Fairhope Restaurants-World’s Shortest Review

I was going to tell you about a few instances of frustratingly poor service at a few of our local restaurants, but have instead, decided to use my powers for good, not evil.  The only thing I’ll say about the topic is, restaurant owners, please don’t bring half the table their food while making others wait another 20 minutes.  And don’t put Jambalaya in my Gumbo and act like it’s a good thing.

(Phew . . .  I feel better now).

Windmill Market entrance, home to both Sweet Olive Bakery and Mary Ann’s Deli.

With restaurants on my mind, I thought it would be a good time to present the world’s shortest restaurant review. We have winter Snowbird visitors flying in, and they often want to know where to eat. Here is a list of downtown Fairhope restaurants who get it right all the time, and will cheerfully and quickly correct any oversight.

If you have dined at any of these establishments, feel free to chime in with your opinion in the “comments” section.
You can’t go wrong with these very good restaurants – all within walking distance of each other –  in no particular order:
Panini Pete’s lunches are fabulous, and his morning Beignet’s rival those in New Orleans.

Panini Pete’s – Fresh and delicious! Guy Fieri’s favorite. Homemade mozzarella.

Tamara’s Downtown – Very good, great atmosphere. Casual lunch, upscale dinner.
Papa’s Pizza - My favorite Sicilian pizza. Individual slices available.
Ravenite Pizza –  NY style pizza, and other pasta, sandwich items. Pool table for the kids.
Excellent Seafood Salad from Pinzone’s Italian Downtown

Pinzone’s – The most authentic Italian food in Alabama. Fabulous atmosphere, good service too.

Mary Ann’s Deli – The best chicken salad and sweet tea around.

Camellia Cafe- Contemporary menu. Delicious – mouth watering good food. Upscale.
Sandra’s Place - Nice people and nice sandwiches. Homemade sweets.
The Gumbo Shack – Awesome seafood, spartan atmosphere, but great service.
Honey Baked Ham – It’s ham, people. What’s not to like? The only downtown chain.
Julwin’s  – Southern food at the oldest restaurant in Baldwin County.
McSharry’s Irish Pub – Authentic Shepherd’s Pie and all the Irish trimmings. TVs for sports.
Buck’s Diner- Just like Grandmother’s house.  Except they make you pay. Daily specials are good.

Just a little something sweet from the Fairhope Inn.

The Fairhope Inn – Excellent, beautiful food and great service. Always a favorite. Upscale.

Bay BreezeTasty spot for a quick, casual lunch. Nice people work there.
Dragonfly Foodbar – Unique menu items. Very good.Master Joe’s Sushi - Authentic, fresh and always a line to get in.

R Bistro – Small space, big taste. Friendly atmosphere. Awesome desserts.
Sweet Olive Bakery -  Much more than just a bakery – wonderful, fresh – fresh  food.
Andree’s – Sandwiches and gourmet gift items.
I haven’t made it to Pelican’s Patio yet, but if it’s owned by Tamara, it will be good. Local’s is also a new place I haven’t been to, but my husband won’t stop talking about the great burger he had there.
Just a short drive from downtown, I also like;  Gambino’s Italian Grill, The Wash House, Sunflower Cafeand Old 27 Grill – all great service and great food.
And as always, please click on the “Eat Beat” button on the right sidebar for updates on local dining information.What’s your favorite Fairhope restaurant?

Leave a comment 16 Comments


  1. Anonymous says

    I have tried Panini Pete’s beignets several times. They do not come close to Cafe du Monde. They were consistent every time, consistently doughy in the center.

  2. says

    That’s too bad you had that experience, because my beignets at Panini Pete’s are always very light and fluffy. I love how they give you a lemon wedge with them. I thought tat was strange at first, but it’s wonderful!

    Thanks for the comment, though!

  3. Anonymous says

    Panini Pete’s not only does beignets like no other but you’ve gotta try the rest of the menu items. Housemade soups, panini, burgers, hot dogs & fresh sweets! It’s a mustt for anybody in Fairhope!

  4. says

    I’ll have to try some of these next time I’m down that way. We are in Mobile ALOT and then right on over to Pensacola but rarely get down to Fairhope. It’s a beautiful, tucked away place.

  5. says

    One year on our way home from Gulf Shores, we went to Fairhope just to try out Panini Petes and it did not disappoint. Looks like I need to visit again soon and try some other places, they all sound good!

  6. says

    This is a really good list. I’m partial to Ben’s Bar-be-que (or Ben Jr’s to be exact) and I may have missed it on your list.

    Great review.

    Oh. . .and where’s this new place of Tamara’s of which you speak? I haven’t heard of it.

  7. Martha Whitten says

    My husband is in charge of planning a cousin reunion in Fairhope in June. He has contacted Wintzell’s in Fairhope to cater this event. I noticed it was not on your list. Would you mind giving it a review from a local?

    • Leslie Anne says

      Thanks for writing. This is a funny question, because just this past week, I told someone I needed to refresh my restaurant reviews. I try very hard to only say positive things on my blog, therefore when I omitted a few restaurants like Wintzell’s is was because it’s better to say nothing at all than to be negative. At the time I wrote this review, Wintzell’s service was terrible. We had one bad experience after the other to the point I couldn’t recommend it to anyone.

      But that was then. I don’t know what kind of staff changes they’ve made, but it is wonderful now. The food has always been great, and as a matter of fact I’ve just eaten there this past Monday. We had seven people in our party and we all loved our food. For the past six months or so, their service has been excellent. Wintzell’s is actually now one of my favorite places to eat. I try to get a different dish every time I’m there, and I’ve yet to have anything I don’t like.

      I’ve never worked with their catering team, but from what I’ve seen lately, I’ think you’ll have a great experience. Good luck, and have fun at the reunion!

      Leslie Anne

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