Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Central South >
Feb 19, 2008 01:41 PM

Eating in Gulf Shores AL

Any suggestions for places to eat in Gulf Shores? We will be there a week in March. We would like ideas for casual places for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Thanks!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Welcome to Gulf Shores! For breakfast try Hazel's (Gulf Shores & Orange Beach), Daylight Donuts or the ubiquitous Waffle House. Lots of fried seafood at Shrimp Basket, Mikee's, DeSoto's, Bahama Bob's. Hooter's and Tacky Jack's (2 locations) are good for burgers and wings. For dinner try Original Oyster House, Cosmo's, Mango's, Louisiana Lagniappe, Jesse's in Magnolia Springs or Zeke's. All have good seafood dishes and Jesse's is excellent for the red meat crowd.

    If you're looking to overcome a cholesterol deficiency, Lambert's in Foley (motto: If It Ain't Fried, It Ain't Food) is an interesting experience. Lots of grease and they throw the bread at you, literally.

    8 Replies
    1. re: dd992emo

      Just returned from visiting my in-laws In Gulf Shores. It was our first trip to the area and we really enjoyed it! We'll be glad to get back and hunt down some more good local eats next year. This trip we had a few hits and a few misses:
      Tin Top in Bon Secour: Great burgers, great fries, fun atmosphere. Service not the most attentive, but she was quite busy. Surprised that they didn't have bbq sauce (as in, they don't ever have bbq sauce, not that they ran out) when my husband requested some for his burger. Not even a supermarket bottle, just for emergencies? No biggie. Will return.

      Cobalt in Orange Beach: enjoyable lunch. Too cold to eat outdoors, but they're outdoor seating looks very inviting, would like to return for that. This is Cosmo's sister restaurant, a restaurant that I've seen recommended on this board, but no mention of Cobalt. The pecan catfish my husband got was his favorite dish of the week. It was recommended by our waiter, Daniel, who was great. It was his first day on the floor, but he used to work in the kitchen and had some good input. I would say the food here was a 7 out of 10 for lunch. Nice atmosphere.

      Louisiana Lagniappe in Orange Beach: Miss. Big miss considering the prices they are attaching to their menu. Great atmosphere, I have to give it that - soft lighting, elegant, quiet but relaxed. And everyone seems to love their grouper in parchment paper, which is not on the menu and available on a limited basis. Beyond that, I don't see any reason to return. The reference to "Lagniappe" is unfortunate, since it means 'something extra thrown in for free', and this establishment errs on the side of restraint with their dishes. Main courses start at $22, most are $30ish, which includes a small salad, hushpuppies (which were not worth eating IMO), and a twice baked potato that was very dry and flavorless. No vegetable with the main course. We had to ask for bread. Options for those allergic to shellfish are VERY limited and uninspired. Food was so-so.

      Cafe Beignet, Bruno's plaza in Gulf Shores. New establishment serving up made-to-order piping hot beignets (and not much else! You're coming here for the beignets after all!) Now, this was the first beignet of my life, so I have no stick with which to measure, but I thoroughly enjoyed the warm fried dough and liberal coating of powdered sugar that was almost turning to icing as I ate. Yum. Will be back.

      Lambert's: Ok, we came, we ate throwed rolls, which were good, we don't really need to go back. Entertaining, somewhat, but I couldn't help but think all the throwing and "tricks" and vats of extra sides were just there to distract you from the fact that the food really is not all that good. And a little pricey for standard fare.
      On our list for next year: Cotton's , DeSoto's for fish, Lillian's for pizza (recommended by my in-laws, I think it's in Perdido? Anyone been?), and Sweet Home Farm in Elberta to sample some local cheese!
      PS- dd992: Hooter's?? There's nowhere else to get get good burgers & wings in Gulf Shores than Hooter's? Kind of an insult to your fair city, don't you think? Us 'hounds are usually looking for local food to get a feel for the culture and to give the hard-working independant restauranteurs the patronage they deserve. It's ok, I already know that Tin Top has a better burger than Hooter's. : ) And I'll take you up on Tacky Jacks, too. :)

        1. re: BerkeleySQ

          Yes, I forgot! Lulu's was on our list for burgers. Thanks for the reminder. :)

        2. re: tokyo

          This our 3rd trip to the Gulf Shore. Tokyo, really liked your reviews. Lambert's and Louisiana Lagniappe stirred my interest, but may skip it after reading your reviews. Cobalt is definitely one of the best down here.

          One of our favorite restaurants down here is The Gulf Shore Steamers. Now it's under new ownership and is called The Steamers. They re-painted the whole place and changed the menu slightly. It has lost a little of its edge and the spices used in the steamers are a little light than usual. What makes this place stand out from the others is the simplicity. Nothing is covered with fried and batter.

          But the best place in the Gulf Shore is Billy's Seafood. Get your own and cook it. Now we're gonna try Lulu's for lunch today.

