Top Places to Eat in Orange Beach: A Foodie Traveler’s Guide to Dining Out

April 7, 2024

Welcome to Orange Beach, Alabama, about 3.5 hours east of New Orleans, along a 32-mile stretch of impossibly white sand beaches. This idyllic destination is more than just a paradise for beach enthusiasts; it’s a haven for food lovers, seamlessly blending Southern hospitality with the rich, diverse flavors of the Gulf Coast. 

With a dining scene as vibrant and inviting as its sandy shores, Orange Beach promises to delight foodies with its wide array of culinary offerings. Alabama is renowned for its crab claws, Bushwackers, and the infamous annual Flora-Bama mullet toss. From the freshest catch of the day and succulent steaks to unique tastes of local cuisine, this coastal town has something to satisfy every palate. 

The Gulf

Location: Sitting at the waterfront on Perdido Beach Boulevard, enjoy outdoor dining at its finest at The Gulf, known for its stunning views and a menu brimming with fresh, locally sourced seafood.

Why It Stands Out: This unique, open-air venue is constructed from shipping containers, creating an unforgettable dining atmosphere. With a commitment to sustainability and a menu that changes with the seasons, The Gulf is a top pick for eco-conscious diners looking for innovation in their seafood dishes.

Eating at the waterfront on Perdido Beach Boulevard
Image credits – The Gulf Restaurant and bar, Orange Beach, Al on Facebook

Average Google Rating: 4.6 stars with 9510 reviews as of Feb 2024.


  • “Food was very fast considering how busy they were and the outdoor seating area cannot be beat. Lines for drinks were long, but just plan for that when visiting.” – Seth M. 
  • “Food was outstanding, service was good and the atmosphere was lively. The bronzed flounder had an excellent taste and texture and I was impressed with the risotto as well. Overall an elegant meal in an entertaining setting and a place I’ll remember having a great time with family!” – Aaron J. 

Zeke’s Restaurant

Location: Also positioned on Perdido Beach Blvd, Zeke’s Restaurant provides a beautiful waterfront dining experience, convenient for those looking to enjoy a meal after a day on the water.

Why It Stands Out: Zeke’s is known for its down-to-earth approach to seafood, offering dishes that celebrate the local catch without pretension. Its laid-back vibe and dedication to freshness make it a favorite among locals and visitors alike. The fish tacos and gumbo are standout dishes that perfectly capture the essence of Gulf Coast cuisine.

Average Google Rating: 4.9 stars with 3700 reviews as of Feb 2024.


  • “Incredible restaurant. Best we had in Gulf Shores. Awesome food, great deck on the marina. Great separate outside bar and cool seating area. Plus super Dog Friendly. Servers and host were also super.” – Chad W. 
  • “Wonderful atmosphere, with choices of whether to eat inside or outside by the water. They can cook the Fish you caught that day, or you can choose a special of evening, or just pick something delicious right off the menu. Great display of the assortment of fresh Fish behind glass as you walk into the restaurant. Alot more things we ran short on time for, so we’ll be back soon enough.” – Michael W. 

Looking for a Perdido Key vacation rental to be close to Zeke’s restaurant? We have a variety of comfortable vacation rentals near Perdido Beach to make your stay in the area an exceptional one!

Cobalt, The Restaurant

Location: Situated beneath the Perdido Bay Bridge, Cobalt pairs breathtaking waterfront views with a diverse menu.

Why It Stands Out: Known for its contemporary coastal dishes and an extensive selection of seafood, steaks, and wood-fired pizzas, Cobalt’s dedication to fresh, local ingredients and gluten-free options has made it a favorite among all types of diners. Don’t miss the crab soup and wood-fired oysters, local culinary gems that define the essence of Gulf Coast dining.

Average Google Rating: 4.5 stars with 5455 reviews as of Feb 2024.


  • “We stopped by for dinner on our anniversary and got maybe THE best seafood meal ever. The BBQ shrimp appetizer is the best. Fresh blackened shepshead was perfectly dressed out – no dark meat. Best cheese grits I’ve ever had. Highly recommend the fried apple pie! Our server (Todd) has a very good-natured and hard working young man. We will be back!” – Cecil B. 
  • “This is by far my favorite spot in orange beach. The food is fantastic and the views are gorgeous. Can’t beat an everyday happy hour either! When sitting on patio in evening you can see lots of dolphins, atmosphere is 10/10! Can’t wait to come back.” – Leah B. 

Big Fish Restaurant & Bar

Location: Located near the water on Canal Road, Big Fish offers an upscale atmosphere and is a go-to for seafood enthusiasts and steak lovers.

