Our Favorite Family-Friendly Orange Beach & Gulf Shores Restaurants 

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Not only is the Gulf Coast famous for its beautiful white sand beaches, but Orange Beach and Gulf Shores Restaurants make me excited to visit time and time again!

Family-Friendly Orange Beach & Gulf Shores Restaurants - flora bama drink

If you’re looking for family-friendly restaurants in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Alabama, we’ve got you covered with these 21 best places to eat when you visit Gulf Shores! Most of the list is family friendly, but we’ve also included a few spots that you might want to visit without the kids! 

This post is sponsored by Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism – Visit Alabama Beaches. All opinions are mine.Learn even more about taking an Alabama Beach Vacation at my sponsor, GSOB Tourism.

When choosing a place to vacation with our family, we look at a lot of factors: fun things to do for kids of all ages, interesting learning opportunities (cultural, historical or environmental), and great food. The Alabama Gulf Coast area of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach delivers on all three points.

There are tons of fun things to do in Gulf Shores. There are lots of environmental lessons at Gulf State Park. And there are fascinating historical lessons at Fort Morgan.

Our Favorite Family-Friendly Gulf Shores Restaurants 

Gulf Shores, Alabama also shines as a foodie haven with plenty of great restaurants. Not only do these restaurants serve delicious food, but they also have lots of entertainment options that keep the family happy!

What type of restaurants can you expect in the Gulf Shores area? Well, I’m glad you asked. Gulf Shores restaurants serve up the best local seafood, delicious wood fired pizza, burgers, steaks, and more.

Many restaurants have a special Southern flair that we love. And, a lot of them source local ingredients that really make dishes special.

With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose where to eat. But don’t worry! We’ve narrowed down our top picks for family-friendly Gulf Shores restaurants that will satisfy your taste buds and your budget. At the end of the post are a few places you might enjoy venturing to without the kiddos as well! We know you will love this list of  23 local restaurants and fun places to eat with your family.

mountain of youth at Lulu's gulf shores restaraunts

LuLu’s – Gulf Shores 

A top pick for families with delicious food, a ropes course, an arcade, a gift shop and more, Lulu’s (owned by Jimmy Buffet’s sister Lucy Buffet) is the perfect place to keep the kids entertained.

The ropes course and arcade are definite highlights for the younger crowd, and live music adds an energetic and lively atmosphere for the older crowd. Be prepared for a wait! LuLu’s is a busy place and often has a long wait, but with so many things to keep you occupied, you certainly won’t regret it!

What to eat at Lulu’s: Favorite dishes at Lulu’s include the Crab Melt sandwich, Fried Green Tomatoes, and Blackened Fish tacos!

Lulu’s address is: 200 E 25th Ave, Gulf Shores, AL 36542. Lulu’s does take limited reservations. Book your reservations here.

the foam pit at the Hangout Gulf Shores

The Hangout – Gulf Shores

The whole family will enjoy good food and good time at The Hangout, with activities including live music, a foam pit, and their ton of fun sand pit! Known for their delicious seafood, The Hangout also offers a lot of french fries, burgers and sandwich options for the non-seafood eating guests (like my kids). 

Be prepared to interact when you’re at The Hangout. It’s loud and busy, there’s dancing on the table and singing with the DJ. Kids young and old will enjoy The Hangout!

What to eat at The Hangout: Favorite dishes at The Hangout include their Ultimate Seafood Boil, BBQ Pork Nachos, the locally sourced Alabama Wagyu™ Burger, and the Chicken BLT Po’Boy.

The Hangout’s address is 101 E Beach Blvd, Gulf Shores, AL 36542.

Woodside Restaurant – Gulf State Park

Located in Gulf State Park, Woodside Restaurant is a convenient starting point for a family bike-ride or hanging out at Lake Shelby. The laid-back eatery serves Southern-style dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. At Woodside, you order at the counter and a server brings your food to your table.

