Everyone has a favorite restaurant at the beach.

But Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are lucky to have several great ones, three of which were named to a list of top seafood restaurants in Alabama by the website onlyinyourstate.com: Doc's Seafood Shack, the Flying Harpoon and King Neptune's Seafood Restaurant.

Doc’s: A Local Institution
Doc’s Seafood Shack in Orange Beach was named No. 3. With a claim to fame of having “the best fried shrimp in the entire civilized world,” the award-winning restaurant has earned recognition in Coastal Living as an “American Favorite Dive”; Southern Living in “Living off the Eaten Path;” and Sunny 105.7’s “People’s Choice Award for Best Seafood and/or Best Gumbo.” In addition, Doc’s Seafood Shack was recently featured by FOXNEWS.com in “America’s Best Seafood Shacks.”

Some our favorites at Doc’s include the shrimp and oysters in a platter or po boy, the Ole Spider Burger soft shell crab sandwich, the gumbo (of course) and Doc’s World Famous Fried Chicken.

The Flying Harpoon: Outdoor Dining & Packed Po’ Boys
The Flying Harpoon in Gulf Shores was named No. 6 on the list. Some of the specialty items here are the friendly wait staff and bartenders, the po boys, crab/crawfish cakes and home-cooked roast beef served on fresh bread from New Orleans in a “debris” sandwich. Reviewers also suggest ordering the homemade potato chips.

The Flying Harpoon overlooks Little Lagoon and offers outdoor dining.

King Neptune’s: Affordable & Just Plain Good
King Neptune’s Seafood Restaurant in Gulf Shores was listed as No. 9 on the onlyinyourstate.com top 10 list.

This locals’ favorite is known for its steamed royal red shrimp and other Gulf seafood dishes served in a rustic little nook in the heart of Gulf Shores on Ala. Hwy. 59.

Al and Diane Sawyer own the restaurant and can be seen working there on any given day. Putting all their efforts into the restaurant, the surroundings at King Neptune’s are simple, yet comfortable with the focus on good, fresh food done right.

The Sawyers have a diverse and affordable menu that locals appreciate as much, if not more, than visitors. King Neptune’s is known for being a restaurant where Southern hospitality is a way of life.

“We’ve just always focused on providing our guests with great food,” Al said. “That comes easily to us, because of our experience and our love of fresh seafood from the Alabama Gulf Coast.”

The Sawyers have taken home first place at a food show in New Orleans, beating out 500 competitors that included renowned Chef Paul Prudhomme and McIlhenny, the producers of Tabasco sauce.

In addition, King Neptune’s Seafood has been featured on television shows such as Bobby Flay’s “Food Nation,” The Travel Channel’s “Travel Deep in the South,” as well as in Southern Living magazine and Travel USA. Al has also served as a Culinary Ambassador for the State of Alabama.

Explore all the great places to dine and shop along the Gulf Coast. Beach condos in Orange Beach or houses in Gulf Shores are a great choice for your next vacation home base.