South Padre Island is notorious for its spring break party scene, drawing college students from around the country looking to let loose. While this family-oriented vacation spot on the southern coast of Texas is usually a fairly calm place, during spring break the island truly comes alive as spring breakers crowd the beach.
Admittedly, South Padre is no gastronomic paradise; however, there are certainly a few good options for a nice meal to soak up the excess alcohol. Drawing on countless summers spent on the island, I can confidently say that these are the seven best restaurants you'll find in South Padre.
Cafe on the Beach is a small, outdoor restaurant located in the back of a surfer motel right on the beach. Don't be deterred by the unassuming locale- this is cafe's atmosphere and food is arguably the best of all the South Padre restaurants. The open-air space with a pleasant view over the sand dunes is a great spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The breakfast menu consists of your standard American breakfast fare, including pancakes, omelets, and the phenomenal eggs Benedict, as well as bloody marys and mimosas. For lunch and dinner, there is a wide assortment of well-executed dishes ranging from fresh salads to steak and lobster tails.
If you're looking for a South Padre restaurant serving awesome Italian, Gabriella's is definitely your best bet. Gabriella's offers a huge menu of classic Italian-American dishes such as chicken Parmesan and lasagna served in a charming, intimate atmosphere, complete with red checkered table cloths and candelabras.
#SpoonTip: Although Gabriella's is sure to have a wait any time after 6:30 PM, they do deliver with sufficient notice. So, if you're just completely beat after a long, boozy day on the beach, Gabriella's brought to your door might be the best move.
Located right next door to Gabriella's, Yummies Bistro is the perfect place to recover after a night of overconsumption. This cheery, diner-esquebreakfast and lunch-only spot, serves awesome breakfast and lunch classics. With an expansive menu of all-day breakfast items as well as sandwiches and salads, there is definitely something for everyone. Be warned, though, Yummies is an island favorite, so expect to wait for a table.
An island mainstay, the Padre Island Brewing Company is a casual microbrewery serving an assortment of house-made beers along with classic pub fare and Gulf Coast specialties. With a large dining area and varied menu offerings, it's a great place to bring a large group for a fun time. It's worth noting that despite the bounty of fried foods on the menu, this is a great spot for those more concerned with their beach bod. The menu includes fresh salads and delicious pizzas that you can order with a flax-seed whole-wheat crust.
Although you can find BurgerFi locations across the country, this is worth a stop while on the island. The straightforward burger joint offers burgers and hot dogs, as well as decadent shakes and concretes. BurgerFi's fast-casual format is great for a cheap, easy, in-and-out kind of meal (and the burgers taste pretty awesome). Even if you don't go to BurgerFi for lunch or dinner, I would highly recommend hitting it up for dessert as their customizable shakes and concretes are unreal.
If you're really just not up to going out and are having Favor or UberEats delivery withdrawals, D'Pizza Joint has you covered. A South Padre restaurant institution, D'Pizza Joint is a hole-in-the-wall pizza place serving great pies you can eat at their restaurant or have delivered to your door. You really can't go wrong with any of their pizzas.
So if you're on spring break with your friends looking to have a good time, what could be more fun than teppanyaki for dinner? Although I will admit there is nothing proprietary about the food at Kohnami, they certainly offer a solid teppanyaki experience comparable to that of Benihana. The food is always fresh and prepared with plenty of flair, courtesy of the well-trained teppanyaki chefs. In addition to the limited teppanyaki tables in the back of the restaurant, Kohnami also offers an expanded menu in the front room that includes fresh sushi and other Japanese dishes.
Even though you're probably heading to the island in search of sun, sand, and beer, you definitely don't want to miss out on some of the great food options South Padre has to offer. Now that you have a good game plan for your spring break eats, you can focus more on turning up with your friends!