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an overhead shot of Galveston, with colorful buildings and the beach.
Galveston offers a weekend getaway for Houstonians.
Shutterstock/Eric V. Overton

Eat Like a Local at These 20 Galveston Restaurants

Where to find lunch, brunch, dinner, or drinks on the island

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Galveston offers a weekend getaway for Houstonians.
| Shutterstock/Eric V. Overton

Located just 50 miles away from Houston’s city center, Galveston Island is a beach oasis that’s always within reach yet universes away from Clutch City culture. Every year, the island welcomes millions of tourists and travelers, some of which stick around to take in attractions like Moody Gardens, Schlitterbahn, and of course, the beach. Others are headed to the cruise ship port, en route to their dream vacations, while many call the island, billed “the free state of Galveston,” home.

Founded by pirates, the working-class town is a unique mixture of retirees, artists, and people within the food and hospitality, deep-sea fishing, and oil rigging industries, proving that the local food is as diverse as the people.

For Houstonians heading for a weekend getaway or an off-the-beaten-path date night, strolling along the beach or taking in the tourist trap that is Pleasure Pier are likely on the list. But, once that’s crossed off the list, be sure to check out these Galveston restaurants, which offer diverse cuisines and atmospheres ranging from casual seafood shacks to upscale New American eateries.

Removing Number 13, Brews Brothers Brew Pub, Eatcetera, Leon’s World Finest Bar-B-Que, the Poop Deck, Little Daddy’s Gumbo Bar, Shy Katz, Mosquito Cafe, Smooth Tony’s, and Porch Cafe makes way for more local favorites, like Trattoria la Vigna, Bambu, Mel’s Blue Plate, Press Box, Mama Theresa’s Flying Pizza, Pho 20, the Gumbo Diner, Henry’s, O’Malley’s Stage Door, and Cajun Greek.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. La King's Confectionery

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2323 Strand St
Galveston, TX
(409) 762-6100
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Candy doesn’t exactly count as a meal, but don’t be surprised to end up eating your weight in La King’s saltwater taffy or pecan logs. This sweet shop has been around for nearly 100 years, and there’s plenty of old-fashioned tradition still in play. Thick shakes and malts are served at the 1920s soda fountain, along with more than 20 options for ice cream and frozen yogurt made in-house.

The window at La King’s Confectionary.
La King’s Confectionary serves milk shakes and malts at its 1920’s soda fountain.
La King’s/Facebook

2. Trattoria La Vigna

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412 20th St
Galveston, TX 77550
(409) 497-4927
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One of the best things about Galveston is its quality Italian food. Trattoria la Vigna stands above as a quaint and quiet spot with delectable, world-class options like spaghetti and clams or seafood risotto.

3. Mama Teresa's Flying Pizza

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416 21st St
Galveston, TX 77550
(409) 765-6262
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Looking for a cheesy slice of pizza that’s walking distance to Downtown’s dive bars or the cruise ships? Here’s your stop. Try the uniquely Texan snapper parmigiana, or the Cattleman’s Pizza, topped with chicken, bacon, and barbecue sauce.

4. Black Pearl Oyster Bar

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327 23rd St.
Galveston, TX
(409) 762-7299

Gulf oysters are (obviously) abundant in Galveston, but this bar is a legendary spot. In addition to the fresh, well-shucked bivalves, the cooked preparations, like oysters Haelen, topped with crab meat and cheese, are equally stellar.

5. O'Malley's Stage Door

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2022 Postoffice St
Galveston, TX 77550
(409) 763-1731
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Not exactly a restaurant, O’Malley’s is a bar with a secret weapon: sandwiches. Aficionados will revel in the Reuben, which is packed with hot corned beef piled high on dark rye, and topped with mild sauerkraut, Swiss, and Russian dressing. Be sure to hit up happy hour for a few drinks and conversation at one of the island’s classic dives.

6. Rudy & Paco’s Restaurant

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2028 Post Office St
Galveston, TX
(409) 762-3696
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An island paragon, this upscale Galveston steakhouse features grilled meats and seafood with plenty of South and Central American influence. Ceviche, plantain-crusted Gulf snapper, and a selection of steaks offer a swanky dinner option that is also totally delicious. Pro tip: If you’re headed to Rudy & Paco for dinner, wear pants — shorts are only allowed during lunch and at the bar.

7. Maceo Spice & Import Co.

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2706 Market St
Galveston, TX
(409) 763-3331

Opened in 1944, Maceo Spice is a Galveston institution. In addition to the array of spices and sauces perfect for cooking at home, diners will also find a solid menu of sandwiches during lunch. The muffaletta is big enough for two, or go for the Spaisano, which features ham, capocollo, sopressata, provolone, and Maceo’s excellent olive salad on Italian bread.

