The coastline along the Gulf of Mexico spans across the states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. It’s a region impacted by hurricanes and oil spills, but also has incredible food, especially seafood.
Everyone has recommendations for you, no matter who you ask. There are many must-eat dishes, but these are just a few that visitors can’t miss. What is your favorite dish on the Gulf Coast? Let us know in the comments!
Seafood is a big part of the economy of the Gulf Coast, especially when it comes to shrimp. Biloxi even has a museum that focuses on the seafood industry.
Visitors can enjoy shrimp in just about every way, from boiled to fried to atop grits. They come in brown, pink, and white varieties with slightly differing tastes.
Where to Eat It: There’s no shortage of places to enjoy Gulf shrimp. Captain Anderson’s in Panama City Beach , Stinky’s Fish Camp in South Walton, Lulu’s in Gulf Shores, and Tasty Tails Seafood House in Biloxi are a few of the best.
In the mood for something sweet? The Gulf Coast has plenty of places to indulge in pastries. A number of doughnut shops line the coast, some dating back generations.
Some come in traditional sizes while others are donut holes. And don’t forget about beignets, which are French-style doughnuts popular in Louisiana.
Where to Eat It: Charlie’s Donut & Yogurt Truck in Alys Beach, Donut Hole Bakery in Destin , Thomas Donut in Panama City Beach, and Tato-Nut Donut Shop in Ocean Springs are all known for their donuts.
For beignets, check out Panini Pete’s in Mobile (with the all-important squeeze of lemon juice!) and, of course, Cafe du Monde in New Orleans.
The Gulf Coast has incredible oysters, especially in the Appalachicola Bay of Florida. Many have made a name for themselves, served in restaurants throughout the country, like Alabama’s Murder Point.
The bivalves can be enjoyed in many ways, including raw or chargrilled, fried on po boys, and topped with cheese. No matter what part of the coast you’re on, you’ll almost surely find oysters on restaurant menus.
Where to Eat It: Among the best are Lynn’s Quality Oysters in Apalachicola, Wintzell’s in Mobile, McElroy’s “Harbor House” Seafood Restaurant in Biloxi, and Felix’s Restaurant in New Orleans.
The most unique seafood in the Gulf Coast is royal reds. The deep-water large shrimp can only be harvested by specific boats from the summer to the fall.
They’re a deep red in color and have a flavor profile similar to lobster, slightly sweeter. They’re enjoyed in a variety of ways, including boiled or de-shelled and put into pasta.
Where to Eat It: Flora-Bama in Gulf Shores is home to royal reds when in season, along with nearby King Neptune’s. The Shrimp Shack in South Walton and Half Shell Oyster House are other options, the latter with multiple locations around the Gulf.
While this frozen drink was created in 1975 in the Virgin Islands, it’s one of the most popular drinks on the Alabama Gulf Coast. The boozy slushie features rum, Kahlua, coconut cream, and milk and is the perfect way to cool off.
Where to Eat It: Tacky Jack’s and Flora-Bama in Gulf Shores both have drinks with a view of the water. The Sandshaker in Pensacola has them across the Florida line.
Looking for a place to stay on the Gulf Coast? The Pearl Hotel in Rosemary Beach, Turquoise Place in Gulf Shores, Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, and The Admiral Hotel in Mobile are a few favorites.
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