Alabama’s family-friendly Gulf Coast is known for its beautiful white sandy beaches and turquoise waters, but the real highlight for me is the amazing food. For a city of this size, you’ll be amazed at how many top-notch restaurants there are with creative recipes and tasty dishes. Here are the best places to eat in Orange Beach (and Gulf Shores), AL, that top my list plus suggestions for what to order.
Note: Almost all of the restaurants in this area serve fresh seafood in various ways–fried, blackened, grilled, broiled, steamed, or baked. No matter where you go, incredible seafood straight from the Gulf of Mexico is sure to be on the list.
(This post was originally published in July 2019, and updated after a visit in March 2021)
Best Restaurant List
- Playa At Sportman’s Marina
- Anchor Bar & Grill
- Ruby Slipper Cafe, Orange Beach
- Cobalt, The Restaurant
- Fresh Off The Boat OBA
- Cosmo’s Restaurant And Bar
- BuzzCatz Coffee & Sweets
- Sunliner Diner
- The Crab Trap
- Brick & Spoon
- Flora-Bama Yacht Club
- Hurricane Grill & Wings
- The Hangout
- Another Broken Egg Cafe
- Fisher’s At Orange Beach Marina
- Orange Beach: A Tasty Address
Playa At Sportman’s Marina
Of course, my list of the best places to eat in Orange Beach starts with my favorite—Playa at Sportsman Marina. Playa is beautiful on the inside, with cool tables, chairs, color schemes, and Instagram-worthy walls. The menu is chock full of wonderful Southern food favorites, including Shrimp & Grits, Crab Dip with sourdough toast, and Fried Crab Claws. Pimento Cheese was the menu item that wooed me, with warm pork rinds. I also loved my Chicken Bowl with jasmine rice, black beans, chimi-slaw, and cojita cheese.
Order a tasty Pink Pineapple (vodka with Fresh Victor cactus pear & pomegranate) to pair with your meal, but keep it mind it is an alcoholic beverage as it goes down way too smooth.
Anchor Bar & Grill
Experience waterfront dining with spectacular views in a casual al fresco setting on Terry Cove at Anchor Bar & Grill. Anchor Bar’s menu serves elevated bar food, such as gourmet burgers, wings, ramen, salads, and a variety of tacos. I ordered the O.G. Brisket Tots with pickled red onions, queso, jalapeños, sour cream, and smoked Wagyu brisket. The dish is topped with a perfect sunny-side-up egg.
I always love a Southern eatery that uses Mason jars for the drinks, a bonus in my book! Anchor Bar & Grill is a great place to sip a Blonde Bushwhacker, a yummy frozen drink made with vanilla vodka, Frangelico, and ice cream. It is easily the local favorite.
This restaurant is closed, but reopening in the same space under a different name in July 2021.
Chef Brody whips up unique creations at arguably Orange Beach’s finest dining establishment. Voyagers is a white-tablecloth restaurant with impeccable service, great dinnerware, an appealing menu, and the best wine list. It is comfortable and not one bit pretentious. For starters, Voyagers’ ostrich carpaccio and meat & cheese boards are excellent choices. I love beef carpaccio but had never tried ostrich. Seeing that it is another red meat, I gave it a go, and the taste is incredibly delicate and flavorful.
If you are an oyster fan, I 10/10 recommend the chargrilled oysters, so silky and smooth that they can easily make a fan out of the most finicky eater. The seafood platter contains a heaping helping of shrimp, lobster, crab, and oysters that are excellent for sharing. For your main course, choose a steak—they are sheer perfection.
Save room for the Caramel Corn on the Cob, a sweet corn mousse with a Bulleit salted peanut butter cake and a caramel peanut crunch. OMG, it was delectable!
Ruby Slipper Cafe, Orange Beach
Open for breakfast and lunch only, The Ruby Slipper (also found in New Orleans, Metairie, Mobile, and Baton Rouge) is a breakfast lover’s dream spot. The buttermilk biscuits are unbelievable, taste-wise, and in looks. Perhaps that is why the everyday wait is long to enjoy the delectable eats on the menu.
My husband and I shared two entrees, which was probably a mistake seeing that one is truly big enough for two people. Ruby Slipper’s Trifecta (Eggs Benedict trio) may be the most genius creation I’ve seen to date. It features one each of Ruby Slipper’s famous Eggs Benedict: Chicken St. Charles (pork tasso cream sauce and fried chicken), Shrimp Boogaloo (similar to Shrimp Creole), and Eggs Cochon (apple-braised pork).
