While many people travel to Gulf Shores Alabama to take in the white sandy beaches, the area offers a thriving food scene. With the vast array of food options from fresh seafood to 50s diners and more the Gulf Shores is a food destination all on its own. 

Wolf Bay Lodge

Wolf Bay Lodge has been a local tradition in the area since 1973. Sadly, the original lodge was destroyed by a fire in 2008 but two locations, in Orange Beach and Foley, opened shortly after. Wolf Bay Lodge focuses on a heavy seafood menu. You’ll find shrimp, crawfish, oysters, crab claws, lobster, and more in various forms and combinations. The Captain’s platter or Wolf Bay platter are a great option to try multiple items on the menu. Traditional southern sides include hushpuppies and smoked gouda grits. 

Lulu’s

Jimmy Buffet’s sister Lucy was born in Mobile, Alabama so it’s no surprise that one of her restaurants is just next door in Gulf Shores. Lulu’s is a great place to bring the entire family with good food, live music, and plenty of adventure and activities. Keep the kids busy with the ropes courses or head to the beach arcade to play some old-school favorite games. You’ll find lots of fresh seafood on Lulu’s menu as well as some lighter and healthier options. The most impressive part of their menu is how allergy-friendly it is. Outside of their main menu, they offer menus for those with allergies such as gluten, dairy, soy, seafood, egg, shellfish, sesame, and nut making the most allergy-inclusive dining option in the area. 

Buzzcatz Coffee & Sweets

Start your day off with a great coffee and fresh pastry at Buzzcatz Coffee & Sweets. Buzzcatz has been listed as the best breakfast place in Alabama according to Yelp and once you eat here you’ll know why. Each day offers a unique flavor quiche, waffles, and even their house-made pop tarts. Their breakfast Hollah is a great grab-and-go option or the perfect option if you want some lighter and savory. Don’t forget to stop in for “Happy Meower” from 3 pm-5 pm each day to get $1 off all coffee drinks as well as BOGO 50% off ice cream scoops and cookies!

Sunliner Diner

Grab your poodle skirt and head down to the sock hop at this 50s-themed diner. Sunliner Diner is a time capsule of the 1950s with servers dressed in poodle skirts, retro colors, and a 50’s style bar. Menus are printed in newspapers and include many breakfast classics as well as unique options to try. Breakfast is served all day and lunch and dinner options are available starting at 11 am. Breakfast options really show most of the creativity with four eggs benedict options from traditional to chicken and waffle and even a shrimp benedict. If you’ve got a big appetite or a couple of friends to share with, order the dream boat waffle which includes three large Belgium waffles topped with a variety of sweet and savory toppings  If you get there at the right time, ask to sit in the car booth for the best photos! 

High Tide Daiquiris & Mimosas

What do drink flights and paddle boats have in common? Both are available at High Tide Daiquiris & Mimosas! This was easily one of my favorite places to grab a drink while in Gulf Shores, so much that this was the only place I went to twice during my trip! Choose from a variety of frozen daiquiris and mimosas to build your own custom drink flight. If you know you have a favorite you can also order it in a larger size all the way up to a 32oz bucket. Before or after your drinks, spend some time on the water with one of their cute paddle boats. You’ll find them shaped like ducks, flamingos, and swans with life jackets available. Use of the paddle boats is weather permitting so pick a calmer day if you want to ensure time on the water here.

Original Oyster House

Original Oyster House opened in May of 1983 and only seated sixty people. Today, after multiple expansions, this massive establishment seats 300. This place has been a tradition among many and is clearly a hot spot for locals and visitors. Dinner timer typically has a wait even on a weekday during the off-season. Their homemade seafood gumbo is extremely popular and if you are looking to enjoy a Bushwacker, they serve one of the best. The menu can best be described as classic southern and seafood with alligator bites, fried green tomatoes, and crawfish.

The Southern Grind

The Southern Grind has locations at Hotel Indigo as well as The Wharf, making it easy for you to grab a cup of coffee any time of the day. This coffee house has an extensive breakfast menu with biscuits, breakfast plates, omelets, and more. The lunch options include paninis, sandwiches, wraps, and salads. Don’t miss out on their gelato selections if you’re looking for a sweet treat! While you wait for your meal, be sure to shop around. The Southern Grind is filled with coastal home decor and other fun trinkets to take home!

The Village Hideaway

Located just outside the gates of The Beach Club Resort & Spa you will find The Village Hideaway. The Village offers some classic and simple options that appeal to all appetites such as pizza, burgers, pasta, and salads. This is a great place to gather with friends during the day, grab a drink during happy hour, or listen to live music most nights of the week. Send the kids to the arcade games to help pass the time while you relax and enjoy your night out. 

City Donut

Bite into the best donuts in town at City Donut. This donut hotspot is Orange Beach’s oldest donut shop which opened in 2013. They offer traditional yeast and cake donuts, a full ice cream menu, and a large variety of boba drinks. City Donut bakers work through the night every day in order to have fresh donuts ready when doors open at 6 am. Besides their delicious filled donuts, they also offer donuts with a variety of toppings including candies, cookies, and more. No trip to Orange Beach & Gulf Shores is complete without a stop at City Donut!

DeSoto’s Seafood Kitchen

Enjoying a meal at DeSoto’s Seafood Kitchen is easily a Gulf Shores tradition. This restaurant is just one block from the beach and the Gulf of Mexico and is centrally located to many lodging options making it a busy place for dinner time. For 14 years in a row, they have been voted best lunch and best dinner and after one meal here you will know why. Fresh-caught seafood is the star of the show and paired with the rest of their made-from-scratch menu you will have one of your best meals in the area. Portions are huge and can easily be shared or planned for leftovers later. The pecan-encrusted catch is a great option served with your choice of two large sides. Pair your meal with one of their drinks and order it in the large turtle cup for a fun souvenir. 

The Hangout

The Hangout in Gulf Shores lives up to its name as the perfect place to hang out. The restaurant has full-service dining, a great gift shop, multiple stages for live music, indoor and outdoor seating, as well as beachfront access. They offer events year-round including family-friendly foam parties, breakfast shows for kids, and free live music every weekend. The menu packs some incredible and award-winning options such as their hangout wings and the exclusive Alabama Wagyu burger. The Lifeguard burger is massive and great to share with a friend. You’ll find 2 half-pound patties topped with cheddar and pepper jack cheese, a fried egg, fried onion straws, bacon, and fried pickles all topped with a lifeguard whistle. 

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There are tons of amazing restaurants to check out in the Gulf Shores area and this is just a sampling. No matter where you choose to go you are sure to find some incredible food to indulge in, especially if you are a lover of seafood. Portions are big, desserts are always available, and you’re definitely going to overindulge in all the amazing flavors this destination has to offer.

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