There is no shortage of exceptional and creative dining options at Lake Martin, Alabama! Whether you are looking to hit the water or pull up a chair to endless waterfront views, we’ve got you covered with our guide to lakefront dining options.
Located in the Kowaliga Bay near the Highway 63 Bridge, Kowaliga Restaurant is an iconic staple to Lake Martin. Known for their delicious food and sweeping waterfront views, the restaurant also pays homage to the great Country music legend, Hank Williams. Legend has it that Hank Williams wrote his famous song about the heartbroken Indian, Kaw-liga, while staying at a cabin on Lake Martin. At the same time a new restaurant was breaking ground nearby … and the rest is history.
Upon entering the restaurant, guests are greeted by a massive wooden Indian as they make their way through the rooms of Lake Martin décor and Hank Williams memorabilia. But Kowaliga’s real claim to fame is their menu items, such as the catfish tacos and onion rings. They also offer seafood, salads, and “THE Cheeseburger.” From personal experience, I recommend trying out their appetizer of local Alabama favorites: Conecuh sausage, Wickles Pickles, and pimento cheese.
Kowaliga Restaurant is also known for its sandy white beach on the shoreline as well as its massive wrap-around porch, offering the perfect place for you to feed the fish and turtles or catch a stunning Lake Martin sunset.
Kowaliga is a year-round destination on Lake Martin. Read more about their story, menu, and hours here.
The Landing at Parker Creek is one of Lake Martin’s hottest waterfront hangouts! Owned by Alabama renowned sportscaster and his wife, Herb and Betty Winches, this unique destination is built entirely from shipping containers. Complete with a full kitchen and bar, The Landing offers you plenty of seating options with covered tables throughout their lawn and shaded dock canopy. No matter where you choose, every table has a waterfront view! It also offers a white sandy beach area for swimming and cooling off from the hot summer sun.
Feeling hungry? Along with sweeping waterfront views and a lively atmosphere, The Landing offers up a one-of-a-kind menu designed by Hawaiian Chef, Torrey Hall. From seafood to steak and everything in between, The Landing prides itself on a casual, yet unforgettable, open-air dining experience.
For guests who are 21 and up, there are several specialty drink items on their menu such as “Lake Martin Lemonades”. However, The Landing is locally famous for their classic Bushwhacker in a souvenir cup.
The Landing is a seasonal destination on Lake Martin and open Thursday through Sunday. Get information on menu options, hours, and entertainment here.
Chuck’s is your go-to spot for gourmet pizza on Lake Martin! Their creative menu options and vibrant atmosphere makes this a top dining destination on the water.
With locally inspired pizzas such as the pepperoni and triple cheese “Goat Island” and “Chimney Rock” supreme, Chuck’s has a pizza flavor for everyone in your crew! Their menu also serves up delicious salads, sandwiches, and even rounds of chicken wings. Our recommendation is to take a walk on the wild side and order up a serving of the “Raspberry Chipotle Wings”. You’re welcome.
You can also catch special guests for live music entertainment. This local hot spot is open seasonally. For full menu descriptions and weekly updates visit the Chuck’s Marina Facebook Page.
Feeling a little nutty? This calls for a trip to Peanut Point – home of the best boiled peanuts on Lake Martin! Since 1988, Peanut Point has been serving up bags of classic boiled peanuts as well as spicing things up with a Cajun-style version of this snack. And of course, no trip to Peanut Point is complete without sporting one of their souvenir hats, T-shirts, or koozies. By boat you can find this local favorite right around the corner from Wind Creek State Park and it can easily be spotted by the pop-up tents on the shoreline. They are open seasonally, and you can stay up to date on the Peanut Point Facebook Page
Known as the “brunch spot with a view”, The Social is quickly becoming one of Lake Martin’s hottest new restaurant additions with waterfront views.
Located at the Anchor Bay Marina, The Social is an indoor and outdoor dining experience, with plenty of seating on their spacious front deck overlooking Anchor Bay. Their extensive menu covers everything from chicken and waffles to cheeseburgers and oysters – making it a great option to please everyone in your party. Our recommendation is to try out the spicy crawfish platter – available on Saturdays only. This is one of the only places on Lake Martin that serves up these Southern style mudbugs, automatically making it a must-stop destination.
Live music gears up on the deck every evening as well as during Sunday brunch hours, featuring local artists from around the area. And while you are there, don’t forget to top off your visit by snapping a picture on their iconic oversized Adirondack chair!
