Rainforest Cafe: Rainforest Fun!
If you have kids...it's only fair that you bring them here. It is soooo fun!
When you arrive you will hopefully see a Rainforest Cafe carivan coming to pick you up. It was so nice because it is on a side street that can be busy. The guy waited for us even. The walk won't kill you but on a busy day you might find yourself parking further away.
Before entering the restaurant you will see many carnival-like games set up. Again, these people are smart and know how to get every penny from you or your little ones!
Now, you're dealing with professionals here. They also have a build-a-bear workshop right inside this restaurant. And you better believe you're going to have to wait to be seated even if many tables are empty. Why? Because the longer you wait the more stuff you'll be able to buy. It's true..... Even my mom and I had to wait once and she even ended up purchasing something......two things I think. Hell, even I was about to start buying a build-a-bear or two.
As for the dining room it is chaos. It's loud. Why? Because you're in the rainforest! There are trees and animated animals everywhere. Every 10 minutes the elephants and apes go nutes and every 15 minutes or something like that a true rain shower hits (although you won't get wet).
The food, however, is WONDERFUL.
Helpful hint: If you go to the Galveston Tourist Office before this, or see any of the travel brochure stands...Rainforest Cafe has a coupon for a free appetizer. Pick it up and bring it! There are many choices to pick from and it's about a $10 value!&c*
Favorite Dish: I usually get the pizza because it's wonderful but really, anything is fantastic!
Breakfast is equally wonderful too. Especially the cubed hashbrowns!!
Oh and the signature dessert volcano has an actual sparkler going off when they bring it to you! (That'll set you back at least $10 though).
Gaido's: Ask for anything you want and how you want it
Gaido's has been a family owned seafood restuarant in Galveston since the beginning. They even have a private restuarant Club at the back entrance. Must be a member with two referrals that are members.
No matter though - this place will make you anything you want and any way you want it. Great chefs. They pay for top chefs - and the food is very good.
Favorite Dish: Being able to tell them to change the dish and it comes to the table perfect.
Yagas: do not miss out on the chicken salad
This place is like a easy casual hangout place after the beach. Located on the strand and the crowd gets younger and the night goes on. Yet if you want to catch some awesome salads before 9p.m. stop in and get the chicken salad - has another name for it - comes on huge platter with tomatoes on top, real chicken in it, and enough for the table. Same with the other appetiziers. Would not recommend as a family dinner place. Just the kids would be bored....the adults can order fun drinks and a huge appetizer - skip the menu -
Favorite Dish: The chicken salad appetizer
The Tostito Tortato Monster Mound of Nachos, beans, cheese, jalepenos (huge)
Mario's Ristorante: My Favorite Pizza
Mario's on the seawall is my favorite restaurant in Galveston. I love their pizza! But that's not all it has to offer. It's a local store that is proud to be in Galveston and I always appreciate the loyalty of a restaurant owner. When you walk in the door you see all of its awards, newspaper clippings, and famous people who have eaten at the restaurant.
Be sure to get a table with a view of the beach! Or, if it's cooler weather, sit outdoors and listen to the waves.
Parking across the side street...
(Wifi available now, too!)
Favorite Dish: Other than italian it also offers wonderful seafood, fresh from the bay!
I always get the pepperoni pizza (create your own). I love it! It's my favorite!!
La King's Confectionery: Stop for a Soda or Ice Cream or Frappicino
While we were shopping Shanna wanted to stop for some chocolate. While I was dreaming of eating all the chocolate with no calories, Shanna then snuck off to the ice cream side of the place. While waiting for her I decided to try the coffee shop. Since it felt like 100 degrees I decided to get something cool, since I don't really like ice cream.
Fun place! Great for kids! Has traveling brochures right when you come in if you're looking for your next destination in Galveston/Houston.
Favorite Dish: I had a mocha frappacino. It was good...Not starbucks but that's why they're a different name haha. Shanna had an ice cream cone that was wonderful, she said, as well as some chocolate truffles. If you do buy chocolate be prepared for melting in the summer!