Woodside sources ingredients locally and makes simple dishes picky kids will love.  The restaurant’s screened porch has lots of tables with large table top and outdoor games like Jenga and Connect Four, but you can also eat indoors in air conditioning or on their outdoor picnic tables as well.

What to eat at Woodside: We had breakfast at Woodside and really enjoyed their breakfast sandwiches! The Beach Mouse Trail Breakfast Sandwich was my favorite. 

Woodside’s address is: 20249 State Park Rd, Gulf Shores, AL 36542.

Tacky Jacks – Gulf Shores

You’ll find Tacky Jacks in three different locations throughout Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and Fort Morgan. The common theme among all three locations is casual dining with waterfront views and seafood-centric menu.

This casual spot is perfect for a fun and relaxed dining experience for all ages, with options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner starting early in the morning. Tacky Jacks also caters to special dietary needs with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options on the menu. 

Whether you’re in the mood for a classic seafood dish or want to sample some of their unique creations, Tacky Jacks has something for everyone. Relax with your family and enjoy a delicious meal with an unbeatable view of the Intracoastal Waterway.

What to eat at Tacky Jacks – the Mexican Garbage Nachos are highly recommended at Tacky Jacks and a delicious and economical way to feed a crowd! 

Tacky Jacks in Gulf Shores is at 240 E 24th Ave. Gulf Shores, AL 36542.

Tacky Jacks in Orange Beach is at 27206 Safe Harbor Dr. Orange Beach, AL 3656.

Tacky Jacks in Fort Morgan is at 1577 AL-180, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

Sassy Bass Amazin’ Grill – Gulf Shores

Sassy Bass is an iconic Gulf Shores restaurant that has expanded to several locations, including the original restaurant in Fort Moran, another at OWA’s Main Street, and a highly anticipated coming soon: Crazy Donuts. What the restaurants have in common is a laid-back vibe with beachy decor and a menu featuring burgers, sandwiches, and delicious seafood.

What to eat at Sassy Bass: You can’t go wrong with from scratch daily fish specials. Sandwiches my non-fish eating kids enjoyed included the Bird and the fajita steak burrito.

Sassy Bass’s Fort Morgan address is: 160 Highway 180 Gulf Shores, Alabama 36542.

Picnic Beach – Gulf Shores

Picnic Beach offers  a casual indoor/outdoor picnic-themed dining experience a block away from the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a perfect spot to gather with family and friends around a picnic table and enjoy delicious American cuisine. 

The restaurant has been featured as one of the best restaurants in Gulf Shores due to its fun, family-friendly atmosphere and excellent food. Visitors appreciate the laid-back vibe and beachy decor of this local favorite. With a variety of options ranging from seafood to BBQ, the menu offers something for everyone. 

What to eat at Picnic Beach: We enjoyed Picnic Beach’s fresh alcoholic drinks (Gulf Coast Cooler and Summer Smash were fab!) and their Caribbean Chicken Bowl most of all.

Picnic Beach’s address is: 128 East 1st Ave. Gulf Shores, AL 36542.

Hog Wild BBQ – Gulf Shores

Hog Wild BBQ is a charming beach-themed restaurant serving up slow-smoked meats with homemade sauces, tasty sides, and delicious desserts that are sure to satisfy even the pickiest eaters. Every Iowa blogger has to include at least one restaurant named after a hog, right?

With an unfussy counter-serve, Hog Wild makes it easy for families to quickly grab a delicious meal before heading back to the beach. Whether you’re looking for a casual lunch or a relaxing dinner, Hog Wild Beach & BBQ is the perfect spot to enjoy Southern BBQ with a beachy twist.

Hog Wild BBQ’s address is: 911 Gulf Shores Pkwy, Gulf Shores, AL 36542.

Sunliner Diner – Gulf Shores

Sunliner Diner is a 50s themed breakfast diner that will transport you back in time with its vintage decor. Located just a short walk from the beautiful white sands of Gulf Shores, Sunliner Diner is a great place to stop during your beach vacation. 

