Brilliant sunshine, crisp white sand and beautiful water greet you at Alabama’s Gulf Coast. And you’re visiting for the beach, no doubt! But you’re in for a sweet bonus: there’s also fun places to eat in Gulf Shores, Alabama!
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Any foodie will love visiting the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach area.
By the way…I’m looping Orange Beach in this list because the towns are so close together and you can’t miss out on Orange Beach when you visit Gulf Shores!
Back to the food though…
I loved visiting Gulf Shores and Orange Beach for all the fun activities, beaches and of course – the food!
My mouth is watering even writing this…I cannot wait to go back!
Gulf Shores Alabama restaurants – with a twist of fun!
For this list of fun places to eat in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, each restaurant had to include an element of fun. Could be family fun or adult fun…or both!
Here’s a map of the restaurants on this list. 🙂
Anyway, let’s dive into the list of best Gulf Shores restaurants!
1. Pink Pony Pub
Starting this list off with a bang! Combine a beach day with good seafood at Pink Pony Pub. This famous Gulf Shores restaurant has been around since 1956 and it can’t be missed on your trip to the area.
Grab food to go and eat a picnic on the beach. Sit on the deck overlooking the water. Or cool off with A/C with a seat inside. It’s all good!
My family enjoyed outdoor seating on the deck, with prime ocean-front views. The food is tasty and the restaurant is family-friendly until 9pm, when the kids are kicked out. 🙂
Food to try: nachos, shrimp, po’boys, fish basket and Bob Marley cocktail
What makes it fun: it’s on the beach and has a giant pink pony at the bar
Address: 137 E Gulf Pl, Gulf Shores, AL 36542
Read next: 21 Exciting Things to Do in Gulf Shores
2. YoHo Rum & Tacos
Ummmmm, if you like tacos, you’ll love YoHo Rum and Tacos! Located at The Wharf at Orange Beach, it’s a fun spot, too. Dine along the water, indoors or even at their boat bar!
Oh, and let’s talk about drinks for a sec. I had the best margarita of my life at YoHo Rum & Tacos. And trust me, that’s a high standard to meet! So go for the drinks too, okay? 😉
Food to try: literally any taco, skirt steak, queso, tuna poke and drinks
What makes it fun: there’s a boat bar! And the Orange Beach Wharf has fun activities like a light show and Ferris wheel
Address: 4851 Wharf Pkwy W, Orange Beach, AL 36561
3. Tacky Jacks
Their claim is the best waterfront seafood restaurant….and dang, it’s so good! The nice thing about Tacky Jacks on this list of the most fun restaurants is that there’s actually locations in Orange Beach, Gulf Shoes and Fort Morgan, Alabama!
With fun decor, live music and views of the water, this place needs to be on your list. Another thing that makes Tacky Jacks unique is the fact that you can arrive by boat or land. So it’s fun to watch the boats as you’re dining, too.
Food to try: mexican garbage, firecracker shrimp, gator bites, po’boy and crab cakes
What makes it fun: atmosphere, music and water views
Gulf Shores location: 240 E 24th Ave, Gulf Shores, AL 36542
Orange Beach location: 27206 Safe Harbor Dr, Orange Beach, AL 36561
4. Lulu’s (a favorite of this list of fun places to eat in Gulf Shores)
Lulu’s is actually owned by Lucy Buffett, Jimmy Buffett’s sister, so naturally it’s gonna be good! It’s one of my favorite on this list of fun places to eat in Gulf Shores.
It’s a family-friendly place, but also a good spot for drinks or dinner as a couple or as part of a friends getaway. There’s plenty of indoor or outdoor dining for large groups, too. So as far as Gulf Shores restaurants go, it’s a super flexible and convenient option.
My family had such a good time at Lulu’s, I don’t even know where to begin. A favorite with my kids was split between the obstacle rope course and the kids’ smoothies at dinner.
Pro tip: make sure you get to Lulu’s with plenty of time to play before or after your meal. It’s worth it!
We also really, really enjoyed their delicious food, drinks and especially the Brownie in Paradise we took to go. We were stuffed but couldn’t resist dessert for later!
Food to try: crab melt, fried green tomatoes, red snapper, hush puppies, brownie in paradise and the jet ski killer (run drink)
What makes it fun: rope course, arcade, live music, twinkle lights…the list goes on!
Address: 200 E 25th Ave, Gulf Shores, AL 36542
5. Ruby Slipper Cafe
Originally founded in New Orleans, The Ruby Slipper Cafe in Orange Beach is a must if you love southern food! It’s so good there’s often a line out the door. Make sure to go early or reserve your space online to get your spot!
Specializing in breakfast and brunch food options, The Ruby Slipper Cafe is a fun spot to enjoy a morning cocktail. Try a Morning Margarita, Boozy Iced Coffee or their award-winning Bloody Mary.
Food to try: pancakes, bananas foster french toast, omelets, fried green tomatoes and bloody Mary’s
What makes it fun: 3 words: boozy morning drinks 🙂
Address: 24151 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561
More fun places to eat in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach
I know, I know. Just when you think this list can’t get any better, the ice cream spot is next!
6. The Yard Milkshake Bar
I once planned an entire vacation around ice cream. True story! So I know my ice cream…and the ice cream at The Yard Milkshake Bar did not disappoint!
The Yard in Gulf Shores is known for their oversized ice cream creations. With flavors like Cookie Monster, Old School Banana Split and Cereal Killer, you really can’t go wrong!
Each ice cream is served in a souvenir mason jar, so that’s a fun bonus to bring back home. This really is a super fun place to eat in Gulf Shores!
My family split the Chocolate Shake Boss JR and yes, it was every bit as delicious as it looked. The giant cookie and oversized brownie really hit the spot!
Food to try: literally anything!
