shrimp and grits with garlic toast

Best Places to Eat in Orange Beach, AL

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Here is what we feel to be the best places to eat in Orange Beach, AL, for unique menu creations, fresh seafood, and delicious dishes.

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, AL, that top my list and 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)

orange beach breakfast lunch and desserts

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.

playa crab dip with chips and shrimp & grits
pimento cheese with pork rinds
playa restaurant table and chairs with swordfish wall decor

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.

burger and tuna bowl from anchor bar
pork tots with fried egg and jalapeño

Voyagers

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. 

voyagers dinner plate and seafood platter

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!

caramel corn on the cob dessert with chocolate cake

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).

ruby slipper cafe eggs Benedict trio

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.

cobalt ahi tuna stack and bushwhacker

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.

shrimp and grits with garlic toast
fresh off the boat boa fried shrimp fries and coleslaw

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.

cosmos savory cheesecake Filet Mignon green beans

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!

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.

crab dip and fried pita chips

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.

corn shrimp crepes with cheese
brick & spoon breakfast dishes French toast omelet eggs Benedict

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.

flora-bama-yacht-club-shrimp-and-dinners

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.

chicken tacos and broccoli from hurricane wings

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 Lemon Blueberry Goat Cheese Pancakes—not your boring classics), but the Benedicts 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.

biscuit gravy eggs another broken egg
Photo from Another Broken Egg Cafe IG page.

Fisher’s At Orange Beach Marina

While I have tried to get in Fisher’s and they were full booked, my dear friend Sara of Travel with Sara has been. Here is what she had to say about Fisher’s at the OB 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.

Bread Pudding Fishers
Photo by Sara Broers.

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!

orange beach hotel and condo skyline

Disclosure: Some meals were hosted by Gulf Shores/Orange Beach CVB for my familiarization visit. All opinions and reviews are 100% mine and unbiased.

Check out more of our best eats posts around the Southern USA:

Best Eats at Disney Springs

Where to Eat in the Florida Keys

The Best Places to Eat and Drink in Pensacola

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