Food can be one of the most enjoyable experience in life, and especially when on vacation. It is fun to experience new restaurants or foods that are local to an area, for example getting fresh caught seafood straight from the docks. So if you enjoy new dining experiences for breakfast, lunch or dinner, then let this restaurant list be your guide on the best South Padre Island Restaurants to enjoy while on vacation!
Casual Dining at South Padre Island Restaurants
Yummies Bistro $$
Address: 700 Padre Blvd
Serving: Breakfast and Lunch
Indoor and Outdoor Seating, Pet Friendly
Don’t be turned away just because this bistro is located in a strip mall, let me tell you, Yummies Bistro lives up to its name. So make sure to arrive early for breakfast, especially on the weekends or be prepared to wait. They have a great menu with so many selections you could go back everyday for a week and order breakfast and lunch and not have to order the same thing twice. We got the avocado toast, eggs and french toast and all of it was very good. And the staff was also great. So I would highly recommend this restaurant for breakfast or lunch.
Joe’s Oyster Bar $$
Address: 207 E Maxan St, Port Isabel
Serving: Lunch and Dinner
No Outdoor Seating, Not Pet Friendly
Joe’s Oyster Bar is actually not on South Padre Island, it’s located across the bridge in Port Isabel, but it is worth the short drive. The restaurant is connected to a seafood market selling a variety of fresh and frozen seafood. From the outside, the appearance is marginal. And on the inside you are reminded of a local family diner. So don’t let the appearance fool you, this is a favorite among the locals. The menu is simple and they mostly serve fish, shrimp, oyster or crab either fried or grilled . So if you are not a seafood fan, you may want to pick another restaurant.
There is table service not counter service. Your order is brought to the table on disposable plates with plastic cutlery. Its a very casual experience but surprisingly good. We ordered the grilled shrimp platter and the grilled combo platter of fish, shrimp and oysters. The grilled shrimp was definitely the favorite with the grilled oysters to follow. It is a local family business and the staff was very friendly and helpful.
The Cafe On The Beach $$
Address: 3616 Gulf Blvd, SPI
Serving: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Outdoor Dining Only, Beach View, Dogs Permitted in some areas
Located off the main drag and at the back of The Palms Hotel you will find The Cafe on The Beach. Its a small, casual and quaint beachside cafe with an outdoor fully shaded pavilion and additional tables with umbrellas where pets are allowed. Just beyond the sand dunes you have a nice view of the ocean. We only had the chance to eat dinner here, but heard they also have great breakfast.
Coconut Jacks $$
Address: 2301 Laguna Blvd
Serving: Drinks and Dinner Only
All Outdoor Seating with Fully Shaded Pavilion and Umbrellas, Dog Friendly, Laguna Madre Views
Coconuts Jacks is basically a beach bar with better food. But we really like it! Every time we have eaten there it has been good. Just note, they do not come to your table and serve you, so you have to order at the bar. They have a variety of drinks and decent selection of food choices. I have had both the shrimp and fish tacos and they were really good. We have also had the burger and their french fries are delicious.
With live music every night of the week, its a fun place to go! It can get a little loud if you are near the speaker and sometimes its hard to hear your food order being called out, but other than that, its a good place to have a margarita and watch the sunset, as its located on the Laguna Madre side of the island.
South Padre Island Restaurants that are a little nicer
F & B $$$
Address: 3109 Padre Blvd, SPI
Serving: Dinner Only and Sunday Brunch, Closed Monday
Indoor Dining and Outdoor Dog Friendly Patio
If you are looking for something a little upscale and more of a foodie kind of place, than F & B should be your number one choice. With a nice craft cocktail list and unique creative food dishes that taste as good as they look, receiving a high customer rating is not by chance.
For our dining experience, we started with the seasonal cauliflower soup, which was very good. As for dinner, we ordered the seafood pappardelle and smoked duck breast. And I would suggest to preorder for dessert the key lime souffle, like we did, as it needs time to cook, and its definilty worth it! ll Our entire experience was a delight and our server who was very attentive, made our evening that much better. It was a 5 star experience for sure.
The Meatball Cafe $$
Address: 2412 Padre Blvd
Serving: Lunch and Dinner
Indoor and Fully Shaded Outdoor Dining, Dog Friendly
When you feel like a little Italian, then be sure to stop and have lunch or dinner at The Meatball Cafe. At this family owned restaurant you can dine indoor or outdoor on their newly designed patio and they even have fans outside to help cool you down when its hot. Offering a nice variety of classic Italian dishes and wine selection, this place is definitely a local favorite. We tried the pizza, and salad with added protein and it was a lot of food. So if you get tired of eating seafood on the island, or just feel like Italian, then this would be a great choice.
Sea Ranch $$$
Address: 1 Padre Blvd
Serving: Dinner Only
Indoor Dining with Marina Views
Sea Ranch is another option for more of an upscale dining experience. They have a great selection of, well you guessed it, seafood, but they also have land options. One thing unique abut Sea Ranch is they offer a cook your catch entree. So if you spend the day at sea catching your dinner, you can bring it in for them to cook for you, and they have options such as, blackened, grilled, encrusted and a few more. Sea Ranch is a nice dinner experience with a water view. A few of my favorites are the coconut shrimp and shrimp cocktail. And they also make a really nice dirty vodka martini with blue cheese stuffed olives.
So Where Do We Start?
If you plan your day around food, like many people do, then pick a few restaurants that you want to try the most and work your way down. You may not get to try them all, but I think you will be happy about the ones you do. They all offer something a little different and that’s part of what makes it an experience!
And if you are looking for things to do on the island: That is Coming soon!
For information on beach camping, this article on What Are The Best South Padre Island RV Parks will guide you through you options.