What makes it fun: fun names, oversized ice cream, photo ops
Address: 3800 Gulf Shores Pkwy, Gulf Shores, AL 36542
Geez, can this list of restaurants in Gulf Shores, AL get any better??
7. GTs on the Bay
GTs on the Bay is located in Orange Beach, right on Wolf Bay. It has great waterfront views that you’ll get to see while dining on an a large menu. From pizza to seafood, grits and keylime pie, GTs on the Bay has a bit of everything!
Oh, and can we just take a sec to talk about happy hour? I mean, when I’m on vacation it’s a must-do! GTs on the Bay has an awesome happy hour from 2:00pm – 6:00pm daily.
Plus there’s an outdoor pirate ship playground for young kids!
Food to try: pizza, parmesean grits, Cajun empanadas, grouper, crab legs
What makes it fun: water views, variety of food options and playground
Address: 26189 Canal Rd.Orange Beach, AL 36561
8. Woodside Restaurant at Gulf State Park (a nice surprise in this list of Gulf Shores restaurants)
Woodside Restaurant at Gulf State Park is a fun spot to eat, without a doubt. Grab a meal and enjoy the entertainment in and around the restaurant.
First of all, it’s located in a really cool Alabama state park. There’s an abundance of hiking and biking trails – not to mention the 2 miles of beach within the Gulf State Park. My kids especially enjoyed the natural playground right next to the restaurant.
But back to Woodside Restaurant at Gulf State Park – at each table is a game set you’ll enjoy before or after your food. There’s also free entertainment outside, including cornhole, ping pong, ladder ball, and a whole lot more!
The outdoor arena frequently hosts live music on the weekends, too. All this from a restaurant within a state park. Gulf Shores knows how to do it right!
Food to try: double burger, hotcakes, fish and grits, homemade chips and artisan popsicles
What makes it fun: games, entertainment, firepits and live music
Address: 20249 State Park Rd, Gulf Shores, AL 36542
9. Safari Club at Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo
I mean, this one’s a fun one because it’s in the zoo! Where else can you eat while hearing lion roars and monkeys playing in the background?
With food inspired from around the world, the Safari Club at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo has an amazing menu. From seafood to artisan pizzas, it’s got an amazing selection, and is one of the best of this list of Gulf Shores restaurants.
One of my favorite things about this restaurant is that it’s Alabama’s first certified “Green Restaurant.” A few green measures they take are using eco-friendly materials and processes, have on-site composting and garden, source food locally and a few other things. A pretty cool feat in the restaurant industry!
Back to the food at Safari Club Gulf Shores….it’s amazing! They serve excellent meat options, but also have vegetarian and vegan options clearly spelled out on the menu.
Pro tip: if you can, grab a patio seat! Surrounded in nature, it will level up the whole experience!
Food to try: pizza, gulf shrimp, goat cheese and key lime pie
What makes it fun: ambiance, themed food and the surrounding zoo
Address: 20499 Oak Rd E, Gulf Shores, AL 36542
10. City Donut
If you’re looking for a quick breakfast spot in Gulf Shores or Orange Beach, this is a good option! So good, City Donut often has a line out the door and down the sidewalk.
My family got there late-ish for a donut shop, around 9am and many flavors were sold out. So if you want to select out of the largest variety, get there early!
But as far as the donuts go, it was a thumbs up all around!
Food to try: traditional donuts, red velvet donuts, apple fritters and glazed croissants
What makes it fun: I mean, donuts! Some of them have sprinkles…enough said 🙂
Address: 26651 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561
11. Bahama Bob’s Beachside Cafe
I’ll be honest. By the time I got to Bahama Bob’s Beachside Cafe, I had eaten too much fried food.
So I grabbed a salad at Bahama Bob’s and it was seriously one of the best choices on my trip to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach! My family enjoyed their dishes too. Especially the coconut shrimp!
Oh, and something to note. There’s a large hotel between Bahama Bob’s and the beach. So if you’re looking for water views while you eat, you’ll only see a sliver of beach. But it’s steps away from it! So views are a miss but you’ll have quick access before or after you eat.
Food to try: coconut shrimp, burger, fried mushrooms, crab legs, po boys and key lime pie
What makes it fun: decor and outdoor dining…my son and husband also enjoyed watching football on the outdoor TV’s
Address: 601 W Beach Blvd, Gulf Shores, AL 36542
12. The Hangout (one of the most fun places to eat in Gulf Shores)
I’m ending this list of fun places to eat in Gulf Shores with perhaps one of the most well-known restaurants in town.
Famous for it’s live music, foam parties and non-stop entertainment, The Hangout is the place for fun in Gulf Shores! There’s often a long wait to eat, but you’ll have plenty to do while you wait.
From photo ops like the rainbow wall and giant shaka hand, sand pit and outdoor games, there’s never a dull moment at The Hangout. Summer is typically when The Hangout really comes alive with live music and festivals galore!
Food to try: fish tacos, fried pickles, crab legs, burger and shark attack rum drink
What makes it fun: bubble machine, wish wall, live music
Address: 101 E Beach Blvd, Gulf Shores, AL 36542
Fun Places to eat in Gulf Shores – a recap
There you have it! The best places to eat in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach for fun and adventure. 🙂
With such a variety of restaurants on this list, you’ll sure to find somewhere you love! Let’s review:
Best restaurants in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach
- Pink Pony Pub
- YoHo Rum & Tacos
- Tacky Jacks
- Ruby Slipper Cafe
- The Yard
- GTs on the Bay
- Woodside Restaurant at Gulf State Park
- Safari Club at Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo
- City Donut
- Bahama Bob’s Beachside Cafe
- The Hangout
Well what do you think? Where will you try first? (Or next?)
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Thank you to Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism for hosting me! As always, all opinions are my own.