Known for its incredible historical architecture and beautiful beaches, Galveston is a city in Texas that is a highly attractive and popular destination, and it is easy to see why!
As well as the architecture and the scenery, Galveston is also well known for its excellent eateries, with a huge range of different restaurants to take your pick from.
With this in mind, we are going to be looking at fifteen particularly impressive restaurants to be found in Galveston that you will definitely want to check out if you find yourself visiting the city. Let’s get started.
1. Waterman’s Restaurant
Waterman’s Restaurant is located on Seawall Boulevard, and it is a local favorite known for its fresh seafood and waterfront dining experience.
They serve a variety of seafood dishes such as grilled or fried fish, seafood gumbo, oysters on the half shell, and more. They also offer live music and a full bar. Some reviewers have noted that it’s a bit pricey, but it’s worth it for the view and atmosphere.
The current menu at Waterman’s includes dishes such as shrimp and grits- pan-seared shrimp that is served on cheesy grits before being topped with crawfish cream sauce-, tenderloin beef tips- an eight-ounce serving of beef tenderloin on a bed of cilantro rice and served with microgreens and demi gravy-, a seafood platter made up of lightly friend scallops, shrimp, crab balls, and fish filet, coconut battered gulf shrimp and classic cheeseburgers that are served with cheddar cheese, pickles, onion, tomato, and lettuce on a sweet bun.
Want something sweet for afters? Waterman’s offers plenty of flavorsome desserts too, including homemade carrot cake with cream cheese icing, brown butter crème brûlée, and key lime pie to name a few.
Gaido’s is a family-owned and operated restaurant that has been serving seafood to customers in Galveston for over a century.
The restaurant was founded by San Giacinto Gaido in 1911 and can be found on Seawall Boulevard, with spectacular beach and sea views.
Gaido’s is known for its traditional Gulf Coast seafood dishes, such as fried shrimp, fried oysters, crab cakes, and gumbo. The restaurant also serves a variety of steaks and other non-seafood dishes such as salads, and soups.
Gaido’s is open for lunch and dinner and also offers desserts, appetizers, a kid’s menu, a family pack menu, and a specific crab menu.
The restaurant has a vintage atmosphere, with an interior that is decorated with nautical themes, making it feel like a seafood restaurant from the past. Gaido’s is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike and is considered a historic landmark in Galveston.
The famous nature of the restaurant in terms of its Gulf-themed seafood and excellent service makes it a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Galveston.
3. Rudy & Paco’s Restaurant
This combination of seafood and Tex Mex restaurant is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike.
Located next to The Grand 1894 Opera House and featuring steak and grilled seafood with Central American and South American fare, Rudy & Paco’s is known for its great food, friendly service, and relaxed atmosphere.
The menu at Rudy & Paco’s features a variety of seafood dishes, including pasta and fish dishes, grilled fish, and seafood combined with Tex-Mex dishes, such as the shrimp empanada.
Their Tex-Mex cuisine includes traditional favorites such as those aforementioned empanadas and tamales. They also have a selection of appetizers and salads. The restaurant also has a variety of margaritas and other cocktails, which can be enjoyed in their outdoor seating area.
The restaurant has a casual atmosphere, with colorful decor and a laid-back vibe, with many diners appreciating the friendly service and the great food that Rudy & Paco’s provides.
Rudy & Paco’s is considered one of the best Tex-Mex seafood restaurants in Galveston, and it’s a great choice for families and groups of friends looking for a casual dining experience.
It is definitely a great spot to stop by and grab a bite to eat after exploring the city.
4. Grotto Ristorante
The Grotto Ristorante is considered one of the most popular Italian restaurants in Galveston, known for its authentic Italian cuisine and elegant atmosphere.
The menu features a variety of traditional Italian dishes, including pasta, pizzas, and various Italian piccoli piatti (otherwise known as side dishes). The restaurant also has a wine list with a variety of Italian and domestic wines.
The restaurant is open for dinner, and it features a sophisticated atmosphere with elegant decor, comfortable seating, and a romantic ambiance, making it a perfect spot for special occasions and date nights.
