Galveston, TX is a vibrant city with a flourishing art, coffee, and restaurant scene and a deep history to learn about.
Doesn’t sound like the Galveston you know? Yeah it wasn’t for me either till I lived there. Like most everyone, I drove to the island and took 61st to the beach, got a 3rd degree sunburn while swimming in the brown water, and then hit 25th street directly to the strand. I would play on the big chess board, hit Colonel Bubbies when it was still around (rest in peace, dear friend), and eat at Yagas. This is all fine and good, really good in the case of Yagas, but if you want a little more local flavor we’ve got the scoop for ya. For those of you that have no idea where the heck Galveston, Texas is (probably most of you non-Texans), here’s a glimpse into the often overlooked Texas Coast:
Some of these places will be nice, reputable establishments and some will be the thick plastic on top of a picnic style table cloth indoors type of place but they’ll all be damn good and worth your time. As this is February, we are focusing the guide on the off season, non-beach types of places. So if you don’t see one of your favorites, don’t worry, it’ll be in the summer guide.
KATIE'S SEAFOOD MARKET
Far and away the best spot to get fresh seafood on the island. It’s also super aesthetic, placed right on the dock with the fish cleaning station no more than 10ft from the display shelves.
THE BISHOP’S PALACE
This 19,000 sqft stone home, finished in 1893, was designed by renowned architect Nicholas J. Clayton for the Greshams and their nine (yes NINE) kids. Baller family, housed hundreds after the great hurricane of 1900. In 1932 the Roman Catholic Diocese of Galveston bought it and used it as a house for the Bishop, where it got its current name. This place is full of super cool architecture but the best part is Mrs. Greshams’ art studio on the 3rd floor. Best naturally lit room I’ve ever seen.
COFFEE AND BREAKFAST
THE MOD COFFEE HOUSE
My favorite haunt on the island. A great spot to sip some coffee and read or get some work done. Or just look at all their unique tables made out of old maps, newspapers, and medical drawings. PRO TIP: I know you’re thinking I’m going to say to sit under the veranda with your favourite coffee (yes I spelled it the pretentious way on purpose), but that’s too easy. Grab a hard chocolate covered peanut butter bar and sit in the eclectic little upstairs.
Sit at the community table with a newspaper and have your coffee and breakfast, thank us later.
PATTY CAKES BAKERY
A damn good spot to get some sweets after you’ve had some sweets and the Sunflower.
LUNCH AND DINNER
SHRIMP ‘N STUFF
This is the thick plastic on top of a picnic style table cloth indoors type of place and it’s amazing. The type place that only serves brown food. But it’s damn good brown food. Definitely a locals spot.
Definitely one of the healthier and more quality places on the island while still maintaining a reasonable price. PRO TIP: Take advantage of their amazing back patio on a nice day. No better chill lunch spot.
Speaking of spots, THE Spot is a local style Fudruckers on crack. PRO TIP: A burger and shake on the upstairs patio is an unbeatable patio on a blazing summer day.
KICKIN’ IT BACK
On the pricey side of places to get a drink but the vibe makes it worth it. Definitely an upscale spot to go have a good conversation while sipping scotch.
The sign says just about all you need to know, and we’re good with that. The best place to have a cheap beer and play pool with your friends.