Cobalt, The Restaurant
Experience fine coastal cuisine at Cobalt, the restaurant beside the Caribe Resort. This chic and modern Orange Beach eatery has a picturesque waterfront view, live music, and an open, airy dining room. Renowned chefs in three separate kitchens craft Cobalt’s authentic dishes; the service is impeccable. You can arrive at the restaurant by boat, too.
To start with, the Avocado Stack is delectable, with tuna, balsamic drizzle, and crispy wonton. Firecracker Shrimp is another popular appetizer. Again, following with the Orange Beach popularity, Cobalt’s Bushwhacker is like sipping a little slice of heaven—perfectly creamy and delicious.
Fresh Off The Boat OBA
One of the newest restaurant openings in Orange Beach is Fresh Off the Boat OBA, an eatery with a festive vibe, live music, and a tempting menu. The Crab Claws sautéed in Creole cream sauce are magnificent, and I love the grilled bread that is perfect for sopping up every last bit of the sauce.
I enjoyed Fresh Off the Boat’s Shrimp & Grits better than anywhere else in town, with a zesty sauce and plenty of plump, meaty shrimp. The stone-ground cheddar grits really take this dish over the top. Another tasty shrimp meal is the Fried Alabama Gulf Shrimp Platter that comes with fries and coleslaw. Save room for dessert because the bread pudding is quite delicious.
Cosmo’s Restaurant And Bar
Cosmo’s Restaurant and Bar is a sophisticated far-from-ordinary restaurant in Orange Beach, Alabama, that offers classic seafood, pasta, and steak dishes with an eclectic spin. There is a daily happy hour with drink special, reduced wine bottles, and discounted appetizers.
Speaking of appetizers, Cosmo’s has one of the best appetizers I’ve ever eaten. That is a bold statement. The Savory Cheesecake is so rich and creamy, not to be confused with dessert cheesecake. I’m sharing the exact description as written by Cosmo’s because my attempting would not do it any justice, “Blue crab, apple smoked bacon, spinach and Parmesan cheese blended with cream cheese and eggs and baked. Served with meunière sauce”. Freaking nom!
Cosmo’s Cheese Dip is a tasty item to share with those sharing your table, topped with feta and roasted tomato relish. For dinner, I recommend the Filet Mignon with garlic and smoked bacon grits and asparagus. The Banana Leaf-wrapped Sea Bass is also a highly desired entree and was named one of the “100 Things to Eat in Alabama Before You Die” by The Year of Alabama Food.
BuzzCatz Coffee & Sweets
You have the option of a few good coffee shops in Orange Beach, but my top pick is BuzzCatz, which also has some noteworthy food options. Step into this whimsical and vividly painted counter-service joint and load up on your favorite tea, latte, cold brew, hot chocolate, or espresso. Enjoy your food and drinks indoors or out, and while you are there, you may as well take home a cupcake or cookie for an afternoon snack, right? Don’t miss the pecan praline cinnamon rolls; they are amazing!
Get your retro 1950’s style diner meal on at the fun and tasty Sunliner Diner. From waffles and pancakes to omelets and light breakfast fare, you’ll find an arsenal of good eats at this iconic eatery. Fancy a classic breakfast plate of eggs (your choice), biscuit, sausage, and griddled hash browns? They’ve got you covered. Biscuits with sausage gravy? They’ve got you covered. Endless coffee and superb sweet tea? No problem.
Sunliner Diner also has burgers, fries, and shakes, but luckily for us, breakfast is served all day long.
The Crab Trap
The Crab Trap is a funky, fun fish house on the Gulf of Mexico that’s perfect for the whole family. It has rustic Florida decor, a large playground, a boardwalk leading down to the beach, and appealing water views. Staying true to its name, the Hot Crab Dip with cream cheese, fresh basil, red peppers, and green onions is superb, offering toasted pita chips for dipping. I loved the Crab Trap Mahi-Mahi, which was moist and flavorful, definitely filling. The Crab Trap is everything you came to the beach for!
Crab Trap is Taylor’s favorite restaurant in Gulf Shores.
Lucy Buffett’s LuLu’s is a highly popular restaurant in Gulf Shores and vacation destination within itself. It’s is all about celebrating food, family, and fun, with seating on the Intracoastal Waterway, a huge playground, shopping emporium, seasonal events, and nightly live music.
LuLu’s has a coastal cuisine menu for everyone! Whatever your dietary restriction may be, LuLu’s works to make your meal worry-free–there’s even a whole gluten-free menu. Psst, LuLu is Jimmy Buffet’s sister.
My favorite dishes include the decadent Crab Nachos (the cheese topping is creamy like fondue!), LA (Lower Alabama) Caviar (black-eyed pea dip), and Crab Melt sandwich served open-faced on French bread. The Shrimp and Grits is a popular dish, too.
