Why we love it: Louisiana spice meets Alabama Gulf Coast freshness in the shrimp dishes served at this off-the-beaten-path restaurant.
Order this: Shrimp and Gouda Grits in Creamy Creole Sauce or Jambalaya Pasta
Wash it down with: A craft beer from City Grill's ever-changing selection
2200 East Second St., Unit E; citygrillgulfshores.com or 251/223-4202
Why we love it: Dream of the Caribbean as you dig into a Bimini-style Steamed Shrimp appetizer at this spot nestled right in the Gulf dunes.
Order this: Fresh Shrimp Salad Po-Boys
Wash it down with: A potent rum-and-fruit juice-laden Bahama Bob.
601 West Beach Blvd.; bahamabobs.com or 251/948-2100
King Neptune's Seafood Restaurant
Why we love it: Order a platter of Steamed Royal Reds and they'll think you're a local at this laid-back seafood shack on Gulf Shores' main drag.
Order this: Steamed Royal Red Shrimp or Grilled Shrimp Skewer
Wash it down with: An Amaretto Orange Blossom Daiquiri
1137 Gulf Shores Parkway; kingneptuneseafoodrestaurant.com or 251/968-5464
LuLu's at Homeport
Why we love it: Lucy Buffett (singer Jimmy's sister) runs this popular restaurant. Her right-off-the-boat shrimp and homemade gumbo attract crowds. So you may want to pick an off hour (say 4 p.m.) to avoid a long wait.
Order this: Fried Shrimp Half Loaf & Gumbo or Shrimp Salad Wrap
Wash it down with: LuLu's own Crazy Sista Honey Ale
200 East 25th Ave.; lulusathomeport.com or 251/967-5858
West Beach Grille
Why we love it: The coastal town's richest appetizer–the cheesy, garlic-laced Shrimp Kargot–keeps diners coming back to this bright and airy restaurant that boasts a covered porch cooled by Gulf breezes.
Order this: Shrimp Kargot, Gulf Shrimp Sliders, or Soft Shell Crab Sliders
Wash it down with: A glass of Foxhorn Merlot
1154 West Beach Blvd.; 251/948-5300
Why we love it: It's great for a fast seafood fix. The breading is perfectly seasoned and crisp, and the shrimp are tender and moist.
Order this: Fried Shrimp Basket with a side of potato salad
Wash it down with: A Frozen Melon Daiquiri
301 Gulf Shores Parkway; shrimpbasket.com or 251/948-7687