Searching for the top restaurants on South Padre Island? Then you’ve arrived to the correct location!
Did you know Texas has its own tropical island? It does, believe it or not.
South Padre Island in southern Texas is a 34-mile-long length of white sand. This barrier island is bounded to the east by the Gulf of Mexico and to the west by the gorgeous Laguna Madre Bay.
The region’s natural beauty, as well as its beautiful sunrises and sunsets, are just a few of the reasons why travelers from Texas and northern U.S. states come to this island getaway year after year. Windsurfing, skydiving, kiteboarding, horseback riding, sailing, fishing, and other outdoor sports are available.
South Padre Island, which is completely surrounded by ocean, also has the freshest seafood, which is brought in daily by local fisherman. Being a foodie, I appreciated the range of restaurants and cuisines available here. Most are family-owned and run, which is a rare occurrence these days. On South Padre Island, though, it is a source of pride and delight.
For its small, the island has a surprising amount of eateries. Nonetheless, here are some of my favorite foods and snacks from my first visit to this aquatic paradise.
Visiting other places in Texas? Check out our other tasty guides:
- 9 Must-Try League City Restaurants
- 11 Best Restaurants In Southlake TX
- 8 Must-Try Keller Restaurants
- 10 Best Classic Texan Dishes
- 10 Best Frisco Restaurants
- 6 Must-Try Amarillo Restaurants
- 8 Amazing Things To Do In Grapevine TX
- 1 The Top 7 Restaurants on South Padre Island
- 1.1 The Painted Marlin Restaurant
- 1.2 Restaurant Josephine
- 1.3 Padre Island Brewing Company is a brewery on Padre Island, Texas.
- 1.4 Louie the bartender
- 1.5 Seafood Restaurant Blackbeards
- 1.6 Yummy Bistro
- 1.7 Mexican Restaurant & Cantina Seor Donkey
- 1.8 Which of these South Padre Island eateries will you try first? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below!
The Top 7 Restaurants on South Padre Island
The Painted Marlin Restaurant
(956) 761-2977202 W. Whiting St.
The cuisine, scenery, and service at this vibrant, festive waterfront café with magnificent sunsets are hard to surpass. The eating pavilion overlooks the beautiful Laguna Madre bayside and fishing pier. The restaurant takes its name from the marlins that live in these seas. Mounted marlin sculptures colorfully adorned and painted by local artists dangle from the ceiling, lending a whimsical sense of craftsmanship.
Our party of gal buddies enjoyed lunch at The Painted Marlin since it offers classic island alfresco dining in a relaxed yet picturesque atmosphere. On the final night of our trip, we ordered cocktails to honor the breathtaking sunset. Who are our favorites? Red sangria produced in-house, house shack margaritas, and inventive coladas.
As expected, seafood is the main attraction here. Everyone enjoyed the sharing appetizers such as Ceviche, Crab Cake Bites, and Blue Crab Fingers. The chef handed out a little sampling of his wonderful Etouffee and Rice cooked with fresh crawfish and shrimp as a nice surprise.
My main course for supper was a stunningly cooked and presented Mojo Mussels and Shrimp Capellini. This savory meal was really wonderful, with a little Cajun flavor that made it stand out.
The Painted Marlin Restaurant is the place to go for excellent seafood with a view for happy hour or supper on the island! If you’re out for a day of fishing and catch your own seafood, the restaurant will happily cook it to your specifications for a fair fee.
South Padre Boulevard (956) 299-49103409 South Padre Blvd
Breakfast is a meal that I often miss. But, after dining at Josephines Restaurant, I have been transformed into a morning dining diva. All thanks to their wonderfully broad and imaginative cuisine, which is available all day and includes an amazing brunch and lunch menu.
With good reason, this island favorite is often crowded, with queues developing on weekends. The lovely café is a popular hangout for friends who come for the delicious American scratch cooking that Mom and Grandmother used to prepare.
Choosing from the menu is difficult, but happily, our group of gals is all about sharing, so we’d get a sample of everything. There weren’t two breakfast entrees that didn’t make us ooh, ahh, and drool. The Crab Cake Benedict, which consists of lump crab served on a croissant and topped with two poached eggs and house-made hollandaise sauce, and the Crepe Mussett, a French crepe loaded with berries, bananas, and Nutella and topped with berries and cream.
I requested mine without the Nutella and was met with additional fresh fruit and a smile from my server that suggested I have you covered!
Josephines is an outstanding island pearl for a modest, pleasant local classy gastronomic experience without a hefty price tag.
Padre Island Brewing Company is a brewery on Padre Island, Texas.
Padre Boulevard (956) 761-95853400 Padre Boulevard
Every community needs a brewery. And we liked the atmosphere at Padre Island Brewing Company. It is quite popular among the locals. We felt the same way.
The lunch and supper tavern, which opened in 1995, is known for its handmade brews. Of course, the greatest way to taste is to take a trip. The daily offers are listed on a giant blackboard, but the comprehensive beer menu contains many more options. If you’re not sure which ones to have, the servers are well-versed and beer specialists, so they’ll be quite helpful.
Sharing appetizers, such as Beer Battered Stuffed Crab Mushrooms, Wisconsin Cheese Curds, and, of course, the cheese-topped Pretzel, are a must.
Salads, sandwiches, burgers, tacos, wraps, seafood baskets, and major meals are among the other options. I couldn’t resist ordering a pizza, particularly because Padre Island Brewing Company was named one of the Top 100 Independent Pizza Shops by Pizza Today Magazine.
