5 Incredible Vegan Restaurants in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach
Blogger Ashley Hubbard's top vegan eats on Alabama's beaches
I’m a firm believer that seafood destinations can be some of the most difficult destinations to navigate as a vegan. However, times are changing and quickly. Veganism is on the rise every day and even the seafood-focused destinations are jumping on the vegan train.
Still, I often go to these destinations with a bit of hesitation and a mindset that I may be surviving on French fries and salads. So, when I finally visited Gulf Shores and Orange Beach and this wasn’t the case, I was pleasantly elated and satiated.
Vegetarians have it a bit easier, but in hopes of helping my fellow vegans, here are my top vegan restaurants in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.
Safari Club in Gulf Shores is Alabama’s first certified Green Restaurant - a leader in conservation, recycling and reduced waste in the restaurant business. While vegans are focused first and foremost on the animals, we’re all aware of the environmental concerns we all face in today’s world, so this restaurant is definitely doing something special.
Being as energy-efficient as possible, providing no single-use plastic or Styrofoam, composting onsite, and giving extra produce to the animals, Safari Club is definitely moving in some positive and green directions. As for the food [the real reason you’re here], the vegan options are abundant and decadent! There are several, well-marked vegan items including Korean fried broccoli, brussel sprouts, several different sandwich and burger options, pizza, and tacos.
As a disclaimer, Safari Club is technically part of the zoo, but not located inside the zoo.
Picnic Beach is a perfect option for vegans and omnis alike. The restaurant is casual and picnic-themed in Gulf Shores and very close to the Gulf. Picnic Beach offers a variety of menu items including charred cauliflower, buffalo cauliflower, acai bowls, smoothies, juices, Beyond burgers and brats. They even have vegan spicy mayo and vegan cheese - so they added in all the good, extra stuff!
Their indoor and outdoor seating, board games and views make this one of the best places to eat in Gulf Shores.
Soul Bowlz is a fantastic healthier option in Gulf Shores. If you’re looking for a great start to your day or a refreshing midday snack, Soul Bowlz will definitely quench that craving. You can get smoothie bowls made from acai, Pattaya and other bases. Pretty much everything is vegan except the honey and white chocolate chips which you can ask to be removed.
The Southern Grind
The Southern Grind has two locations (at The Wharf and at Hotel Indigo) in Orange Beach and offers several vegan options at breakfast and lunch/dinner. I visited at breakfast time and the employees were quick to help me find something vegan and went over the whole menu with me. I had the oatmeal and breakfast potatoes. There are also options of avocado toast or bagels. Don’t hesitate to ask what can be made vegan - they were very aware of the terminology.
As I was leaving, I noticed the specials board which had the Beyond burger on it for lunch/dinner so head in and let them know how much you appreciate that option and to keep it on the menu!
Lulu’s in Gulf Shores is probably the most on-point with their dietary-restriction menus. They have just about every menu needed depending on your allergies or restrictions including shellfish-free, gluten-free and their new vegan menu. While the menu doesn’t include items different from the main menu, it easily points out exactly what you can have which eliminates any worries.
They have salads, veggie tacos, veggie nachos, guacamole, salsa and more. The dietary restrictions are prepared in a separate kitchen and, thus, reduces any cross-contamination concerns. Lulu’s is the perfect spot to have an expanded vegan menu to include burgers, barbecue and more, and the management team indicated they are increasing their vegan options in the future.
In case you’re not able to head to any of the above places or you want to expand on these places, here are some of my best tips for eating vegan at any restaurant.
- Call ahead and ask about their options. Be specific with your questions.
- Message them on Facebook and ask specific questions.
- Look up the menu online ahead of time and get an idea of what they have and what can be made vegan.
- Leave a constructive comment or review and let them know how much they can expand their business by offering more vegan options.
- Be nice!
- Use the HappyCow App to find options nearby.
- Look out for add-ons, dressings, and “hidden” ingredients.
With this vegan guide to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, you’re sure to keep your belly full. There are many fantastic vegan options, so this guide is not considered comprehensive, but instead a great way to find some delicious vegan options for your visit to Alabama’s Gulf Coast.