          Louisiana Lagniappe
          27267 Perdido Beach Blvd Ste 302, Orange Beach, AL 36561

          1. re: yongjoo

            Lulu's is pretty awful. You've been warned. :)

            1. re: yongjoo

              Yongjoo - Did you try Lulu's? If so, what did you think?
              Do you know the address for Billy's Seafood?

              1. re: tokyo

                Sorry for the late reply. We did end up going to Lulu's. It was great for the kid. But, nothing too great about the food. A bit chain-esque. Similar to the Hangout. Here's is the Billy's information. I realize I'm writing this over half a year after your comment. Sorry

                16780 River Road
                Bon Secour, AL 36511
                (251) 949-6288

                Billy's Seafood
                16780 River Rd, Bon Secour, AL 36511

                1. re: yongjoo

                  Actually, your reply is right on time yongjoo - we'll be back in Gulf Shores next week! Thanks for the heads up. :)

        3. Gulf Shores Steamers. Big bucket o' shrimp. It's great.

          If you go to Orange Beach try "Original Oyster House."

          If on Dauphin Island, try the Pelican Pub (If it's still there) for an impossibly good grouper po' boy.


          1 Reply
          1. re: Davwud

            Oh, I'm glad the Gulf Coast Steamer is still there. We used to love that place.

          2. I really like a place called Cotton's. It's just a couple of miles east on the beach front road. They had the best Filet Oscar I've every tasted, ever! The bernaise sauce made me want to lick my plate!!! Add that to a topping of delectable fresh crab and you have a winner my friends. Original Oyster House was really good too. We just got tired of fried seafood and stumbled across Cotton's. Check to make sure it's not closed during the off season though. It looked more like a local place than a tourist place.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sheilal

              Just got back from GShres/Orange Beach...during my15 yrs+ on national consultant circuit with an unlimited dining expense account,I have had some great meals and have consequently ratched up my expectations...taking a family weekend at the beach,I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of seafood at DeSoto's (great grilled/broiled/blackened fish menu with a prompt and accurate kitchen to back it up) and Cosmo's, inexpensive and a number of creative dishes for such a simple place;I would put DeSoto's grilled fish or Cosmo's chicken roulades in the same level found at the big name places in my hometown of New Orleans; Hazel's Nook (GS-smaller than H's in OB) was better than most U.S.bkfast places but not quite French Quarter quality

            2. I am allergic to seafood so a trip to Gulf Shores requires finding places to eat that have more than seafood available and are still good. We love Cotton's. We found it by accident (it is set back from the main road) and my first meal was their Stuffed Mushrooms and their Prime Rib, which was the best Prime Rib I had ever tasted. I asked about how they made their au jus and I was told that their Chef would not even tell his own Mother. We were concerned after the hurricane that hit Gulf Shores that Cotton's might be lost since it faces the Gulf, but it was still there on our last trip.

              1. Just got back from a week in Orange Beach/Gulf Shores, and I have to give several "+1"s to this thread. We really enjoyed Gulf Shores Steamer for the buckets of Royal Red Shrimp, although the setting was a little plain. Next time I would try to sit on the back patio and watch the boats in the bay. Original Oyster House was outstanding -- it looks like an old classic that seems to do all the little things well. Lots of places like this would rest on their laurels, but service and food were great. Even the little things and side dishes, like the hush puppies and red beans and rice, were very good. Deserves its longevity. Lastly, Cosmo's was excellent. Very enjoyable patio and relaxed setting, super friendly service, and a surprisingly thoughtful menu and wine list. Steamer and Oyster House were great with kids, but I would save Cosmo's for your more civilized "date night." I would be very happy to return to any of these places.

                Gulf Shores Steamer
                124 W 1st Ave, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

                Original Oyster House
                701 Gulf Shores Pkwy, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

                3 Replies
                1. re: strong95

                  My family and I had a late lunch at Cosmo's on Saturday. It was excellent. I didnt know about the place until I read this thread. The chicken roulade was very good and the risotto it was served with was da bomb. My only regret was that I didnt order the dinner sized entree hehe. My wife and daughter both had the banana leaf wrapped sea bass which was very good. The service was more than adequate. I like the vibe of the place too, alot of what I assume is local art.

                  1. re: Mytah

                    Rather than start a new Gulf shores thread, I thought I'd bring this one back to life, as it's got some great info on it.

                    Has anyone been able to check out/ or heard of Dog House Grille in Gulf Shores? It's only been open a couple of weeks and my father is friends with the owner, so I'm anxious to get a hounds perspective on how it is!

                    Also, Mikee's has always been good to me, AYCE mullet is delicious, although I can't remember the night, and the BBQ shrip is fantastic if you like black pepper (which I do).

                    2 Avenue E 1 St N, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

                    Dog House Grille
                    2200 E 2nd St, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

                    1. re: kluemaster

                      My mom went to Sportsman Marina on NYE-(on Canal Road down from Doc's) and said it was excellent-
                      My favs are Live Bait at the Wharf, Doc's and Cosmo's

                      Live Bait Restaurant
                      24281 Perdido Beach Blvd Beach Hwy, Orange Beach, AL 36561