Top 5 Fancy Restaurants in South Padre Island

Whether you’re whisking a special loved one off on a romantic getaway or you simply want to treat yourself to fine dining, the South Padre Island dining scene has several options for taking your meal to the next level. Its island location means there are plentiful options for snagging that coveted waterfront table and watching a fabulous sunset with a drink in hand. For a special evening out on your island vacation, be sure to add these top five fancy restaurants in South Padre Island to the menu!

Gabriella’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria

After a day on the beach, a pizza can be a great way to refuel. At Gabriella’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria, choose from a large number of specialty pizza options, as well as salad, pasta, calzones, and subs. Their pizzas, calzones, and subs are cooked in a brick oven fired by seasoned oak wood, resulting in a deliciously crisp woody crust flavor. This is a great option for families in search of one of the best fancy restaurants in South Padre Island, as each pizza is served with family-sized portions of salad and garlic bread. If you’re more in the mood for pasta, their roasted garlic tortellini is an excellent choice!

Café on the Beach

Situated on the grounds of The Palms Resort, you’ll enjoy an exquisite waterfront setting at Café on the Beach. Select a table on the outdoor patio to enjoy unobstructed views over the sand and sea. While less fancy than some of South Padre Island’s other dining options, Café on the Beach delivers when it comes to good food in a beautiful natural setting. In fact, if you’re looking for a nice place to begin the day with breakfast or brunch, this is a great option. The smoked salmon eggs benedict or BLT eggs benedict alongside a fresh fruit smoothie are both good ways to begin the morning. For lunch or dinner, feast on coconut shrimp served with a spicy coconut-pineapple dipping sauce or go lighter with a salad, choosing from their menu of add-on options.

Sea Ranch Restaurant

This eatery is situated right on the waterfront, offering pleasant water views as you dine. They pride themselves on offering a variety of locally caught seafood options that change seasonally. For non-seafood lovers, you’ll also find a variety of steaks and pasta options. Start your meal off with an order of oysters Rockefeller, topped with spinach, bacon, and their special house sauce. Then move on to an entrée from the land or sea or opt for one of their hearty pasta dishes. Their steaks are excellent, cut fresh in-house and served with a side of creamy scalloped potatoes. The red snapper is also a popular dish, locally wild-caught and prepared with the option of breaded and fried, broiled, blackened, pan-grilled, or Cubano. Let your conversation linger over drinks as you enjoy the water views over a martini, specialty cocktail, or wine by the glass or bottle.

Liam’s Steak House & Oyster Bar

Enjoy steaks and fresh seafood at Liam’s Steak House & Oyster Bar. Reservations are available but not required. Liam’s is a family-owned and operated restaurant that was begun by a man who has been shrimping since he was a young boy and has now been joined by his sons to run this island favorite. Their menu includes oysters by the half dozen or dozen, burgers, salads, soups, pasta, and dishes from the land and sea. Most entrees come with the option of two sides, of which the brussels sprouts and loaded baked potato are particularly excellent. The stuffed flounder is a favorite main, as well as the red snapper Rockefeller. Save room for their famed chocolate cake, drizzled in hot molten chocolate and revealing a vanilla ice cream, nuts, and strawberry center.


A spacious white stucco building welcomes you in to F&B (Food & Beverage), where large brick arched doorways throughout the interior do a good job at creating more intimate eating spaces. With lots of white and natural wood on the interior, the space feels at once modern and rustic. F&B offers modern American food with a coastal flare and has an island casual dress code. Start your meal off with an order of soft shell crab served with a corn and avocado relish or an order of steamed littleneck clams to share. Mains include about a dozen options from the land and sea. The seafood risotto is a favorite, served with lump crab, Gulf shrimp, sea scallops, and littleneck clams over rice. Be sure to save room for a slice of their cool and creamy key lime pie topped with toasted coconut. F&B offers an extensive wine list by the glass or bottle, as well as specialty cocktails, beer, and mocktails for the kids.

Wonderful South Padre Island TX Restaurants & Vacation Rentals

If you’re still in search of a South Padre Island vacation rental, be sure to browse our private homes and condos that boast easy access to the island’s best beaches and dining options! Contact us today to book and enjoy these great South Padre Island, TX restaurants! Explore our entire house Airbnb vacation rentals in South Padre Island.

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