Customers may choose their sauce as well as specific toppings. I can’t say enough good things about my fresh tomato sauce, pepperoni, mushrooms, onion, and pepperoni pie. Despite it is described as an individual pizza, it is large enough to share. The Calzones my buddies ordered were also enormous and wonderful!
Padre Island Brewing Company is my top pick for a superb brewpub experience.
Louie the bartender
700 Padre Blvd. (956) 433-20986700 Padre Blvd.
We all agreed that we’d never seen a restaurant like this at a Courtyard by Marriott hotel before. Bar Louie is unmistakably one-of-a-kind. And it’s perfect for the location.
Locals like the gastropub, which has live music, a lively ambiance, plenty of bar and floor seating, delicious libations, and really, very superb cuisine. And there’s usually someone on the dance floor, since who can resist a popular lively song?
We began with hand-breaded pickles, flash-fried calamari, and a trio of chips and Mexican-inspired sauces. These were ideal for passing and sharing around the table.
I’d previously heard that the Voodoo Spaghetti was a must-try from a local gourmet. It was all it was advertised to be, including giant shrimp, andouille sausage, red and green bell peppers, and a house-made spicy voodoo sauce. Every mouthful is delectably excellent!
We didn’t have space for dessert, but the Cinnamon Donut Holes were a hit with the people at the table next to us. These cinnamon-sugar-dusted poppers are served with maple caramel and chocolate sauces. I can confirm that it didn’t take long for the cup of doughnuts to vanish from their table!
Bar Louie is the perfect spot to congregate for a really fun and festive day on South Padre Island, complete with fantastic bar cuisine and live music.
Seafood Restaurant Blackbeards
East Saturn Lane (956) 761-2962103 (956) 761-2962103
A pirate restaurant is required in every coastal town.
Blackbeards, which is open for lunch and supper, has been a South Padre Island staple since it originally opened in 1978. The proprietors’ motto was that if you cook and serve a delicious burger and a cool beer, you may be able to live in a beach town. Considering the restaurant’s duration, one may conclude that it was a success!
Our lunch with our friends was fantastic, beginning with sharing courses of Potato Skins, Crabcake, and Tres Amigos (fresh chips with salsa, guacamole, and queso).
A word of caution if you plan on eating here. One, the menu is wide, making it difficult to choose your main entree. The servers, on the other hand, are eager to help since many have been with the institution for years.
Two, the servings are enormous, so you may want to consider sharing. A seafood-loving buddy decided to share the Blackbeards Seafood Platter Supreme with me. The broiled or fried seafood platter included gulf shrimp, scallops, stuffed crab, stuffed shrimp, and a choice of fresh fish. Broiled seasonal Mahi Mahi was our seafood of choice. The generous entree, along with a house salad and a loaded baked potato, was more than enough for sharing, and we still had leftovers.
Blackened Asian Catfish, Ginger Teriyaki Tuna Steak, and Shrimp 3 Ways are all house favorites. Don’t worry if some of your guests aren’t fond of seafood. Other menu items at Blackbeards include burgers, steak, and chicken.
We promise you’ll find something for everyone in our pirate lair.
700 Padre Blvd South, Suite J (956) 761-2526
This delectable South Padre classic is another another place that is so popular with residents and tourists alike that seats fill up quickly during peak eating hours. The lovely café, which is open for breakfast, lunch, and brunch, serves absolutely delectable meals with a smile and excellent service.
For couples or big parties, I strongly suggest beginning with a mimosa or ordering a carafe of champagne. Yummies will also bring out your preferred juice blends. My personal favorite? The mango pineapple. And, to our delight, the juice includes sparkles, so the glass glitters when blended with the champagne. It doesn’t get much better than this.
Coffee enthusiasts will enjoy their inventive creations such as the Coconut Zesta, Spanish Macchiato, Nutella Mocha, or Milky Way Latte.
The entrees are wonderful. But, since everything in Texas seems to be supersized, they are large enough to share. My Padre Panini had grilled sourdough bread with sliced ham, bacon, egg, tomato, spinach, and cheddar cheese. I also requested a Lemon Poppyseed Pancake, which is one of Yummies’ house specialities. Both options were ideal.
Yummies Bistro on South Padre Island is a spot you won’t want to miss if you want a local vibe with outstanding cuisine and service.
Mexican Restaurant & Cantina Seor Donkey
Padre Blvd (956) 761-48434215
With Mexico close over the border, a vibrant Mexican restaurant and cantina is a must. And Seor Donkey serves the best Tex-Mex on the island.
The restaurant is open for lunch and supper and has a donkey as its mascot. You’ll run into him as soon as you go inside the restaurant. The environment is relaxed yet active, and it’s a lot of fun. The menu is seafood-focused, but it also includes conventional tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and quesadillas, as well as highlighted items.
The Shrimp Quesadillas (my personal favorite), Fish Ceviche, Petes Carnitas, and Blackened Fish Veracruz are all highly recommended by our group of eaters. Begin with a few delicious queso dips to share, since they always set the tone for more Mexican pleasures to come.
If you want alcoholic cocktails, the bartenders at Seor Donkey make huge Micheladas, Margaritas, and other delectable Mexican concoctions. My jalapeo margarita was delicious. Creamy with the perfect amount of kick.
We hope you enjoy one of our favorite sites the next time you visit South Padre Island. You will never get hungry here!