Last month, I judged the World Food Championships for a second time and then spent weeks eating my way through Orange Beach. From seafood to burgers and BBQ, I’ve had the chance to try some of the best restaurants in Orange Beach, Alabama. After much deliberation (and digestion), I’ve picked my favorites. Here’s my list of the 14 best Orange Beach restaurants!
14 Best Orange Beach Restaurants
27200 Perdido Beach Blvd //+1 251-981-9811
Located right along the Gulf Coast, Voyager’s offers an excellent opportunity for thoughtful fine dining. Their contemporary coastal cuisine features some unique tastes and flavors while remaining true to the area’s roots. Their menu, which predominantly features sustainably harvested seafood, rotates with the season. When we dined here, we enjoyed this crispy herbed triggerfish over charred leek and fennel mashed potatoes topped with plum tomato brown butter:
The restaurant is a part of the Perdido Beach Resort and is open daily for dinner. Seatings run from 5 pm to 9 pm. Try to get a table as close to the floor-to-ceiling, Gulf-facing windows as you can. And, if the blue cheese herb crusted steak is one of the specials when you visit, be sure to order it. Even now, a month later, I’m still talking about that steak!
25814 Canal Rd // +1 251-981-5516
I grew to love Big Fish because of their menu’s heavy Asian influence. Our group sampled several dishes, including a flash-fried lobster tail with wasabi tempura and sweet chili sauce, jumbo lump crab cakes with lemongrass aioli, pan seared sea scallops with coconut fried rice and sesame seared ahi tuna.
If you’re not in the mood for seafood, they also serve up prime steaks, pastas and salads.
Big Fish is also known as the best restaurant in Orange Beach for sushi. Their sushi menu contains sashimi and nigiri and American classics like California and Philadelphia rolls. If you’d like to try something new, order their signature big fish roll. It’s made with white tuna, spinach and fresh ginger. They also serve a lobster roll filled with tempura fried lobster, avocado and green onion.
27500 Perdido Beach Blvd //+1 251-424-1800
The Gulf is a shipping container restaurant with all outdoor seating. The quirky structure sits right beside Perdido Pass, where boats make their way in and out of the Gulf of Mexico.
The Gulf’s menu is laid out on chalkboard each day. The fried grouper sandwich is one of their best sellers, but I’ve also heard locals rave about their homemade hummus.
They also serve up some great craft cocktails, so make sure you go thirsty.
26029 Canal Rd // +1 251-981-6999
Doc’s Seafood has the (self-proclaimed) “best fried shrimp in the entire civilized world.” Though I’m not sure if it’s actually the best, it can’t be far off. In addition to the amazing food, when you dine here, expect to find incredibly friendly staff in a laid back/no frills setting. This is the kind of place to go for lunch or dinner after a long day at the beach.
We loved the make your own cocktail sauce setup they had. That allowed each of us to make our own personal dipping sauce as spicy as we liked. If you haven’t already decided to go, you should know that Doc’s has been voted one of the top 10 seafood shacks in America. You definitely want to plan a stop here during your time in Orange Beach.
27075 Marina Rd #300 // +1 251-981-7305
Fisher’s has two locations in Orange Beach, so make sure you book a reservation to dine at Fisher’s “upstairs.” Their upstairs dining room may be the most upscale venue in all of Orange Beach. We were immediately impressed with their reclaimed pine floors and antique cypress tables topped with white linen table cloths.
The food lived up to the extravagant ambiance. As expected in Orange Beach, the menu featured some incredible fish dishes, but there were also a few seriously tempting meat plates, including the pan-fried pork cheeks with a pancetta apple jam, roasted lamb served with preserved lemon rice grits, and a confit duck leg served with dirty rice risotto.
Make sure you ask your server about Fisher’s wine pairings. They had one of the most thoughtful wine menus I tried at any Orange Beach restaurant.
25689 Canal Road // +1 251-980-5862
Luna’s is a neighborhood sports pub featuring an impressive selection of craft beers. You’ll have not trouble finding a pint you like here: they have 32 incredible beers on tap.
The menu features Southern comfort food classics such as macaroni and cheese, shrimp & grits, braised beef pot roast, and beer-basted burgers. When you go, check out what they have on special for that night—their rotating menu features some of the best in fresh local seafood.
Luna’s also has the largest list of craft beers on top anywhere in Orange Beach!
25753 Canal Rd // +1 251-948-9663
Cosmo’s tagline, “far from ordinary,” describes the place perfectly. This restaurant has an eclectic menu that features not just the freshest local seafood, but also jerk chicken, burgers, and even fettuccine. We stuck with their seafood, and it was a good decision. There were plenty of options: crab cakes, crawfish tails, duck and andouille sausage gumbo, sesame seared tuna, pecan-crusted redfish, and even fresh fish wrapped and baked in banana leaves.
If seafood isn’t your thing and Orange Beach can’t change your mind, we were also tempted by their steaks, pastas and an impressive-looking roasted red pepper Caesar salad (if you’re in the mood for something lighter).
