Are you searching for the best restaurants in Gulf Shores? Check out this list of family friendly restaurants in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach that are an absolute must for your next trip. This post is sponsored by the Gulf Shores Orange Beach Tourism Board. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Best Restaurants in Gulf Shores for Families
Gulf Shores has hundreds of restaurants to choose from. You can find everything from fast food to fine dining here. I’m a huge foodie so I’m always on the hunt for amazing food whenever we travel. One of our main rules when we travel is we try to stray from any food that we can find when we’re at home. That means skipping chain restaurants and fast food unless it’s the only thing available in the city we’re in. Luckily in Gulf Shores we never struggle with picking a place to eat.
There are so many great restaurants to choose from. Some of which have both indoor and outdoor seating which is perfect especially when the restaurant has waterfront seating. One of the things we quickly learned on our family vacation however was that not all restaurants in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach take reservations. Most places are first come, first served. It’s always helpful to check if a restaurant takes reservations so we can accommodate for the extra waiting time in our itinerary.
Whether you’re heading to Gulf Shores on a solo trip or with your family, a list of the best restaurants in Gulf Shores is something you’ll want to have on hand. Here are my top recommendations.
Villagio Grille is an Italian fusion restaurant that became our absolute favorite during our last trip. Its location in the wharf is perfect when you’re wanting to spend the day shopping our outdoors. The menu has everything from perfectly seasoned calamari, pizza, pasta and a full wine list. Their wood fired pizza was a hit with our family. What I love most about Villagio Grille is that they have a simple kids menu with foods that kids love. My kids ordered a personal pizza and hamburger meal. The kids menu is under $10 so it’s also an affordable option. I highly recommend the seafood pasta. It was the best seafood pasta I’ve ever had. Everything was so fresh.
My husband ordered the 16oz bone-in Duroc pork chop with mushroom mac and cheese. If you’re not a fan of mushrooms, you can order it without. If you’re not up for their indoor or outdoor dining, they offer takeout family meals that are super convenient for families wanting a quick, delicious meal for dinner.
Tacky Jack’s is one of the best restaurants in Gulf Shores. They have three locations in the area: Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan. It’s a popular tourist destination. It’s known for it’s colorful decor, vibrant atmosphere, and their waterfront dining. Breakfast is available at all three locations daily.
Yoho Rum and Tacos
If you’re looking for the best tacos in the city then you need to add Yoho Rum and Tacos to your list. This restaurant is located in The Wharf as well. We tried literally every taco they offer here and was not disappointed at all. The shrimp tacos by far were my favorite. All of the tacos were packed with flavor. One thing to note is that Yoho Rum and Tacos have the same owners as Villagio Grille. The flavor profiles and restaurant types are completely different but the quality of the food is top tier here as well.
The Gulf is like the ultimate hangout for anyone. It’s a waterfront restaurant serving locally inspired food in a chill atmosphere. The menu changes with every season so they can keep things fresh which I love. No matter what type of food you like there is something on the menu for you. Burgers, fresh seafood, tacos and more items fill the menu. The Gulf is more of a laid back restaurant so if you are wanting a full sit down experience with waiter service this isn’t your best option.
The Gulf is really great for an outdoor lunch or sunset dinner. The view here when the sun sets is absolutely breathtaking.
Have you ever been to a 50s themed diner? It’s been years since I’ve been to a diner but Sunliner Diner quickly became my family’s favorite. The first time we ate at Sunliner Diner was during our first trip to Gulf Shores in spring of 2021. The retro decor instantly drew us in. It was highly recommended and had great reviews online so we knew to expect a great experience. The menu has traditional items like pancakes and waffles for breakfast and burgers for lunch and dinner. If you’re looking for classic food at an affordable price in a fun atmosphere, Sunliner Diner is one of the best restaurants in Gulf Shores to visit.
The Yard Milkshake Bar
The Yard is notorious for their fun and quirky milkshakes and edible cookie dough. It’s a great place to add to your Gulf Shores itinerary for dessert at the end of the day or for a fun treat after a morning at the beach.
Big Mike’s Steakhouse
I never expected a steakhouse to be on the list of best restaurants in Gulf Shores but it came highly recommended to us by family and friends. This restaurant can get pretty busy and they don’t take reservations so you’ll want to try and get there as early as possibly. Big Mike’s Steakhouse has a large menu with tons of options. It’s definitely a family friendly place with a “Little Mikes” menu just for kids. Also the crab cakes (pictured below) are a must try.
The Southern Grind Coffehouse
Matt’s Ice Cream
There is no shortage of ice cream spots in Gulf Shores. Matt’s Ice Cream is one of our favorite places to stop for ice cream whenever we’re in town. They offer over 40 flavors of homemade ice cream. You can order everything from individual scoops, banana splits, milkshakes and sundaes.