Whether you’re just visiting the Coastal Bend or are here to stay, don’t miss the chance to take advantage of all the incredible culinary experiences our area has to offer.
Fresh seafood and perfectly-cooked meats are specialties in South Texas, but there is no shortage of outstanding and diverse eats! To help you get a head-start on exploring the foodie scene, we’ve compiled a list of our favorites, whether they be in downtown Corpus Christi or on the island.
1. Executive Surf Club
You’ll love the vibe, with its dog-friendly patio and surfboard tables (yes, literal surfboards sticking out of the wall). You can catch live bands at the Surf almost every weekend, and folks don’t hesitate to hit the outdoor dance floor!
Sink your teeth into one of their classic burgers, or give the Shrimp Burger a go. If you’re feeling extra decadent, order the Cinnamon Xango Delight for dessert. What’s a Cinnamon Xango Delight? We’re glad you asked. It’s a deep-fried New-York-style cheesecake heaped with vanilla ice cream and chocolate. Basically, everything you never knew you wanted.
2. The Post at Lamar Park
The Post pairs American fusion cuisine with a variety of handcrafted cocktails ranging from the classic to the innovative. Sip your drink outside on what was once a loading dock but is now a patio bar.
Both familiar and exciting, the menu boasts everything from lobster mac and cheese to smoked pork shanks in a bourbon glaze, to a killer grilled cheese fondly termed “The Hot Mess.” Patrons typically frequent this trendy bar wearing business casual or first-date-fancy.
(Wait. Did we mention there’s a brunch menu? What better way to start your Sunday than with a Breakfast Martini and Crab Avocado Toast? Yummm.)
3. Harrison’s Landing
Another Downtown Corpus favorite is Harrison’s Landing. Here you can choose to stroll along the dock and enjoy boutique shopping, catch a Full Moon Cruise, or join in for Wine & Whiskey Wednesday or Tea Party Thursday. And this isn’t your grandmother’s tea party (or maybe it is). We’re talking Long Island Iced Teas, Spike Peach Teas, and Texas Teas.
Locals call the restaurant at Harrison’s Landing, “Tavern on the Bay.” The Tavern offers fun and feel-good fare like crab and jalapeno hush puppies, fried green tomatoes, and a raw bar. And those are just the appetizers! The tiki bar on the floating dock is also pretty cool and is the perfect vantage point for taking in the views at the marina.
Kick it old school and beat the heat with a trip to this Corpus Christi original. Located near the upscale Southside neighborhood, and a quick drive from the South Texas Botanical Gardens, Sno-Ball serves up over forty flavors of snow cones. One of the most popular flavors? The Picadilly: twelve ounces of shaved ice topped with cherry syrup, pickles, and cayenne pepper. Surprising…and surprisingly delicious.
5. The Yardarm
This waterfront restaurant located along Ocean Drive may look like a small, old house, but step inside and you’ll find a tasteful and understated dining room with large paned windows and a featured fireplace.
Whether you’re sitting inside or out on the deck, glorious views of Corpus Christi Bay will be yours to take in as you sip from The Yardarm’s impressive wine selection and feast on delicious seafood dishes. For the pescatarians and vegetarians in your party, The Yardam offers an array of options. Bask in this upscale experience with an unforgettable ambiance.
6. Scuttlebutt’s Seafood Bar & Grill
Scuttlebutt’s is the ultimate North Padre beach joint. Play a round of pool and catch some of the best live music around at this lively yet laid-back gem. The menu presents a comprehensive array of soups and salads, seafood and steaks, sandwiches, and a steam bar. The sushi is a huge hit here, and we won’t judge if you order a couple rolls and call it a meal. Expert tip: If you’re a brave soul, have a go at their spicy wings competition!
7. Dragonfly Restaurant and Curacao Blues
For finer dining on the island, enjoy authentic European and Mediterranean cuisine at Dragonfly. The menu is a tour of the world with an emphasis on French cuisine, and you can pair your food choice with fine wine, homemade sangria, or a drink from the full bar.
With so many exquisite options, it can be hard to choose, but we’d recommend trying the Stuffed Lamb Leg with Goat Cheese or the Crab Cake with Remoulade. Bonus: Dragonfly also offers a Menu Dégustation that consists of four courses, each accompanied with a customized wine pairing.
8. Surfside Sandwich Shoppe
You can never go wrong with Surfside. Located on North Padre Island, specialties include their crab cakes and shrimp tacos, but you should definitely try the over-the-top Reuben & Bratwurst (our mouths are watering just thinking about it).
Sit out on the patio or grab a seat inside the shop and browse the brown bag wall art drawn by customers young and old!
9. Bangkok Star
Nestled between locally owned shops on South Padre Island Drive, Bangkok Star is small, homey, and so so satisfying. But as small as it is, this Thai restaurant is hugely popular amongst locals and visitors alike. Whether you order an old stand-by or try something new off the menu, you’re sure to call Bangkok Star a favorite.
10. Texas Mesquite BBQ & Grill
Another North Padre favorite, this barbeque joint is a meat-lover’s dream. Texas Mesquite specializes in slow-smoked brisket, sausage pulled pork, ribs, and exotic burgers like elk, antelope, and kangaroo. Everything – even the rubs and sauces – is homemade and you can’t go wrong with the coleslaw. Order take-away or settle into a booth in this super casual, classic barbeque joint. This, my friends, is comfort food for the ages.
Loyal to its South Texas traditions yet laden with cultural and culinary diversity, the Coastal Bend has a lot to offer, so don’t call it a night after your meal! We’d recommend a walk along Ocean Drive in downtown Corpus or taking a beach access road on Padre Island and enjoying an evening constitutional along the sand. After all, the Coastal Bend sunset is a magical experience…. especially on a full stomach.
Looking to find a place that allows you to dine at your favorite Gulf Coast eateries on the regular (aka a vacation property)? Check out the long-term rentals in the area, or buy your very own place to call (vacation) home. And when you are ready buy, our agents and lenders will be here.