- Published on Wednesday, 07 May 2014 13:42
- Written by Wes Wade
For many in the region an ocean side beach getaway is the highlight of their summer vacation. For many people from this area that beach is found in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama.
In fact a little over a week from now several people I know are going to a large music festival called Hangout Music Fest which takes place right on the beach in Gulf Shores. Unfortunately tickets are sold out. Not that you can’t go to the beach, but you will not be able to get into the festival.
Having made many trips to the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach area over the years I can tell you there are activities of all types for both families and singles to make this a great vacation getaway.
The focus of this article will be some of the simply amazing places to eat while you are in the area, with a hot night spot for those that want to check out the local entertainment scene. This is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list and I am sure there are many places not on this list that you might find to be your favorite.
Sea N Suds simply can’t be beat for location as it is the only restaurant actually ON the beach. For over thirty years, Sea-n-Suds has been a Gulf Shores tradition, offering fresh Gulf seafood at affordable prices. They have great Gumbo, crab claws and steamed shrimp, plus a salad bar, sandwiches and fried seafood dinners. You can take the whole family for breakfast, lunch or dinner and enjoy the smoke free atmosphere. Or get some friends together and enjoy a pitcher or two of ice cold draft or a smooth frozen drink on the deck overlooking the Gulf.
Sea N Suds Menu:http://www.sea-n-suds.com/resturantMenu.htm
Look for Nancy who owns Sea N Suds as she loves to meet new people!
Lulu’s Restaurant is located on the Intercoastal Waterway just under the bridge as you enter into Gulf Shores on Highway 59. Bright colors create an island feel and live music every night livens up the fun times, but the food and staff make Lulu’s a must stop every time we go. While the prices are a little above average the portion sizes and quality ingredients, combined with a friendly wait staff, make it worth the money. A full bar is located inside the open air dining area and gives you a place to hang out and enjoy a cold beverage if they happen to be on a wait.
While it isn’t exactly Margarittaville Lulu’s namesake Lucy “Lulu” Buffett happens to be the sister to Jimmy Buffett. And yes we did happen to see him there on one occasion.
Lulu’s Menu: http://lulubuffett.com/menus.php
Skipping over to Orange Beach there is a couple places you must try:
The absolute best tuna sandwich I ever had was at Tacky Jack’s Grill on the bay in Orange Beach. This sandwich is made from sushi grade tuna and seasoned just right. If you like tuna you will thank me for this recommendation.
Tacky Jacks has a deck overlooking the bay with a complete bar. You can dine on the deck or inside if you like. Their well trained staff are eager to make your visit fun!
Tacky Jacks serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. While I have yet to try their breakfast I have heard many great things about it.
Check out the gift shop next door and tell them we said hello!
Tacky Jack’s Menu: http://www.tackyjacks.com/menus/menu-orange-beach-al
There is also a Tacky Jacks at Fort Morgan and one just outside Mobile as well.
If you like Sushi then Cosmo’s Restaurant and Bar is a great place to go. We were actually made aware of Como’s by locals telling us on numerous occasions to go there. Located on Canal Road in Orange Beach it is worth the drive from your beach side condo.
Serving fresh and eclectic food Cosmo’s features a wide range of dining items. Using chef inspired ingredients, you can enjoy everything from hand-cut steaks and local seafood to pastas and sushi.
With variations of local staples, their versions will make you sit back and take notice. Culinary greats such as the chicken roulade wrapped in bacon, the sesame seared tuna salad and the traditional crab cakes done with a twist, will have you wanting more. And to top it all off, The Year of Alabama Food named their Banana Leaf Wrapped Fish as one of “the top 100 dishes to eat before you die.”
Cosmo’s Menu: http://www.cosmosrestaurantandbar.com/menus.php
For nightlife and beach front fun the Flora Bama Lounge, Package & Oyster Bar, located on the beach at the Florida/Alabama state line, has a rich and colorful history. Written about in song, buried by sand in hurricanes they are one of the original road houses. For decades many a 21 year old has had their first “legal” drink at the Flora Bama. Local, live music is a staple for entertainment and the food goes well with the many full bars located around the property. While the ladies bras that hung from the ceiling in the Flora Bama before it was buried by the hurricane no longer exist, you can make your mark by writing on just about any part of the property as many 1000’s have already done.
In late April each year (idea for next year) they have a Mullet Toss event that draws thousands to the beach from all over the region. And no they aren’t throwing people with mullets there is an actual fish called a Mullet and they toss the fish to see who can throw it the farthest. I believe the fish to be dead when thrown, although having never thrown one that is yet to be proven by me.
While the Flora Bama is family friendly until about 6pm it is a place primarily a place for adults to party and have fun!
Flora Bama menu: http://www.florabama.com/food-menu/oyster-bar-menu
One other location of note is in Foley, AL. Lambert’s Café “The Only Home of Throwed Rolls” has a restaurant in Foley, which is just north of Gulf Shores. Most people from around here are familiar with Lambert’s Café since there is one in Sikeston, MO. I typically will eat the one in Foley at least once just because I like it!
Lambert’s Foley Website: http://www.throwedrolls.com/shopcontent.asp?type=Foley
If you are looking to save money by not staying right on the beach they Foley is worth considering. They have numerous hotels, a shopping mall and many restaurants.
So there you have it, some of my favorite locations to visit for food and drink in the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach area.
Have fun in the sun!