"The best fried shrimp in the entire civilized world!"

Doc’s Seafood Shack
Credit: Courtesy Doc's Seafood Shack

When a seafood joint is confident enough to say it serves, "the best fried shrimp in the entire civilized world," and after 35 years no one has called balooey, we're inclined to take their word for it.

That's the calling card of Doc's Seafood Shack in Orange Beach, Alabama—and a loud one at that. You'll see it stamped on the to-go cups, the menu, and the souvenir t-shirts. Since 1984, Doc's has been serving up its "world famous" fried shrimp (plump, fresh from the Alabama coast, and fried until crisp and crunchy), gumbo, and build-your-own seafood platter that lets you try a little of everything, from fried clam strips to stuffed crab to oysters.

Doc's Seafood Shack Shrimp
Credit: Courtesy Doc's Seafood Shack

It's the kind of place where even locals like to go, despite the crowds and wait time that comes along with high season down on Alabama's Gulf Coast, but it also draws an elusive group of customers that all restaurants strive to capture: the repeat out-of-towner.

It's the people that only visit Orange Beach once or twice a year, usually with their families in tow, that love Doc's the most. Everything from the casual, flip-flop-friendly atmosphere to the never-changing menu and staff brings these sundry beachgoers back again and again—well, and the promise of Doc's Famous Fried Shrimp.

The old-fashioned charm of the place feels genuine, and you'll even see the owner, David Schwartz, commenting back on many of the restaurant's Yelp comments, both nice and poor. Now that's just good Southern etiquette.

Add a cup of gumbo and an order of crispy onion rings to your seafood platter, and you're set with a Southern-style beach feast. Throw in a Bushwacker, too. Why not?

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It's not a family beach trip in the South without a basket or two of fried shrimp. Time to update your travel itinerary.