Where Girlfriends Eat in Orange Beach, Alabama
A few weeks ago, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism invited me along with a few other bloggers to enjoy a girlfriend getaway in beautiful Orange Beach. This is a sponsored post; all opinions are my own.
In this first post, I’ll tell you only about the food and where to eat in Orange Beach. On the second post, I’ll tell you about my favorite restaurant and the third post I tell you here girlfriends play and show you the stunning beach house we stayed in, provided by Gulf Shores Rentals.
Girlfriends Always Stop for Lunch on the Way
Sunflour Cafe & Eatery, Cullman, Alabama (between Huntsville and Birmingham, off the 65)
I baked gluten free strawberry scones for the road trip. I always make some kind of travel cookie because girlfriends cant go hungry, right? These carried us through until we stopped for lunch.
During the seven hour drive, I was put in charge of finding a non-chain restaurant for lunch. We ended up at the Sunflour Cafe and Bakery, a 2 1/2 hour drive south from Nashville.
Known for baked goods and surprisingly good Philly cheese steaks, this was the beginning of our Alabama eating adventures. This is not a tourist stop; it’s simply a good cafe where the locals eat and sometimes purchase fresh strawberries or what’s in season.
Always ask the servers what sells the most when in a new place. I never would have ordered a cheese steak in a Southern cafe had I not asked.
Where Girlfriends Eat in Orange Beach Gulf Shores
Girlfriends Eat Cake
We found these beautiful rum cakes from Rum Sisters waiting for us, in four different flavors. Girls have to have cake right? I ate the bushwacker rum cake. Delicious, and they ship.
One morning an angel brought these donuts to the door. While one girlfriend dove into the maple bacon, I went for the powdered sugar chocolate cream and I never eat donuts. Maybe it’s the beach air?
Girlfriend’s Meet Over Dinner
Here is a little video of our first dinner together, where we talk about what’s been planned.
Flora-bama Yacht Club
A few of us knew each other, but our first dinner was the chance to all meet together, warming up over the frosty Bushwacker.
What’s a Bushwacker? Created in 1975 in St. Thomas, it’s similar to a Wendy’s frosty with a variety of booze, including rum, kahlúa, dark Crème de Cacao, Cream of Coconut and milk, lots of ice, all blended together. I found it to be more like a dessert drink, but that stopped no one at the table from ordering a bushwacker at the beginning of the dinner.
Our first dinner took place at the Flora-bama Yacht Club. Chef Chris Sherill talked to us about something I had no idea about. Lion Fish. He’s committed to utilizing lion fish for food in as many ways as possible. He served us a lion sashimi with an array of colorful sauces. The fish is delicate we all agreed, very worthy.
Chef educated us about this fierce ocean predator taking over the waters in the gulf of Mexico. The lion fish is venomous, but considered safe once cleaned, and filleted. It faces very little danger itself, protected by its poisonous spiny tentacles. The best offense to the lion fish is to consider them food and he is doing his part serving them. We did our part enjoying this culinary treat.
Chargrilled Fresh Gulf Cobia with New Orleans BBQ Soft Shell Crab
Chef Chris Sherill prepared a special dinner for us, including Hangar Steak with Truffles Parmesan French Fries, Crab Hush Puppies, Fresh Gulf Cobia, and for dessert, Finger Beignets. We left feeling happy and full.
The Yacht Club is super casual, and perfect for a drink with Greek Nachos, or a full-course dinner. Family and flip flop friendly.
One of the girlfriends on the tour used to live in Alabama and reminded us of the sad oil spill some years back which took a harsh toll on the Alabama beaches. The resilience of the folks has shined through for now you would never know, and it’s as beautiful as ever.
Where Girlfriend’s Drink
Flora-Bama Lounge and Package Store – Touted as one of the best beach bars in the WORLD!
Right across the street from the Flora-bama Yacht Club is the legendary Flora-bama Lounge, full of history, booze, and bras. If those walls could talk, right?
Compton, dressed in a kilt, our amazing tour guide and master of ceremonies gave us a complete story of one of the most interesting and legendary bars in America. We went room to room, bar to bar, stage to stage, in awe of how much of the bar had to almost be completely rebuilt because of the devastating hurricane Ivan.
We all bought Flora-Bama matching long-sleeved T Shirts in their overwhelmingly large gift shop. It’s what girlfriends have to do.
Open 11:00 a.m to 3:00 a.m. (kid friendly until 6:00 p.m.) be prepared for live music 365 days a week, multiple stages, multiple bars, lots of drinks, hundreds of bras of former customers on display, (ask about that), and an oyster bar. Did I mention fun?
The weekend we were there, they held the annual mullet toss at the state line (right outside the door). Had it not been for the expected thousands to gather, I wanted to be there and give a mullet a toss.
Notice the booze room on the picture bottom right. Oh the lucky booze rep that handles this account! And, we all left with our bras!
There’s a cover charge to get in, and no matter what age, have your I.D. ready!
Where Girlfriends Lunch
The Gulf Restaurant
We had two fantastic lunches in Orange beach, one very casual on the beach, one more upscale surrounded by yachts and a chef meet-up. Each lunch was enjoyable for different reason. I would put these on my itinerary on a return trip and I highly recommend you do not miss these places for lunch or dinner.
