Living on Galveston Island for a year definitely had its perks. Sunshine, beaches, and tasty seafood. Most of the time I was asked where to eat instead of what to do. Makes sense with the Gulf of Mexico on your doorstep to spend the day as a beach bum, right?!
So I thought I would share my foodie wisdom with locals and tourists alike. The possibilities can seem endless with so many unique restaurants.
Below is a list of my favorite eateries and hangouts. Whether you are visiting Galveston for a day or vacation, I've got you covered!
Home Cut Donuts
Who doesn't want to start the day with a fluffy donut delicately fried to perfection with heaps of custard inside? Obviously the Bavarian cream is my favorite kind at this no-fuss donut shop, but the options are abundant with cake and jelly donuts too. If you are feeling something savory, grab a hearty breakfast sandwich or kolache.
Fish Company Taco
Flavor seekers will find a home at this Asian-inspired spot with creative tacos bursting with local ingredients. Pick your seafood (shrimp or the catch of the day) or vegan vegetable before choosing a type of taco. I recommend the Asian flight which includes the Empire, Korean, and Vietnamese tacos. The kimchi is also delicious if you need a snack while you wait.
Behold the crowning glory of BBQ. Texas is known for its brisket and this place does it oh so well. The menu changes daily, but my go-to was the brisket grilled cheese. Crafted with chopped brisket, tangy pickles, and crunchy onions in between two slices of thick buttery toast with cheese oozing at the seams. Time stops once this sandwich enters your belly.
Old Moon Deli & Pies
Chances are you will make your way to The Strand, or downtown area, during your visit. Take a break from window shopping and grab a handcrafted sandwich inside this historic building. My favorite was the Rueben piled high with corned beef and a side of potato salad. Take a seat upstairs and poke fun at the cat decor while you debate if you have room for dessert.
Happy Hour & Drinks
Jimmy's on the Pier
A trip to Galveston isn't complete without drinking an ice-cold beverage on a pier while gazing at the sunset. Make your way over to The Seawall for a gorgeous view of the beach and watch fishermen try their luck. The happy hour here is hard to beat with crab cakes, spicy crab balls, bacon wrapped shrimp, and tuna tartar tostadas for only $8 each!
Daiquiri Time Out
If the night is taking you downtown, be sure to hit up the best crafted cocktail bar in Galveston. With both indoor and outdoor seating areas, DTO has plenty of space to mingle. Get your island on with drinks such as the Singapore Sling, Hanky Panky, and Zombie. These bartenders know their liquor and will keep your glass full all night long.
For a casual meal that won’t break the bank or compromise on taste, choose BLVD. Start off with an order of smoked salmon crostini with chipotle crème fraîche and cilantro oil. Follow it up with a bowl of their decadent seafood chowder with coconut milk and bacon. Oysters are available in season along with steaks, salads, and traditional bread pudding.
First opening in 1911, this restaurant knows how to deliver a savory meal with a touch of classy ambience. I had my favorite seafood dinner on the island here starting with the spinach crab dip appetizer and a crisp glass of Sauvignon blanc. You can't go wrong with the signature crab cake stuffed shrimp entrée which comes baked with five jumbo gulf shrimp and a lemon butter sauce.
Katie's Seafood House
Come to Katie's for a romantic date night sure to please. Not only will you eat the freshest seafood, but also see the fleet responsible for the catch of the day behind the restaurant on the dock! The portions are generous and the rich flavors will make your tastebuds zing with approval. I recommend the stuffed American red snapper topped with lump crab and sautéed jumbo shrimp.
Rita's Italian Ice & Frozen Custard
Craving something sweet and refreshing? For a creamy and fruity treat, stop in for a gelati (frozen vanilla custard with choice of Italian ice) or blendini (mixed custard and Italian ice with toppings). Rita's became a treasured ritual for my husband and me. Nothing is better after a long day at the beach!
I hope this list of my 10 favorite Galveston restaurants helps you decide where to eat. I highly recommend you make dinner reservations during the busy summer season. Enjoy the surf, sand, and remember, seagulls like food too!