It is so easy to understand why Gulf Shores and Orange Beach has some of the best dining in the southeast. Here are our eight restaurants you do not want to miss!
Southern Grind Coffee House: Founded in 2012, Jimmy and Jamie McPhillips always wanted to own restaurant and at the time, Orange Beach was in desperate need of a coffee house. Southern Grind was born, and the rest is literally history! Using family recipes, the McWilliams create award-winning dishes for breakfast and lunch by bringing in the freshest of ingredients, creating their own southern spin on already delicious dishes, and maintaining a family-oriented restaurant. Their success became very evident in 2017 when Southern Grind opened a second location, at Hotel Indigo in Orange Beach. This restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and will help you get through the daily grind of life with all their delicious options! In addition to their incredible food, they also have some of the most beautiful beach-themed décor that will look amazing on the wall of your home, condo, or office!
If You are Going: Southern Grind Coffee House at The Wharf is located at 4751 Main Street Suite 116 in Orange Beach. The hours at The Wharf are March 1 through Labor Day Sunday-Saturday, 7:00am-9:00pm. September 1 through February 28, Sunday-Thursday 7:00am-7:00pm and Friday and Saturday 7:00am to 9:00pm. The Hotel Indigo location is at 22843 Perdido Beach Boulevard, Orange Beach. The hours at the Hotel Indigo are Memorial Day to Labor Day Sunday-Thursday 6:30am-7:00pm, Friday-Saturday 6:30am-8:00pm. From September 1 to Memorial Day, Sunday-Thursday 6:30am-6:00pm and Friday-Saturday 6:30am-7:00pm.
Lauria’s Italian Beach Bar: One of the biggest surprises and best meals comes in the smallest of buildings in Gulf Shores! After sitting down at the bar, we were served a summer berry mojito that was not only stunning but delicious!! After looking over the extensive menu, we decided to try a variety of their specialty items, which included the build your own charcuterie board, bruschetta, and a caprese salad. The ingredients available for the charcuterie board were of the widest and special varieties we had seen outside of a fine dining restaurant. Our board was the three cheese two charcuterie option, and we chose Brie, Bellavitano Merlot, and the most delicious truffle cheese that has ever hit our palate. For the meats, we went with the ever familiar capicola and prosciutto. Little did we know such 5-star meals were available in a relaxed environment just a few steps off the beach. This appetizer was followed up by their bruschetta which included a sliced and toasted baguette that was topped with mozzarella cheese, fresh tomato, recently picked basil all while drizzled with a balsamic reduction. Last, but certainly not least, we ended out experience with a caprese salad which was tomato slices and fresh basil topped with mozzarella cheese and balsamic reduction. Lauria’s is a hidden gem in Gulf Shores but should be on everyone’s list of places to dine on their next trip into town!
If You are Going: Lauria’s on the Beach is located at 412 West Beach Boulevard and is open Monday-Thursday 11:00am-7:00pm, Friday and Saturday 11:00am-10:00pm, and Sunday 11:00am-7:00pm.
Luna’s Eat Drink: Brian and Jodi Harsany and Executive Chef Horace Johnson have taken Luna’s Eat and Drink to the top of the Alabama Gulf Coast restaurant world! Our trip to Luna’s came on a cool, rainy Friday night but the soulful combinations quickly warmed us up! Our appetizer was the uniquely delicious pimento hushpuppies that was served with a side of blueberry pepper jelly. For our main entrees we enjoyed the gulf shrimp steamer which included a half pound of shrimp, corn, and potatoes, all seasoned perfectly. The Fresh Catch fish paired with the most delicious Brussel sprouts tasted as though it had been taken off the boat just minutes before. This family-friendly restaurant also has live music most weekends out back and one of the largest selections of craft beer in the area.
If You are Going: Luna’s is located at 25689 Canal Road, Suite B in Orange Beach. They are open Sunday-Thursday, 11:00am-9:30pm and Friday and Saturday 11:00am-10:00pm.
Flora-Bama Yacht Club: This restaurant is one of the most iconic on the Gulf and it is easy to see why! With the freshest of seafood and the ability to get there by water or land, the yacht club has gained quite a reputation for being the center of No Shoes Nation with plenty of good music, drinks, and fresh salt air to go around. We enjoyed lunch there and had the crab claws which had been sauteed in New Orleans BBQ Butter. We could not pass up the oyster sampler in the flavors of jalapeno cheddar, Bienville, and bacon and BBQ. A huge surprise for us was how incredible the cilantro lime hummus was too! The light and refreshing flavors were perfect for a hot day out on the water. Make sure when you go, that you try their world-famous Bushwhacker!
