Ocean Grill: Best food & Best Views of the Gulf
The Ocean Grill Restaurant, the only restaurant on Galveston Island that actually extends over the sparkling Gulf of Mexico, offers some of the finest, freshest seafood on the Isle, and a glorious atmosphere. Featuring a delicious variety of both grilled and fried recipes, The Ocean Grill also is home to a spacious, full-service bar. Dining is available either inside in air-conditioned comfort, or on the breathtaking outer deck.
Favorite Dish: Anything!!!!
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.
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Gaido's: A Galveston Seafood Tradition!
Serving up fresh Gulf seafood for almost 100 years, Gaido's of Galveston is arguably the most famous restaurant on the island. Proud of their history in Galveston, the restaurant still maintains that old-time seafood kitchen feel, along with a classiness that has kept people coming in for decades. Pictures line the walls of not just the restaurant's history, but showcasing the rich history that Galveston offers. You will usually see people dressed fairly casually dining here, but it is just as easy to see someone walk in wearing a suit or a sunday dress. The menu, well, where do I begin?! Of course, being located just across the street from the Gulf of Mexico, you would expect some pretty fresh seafood here. And you would be correct! Some of the best shrimp, oysters, scallops and red snapper anywhere along the gulf coast can be had here. They also have excellent catfish, some great chicken dishes, and wonderful Filet Mignon. The gumbo here is some of the best in town as well! Add an extensive wine list, and some to die for desserts (if you have room!), and you've got yourself one fantastic seafood restaurant! Can be a littlle on the expensive side, but well woth it if you are as big a fan of seafood as I am!!!
Favorite Dish: Blackened Red Snapper! Fresh, right out of the gulf! Pricey, but well worth it!!!!!
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!
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!
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Yaga's Cafe: Cool restaurant on the Strand
I really enjoyed the atmosphere at Yaga's Cafe - the colorful decor puts you in a good mood as soon as you get in and our waitress was super nice! The menu offers all your typical pub fare with a Tex-Mex twist at a very reasonable price (which is great because a lot of restaurants on the Strand are rather expensive), and I'll always remember Yaga's Cafe as the place where I drank my first Texas-made beer!
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.
Willie G's: The Price Is WRONG For Seafood!
Willie G's is another on the long list of restaurants within the Landry's Restaurants, Inc. chain. I will start out by saying that the location of this restaurant is nice, with it being right off of the harbor of the Port of Galveston, and it's proximity to all the goings-on of the historic Strand District. And the decor is very pleasant, not a low rent scuzzy place, but you would expect decent surroundings from a Landry's establishment. But this is where it's ends for me as far as positives for this place. The menu is very extensive, but the 2 times that I have dined here, I was not impressed with the quality of food. Of the many different appetizers they have available, I have tried the fried calamari and the shrimp gumbo. The calamari was very tough, almost rubbery, and the gumbo very simply very bland, not a lot of taste to it. They have a wide variety of entrees, items such as numerous fish dishes, lobster, shrimp, chicken, steak, and crawfish. The fried catfish I had here was actually not that bad, but the crawfish etouffee i tried was not good at all. I'm not sure what kind of spices they were using here, but it did not taste anything like the traditional cajun dish I am used to. The wait staff was very nice, but the service was nothing extraordinary, and I had trouble getting a refill on my iced tea more than once. My biggest tift with the restaurant would most certainly be the price. While not the most expensive restaurant in Galveston, I certainly think that for the prices here, you would get a much better quality of food. There are much better places to eat seafood on the island, and many don't charge half the price that Willie G's does.
Favorite Dish: Fried Catfish Fillets. Really the only thing I have enjoyed here though.
Mediterranean Chef: Greek in Galveston
Mediterranean Chef is located on the Strand and although it doesn't look like much from outside (well, doesn't look like much from inside either!), the food was actually very good and not expensive. Our waiter was from Lebanon and seemed pretty happy to speak French with me so it made for a really enjoyable meal!
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!!! :)
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....
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Rudy and Paco's: A change from Mexican..
Central American Cuisine in a nice atmosphere, the fried plantains at the start of each meal are wonderful. The owner always tseems to be on site and is very friendly.
Favorite Dish: The Tres Leches cake is worth going off a diet for
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: 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
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).
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