After shuttering restaurants and ordering evacuations last week in anticipation of Hurricane Laura, which ultimately made landfall at the Texas-Louisiana border, Galveston Island is breathing a collective sigh of relief.
And with Labor Day weekend approaching, the island remains an ideal place for a socially-distant day trip, quiet afternoon on the beach, or a dose of nature at Galveston Island State Park. Thankfully, some of Galveston’s most iconic restaurants, bars and cafes are serving up drinks, snacks and decadent dinners available for takeout and delivery — perfect for whatever one’s island adventure might hold.
Whether its coffee and breakfast to fuel a day of adventure, pre-made cocktails served in beach-friendly cans, or fresh Gulf seafood, here’s a guide the island’s best dishes and drinks to-go.
As with all businesses right now, be sure to call ahead to make sure each restaurant is still open or if there are updates on current offerings and service models, as things are changing constantly. Be sure to wear a mask, tip well, and, if you’re ordering delivery, try to order directly from the restaurant themselves.
MOD Coffeehouse — This longtime coffee shop on Post Office Street— about to enter its 20th year — serves all manner of coffee, from basic drip to flat whites to speciality lattes, including the barista’s choice, “Just Trust Me.” MOD also offers smoothies, zucchini bread and sweet treats like the lemon-lavender cookie. The shop is open seven days a week. MOD sells pre-batched coffee drinks online, and single cups for take-away.
Miller’s Seawall Grill — Hearty Southern breakfasts are served all day at Miller’s, located in a yellow Victorian House off seawall Boulevard and 18th Street. Alongside chicken and waffles an French toast are seafood-topped breakfasts like lump crab Benedict and shrimp and smoked gouda grits. Available through Postmates and Doordash.
ShyKatz Deli & Bakery — The breakfast menu at ShyKatz is extensive and served all day and includes sandwich-inspired egg dishes like Doc’s Reuban omelette and the Chili Philly Mornin’, a Philly cheesesteak in omelette form. Or go for broke and get the Katastrophic, which includes a choice of bread, country ham, shredded cheddar, home fries, two eggs, and sausage gravy all topped with bacon. Order on Grubhub or UberEats.
Nopalera Grill — Right off Broadway and 50th, this spot is beloved by locals and less-frequented by the Seawall crowd. Breakfast plates include standards like migas, machacado, huevos rancheros, chicharrón and nopales and eggs. They also have an extensive lunch menu. Order on the Waitr app or Grubhub.
Gypsy Joynt — This quirky spot was originally founded in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, before its owners packed up and moved to Galveston. Now located on Market Street, the Joynt serves up a range of loaded biscuits for breakfast, topped with everything from sauteed kale and maple chipotle sauce to friend chicken (wings or strips). Order for pickup or delivery (or lunch) through the restaurant’s website, Grubhub, Doordash, and Waitr.
Mosquito Cafe — This little slice of Southern Charm in a historic home serves up loaded corn cakes, grilled shrimp cocktail, pastas, and a Turkey Divinity sandwich, with grilled apples, smoked brie, bacon and oven-roasted turkey on a baguette. They also sell grocery items like croissants, deli meats, cheese and house-roasted coffee, all available through Grubhub.
Jimmy’s on the Pier — In normal times, it’s a delight to enjoy breezy, boozy lunch over the water at Jimmy’s on the Pier, on the west end of the Seawall. Diners can bring the menu home, if not the glorious setting, by ordering Jimmy’s redfish tacos, grilled shrimp nachos and tres leches cheese cake by calling the restaurant at (409) 974-4726.
Maceo Spice — Some of Galveston’s most important families in the early 1900s were Italian immigrants, and nowhere is that culinary legacy better represented than at Maceo Spice, the Italian importer, grocery, and deli. Here you can order a massive muffuletta, a deli-meat and cheese-slathered sandwich on round Sicilian sesame bread, covered in a tangy green olive salad. One sandwich is more than enough to for two people. Takeout only.
