10 of the Best Places to Eat in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

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Anyone planning a visit to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama will certainly not have a shortage of restaurants to choose from. In fact, we have found that it’s actually quite a challenging decision trying to figure out where to eat when you have so many amazing restaurants along this stretch of the Gulf Coast. Having visited on several occasions and sampled a myriad of delicious spots, we are ready to share our top recommendations on the best places to eat in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Hopefully, after reading this post, you will have a few ideas of dining spots you cannot afford to miss.

best places to eat in gulf shores and orange beach

We are going to put together this post by highlighting some of our favorite spots for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even dessert…we all know that when you visit Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, dessert at ANY time of the day is a great idea.

Best Places to Eat in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

Although our list of 10 best places to eat in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach offers a unique blend of cuisine, there is one thing in common with all of these spots – they are all local to the area and are not a chain restaurant!

best places to eat in gulf shores and orange beach

I know that many travel bloggers focus solely on local spots and I have to agree with them that they offer something far more unique to the standard chain restaurants. Heather and I do generally eat at both local and chain when we travel but we can well and truly attest that if you are visiting Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, you need to eat 100% locally!

best places to eat in gulf shores and orange beach

Let’s take a look at which spots made our list and please feel free to give your top recommendations in the comments below. This is by no means an exhaustive list and we likely could add another zero and make a list of our top 100 spots but these are all restaurants that we have experienced and certainly fallen in love with!

Brick and Spoon

Best Time of Day to Visit – Breakfast

How does Bananas in Pajamas sound? Take a moment to contemplate crispy banana eggrolls served with fosters sauce and yes, it tastes equally as good as it sounds! This is just one of the highlights that you can experience at Brick and Spoon in Orange Beach when you visit for breakfast.

brick and spoon orange beach

Our mission is to create unique meals with a spoonful of southern flair that comfort the heart and soul of every guest. (Brick and spoon)

This was actually our first breakfast spot that we encountered in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach and it was certainly a great introduction to cuisine on the Gulf Coast.

brick and spoon bananas in pajamas

By the way, the Bananas in Pajamas is simply a breakfast appetizer because you will likely want to save room to enjoy either the Killer Creole Omelet or Caribbean Scrambler. Both are dishes that Heather and I opted for and neither of us left disappointed or hungry!

brick and spoon orange beach

Brick and Spoon is renowned for having an amazing Bloody Mary bar where you can “build your own” concoction and enjoy a signature drink accompanying your favorite dish. If you read our post a couple of years ago on the best places to eat breakfast in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, you will know why we LOVE this place so much!

Address

24705 Canal Rd
Orange Beach, AL 36561
Tel: (251) 981-7772
Website: Brick and Spoon
Menu: Brick and Spoon Menu
Opening Times: 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM

The Ruby Slipper

Best Time of Day to Visit – Breakfast

On our recent trip to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, we headed to The Ruby Slipper after hearing reports that this was the best breakfast spot in the area!

best places to eat in gulf shores and orange beach

Having experienced and thoroughly enjoyed Brick and Spoon on our last visit, we knew that it had to be something pretty special to be better than that.

ruby slipper orange beach

The history of The Ruby Slipper is one that makes you immediately attached to this restaurant. Following the tragic events of Hurricane Katrina, the owners opened The Ruby Slipper with a powerful sense of homecoming after they returned to New Orleans.

best places to eat in gulf shores and orange beach

If you don’t feel a little sentimental when you visit The Ruby Slipper after hearing this story, well perhaps this is not a place for you!

Our biggest lesson of Hurricane Katrina? There truly is no place like home!  (the ruby slipper)

The reality is, The Ruby Slipper is not actually “local” to Orange Beach, given that the original location is in New Orleans. However, I am sure you will agree that regardless of whether you want to define this as a “chain” restaurant, it’s a spot that you cannot help but love.

ruby slipper orange beach alabama

Did I also mention that this place is home to some pretty spectacular cuisine? Signature omelets, BBQ Shrimp and Grits and of course, the pièce de résistance on the menu – the Eggs Benedict variations!

ruby slipper orange beach

We strongly recommend opting for The Peacemaker where you can enjoy two of the Signature Benedicts for the price of one. The Shrimp Boogaloo Benedict is one of the popular choices along with Eggs Cochon and Chicken St. Charles but it’s fair to say you cannot go wrong with anything on this menu.

