One of the most scenic spots in Alabama, the Gulf Shores is all too often bypassed as a holiday destination. Bordered by beautiful white-sand beaches, crystal clear waters and fine seaside eateries, the Gulf Shores is renowned locally for serving up the best seafood dishes for miles. Here’s our pick of the best places to get your seafood fix.
Bahama Bob’s Beach Side Café
Restaurant, Seafood, Caribbean, American, $$$
A cute little cafe situated right on the beach, Bahama Bob’s Beach Side Cafe is ideally located for a lunch fresh from the sea. With indoor and outdoor dining areas as well as the option to take away during busy periods, guests can enjoy a variety of seafood in the comfort of the restaurant or out on the beach. The lightly breaded gator tails, steamed crab claws, seafood gumbo and fried pecan striped pangus are just a few of Bahama Bob’s specialty dishes and are best enjoyed with a portion of french fries and a cocktail.
Serving hearty home-style cooking with a big dose of Southern hospitality, Kitty’s Kafe is a favourite breakfast and brunch spot with locals. Situated within Pelican Place, Kitty’s serves breakfast fry-ups all day as well as shrimp sandwiches, pancakes, chicken fried steak and freshly baked blue cheese biscuits. Perhaps not the best choice for anyone trying to watch what they eat, Kitty’s Kafe is a brunch-time must, just be sure to go with an appetite.
LuLu’s may have started out as a tiny burger and beer joint but today it is a huge family entertainment complex serving over 4000 people daily. There’s a sandy beach area, volleyball nets, daily live music, a rope play area, a retail unit and a couple of bars. But what people really come here for is the delicious food, which hasn’t faltered in quality or taste since Lulu’s first opened its doors. Try the cheeseburger, seafood gumbo and the wild fresh snapper sandwich to see for yourself. Get in early because they don’t take reservations.
Cooking up fresh fish caught by the customers themselves every, the chefs at Mikee’s Seafood Restaurant offer patrons the perfect restaurant spot after a long day out on the water. For those not interested in catching their own dinner, the à la carte menu is extremely lengthy and full of delicious dishes such as parmesan oysters, catfish fillet po-boy and a sweet peanut butter pie. On Tuesdays and Fridays, customers can put their appetite to the test by enjoying the all you can eat mullet or whitefish dinner.
This fine dining establishment fuses American, Greek and Italian cuisines to make a medley of appetising dishes. Nolan’s Restaurant and Lounge serves award winning steaks and seafood from its picturesque setting overlooking the Bayou. To start, order the baked oysters bienville or Greek style beef tips. Try the fettuccine shrimp alfredo, the baked chicken parmigiana or the ribeye topped with sautéed lump crabmeat for main course, and finish with a slice of warm fudge pie or a crème brûlée. After dinner, guests are welcome to continue their evenings dancing the night away to the live music in the lounge or enjoying a specialty martini at the bar.
The place to go for good old fashioned Southern comfort food, Sassy Bass Amazin’ Grill is a casual restaurant with a laid back attitude open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Whether you’re after a plate of eggs and grits or a portion of biscuits and gravy for breakfast; a lunch of fish fingers, raw oysters or a pulled pork sandwich, or a dinner of grilled steak, fried shrimp of crabby chicken, Sassy Bass has just what you’re looking for. A great restaurant for family meals and low-key lunches or dinners with friends, Sassy Bass offers up delicious dishes at reasonable prices.
Serving incredible-tasting seafood right on the sand since 1975, Sea-N-Suds Restaurant is loved as much for its food as for its views. Situated on stilts on the pier, the sunset views from the terrace seating area are unbeatable. Both a restaurant and an oyster bar, valet parking is available for diners arriving by car and looking to impress a date. Try the gumbo, crab claws and steamed shrimp, often said to be the best on the coast, and wash it all down with an ice cold pitcher of draft beer to share. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the entire restaurant is smoke free and has lighter menu options throughout the day.
A cosy restaurant slightly off the beaten tourist track, the chefs at The Steamer & Baked Oyster Bar sure know how to make some amazing seafood dishes. The Steamer focuses on raw, steamed and baked seafood and there’s not a fried item on the menu here. Steamed seafood trays for two are the best way to sample a few different dishes at the same time. On offer is a medley of royal reds, crab legs, oysters, mussels and large tail-on shrimp. The bartenders are always on hand to whip up some incredibly refreshing frozen drinks perfect for the heat of summer, the Amaretto orange blossom is truly gorgeous. Reserve ahead on weekends.
Bar, Restaurant, American, Fast Food, Vegetarian, $$$
Specialising in New American cuisine right on the beach front, Tacky Jack’s is a quirky grill and tavern offering refreshing cocktails and tasty mains. Open for breakfast as well as lunch and dinner, the massive pancakes and omelettes are absolutely not to be missed. Later in the day the favourite dishes turn to burgers, fish tacos, giant prawns, fish and chips and fried alligator. Guests can watch the sun set between the towering oak trees from the comfortable bar hosting a daily happy hour. Each table is given a piece of tape to write a message on and stick to the wall before they leave, a special touch that makes Tacky Jack’s all the more memorable.
Hotel Restaurant, Restaurant, Seafood, Steakhouse, American, Vegetarian
So much more than one would expect from a hotel restaurant, Voyagers is an award-winning seafood and steak eatery located at the Perdido Beach Resort, Orange Beach (a sho rt drive from Gulf Shores). A fine dining establishment, the decor is elegant, the wait staff exceptionally attentive and the dishes simply divine. The pecancrusted Gulf snapper is an absolute must-try for anyone who is visiting Voyagers for the first time, as is the grouper. The menu changes seasonally but always features an array of fresh fish options from Gulf waters and the highest quality hand-cut aged steaks. All of these exquisite dishes are complemented by an extensive wine list in a beautiful setting. Open for dinner Wednesday to Sunday, reservations are recommended.