Whether you are coming by car or from a day on the water, The Social has plenty of parking spaces and boat slips for easy access to dine in.
For menu options, hours, daily specials, and weekly musical guests visit website here.
Nibblers is Lake Martin’s very own floating food truck! Located near the Ridge Marina, “Nibblers” is a pontoon boat that travels around the lake offering on-the-water food service… literally! Hungry guests can either swim up or pull up in their watercrafts to order meals via the Nibblers “Float-thru” window.
The Nibblers menu has all your favorite items such as hand-made burgers, wraps, hot dogs and even chicken tacos. If you’re feeling adventurous, we suggest trying menu items that include their signature Cajun Boom-Boom sauce, such as the “Boom! Boom! Burger” or the “Harpoon Quesadilla”, complete with hickory smoked chicken, grilled onions, and jalapenos.
And for those hot summer days, lake goers can cool off with one of their delicious milkshakes or famous shaved ice treats. With 13 different flavors and endless combinations, Nibblers is sure to hit the spot!
As their famous saying goes… “just one bite and you’re hooked”!
You can catch Nibblers floating the waters on most weekends during the Summer near the Ridge Marina, Chimney Rock, and the StillWaters area. Check their schedule and daily location on the Nibblers Facebook page.
If you’re searching for the perfect burger, look no further than Niffer’s Place on Lake Martin! Located between the Blue Creek Marina and Lakeside Marina, Niffer’s Place has one of the most extensive burger menus on the lake. Serving up over 20 different options and a plethora of unique toppings such as pimento cheese, fried eggs, and white cheese dip, guests can get as creative as they’d like with their burgers!
However, can we even call this the burger destination on the lake if they didn’t have a cocktail to live up to the hype? Let me introduce you to “The Kitchen Sink” – a Bloody Mary that is advertised to be garnished with a meal. Mixed with high end vodka, this drink includes fried okra, Wickles Pickles, olives, thick cut bacon, a fried chicken tender, a 4oz cheeseburger slider, fried pickles, mini corndogs, and to top it all off… flaming nuggets. WOW!
On top of great food and surrounding waterfront views, Niffer’s Place also offers up a great atmosphere with endless outdoor games, making it a perfect place to bring family and meet up with friends!
Niffer’s is open daily throughout the year. Check out their full burger menu and hours here.
No matter where you are on Lake Martin, there is no mistaking that cheerful music piping through the air when the Yellow Top Ice Cream Shop is close by! This floating dessert shop is actually a pontoon boat that can be easily spotted by its bright yellow roof and the smiling faces of owners Richard “GrandPop” Owens and his wife, “Grandma” Julie.
The Yellow Top Ice Cream Shop was dreamt up by the Owens’ grandson, who not only inspired the idea of selling ice cream from their family boat but also coined to phrase “yellow top ice cream shop” during the remodel of the pontoon to get it ice cream ready.
The Yellow Top Ice Cream Shop can usually be spotted serving up frozen treats near popular Lake Martin hangouts such as Wind Creek State Park, Pineywoods Island, Peanut Point, and Woods Island. It also makes frequent stops at Children’s Harbor, donating ice cream to various summer camps for children.
From chocolate Drumsticks to Bomb Pops, and everything in between, the Yellow Top Ice Cream Shop is serving up endless smiles – one ice cream and popsicle at a time.
To find daily updates of their stops, check out the Yellow Top Ice Cream Shop Facebook Page.
This is not just any frozen drink destination! Named “Bluffs” to honor early Lake Martin history, this unique stop is actually a floating daiquiri bar located out on the pier at Harbor Point Marina. Offering indoor and outdoor patio seating options, guests can sip on their favorite daiquiri flavor while enjoying live music and surrounding waterfront views.
Guests can arrive by car, golf cart, or dock their boat at any one of the 10 nearby boat slips. The Bluffs is known to serve up a variety of cocktails while hosting live music and good times!
Daily food options can include nachos, tacos, or slaw dogs. Check out their hours and daily food options and frozen drink flavors on the Bluffs at Lake Martin Facebook Page.
While boating in the Bay Pines area, be sure to swing by the Lakeside Marina to fuel up on gas and food! Along with boat rentals and a convenience store, Lakeside Marina at Bay Pines has also serves up a variety of food options with their recently expanded kitchen. Visitors can enjoy all the classic favorites, such as hot dogs and hamburgers, while kicking back and relaxing on the water at an outdoor patio table.
