Best Restaurants & Places in Gulf Shores

17 Best Restaurants & Places in Gulf Shores, AL | 2024 (Top Eats!)

The Gulf Shores is a famous waterfront city resident of innumerable fascinating restaurants. The place offers an intriguing list of dining establishments that are filled with thrilling adventures and displays exciting cuisine prospects.

It’s an immaculate place to visit if you want to make unforgettable memories that come with scenic seashore views, elegant balconies, energizing live music performances, and discounted food packages for your every special event.

One can also try their decadent seafood varieties, sweet ice creams, packed subs, lovely pizzas, and much more. So let’s look at some of the best Gulf Shores restaurants to help you find an excellent place to eat.

Best Restaurants in Gulf Shores

1. Lucy Buffett’s LuLu’s

Lucy Buffett's LuLu's

Why it’s a must visit?

Lucy Buffett’s LuLu’s restaurant was established in the year 2004 and is a festive diner that has become a trendy spot among the local people and foreigners, all due to its exhilarating live music performances and precious food choices.

So if you are checking out for a decent place to eat in the downtown District of Gulf Shores, then this brilliant restaurant should be on the top of your list.

The restaurant transcends everyone’s expectations which its massive selection of delicate dishes along with its various night live music performances.

The restaurant display’s its city pride by holdings sponsorships of various caricature artists, having a separate arcade complex and some ropes to keep people entertained as they wait for the food to arrive.

Chef’s Choice

As a tasty appetizer dish, their nachos will surely bring a smile to your face.

The nachos are specifically corn tortilla chips which come crammed with jalapeños, melted cheese cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes, and queso, along with a complementary dish of their handcrafted salsa.

With the above dish, get a bowl of their Key West Bowl, which is a dear dish to a lot of people.

The Key West bowl comes with Cuban yellow rice, black beans, vegetables, and your preferred meat choice, be it red meat or chicken.

2. The Hangout

The Hangout

Why it’s a must visit?

The hangout restaurant was completely remodeled in the year 2008 and is a spirited restaurant that focuses its culinary creations on seafood.

The restaurant serves one of the best lunches you can find in Gulf Shores and is one of the best family restaurants gulf Shores due to its hospitable ambiance.

This eye-catching restaurant highlights a rainbow setting with a spacious hallway, an alfresco dining in experience, live music performances, and multiple happy events throughout the entire year.

The menu here is also spectacular, with food choices catering to unique restrictive diet options, has a separate kids menu, and serves several signature drinks with a lot of zeal.

Chef’s Choice

Get a taste of their favorite dish, which goes by the name of a grouper platter.

The grouper platter, as the name self implies, is a huge plate that is also shareable and contains fried wild gulf grouper that comes with chipotle aïoli sauce, crispy french fries, and coleslaw.

But if you consider yourself to be a loyal meat fan, then try their lifeguard, which is a delicate dish.

The lifeguard dish comes with two beef patties, some onion straws, thinly cut bacon pieces, cheddar cheese, handmade pickles, and sunny-side fried egg.

3. Picnic Beach

Picnic Beach

Why it’s a must visit?

The picnic beach restaurant is one among the many top-rated restaurants in Gulf Shores, which delivers people the highest quality of meat with exceptional seafood choices.

The restaurant is located only some blocks away from the gulf Shores public beach, which has made it a significant attraction spot.

Get a taste of the best cuisine in Gulf Shores by dining at this impeccable restaurant with your pals.

This restaurant is an ultimate destination for any food lover who loves an extensive menu with multiple fresh salad options, loaded sandwiches, various meat entrées, vegan varieties, and shareable platters.

The ambiance of the restaurant is also spellbinding with a bright interior, artificial grass covering its marbled floor, cute picnic tables, and a lot of windows that give people aesthetic views of the outside world.

Chef’s Choice

If you’re looking for something on the healthier side that is also satisfying, then try their tuna poke bowl, which is quite impressive.

The tuna poke bowl comes with a lot of rejuvenating ingredients like seaweed, roasted tomato aïoli, diced tomatoes, pineapples, lime soy, golden onions, freshly cut cucumbers, big chunks of avocado, jasmine rice, and healthy sesame seeds.

But if you want to try their exotic seafood choices, then give their 1/2 shrimp boil a try.

The shrimp boil comes with thickly cut red tomatoes, seasoning of cocktail sauce, corn, Conecuh sausages, and remoulade.

4. Fresh off the Boat

Fresh off the Boat

Why it’s a must visit?

