Tuna bowl at OSO at Bear Point Harbor

12 Restaurants Locals Love On Alabama’s Beaches

This is the first of three blogs for our Locals’ Favorites Series.

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are home to dozens of locally-owned restaurants, and our locals have tried them all. If you’re looking to live like a local, you’ll want to stop by one or more of these eateries during your next vacation to Alabama’s beaches.

Locals' Favorite Restaurants in Gulf Shores

Swamp soup at Fish River Grill in Gulf Shores, AL

Beach House Kitchen & Cocktails 

Let’s kick this list off with some lighter fare. At Beach House Kitchen & Cocktails, you’ll find a variety of dishes prepared with fresh produce and seafood. The atmosphere is super casual hence why it’s a favorite amongst locals looking for a light bite to eat and a tasty cocktail after a day on the beach. They also boast a fantastic happy hour!

Fish River Grill #3

With locations in nearby Fairhope and Foley, Fish River Grill in Gulf Shores is the restaurant’s third establishment. Touted as the original seafood restaurant of Baldwin County, they’re famous for their Cajun gator bites, burgers and swamp soup. 

Flying Harpoon

If you’re craving a po’boy, look no further than Flying Harpoon. At the Flying Harpoon they combine New Orleans cuisine with fresh Gulf seafood creating an array of mouthwatering dishes including a local fave – the Creole Seafood-Stuffed Tater. Open from 11am-1am, you can drop in for an early lunch or a late-night bite. 

Kitty’s Kafe

Eggs benedicts, chicken and dumplings, AND mimosas…you can have all that and more at Kitty’s Kafe in Gulf Shores. Kitty’s offers breakfast, lunch and early-bird dinner specials daily. It’s conveniently located in Pelican Place shopping and entertainment center.

Seafood po'boy in Gulf Shores, AL

Papa Rocco’s 

The “home of warm beer and lousy pizza,” Papa Rocco’s has been a staple in the community since 1985. A tried and true local establishment, you’ll find mouthwatering pizza, oysters and an array of drinks on the menu. Pro tip: order the lasagna! It’s one of the top dishes for locals in Gulf Shores. 

Sunset Corkroom

Sunset Corkroom is a swanky spot that sits off the beaten path in Gulf Shores. This is the perfect spot for a cozy couple’s dinner or a ladies' wine night. Their hand-crafted menu is filled with enticing entrees such as lamb, short ribs, fresh seafood and steaks. They also offer unique wines from all over the world.

The Cove 

When traveling, it’s always fun to grab a beer at a local dive bar. And it’s even better when you find a dive bar with really good food. The Cove Bar & Grill is a divey spot in Gulf Shores that also has some of the best grub on the island including tuna nachos, wings, Philly cheesesteaks and burgers.

Locals' Favorite Restaurants in Orange Beach

A burger, fries and a beer from Luna's Eat & Drink

Big Fish Restaurant & Bar

Every now and again our local beach bums feel like getting a bit fancy. Big Fish Restaurant in Orange Beach offers an elegant yet relaxed ambiance and exemplary cuisine. Open for dinner only, they have a robust menu filled with fresh seafood dishes, sushi, steaks and more. 

Luna’s Eat & Drink

Are you a craft beer connoisseur? Then you definitely need to add Luna’s Eat & Drink to your vacation itinerary. With 32 local and regional beers on tap, Luna’s has become a popular spot for locals who want to sit back and relax. They also boast a menu filled with unique, coastal-inspired dishes and a grassy courtyard that’s perfect for outdoor games on a sunny day.

Pleasure Island Tiki Bar 

This open-air watering hole is where locals come to unwind. Pleasure Island Tiki Bar overlooks Terry Cove and Sportsman Marina in Orange Beach. Their menu has a wide variety of savory dishes including fried shrimp, fish tacos, chicken fingers and the legendary Tiki Burger. And, for those 21 and up, you must try their bushwacker, aka an adult milkshake.

Pizza at Villaggio Grille in Orange Beach, AL

OSO at Bear Point Harbor 

A relaxing atmosphere, panoramic views, live music and a diverse menu are what you’ll find at OSO at Bear Point Harbor. Nestled in Bear Point, a small community in Orange Beach, OSO has quickly become a favorite watering hole and eatery for locals. Come by boat, car or golf cart to savor their delicious dishes and enjoy the best sunset on the island. 

Villaggio Grille

Villaggio Grille is located at The Wharf, Orange Beach’s premier entertainment district. They feature a robust wine list, creative appetizers, and fantastic Italian-inspired entrees. Locals love to drop into Villaggio for their wood-fired pizzas and happy hour martinis.

Be on the lookout for next month’s blog where we’ll be sharing the best places to get a cocktail, according to our locals. 

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