The service is considered outstanding, with staff that is friendly and attentive.
The design of the Grotto Ristorante is inspired by Old Country trattoria ambiance, which combines with the classic and authentic Italian dishes to create the perfect Italian restaurant experience to enjoy whilst you are in Galveston.
Combining authentic Japanese cuisine with local tastes, Yamato has been servicing up unique and delicious food in Galveston for more than 30 years.
This family-owned and operated establishment focuses on freshness and only the best quality ingredients, with their signature sushi dishes being blended daily with vegetables and fruits that have been hand-picked.
Certain dishes- including the hibachi and the fresh sushi- are prepared directly in front of the guests, so you can be sure that your meal is being prepared with the utmost care!
Whether you are out with friends, family, or on a romantic dinner date, there is so much to love about Yamato.
Yamato serves up dinner daily, as well as appetizers and drinks to enjoy with your food.
Appetizers include soups and salads as well as well-known Japanese dishes such as beef tataki- charbroiled rare beef that is thinly sliced and served chilled with Ponzu sauce-, shrimp spring rolls, soft shell crab, pan-fried pork dumplings, agedashi tofu- fried and lightly breaded tofu that is topped with dried fish flakes and scallions and served with Tempura sauce-, and mini egg rolls to name a few.
Dinner includes plenty of meat and seafood options, as well as a children’s menu and a combination menu if you want to indulge in some surf and turf.
There are some delicious desserts on offer at Yamato too, with some traditional Southern fare included such as fried banana à la mode and Mississippi mud pie.
There are also some Japanese choices for dessert too, such as green tea, mango or red bean mochi ice cream, or fried green tea ice cream.
6. Fisherman’s Wharf
You’ve probably guessed by now that a fair amount of the cuisines to be found throughout Galveston focuses on seafood, thanks to the iconic location on the Texas Gulf Coast.
There is so much to choose from in terms of fantastic seafood restaurants in Galveston, and Fisherman’s Wharf is another excellent choice to get your fill of fish!
Fisherman’s Wharf has been around since 1940 and is best known for its vast selection of seafood dishes that are served alongside an incredible view of the bay.
With both indoor and outdoor eating areas, Fisherman’s Wharf is the perfect place for seafood aficionados come rain or shine.
The idyllic location of Fisherman’s Wharf only emphasizes the beauty of the location, with the restaurant found next to the Galveston Cruise Terminal as well as the Historic Strand District and the Tall Ship Elissa, making for plenty of stunning views as you eat.
Some of the most famous dishes served up at this particular restaurant are their bacon-wrapped shrimp kisses- offering the best of land and sea- as well as the fresh fish, pasta, chicken, Angus beef, and their seafood combination platters.
The restaurant is open every day for dinner as well as lunch, and there is also a bar where you can get some awesome happy hour specials including cocktails, beers, and even some harbor side bites to snack on before your meal.
7. Mosquito Café
Whether you are looking for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or something sweet, you are sure to find what you are looking for at the Mosquito Café.
Opened in 1999, the Mosquito Café is the perfect place to go for all-American food that is both trendy and eclectic whilst still being homemade and fresh.
The location of the café offers a casual and warm environment with a friendly atmosphere that is only emphasized by the kind and attentive nature of the staff.
The sunny patio makes for a fantastic place to chill and eat some delicious food whilst enjoying the general vibe and atmosphere of the place too, particularly when the weather gets warmer.
Some of the local dishes at Mosquito Café include shrimp, grits, and eggs- available as a breakfast meal- shrimp and crab cakes, and shrimp tacos There are plenty of other dishes to choose from too, such as various burgers, salads, sandwiches, and some soups too.
The Zagat Survey- one of America’s most prestigious restaurant guides- named the Mosquito Café as the Top “Eclectic-International” restaurant, as well as One of the Top 15 Restaurants in the Houston Metropolitan Area.