Brick & Spoon
A fun local chain that got started in Alabama is Brick & Spoon, stylish and trendy, with a kick-ass menu. Brick & Spoon is open 7 AM to 2 PM daily and has a New Orleans forward menu featuring Southern specialties and great cocktails. The Bananas in Pajamas is a fun starter, featuring bananas wrapped in egg roll wrappers and topped with Foster sauce. They are sweet and yummy, very original.
I loved Brick & Spoon’s Killer Creole Omelet, with Gulf Shrimp, tasso ham, peppers, and housemade hollandaise. Still, the Corn Crab and Sweet Pepper Crepes (maybe not available at this particular location) are off-the-charts delicious. I doubt anything on the menu won’t be 100% satisfactory—it’s that good. The Bloody Mary’s at Brick & Spoon are raved about, with over 50 options to design your own drink.
Flora-Bama Yacht Club
The Flora-Bama Yacht Club is an open-air waterfront restaurant in Perdido Key. The Yacht Club’s menu is full of seafood items, some even putting a spin on traditional dishes. Locals or beachgoers who just want to relax and eat good food will love the Flora-Bama Yacht Club. The most famous Flora-Bama establishment is the Lounge, open for 53 years and sitting on the Alabama/Florida State Line. The Flora-Bama Lounge is open to families of all ages until 5:30 PM, but only those 18 years of age and older after 6 PM.
What do you eat at Flora-Bama Yacht Club? The Greek Shrimp Nachos with fried wonton chips, grilled shrimp, feta, olives, and a spinach-feta cream sauce for starters. How amazing does that sound? The Firecracker Coconut Shrimp with a sweet chili glaze is darned tasty, too.
Hurricane Grill & Wings
A popular Southern chain restaurant, even extending down to Florida, is Hurricane Grill & Wings. The selection of beer and wine ranks high on our approval list, but the food is just as pleasing. While the standout dishes are bone-in or boneless chicken wings, available in 34 flavors, I am all about the blackened fish or grilled steak tacos or Thai ginger chicken bowls. Regardless of what main dish you order, Hurricane’s garlic parm broccoli is fantastic. The garlic n’ parm fries are a close tie.
The Hangout is a must-see on your Orange Beach and Gulf Shores visit. Sitting at the front of the sandy beaches of Gulf Shores is this nostalgic meets hip and trendy restaurant with a slew of cool things to see and do. Bonus…the food is “all that and a bag of chips”.
Choose indoor or outdoor seating, admire the clever Pez dispenser and retro-lunchbox collections, and then feast on a sensational meal with chef-inspired and seafood creations. Start with the Fried Pickles and Chicken Nachos to share with the table. For your main course, the Hangout’s Ultimate Seafood Boil and Alabama Cobb Salad are wise choices, but the burgers are raved about. Toss in a Paradise Mule or Blueberry Mojito to jump start your vacation efforts.
Another Broken Egg Cafe
I had my first Another Broken Egg Cafe experience in Destin about 15 years ago, and to this day, I go for it any chance I have to eat there. Another Broken Egg Cafe is bright and cheery, with an extensive breakfast, lunch, and brunch menu. The menu offers even more tasty choices when the seasonal dishes are added.
Pancakes and French toast are always a great choice (think Cinnamon Roll French Toast or Flight of Pancakes—not your boring classics), but the Benedicts or Chicken & Waffles typically win me over. Try an update to a classic when you build a Benedict with Country Fried Steak and red eye gravy, or the Smoked Salmon option on a bagel with capers and cream cheese. Fancy toasts, omelets, and good ole biscuits and gravy are all good choices. It’s doubtful that anything here isn’t satisfactory.
Fisher’s At Orange Beach Marina
I love a good bread pudding. Little did I know that the white chocolate/coconut flavored bread pudding would be a favorite of mine. I’m not a coconut fan and I fell in love with this savory dessert at Fischer’s. Save room for this delicious treat, as it will be worth every bite.
I’ve heard amazing reviews about Fisher’s massive seafood tower, Alabama Chicken (with collards and pecan brown butter rice), and holiday brunches. You can dine upstairs (with wonderful views) or dockside.
Orange Beach: A Tasty Address
These restaurants in Orange Beach, Alabama are all fantastic, family-friendly places where you can enjoy a really good meal at a fair price. We hope you enjoy them all!
Disclosure: Some meals were hosted by Gulf Shores/Orange Beach CVB for my familiarization visit. All opinions and reviews are 100% mine and unbiased.
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