Where to Get the Best Gumbo in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

December22, 2023

The history of gumbo has deep roots in Southern culture, dating as far back as the early 19th Century. A hearty, versatile, and flavorful dish, the ingredients mirrored the resourceful nature of those living off the land during that time. Small game and delicacies foraged from nearby bayous were tossed in a pot and simmered in a broth for hours until they developed a velvety richness that was hard to resist. A fusion of European, Native American, and African influences, this uniquely flavored, richly satisfying stew became a regional staple, varying from town to town, even house to house, each batch taking on flavors of the surrounding community.

Little has changed over the years—the perfect gumbo still takes time. It begins with a silky roux of flour and butter, vegetable oil, or animal fat, and two roux camps prevail. Creole roux is crafted with butter and starts with a tomato base, while its Cajun counterpart features lard or oil as the primary fat component and is typically a spicier stew. It’s also worth mentioning that some might argue the perfect roux is the color of chocolate, while others contend a blonde roux is best. Both believe in the “Holy Trinity,” a mix of sauteed celery, onion, and green pepper, followed by stock and creole seasoning to help build the base. A combination of meat, seafood, or sausage completes the flavorful concoction, thickened with okra or filé, a spice made from sassafras leaves. There’s no one way to make it, but one thing is standard—rice always accompanies gumbo, and that’s non-negotiable. 

In the South, we eat gumbo year-round, but when winter casts its chilly shadow, there’s no better way to take the edge off than diving into a bowl of gumbo. Look no further than your friendly locals for the scoop on where to find the best gumbo in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach!

Wolf Bay Lodge

Located just east of Gulf State Park in Orange Beach, Wolf Bay Lodge features cooked-to-order seafood at its finest. Founded in the 1940s, this family-owned restaurant is a local tradition, serving mouthwatering dishes guaranteed to delight. Cajun fried pickles, smoked tuna dip, and fried green tomatoes are just a few of the appetizers on the menu, but the perfect start to any meal is the decadent creole gumbo loaded with shrimp, crab meat, and fish, some of the best gumbo in Orange Beach.

From there, work through several traditional Southern dishes that will leave you wanting more. Try the lump crab cake dinner, a Po’ Boy hoagie, or seafood au gratin. The shrimp and grits are a real crowd pleaser, featuring a smoked Gouda grit cake with three cheese mornay sauce, sauteed shrimp, scallions, and diced tomatoes. You can thank us later!

The Tin Top Restaurant and Oyster Bar

Known for excellent steaks and fresh seafood, The Tin Top Restaurant Restaurant and Oyster Bar packs a punch in the taste department. Fried crab claws, steamed royal reds, and seafood stuffed mushrooms will surely start the meal off right, but the seafood gumbo with shrimp, crabmeat, and andouille sausage takes things to another level. Try the bourbon glazed salmon or the seafood stuffed porterhouse pork chop with fresh collard greens and smoked gouda cheese grits. Finish with a slice of the buttermilk chess pie or bread pudding, and savor every delectable bite.

Since this one is located in Bon Secour, about ten miles north of Gulf Shores, the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is a lovely pitstop on your way and a great way to make a day of it!


Renowned for food and fun, Lulu’s features authentic coastal cuisine with activities for all ages. The kids will love the beach arcade and two ropes courses, and you’ll love family recipes passed down from generation to generation. At the top of the list is the shrimp and andouille sausage gumbo. With claims that the roux is “hand stirred…until your arms fall off,” it’s a must-try and one of our favorite gumbos in Gulf Shores. So, too, is the seafood combo trio with shrimp, oysters, and grouper and the Crazy Sista’s pulled pork sandwich, an incredibly delicious slow-smoked pork shoulder tossed in a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce that’s simply irresistible.

Located on the Intracoastal waterway in Gulf Shores, Lulu’s offers live music and even better views. Swing by Adventure Island afterward for an afternoon of bumper boats, adventure golf, go-karts, and more!

DeSoto’s Seafood Kitchen

Featuring creole seafood gumbo and a crab and shrimp bisque, you’ll be hard-pressed to choose. If you must pick just one, we say go for the gumbo and don’t look back. If you’re up for something different, try the alligator bites, then dive into the fried catfish, scallops alfredo, or a creole platter with crawfish etouffee, shrimp creole, and blackened catfish over yellow rice. Chicken, pasta, and steak round out a menu that’s nothing short of delightful, and the kids can select from a menu tailored just for them!

Afterward, walk to the Gulf Shores public beach and stroll along the beach collecting seashells to bring back home!

Louisiana Lagniappe

After shopping at The Wharf all day or hiking through Perdido Key State Park, you’ll have worked up an appetite, and there’s no better place to indulge than Louisiana Lagniappe. Featuring fresh Gulf seafood with a creole flair, this Orange Beach waterfront restaurant overlooks the San Roc Cay Marina and Cotton Bayou, offering splendid views and even better food. Start with the Louisiana crab cakes and Mardis Gras shrimp before diving into the Cajun seafood gumbo stuffed with jumbo lump crabmeat, shrimp, and oysters. Corn and crab bisque is also a favorite, and you won’t go wrong with jambalaya or grouper pecan for dinner. Just finish with the key lime pie for a sweet ending to the perfect meal!

The next time you’re in the area, try one (or all!) of our favorite spots to get gumbo in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Don’t forget to explore the nearby attractions and scenic spots, and book with Kaiser Vacation Rentals to make your adventure even more memorable!

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