The Deep South is known for its hearty and delicious comfort food dishes, which you can find at restaurants up and down the coast - especially in Alabama's Gulf region. If you've been craving a visit to this part of the U.S. and are itching for a foodie-inspired road trip, then take off some time from work and rent yourself a cozy Gulf Shores condo for a memorable culinary adventure.
Here are some stops you have to make when you plan your vacation - each is renowned for its amazing seafood, barbecue or authentic soul food.
Ask any local where to eat for tasty, fresh seafood and they'll likely direct you to King Neptune's Seafood Restaurant in Gulf Shores. Not only is the selection fresh (often straight from the boat), but the chefs at Neptune's know how to cook each dish right. Owners Al Sawyer and his wife, Diane, have been recognized by renowned publications including the Travel Channel, Southern Living magazine and the Food Network - Bobby Flay featured them on his TV show, "Food Nation." When you stop into the restaurant, make sure to order some "royal reds," deep-water shrimp with a bold red color and a sweet and salty taste. The Sawyers even let you bring some of Neptune back to your Gulf Shores vacation rental - they've put up some of their most delicious recipes up on their website, such as the corn & crab bisque and oyster stew.
Wintzell's Oyster House
Wintzell's in Orange Beach is a favorite among locals. You can find hundreds of sayings and jokes by the late founder, Oliver Wintzell, all over the walls, but you'll probably be too busy chowing down on the delicious meal in front of you. Many of the dishes play off traditional Alabama cuisine, like the "low country boil," catfish and Creole crawfish.
When you can combine a gorgeous view with scrumptious eats, then you've hit the Alabama jackpot. Gulf Shores' Sea-N-Suds is a laid-back restaurant right on the water, giving you a stellar view of the Gulf of Mexico. From authentic gumbo and fried crab claws to steamed shrimp and sweet tea, the options are the best of the South and have been for more than 30 years. Dozens of Gulf Shores houses can be found only minutes away from this beachfront restaurant, making it a treasured spot for families to come for a mid-day lunch break. Even the pickiest eaters can find something tasty here - the beach shack also offers simple delights like grilled cheese, hamburgers and popcorn chicken for the little ones.