The restaurant fresh off the boat sticks quite nicely to its title and is, as can figure, a highly praised seafood restaurant that uses the freshest catches of the sea to deliver people the loveliest seafood dishes.

The restaurant has become a favorite of many local people and was first opened at the SanRoc in Marina at Gulf Shores.

It’s one of the best restaurants near me if you get a sudden craving for seafood.

This spectacular restaurant delivers people magnificent seashore views from its balconies with soft live music that gets played on special nights and has a vibrant bar that remains open 24 hours.

The restaurant also gives people a choice to either dine indoors or outdoors according to their preference, and all the dishes here are prepared from scratch using organic farms with professional staff members.

Chef’s Choice

Get their signature dish which is their Pecan crested redfish that has a divine flavor.

Their Pecan Crested redfish comes with a peach pineapple sauce, nicely boiled green beans, and big chunks of cheddar grits to give it its cheesy taste.

Another fabulous dish that we would suggest here is their 14oz Chargrilled ribeye, which makes for a perfect steak dinner choice.

The charger jar grilled ribeye is a USDA-certified Angus ribeye dish that comes with efficiently boiled asparagus, cheesy white cheddar plus garlic mashed potatoes, and some layering of garlic herb butter that gives it its smooth finishing taste.

5. Dippin Dots Gulf Shores

Dippin Dots Gulf Shores

Why it’s a must visit?

The Dippin dots Gulf Shores restaurant is a highly acclaimed ice cream parlor that has now become one of the most renowned food chains globally.

This restaurant is known to be one of the many great restaurants in gulf Shores that provides people with the most decadent treat that they could have ever tasted with their wide selections of ice cream flavors.

The restaurant has an atmospheric ambiance with a comfortable seating space that goes pretty well with its bright interior.

Chef’s Choice

Among the many delicious desserts available here, some of our favorites are their frozen yogurt, ice cream, and their juicy sherbet, which is frequently ordered here.

One of the best about this ice cream parlor is its multiple flavor variety that comes in several forms like strawberry, chocolate, banana split, cotton candy, vanilla, birthday cakes, cookies and cream, and a lot more.

Make sure that you also try their numerous frozen dessert varieties if you want something different from the usual ice creams.

6. The Sugar Shack & Cafe

The Sugar Shack & Cafe

Why it’s a must visit?

The Sugar shack and Café restaurant is a famous American diner that was first opened in the wharf area, which is a renowned seashore tourist spot.

This restaurant is an excellent option if you are searching for a relaxing place to dine with delicious snacks and Richly flavored main courses as well.

The restaurant has a very casual atmosphere, with a friendly staff, rapid service, and a massive variety of aromatic candles that are available at reasonable prices.

Chef’s Choice

If you are coming here with a group, then their loaded fries will suffice your entire circle.

The loaded fries, as one can understand, comes with generous sauces with a variety of toppings like bacon pieces, cheddar cheese, jalapeños, some sour cream, and red chilies to give you a fulfilling treat.

It’s always a wise option to end your meal on a sweet note, which here you can do by getting their most highly ordered fudge.

The fudge comes with many delicious flavors like Oreo, sea salt caramel, dark chocolate coconut, turtle cheesecake, peanut butter cup, and a lot more.

7. Subway


Why it’s a must visit?

It’s hard grappling with the fact that there exists a person who hasn’t heard of subway, which is a famous sandwich food chain that has spread its branches internationally and is considered to be one of the best healthier alternatives to various fast food chains.

The subway restaurant in Gulf Shores neighbors a lot of significant landmarks in the city; for example, it shares its vicinity with the cotton Bayou public beach access.

It’s considered to be one of the most famous restaurants situated locally that is a paradise for any sandwich lover.

The restaurant also delivers an offsite catering service, gives people a customization option to make their sandwiches, has a rapid service, comes with affordable prices, has a high quality as its pastries are baked freshly, and is overall a great healthier alternative to other fast food snacks.

Moreover, its laid-back setting with a warm ambiance and a modest interior makes anyone feel at ease, enveloped by its coziness.

Chef’s Choice

The one sandwich which has never disappointed its visitors is their Italian B.M.T. which is an impeccable sandwich choice.

This Italian sandwich comes with a tasty seasoning of spicy pepperoni, diced tomatoes, green lettuce, Genoa salami, and generous chunks of black forest ham.

But if you have a soft spot for white meat varieties, especially seafood, then you can always go for their tuna sandwich.

