From the Coast to the State Line: Gulf Seafood in North Alabama

Here in Alabama, we pride ourselves on harvesting an incredible bounty of Gulf seafood from just over 50 miles of coastline.

You might’ve noticed, though, that our state’s longitude is much more substantial. Which means you might not think about cities like Huntsville, Decatur, Florence, or Guntersville when you think of Alabama Gulf Seafood. But you’d be wrong.

Alabama product is shipped all across the Southeast (and beyond), which means our neighbors in Northern Alabama are just as privy to genuine goodness as anyone. Here’s a sampling of a few of our friends in North Alabama that cook and serve fresh Alabama Gulf Seafood regularly—and proudly.

The Cajun Steamer (Huntsville)

Since New Orleans is a coastal neighbor of ours, we love Cajun cuisine here in Alabama. And Huntsville has a real gem in their city.

The Cajun Steamer, also found in Hoover and Trussville, makes their dishes from scratch and uses authentic ingredients. And since they tout the spirit of Louisiana, they boast a lively atmosphere for a celebratory dining experience, no matter the occasion. We’d recommend the Blue Crab Claws, Flounder Roulade, and those amazing Royal Red Shrimp.

Commerce Kitchen (Huntsville)

With three restaurants in the area and regular appearances on “The Today Show” and Martha Stewart’s programs, Chef James Boyce might be the biggest culinary icon in Huntsville.

Commerce Kitchen has been serving up classic cuisine and turn-of-the-century style for almost a decade now, and it remains one of the more popular eateries in the area—and also a great choice for hosting your next big event. (They’ve got a killer brunch, too.) We’d recommend the Gulf Shrimp & Falls Mill Grits, Cornmeal Crusted Gulf Oysters, or the Wednesday night special: Low Country Boil.

Cotton Row (Huntsville)

Chef Boyce’s flagship restaurant is another must-try for locals and tourists alike, named after the cotton traders who once worked throughout downtown Huntsville.

Cotton Row features what Chef Boyce calls “fine American cuisine with strong Southern influences,” and we can confirm that it’s absolutely delectable—and there’s Alabama Gulf Seafood on the menu, of course. They even offer catering and consulting services if you’re looking for more than just a meal. We’d recommend the Fish of the Moment, and of course the Southern Seafood Chowder.

Odette (Florence)

Do y’all know how many other restaurants can boast not one but two Alabama Seafood Cook-Off winners in their kitchen? Zero, that’s how many.

Chef Josh Quick has a real seafood-lover’s dream in this Downtown Florence eatery where Gulf product is far from the only locally sourced items on the menu. It’s no wonder the Director of the James Beard House called Chef Quick’s cuisine “modern and elegant.” We’d recommend the Gulf Shrimp Sausage, Fried Gulf Oysters, and Chef Ramon Jacobsen’s Gulf Snapper Escabeche, which was the ASCO-winning dish back in May.

Simp McGhee’s (Decatur)

Just a stone’s throw from the Tennessee River is where you’ll find one of the best-kept secrets when it comes to Alabama fine dining.

Simp McGhee’s in Decatur, named after the infamous river boat captain, serves up delightful Cajun fare in a unique atmosphere—including a sidewalk café area that welcomes four-legged friends—and naturally, there’s Alabama Gulf Seafood in the kitchen. We’d recommend the Spit Fire Shrimp, Cajun Seafood Gumbo, and their excellent Seafood Pontchartrain.

Smith’s Seafood Co. (Athens)

One of the newest seafood spots in North Alabama isn’t exactly new to the game—they’ve got more than 20 experiences in some of the finest kitchens.

Smith’s Seafood Co. is committed to sourcing fresh ingredients from local farmer’s markets, which means they also buy their Alabama Gulf Seafood product right off the boat from coastal fishermen. No wonder they’ve already become a local favorite in Athens. We’d recommend the Loaded Shrimp Fries, Shrimp Ceviche, or our favorite, a dozen Blue Crabs any way you like.

Wintzell’s Oyster House (Guntersville)

One of the most tried and true oyster joints in the nation was started 80 years ago down in Mobile, and thankfully, they’ve expanded northward in recent years.

Wintzell’s Oyster House is truly an oyster-lover’s dream, whether you like ‘em “fried, stewed, or nude,” as their slogan proclaims. Of course, with South Alabama roots, they’ve got all kinds of Alabama Gulf Seafood on the menu, not just oysters. We’d recommend the Fried Crab Claws, Redfish Bienville, and that outstanding Oyster Sampler.

If your North Alabama restaurant serves Alabama Gulf Seafood and you don’t see your name on this list, please let us know and we’ll add you to the lineup!

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