Dining out with children can be a daunting task. Mealtime rolls around and you immediately start thinking of the nearest fast-food restaurant or contemplate dragging everyone back to the hotel to eat. We were delighted to learn that there were tons of kid-friendly places to eat in Gulf Shores. These restaurants not only are serving delicious food but focus on keeping kids entertained. Whether it is climbing aboard a pirate ship, doing a ropes course or joining princesses for breakfast these spots are bound to be a hit with the kids.
During our recent visit to Gulf Shores, Alabama we were on the hunt to find the best family-friendly restaurants. They not only had to serve tasty food but offer something to help entertain our daughter so everyone could enjoy their meal. It was tough work, but we ate our way through Gulf Shores to bring you our top ten.
Our best kid-friendly place to eat in Gulf Shores
GT’s On The Bay
Nothing says family-friendly like a giant pirate ship and sandpit for kids to play in. It won me over instantly. Parents can sit and have a relaxing meal on the deck, sip a nice cocktail and watch their little ones turn into Captain Jack Sparrow. The food is spectacular and they have a great kids menu.
Raining? No worries, the massive fish pool located inside the restaurant fascinates those young and old! We recommend trying their fresh seafood or one of their brick oven pizzas. The kiddos can even watch them make the pizza! We left full, happy and even snagged a cute stuffed mermaid from their gift shop. Be sure to check out GT’s on the Bay during your visit.
Lulu’s is one of the top kid-friendly spots to visit in Gulf Shores. Where else can you grab a bite to eat, hit a ropes course, visit an arcade then play in the sand?! Our daughter adored the sandy beach area complete with toys. There is live music every night starting at five so I would so come and prepare to stay a little while because your family won’t want to leave. With an extensive menu, it has something for even the pickiest of eaters.
Allergies? No Problem. Lulu’s take allergies very seriously, by preparing all allergy free food in a separate space. The order is handled by a manager from start to finish. I highly recommend the Crab Melt and then capping off your visit to Lulu’s with a slice of the key lime pie.
Blue Water BBQ
Located in the Wharf in Orange Beach, this family-style cafeteria is serving up some delicious BBQ. This is the perfect spot for a quick family meal. If you have little ones that are fading fast or wanting a quick meal to get back to your activities, come here. Their goal is to get you in and out fast. Come in have a seat, go up to the counter order and your food is out in minutes!
Another great spot to bring the kids is Tacky Jacks. This is a sight to behold as the entire restaurant is covered in colorful tape displaying endless names. Guests can grab a sharpie, write their name on the tape and place it on any surface in the restaurant. This is a great activity for little ones as they search for the perfect spot to place their names.
The food is casual and they have a great cocktail list. Be sure to try their signature drink, the Bushwacker! We got the grouper sandwich and their crispy Hawg bites which were awesome. Tacky Jacks is also open for breakfast and from what I hear it is pretty good!
The Yard Milkshake Bar
This is a must on every Gulf Shores itinerary whether you have kids or not. Skip the ice cream and go get a milkshake! The milkshakes here are a sight to behold. Quite honestly, a milkshake work of art. I would recommend sharing, as they are huge. No photo was taken as they were inhaled before I could get my camera out. However, a quick google search will show you just how marvelous this place is.
One of the ultimate kid-friendly places to eat in Gulf Shores is the Hangout! Located on the beach the Hangout is the perfect spot to swing in for a meal. With activities happening around the clock the Hangout is a place that you don’t want to miss out on with the kids in tow. It is easy to see how families can spend hours here. From pirate and princess breakfasts, a DJ booth, competitions and of course their amazing outdoor space. Parents can have a relaxing meal while the kids can explore the sandpit and participate in the courtyard games.
The Hangout also is a feast for the eyes. The entire restaurant is full of decor aimed at kids. From a ceiling of rubber ducks, endless toys on display and a Hotwheels lining the doorways, one could wander around for hours taking in all the collections!
Get the fish tacos, order a shark attack, sit back and relax! Enjoy music on one of the two stages, get a picture with the giant Shaka hand and visit their extensive Logo Shop!
A vacation isn’t complete until donuts are involved. Gulf Shores has tons of great places to grab an amazing donut! We recommend trying City Donut but get there early. The donuts are made fresh daily and once they sell out they close up! A few locals mentioned they enjoyed Sassy Bass Donuts as well if you don’t make it to City Donut in time!
The Original Oyster House
One of the best places for seafood in Gulf Shores is the Original Oyster House. Hands down the best oysters I ever had to joy of eating. Not only is the food delicious, but the staff is extremely friendly and will go out of their way to make your visit exceptional. A giant alligator greets you and in the event of a wait, there are multiple shops nearby that you can noodle around in. Try to grab a table by the water so little ones can watch the wildlife.
Naturally, we recommend the oysters, but we sure to try their fresh catch of the day. Cheesy grits are a side you don’t want to miss, they are out of this world. Don’t forget to end your meal with a slice of heavenly chocolate peanut butter pie.
For a quick and amazing breakfast swing into Kitty’s Kafe. This classic diner is not only serving up a mean eggs benedict but the walls are jammed full of photos of cats and dogs! My little gal talked about all the animals from the minute we arrived till the minute we left.
Southern hospitality shines through their amazing waitstaff. They immediately brought out a little biscuit for Sophie without us even asking! Every single waitress stopped to talk to our daughter, point out something new on the wall and just check in to see how our meal was. Our food was on point and delicious. Parents, they have $2.00 mimosas!! Cheers to that!
We have added this to our Gulf Shores bucket list since we couldn’t squeeze in another meal during our visit. When asked where a great family-friendly spot to have dinner at, many locals responded with The Gulf. Made of shipping containers and salvaged building materials The Gulf also offers an amazing outdoor space complete with a sandpit. Locals love it and swear they have amazing seafood and a great kids menu. As if I needed another reason to return to Gulf Shores!
We can’t wait to come back and explore more of Gulf Shores. Comment below with your favorite kid-friendly places to eat in Gulf Shores so we can check them out next time!
We would like to thank Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism for hosting our visit. As always, opinions are my own.
Looking for more to do in Gulf Shores? Be sure to check out our Guide To Visiting Gulf Shores with Kids.
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