Six Gulf Seafood Dishes to Look Out For on Alabama’s Coast

Here on the Gulf Coast, we love our fresh Gulf seafood.

No matter what time of year it is or what’s in season, there’s always something on the menu, from shoreside seafood shacks to the swankiest white-tablecloth restaurants. And with some of the finest seafood in the world, Alabama’s right in the thick of it.

But some of the best Gulf seafood you’ll ever taste might not be the first thing you’d think to order.

Sure, there’s nothing wrong with a plate of fried shrimp or a fresh catch of the day. If you really want to taste the Gulf, though, you have to spread your wings a bit.

Need a few suggestions? Here are six Alabama Gulf Seafood dishes you need to try (or revisit).

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Soft Shell Crab Sandwich

Photo by Alabama Gulf Seafood

Yes, this one looks a little alarming if you’ve never had soft shell crab before. They do, in fact, fry the whole thing (save for some minor cleaning).

Some lovingly call it a “spider sandwich” since you can still see the shape of the crab, legs and all. And while the whole thing may not fit neatly onto a bun, it sure is tasty.

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Photo by Chandra C. Wright

You won’t find this on many menus quite yet, but folks like the NUISANCE Group are trying to change that, seeing as Lionfish is an invasive species that’s harmful to the Gulf.

Thankfully, they’re also quite tasty. So whenever you get an opportunity to try this delectable fish, we suggest you take it.

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Royal Red Shrimp

Photo by AL.com

If you think you love Gulf shrimp, but you’ve never tried a Royal Red, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

These shrimp are royal for a reason. In fact, you’ll almost think you’re eating lobster, based on the tremendous flavor and succulent consistency. Order up a pound and peel your own.

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Grilled Oysters

Photo by Visit Mobile Alabama

“As I ate the oysters,” Hemingway once wrote, “I began to be happy and make plans.” And if your seafood plans don’t involve fresh oysters, you need to change ‘em.

You’ve probably tried ‘em fried or raw, but grilled is a delightful option if it’s on the menu. And it’s a great way to introduce ‘em to an oyster rookie.

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West Indies Salad

Photo by Alabama Gulf Seafood

This one right here’s an Alabama original, invented at Bayley’s Restaurant in Mobile.

Made with fresh lump Blue Crab, this dish is an excellent appetizer for any meal—but we wouldn’t blame you if you made a whole meal out of it.

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Smoked Mullet

Photo by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Many folks associate mullet with the Mullet Toss down at the Flora-Bama. And while we certainly don’t mind a different spin on sportfishing, there’s plenty of good eatin’ that y’all might be missing out on.

If you see smoked mullet on a menu near you, give it a try. There’s a lot of flavor in that small fish.