While they don’t offer any entertainment options like some of the other restaurants on this list, their solid breakfast and delicious milkshakes are enough to make it a must-visit. Sometimes you just want food, and not a whole entertainment district and Sunliner Diner is your spot!

Sunliner Diner’s address is: 100 E. 2nd Ave. Gulf Shores, AL 36542.

milkshake at The Yard

The Yard Milkshake Bar – Gulf Shores

If you’re looking for a sweet treat in Gulf Shores, The Yard Milkshake Bar is a must-visit spot. With 28 flavors of ice cream and a selection of specialty milkshakes, hand-dipped cones, edible cookie dough, and more, this ice cream shop offers something for everyone.

If you’re up for a challenge, try tackling one of their massive milkshakes (you’ll definitely need a spoon and maybe four stomachs!). While some visitors have mentioned that prices can be a bit high, it’s worth it for the delicious and Instagram-worthy treats. 

Be prepared to wait. This is a popular spot and the line can snake out the door during peak times.

The Yard’s address is:  3800 Gulf Shores Pkwy, Gulf Shores, AL 36542.

High Tide Daiquiris & Mimosas – Gulf Shores

High Tide Daiquiris & Mimosas is a fun little beach bar that should definitely be on your list of must-try places in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach. Not only do they have great drinks and beautiful charcuterie boards, but they also have fun paddle boats you can take out on the lagoon.

They offer a wide variety of drinks, including their signature daiquiris and unique mimosas, coffees, and cocktails. You can enjoy your drinks by the lagoon or take them to go. We tried a flight of daiquiris and highly recommend the key lime daiquiri. It was easily our favorite!!

You’ll find High Tide Daiquiris & Mimosas at 807 Gulf Shores Pkwy, Gulf Shores, AL 36542.

huge meals at Lambert's in Foley

Lambert’s Cafe III in Foley

If you’re in the mood for some good old-fashioned southern cooking, don’t miss Lambert’s Cafe in Foley. It’s not in either Gulf Shores or Orange Beach, but if you’re heading up to OWA for the day, this is a stop you won’t want to miss.

I’ve been to all of the Lambert’s restaurants (two are located in Missouri) and they never disappoint! 

This restaurant is a must-visit for anyone in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach. Come with an appetite because the portions here are huge and be prepared to wait because it’s a very popular place!

The restaurant has a friendly and lively atmosphere, and the servers toss hot rolls across the room to diners. This unique dining experience gives Lambert’s a fun and memorable touch. 

Wondering what to eat at Lambert’s? You can really go wrong – but one of their signature dishes is chicken fried round steak – it’s their signature dish and it comes with mashed potatoes smothered in gravy. Meals are served family style so servers are always bringing extra food out for you to try. Don’t leave without grabbing a cup of sweet tea and a slice of their delicious pecan pie. 

Lambert’s Cafe III is located at 2981 S. McKenzie Foley, AL 36535.

Our Favorite Family-Friendly Orange Beach Restaurants 

Not to be outdone by Gulf Shores, there are also a lot of superb family-friendly restaurants in Orange Beach too! We especially love many of their breakfast spots. You can’t go wrong with any of these Orange Beach restaurants!

GT's on the Bay outside patio

GT’s on the Bay – Orange Beach

GT’s on the Bay is a top-tier waterfront restaurant that has become a favorite among families in Orange Beach. Located along the Wolf Bay, guests can enjoy stunning views while savoring unique and diverse culinary choices. The restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating, a play area for children, and a fabulous happy hour for adults! 

With vegan and vegetarian options, wood fired pizza, and fresh seafood as well, GT’s caters to varied dietary preferences. GT’s on the Bay is definitely a must-try when in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

What to eat at GT’s on the Bay – If you’re in the mood for a delicious wood fired pizza, we highly recommend the Shrimp Alfredo Pizza. They’re also known for their Cajun Empanadas, and Chicken Carbonara, but we opted to share a pizza and a salad. Delicious!