If You are Going: The Flora-Bama Yacht Club is located at 17350 Perdido Key Drive in Perdido Key, Florida, just feet from the Alabama state line! They are open Sunday-Thursday 11:00am-10:00pm and Friday and Saturday 11:00am-11:00pm.
Lulu’s: There is one name the is synonymous with legendary food on the Alabama Gulf Coast and that is no other than Lulu’s! A creation of Lucy Buffet (Jimmy Buffet’s sister), the restaurant is location at a marina and gives visitors the sensation that they have been transported to an island paradise somewhere far away. Unless you are there at the earliest time they open, it is predictable to expect a wait. However, the Lulu’s Beach arcade and the Mountain of Youth Ropes Course will not only test your fear of heights but also give kids of all ages something fun to do while they wait. The Homeport Marina also offers some fun as you can watch stunning private yachts come and go or simply check out the ones already docked. Additionally, there is plenty of shopping to ensure you get a souvenir of your visit to Lulu’s! Too many times, highly populated restaurants seem to lose their touch with good food but that could not be any further from the truth here. Not only does their menu have something for all tastes but they also work diligently to make sure all dietary restrictions are addressed, and special menus provided. You truly will not find a better meal and tourist experience all wrapped up in one!
If You are Going: Lulu’s is located at 200 E. 25th Ave in Gulf Shores and is open seven days a week from 11:00am to 10:00pm. If you have questions before your visit, reach at to them at (251) 967-5858.
Sunliner Diner: Imagine for a second that you can step back into the 1950s and have a delicious, wholesome meal in a diner whose menu is slammed full of some of the best breakfast choice you will ever have. Would you go? Well of course you would and that is exactly the experience you will have at Sunliner Diner in Gulf Shores. The inside of the diner has bar seating so you can get a perfect view of the soda jerk making your giant milkshake, high back booths in the candy apple red color so popular in the 1950s, or if you are lucky, you can dine in the body of a 1950 Ford Coupe! In addition to serving breakfast all day, the Sunliner’s burgers and sandwiches are a true blast from the past! This is not an experience you can miss while visiting Gulf Shores!
If You are Going: The Sunliner Diner is located at 100 E. 2nd Avenue in Gulf Shores and is open 7 days a week! During the weekdays, they open at 7:00am and close at 10:00pm but Friday and Saturday they are open until 11:00pm. You will not be able to miss the shiny red and silver diner with the antique cars out front!
The Sloop: This local eatery was a total accidental find for us, but we are so thankful we did. After being rained out of an evening experience and had already eaten an early dinner, we decided to end the night with some locals here and we are so thankful we did! It is important to explain that a sloop is a one-masted sailboat with a fore-and-aft mainsail and a jib. I promise we did not know that until we asked. It made sense considering one of their two owners decorated the establishment with authentic sailing tools, pictures, and memorabilia from his days sailing. This place is literally a local dive with the best food! We walked in at 10:00pm and we immediately greeted like one of the regulars and left there feeling like one. Their menu is packed full of deliciousness and contains everything from salads and appetizers to delicious sandwiches and hamburgers. Head on over to The Sloop the next time you are in Gulf Shores. You will be so glad you did!
If You are Going: The Sloop is located at 103 W Canal Drive in Gulf Shores. They are also open 7 days a week from 11:00am-12:00am! Stop in and tell them we sent you!
BuzzCatz Coffee and Sweets: Rated as the Best Breakfast in Alabama, it was easy to see why we chose it, and it sure did not disappoint! With breakfast choices like pancakes, waffles, French toast, and homemade cinnamon rolls, it is easy to see why they are rated so high! Not into fresh baked goods? Not to worry because BuzzCatz has a breakfast platter, breakfast hollah, and Buzzbowls in addition to breakfast sandwiches on homemade bread and quiche of the day! If you need a good wholesome meal to start your day on the beach or any other adventures you may have planned, start at BuzzCatz!
If You are Going: BuzzCatz is located at 25689 Canal Road Ste A in Orange Beach and is open every day from 7:00am to 5:00pm!