What to Eat in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

Whether it’s fresh-caught seafood or classic Southern cooking that gets your taste buds going, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are sure to satisfy your cravings with their abundance of culinary delights.

Here’s a list of delicious treats at some of our favorite spots to satisfy your hunger while visiting lower Alabama, starting with dessert!

Greek salad with fried shrimp.
Greek salad with fried shrimp at Flora-Bama.

1. Creamy Milkshakes at the Sunliner Diner

Chocolate Milkshake topped with mini Hershey bars, whipped cream, and a cherry.
Shake Supreme $15.99

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.

Caramel Apple Sundae topped with whipped cream and cherry.
Caramel Apple Sundae $9.99

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

Cheesecake shaped like a beach with a bourbon core.

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

Shrimp Fra Diablo in a bowl and a glass of water.
Shrimp Fra Diavolo $20

Just because you are at the beach does not mean that you cannot enjoy pasta. Quite contraire!

Head to Cobalt at 28099 Perdido Beach Boulevard in Orange Beach where you will find three pasta dinners that will make your mouth water.

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 from 11 AM until 10:00 PM. It’s a great place to enjoy dinner bayside.

4. Catch of the Day

Plate with tripletail fish in a cream sauce.
Tripletail (Bronzed) With Tazzo Cream Sauce (market price)

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

Triple tail dinner with Cajun rice and green beans.
Blackened Gulf Tripletail $23

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

Shrimp basket with French fries, coleslaw, and hushpuppies.

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

Picnic Cobb salad with chickpeas and deviled eggs.
Picnic Cobb

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 when 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.

Orange smoothie in a Picnic Beach cup.

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 Gulf Restaurant in Gulf Shores.

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.

Fish sandwich and French fries.
The Grouper Sandwich $16.00

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.

LA Caviar in a green bowl with a lemon wedge and lettuce.
L.A. Caviar $7

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.

Mountain of fried okra at Lulu's.
A Mountain of Fried Okra! $10

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.

Fried shrimp and French fries.
Jumbo Shrimp $25

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

Roast beef with mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, and carrots.
Roast Beef $15

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 its 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).  

Bloody Mary with celery, hard-boiled egg, and cucumber.

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.

Bananas Foster French Toast.

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.

Southern breakfast with biscuit, grits, sausage, bacon, and eggs.
Southern Breakfast $11.50

The Southern Breakfast consists of two eggs of 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

Avocado and eggs on toast.
Avocado and Toast $14

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 dinner from 5 pm until 9 pm.

14. Bushwacker Frappe

Woman holding a bushwacker frappe topped with whipped cream.
12-ounce Bushwacker Frappe $4.49

If Gulf Shores and Orange Beach were to have a signature drink, it would be the bushwacker. Most people think of the cocktail version of bushwackers – a sweet mixture of rum and Kahlua with a few other ingredients that vary on where you get your fix.

At Southern Shores Coffee, you can enjoy a nonalcoholic version in a tasty pick-me-up way via their delicious Bushwacker Frappe. It’s creamy and smooth and comes topped with a layer of luscious whipped cream.

If you need a little something savory to go with that, they also have bagel sandwiches, burritos, and pastries.

Southern Shores Coffee is located at 229 E 20th Ave #13 and is open daily from 7:00 am until 2:00 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?

What’s your favorite restaurant in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach? Why not share it with others and see if they agree?

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  1. Thank you so much for these suggestions. I just visited Orange Beach this weekend. We tried a couple of the places you recommended and we were definitely not disappointed. Picnic Beach and Lulu’s were our favorites and they will definite on our go-to list each time we visit! Thanks again!

  2. If you are at the Flora Bama Yacht you have to try the Greek Nachos! I’ve ate at 90% of places you mentioned and while all was great food the Greek Nachos were shockingly awesome ! Every time I take someone there they loved them as well ……

  3. I would put Doc’s Seafood Shack’s fried shrimp up against Lulu’s ANY day!! I’m with you on the fried okra though.

  4. The Oyster House is the best for anything they have especially the seafood. It is consistent in their quality and variety from the menu. The salad bar is very complete too. Good atmosphere and prices

  5. Thank you for all the food ideas for my next visit. Food is always one of my favorite parts of traveling.

  6. Omg, these pictures! I think I’ll spend a good few days in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach trying out all of these. Thanks for the recommendations.

  7. These milkshakes are screaming my name! And all the food looks sooo delicious! Whenever I’m in this area, I will try all of it!

  8. Oh my goodness! All of this food looks incredible! Especially the milkshake from the Sunliner Diner. Sounds like you can’t go wrong visiting any of these restaurants in Gulf Shores!!

  9. I just got REALLY hungry reading this!!! I seriously would eat everything listed and probably more 😉

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