Eating a nutritious breakfast fuels you up and gets you ready for the day. It also sets the tone for a day of healthy eating, even when you’re at the beach for a vacation.

Whether you are enjoying a vacation with your significant other, or you have a full house, next time you’re in Gulf Shores, head out to some of the locals’ favorite breakfast spots. Here’s a breakdown of a few of our top restaurants for breakfast.

Gulf Shores

1. Café Beignet: 200 W Fort Morgan Road, 36542. Grab a cup of coffee and a dozen (or more) piping hot beignets topped with powdered sugar at Café Beignet. Store opens at 6:30 and closes about “noonish,” as it says on the door! Enjoy other Café Beignet locations in Orange Beach and Perdido Key.

2. The Diner: 2420 E 2nd St., 36542. When you’re looking for simple yet tasty American cuisine, stop in for Sunday brunch from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Recently, the menu included a shrimp and crab omelet, corned beef hash, beignets and bacon and an eight ounce filet with eggs. Bushwackers are served all day Sunday! During the week, the restaurant opens at 7 a.m. for breakfast.

3. Hazel’s Nook: 120 E Fort Morgan Road, 36542. Order off the menu or enjoy the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet, including omelet bar and fruit station. At this iconic Gulf Shores restaurant, you’ll find eggs prepared a variety of ways, along with tasty concoctions like the Bienville Omelet with crabmeat, Cajun shrimp and mozzarella cheese topped with Hollandaise sauce; breakfast meats ranging from Conecuh hickory sausage to breakfast ham and sausage; waffles; hotcakes; and more.

4. Kitty’s Café: 3800 Gulf Shores Parkway, #100. No matter what time of day, if you’re craving a good old-fashioned country-style breakfast, head over to Kitty’s Café in the Pelican Place shopping center. There’s a whole host of omelets to choose from, steak and eggs, “korned” beef hash, eggs benedict and numerous a la carte items to choose from. You’ll love the biscuits!

5. Lickin’ Good Donuts: 229 E 20th Ave., 36542. Why drive to Foley for a box of Krispy Kremes when you can try the homemade specialties served at Lickin’ Good Donuts in Gulf Shores. Enjoy amazing maple bacon donuts or the kolaches prepared daily in their kitchen. The shop opens at 5 a.m.

6. Sassy Bass Crazy Donuts: 132 West 1st St., 36542. Part of the Sassy Bass family brand of concepts and known for creativity in its menu selections, Crazy Donuts features wacky combinations like cream cheese-glazed donuts topped with grilled bananas, caramel, pecans and whipped cream compote or “The Hangover” donut, which comes topped with candied applewood bacon bits, a fried egg and melted cheddar cheese. Seriously good!

7. Tacky Jacks Gulf Shores: 240 E 24th Ave., 36542. Situated on the Intracoastal Canal Waterway, Tacky Jacks Gulf Shores offers seating both inside and outside. Of course, this is a favorite lunch and dinner spot thanks to its location on the water as well as its seafood specialties, but locals love going here for breakfast. Our favorite? The Farmer’s Omelet, with potatoes, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, sausage, ham, American and cheddar cheese inside and out. Not what you’re looking for? How about a shrimp omelet or the pork chops and egg platter or a pancake big enough to cover the whole plate? Oh, and don’t forget about the “Whiskey Willies” Bloody Mary, boozy coffees and specialty drinks like the Mimosa, Madras or screwdriver.

Fort Morgan

8. Sassy Bass Island Grill: 375 Plantation Road, 36542. Enjoy a tropical breakfast with fresh squeezed juices (pear, apple, orange, peach and more). Some of the favorite morning meals work in donuts, such as the Corsica, featuring salt cured and aged country ham, eggs over light topped with homemade maple syrup or the Fraser Foster, with fresh grilled plantain slices, butter rum and brown sugar glaze with bacon bits. You may also enjoy something a little more traditional like steak ‘n eggs, French toast, Gouda grits and eggs or a Hawaiian Omelet, featuring a pineapple garnish.

9. Tacky Jacks 2 Fort Morgan: 1577 AL-180, 36542. Check out Tacky Jacks at Fort Morgan Marina for a casual waterfront breakfast. Enjoy a breakfast burrito, adapted from Tacky Jacks famous Mexican Garbage nachos platter. A flour tortilla is stuffed with scrambled eggs, sausage, cheese, salsa and sour cream. Put a side of corned beef hash or a buttermilk breakfast, and you’re good to go until lunch!

Orange Beach

10. Another Broken Egg Café: 25910 Canal Road, Suite K, 36561. One of eight locations across the South, Another Broken Egg Café’s menu is loaded with fresh ingredients and creative recipes across a wide variety of breakfast classics and memorable brunch dishes. Enjoy traditional favorites such as buttermilk, bananas foster pancakes, lemon blueberry goat cheese pancakes; cinnamon roll French toast; chocolate stuffed Belgian waffles and more. Too late for breakfast? Brunch is an option here, where you’ll find Eggs Blackstone Benedict with grilled red tomato slices on an English muffin and topped with poached eggs, hollandaise, chopped bacon and green onions; Louisiana crawfish skillet, with scrambled eggs, crawfish tails, Andouille, onions, red peppers and country potatoes with Monterey Jack cheese; or smoked salmon benedict created with a toasted bagel, cream cheese, smoked salmon and poached eggs topped with red onions, capers and green onions. You’ll also find crab crakes and fried green tomatoes, a lobster and Brie omelets, shrimp ‘n grits and chilaquiles on the brunch menu.

