From shacks to swanky venues, these restaurants know seafood
The upper Texas coast is revered for some of the eateries with scenic views. Here are just as few.
Traditional mainstays such as fried and stuffed shrimp, fish, boudin balls, crab balls, gumbo and étouffée are available at this drive-through-style restaurant, which is open Thursdays through Sundays. Try the fried pickles, too. Thirsty? There are “daiquiris to go” in varieties such as “Wicked City,” “Attitude Adjustment” and “Long Island Ice Tea,” just to name a few.
2501 Ave. D, Dickinson, 281.967.7360
Benno’s on The Beach
Locals flock to this long-time casual eatery with Gulf views. So do tourists after a day at the beach. Gulf shrimp. Blue crabs. Fried crab fingers. Blackened oysters. It’s all there.
1200 Seawall Blvd., Galveston, 409.762.4621
Get your seafood and beach views at this island favorite, which is open for lunch, happy hour and dinner. And there’s brunch, too. Share the crab stuffed shrimp bites or shrimp and quail kisses before digging into seafood entrées like the N’Awlins or Waterfront samplers.
28th Street and Seawall Boulevard, Galveston, 409.762.2583
Fish Company Taco
The motto at this island neighborhood eatery is “Surround yourself with tacos, not negativity.” The owner handpicks the locally sourced seafood daily. Fish Company Taco has garnered acclaim for its fusion of different culinary cultures, including Vietnamese, Korean and Mexican. The gumbo is a must-try.
1914 23rd St., Galveston, 409.220.3245
Fish Place Seafood Café
Start off with a batch of stuffed jalapeños or shrimp cocktail at this mainland gem renowned for Cajun-style seafood creations. Then head for the seafood gumbo, grilled redfish, crawfish tails and those popular baked potatoes with various toppings.
2702 22nd St., Dickinson, 281.534.0505
Gaido’s Seafood Restaurant
It turns out, 1911 was a good year for coastal Texans. It was the year air-conditioning was invented and Gaido’s Seafood Restaurant opened in Galveston. The granddaddy of all seafood restaurants on the island and about anywhere else, Gaido’s is elegant, historic and serious about its seafood. It’s also known for the giant crab atop the building. Gaido’s offers locally sourced foods with white-tablecloth service. Try the Red Snapper Michael and the baked oysters. And don’t pass on the famous pecan pie.
3802 Seawall Blvd., Galveston, 409.761.5500
People drive to this dive from Austin and beyond for the buttery, garlicky, cheesy oysters cooked over a pit. Try the bivalves prepared in a variety of ways at this famous oyster bar.
222 Ninth St., San Leon, 281.339.3813
Little Daddy’s Gumbo Bar
The roux is renowned at this homegrown restaurant, where gumbo is king. Gumbo servings are generous, but leave some room for po-boys and barbecue shrimp, served with toast to “sop up the famous sauce.”
2107 Postoffice St., Galveston, 409.744.8626; 1615. W. FM 646, League City, 281.524.8626
Noah’s Ark Bar & Grill
With its island-theme décor and tiki hut rooftops, Noah’s Ark Bar & Grill knows how to do seafood and tropical ambience. Shrimp lovers are fond of Noah’s Shrimp Boat. This restaurant comes with bay views. Call ahead for live music schedules.
4438 Boulevard St., Bacliff, 281.339.2895
Opus Ocean Grille
The seafood and the scenery make this restaurant perfect for any occasion, whether it’s Girls’ Night Out or a romantic dinner for two. Opus does it all well — oysters on the half shell, Alaskan King crab, crab stuffed jalapeños, Cajun shrimp and grits and more. Feeling leisurely? Saturday and Sunday brunch features crab cake sliders and Boudin Benedict.
1510 Marina Bay Drive, Suite 124, Clear Lake Shores, 281.334.0006
The Reef Seafood House
This locally owned and operated seafood joint has been around for 35 years for a reason — the kitchen is skilled in the art of fried shrimp, oysters, catfish and more. There’s also a full-service bar and an enclosed patio dining area.
1301 31½ St. N., Texas City, 409.945.6151
Shrimp ’N Stuff
Want to eat where the locals eat? Follow them to Shrimp ‘N Stuff, which has been around since 1976. Fan favorites include the coconut shrimp, huge po-boys and the heavenly hushpuppies. Save room for dessert. The Key lime pie is a crowd favorite.
3901 Ave. O, 409.763.2805; and 25th and Ball streets, Galveston, 409.974.4609
Tookie’s Seafood has three distinct rooms: There’s the main dining room, called the Kitchen because patrons get a direct view into the kitchen; there’s the Shuck Room, which is the oyster bar area; and the Treehouse, a garage door patio that’s fully air-conditioned or heated, depending on the weather. Undecided about what to order? You can’t go wrong with any of the grilled oyster options or the Texas-inspired Shrimp and State Grits.
1106 Bayport Drive, Seabrook, 281.942.9445
What’s not to love at a seafood restaurant where the slogan is “you hook it, we cook it”? Bring in your fresh catch of the day and TopWater will cook it any way you’d like. Not a fisherman? No worries. Open-flame grilled oysters, seafood gumbo, crab and corn chowder and fish tacos also are on deck. Did we mention the waterfront views?
815 Ave. O, San Leon, 281.339.1232
Valdo’s Seafood House
This seafood eatery with a Mexican flair features such fare as stuffed red snapper, fried seafood and chargrilled oysters on the half shell. Its popular stuffed flounder covered in Pontchartrain sauce is a fan favorite. Take your appetite though — the plates are big and economically priced. And, if you want drinks with your meal, Valdo’s has some of the best margaritas in town.
4106 NASA Parkway, Suite C, El Lago, 281.326.3866