Not only that, but the residents of Galveston County themselves also named it number one when it comes to friendly service as well as the best for breakfast, the best for business lunch, and the Best Overall Restaurant in Galveston County!
There is no doubt that Mosquito is a beloved café for residents and tourists alike, so it is definitely an eatery worth checking out when in Galveston.
8. Little Daddy’s Gumbo Bar
Offering a unique concept when it comes to dining, Little Daddy’s Gumbo bar brings together expertise in specialized steam kettle cooking and uses it to create traditional Creole and Cajun dishes such as gumbo, cioppino, and seafood stews.
Steam kettle cooking refers to the way in which your food is prepared, with your meal made right in front of you via the use of jacketed steam kettles.
The kettles are used to cook food quickly and evenly without running the risk of overcooking thanks to the surface area of each individual kettle as well the temperature of each kettle.
This method is used to prepare the food at Little Daddy’s Gumbo Bar, which makes for an interesting way to watch your meal being made.
Some of the Cajun and Creole dishes that you can find at the restaurant include “Gumbo Bar Garbage”- white rice served with blackened shrimp, sausage, crab meat, and crawfish-, seafood gumbo, prime rib gumbo, mambo gumbo- featuring crab, chicken, shrimp, prime rib, sausage and oyster-, jambalaya, a crawfish platter, grilled smoked boudin, and even swamp fried alligator!
As well as serving up plenty of robust Cajun and Creole dishes, the restaurant also offers catering services for events and parties, making it a particularly popular eatery to be found in Galveston.
9. Shrimp ‘N Stuff
As the name suggests, there is a lot of shrimp to be found at Shrimp ‘N Stuff in Galveston! However, this is far from the only food that the restaurant serves.
Established in 1976, Shrimp’ N Stuff is another classic seafood restaurant to be found in the Galveston area, with various seafood dishes available such as gumbo, po-boys, and more.
This is a restaurant that is all about freshness, with a strong reputation for serving only the freshest and most flavorsome seafood.
Their shrimp are all fully de-veined, peeled, and breaded to perfection (with all the other seafood being breaded in-house too) and the gumbo is all made on-site, as are the various sauces.
The restaurant makes its well-known Shrimp Salad multiple times a day to keep up with the demand for it, so you can rest assured that you are only getting the best and more fresh food possible at Shrimp’N Stuff.
There are both outdoor and indoor seating options at the restaurant too, with the outdoor seating being on a deck surrounded by trees to truly immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area.
The casual atmosphere also makes for a great place to chill out as you eat, whether it is with family, friends, or a partner.
10. Shark Shack Beach Bar & Grill
The Shark Shack Beach Bar and Grill is a casual restaurant that is open for lunch and dinner, and it’s located on the beach of Galveston Island.
The restaurant is known for its laid-back atmosphere and its menu, which includes a wide variety of seafood dishes, as well as burgers, sandwiches, and salads.
They also have a full bar that serves a selection of beers and cocktails. The restaurant has a deck with views of the ocean and patio seating, which is a perfect spot for enjoying a meal or a drink while taking in the beautiful scenery.
They also have live music on weekends, which makes the atmosphere lively, and a dedicated Happy Hour that lasts from 2 pm to 6 pm from Tuesday through to Thursday.
If you find that you just can’t get enough of Shark Shack, then you can even commemorate your visit by buying some caps or a Shark Shack t-shirt as a souvenir or a gift!
Overall, it is a great spot for casual dining, happy hour, and enjoying the beach vibes with friends and family, and most definitely an excellent spot for budding beach bums to grab a bite!
11. Sunflower Bakery & Café
Opening back in 1999, Sunflower Bakery & Café is another eatery that prides itself on serving up the freshest food from scratch with only the best ingredients.
The bakery had a humble start in life, opening as only a small bakery that served up a few items such as tomato basil soup and cold sandwiches.
The establishment built up its reputation and business to become one of the best places to grab baked goods and other foods in Galveston.
There is a range of meals that you can get at Sunflower- with suitable foods for brunch, breakfast, dessert, and lunch- such as homemade sandwiches, an incredible bakery, and plenty of fresh Gulf seafood.