Address

24151 Perdido Beach Blvd
Orange Beach, AL 36561
Tel: (251) 800-7470
Website: The Ruby Slipper
Menu: The Ruby Slipper Menu
Opening Times: 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM (Monday to Friday); 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM (Saturday and Sunday)

Tacky Jacks

Best Time of Day to Visit – Breakfast (others would argue all day!)

One of the most popular restaurants in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is Tacky Jack’s. It’s fair to say that this “beachside dive” is not the most aesthetically appealing restaurant in the area but you could argue that it’s the most unique. If you are in search of a place to have a fun time while enjoying delicious cuisine, look no further than Tacky Jack’s.

tacky jacks orange beach

It’s Always a Good Time Here at Tacky Jacks!

The perfect place for locals and tourists alike to enjoy all meals, we recommend visiting this spot for breakfast (others would argue the Mexican garbage nachos are so delicious that a lunch or dinner visit is preferable) and enjoying this cool restaurant overlooking the cool waterfront.

tacky jacks orange beach alabama

Whether you attend the location in Gulf Shores or Orange Beach, you can be sure to have a great time. Heather opted for a breakfast burrito and I experienced the wheelhouse pancakes but based on feedback from others visiting Tacky Jack’s, I don’t think you could go wrong with anything on this menu!

best places to eat in gulf shores and orange beach

Address

27206 Safe Harbor Drive
Orange Beach, AL 36561
Tel: (251) 981-4144
Website: Tacky Jack’s
Menu: Tacky Jack’s Orange Beach Menu
Opening Times: 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM 

The Southern Grind

Best Time of Day to Visit – Breakfast

For those of you that prefer the social setting of a coffee shop, consider paying a visit to The Southern Grind in Orange Beach. Two distinctive locations, one in The Wharf and the other at The Hotel Indigo, ensures that visitors to Orange Beach will have easy access to this local coffee shop.

southern grind orange beach alabama

The decor throughout The Southern Grind is perfectly manicured and typical of the Gulf Coast. You cannot help but fall in love with the relaxing atmosphere and it is the perfect spot to enjoy your favorite espresso while catching up on some work or simply enjoying an intimate drink with your friends.

southern grind coffee house

A variety of breakfast items are available and whether you choose the Jalapeno Potato Scrambler or Belgian Waffle with Strawberries and Cream, you won’t leave The Southern Grind hungry.

southern grind orange beach

We visited the location inside The Hotel Indigo twice and certainly considered this to be one of our favorite spots along the Gulf Coast. We love the vibe and coffeehouse environment and The Southern Grind offered everything you could wish for.

southern grind orange beach alabama

Address

22843 Perdido Beach Blvd
Orange Beach, AL 36561
Tel: (251) 975-2883
Website: The Southern Grind
Menu: The Southern Grind Menu
Opening Times: 6:30 AM to 8:00 PM (Sunday to Thursday); 6:30 AM to 9:00 PM (Friday and Saturday) 

Sassy Bass Crazy Donuts

Best Time of Day to Visit – Lunch

If you are looking for a traditional place to eat lunch, you should probably look away now! However, if you are willing to go outside of your comfort zone and sample a “burger donut,” head over to Sassy Bass Crazy Donuts in Gulf Shores for the ultimate experience of a lifetime.

sassy bass crazy donuts

The thought of a hamburger combined with a glazed donut may not sound particularly appealing but you will be pleasantly surprised by how the sweet and savory combination works so effectively. Don’t visit this spot if you are counting calories and be sure to follow the philosophy that you are on vacation!

sassy bass crazy donuts

The “Some Mores” dessert donut is a favorite but perhaps the most iconic is the “Flat Line” burger donut which by the name itself tells the story about what you can expect. Heather and I shared this and it is more than enough for two people.

best places to eat in gulf shores and orange beach

As I indicated, if you are ready for something a little bit different, Sassy Bass Crazy Donuts will certainly provide this!