The Tuna sandwich comes with the stuffing of Tuna pieces, freshly cut cucumbers, creamy mayonnaise, crispy lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and a lot more.

8. Cosmo’s Restaurant & Bar

Cosmo's Restaurant & Bar

Why it’s a must visit?

Cosmo’s restaurant and bar are one of the most highly praised dining establishments in Gulf Shores that delivers unique seafood options with a southern twist.

After exploring other restaurants gulf shores, if you are grappling with the question of where to eat simple seafood, then you should consider dining in gulf shores as it fulfills all the parameters that you require.

The restaurant displays an impressive menu of rich seafood dishes and a bright interior that accentuates the entire layout of the restaurant with magnificent pieces of art.

Even though the restaurant focuses its creation on seafood dishes, it adds a specific distinctness to it by using southern flavors to its meals that render them delicious and also comes in plentiful portions with a finishing treat in the end.

The restaurant serves both Southern and international flavors, which offers people an open-ended choice for which cuisine to try.

Chef’s Choice

One of our highest recommendations here in the seafood category would go for their catfish, especially if you’re coming here for lunch.

The cat ish is an andouille seared Alabama farm-raised catfish filet dish that comes with grounded Yukon Gold potatoes, meunière dressing, and a mixed variety of veggies.

Another magnificent dish that you can try here is their black and bleu shrimp wrap, which can act as a perfect filling snack option.

The shrimp wrap comes with a seasoning of garlic and herb tortilla stuffed with some blackened gulf shrimp pieces, diced red onions, bleu cheese seasoning, applewood bacon pieces, and romaine lettuce.

9. Gulf Island Grill

Gulf Island Grill

Why it’s a must visit?

The Gulf Island Grill restaurant was established in the year 2003 and is a prominent dining restaurant that serves exclusive seafood options.

This restaurant is one of the nicest restaurants in Gulf Shores Alabama if you yearn to relish the freshest seafood catch with an excellent pairing of their signature cocktails like their gulf island grill.

The entire space of the diner is aesthetically designed with a bright island theme, wooden furnishings, and massive windows that feel lavish.

The menu here is also exquisite, with delicious appetizer options, island-themed dishes, darling pasta plates, and innovative mixtures of beverages like liquor that act as great sample drinks.

Chef’s Choice

Get a taste of their delicious baby back ribs, which is also a house favorite if you want something meaty.

The baby back ribs are a 2-pound dish that contains efficiently cooked ribs with a complementary plate of slaw, fries, and your preferred choice of sauce ranging from the jerk, honey, barbecue, or mango.

Another luscious dish you can opt for here is their seafood pasta which can soothe all your pasta cravings.

The seafood pasta comes with crawfish tails, penne noodles, boiled peppers and shrimp pieces, diced onions, and a generous layering of Parmesan sauce as its seasoning.

10. Gulf Shore Seafood

Gulf Shore Seafood

Why it’s a must visit?

The Gulf shore seafood restaurant is a renowned marketplace that shares its proximity to the Waterville U.S.A., which is also known as an escape house located inside an amusement park.

This signature restaurant is one of Gulf Shore’s many popular restaurants, which has gained a lot of approval for its fancy atmosphere and friendly hospitality.

The diner is a fancy place to visit if you want to experience the magnificence of gulf shore cuisine through its many signature seafood dishes along with huge platters favorable for group dining, warm atmosphere, mouthwatering desserts, and special outtakes service for every necessity.

Chef’s Choice

Our personal recommendation here would go for their Low country boil, which is a perfect dish for two people, especially if you are coming here for a romantic date with your significant other.

The dish contains a large Shrimp piece that weighs around 1 pound and also comes with other unique ingredients like corn on cob ears, dual sausages, and six mashed potatoes on the side on your personal choice of seasoning.

It would be a lot fancier if you sampled those dishes with their many exquisite cocktails and finished with their favorite desserts.

11. Sunset Cork Room

Sunset Cork Room

Why it’s a must visit?

The Sunset Park restaurant was open in the year 2004 and delivered an extravagant dining experience in Gulf Shores.

So if you want to get the best out of your romantic dinner with your significant other, then visit this place as it’s considered to be one of the best dinner places to eat in Gulf Shores.

This fancy restaurant delivers an elegant atmosphere and has a personal space with professional staff members who know their job.

The dishes here are also presented in a sophisticated manner and use the ingredients which are fetched locally from farm produce and also give people an impressive International wine collection selection to choose from.

Chef’s Choice

Begin your day with a healthy choice by ordering their special Strawberry Fields forever salad.

