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Hungry for lunch? No worries – we've got you covered. Check out these local gems we adore for a tasty meal in the Shoals.

The Shoals Shack

The Shoals Shack stands as a local treasure, its diverse menu featuring burgers, sandwiches, tacos, poboys, salads, and desserts. You can't go wrong with their classic Shoals cheeseburger, but the adventurous palate might be drawn to the Sugar & Spice burger, a specialty burger topped with ghost pepper cheese, grilled jalapeno, sweet and spicy bacon, Nashville hot mayo, cayenne onion strings, lettuce, tomato, and pickles, all between a brioche bun. Beyond burgers, their menu features other classics such as spaghetti and meatballs, a fried chicken sandwich, and shrimp tacos. The ever-changing specials, like the recent Flamin Hot Catfish Tacos, keep the experience at The Shoals Shack exciting and fun.

Esther’s Eatery

Esther’s Eatery presents a unique blend of Mediterranean and Southern cuisine, earning its place as a go-to lunch spot. Known for their commitment to clean, delicious, and vibrant eats, this healthy fast-casual restaurant serves both signature and customizable bowls, customizable plates, sandwiches, smoothies, and various baked goods. Esther’s Eatery is the perfect destination for those seeking a lunch that's not only flavorful but also includes lean protein and fresh veggies.


Step back in time at Trowbridge's, an iconic ice cream bar and sandwich shop that has been a downtown Florence staple since 1918. Family-owned and operated, Trowbridge's exudes old-fashioned charm, offering classic sandwiches like the famed chicken salad and pimento cheese. Did you know that the orange-pineapple ice cream was first invented and created right here? Trowbridge's is not just a lunch spot; it's an iconic piece of the Shoals culinary history!

Garden Gate Cafe

Located in the heart of Muscle Shoals, Garden Gate Cafe stands as a haven for those seeking the comforting embrace of homestyle cooking. Their menu boasts an array of fresh, homemade food, including daily rotations of meats, vegetables, casseroles, and desserts. At the core of their offerings are classic Southern dishes like fried chicken and chicken & dressing, complemented by staple sides such as macaroni & cheese and fried okra.

El Pollito Loco

Locally owned and beloved, El Pollito Loco is a cornerstone of Mexican cuisine in the Shoals. Generously sized dishes with authentic flavors make it a favorite among locals. From their flavorful chorizo cheese dip to their well-known margaritas, El Pollito Loco is a must-visit for those craving a taste of Mexico in the heart of the Shoals.

Claunch Cafe

As a beacon of tradition in Tuscumbia, Claunch Cafe continues its legacy as a third generation family-owned establishment. Specializing in the classic meat & 3 concept, Claunch Cafe carries on a rich family tradition, proudly serving the community of Tuscumbia. If you’re looking for a taste of comfort, Claunch Cafe is an unmistakable choice.

*Photos courtesy of respective businesses.

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Sarah Kerr

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