La Palmita Tex Mex Cafe: DO NOT EAT HERE!
Food was in abundance at Dickens on the Strand but we wanted to find a sit-down place. We, unfortunately, made the mistake of ordering at La Palmita. We were warned that the food would take 30 minutes. However, we only ordered a burger and taco salad thinking that would make it a bit shorter. We weren't upset until we were the only people in the place without food. We went up to check on our order multiple times and it was never ready. Finally, right before the parade was to start our number was called. Many people were upset here. With only two people working (one taking orders/money and one cooking) I don't know why on earth they wouldn't bring in more help for this huge event.
They were not very concerned with our feelings.
Favorite Dish: The taco salad was fine.....I wouldn't waste your money though.
Joe's Crab Shack: Crabs!!!!
One of a vast chain of Joe's Crab Shack Restaurants, this one has the smell of the sea air as it is right on the beach road. The decor persuades you that this has been around for years, plenty to look at as you enter and wait to be seated. You can also buy various Joe items of clothing, T shirts, the ever popular baseball caps, keyrings etc etc at the small shop near the entrance.
You have to wait to be seated, it is VERY popular.
Favorite Dish: I had to have crab, of course! The seafood is good, no doubt about that, but you have to watch the shrimps. They are doused in this chemical just after they are caught, some regulation or other, which affects the taste. The trouble with shrimps are they are sometimes tasteless, but Joe's makes up for it with a selection of dips and sauces which add to the flavour.
Always reminds me of that song The Love Shack....
- Budget Travel
- Food and Dining
- Road Trip
La King's Confectionery: Old Fashioned Ice Cream and Candy Shop
As a child did you ever dream of being locked in a candy store overnight with every sugar coated treat and chocolate confection within arm's reach? This would be that candy store! Not only does La King's Confectionery have cases and cases of the most delectable candy you could want, but it also is equipped with an old-fashioned ice cream counter.
All types of chocolates await you: chocolate covered marshmallows, chocolate creams, chocolate fudge...chocolate,chocolate and more chocolate. Jellybeans in brilliant colors, hard striped candies, soft pastel candies all in individual size or novelty packaging.
The candy counter was crowded with patrons with sizeable sweet tooths, so we quickly got in line with those people wanting to satisfy a craving for something smooth and oh so creamy...a crispy cone topped with a mound of ice cream!
- Family Travel
FUDDRUCKER"S: For The Best Burgers In Town...Any Town
We first discovered Fuddrucker's when our children were young and we were traveling to S. Carolina. Ever since that time, when we see a Fuddrucker's we stop. They serve the juiciest hamburgers we've ever tasted!
This Fuddrucker's was conveniently located near Strand Street where the DICKENS FESTIVAL was held. As usual, the interior had a funky and nostalgic decor (see photo #2). A salad bar held all sorts of toppings and veggies to add to your entree.
If you're looking for good old American cooking and generous size burgers, Fuddrucker's is the place for you!
Favorite Dish: 'da burgers!
- Family Travel
Saltwater Grill: BEST Seafood on the Island
The food is excellent here. You will not go wrong eating here. The atmosphere is great and so is the service. They also do specialty martinis. They have Seafood, Steaks and Chicken. The Big Daddy Gumbo is excellent. Large portions. This is so much better than the usual tourist resturants like Landry's or Gaidos. Saltwater food is fresh. Not frozen. Steaks are tender and flavorful. They don't have to cover the steaks with all the seasonings to flavor it. I try to eat there at least once a week. Desserts are spectacular. You will not go wrong eating here. Promise.
Favorite Dish: Everything here is wonderful. I have had everything on there menu at least once if not several times.
- Food and Dining
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Sir Lawrence's: Street Vendors Aplenty!
In keeping with the period, street vendors created colorful booths offering all types of foods. Sir Lawrence's had a long line--his reputation must have preceded him!
Turkey Legs, Sausage on a Stick and Sausage in a Bun were some of the foods offered here. The vendors were also in costume and deliveries to these booths were done by wagons pulled by 'street urchins'. I found it amusing seeing all the different ways this Victorian village was created....down to the costumed delivery boys.