Some of the dishes you can expect include smoked salmon and eggs, oysters Benedict (for breakfast), crawfish grilled cheese sandwiches, chicken and sausage gumbo (for lunch), and of course tons of cakes and baked goodies from the best bakery in town!
If you have a sweet tooth, then the Sunflower Bakery & Café is a must-visit during your trip to Galveston.
12. Fish Tales
Can’t get enough seafood during your trip to Galveston? Then Fish Tales is a great place to visit thanks to the variety of fresh seafood dishes available.
The menu offers a range of meals such as raw and grilled oysters, fish and chips, shrimp po’boys, seafood platters, and more. They also offer a selection of non-seafood items such as chicken, steak, and salads.
They are known for using only the freshest ingredients, and they source their seafood from local fishermen.
Located across the way from the Pleasure Pier, the beautiful beachfront views offer plenty to enjoy when it comes to views whilst you eat, whilst the award-winning Gulf Coast dishes- including the famous Shrimp Kisses- are the perfect accompaniment to the stunning sea and beach views.
Fish Tales have three signature dishes, those being tilapia and crab stuffed poblano- with white rice and black beans-, the broiled trio- made up of crab cake, jumbo shrimp, lump crab, and salmon sautéed in lemon butter and served with sautéed vegetables and rice pilaf- and redfish Veracruz, which features cracked crusted redfish that is topped off with sautéed shrimp in a Veracruz sauce and served alongside rice pilaf, vegetables, peppers, onions, olive oil, olives, herbs, and tomatoes.
13. Miller’s Seawall Grill
Featuring plenty of fresh fish fare and a stunningly beautiful location, Miller’s Seawall Grill is a popular destination for both tourists and locals thanks to its delicious and fresh seafood alongside its casual atmosphere.
Miller’s was first established in 1976 and has been home-owned and operated ever since, with a strong focus on serving up the freshest food with top-quality ingredients.
Some classic Southern seafood fare served up at Miller’s includes gumbo, calamari, crab and corn chowder, lump crab, and shrimp cocktail.
You can also treat yourself to some sweetness too, thanks to the dessert menu featuring classics such as homemade peach cobbler, key lime pie, and chocolate ganache pecan brownies.
Breakfast is also served at Miller’s- featuring the likes of chicken and waffles, omelets, and combination plates for a bit of everything-, as are beers and wines for a relaxing adult evening.
14. Mario’s Seawall Italian Restaurant
If you are feeling a little bit sick of all the seafood, then Mario’s Seawall Italian restaurant could be just what you are looking for!
Mario’s evokes the traditional fun and romance of Italy but combines it with a Texan seaside coastal view to create a wonderful combination of cultures and settings.
This combination is also reflected in the food, with coastal classics such as fried shrimp and fries served alongside Italian staples such as homemade lasagna, pizza, and spaghetti, and meatballs.
For a taste of Italy that doesn’t lose sight of its Texas coast location, Mario’s Seawall Italian Restaurant is the place to go.
15. Koops BBQ
Last but not least, Koops BBQ is another restaurant that offers something a little different from the standard seafood far found everywhere in Galveston.
Koops BBQ is- as the name suggests- all about barbecue and the restaurant features various barbecue dishes such as brisket, pulled pork, ribs, and more.
The establishment is best known for its slow-cooked meats that are cooked to perfection alongside its homemade side dishes such as coleslaw, potato salad, and beans.
As is to be expected with a barbecue joint, the atmosphere is friendly, casual, and laid back and features plenty of outdoor seating to enjoy a barbecue in the beauty of nature (there is a reason barbecues are always held outdoors after all!).
With friendly service, plenty of barbecue options, and a homely atmosphere, there is a lot to love about Koops BBQ.
Galveston offers a wide variety of dining options for visitors and locals alike. From seafood to Tex-Mex and everything in between, there is something for every taste.
Hopefully, you will find the perfect meal in Galveston thanks to our suggestion of diverse and well-established restaurants!
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