The strawberry fields forever salad comes with energizing ingredients like feta cheese, diced pecans, balsamic glaze, and mixed veggies.

One can also experience a luxurious dinner by ordering their delicate 6oz Filet Mignon Diane which is also a house favorite and is made with mashed potatoes, different sauces, and veggies.

This dish is a USDA-approved Angus beef steak and therefore has a reputation of being the highest quality.

12. Sassy Bass Island Grill

Sassy Bass Island Grill

Why it’s a must visit?

The sassy Bass Island Grill restaurant is another waterfront diner that enamors its visitors with its breathtaking views of Mexico City.

The restaurant, because of its fascinating service, has become one of the best restaurants in gulf shores Alabama to celebrate special events, especially birthdays, as the service makes things a lot easier.

The restaurant also gives people the option to customize their own menu options, features buffet options, has a private space for celebrating personal events, serves food gulf shores in an aesthetic style, and offers the most affordable meals.

Chef’s Choice

One can try their island-inspired dish specifically for breakfast by getting their Hawaiian omelet.

Hawaiian omelet, just as the name implies, is an omelet made in Hawaii fashion with the use of chopped spam and onions, mixed veggies and green peppers served with the toast, some hash browns, seasoning of pineapple garnish, and butter.

Another superb brunch option is their tropical dish named island Benedict which is a lovely dish.

The Island Benedict comes with a hash brown stack, some poached eggs, ham pieces, grilled shrimp, a simple crab cake, and a general seasoning of hollandaise sauce that gives it its flavorsome taste.

13. The Original Oyster House

The Original Oyster House

Why it’s a must visit?

The original oyster House restaurant has a legacy of serving the most exquisite seafood choices since the year 1983 and has received a lot of acclaim for maintaining consistent quality.

One gets to spend quality time with their friends as they feast on their delicious snacks that are sure to give you the best feeling of a lifetime.

This simple institution also has a separate menu for kids so that they can get a good time too, and also takes into care restrictive diet options, which has given it a very welcoming image.

Not only is the hospitality outstanding with reasonable rates, but the menu here is also mouthwatering with various Cajun specialties and hand-shucked oysters with different salad choices and a lot more.

Chef’s Choice

Encounter the magical taste of Louisiana by trying their Natchitoches crawfish pies.

The Natchitoches crawfish pies is a classic Cajun dish that comes with a crust made in a pastry manner, some seasoned crawfish pieces, and a layering of their own handmade remoulade sauce.

One can also give their specialties a try by ordering the crab cake and the delicious green tomatoes stacked as complimentary meals.

The crab cake is made with thinly sliced fried green tomatoes and also contains Conecuh sausage cream dressing.

14. Shrimp Basket

Shrimp Basket

Why it’s a must visit?

The shrimp basket restaurant was established in the year 1993 and is one of the cool places to eat in Gulf Shores, which is located only some miles away from the vibrant marketplace with several shops and tourist attractions.

So if you are wondering where to eat to discover new exciting dishes with marvelous seafood specialties, then head to this shrimp basket restaurant as its overall deliverance will keep you wanting more.

The restaurant has a very accommodating setting which features a casual atmosphere, a friendly staff, a separate oyster pub, and tasty food near me options for your kids.

Chef’s Choice

If you are here with your family and would like to share a dish with multiple people, then it’s wiser if you order their chicken breast platter.

The chicken breast platter includes your own personal choice of blackened or roasted chicken with appetizing hush puppies, shrimp slaw, and some corn fritters.

Another genuinely fantastic dish here which is also their specialty, is the Mahi Mahi tacos which come with a complimentary meal of shrimp slaw, crispy fries, and hush puppies.

The tacos here are two flour tortillas that come loaded with blackened Mahi Mahi, thinly sliced cabbage pieces, and some guacamole sauce that gives it its spicy taste.

15. King Neptunes

King Neptunes

Why it’s a must visit?

The king Neptunes restaurant is a magnificent local restaurant known for its boiled seafood dishes that have touched the heart of a lot of people.

At this restaurant, one gets to discover various enthusiastic landmarks, bright shops, and several entertaining sectors which this restaurant shares its vicinity with.

So before you head to your own country and are here to enjoy a nice vacation, then make sure that you visit this restaurant is it’s considered to be one of the bests in all of Gulf Shores.

This simple and casual restaurant captions a vintage atmosphere with friendly staff, spacious parking space, and a beautiful outdoor setting to eat under the sun.