Brews Brothers — Galveston’s first craft beer bar serves local suds, and also some of the best burgers on the island. Try the Holey Krishna, with thick-cut bacon, Swiss cheese, and apple chutney, or the Mosquito Valentine, with goat cheese, beer currants and pickled beets. You can also get beer to go. Order online through the Waitr app or at the takeout table set up in the front door.
Shrimp N’ Stuff — Get hand-battered fried seafood like coconut shrimp, crab balls and catfish at this bright blue restaurant on Avenue 0. Add a side of gumbo, hush puppies or a key lime pie for a full meal. Order for pickup by calling (409) 763-2805.
Yamato Japanese Restaurant — Yamato has been serving sushi and hibachi-grilled dishes in Galveston’s West End for more than 30 years. The restaurant is currently open only for dinner, with dishes like teriyaki steak and scallops, sautéed squid and all manner of rolls, nigiri and sashimi, several of which are made with local ingredients. Yamato is available through Doordash and Grubhub.
Kritikos Grill — After the closure of Olympia Grill, Galveston’s Kritikos family has returned with this self-named restaurant on Seawall Boulevard. Enjoy fresh Gulf seafood with a Mediterranean twist, including mezze platers, seafood bouillabaisse, and Shrimp Santorini, a pasta dish topped with garlic, Kalamata olives, fresh tomatoes and feta. Order online for pickup and delivery, or through Waitr.
Little Daddy’s Gumbo Bar — Kettle-cooked soups are the specialty here, from gumbo to cioppino and other variations on seafood stew, plus dishes like etouffee, shrimp steamed in white wine and butter and Cajun Pistolettes, fried bread stuffed with crawfish. Available on the Waitr app.
Gaidos — Gaido’s is an institution, and there’s a reason it’s been around for more than a century. In addition to its regular menu, which is available to-go, the restaurant is now selling family packs designed to feed 4-6 people, with meals like bisque and gumbo by the gallon, pecan-crusted mahi mahi with parmesan tomatoes, cornmeal-fried catfish, and crawfish asiago fettuccine. The restaurant is on Grubhub, Doordash and Waitr, or call (409) 761-5500 to order directly.
Daiquiri Time Out — This rum-focused bar in Downtown Galveston takes tropical tipples to the next level. DTO offers its craft cocktails in beach-friendly cans, including classics like the Old Fashioned along side more creative fare like the Chica Chica, with rum. purple corn, pineapple and lime juices and spices. They also offer frozencocktails, shots, and beer to go, all available online Thursday through Sunday.
Galveston Island Brewery — The island’s largest microbrewery offers take-out beers to go, alongside growler fills, Friday through Sunday. Try the Citra Mellow, an American pale ale that’s won several statewide awards, or the Tiki Wheat, an American wheat beer that’s spiked with a hint of coriander. Order curbside by calling (409) 740-7000.
The Poop Deck — The Poop Deck, smack in the middle of the Seawall, is Galveston’s platonic ideal of a dive bar. In normal times, nothing beats sitting on the balcony and people-watching the island’s diverse assortment of visitors — from families to bikers to spring breakers.
With the barroom currently closed, The Poop Deck’s bartenders are now mixing up take-away cocktails from a well-stocked open-air bar on the bottom floor. The Deck’s current highlights are its boozy sno-cones —pick a flavor (or combine a few), add whatever alcohol one desires, then take it across the street to consume on the Seawall. Bartenders are encouraging drinkers to get creative with their sweet and icy combinations — the best of the sno-cone concoctions get added to the menu.
Devil and the Deep Brewery — Devil and the Deep, an unassuming brewery just off The Strand, is offering “walking beers” for customers to enjoy while they explore the historical Downtown district. The brewery focuses on Belgian and German brews, like its Barrier Wolf, a Flemish sour red. They’re open for to-go beers Thursday through Sunday.