The Top 10 Restaurants In Downtown Corpus Christi, Texas

Coconut Fried Shrimp| © Julie Havelka
Coconut Fried Shrimp| © Julie Havelka
Photo of Julie Havelka
9 February 2017

Corpus Christi, a Texas coast favorite, is a lively city rich in distinct culinary culture. Downtown Corpus Christi, situated on the bay, is a unique combination of corporate and casual. The recent revival of the city’s bay front provides restaurant owners the opportunity to further showcase their individual culinary talents to both local and visiting patrons. Here are 10 of the best dining establishments in the area.

Coconut Fried Shrimp | © Julie Havelka

Water Street Oyster Bar

A trip to the Texas coast would not be complete without a stop at this widely acclaimed restaurant. Water Street Oyster Bar has a solid menu full of fresh gulf seafood — from the adored oysters Rockefeller to the yummy coconut fried shrimp, this establishment continues to delight their devoted patrons. In addition to the traditional gulf coast favorites, they now offer an outstanding sushi bar. A visit for lunch or dinner will most definitely render smiles and satisfy your hunger.

Nuevo Café

Slightly off the beaten path, this oddly colored local dive has become famous for their devilishly good poblano soup. Owner and culinary artist Teri Nelson-Zepeda serves up 25 years of experience and has earned several prominent awards for her impressive lunch and catering cuisine. Dedicated to supporting the community, Nuevo Café proudly displays the work of local artists. Corpus Christi is lucky to have such a gem to enhance the vitality of downtown.

Mamma Mia's | © Julie Havelka

Mamma Mia’s

This is the perfect place to gather with your family and the closest of friends. With generous hospitality and the heartiest of Italian entrées, you will leave feeling very loved and very full. Lobster raviolis and veal meatballs are stand out choices on the authentic menu, and the waiters are very knowledgeable and helpful when it comes to choosing the perfect wine to pair with your dish.

Executive Surf Club | © Julie Havelka

Executive Surf Club

Corporate executives and casual tourists flock to the Executive Surf Club for a plethora of reasons. Located in the heart of downtown, this vibrant joint dishes out the tastiest of food alongside the best in local music. Unique burger combinations and the homemade hand battered fries and onion rings give this restaurant a stellar reputation. The Executive Surf Club proudly dispenses the most beer on tap in the city and is known for its enjoyable post-work happy hour.

Bleu Bistro

Bleu Bistro is quickly rising in fame as a high caliber and sophisticated Corpus Christi venue. The menu is surprisingly varied and provides an array of entrées, from the elegant rack of lamb and Peking duck breast to the classic ham and Gruyere cheese sandwich. A lovely option for any family or corporate event, Bleu Bistro offers a private dining room and can accommodate up to 30 guests. An evening spent dining in this warm and tastefully decorated restaurant is an evening well spent. Reservations are recommended especially for parties of more than six.

German Chocolate Cheesecake | © Julie Havelka

Hester’s Café

If you are looking for the perfect place to brunch, look no further. Hester’s Café provides a heavenly menu that includes sunrise paninis, to-die-for omelets and made from scratch baked goods. Since opening its doors in 2006, Hester’s Café has quickly expanded to two other locations within the city. For owners Jason and Hester Rodriguez, Corpus Christi is their hometown and service is their passion. What better way to serve a community by winning the hearts of their fellow neighbors?

© Cliff/Flickr

Republic of Texas

Republic of Texas, Corpus Christi’s leader in fine dining, represents class in every sense of the word. Located on the 20th floor of the Omni hotel, this multi-level restaurant offers gorgeous panoramic views of the Corpus Christi Bay. The food and presentation are just as spectacular. Steaks and seafood are the main options here, but don’t forget to ask about their nightly specials — Republic of Texas offers superb entrées that include venison and quail. The sounds of a baby grand piano, located in the restaurant’s center, will captivate any audience and provide a classy atmosphere unmatched anywhere in Corpus Christi.

Brewster Street Icehouse

Since opening in 2006, Brewster Street Icehouse has quickly made a big contribution to the Corpus Christi community. They are located in the downtown sports, entertainment and arts district that includes Whataburger Field, Concrete Street Amphitheater and Hurricane Alley Waterpark. There is not much this indoor and outdoor family friendly restaurant and live music venue can’t offer. Noted for hosting the best in Texas Country Music every Thursday night, a selection from their menu is just as exciting. From top-notch burgers to shrimp and mahi stuffed tacos, Brewster Street Icehouse will satisfy all tastes.

Yardarm | © Julie Havelka


This quaint little cottage restaurant is quite the showstopper. Yardarm is nestled up against the Corpus Christi Bay and delivers a beautiful waterfront view. Whether you dine in the cozy inside or out on the patio deck, the experience will be memorable. The menu offers fresh and savory seafood dishes such as snapper with capers and bouillabaisse seafood stew. It is recommended to call ahead for reservations. They are typically closed for a couple of months during the winter season, so keep this in mind when visiting. Locally owned for 30 years, Yardarm’s location and charm is one of a kind.

Howard’s BBQ

When in Texas, it’s impossible to not have a BBQ joint on a top ten list of restaurants! Since 1949, Howard’s BBQ has been committed to serving Corpus Christi quality food at reasonable prices. Treat yourself to anything on this menu, and your taste buds will thank you. Staying true to the Texas way, all of their meats can be purchased by the pound.

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