10 Best Spots to Check Out on Galveston Island

Memorial Day is here and if you’re thinking of spending the holiday with sand in your toes, salt in your hair and good food in your belly, this list is for you. Houston Press spent a few days in Galveston and dined at some well-known favorites, and also checked out some island jewels you might not have heard about.

The chicken fried steak sandwich, the PMS Burger, and a Boho Salad at Gypsy Joynt.EXPAND
The chicken fried steak sandwich, the PMS Burger, and a Boho Salad at Gypsy Joynt.
Photo by Jennifer Fuller

Gypsy Joynt, 2711 Market

Step into this eclectic bohemian paradise decorated with quirky chandeliers, colorful tapestries, mismatched chairs and strands of flashy beads dangling from the ceiling. The menu at this counter-service cafe is just as groovy, with items like oven-baked sandwiches, gourmet pizzas, creative tacos, huge burgers and gorgeous salads. The colorful Boho salad is loaded with fresh greens and topped with whole grapes, diced pineapple, sliced strawberries, cranberries, walnuts and salty chunks of feta.

Or choose from one of the crazy-named burgers, all served on fresh, homemade focaccia. The Ziggy Up burger comes with peanut butter, fresh mozzarella, homemade jam, bacon jam and the housemade Sriracha-based yunioshi  sauce. If you have all kinds of cravings, try the PMS Burger, served with homemade barbecue sauce, bacon, caramelized onions, jalapeños, and loads of mac and cheese and topped with potato chips. It's also served with a chocolate-dipped blue ball. Choose from one of Gypsy Joynt's oven-baked focaccia sandwiches or make it a wrap.

Gypsy Joynt also has vegetarian options, including the Cosmic Clover sandwich, made with mushroom, spinach, green peppers, onion, provolone, tomatoes, pesto, mixed greens, cucumber and Italian dressing. Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed Mondays.

DiBella’s Italian Restaurant 1902 31st

A setback from Hurricane Ike in 2008 and a fire in 2009 weren’t going to stop owner Charley DiBella, whose restaurant has been open since 1989, from serving Galveston locals and hungry tourists authentic Sicilian food. DiBella’s is running strong and still preparing some of the richest, savory traditional Italian favorites. Have a seat at one of the romantically lit, cozy booths with old-school Italian red-and-white-checkered tablecloths while checking out the framed old black and white photos on the walls. Order a glass of wine and nibble on an appetizer of crab claws or French bread pizza while deciding on what else to sink your teeth into.

The menu is loaded with succulent entrées, like a tender marinated Angus rib eye either pan-fried or grilled and served with a side of pasta. Or try the ravioli combo with pillows of pasta stuffed with chicken and cheese, porcini mushrooms and goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and cheese with your choice of sauce. Meat and vegetable lasagna is on the menu along with other vegetarian options like cheese tortellini, fettuccine alfredo and an eggplant parmesan sandwich. Chicken dishes and seafood options are also available, including seafood-stuffed pasta shells with your choice of sauce. Entrée portions are a nice size, so plan a nap after this Italian feast. Hours: Thursday to Sunday, 5 to 9 p.m. Lunch, Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Closed Mondays.

This Shrimp 'N Stuff location downtown offers broiled seafood options, like this colorful dish of broiled stuffed shrimp served on beautiful tableware from Mexico.EXPAND
This Shrimp 'N Stuff location downtown offers broiled seafood options, like this colorful dish of broiled stuffed shrimp served on beautiful tableware from Mexico.
Photo by Jennifer Fuller

Shrimp 'N Stuff Downtown, 216 23rd

Jeff Antonelli creates a new feel for Shrimp 'N Stuff — this location, which opened in 2014 at the former Phoenix Bakery, is quite different from the seawall location — with tableware made in Mexico and broiled versions of fresh fish and shrimp. Choose from broiled snapper, flounder, salmon and redfish, or try some broiled stuffed shrimp. Po-boys and fried items are also available, as well are non-seafood items like chicken poblano, chicken-fried chicken or a classic burger.

On the lighter side, several entrée salads are available and some are gluten-free. The Strand Salad, with mixed greens, tomatoes and cucumbers tossed in raspberry mango vinaigrette with fried Brie and dried figs, is colorful, fresh and also gluten-free. Breakfast is also served on weekends from 7:30 a.m. to noon, with items such as eggs Benedict, pancakes, chicken and waffles, and a spicy Bloody Mary. Enjoy dining on the patio overlooking a perfectly manicured green space. Hours: Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 9 pm.

Caribbean shrimp tacos are just one of the many varieties of tacos served at BLVD Seafood.EXPAND
Caribbean shrimp tacos are just one of the many varieties of tacos served at BLVD Seafood.
Photo by Jennifer Fuller

BLVD Seafood, 28th & Seawall

You’d never think that this hip, modern restaurant operates in a building that was once a convenience store. The clean, industrial feel, the great view of the ocean, and the delightfully plated food make dining here a pleasant affair. Executive chef Chris Lopez has created a crafty menu with a variety of sliders, tacos, seafood plates and steaks.

Choose from the Mambo Italiano sliders with 100 percent Angus beef that has been soaked in red wine, along with fresh mozzarella, basil and pesto aioli, roasted red peppers, and greens, or the BLVD sliders topped with guacamole, greens, cheddar, applewood smoked bacon, tomato and red onion.

Choose from many taco options, like the Asian tacos with tuna or crispy chicken, soft-shell crab with jalapeño coleslaw, or Caribbean-style with jerk shrimp and colorful salsa. Entrées range from a 14-ounce cowboy bone-in rib eye and a double-cut blackberry pork chop to several samplers with choices of andouille-crusted redfish, baked oysters, scallops and more. Don’t forget to order a refreshing cocktail from the stocked bar. Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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