Address

132 West 1st Avenue
Gulf Shores, AL 36542
Tel: (251) 948-3838
Website: Sassy Bass Crazy Donuts
Menu: Sassy Bass Crazy Donuts Menu
Opening Times: 7:30 AM to 2:00 PM (Winter Hours – Longer hours in the Summer)

Luna’s Eat and Drink

Best Time of Day to Visit – Dinner

When you think about the state of Alabama, the concept of “traditional Southern cooking” should spring to mind and it’s fair to say Luna’s Eat and Drink have added a unique spin to this.

lunas eat and drink

Combining this with the local seafood scene, Luna’s have created a dynamic menu that offers visitors something very different unlike anywhere else in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

best places to eat in gulf shores and orange beach

Whether you prefer to dine indoors or on the outside patio, Luna’s Eat and Drink is the perfect spot to grab dinner while enjoying a flight of craft beers local to the Gulf Coast. The Southern favorite of Deviled Eggs are understandably a popular choice and we can vouch that they taste delicious.

lunas eat and drink

However, the real treat is the entree selection and whether you opt for the Stuffed Gulf Grouper which is an amazing choice or the Blackened Redfish topped with Red-Eye Hollandaise, you cannot go wrong with this menu!

best places to eat in gulf shores and orange beach

Address

25689 Canal Road
Orange Beach, AL 36561
Tel: (251) 980-5862
Website: Luna’s Eat and Drink
Menu: Luna’s Eat and Drink Menu
Opening Times: 11:00 AM to 9:30 PM (Sunday to Thursday); 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM (Friday and Saturday)

Bayes Southern Bar and Grill

Best Time of Day to Visit – Dinner

Inspired by local ingredients and the very best seafood from the Gulf of Mexico, Bayes Southern Bar and Grill offers an eclectic blend of dishes for every palate to enjoy.

bayes southern bar and grill

Located by The Wharf, we highly recommend paying this restaurant a visit and there are not too many better places to eat in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach if you are looking to enjoy a romantic dinner overlooking the gorgeous marina.

bayes southern bar and grill

If you have a flexible schedule, be sure to hop over to Bayes Southern Bar and Grill between 2PM-6PM Monday to Friday to enjoy House Wines, Martinis, and Draft Beers for only $4! However, if you prefer to wait for dinner, the distinctive blend of seafood, steak, and other cuisine options will surely spark your interest.

bayes southern bar and grill

Whether you’re in the mood for a four-course meal or a delectable snack to go, you’ll find plenty of fresh and exciting dining options. (Bayes Southern bar & Grill)

The appetizers at Bayes Southern Bar and Grill are delicious. We sampled both the Duck and Andouille Eggrolls along with the Crawfish Beignets and they were both huge hits at our table. I’m not going to lie, I could easily have eaten a few more of those!

bayes southern bar and grill

The difficult choice comes when you have to pick your entree because there is a huge selection. The Shrimp and Grits are popular and while Heather opted for the Chicken Vieux Carre, I couldn’t resist the sound of Catfish Orleans. Needless to say, we both thoroughly enjoyed our choices!

best places to eat in gulf shores and orange beach

Did I also mention dessert? That’s right, you should probably try and find some room to indulge in the White Chocolate Bread Pudding. I am not usually a huge fan of bread pudding but this was something else and the warm white chocolate ganache was definitely a perfect accompaniment to this dessert.

bayes southern bar and grill

Address

4673 Wharf Parkway West
Orange Beach, AL 36561
Tel: (251) 240-0411
Website: Bayes Southern Bar and Grill
Menu: Bayes Southern Bar and Grill Menu
Opening Times: 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM

The Yard Milkshake Bar

Best Time of Day to Visit – Dessert

Are you ready to experience the ultimate delicacy? Head over to The Yard Milkshake Bar to experience milkshakes, unlike anything you have ever seen before. They take the word ‘creativity’ to the extreme when they concoct these amazing milkshakes.