8. Gypsy Joynt

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This hippie haven is less likely to be packed with tourists during the summer, making it a total hidden gem. Sandwiches, salads, wild pizza concoctions, and other standard American fare is on offer, all excellently made. Highlights include the cadre of big burgers topped with things like sweetened pecans and pear vinaigrette, and the Sleazy Mac and Cheese, made with crawfish, bacon, asparagus, topped with avocado. Don’t sleep on those cakes, cookies, and pastries, either.

9. Press Box

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2401 Postoffice St
Galveston, TX 77550
(409) 765-5958

This A+ dive features the best mushroom Swiss burger, and a French dip sandwich and patty melt both worth bragging about. Not a burger person? Opt for the robust salads or bar bites like wings and chicken strips.

10. Pho 20

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2101 Broadway Avenue J
Galveston, TX 77550
(409) 750-9200
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If you’re chasing a good bowl of pho, Pho 20’s vegetarian bowl of soup is an explosive combination of tofu, veggies, and a thick broth with a depth of flavor. Try the bun cha, which is loaded with vermicelli noodles, grilled pork, and carrots and cucumbers.

11. Henry's Mexican Restaurant

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2823 Broadway Avenue J
Galveston, TX 77550
(409) 765-8400

Don’t let its painted exterior full of international soccer icons fool you. Inside harbors some of the best, and most affordable food on the island, including pupusas with crunchy bits of cheese and the baleadas that overflow with grilled pork or steak.

12. Bambú

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1220 23rd St
Galveston, TX 77550
(409) 497-2281

A local’s best-kept secret, Bambu serves up some of the best Mexican food on the island, including what could be Galveston’s best “surprise” burritos — a combination of scrambled eggs,  cheese, bacon, refried beans, and potatoes. Their carne asada and barbacoa tortas are also worth the trip.

13. Shrimp N Stuff

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3901 Avenue O
Galveston, TX
(409) 763-2805
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Around since 1976, Shrimp n’ Stuff’s original location on Avenue O’s charming, blue facade is enough to make you peek inside without even knowing what’s on the menu. Rest assured, though, the crispy catfish po’ boy will absolutely not disappoint.

14. BLVD Seafood

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2804 Avenue R 1/2
Galveston, TX 77550
(409) 762-2583
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Swing by this casual, modern restaurant for excellent Gulf seafood that doesn’t require fancy pants. Feast on Gulf red snapper that’s crusted in pecans or blackened, and don’t forget to order a dozen oysters done BLVD style with blackened shrimp, crab, parmesan, and bread crumbs. Choose from the gigantic wine list or the cocktail list, featuring a perfect negroni.

15. The Spot

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3204 Seawall Blvd
Galveston, TX
(409) 621-5237
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It might be a bit of a tourist trap, but who can say no to bloody marys and beer by the beach? With five different venues in one space (including a tiki bar) the Spot is a sort of one stop shop for drinking and dining on the Seawall. Try the crispy fried coconut shrimp, and treat yourself to a giant pitcher of pina coladas.

An exterior shot of Galveston’s the Spot.
Located on Galveston’s seawall, the Spot is home to five different venues in one, including a restaurant and tiki bar with views of the ocean.
The Spot

16. The Gumbo Diner

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3602 Seawall Blvd
Galveston, TX 77550
(409) 762-3232
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Everywhere on the island, someone is claiming to have the best seafood gumbo. It’s up to you whether or not you believe them, but the Gumbo Diner is the perfect place to kick off that quest.

17. Gaidos Seafood Restaurant

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3828 Seawall Blvd
Galveston, TX 77550
(409) 761-5500
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A perennial Galveston favorite that’s been open since 1911, Gaido’s boasts white-glove service and a view of the sea, with dishes like pecan-crusted Mahi Mahi, crawfish asiago, and a classic cocktail menu that’s perfect for celebrating just about anything.

A plate of oysters cooked seven different ways.
Gaido’s offers a range of seafood favorites, including pecan-crusted Mahi Mahi and oysters cooked several different ways.
Gaido’s

18. Yamato Japanese Restaurant

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2104 61st St
Galveston, TX
(409) 744-2742
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This long-standing sushi and hibachi spot has served up some of Galveston’s freshest Japanese fare for 20 years. Alongside the extensive selection of sushi rolls, find fried soft-shell crab, yakinuku-style steak, and teriyaki salmon. Fried green tea ice cream or Mississippi mud pie makes for a sweet finish.

