One of the first things you want to know when you arrive at the beach is, “Where’s the best place for dinner with a view?”
We know the sunsets of Northwest Florida and Coastal Alabama are a sight you don’t want to miss! No matter where you’re staying, from Gulf Shores to Panama City Beach, there’s a stunning sunset meal near you. Here are our top picks for dinner with a view:
The Gulf, Orange Beach
The Gulf is just plain cool. Located right on the water, against a backdrop of the blue skies and rolling sand dunes, every table is the best seat in the house. Seat yourself at a high top, picnic table, or even an outdoor couch—bonus, it’s dog friendly. Then order the amberjack or fried grouper sandwich with a side of hand-cut fries. The chalkboard menu changes weekly, sometimes daily, based on what’s locally sourced and seasonally available. Of course, freshly-squeezed lemonade is always on the menu, and if you have the pleasure of arriving on a blackberry lemonade day, it’s one of our favorites. So don’t miss The Gulf in Orange Beach, Alabama, or try their second location on Okaloosa Island. Check out our video review of the Gulf here.
Al’s Burger Bar at The Boardwalk, Okaloosa Island
The Boardwalk is one of the most famous hot spots on Okaloosa Island. And Al’s Beach Club Burger Bar is a burger-lover’s paradise (in paradise!). Their specialty beef is cut and ground daily. Top it with bacon, avocado, jalapenos, or caramelized mushrooms and onions on a grilled brioche bun. For a side, hand cut fries are served Cajun style or regular. And sweet potato chips with maple Dijon dipping sauce will round out your burger experience. But the real treat at Al’s, the one you’ll tell your friends back home about is the Maple Bacon Bourbon shake. No doubt, you’ll want to dig into this creamy vanilla custard, whipped with maple bourbon and chopped bacon. Garnished with a bacon strip, this shake is only for those with a deep-fried love of bacon.
Harbor Docks, Destin
Harbor Docks coined the phrase “Gulf-to-table” and is one of the few Gulf-to-table certified restaurants. Here, they serve only wild, hook-and-line caught Gulf of Mexico fish. The owners take pride in their menu of fresh, seasonal seafood. And we can’t say enough about the smoked tuna dip. Plus, you won’t want to miss their sushi. Sushi chef Yoshia Eddings has been serving the best sushi rolls in the Southeast for more than 25 years. We recommend the Backdown roll (shrimp, crab salad, topped with tuna), Rainbow roll (shrimp, yellowtail, salmon, topped with tuna), or classic Spider roll.
Bud & Alley’s, South Walton (30A)
Bud & Alley’s is a 30A tradition. Founded more than 25 years ago by two surfing pals and named for a cat and a dog, it grew with the popularity of the Gulf Coast. Located in Seaside, Bud & Alley’s has some of the most stunning beachfront views in South Walton (or anywhere, for that matter). And the food is as good as the view. There is not question, you can’t go wrong with the fish of the day or grilled Gulf grouper. Both are served with baby lima beans, sweet corn succotash, and basmati rice. For lighter appetites, on the other hand, share small plates of peel and eat Gulf shrimp or rock shrimp ceviche with avocado.
For more information on the best restaurants for dinner with a view, check out our Gulf Coast Guide.