Why It Stands Out: Big Fish impresses with its fresh oysters, extensive sushi menu, and expertly prepared steaks. The restaurant’s focus on detail, from food presentation to the curated wine list, ensures a memorable fine dining experience. Live music nights further enhance the inviting ambiance.

Average Google Rating: 4.5 stars with 1411 reviews as of Feb 2024.


  • “Absolutely amazing dinner! Sushi is to die for… and let me tell you about those sautéed crab claws… yum. Normally, I am not a fan of crab claws but these are the most delicious claws I have ever eaten. definitely worth the time to check this little gem out.” – Brig’ette M. 
  • “Excellent! This place had the best food we ate all week! If you’re looking for something a little more upscale than your typical beach restaurant, this is the place! The food and service were great! It’s in an odd location (at the end of a strip mall) but the atmosphere instead is very elegant. The scallops were amazing and the chocolate lava cake dessert was delicious! Will definitely go back if we visit Orange Beach again.” – Rachel A. 

Doc’s Seafood Shack and Oyster Bar

Location: Found up the road from Big Fish Restaurant on Canal Road, Doc’s is a laid-back, family-friendly establishment celebrated for serving some of Orange Beach’s finest oysters and seafood.

Why It Stands Out: At Doc’s Seafood Shack and Oyster Bar, it’s all about the food. Known for their “World’s Best Fried Shrimp,” this no-frills spot delivers hearty portions of beloved Southern seafood classics in a welcoming atmosphere.

Average Google Rating: 4.5 stars with 4478 reviews as of Feb 2024.


  • “They claim to have the best shrimp in the entire civilized world (their slogan, not mine). I’m not sure I can argue. My wife had the stuffed crabs. It was also delicious. I would definitely recommend.” – Jeff P. 
  • “Well done!! Huge servings, good price. Our hostess was very polite. Gotta go again!! Those oysters were outta sight!!” – Sherrion M. 

Cosmo’s Restaurant & Bar

Location: Off the main beach path on Canal Road, Cosmos’ quirky, dog-friendly setting is matched by its eclectic menu.

Why It Stands Out: With offerings ranging from sushi rolls to Southern staples, Cosmo’s caters to diverse tastes. The outdoor seating area provides a laid-back setting ideal for enjoying specialties like banana leaf-wrapped fish alongside a selection of craft cocktails.

Average Google Rating: 4.5 stars with 2501 reviews as of Feb 2024.


  • “This restaurant was recommended by a family friend and it did not disappoint.We were visiting from out of town. We got seated right away and our server was so friendly, went over the specials of the day and made some excellent recommendations. I personally recommend the Pecan Redfish, the Banana leaf wrapped sea bass and the Savory cheesecake.” – Mariliz K. 
  • “Absolutely delicious. The Mahi Mahi sandwich special was so tasty & grilled to perfection. The ahi tuna nachos were the perfect Lunch portion with a delicious flavor. Staff (Katherine) was so attentive, patient with our questions, and helpful with decisions. 10-star experience.” – Cindy B.

Dining is not just about satisfying hunger; it’s an experience that engages all senses. The community’s feedback reflects the high standards of culinary excellence these establishments maintain, ensuring every guest leaves with memorable flavors and stories. Whether you’re drawn by the allure of waterfront views at The Gulf and Cobalt or the cozy elegance of Big Fish, each restaurant brings its unique flair to the table. 

Have you Booked Your Stay at Orange Beach Yet?

Dining in Orange Beach is just one aspect of what makes this place such a big hit among tourists. If you’re looking for places to stay in Orange Beach, AL, and haven’t booked yet, now’s the right time! 

As Orange Beach continues to captivate foodies from all walks of life, these dining destinations stand out for their exceptional cuisine and the experiences they curate, as echoed in the voices of those who’ve made these places a part of their Orange Beach memories.

Frequently Asked Questions about Dining in Orange Beach, AL

What types of cuisine can I find in Orange Beach?

Orange Beach boasts a diverse culinary scene, ranging from fresh Gulf Coast seafood and Southern comfort food to contemporary cuisine and international flavors. Whether you’re craving seafood, steaks, sushi, or vegan options, you’ll find a restaurant that caters to your tastes.

Are there any waterfront dining options in Orange Beach?

Yes, Orange Beach is home to several waterfront dining establishments, such as The Gulf and Cobalt, The Restaurant, offering stunning Gulf views or bay views. These restaurants provide breathtaking scenery and fresh, locally sourced seafood dishes.

Can I find family-friendly restaurants in Orange Beach?

Absolutely! Orange Beach offers numerous family-friendly dining options that cater to all ages. Restaurants like Doc’s Seafood Shack Oyster Bar and Cosmo’s Restaurant & Bar offer relaxed atmospheres and menus that appeal to both children and adults.