Chef’s Choice

It’s a lot more interesting if one tries their appetizer first before the main entrée, in which here our highest recommendation would go for their Neptunes seafood nachos, whose taste is genuinely fantastic.

These nachos are fried wonton chips that come back with a crawfish dressing, cheesy sauce, chopped tomatoes, shrimp pieces, banana bell peppers, and a garnish of green onions.

But if you want a large dish that you can share with your entire family or group, then get their steamer sampler platter which will suffice almost everyone.

The steamer sampler platter comes with one and a half royal reds, one and a half pound shrimp, one crab legs, and some corn on the cob dish with a complimentary meal of seared fresh potatoes.

16. The Ruby Slipper Cafe

The Ruby Slipper Cafe

Why it’s a must visit?

The Ruby slipper Café is a charming breakfast or brunch restaurant and is an authentic New Orleans food chain that is known for its fantastic breakfast choices.

The food here is beyond anything you would ever want as a decadent breakfast meal, as the gulf shores food serves as a nostalgia for the cuisine of New Orleans.

The restaurant also holds playful events that it uses through its app by giving people discounts or coupons for their breakfast favorites so they can also tan while relishing the exquisite taste of the many breakfast meals that are offered here.

Chef’s Choice

Nothing could rival this place’s fabulous take, its thick homemade cookies that blend perfectly well with the many beverages like their espresso coffee which are offered here.

Other filling meals like their candied bacon and their bloody Mary and mimosas make for a perfect fulfilling snack option if you are famished beyond sense.

Also, don’t forget to try their extraordinary and most delicious eggs Benedict which is a must-try here.

It’s also among the must eat places with your tourist buddies if you are searching for a light breakfast in the early mornings.

17. Fisher’s


Why it’s a must visit?

Nestled away in the breathtaking Orange Beach Marina, this daunting restaurant provides people scenic views of the waterfront with its many exquisite food choices.

The restaurant is spearheaded by an award-winning and genius chef who oversees all culinary creations with his keen eye.

It’s also quite an extravagant place to dine at as the service is upscale and the reservations here are also highly suggested as her please always remains packed with people. It gives the option to dine either indoors or outdoors or even at the dockside, which is suitable for parties.

Also, it’s one of the 5-star restaurants and has been given a diamond rating by the southern living magazine for being among the top five restaurants gulf shores AL in the south area of gulf shores.

This place is also frequently visited by many prominent personalities like celebrities, politicians, and influencers.

Chef’s Choice

As one can figure from the title, the restaurant creates seafood masterpieces which is a true paradise for any seafood lover.

So if you are a fan of oysters and would like to get them with a generous complimentary dish of various sauces, then you should visit this place as the buttery texture of the oysters, which are organic in every sense, makes them an ideal seafood choice that has no match.

A lot of people have been heard saying that the oysters are worth killing for, which explains why it’s so hyped, not forgetting the fact that its recipes come from a local family, which is why it tastes so good.

Famous foods to try in the city

Seafood – As Gulf Shores is a city surrounded by many scenic waterfronts, it’s understandable that its central cuisine focuses on seafood culinary creations. But even when it comes to seafood, their oysters are the most bewitching dish here, which has always mesmerized food lovers who are enthusiastic about tasting different culinary chef-d’oeuvre. In the same way, their seafood tower platters are no joke as they give people a taste of multiple flavors in one dish.

Mojito – Mojito is a tropical island-themed drink that has now reached its peak globally across nations due to its rejuvenating taste but is always lacking in some way as the ingredients are not truly authentic. That’s why Mojito should undoubtedly be tried at gulf Shores as this place makes them most originally by using the freshest lime and beverages that would enthrall any drink buff experienced in this area.

Eggs Benedict – Eggs Benedict is a French dish that has now become an international sensation as a flawless breakfast meal that uses the best of spices and cream to create the runny effect that one experiences as one takes a bite from it. The dish is not only healthy and filled with protein but also has a rich taste that dissolves in your mouth in seconds.

Final Thoughts

Anyone who loves beachy vibes should give Gulf shores a visit as this place oozes with charm and has its own amusing way of giving people an exuberant experience ranging from its picturesque views of the waterfront to its many tropical-themed dishes that are praised internationally.

So if you’re visiting here to either enjoy a good vacation or explore the culinary scene, it’s essential that one has to be familiar with a reputable place to eat in an exotic city. In that respect, we hope that this article on the best gulf shores restaurants was able to ease all your worries and has provided you with great alternatives.

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