Girlfriends love burgers and grouper sandwiches as long as there are blackberry mojitos.
The Gulf Restaurant
The Gulf is one of the most unique eateries in the area, gift shop, kitchen and offices, constructed from shipping containers. All seating is outdoors, either on chic white vinyl couches, beautiful tables, spectacular views.
Food is ordered in one place at the food window, and cocktails are ordered at the outdoor bar. Look for the specials. I shared a burger and a grouper sandwich, both great, but I favored the grouper sandwich which was messy and lip smacking good. The french fries, were crispy, salty and worth the binge. You must wash down with a blackberry mojito.
The gift shop is notable and a must visit, and there is an adorable resident cat you can say hello to.
Where Girlfriends Eat Oysters
Fisher’s at Orange Beach Marina
Fisher’s is a food lover’s restaurant with an absolutely gorgeous setting and I wrote a full post about it here.
Every travel trip I pick one restaurant that deserves its very own post and Fisher’s is most worthy of that honor.
That post is coming next week and is a must read. Wait till you see the rest of the food and decor! Here’s a sneak peak.
Casual Dining with an Outdoor Covered Deck and an Ice Cream Shop
The Beach House Kitchen & Cocktails
The Beach House Kitchen & Cocktails in Gulf Shores is good for lunch or casual dinner. It’s more of a cafe with outdoor seating and perfect when girlfriends have spent a whole day sunning or running around shopping, kayaking, and just want to relax with a good margarita and a casual meal.
The Scratch Margarita is classic, refreshing, served on therocks or frozen. Made with amarena Reposado Tequila, Fresh Lime, Triple Sec, Smoked Sea Salt.
The service is friendly and there is a big covered deck for outdoor dining.
You can order easy casual meals, comfort food like crawfish mac and cheese, or full dinners.
The Beach House Kitchen & Cocktails is a fun, easy going place to eat in Orange Beach, and was walking distance from our condo, a great idea if you just want to have a few rounds of cocktails. Happy Hour from 2-5 is a sweet deal and features $5 appetizers.
We loved the Fish Tacos, which can be ordered grilled or blackened.
Where Girlfriends Eat Ice Cream in Gulf Shores
Island Ice Cream & Treats
Island Ice Cream & Treats There’s an ice cream shop next door, and with over 40 flavors to choose from, is worth saving room for.
How Girlfriends Eat in Orange Beach, While Sailing
On our last night, we enjoyed an amazing sunset cruise aboard Sail Wild Hearts, a stunning 53′ catamaran. We were able to watch the sun set, and spot dolphins. Fabulous. We brought a bottle of wine and enjoyed an array of snacks they provided. More to come about the cruise in my part 2 post.
After the cruise, we decided to stop for a take out dinner at Bill’s by the Beach and head back to our beautiful condo. Bill’s makes their own homemade pasta, which was excellent, as was the burger.
We don’t have any pictures, because we had a slight detour on the way home.
Make sure when driving a new car, you check to see that your lights are on because it’s really scary when two cop cars pull you over. It all ended well when we explained we were driving a new car and didn’t have the lights on automatic. I’ll tell you about the awesome car we were given to test drive in the next post.
Every girlfriend trip has to have a stopped by the cops story, right?
Girlfriends Always Stop for Lunch on the Way Back Home
Once again, we searched for an out of the way spot that belongs to the locals and we feel we hit it out of the park by venturing off the route to Silverhill, Alabama to Café Acadiana.
Open just two years ago, this is a family run cajun restaurant that is charming and oh so delicious. A welcoming porch signaled that we had picked the right place. The menu is extensive with everything cajun you can imagine, but get the Shrimp Po-Boy at least once. This is just the kind of cafe I wish we had in my neighborhood. I would try everything and look forward to their daily specials.
We ordered the Fried Boudin Balls for an appetizer. These are prepared in house with their dad’s 1950 recipe. They are outstanding. They also have a salad bar that is quite nice for a small cafe.
Two of us ordered the fried shrimp-po boy, and the girlfriend who didn’t talked in regret about not ordering it all the way home, and for good reason. It’s one of the best I’ve eaten with just the right kind of soft french roll, baked and delivered from a local bakery. I ate slowly because I wanted to savor each bite. We met the owner and his son, who served us and was getting ready to graduate high school. Maybe that’s why he has such a big smile. They took a few minutes to talk to us before the big lunch crowd invaded. This is a very popular place with many regulars.
Cafe Acadiana is about 9 miles off the main road home, but worth taking the small detour.
One would think this was all the food we could manage, but I recall a stop off at Chick Filet and a frozen coffee drink two of the girlfriends had. I waited until I got home and ate the cheese and crackers the nice people at the tourism board had left for us.
Yes, we ate well, but we were also very active with yoga, kayaking, and lots of walking, which I’ll tell you all about in my Orange Beach Alabama post, Part 2.
So tell me have you been to Orange Beach and what food did I miss that I need to eat in Orange Beach?
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Where to Eat in Orange Beach Alabama (including Gulf Shores, Perdido Beach, and more)
Sunflour Cafe is located at 324 County Rd 222, Crane Hill, AL 35053
Read Gulf Shores Girlfriend Getaway Part 2 Here , Fisher’s at Orange Marina.