The Top Seafood Restaurants In Galveston, Texas

Restaurant scene
Restaurant scene | Photo by Sandra Seitamaa on Unsplash
Matthew Keyte

Galveston on the southern shores of Texas was first settled by French pirates fighting with Mexican rebels against the Spanish Empire. Since then it’s been a capital of the Texan Republic, an entry port for thousands of German immigrants in the 19th century, and a major port on the Gulf of Mexico. And with its seafront location it’s a prime place to get quality seafood. Here are 10 of the best places in town.

Shearn’s Seafood And Prime Steaks

On the ninth floor of the Moody Gardens Hotel is one of Galveston’s most prestigious spots for fine dining. Shearn’s Seafood and Prime Steaks is the ideal spot for a special occasion, with magnificent views from the restaurant looking out over Galveston Bay. Executive Chef Robbin Murphy offers a menu that includes hors d’oeuvres like jumbo Gulf shrimp Martini, smoked salmon, sesame encrusted Ahi Tuna, and Jumbo crab salad. And for entrées there is the signature Shrimp Dejonge, catch of the day cooked to your taste, broiled lobster tails, or seared Gulf snapper.

Black Pearl Oyster Bar

The Black Pearl Oyster Bar on 23rd Street in Galveston lies close to local landmarks like The Grand 1894 Opera House and the René Wiley Gallery. At the Black Pearl you won’t have to break the bank to get a good feed. It’s run by local restaurateur Rudy Betancourt and oysters, po-boys and Galveston shrimps are the order of the day. The menu features dishes including fresh oysters on the half shell, Cajun boiled shrimp, seafood ceviche, shrimp cocktail, catfish strips, gumbo, and po-boys made with oysters, crawfish, catfish, or soft-shell crab.

Fisherman’s Wharf

At the Fisherman’s Wharf you can sit back and enjoy fresh seafood while staring out on the Galveston Channel. Based on Harborside Drive next to the Texas Seaport Museum where the 1877 Tall Ship Elissa is docked, the building in which Fisherman’s Wharf lies was once a shrimp sorting factory where Galveston shrimp was brought before being shipped across America. Shrimp were even sent from here to the White House where they were served to then President John F. Kennedy. The appetizers on offer include grilled tuna, oysters, and shrimp ceviche, then there are soups like clam chowder, crab and lobster bisque and shrimp gumbo, and entrées including baked scallops, mixed seafood grill and crab-stuffed tilapia.

Saltwater Grill

Right across from the Opera House on Postoffice Street in the Strand Historic District of Galveston is the Saltwater Grill. They serve up freshly caught seafood, either cooked in the kettle or on the grill. On the menu are appetizers like mussels steamed in chardonnay, BBQ oysters, and fire roasted shrimp. Cooked in the kettle are things like bouillabaisse, gumbo, and Italian cioppino, which is a traditional fish stew. Otherwise you can opt for classics like Redfish Ponchartrain, crawfish etouffee, grilled yellowfin tuna, and seabass.

Gaido’s Seafood Restaurant

All the way back in 1911 San Giacinto Gaido opened up a seafood restaurant on the seafront in Galveston. And it’s still here, serving up Gulf shrimp just the way they used to over a century ago. Gaido’s on Seawall Boulevard looking out over the Gulf is just up from the Historic Pleasure Pier and has served dinner to presidents and entertainers like Alfred Hitchcock over the years. On the menu are oysters prepped to your tastes, jumbo crab cakes, house specialities like the famous Gaido’s Gulf shrimp, and platters of catfish, shrimp and the daily catch. The Daily Catch menu normally features fresh salmon, mahi mahi, flounder, and tuna.

Willie G’s Steakhouse And Seafood

Willie G’s Steakhouse and Seafood is another top seafood spot on Harborside Drive on the northern shore of Galveston Island. Established in May 1993, there are also Willie G’s in Houston and Denver, but the seafood is at its best at the Galveston restaurant where it’s fresh off the boat. The menu is extensive, you can start with oysters Rockefeller, oysters on the shell, peppered seared tuna rolls, crab cakes and seafood quesadilla or calamari. And there are plenty of gumbos, bisques, and chowders to choose from, along with lobster tails, platters, parmesan shrimp, and redfish Louisianne.

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