19. Cajun Greek

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2226 61st St
Galveston, TX 77551
(409) 744-7041
Visit Website

Offering some of the island’s most inventive, yet classic seafood fare, Cajun Greek is a sleeper hit with items like the creamy “ultimate” salmon mac and cheese or the Crabber’s Choice seafood soup — a spicy Texan take on the classic cioppino.

20. Mel's Blueplate & Seafood Express

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7428 Stewart Rd
Galveston, TX 77551
(409) 741-5573
Visit Website

Located inside of a Valero gas station, this hidden gem offers up Southern-fried favorites like a fried fish platter and fresh hush puppies, along with staples like burgers and gumbo. Dig into the dessert specials, including Mel’s beloved pineapple upside-down cake, if it’s available. The menu changes almost weekly. 

1. La King's Confectionery

2323 Strand St, Galveston, TX
The window at La King’s Confectionary.
La King’s Confectionary serves milk shakes and malts at its 1920’s soda fountain.
La King’s/Facebook

Candy doesn’t exactly count as a meal, but don’t be surprised to end up eating your weight in La King’s saltwater taffy or pecan logs. This sweet shop has been around for nearly 100 years, and there’s plenty of old-fashioned tradition still in play. Thick shakes and malts are served at the 1920s soda fountain, along with more than 20 options for ice cream and frozen yogurt made in-house.

2323 Strand St
Galveston, TX

2. Trattoria La Vigna

412 20th St, Galveston, TX 77550

One of the best things about Galveston is its quality Italian food. Trattoria la Vigna stands above as a quaint and quiet spot with delectable, world-class options like spaghetti and clams or seafood risotto.

412 20th St
Galveston, TX 77550

3. Mama Teresa's Flying Pizza

416 21st St, Galveston, TX 77550

Looking for a cheesy slice of pizza that’s walking distance to Downtown’s dive bars or the cruise ships? Here’s your stop. Try the uniquely Texan snapper parmigiana, or the Cattleman’s Pizza, topped with chicken, bacon, and barbecue sauce.

416 21st St
Galveston, TX 77550

4. Black Pearl Oyster Bar

327 23rd St., Galveston, TX

Gulf oysters are (obviously) abundant in Galveston, but this bar is a legendary spot. In addition to the fresh, well-shucked bivalves, the cooked preparations, like oysters Haelen, topped with crab meat and cheese, are equally stellar.

327 23rd St.
Galveston, TX

5. O'Malley's Stage Door

2022 Postoffice St, Galveston, TX 77550

Not exactly a restaurant, O’Malley’s is a bar with a secret weapon: sandwiches. Aficionados will revel in the Reuben, which is packed with hot corned beef piled high on dark rye, and topped with mild sauerkraut, Swiss, and Russian dressing. Be sure to hit up happy hour for a few drinks and conversation at one of the island’s classic dives.

2022 Postoffice St
Galveston, TX 77550

6. Rudy & Paco’s Restaurant

2028 Post Office St, Galveston, TX

An island paragon, this upscale Galveston steakhouse features grilled meats and seafood with plenty of South and Central American influence. Ceviche, plantain-crusted Gulf snapper, and a selection of steaks offer a swanky dinner option that is also totally delicious. Pro tip: If you’re headed to Rudy & Paco for dinner, wear pants — shorts are only allowed during lunch and at the bar.

2028 Post Office St
Galveston, TX

7. Maceo Spice & Import Co.

2706 Market St, Galveston, TX

Opened in 1944, Maceo Spice is a Galveston institution. In addition to the array of spices and sauces perfect for cooking at home, diners will also find a solid menu of sandwiches during lunch. The muffaletta is big enough for two, or go for the Spaisano, which features ham, capocollo, sopressata, provolone, and Maceo’s excellent olive salad on Italian bread.

2706 Market St
Galveston, TX

8. Gypsy Joynt

Galveston, TX

This hippie haven is less likely to be packed with tourists during the summer, making it a total hidden gem. Sandwiches, salads, wild pizza concoctions, and other standard American fare is on offer, all excellently made. Highlights include the cadre of big burgers topped with things like sweetened pecans and pear vinaigrette, and the Sleazy Mac and Cheese, made with crawfish, bacon, asparagus, topped with avocado. Don’t sleep on those cakes, cookies, and pastries, either.

9. Press Box

2401 Postoffice St, Galveston, TX 77550

This A+ dive features the best mushroom Swiss burger, and a French dip sandwich and patty melt both worth bragging about. Not a burger person? Opt for the robust salads or bar bites like wings and chicken strips.

