- Nancy Webb
Galveston Part 2: My 8 Favorite Places to Eat in Galveston
Updated: Aug 6, 2022
Accidental Tourist in Galveston Part 2
Ask ten locals to recommend their favorite restaurant – and you will get ten different answers. What factors lead people to select one restaurant over another? Sure, there are the obvious ones like delicious food and great service. However, there are other factors that are baked into our consciousness that we use to choose one restaurant or the other. I have broken down the factors that go into making the decision as to why we chose a certain restaurant, and then have listed 8 of my hometown favorites. I welcome your comments as well as recommendations for your hometown favorites.
The experience. If we just wanted to buy food – we would cook at home. We crave the energy – calm or bustling, and really just want to feel special and valued.
Delicious Food. I know, I just said that people are just buying food. As the food is an essential part of the experience – it has to be delicious.
Menu – Price, and Offerings. An essential part of the food is how it is communicated, and the menu does just that. We are also sensitive to prices – but will pay a fair price for what is offered. Have I ever ordered a $75 steak? Yes, I have, as it was a good cut in a luxurious environment with over-the-top service. Would I pay $75 for a hamburger in a drive-through? Probably not.
Types of Food. It is important for the restaurant to be clear as to what type it is as it gives a sense of what type of experience can be expected.
Service Quality. We want to be treated with respect and made to feel special.
Friendly Staff. Service and friendliness go hand in hand. Have you ever gone to a restaurant that is packed and service slow? If the staff is friendly with a “We are all in this together” approach – then I feel honored (or is it special?) to be able to get a table and a good meal. If the staff is surly and you feel like a burden – it is not an experience I want to repeat – no matter how good the food is.
Location. We are looking for it to be convenient, safe, and fun – including the parking situation. I prefer not to valet or mess with parking meters. I know that in some cases it is not avoidable – but it is an important factor for me.
So here are my Galveston favorites this summer that meet all of the factors outlined above.
ShyKatz. 1528 Avenue L. One block off-Broadway. This neighborhood favorite serves all of your breakfast and lunch favorites. They serve Weekday Lunch Plate Specials as well as homemade sumptuous deserts. There can be a line for breakfast on the weekends – but it moves fast and there is always a place to sit. Employees will remember your name by your second visit. Pets are welcome at the outside tables.
I am going to recommend two Coffee Shops. MOD Coffeehouse at 2126 Post Office - bustling and high energy with good coffee to fuel it. Plenty of Tables inside and out. I like to sit outside and watch the world go by. The other is Red Light Coffee Roasters at 2728 Market. This is a second home to students from the University of Texas Medical Branch and Texas A & M University. They roast sustainably sourced coffee right in the shop. Cool outdoor hangout space in the back.
Koops BBQ Kitchen and Catering. They are working on the website – currently found on Facebook. Just moved to 4501 Broadway. Brisket Days are Wednesdays and Saturdays. Chicken Day is Thursday. The owners PJ and Tara know how to cook BBQ – so don’t be surprised if they sell out before you can get there. Sides are just as good, think – Spicy Corn, Broccoli Cheese Casserole, and Sweet Potatoes Casserole. They also use their BBQ in their Tacos and Quesadillas. The AC has a hard time keeping up with the Texas Heat – so when it is hot outside – get your food to go!
Vida Agave. 711 25th. Modern Mexican serving the Traditional Favorites is owned and run by brother and sister – Luis and Yalexia. Can you say Margaritas, Queso, and Tacos? Floor to Ceiling windows with great views of the Port and Downtown. Really Good Air Conditioning and convenient parking. My first visit was for lunch – I liked it so much – that I went back for dinner that very same night. Happy Hour Premium Drinks and open until 2:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday Nights.
Fruity Party Island. 4528 Broadway. This place is good for an afternoon pick-me-up and is an authentic Refresqueria serving at their walk-up window – cooling Licuados, Jugo Naturales and Aguas Frescas, Raspados, and Cocos Frio. If you are looking for a freshly cooked savory snack – they have Hot Dogs, Nachos, Tacos, and my favorite – Esquites (Roasted Corn in a Cup tossed with mayo, butter, and cheese.) Everything is made to order – so don’t expect your food to come out in an instant. I love this place.
Rudy and Paco. 2028 Post Office. Serving Lunch and Dinner. This is a restaurant where you will always be greeted like a special guest by the proud owner – Francisco Vargas. Vargas has paid his dues as he fled from the Nicaraguan Revolution in 1978 and began working as a dishwasher and line cook in Houston. He opened this restaurant in 1996 and serves Seafood and Steaks with a South and Central American sabor. Rudy and Paco’s serves excellent food with outstanding service and atmosphere. A good place for business lunches and a place to celebrate special occasions. I recommend making a reservation for both lunch and dinner. Shorts are OK at lunch – but you have to put on your pants for dinner.
Number 13. 7809 Broadway at the Pelican Rest Marina and as you can imagine you get a great view of the Marina and Offatts Bayou. Specializing in Steak and Seafood. The name comes from the alias of the Pirates – Jean and Pierre LaFitte. brothers who were spies for Spain and revolutionaries for Mexico as the Mexican War of Independence washed over Galveston Island. You may have a bit of sticker shock – but the food, wine, and service are superb. They offer a Prime Rib Special on Thursday Nights which has a decent price point. Be sure to make a reservation.