Eating Like a Local in Historic Downtown Galveston

where to eat in Galveston

Whether you’re famished after a day at the beach, meeting friends for happy hour or just grabbing lunch before boarding a cruise ship, choosing a place to dine in Historic Downtown Galveston can be overwhelming. And while restaurant reviews and blogs can be helpful, the most reliable dining recommendations come from folks who live in Galveston all year round.

That’s why your friends at Mitchell Historic Properties has compiled a list of local favorites to help make your choice a little easier.

Shrimp ‘N Stuff, 216 23rd St., has been a Galveston crowd pleaser for 40 years! Dine indoors or outdoors, or even take your meal to the beach! They’re famous for their expertly-seasoned, hand-battered items like Fried Catfish and Fried Shrimp, mouth-watering Gumbo and Crab Balls. But the real show stopper is Shrimp ‘N Stuff’s Po Boys. They also serve Oyster, Shrimp, Catfish, and Crawfish Tail, just to name a few. Or try a combo platter along with a cold bucket of beer. Fresh seafood, generous portions and reasonable prices makes Shrimp ‘N Stuff one of Downtown Galveston’s most popular restaurants.

Olympia Grill at Pier 21, 100 21st St. A gorgeous harbor view and a menu filled with four generations of treasured family recipes keeps customers coming back to Olympia Grill. Enjoy a memorable lunch, dinner, weekend brunch or even happy hour next to the 1877 tall ship, Elissa. Lunch favorites include items like Grilled Fish Tacos, Gyro Pita and Falafel Pita. For dinner, start with a Wild Gulf Shrimp Avocado Cocktail or Saganaki, a grilled cheese flambé! Gracing the menu are entrees like Olympia’s award-winning, slow-roasted Braised Lamb Shank and Gulf caught Grilled Red Snapper Fillet. With a variety of menu choices from fish to burgers, to vegetarian Greek specialties, there is something for everyone at Olympia Grill.

Nonno Tony’s Seafood Kitchen at Pier 21, 2100 Harborside Drive. Nonno Tony’s serves traditional cuisine with a new and exciting twist. Watch the talented chefs in Nonno Tony’s open-style kitchen not only create amazing Italian dishes, but also Creole, Asian Fusion and American fare. Start with Baked Oysters topped with Chorizo, roasted peppers and grilled corn in a white wine cream sauce, baked with blue cheese and seasoned bread crumbs. Next, choose from classic Italian entrees like Fettucine Alfredo and Eggplant Parmesan, or have the fresh catch of the day prepared one of several ways like Puttanesca, with a sauce made of capers, chiles, olives and tomatoes. Order and enjoy Linguini in Clam Sauce, or Nonno Tony’s famous Gumbo from the Kettle Bar. Pizza is available all day, baked in their wood stone oven, offering specialty pies like Arugula and Prosciutto or Margherita. Come in for happy hour and have a glass of wine from Nonno Tony’s carefully-chosen selection and enjoy the sunset at one of Downtown Galveston’s favorite restaurants.

Riondo’s Ristorante, 2328 The Strand. A beautiful, rustic restaurant located right in the heart of Historic Downtown Galveston, featuring fresh pasta, traditional Italian dishes, gourmet pizza and an impressive wine list. Riondo’s serves lunch until 3pm every day and has one of the most popular happy hours in Galveston, from 3pm to 7pm Friday thru Sunday. The dinner menu boasts many Italian specialties like Lasagna Bolognese, Fettuccine Primavera, and Brodetto Di Crabmeat – jumbo Gulf Coast lump crabmeat, roma tomatoes in white wine sauce served over linguine. Fresh fish, shellfish, veal, chicken and filet mignon also grace Riondo’ s menu and fresh, house baked artisan bread complements every entrée. Brunch is served every Sunday from 10am to 3pm and offers delicious selections like Grand Marnier French Toast with Fresh Strawberries, Lobster and Saffron Raviolis and Colossal Crab and Poached Eggs Sardu served with Canadian bacon and creamed spinach. Come see why Riondo’s was voted one of the Top 5 Most Romantic Restaurants in Texas!

Fisherman’s Wharf at Pier 22, 2200 Harborside Drive. This award-winning, family-friendly restaurant is located right next to the Texas Seaport Museum, home of the 1877 tall ship Elissa. Enjoy a stunning view of the bay while you dine on a selection from the Wharf’s extensive menu featuring daily fresh fish specials, seafood combo platters, pastas, perfectly prepared steaks and savory chicken dishes. Known for exemplary service, the staff at Fisherman’s Wharf is always happy to serve their guests some Galveston favorites like Shrimp Gumbo with Andouille Sausage, Cajun Stuffed Pork Chop topped with crawfish tails, and of course their famous Shrimp Kisses – shrimp stuffed with jalapeno jack cheese and wrapped in bacon. Visit the Fisherman’s Wharf for Happy Hour, from 11am to 7pm Friday thru Sunday for great drink specials and awesome dockside munchies.

Willie G’s Seafood & Steaks, 2100 Harborside Drive. Surround yourself with beauty as you enjoy a scenic view of the harbor and dine in the elegant atmosphere of Willie G’s. Sleek, modern décor, custom furnishings and breathtaking artwork are just part of what makes Willie G’s one of Downtown Galveston’s favorite destinations. The other part is the cuisine, of course! Start at the raw bar with fresh from the bay, Oysters Rockefeller or their creamy Lobster Bisque. Treat yourself to a fresh fish specialty like Hazelnut Trout with grilled tomato salsa or Blackened Snapper Lafitte with crabmeat, shrimp, avocado, roasted vegetables and coconut rice. Stop by Monday through Friday and sit at the bar for specials like Sliders and Shrimp Diablo and have the bartender mix you a specialty cocktail like the Cucumber Mojito or Desert Pear Margarita. Delicious food, beautiful atmosphere and excellent service, Willie G’s certainly has it all.

Jimmy John’s Sandwiches,102 Kempner St, is the perfect place to grab a quick bite. JJ’s menu boasts a wide variety of clubs and subs, using only high-quality meats, local produce and served on fresh bread.

Fuddruckers, 111 23rd St. Juicy burgers on fresh-from-the-oven buns, chicken sandwiches, salads, milkshakes! Order a Fuddruckers specialty burger, or create a masterpiece at their legendary build-your-own-burger bar. Fuddruckers is definitely a place the whole family will enjoy!