Perhaps what Lakeside Marina is most known for however is their “Loaded Pizza”. Guests can not only choose from every pizza topping imaginable, but they are unlimited too. That’s right! You can load as many flavors onto your pizza as you can fit … at no extra cost.
To add to your dining experience, Lakeside Marina also has a brand-new tiki-themed Daiquiri Bar. Located outside, guests can take in the waterfront views while enjoying all the classic frozen drink options, including everyone’s favorite-Bushwackers. Locals suggest ordering a “topper” of peanut butter whiskey for your Bushwacker for a little extra umph. To add to the good times, guests can also catch live music at Lakeside Marina, featuring local artists from around the state.
Lakeside Marina is a year-round destination, with the Daiquiri Bar open Thursday through Sunday and the marina open daily. Guests can arrive by car or boat. For directions and a calendar of events, check out their website here.
Craving Froyo? Smith Marina has you covered! Located not far from the Willow Point Golf & Country Club, Smith Marina is known for their frozen yogurt shop, “Shipwreck Sams”. Here guests can dream up their perfect summer treat, with toppings ranging from sprinkles and chocolate syrup to gummy worms, marshmallows, and event bites of cookie dough. With indoor and outdoor patio seating options, it’s the perfect place to sit along the Lake Martin waters to kick back and unwind!
Shipwreck Sams is a seasonal destination and open on Friday, Saturdays, and Sundays. Check out their website here.
It’s easy to work up an appetite while enjoying the great outdoors at Wind Creek State Park. Luckily, Creem at the Creek has just the fuel you need to keep you going! Located at the state park itself, this outdoor restaurant is serving up all your favorites such as hamburgers, sandwiches, fried pickles, pizza, and much more. Guests also have the option to dine on the boardwalk at one of their brightly colored picnic tables, overlooking the beautiful shores of Lake Martin.
If you’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth, our suggestion is to top off your visit with one of their irresistible desserts. Whether you are looking for a banana split, root beer float, or classic milkshake to dip your fries in – Creem at the Creek will not disappoint!
Located at Wind Creek State Park, guests can catch this Lake Martin favorite during the summer months and can access Creem at the Creek by car or boat. State Park day-use entry fees may apply. Read more about them on the Creem at the Creek Facebook Page
If you are out on the water, there are two more special places you can visit. Although the restaurants themselves are not located lakeside, they are so great we couldn’t leave them off of this list. Technically, you can reach both of these great places by boat. Just arrive at Russell Crossroads landing, and you can catch a shuttle to Russell Crossroads. From Sand Island head east towards the Windermere Water Tower (tower is Sky blue) on the horizon. Bear to the left and at the very back of the cove, you will see new boat slips. Call the Adventure Center at 256-496-3677 for shuttle service. Here’s a little about these two great restaurants.
Catherine’s Café is located within Catherine’s Market, serving up a one-of-a-kind lunch menu in addition to fresh salads and baked goods. Catherine’s specializes in fresh, locally sourced products and prides themselves on their service. From sandwiches, salads, and hot-pressed paninis, Catherine’s is the perfect lunch spot to dine and unwind. Be sure to stroll through the market while you’re there—you won’t want to miss it!
Situated along a hilltop at Russell Crossroads, SpringHouse is an elegant and rustic dining experience, offering guests scenic views of The Stables, pastures, wooded forest, and Lake Martin waters in the distance. Their highly talked about menu is inspired by locally and regionally sourced flavors to create a modern version of southern classic cuisine, with options that change daily.
However, my personal recommendation is to check out the WellHouse. This rounded stone extension of SpringHouse is a more exclusive seating option, where guests enter through the underground wine cellar and gather around a large, farmhouse-style table. The rough-hewn doors of the WellHouse open up to a vibrant garden, complete with handmade rock bridges and views of rolling hills.
Like Catherine’s, SpringHouse also is located in Russell Crossroads and can be accessed by car or boat, with a short golf cart ride up to the actual location. SpringHouse is open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday, and Sunday for Brunch. Reservations are highly recommended and are suggested to be placed two weeks in advance. Read more about SpringHouse dining options, reservations, private events, and more here.
Please note that some lakeside dining options operate seasonally, or have different hours at different times of the year. We recommend that you check the restaurant’s current operating hours before making plans to visit.