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Phoenix hounds visiting Galveston & Clear Lake

We are considering purchasing a 2nd home and/or retiring to the Galveston/Clear Lake area, and really need to scope out the dining scene. As 'hounds, this is a critical need for our ultimate happiness living in any area.

Phoenix has finally grown to be a decent ethnic dining area, but we miss the water. And the seafood here is expensive and mediocre.

So - suggestions, please?

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  1. I grew up in Galveston and often return. Without a doubt the best seafood restaurant is Gaido's. It shares a kitchen with Casey's, which is lower end, and Pelican Club, which is higher end but requires an annual membership and is designed to keep out the tourists. I've dined at both Gaido's and Pelican Club and did not really notice a difference in the menu; the difference may just be that Pelican Club is for locals while Gaido's is for tourists.

    1. For casual upscale try Perry's Grill in Clear Lake. Been there a few times and the food quality never disappoints.

      1. I haven't eaten at Gaido's in years but was always pleased. Robb Walsh in the Press reviewed it last week which echos what I've heard from others: http://www.houstonpress.com/Issues/20...

        I've eaten more at Casey's in recent years and find it okay but not great; salads and sides are good but entrees can be disappointing. Desserts look good but I've never had room for one!

        Besides those two, Clary's on Teichmann Rd on the bay side of the island is a long time highly thought of restaurant but I've never been. I understand Mr. Clary used to be maitre'd at Gaidos.

        The old line places face a lot of competition from all the Landry's, Inc. units - Landry's, Joe's Crab Shack, Salt Grass Steak House and Willie G's. I'm not a big fan of Landry's Inc. restaurants but my choice would be Willie G's on Harborside Drive near the tall ship Elissa. Otherwise, I'd take my chances with the ones named above.

        On the mainland, Floyd's Cajun Boat on I-45 at Nasa Rd. 1 for Cajun. I think the best seafood in the whole area may be Top Water Grill in San Leon on the bay. I'm hoping to get down there for my second visit in the next week and will report back.

        The old fishing village of Kemah has been taken over by Landry's, Inc., also, as the Kemah Boardwalk.

        Any of these may be very good compared to what you can get of seafood in Phoenix though.

        1. Thanks for all the suggestions. Any good Vietnamese, Thai, or Chinese to be had? Italian style, wood-fired thin crust pizza?

          2 Replies
          1. re: jkgourmet

            You're not really going to find these on Galveston. Maybe in Clear Lake where there's been a lot more development. Pretty much all the good restaurants in the area are seafood. For more information, I recommend the Houston Press.

            1. re: jkgourmet

              There's a little Vietnamese restaurant called Pho 21 out near the UH Clear Lake on Bay Area Blvd. Good food and the owner is really nice. I hear that Pho Hoang on Nasa Rd. 1 is pretty good too. There are tons more Vietnamese places in Houston too.

            2. I subscribe to Texas Monthly Magazine, and I think their information on Galveston restaurants is pretty fair and accurate (not to mention up-to-date). here is a link:


              As far as th Clear Lake area, I am not too farmiliar with it.

              Bon Appetit!

              1. I posted about Clary's a few days ago but apparently it was deleted for the link that I included. It was a very fine place some years ago and according to the reviews, it still is. I would go back in a heartbeat... go ahead and google it and read more current impressions.

                1. Here's another vote for Topwater Grill in San Leon. We always take company to this place.

                  Our favorite/special occasion restaurant is Tommy's Steak and Seafood in Clear Lake. Perry's is good. We especially like their spinach salad and caprese salad. They can cook steak too. They also have a good Sunday Brunch. Not really impressed with their Italian Grille on Clear Lake Blvd.

                  For chinese we go to 888 in Dickinson, which is south of Clear Lake right off 45. They have another location just north of Hobby Airport. It's good for the basics.

                  For Japanese food we go to Tokyo Bowl on Space Center and Bay Area in Clear Lake.

                  For pizza our favorite is the Margharita Pizza at Angelo's in Clear Lake. It is not thin crust nor is it the thick chewy crust either. I'm not sure if it's wood fired. But it's not your typical chain pizza. It's usually a hit with company

                  T-Bone Tom's in Kemah on the hwy for beef, chicken fried steak and hush puppies. They are suppose to have good burgers too. They also have live music on the weekends.

                  Mediterranean Cafe in Nassau Bay right off NASA Road One for Greek food. Really good hummus.

                  For breakfast we like Seabrook Cafe in Seabrook, Kelly's in League City, or Cracker Barrel in League City. Basic fare but good home cooking.

                  For Mexican food locally we go to El Centinela in League City or Taqueria Arandas near Hobby on 45. It also has a good panaderia a block north.

                  Our favorite places in Galveston are Mosquito Cafe for breakfast or lunch. They also serve dinner on the weekends but we haven't gone. Paco and Rudy's for latin food. Make reservations if you decide to go. Saltwater Grill for seafood with an asian fusion. Sky Bar for sushi and martini's. It can be pricey so we go at happy hour and buy by the piece.

                  We are not a big fan of the Kemah Boardwalk, but honestly haven't been to many of it's restaurants. Though we will go to Cadillac Bar for fajitas. We prefer non-chain or smaller restaurant chains. Allot of people like their restaurants though.

                  My husband loves Texas Land and Cattle for their rib eye. It's at the Beltway and 45 in front of the AMC theaters. I love their hot bread and chili gravy enchiladas that aren't anything like momma use to make but so decadent.

                  I don't cook a whole lot. While we go to others these are the restaurants we frequent and I would take company. This whole area has plenty of good restaurants to choose from. I've only lived here 4 yrs. We try new and different restaurants often and will travel miles for a good meal.

                  1. In Galveston I like Benno's, on the Seawall. Cajun, you order up front and the waitress brings the food out, bright and airy, and if you stretch your neck you can see the Gulf (it looks out on the water but a wall is kinda in the way). Quality broiled fish, and people look happy with the fried seafood, too.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: texnosh

                      It's been a couple of years since I was in the Galveston area, but we used to love to go to Stingaree, across the bay on the ferry to Crystal Beach. Stingaree sits on the intercoastal waterway and is just a good old seafood dump. Get some fried seafood and a beer and watch the barges ease by. Great place, in my estimation.

                    2. I can wholeheartedly second the rec. for Paco and Rudy's in Galveston. A tad expensive, but I just love this place. The fish of the day is usually above anything available at Gaido's or Casey's. They have terrific pasta dishes and not least of all, a decent wine list. Service is probably the very best on the island. Reservations a MUST.

                      1. If Merlion in Seabrook is still around, it would be worth a try. Really good Thai seafood.

                        Also, Alison Cook posted in her blog today about Masa Sushi in Clear Lake. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds good.