- Family Travel
The Spot: Cardiac arrest take me away
Do not go here if you are on a diet. This place is located right on the seafront and seems quite popular with bikers. You go in and order your huge, artey-clogging, heart-disease-inducing, moist, juicy, meatilicious burger, then you make your way over to the salad bar which also tempts the palate with alarmingly large jalapenos. You pile the salad and the chillis on top of you burger then go out onto the terrace and stuff your face until you require a gastric bypass. The burgers here are so delicious and decadent you know you must be dreaming. But you are not.
Favorite Dish: Burgers, burgers, burgers. I also recommend the cheeseburgers.
Fisherman's Wharf: High Price, But Good Quality & Good Views
Located right on the harbor of the Port of Galveston, Fisherman's Wharf is yet another restaurant owned by Landry's Restaurants, Inc. While the prices here are a little on the high side, the quality of food, along with the quality of views, are much better than another Landry's owned restaurant nearby, Willie G's. Restaurant has a great atmosphere, decor is a little over the top in terms of trying to make it seem like an "authentic" seafood joint, but that is sort of Landry's tradition. The selection of food on the menu is incredible, and while seafood is of course the bulk of the cuisine served here, they also have chicken, steak, and pasta dishes as well. The Poboy sandwiches here are really good! Very fresh and a wonderful flavor to them. If the tempurature is not unbearably hot, which it can frequently be, especially in July and August, try and sit on the outside deck area. Great views of the ships and boats passing by in the harbor. Staff is very friendly, and the service is very efficient, although when it is crowded, which is fairly often, there can be a long wait to be seated. The prices are pretty high for Galveston seafood standards, and there are other restaurants on the island that offer the same quality of food for less. But Fisherman's Wharf's location and views are top notch, and can make it a worthwhile place to dine at.
Favorite Dish: Poboys sandwiches! I love Poboys, and they are pretty good here!
Landry's Oyster Bar: Simple Seafood on the Harbor
Landry's Oyster Bar, located on Pier 21 overlooking the harbor of the Port of Galveston, offers some basic seafood meals along with some nice views. Part of the huge chain of Landry's Restaurants, Inc., the establishment has nothing that really stands out, other than having a great outdoor patio area that looks out over the harbor. The food is decent, items such as poboy sandwiches, gumbo, and of course oysters, are served up here. Orders are placed at the counter, and when your meal is ready you go and pick it up, and seat yourself. Definately sit outside on the patio if it is not blazing hot, as it's pleasant to watch the ships and boats pass by as the breeze wafts through. There are better places to get seafood on the island, but for a simple, quick bite to eat, Landry's Oyster Bar is not bad.
Favorite Dish: Turkey Poboy sandwich. The Poboys here are not the best, but they are fresh.
Salsa's: Tex-Mex on the Island, But Nothing Extraordinary
Ok, I have to admit, I am very critical when it comes to Tex-Mex restaurants. Growing up in Texas, I guess it is very natural though with an endless selection of them to choose from. I'll start out by saying there is nothing particularly wrong with Salsa's restaurant, there's just nothing that makes it stand out from any other Mexican place that I have been to. Located right off of the Seawall, it does have some excellent views of the Gulf of Mexico, and their fairly sizeable outdoor patio area is nice to dine on when the weather is nice. The menu though is just so "stereotypical Tex-Mex" it doesn't have anything that I couldn't get around the corner from my home in Houston. Enchiladas, Tacos, Burritos, Tamales; they are all prepared fairly well, and the taste is not too bad. They also have some not-so-Mexican items on the menu, mainly seafood since it is located along the gulf coast! And to be fair, the prices are not bad, and the lunch specials they have are down-right cheap! So all and all, I would say Salsa's is a decent place to get your basic Tex-Mex food while on the island, and at a reasonable price as well. But just don't expect anything out of the ordinary.
Favorite Dish: I would have to say the Fajita Chicken Enchiladas Poblanas. I will eat Fajita seasoned chicken anywhere!!! :)
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