GT’s on the Bay’s address is: 26189 Canal Rd, Orange Beach, AL 36561.

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Southern Grind – Orange Beach

Located in the Hotel Indigo near the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail, The Southern Grind is more than just a coffee shop – it offers a range of delicious meal options. This cafe has a unique Southern twist to its dishes, providing visitors with a real taste of the region. 

Breakfast, lunch, and desserts are all on offer here, with options for vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diners. The welcoming atmosphere of The Southern Grind is a great spot for a family meal or a delicious cup of coffee.

Southern Grind has two locations, one in The Wharf, and one in the Hotel Indigo. The Hotel Indigo location is: 22843 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561.

tacos from yoho rum orange beach restaurants

YoHo Rum & Tacos – Orange Beach

YoHo Rum & Tacos is a must-try restaurant located at The Wharf in Orange Beach, AL! Their menu boasts unique taco varieties with flavors from around the world, such as their delicious firecracker shrimp tacos. 

In addition to their tasty selection of food, YoHo also offers premium rums, tequila, and custom cocktails infused with the freshest ingredients. They also have family meals to go so you can pick up dinner to enjoy at your condo!

And for those who love a great view, this family-friendly spot offers a stunning waterfront view of huge yachts, and its location in the upscale and unique shopping district makes it a popular place for teens.

By the way – if you stop in at the Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism Office, you can pick up coupons for YoHo. Make sure to get them before you go!

Find YoHo Rum & Tacos at 4851 Wharf Pkwy E. Orange Beach, AL 36561 and make a dinner  reservation on Yelp.

Ruby Slipper Cafe – Orange Beach

Another family-friendly option in Orange Beach is the Ruby Slipper Cafe, known for bringing New Orleans flair to Southern breakfast. The Ruby Slipper Cafe has been our favorite breakfast so far! Their huge breakfast sandwiches, shrimp and grits, and menu of egg benedict options are must-tries. 

Plus, their staff is friendly, and outdoor seating on their lovely deck makes for a pleasant dining experience. Whether you’re looking for breakfast, lunch, or brunch, the Ruby Slipper Cafe is an award-winning cafe that won’t disappoint. Make sure to add it to your list of must-try Gulf Shores restaurants.

The Ruby Slipper Cafe’s address is: 24151 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561.

Buzzcatz Coffee Sweets – Orange Beach

Another great breakfast spot in Orange Beach is Buzzcatz Coffee Sweets. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick coffee or a scrumptious pastry, Buzzcatz has you covered. 

Their homemade PopTarts and fan-favorite cinnamon rolls are perfect for breakfast or a midday snack. Get $1 off their specialty coffees during Happy Meower, daily from 3-5 pm is the purrrfect for a caffeine pick-me-up.

Make sure to take time to appreciate their cat art. It’s everywhere and really entertaining. 

You’ll find Buzzcatz at 25689 Canal Road Ste. A, Orange Beach, AL.

Flora-Bama Yacht Club – Orange Beach

The Flora-Bama Yacht Club is actually on the Alabama / Florida border, right outside Orange Beach. But it definitely belongs on this list of restaurants to eat at when you visit the Alabama Coast.

It’s another great option for families looking to enjoy delicious seafood and waterfront views. Located right across the legendary Flora-Bama, it’s a perfect spot to catch a sunset after a fun-filled day at the beach. 

You can even arrive there in your boat, if you have one! Whether it’s for dinner, lunch or just a drink, Flora-Bama Yacht Club is a great and unique option that’s sure to leave a lasting impression.

What to eat at Flora-Bama Yacht Club – This delicious restaurant has a lot of great options. We tried the Greek Shrimp Nachos – a huge portion and a unique twist on nachos. I especially loved their Gumbo. It was filled with shrimp and sausage and topped with fried okra – the best I’ve ever had! Of course, when at the Flora-Bama Yacht Club, you must also indulge in their signature drink, the Bushwacker!

