live in Mobile & Orange Beach is basically our 2nd home, we're there all the time. Cobalt is a must! The tuna & avocado stack appetizer is really good. For dinner, you can't go wrong with the Bronze Gulf Grouper–in fact, this is what I order everytime,it's THAT good. I have never ordered their steaks but I hear they are great too. If you go at lunch, eat outside at the tiki bar if it's open & the weather's decent. Their fish sandwiches are good & so are their pizzas! Flippers at Bear Point Marina has great Bushwackers, much better than Flora-Bama or Tacky Jack's. If you have access to a boat, Pirate's Cove is right across the bay from Bear Point Marina & has the best cheeseburgers & bushwackers around (ask for a 151 topper on the bushwacker if you're feeling adventurous!). It is accessible by car but it's a bit of a drive from Orange Beach–it's technically in Josephine, AL. It is a dive, but is awesome for people & dog watching (it's dog friendly & there are dogs that live there also). Cosmo's has great food too. Have fun on your next trip!

  16. These all sound great. I have gone down the last 2 years to Gulf Shores and will be there again this year. I have made a list and hope to enjoy.

  17. ALL YOU CAN EAT boiled Royal Reda at The Undertow!!!! grilled corn in the husk, potatoes, drawn butter and homemade cocktail…. huge picnic like area in the back. WOW!

  18. What!! No comments about the Pink Pony.
    We love the Nachos,however last year we were there, we walked out after waiting 15 minutes to even get a greeting!!!
    Sea and suds has the best shrimp lunch for your money..and that view!!!

  19. If y'all get tired of all that seafood, try Hog Wild. It's on 59 about 5-6 blocks from the beach. I've tried several items there and it's all been excellent. Best BBQ in LA!

  20. I'm an orange beach local and agree you should add Big fish, Villagio, and Salt to the list. All are great with unique atmospheres and known for different things. I'd also add a hidden gem: Bayes grill next to the Marriott suites at the wharf. Creole inspired appetizers and entrees, never had a bad meal here.

    1. oh yes!! Fish River Grill Swamp soup! I wasn't sold at first look, but after having a taste, I am a believer!!

  21. I have had a house in OB for 30 years and finally finally we have great restaurants! You have definitely found some of the highlights, plus shown me some gems I didn't know about. Try Cosmo's, a long time local favorite, also Cobalt, Salt, and Flipper's. You might need more than one more trip ???? Hint, May and October are the best months to go

  22. Fish River Grill. They have a soup called swamp soup, it's green and literally looks like swamp water. Thankfully, looks are deceiving, one of the best soups I have
    ever had. Alligator bites are definitely one of my other favorites here.

  23. When you go to Fin and Fork go on Sunday for Brunch…they have BOTTOMLESS Mimosas! Get the Caribbean Grouper it is to die for❤️ And you must add Villaggio’s at the Wharf on your list!

  24. Lunas on Canal…next to Buzzcat….tbe best steak on the Island is at Big Mike's on Canal the absolute best sushi is at Big Fish…ask for Mimi she is the best sushi chef…I agree Tacky Jacks has a good bushwacker but the best is at Flippers….and you must get someone to take you to Pirate's Cove…it's much more unique than the Bama

  25. Fin and Fork is hands down has the best seafood, and everything is amazing. Matt Ship (owner) knows what he’s doing in the kitchen and has a long history in the food industry. It’s hard to pick because it’s all so very good.

    1. Kravers has the best seafood in Baldwin county and it isn't an over priced clip joint like most places at the beach. Fish river grill for everything else.

  26. we have those crazy milk shakes in st augustine fl down town we had one a few weeks agonn they are crazy

  27. We just got back from Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, too. We were there Dec.26-31. Surely you didn’t miss eating at Doc’s Seafood Shack or Big Fish. We always have to have lunch at Wahlburgers. Next trip will include Paula Deen’s new restaurant; it will be open by the next time we visit—-it will be next summer. There’s a couple of places in OWA that we haven’t tried. Pick up an Island Clipper for good coupons, good places to visit and good places to eat.

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