Alabama is filled with several types of restaurants, many of which offer outdoor dining. One of the best times to eat outdoors is of course during the summer months. Listed below are seven restaurants that everyone should visit before summer ends. From their waterfront views to their unique surroundings, these restaurants prove that nothing beats outdoor dining, especially during the summer.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. The Gulf — Orange Beach
The Gulf is constructed from old shipping containers, which makes it one of Alabama's most unique restaurants. This beachfront restaurant offers everything from seafood to burgers, and it's the perfect place to grab a bite to eat with family and/or friends. You can visit The Gulf at 27500 Perdido Beach Blvd., Orange Beach, AL 36561. Its hours are as follows: Every day, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
2. Rattlesnake Saloon — Tuscumbia
The Rattlesnake Saloon is located off the beaten path and is situated inside a cave. Since opening in 2009, this unique restaurant has attracted visitors from all over the world. It's the perfect dining destination for the entire family. You can visit the Rattlesnake Saloon at 1292 Mt. Mills Rd., Tuscumbia, AL 35674. Its hours are as follows: Thursday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (February-November) / Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (April-September)
3. Tip Top Grill — Birmingham
Tip Top Grill, which was once a gas station, is a true hidden gem. While dining at this outdoor restaurant, customers will get to experience a breathtaking view of Shades Valley. When it comes to food, this popular restaurant is well known for its burgers and hot dogs. You can visit Tip Top Grill at 588 Shades Crest Rd., Birmingham, AL 35226. Its hours are as follows: Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
4. Hard Dock — Decatur
Hard Dock is situated on the banks of the Tennessee River at Riverwalk Marina. There's something on the menu for everyone, including burgers, sandwiches, seafood, salads, etc. If you plan to visit this waterfront restaurant, consider doing so in the early evening to experience a stunning sunset view. You can visit Hard Dock at 3755 US-31 N, Decatur, AL 35601. Its hours are as follows:
Tuesday-Thursday, 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 3 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Monday, closed.
5. Big Daddy's Grill — Fairhope
Big Daddy's Grill offers a wonderful view of Fish River and serves a variety of delicious seafood. If you're not a fan of seafood, no worries! Burgers, chicken tenders, quesadillas, etc. are also included on the menu. Guests have the option of arriving by car or boat. You can visit Big Daddy's Grill at 16542 Ferry Rd., Fairhope, AL 36532. Its hours are as follows: (February-October) Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. / (November-January) Thursday-Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Wednesday, closed.
6. Cobalt, The Restaurant — Orange Beach
Cobalt, The Restaurant is located under the Perdido Bay Bridge and offers one of the best waterfront views in Orange Beach. It's the perfect dining destination for large groups, and it offers a great selection of seafood favorites. You can visit Cobalt, The Restaurant at 28099 Perdido Beach Blvd., Orange Beach, AL 36561. Its hours are as follows: Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday Brunch, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
7. The Garage — Birmingham
The Garage is a quirky restaurant that's best known for its eclectic courtyard area, which consists of concrete patio furniture, a collection of antiques, and metal decor. This unique restaurant is the perfect spot to grab lunch, and its delicious sandwiches can't be beat. You can visit The Garage at 2304 10th Terrace S., Birmingham, AL 35205. Its hours are as follows: Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday-Monday, 3 p.m. to 12 a.m.; Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.
If you’ve eaten at any of these restaurants, please share your thoughts with us in the comments.