All souvenir milkshakes are served in a keepsake mason jar to remember your experience but I think it’s fair to say the milkshake itself will create the memories! If you don’t have a sweet tooth, perhaps this place isn’t for you but I would argue that anyone visiting The Yard Milkshake Bar will fall in love with this spot.

yard milkshake bar

Whether you want to build your very own personalized milkshake or opt for one of the signature designs, there are a plethora of choices to satisfy everyone’s appetite. The Unicorn is definitely one that appeals to Heather given that it is made from Birthday batter ice cream and topped with a Birthday cupcake, whipped cream, and sprinkles.

However, the Salted Caramel Cheesecake milkshake comprising of salted caramel ice cream and topped with a slice of New York cheesecake sounds pretty spectacular to me.

Address

3800 Gulf Shores Pkwy #330
Gulf Shores, AL 36542
Tel: (251) 948-0121
Website: The Yard Milkshake Bar
Menu: The Yard Milkshake Bar Menu
Opening Times: 12:00 AM to 8:00 PM (Tuesday to Sunday – Closed on Monday)

Scoops Ice Cream

Best Time of Day to Visit – Dessert

If you are looking for a family owned ice cream shop where you can enjoy a variety of flavors, check out Scoops Ice Cream in Gulf Shores. Located in the heart of Gulf Coast Parkway just a short walk from the beach, this is the perfect spot to enjoy your favorite ice cream flavor before taking a stroll along the 32 miles of pristine white-sandy beaches.

scoops ice cream gulf shores

A single or double scoop in a cone or cup may be sufficient but for the adventurous folks out there, why not experience a banana split or customized sundae.

scoops ice cream

Visitors will have to endure the tough decision over which flavors to pick but with the low prices, I think it’s feasible that you will want to return to sample more after your first visit!

Address

601 Gulf Shores Parkway
Gulf Shores, AL 36542
Tel: (251) 948-4800
Website: Scoops Ice Cream
Menu: Scoops Ice Cream Menu
Opening Times: 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Matt’s Ice Cream

Best Time of Day to Visit – Dessert

A visit to Gulf Shores wouldn’t be the same without experiencing Matt’s Homemade Alabama Ice Cream. With over 40 flavors available, you can enjoy anything from a traditional sundae to a more extravagant milkshake.

Two different locations on Gulf Shores Parkway make this an easily accessible location and one that should certainly be on your radar if you have a sweet tooth.

matt's ice cream gulf shores

Focused on delivering an incredible taste only available through homemade ice cream, Matt’s Ice Cream has an eclectic lineup of flavors to satisfy every visitor. The modern, vibrant feel inside the store makes this a spot you will want to relax while enjoying your favorite ice cream.

matt's ice cream

Local or tourist, you will line up for these deliciously eclectic flavors. One scoop is never enough!

I can strongly recommend the Butterfinger flavor along with the Red Velvet but honestly, it’s a case of you cannot go wrong with anything on Matt’s Ice Cream menu!

Address

1308 (and 701) Gulf Shores Parkway
Gulf Shores, AL 36542
Tel: (251) 948-7098
Website and Menu: Matt’s Homemade Alabama Ice Cream
Opening Times: 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Summary

Anyone hungry after contemplating all of this amazing food? If you are looking for the best places to eat in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach hopefully, this guide will give a few ideas to sample all meals of the day. It’s pretty obvious that we have breakfast, dinner, and dessert covered primarily because when you enjoy an awesome breakfast in either Gulf Shores or Orange Beach, you likely won’t be thinking about anything until dinner time.

Many of these restaurants are awesome for lunch but if you follow our strategy, you will enjoy a great breakfast, sample a late dinner and perhaps indulge in a dessert throughout the day! The most important thing to remember when you visit Gulf Shores and Orange Beach…YOU ARE ON VACATION!

5 COMMENTS

    • What restaurants would you recommend for visitors to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach? These recommendations are based solely on our own experiences and all of these we have had awesome food and experiences!

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