28099 Perdido Beach Blvd // +1 251-923-5300
Cobalt boasts stunning views of Perdido Pass from every table. But you’ll have to pull your eyes away from that view to choose from a tantalizing menu that features tuna & avocado stacked between crispy wontons, creamy Cobalt crab and shrimp dip, Gulf shrimp and grits, and more.
Also popular are the fresh oysters. You can order them prepared in a number of ways: including char-grilled with garlic and Parmesan or uncooked with just a squeeze of lemon.
If none of the suggestions above have caught your attention, Cobalt also serves hearthstone pizza, pasta, sandwiches, and a peppercorn crusted filet. If you opt for that last option, order it with a side of smoked gouda and bacon grits. We were happy to learn Orange Beach breakfast brunch exists. This restaurant serves up some great Sunday brunch every week from 11-2.
26189 Canal Rd // +1 251-980-8400
GT’s offers some of the best in bay-front dining along Orange Beach. Known for their fall-off-the-bone tender rack of ribs, they also have a pork chop that’s brined in sweet tea, then stuffed with Conecuh sausage, onions and apples, and basted with a sweet bourbon glaze. I’m anxious to order it next time I visit.
Every Monday is prime rib night for $16—you don’t want to miss that!
Even if you have other dinner plans, make sure you stop by GT’s for their craft brew happy hour. They have some great starters to pair with a brew: gingered calamari, crab claws, and even fried pickles.
4575 S Wilson Blvd // +1 251-200-0250
Anchor Bar’s claim to fame is its amped up bar food. They serve intense and downright intimidating versions of almost everything that goes great with booze. This place’s chef is known for his insane creativity. Menu favorites include chorizo meatloaf tots, cured tuna poké, Gulf shrimp tacos, and a pepper jelly chicken sandwich.
Be sure to start your dinner with one of their creative cocktails—their cocktail menu offers new takes on classics, including an apple mule, the Anchor bloody mary with pork cracklings and a pickled green bean, a mezcal margarita, and even their own version of a bushwacker, Orange Beach’s local signature drink. Theirs includes vanilla vodka and can be ordered with a vanilla bean infused topper.
27842 Canal Rd // +1 251-981-9891
Playa is the sister restaurant of Fisher’s, one of the restaurants I mention above. While Fisher’s offers patrons the fine dining, white linen experience, Playa features a Caribbean and Latin American inspired menu with first class ambiance and service. Options include conch fritters with roasted pepper aioli, tuna poké, Gulf ceviche with charred corn and jalapeno, crab and cheese crusted amberjack, and coconut grouper.
If you’re looking for something so tasty you’ll remember it months later, I recommend Playa’s street tacos on homemade tortillas. You can fill them with your choice of brisket, grilled shrimp, fried mahi and roasted pork. These were seriously tasty.
This is also a great place for dinner if you or anyone in your group has diet restrictions. Playa offers dairy free, gluten free, soy free and shellfish free menus for diners with food allergies or sensitivities.
4790 Main St // +1 251-224-6510
The Villaggio is one of the best restaurants in Orange Beach for Italian fusion cuisine. They’re located in the center of The Wharf, a shopping dining and entertainment complex. Though they don’t have a view of the Gulf, they make up for it with tasty food and great service. Their menu features a few great Alabama twists on Italian dishes. Try their chicken scallopini, lasagna, or chicken Parmesan.
If you’re not in the mood for any of that, they also serve up some delectable wood-fired pizzas, sandwiches, and Louisiana wood-fired oysters. One last recommendation—make sure you ask for a seat out on the outdoor patio. If the weather’s pleasant, the atmosphere out there at The Wharf will make the meal even better.
17350 Perdido Key Dr. // +1 850-483-6272
Part of the (in)famous Flora-Bama family of restaurants, stores and bars, the Yacht Club offers great eats at water’s edge. Their menu is crafted around local comfort foods. But, they also serve a few more unique offerings. You can start your meal with some Greek shrimp nachos or firecracker kalamari. Then, for the main course, try their blackened Gulf tripletail or the Cajun shrimp and crawfish manicotti.
If you’d really like to connect with your food, the Yacht Club even has a hook-and-cook option: they’ll arrange a fishing expedition for you through the Flora-Bama Marina and then cook up whatever you catch!
One tip: when you eat here, try to get a patio table outside on the sand. That puts you right next to the water of Ole River and makes for a great view, especially as the sun sets.
17400 Perdido Key Dr. // +1 850-483-6262
Another member of the Flora-Bama family, Ole River Grill is right across the street from the famous lounge and oyster bar of the same name (where the Flora-Bama brand got its start at Orange Beach back in 1964).
Ole River offers more great local seafood and regional classics, but in a laid back, family-friendly setting. We were tempted by both their grilled amberjack and their surf’n’turf steak and shrimp plate. But, in the end, I went with their Bama burger:
They also serve up some delicious looking seafood soups and salads here (if you’re looking for a lighter fare). If you’d like something sweet, you can end your meal with deep-fried twinkies or Flora-Bama’s legendary bushwacker.