2401 Postoffice St
Galveston, TX 77550

10. Pho 20

2101 Broadway Avenue J, Galveston, TX 77550

If you’re chasing a good bowl of pho, Pho 20’s vegetarian bowl of soup is an explosive combination of tofu, veggies, and a thick broth with a depth of flavor. Try the bun cha, which is loaded with vermicelli noodles, grilled pork, and carrots and cucumbers.

2101 Broadway Avenue J
Galveston, TX 77550

11. Henry's Mexican Restaurant

2823 Broadway Avenue J, Galveston, TX 77550

Don’t let its painted exterior full of international soccer icons fool you. Inside harbors some of the best, and most affordable food on the island, including pupusas with crunchy bits of cheese and the baleadas that overflow with grilled pork or steak.

2823 Broadway Avenue J
Galveston, TX 77550

12. Bambú

1220 23rd St, Galveston, TX 77550

A local’s best-kept secret, Bambu serves up some of the best Mexican food on the island, including what could be Galveston’s best “surprise” burritos — a combination of scrambled eggs,  cheese, bacon, refried beans, and potatoes. Their carne asada and barbacoa tortas are also worth the trip.

1220 23rd St
Galveston, TX 77550

13. Shrimp N Stuff

3901 Avenue O, Galveston, TX

Around since 1976, Shrimp n’ Stuff’s original location on Avenue O’s charming, blue facade is enough to make you peek inside without even knowing what’s on the menu. Rest assured, though, the crispy catfish po’ boy will absolutely not disappoint.

3901 Avenue O
Galveston, TX

14. BLVD Seafood

2804 Avenue R 1/2, Galveston, TX 77550

Swing by this casual, modern restaurant for excellent Gulf seafood that doesn’t require fancy pants. Feast on Gulf red snapper that’s crusted in pecans or blackened, and don’t forget to order a dozen oysters done BLVD style with blackened shrimp, crab, parmesan, and bread crumbs. Choose from the gigantic wine list or the cocktail list, featuring a perfect negroni.

2804 Avenue R 1/2
Galveston, TX 77550

15. The Spot

3204 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX
An exterior shot of Galveston’s the Spot.
Located on Galveston’s seawall, the Spot is home to five different venues in one, including a restaurant and tiki bar with views of the ocean.
The Spot

It might be a bit of a tourist trap, but who can say no to bloody marys and beer by the beach? With five different venues in one space (including a tiki bar) the Spot is a sort of one stop shop for drinking and dining on the Seawall. Try the crispy fried coconut shrimp, and treat yourself to a giant pitcher of pina coladas.

3204 Seawall Blvd
Galveston, TX

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16. The Gumbo Diner

3602 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77550

Everywhere on the island, someone is claiming to have the best seafood gumbo. It’s up to you whether or not you believe them, but the Gumbo Diner is the perfect place to kick off that quest.

3602 Seawall Blvd
Galveston, TX 77550

17. Gaidos Seafood Restaurant

3828 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77550
A plate of oysters cooked seven different ways.
Gaido’s offers a range of seafood favorites, including pecan-crusted Mahi Mahi and oysters cooked several different ways.
Gaido’s

A perennial Galveston favorite that’s been open since 1911, Gaido’s boasts white-glove service and a view of the sea, with dishes like pecan-crusted Mahi Mahi, crawfish asiago, and a classic cocktail menu that’s perfect for celebrating just about anything.

3828 Seawall Blvd
Galveston, TX 77550

18. Yamato Japanese Restaurant

2104 61st St, Galveston, TX

This long-standing sushi and hibachi spot has served up some of Galveston’s freshest Japanese fare for 20 years. Alongside the extensive selection of sushi rolls, find fried soft-shell crab, yakinuku-style steak, and teriyaki salmon. Fried green tea ice cream or Mississippi mud pie makes for a sweet finish.

2104 61st St
Galveston, TX

19. Cajun Greek

2226 61st St, Galveston, TX 77551

Offering some of the island’s most inventive, yet classic seafood fare, Cajun Greek is a sleeper hit with items like the creamy “ultimate” salmon mac and cheese or the Crabber’s Choice seafood soup — a spicy Texan take on the classic cioppino.

2226 61st St
Galveston, TX 77551

20. Mel's Blueplate & Seafood Express

7428 Stewart Rd, Galveston, TX 77551

Located inside of a Valero gas station, this hidden gem offers up Southern-fried favorites like a fried fish platter and fresh hush puppies, along with staples like burgers and gumbo. Dig into the dessert specials, including Mel’s beloved pineapple upside-down cake, if it’s available. The menu changes almost weekly. 

7428 Stewart Rd
Galveston, TX 77551

Related Maps