8 Reasons to Drive to Galveston

By Marcy de Luna  |  April 20, 2015
Credit: The San Luis Resort

Galveston may be a bit of a drive, but solid cuisine from stellar local restaurants seems reason enough to fill up the gas tank and head south. Here are eight restaurants that make the trip worth it.

Gumbo Bar

The casual joint hits the spot with its spicy Gulf cuisine, which includes traditional meaty gumbos filled with chicken, sausage or prime rib, seafood stews and po' boys slicked with a housemade Tabasco-infused mayonnaise.
Insider tip: Catch a game on any of three flat-screen televisions while you cool off with 62-plus beers and a broad list of wines.

2107 Post Office St.; 409-744-8626

Rudy and Paco

We suggest the fish taco a la Paco (with your choice of fried or grilled Gulf red snapper and a cup of tortilla soup) or the grilled salmon with mango habanero sauce, but you can choose from plenty of other grilled seafood and steak offerings at this upscale eatery with a South and Central American leaning.
Insider tip: Enjoy dinner specials pre-show, then walk over to The Grand 1894 Opera House next door.

2028 Post Office St.; 409-762-3696

Number 13

The high-end seafood and steak restaurant, located in the Pelican Rest Marina, boasts sweeping views of the water. Try the scallop carbonara with housemade pappardelle pasta, pancetta, peas and asparagus, or the 18-oz rib-eye, which is dry-aged in-house for 28 days.
Insider tip: For a more casual experience, request a table at The Terrace upstairs with bird's-eye view of the marina.

7809 Broadway; 409-572-2650

Ocean Grille and Beach Bar

Brian Peper (Urban Eats, Costa Brava) serves as executive chef and Randy Evans (Haven) consults at the newly opened chef-driven spot. Expect coastal seafood and Akaushi beef dishes, plus standout desserts.
Insider tip: Ask for an extra scoop: ice cream here comes from Galveston's Hey Mikey's.

1228 Seawall Blvd.; 409-974-4508

Grotto - Galveston

Located on the first floor of the San Luis Resort, and part of the Landry’s empire, this elegantly casual gem boasts familiar favorites such as Neapolitan thin-crust pizza and its signature veal Kickerillo (Parmesan-crusted veal scalopinne with mushrooms, lemon and fettuccine Alfredo). The menu of authentic Italian also includes the must-try, Galveston-only Gulf shrimp and crab capellini with bianco sauce, marinated heirloom tomatoes and basil pesto oil (pictured at top).
Insider tip: Savor some vino: the selection of wines totals over 80 (predominantly Italian).

5222 Seawall Blvd.; 409-740-8605


The Galveston staple opened its doors in 1911. To this day, the kitchen peels Gulf shrimp, shucks oysters and fillets fresh fish by hand. Dig into the daily catch with optional toppings, including the top-notch crawfish tails in Creole cream cheese and saffron sauce.
Insider tip: Save room for the signature pecan pie, covered in nuts from top to bottom.

3828 Seawall Blvd.; 409-761-5500

Farley Girls

At this cozy eatery, sisters Rosmond Duzich Thormahlen and Ryanne Duzich serve up made-from-scratch favorites like soups, panini, pizzas and more.
Insider tip: Don't skip the Boy Burger. While you can get it on a regular bun, you can take things up a notch by requesting the beef patty be served between two grilled cheese sandwiches.

801 Post Office St.; 409-497-4454

Mosquito Cafe

The quaint East End bistro offers homemade eclectic fare including a roster of grilled, roasted, sautéed and steamed dishes. We can't get enough of the salmon club sandwich with hickory-smoked peppered bacon, balsamic onions and chipotle sauce on the side.
Insider tip: Daily specials are listed on the chalkboard menu.

628 14th St.; 409-763-1010