Flora-Bama Yacht Club Address is: 17350 Perdido Key Dr, Pensacola, FL 32507.

CoastAL – Orange Beach

CoastAL is a great new addition to the list of family-friendly restaurants in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores. This casual eatery offers a diverse menu that includes seafood, burgers, and sandwiches, all made with fresh and locally sourced ingredients. 

They also have a great selection of craft beers and cocktails for the adults to enjoy. The laid-back atmosphere, beachfront patio, and open air bar make it a perfect spot for families to relax, and eat while watching the sailboats on the ocean. Plus they have a great souvenir shop with a signature clothing line you’ll want to explore as well.

What to eat at CoastAL – we enjoyed drinking pina coladas on the outdoor patio while we ate the pimento cheese and yellowfin tuna dips. Their fried CoastAL chicken sandwich is also really tasty!

CoastAL’s address is: 25722 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561.

​​Fisher’s Upstairs at Orange Beach Marina

As one of the must-try restaurants in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Fisher’s Upstairs at Orange Beach Marina is not to be missed. With its upscale dining experience, James Beard Award semi-finalist chef, and stunning water views, visitors can indulge in fresh seafood, decadent steaks, fresh oysters,  and other delectable dishes.

 It is no wonder why Fisher’s Upstairs has been named one of Southern Living’s top five restaurants! While our kids would certainly have enjoyed eating here, this is one restaurant my husband and I enjoyed without them!!

Fisher’s Upstairs’ address is: 27075 Marina Rd #300, Orange Beach, AL 36561.

Flora-Bama Lounge Bar – Orange Beach

The Flora-Bama Bar is a Gulf Coast cultural landmark and a must-visit spot for anyone exploring Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. As America’s “last great roadhouse,” the bar offers a unique atmosphere with a beautiful waterfront view, open-air deck, and fantastic seafood. If you’re looking for a lively place to party, the Flora-Bama Bar is the perfect destination. 

During the day, kids of all ages are allowed at the Flora-Bama Bar, but after 6pm, it’s 18 years of age and older. This might be one of those stops where you leave the kids home, but I know my older teens would really enjoy walking around looking at everything. There’s a lot to look at when you visit!

Flora-Bama Bar is located at 17401 Perdido Key Dr. Perdido Key, FL. 32507.

8 Reale OBAL Speakeasy – Orange Beach

While this definitely isn’t a definitive list of Orange Beach and Gulf Coast Restaurants, the final must-try on our list is 8 Reale OBAL Speakeasy. This hidden gem, located at the Wharf in Orange Beach, is known for its unique and creative cocktails. It’s not family-friendly, but we couldn’t resist including this on our list.

When I say hidden, it really is. You have to know where to look if you want to find the speakeasy, around the corner from YoHo Rum & Tacos and through a jewelry store. You’ll need to check facebook for a password hint and enter through a hidden vault! 

The atmosphere is cozy and intimate, with a dimly lit interior and plush seating that transports you back to the Prohibition era. The bartenders are highly trained mixologists, and they make great specialty cocktails, like the Hemingway Daiquiri or the Spicy Margarita. You’ll enjoy the live music and the whole vibe at 8 Reale OBAL. Don’t miss out on this speakeasy experience when you visit Orange Beach!

Make sure to check out the facebook page before you visit 8 Reale OBAL.

If you enjoyed this list of Orange Beach and Gulf Shores restaurants, you’ll like these posts too:

29 Family-Friendly Things to do at Gulf State Park (+where to eat, where to stay!)

Find All the Best Things to Do on a Day Trip to Fort Morgan

Amazing, Adventurous Things to Do with Teens in Gulf Shores, Alabama

3 Day Teen Approved Itinerary – Orange Beach & Gulf Shores (Family Activities)

Official Tourism Website for Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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