12 Insider Tips to Some of Gulf Shores' Best Restaurants

Everyone knows you go to Gulf Shores, AL, for the beautiful white, sandy beaches. But did you know that Gulf Shores has some notable foodie spots that you just cannot miss? Here are some tips to navigate these busy hot spots!

These tips will help give you the best Gulf Shores eating experience! #thosecrazynelsons

These tips will help give you the best Gulf Shores eating experience! #thosecrazynelsons

It's vacation, which means, ditch the low carb diet for a few days and really enjoy yourself! Let your eyes enjoy the sights AND your belly enjoy the food next time you're in the Gulf Shores/Orange Beach area. 

Our family was hosted by the Gulf Shores Convention and Visitors Bureau last week, and they gave us the inside scoop on the best restaurants in town. We visited many of them, but these stood out! Do not miss these restaurants during your next beach vacay.

1. LuLu's Gulf Shores

Jimmy Buffet's sister, Lucy Buffet, owns this little slice of beach-eatery heaven. It's a family vacation's paradise with sandy games, ropes course, arcade, live music, and beautiful waterway views to entertain. It's a popular place for visitors, but did you know that Lulu's offers an allergy menu? We didn't. 

The allergy menu is a life-saver for families who are vacationing from busy lives, but not from pesky allergies. If you need meals that are: 

  • Gluten-free
  • Egg-free
  • Seafood-free
  • Shellfish-free
  • Dairy-free, or
  • Soy-free,

the Chef at Lulu's has you covered. This is the first restaurant I've ever been to that takes allergies seriously. If you order from the allergy menu, a manager comes to take your order, your food is cooked in a separate part of the kitchen, and the manager brings your food directly out to you after logging your name and your allergy in a computer for future reference. 

Lulu's Gulf Shores, Allergy menu brings such peace of mind to traveling families #thosecrazynelsons

Lulu's Gulf Shores, Allergy menu brings such peace of mind to traveling families #thosecrazynelsons

All the family fun is here at Lulu's Gulf Shores #thosecrazynelsons

All the family fun is here at Lulu's Gulf Shores #thosecrazynelsons

Insider tips for eating at Lulu's

  1. During peak seasons (June-August), the wait time to be seated at Lulu's can be almost 2.5 hours! Get on the waitlist ahead of time by visiting Lulu's website. While this is not a reservation, it will cut down your wait time significantly.
  2. While you're waiting, enjoy a drink from the outdoor bar. Water is also provided free of charge to guests who are waiting to be seated. Ask for it on those hot summer days!

 

2. The Ruby Slipper Cafe

Need a breakfast/brunch recommendation? Your search ends here. This New Orleans based cafe is known for their scrumptious eggs benedict on thick homemade biscuits, their candied bacon, and their on-point Bloody Mary and mimosas.

You're mouth won't forgive you if you miss this eggs benedict at The Ruby Slipper Cafe

You're mouth won't forgive you if you miss this eggs benedict at The Ruby Slipper Cafe

Insider tips for eating at The Ruby Slipper Cafe

  1. Download the NoWait app and get in line before you even leave your bed. On busy days, you'll be glad you did.
  2. Do you like BOGO Mimosas? If you do, check the cafe's Yelp page. They have a coupon for this brunchy goodness...because life is better with a tan and a mimosa. 

 

3. Fisher's

Tucked away in the Orange Beach Marina, this picturesque restaurant has an award-winning chef. One restaurant with two options: Upstairs (upscale dining, reservations highly suggested, indoor/outdoor seating) and Dockside (casual dining, large tables to seat bigger parties, marina view, grassy courtyard for kids), this restaurant is ranked in Southern Living's Top 5 Restaurants in the South. Known to be frequented by celebrities, we strongly encourage your family to eat here...because why should the celebrities have all the fun?

Outdoor seating for large groups, Fisher's Orange Beach

Outdoor seating for large groups, Fisher's Orange Beach

Grassy courtyard for waiting and playing, Fisher's Orange Beach

Grassy courtyard for waiting and playing, Fisher's Orange Beach

Insider tips for eating at Fisher's

  1. The wait can be long in the summer. Go as soon as the restaurant opens, which is 11am most days, except Sundays. We went at that time and got right in without waiting.
  2. If you're a fan of raw oysters, Fisher's serves Murder Point Oysters. Smaller than most oysters you see served in the Gulf, this buttery oyster is grown exclusively in Gulf waters by a local family company. With the mantra, "Oysters worth killing for," how could you miss this?
Murder Point Oysters, Fisher's Orange Beach

Murder Point Oysters, Fisher's Orange Beach


 

4. Sea-N-Suds

If you can't get enough of the sand and the surf, but you also need to eat, Sea-N-Suds is your answer from the food gods. On a beautiful day, move the party a few feet over from where you were sun bathing on your towel, and head into this restaurant that sits, literally, on the beach. Don't worry about going back to the room to change, just dust your feet off and head up to the restaurant. The ambiance is not fancy. The food is not pretentious; in fact, many of the dishes are fried seafood or burgers. But, some days require a beer in one hand and a burger in another while watching the sun go down in your semi-damp bathing suit.

Insider tips for eating at Sea-N-Suds

  1. This place is the beach's version of a dive joint. It's been there for over 40 years. Don't expect fancy.
  2. Walk, don't drive. If you can, walk along the beach to the restaurant. Parking is always an issue on busy days.
  3. Check their website before heading over. Normally, there is a coupon for a free cup of Gumbo on their website. Print it off and enjoy!
  4. Prices are reasonable for raw oysters here. Order a dozen and think of us! We're just sitting here, a perfect mix of jealousy and drool.

 

5. Tacky Jacks

Voted Local's Favorite Hangout, Tacky Jacks is a casual dining place located on the water, with a sandy beach area for families. Upon closer look, it's a colorful mess that screams, "fun is had, here." Covered with colored tape left by hundreds of guests, this is one place where you can ACTUALLY let your kids put tape on the walls. Large portions and good food make this a sure stop. Some nights include karaoke and live music. You can check their calendar of events ahead of time to see which nights look most appealing to you. There are lots of colorful places to take family photos at Tacky Jacks; don't forget to do that on your way out!

Family fun at Tacky Jacks, Gulf Shores

Family fun at Tacky Jacks, Gulf Shores

Family fun at Tacky Jacks, Gulf Shores

Family fun at Tacky Jacks, Gulf Shores

Family fun at Tacky Jacks, Gulf Shores

Family fun at Tacky Jacks, Gulf Shores

Family fun at Tacky Jacks, Gulf Shores

Family fun at Tacky Jacks, Gulf Shores

Insider tips for eating at Tacky Jacks

  1. Portions are large! We recommend sharing!
  2. If you're hungry, try the Mexican Garbage--it's the ultimate nachos platter! It's a easy way to feed a family on a budget!

    

Family fun at Tacky Jacks, Gulf Shores

Family fun at Tacky Jacks, Gulf Shores


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