Orange Beach and Gulf Shores are each home to hundreds of amazing diners, bars and eateries, offering everything from fresh Gulf seafood to fine cuisine. While cooking dinner in your vacation rental home can help cut down on costs, planning meals out on the town can prove to be high-value family fun. One of the best ways to enjoy your dining experience on the island is to make sure your meal comes with a waterfront view. Here are 5 great eateries near Orange Beach and Gulf Shores that not only serve up amazing cuisine, but also provide an incredible view of Alabama’s coast:
1. Tacky Jacks (Multiple Locations)
If waterfront dining and coastal quirkiness is up your alley, then Tacky Jacks should make it to the top of your to-dine list. You’ll find locations in Orange Beach (their original), Gulf Shores, and Fort Morgan. The Gulf Shores location lets diners watch boats pass through the Intracoastal Waterway, while the Orange Beach location features multiple levels of viewing decks, perfect for sipping their world-famous Bushwhackers. The Fort Morgan eatery offers a relaxing, scenic backdrop along its charming stretch of beach on the peninsula. While taking your photo next to the giant marlin and sipping their craft cocktails may be a huge draw, it’s dishes like their Mexican Garbage nachos, and Mud Bugs on a Log (crawfish po-boys) that keep patrons coming back. For those who like to dine earlier in the day, Tacky Jacks also offers a breakfast menu complete with legendary Bloody Marys.
2. The Gulf (in Orange Beach)
Few spots along the Alabama Gulf Coast need as little explanation as The Gulf. Take a few shipping containers, add outdoor seating, delicious oysters, tacos, and Mahi sandwiches, and amazing views of the Pass in Orange Beach, and you have one of the most popular Orange Beach restaurants on the water. Founded by the group from The Hangout, The Gulf knows how to maximize family fun while catering to taste buds of all ages. Their daily chalkboard menus offer fresh seafood, American, and Latin cuisine, and the over 21 crowd can enjoy a wide selection of cocktails. The expansive sandy beach area provides plenty of space for the kiddos to spread out and have fun, while the relaxed atmosphere and stunning views make this one of the most photographed locales in Orange Beach.
3. Cobalt, The Restaurant (in Orange Beach)
Boat lovers will flock to Cobalt, The Restaurant thanks to their coastal-infused menu, outdoor bar, and countless fishing vessels flowing in and out of the Pass. A more upscale offering for an oceanfront lunch and dinner in Orange Beach, Cobalt has become the go-to spot for delicious seafood pastas, handmade cocktails, buttery steaks, and fresh-shucked oysters along the Alabama Gulf Coast. Sitting next to the Caribe Marina, diners can enjoy a stroll along the docks, or even dock their own vessel while they come ashore for a memorable meal. The restaurant’s unique design showcases local art, while its tasteful ambiance, professional staff, and world-class views keep patrons coming back, year after year.
4. Lucy Buffet’s LuLu’s (at Homeport Marina)
Located only a few yards before the Intracoastal Waterway bridge in Gulf Shores, LuLu’s is known for its Southern eats, creative coastal-themed drinks, and amazing location right on the water. Founder Lucy Buffett (Jimmy Buffett’s sister) has created a true family establishment filled with hundreds of feet of waterfront dining perfect for watching the boats go by, a huge sand pit for the little ones, and even a ropes course for the adventurous kids in your group. They have the adults covered too with eats such as crab claws, their famous fried green tomatoes, pimento cheeseburger, and frozen cocktails. Let the kids play in the sand while you soak up the views and warm breezes that pop off the water.
5. The Hangout (at The T)
It’s not an official family vacation without a trip to the famous Hangout. This Gulf Shores restaurant on the water offers exciting themed meals for the whole family, such as their Pirates and Princesses breakfasts during the summer, live music, a huge foam canon, and views overlooking the Gulf Shores Public Beach. Delicious dishes including burgers, salads, seafood po-boys and tacos will make sure everyone in your group is happily full. Don't miss out on their craft cocktails and wide local beer selection, and be sure to put your own note on their Wish Wall. Patrons can also take a piece of the fun back home with them thanks to the huge gift shop, which sells everyone’s favorite neon caps and t-shirts, sure to be the envy of your friends back home.
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