Our family was hosted at some of these restaurants in exchange for a review and others we visited on our own. Either way, you can always count on an honest review from us!
Our family has visited Gulf Shores a number of times now and we keep returning to this little town. We return for the fantastic beaches and delicious food!
One of our biggest missions while traveling is to eat at the local spots. Sometimes they are popular places with lengthy waits and other times, these places are hole in the wall spots that you would never have imaged would serve delicious food.
We have in no way, gotten remotely close to eating at all of the restaurants in Gulf shores. However, I do want to highlight some of our favorites.
First, let me say if we are in the Gulf Shores area, we always make plans to stop and have a meal here. The fact of the matter is this place is popular (and for good reason) so when you plan to go, be prepared to wait. However, we ate lunch here during the week at 1 pm and we were seated right away, so eating a late breakfast and planning on a later lunch is the trick to avoiding long lines.
We love the interactive areas that guests are able to hang out in while they are waiting for a table or after they’ve finished their meal. The views from the dining room area are fantastic, you can see barges and other ships traveling up and down the intercostal waterway.
The food, is fantastic, especially if you are a seafood lover. Being from landlocked Kentucky, fresh seafood is one of our favorite things to grab when we travel to coastal towns.
My youngest ordered the kids fried fish basket and I am telling you it was HUGE. You know how sometimes kids meal are sized like kids meals and kiddos who are straddling the line as I call it often leave hungry. This wasn’t the case
You can not miss the doughnut bread pudding when you have a meal at Lulu’s.
The Hangout –
I have to confess, until our most recent trip my family and I hadn’t made a stop at the Hangout. The reason? Unfounded assumptions on our part.
We always had assumed that the Hangout wasn’t for families. Boy were we very wrong!
The Hangout is very family friendly, especially during the hours that you would typically bring children. With foam parties happening every hour on the hour, expansive outdoor space that works well for waiting. In peak season, there is even an ‘ice cream bus’ that is a permeate fixture, my youngest was fascinated by the bus.
My oldest was positively thrilled by his choice of kids meal. While we were in town, he was on a popcorn shrimp kick. This delightful meal came in a popcorn bag with the expected shrimp and fries, but it had a twist of…popcorn! It was seriously the talk of our table for a while.
What we really loved about the Hangout goes far beyond the food and the awesome environment, seriously, take some time to look around the place! My husband and I left with the sense that the the management got really what having a successful restaurant was all about. Having both been in the restaurant industry, what seems like a million year ago, we were very impressed by the commitment to guests. The guys at the Hangout are truly keeping the main thing, the main thing.
The Yard Milkshake Bar
You know those crazy milkshakes that you’ve seen on Instagram? Well, The Yard Milkshake Bar in Gulf Shores, is serving them up. When you go (not if) bring your patience with you. Often, waits can be long, but I promise it is worth it.
Here’s the best part. The milkshakes are actually good, like really good. I really feared that because they are so over the top that I would be paying for the experience. I was wrong, our oatmeal cream pie shake that my husband and I spilt was really fantastic! Take my word for it, one small size shake is plenty for two people to share.
What’s even cooler is the fact that you can take the branded mason jar that it is served in home with you. It’s a win-win, the staff has less dishes to wash and you can remember the fun treat you had!
The Village Hideaway –
This spot is located on the property of the Beach Club Resort and Spa, but don’t let that stop you, just tell the guard that you are there to eat dinner.
This restaurant has a sports bar vibe and lots for the kids to get into while you are waiting for a table or food.
We ordered a pizza to share and it was really good, you could tell that the ingredients were fresh and made in house.
Behind the Pines-
This hidden gem is one that we found many years ago when we we were visiting. Behind the Pines is very close to the Beach Club, and if you aren’t looking for it you will miss it. It is a little hole in the wall but that is my favorite kind of spot isn’t it yours?
With live music regularly here, and the best crab cakes I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating, this is a don’t miss spot!
Matt’s Ice Cream-
Our trip to Matt’s Ice Cream totally bought my husband and I the title of ‘best parents ever’. The reason for our title, was because we were on the wait list of a nearby restaurant and it was 2 hours long. Our plan all along was to stop for ice cream, we just thought it would be after our dinner. We were after all, on vacation so we opted to have ice cream before our dinner. I dare say it was the best part of eating that evening…
Lickin Good Donuts –
Sometimes, donuts are just what you and your family need at a busy day at the beach. Something about the beach setting makes the donuts taste even better.
One restaurant that isn’t a favorite of our family but lots of people like it…
This restaurant is an institution in the area, and we have eaten there before. The style of food reminds me of down home Southern cooking ( I mean you are in the South after all). But with a twist. They throw rolls at you when you want one.
The wait is often upwards of an hour or more.
We are all ears, have you tried any of the restaurants that we’ve listed? Any restaurants you think that should be listed that we didn’t?
Check out our second list of Places to Eat in Gulf Shores
Want to know the Best things to do in Gulf Shores?
Worried about a rainy day at the beach? We’ve covered what to do when it rains in Gulf Shores.