11. Brick & Spoon: 24705 Canal Road, 36561. Start your day off right at Brick & Spoon and order up a biscuit plate, featuring two honey-style biscuits topped with honey butter and served with seasonal marmalade. Then, move onto the main course. If you like something sweet try pancakes or Brioche French toast or Bananas Foster French Toast. Or, try a whole host of Benedicts, one even featuring cornmeal dusted oysters. For brunch, enjoy breakfast tacos, shrimp and grits or shrimp and Tasso mac ‘n cheese.

12. BuzzCatz Coffee & Sweets: 25689 Canal Road, 36561. A fun local gathering place in the morning, BuzzCatz Coffee and Sweets is known for its friendly staff and quality menu with locally roasted coffee, homemade pastries and traditional fare. My personal favorite is the Kitten Head Biscuits served with preserves (nine pull-apart mini biscuits), the BuzzCatz “Pop Tarts,” with handmade fillings, and cinnamon rolls topped with cream cheese, candied bacon or pecan praline. Made-to-order breakfasts include house-made Belgium waffles and the Breakfast Hollah, a homemade Challah dough filled with fresh scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese and your choice of bacon, sausage, ham and seasonal vegetables. You might also enjoy the quiche of the day.

13. City Donut: 26651 Perdido Beach Blvd., 36561. Featuring traditional yeast and cake donuts in a variety of flavors, City Donuts offers everything from cinnamon rolls and glazed croissants to red velvet cake donuts and even some with candy topped donuts. Combine the luscious donuts with a freshly brewed cup of coffee, frozen frappe or iced coffee, and your day will be off to a great start.

14. Duck’s Diner: 4560 Easy St., 36561. A favorite locals’ spot for breakfast, Duck’s Diner is known for its broad breakfast menu. Choose from pancakes and French toast, traditional steak and eggs, biscuits, corned beef hash, omelets, breakfast burritos, BLT sandwiches and more.

15. The Ruby Slipper Café: 24151 Perdido Beach Blvd., 36561. You may recognize this one from the Big Easy. Ruby Slipper Café in Orange Beach is a lively spot serving signature omelets, Southern brunch fare and cocktails. Seasonal specials are on the menu, such as spiced pumpkin pancakes topped with cream cheese icing and served with your choice of breakfast meat. You can even get your seafood fix for the day with Grilled Fish St. Peter, which is composed of the fish of the day over a cheesy grit cake topped with sautéed spinach and tomatoes, a skewer of grilled shrimp and finished with a Creole mustard hollandaise. The Shrimp Boogaloo Benedict is another favorite with Gulf shrimp sautéed with pork Tasso and Creole tomato sauce served over fried green tomatoes, a buttermilk biscuit and two poached eggs. But the pancakes here! They’re giant and feature unique flavor combinations such as bacon and pralines, bananas and pecans and cinnamon swirl.

16. The Southern Grind at The Wharf: 4751 Main St., Suite 116, 36561. Established in 2012 by a local couple, Southern Grind features two Orange Beach locations but its Wharf store is the primary one. With dog-friendly seating outdoors and a coastal, warm atmosphere indoors, the Southern Grind Coffee House is the place to go for all types of coffee, pastries, breakfast sandwiches and even gelato. Try the Mozzarella, Tomato & Basil Breakfast, composed of three scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese, jalapenos, fresh rosemary, seasoned potatoes and a choice of bacon, ham or sausage. Yum! You’ll find another Southern Grind at the Indigo Hotel near the Gulf State Park.

17. Tacky Jacks Orange Beach: 27206 Safe Harbor Dr., 36561. A waterfront seafood restaurant and tavern in Orange Beach, Tacky Jacks is a casual dining spot for breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks. The restaurant overlooks the Perdido Pass Bridge and has been a locals’ favorite hangout for the last 38 years. Breakfast starts at 7 a.m., and features hearty favorites such as biscuits and gravy, the sunrise egg platter and breakfast sandwiches. Not to mention omelets, shrimp and cheese grits, and the Wheelhouse Pancake with pecans or strawberries and whipped cream.

Perdido Key

18. Crazy Horse Café: 13110 Lillian Hwy., 32506. If you’re staying at one of Meyer’s Perdido Key properties, head on over to Crazy Horse Café for breakfast. Get an order of biscuits and gravy, an omelet or a giant egg platter (ribeye on the side, maybe?) Also on the menu are eggs benedict, French toast and pancakes.

19. Legends Bar & Grill: 1 Doug Ford Dr., 32507. Especially if you’re playing a round of golf at Perdido Bay Golf Club, stop in for breakfast at 6:30 a.m., at the Legends Bar & Grill. Enjoy a three-egg omelet, a Florentine omelet, country fried steak and eggs, French toast or a breakfast burrito filled with sausage, onions, peppers, scrambled eggs and cheese and served with hash browns or grits.

20. R’Reileigh’s Daybreak Café: 34291 U.S. Hwy. 98, 36549. A family-owned and operated restaurant, R’Reileigh’s Daybreak Café is a great spot for a traditional, hearty breakfast. If you’re especially hungry, you may enjoy R'Reileigh’s Big Deal, which includes two eggs, bacon or sausage or sweet heat chicken tenders, and two pancakes or French toast.

Here’s one more spot for a great breakfast: your vacation rental! Fully equipped kitchens in Meyer Vacation Rentals’ properties in Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan, Orange Beach or Perdido Key provide space for preparing and serving meals or even bringing in carry-out. Try dining outdoors to watch the sunrise on your private deck or balcony.