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Galveston...any place worth eating?

I have to travel to Houston occasionally and try to hit up new restaurants. Last time went to Underbelly and it was fantastic. Spending the weekend in Galveston. Any recommendations?

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  1. Of course. There are lots of places. Swamp is the board's Galveston guru, but I like Mario's Seawall for pizza, The Spot for burgers and fries, Olympia Grill at the 21st street pier for Greek and seafood. For fine dining there's 901 Post Office (limited hours) and Paco & Rudy.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Lambowner

      Thanks! I just read that 901 Post Office is closed for good. Is that true?

      1. re: jbundul

        901 Post Office IS closed. I was there two weeks ago and inquired while at Rudy and Paco's.

    2. I haven't been in a while, but there is a soul food restaurant called Simp's near the Federal Courthouse that is nothing short of amazing. The two or three times I've eaten there is was extremely good. In fact, I'd go out of my way to eat there again.

      2602 Ball St
      Galveston, TX 77550-2130

      (409) 762-8040


      1. FYI, Simp's is no longer on the island. They have relocated to La Marque on Highway 3. Great soul food.

        Yes, 901 is closed but all is not lost. The inspiration that was 901 is Steve Griffith and he now has a new restaurant at Beachtown on the island's east end. It is the Porch Cafe and it is fantastic. Porch Cafe has great small plates, I very much enjoyed the "Porch Devils", chilled deviled eggs topped with chunks of lobster, capers and fresh greens. Absolutely fantastic. I also enjoyed the Bloody Mary ceviche and the shrimp pate. Porch also features some great entrees.

        I highly recommend this new addition to the island's dining scene.

        Porch Cafe
        1625 East Beach Drive
        Thursday - Saturday, Dinner only
        Sunday Brunch, 9 -3

        2 Replies
        1. re: swamp

          Wow, the Simp's that just opened on Broadway not a year ago is gone? I'll put Porch Cafe on the radar. It sounds more casual than 901?


          1. re: Lambowner

            Yes, they had actually been in business for years on the corner of 26th & Ball, then after Ike they eventually opened up at the corner of 26th & Braodway. I hear there was some issue with the building so they moved to the mainland. People out there are very happy.

        2. In my opinion:
          Rudy and Paco's
          Waterman's - the Shrimp Kisses are amazing!
          Mosquito Cafe

          1 Reply
          1. I'll throw in the Gumbo Bar and Shrimp n Stuff, a local hangout. I would suggest Benno's for stellar fried Cajun crabs, but the wait on a weekend will be long and the crabs are delicious when done right, not always the case. You can call ahead for availability and advance ordering.


            While I love the outside deck at The Spot Fall, Winter, and Spring, I've seen an entire cheeseburger carried off by flies in the summer only to be hijacked by a gang of seagulls. Dine inside or sweat and swat flies.


            1 Reply
            1. I agree with most of the suggestions posted, with the exception of Benno's, but then I have always been the odd one out on that one as most people love it. Interestingly I have had their catering at many events and find it to be some of the best, but the restaurant, not so much.

              I failed to mention in my previous post that I recently had a fantastic meal at the venerable Gaido's. I know people like to say it is not the same as years past, and that may be true. However simply because something is not exactly like it was 50 years ago does not make it bad. We had calamari that was simply the best I have ever had, not the usual fried rubber bands from most places. The red snapper was sublime and their famous grilled shrimp just as good as ever. My friends from upstate New York had been entertained the night before at one of Houston's better known restaurants and stated Gaido's was much better. I certainly would not write it off, and now that they accept reservations via My Table one can avoid the common hour plus wait.

              3 Replies
              1. re: swamp

                There are two dishes I like at Benno's, Cajun crabs in the summer, when cooked right, and the grilled oysters in winter, which I can duplicate in my 5 star apartment kitchen.

                1. re: swamp

                  I have only been to Benno's once and ordered the crab cakes and fried crab claws, both awful. When oyster season returns, I'll try to get back there for the oysters and crabs.

                  1. re: Lambowner

                    The crabs are whole either boiled or fried, pretty much a summer dish, crabs burrow in the mud in winter and are hard to catch. Never had the crab cakes or claws. The only problem with the crabs can be overcooking and the meat is tough to get out. I send them back.

                2. A nice 45 minute scenic roadie follows the Gulf west along Seawall Blvd. to the Red Snapper Inn in Surfside. We usually go for po boys with extra fish, shrimp, and oysters by the piece, plus home fries, more like potato chips cooked to order, crispy for the wife, slightly soggy for me. There is a much more adventurous menu than po boys featuring fresh Gulf seafood. There is a two dollar toll bridge both ways at San Luis Pass, but the Gulf meeting Galveston Bay is worth it, plus as you go west toward Surfside, the Gulf is right next to the road thanks to many storms, especially Ike which took out a huge chunk of the highway.


                  3 Replies
                    1. re: James Cristinian

                      Great! We will be in the area this week and will try to check out Red Snapper Inn. It's been many many years since I've been to Surfside! We were debating Waterman, but some in our group objected on the basis of some really bad online reviews.

                      1. re: James Cristinian

                        We made it over to Red Snapper Inn and ordered the Greek style grilled oysters appetizer (a chalk board special) and several red snapper dishes, stuffed shrimp, and a fried oyster/shrimp combo. All of it was well cooked, and well priced (about $18 for the snapper dishes, which come with salads and veg, rice or potato). Note the sign in the outer enclosed and air-conditioned patio that asks parties of 5 or more to send one person in to announce arrival and the rest to wait on the patio until a table can be set up. We missed it and it is their crowd control effort. Once you enter the dining room, you are IN the dining room with no space for standing about. No reservations accepted.

                        Anyway, we thoroughly enjoyed the meal and thanks for the rec, James Cristinian!

                      2. We just returned from a week in Galveston and had some remarkable meals.

                        Lunch at Olympia Grill - more for the view than the food. A huge cruise ship turned itself around in front of us. Lunch at Benno's - the Cajun crabs were succulent and the pound (?) of potatoes that came with them were good for breakfast for the rest of the week. Lunch at Mosquito Cafe - fresh healthy food, most welcome after days of having everything fried.

                        Dinner at Rudy and Paco's - the food is sublime and the service is synchronized without being stuffy. The calamari were some of the best we've ever had, lightly crunchy and some how sweet and sour. Dinner at Porch Cafe - we enjoyed six little plates, the butter bean hummus was inspired, but the peach cobbler was disappointing. The cafe is light and airy but became noisy as the interior filled up.

                        Thanks for all the tips found on this site - we're looking forward to our return!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: thebeanfield

                          Sounds like a great trip! Olympia Grill is our go-to each visit, and I wish the one time I went to Rudy & Paco's it was better, but the fish I ordered was just badly over-prepared. Will have to try again sometime.

                        2. Now that Simp's is gone the best place to eat in Galveston is Sonny's.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: bhoward

                            Simp's has left the island but they are still dishing up great food in La Marque.