Port A Beach Lodge is located directly on the beach, offering a grill and spot to grab a bite to eat or a cold drink. The peel-and-eat shrimp are a favorite and the oyster po’ boys are perfect for lunch in your beach chair. There is a bar offering beer and wine as well at their 2016 On the Beach Drive. Port A Beach Lodge is also a hotel with pet-friendly rooms and is the only hotel with a restaurant on the beach.
Located at 517 South Alister Street, Moby Dick’s Restaurant and Gift Shop not only offers some of the best shrimp boils and oysters on the island, the story of the establishment is also unique. Ed Zieglar was marooned on the beach at the age of 15 by his brothers where he ended up camping on the beach, struggling to survive. Surviving on fish and the occasional roasted rattlesnake, Ed became a “Colorful Island Character,” eventually gaining notoriety as a talented artist and the founder of Moby Dick’s Restaurant and Family Entertainment Center. Today, the business is managed by Suzie, Ed Jr., Amanda, and Jinny, all family members of Ed’s. Not only does Moby’ Dick’s focus on seafood, but they also have mammoth hand-cut steaks, giant burgers and some of the best tropical salads around. Be sure to try one of their specialty cocktails like the Mango Camoby Margarita.
Offering authentic, New York-style pizza, Dylan’s Coal Oven Pizzeria has the only genuine coal-burning oven on Mustang Island, letting the East Coast meet the Gulf. The pizza has a uniquely crisp crust and tastes like the pizza that New York has been famous for over the years. The hand-tossed dough is topped with a secret sauce, the freshest cheese, meats and vegetables available. Locals love the coal-fired lemon-herb wings and the white wine butter sauce roasted shrimp. Save room for house-made cannolis and zeppoles at their 128 Market Street location.
Relax on the outdoor patio at Virginia’s On the Bay, enjoy a delicious meal and watch the ships come into the harbor. Known for their delicious peel and eat shrimp, flaky fish caught in the Gulf, tuna salad made with freshly caught tuna and their Cajun boil, Virginia’s is a local staple. Bring in your cleaned fresh catch and they will prepare it grilled, fried or blackened. Try a salad with their house-made bleu cheese dressing and be sure to save room for the Key Lime Pie.
Roosevelt’s Fine Dining, located at 200 East Cotter Avenue, offers a place where you can enjoy an intimate dinner in an elegant setting. Appetizers like raspberry chipotle drizzled coconut shrimp over fries or bacon-wrapped medallions of tenderloin are the perfect start to any dinner. Follow that with Mahi Mahi, grilled in citrus with potatoes and topped with a creamy lobster sauce or a perfectly cooked steak covered in Roosevelt’s signature Bordelaise sauce. Finish with Limoncello icebox cream in a graham cracker crust with raspberry puree and whipped cream or the signature Key Lime Pie. There are weekly blackboard specials and if you bring your cleaned fresh catch, they will cook it to order for you.
The Phoenix is the place to see stunning sunsets on the patio while enjoying its eclectic menu. They offer American food with an Asian flair, sushi and seafood spin on southern dishes. Jumbo lump crab on fried green tomatoes or buttermilk biscuits topped with fried oysters and a sherry cream sauce with bacon are favorites. Try the lemon aioli topped crab cake or blue crab fingers as an appetizer. Desserts include house-made coconut cream, chocolate decadence, ginger carrot cake, or crème brulee. They are located at 3500-A Island Moorings Parkway.
Coffee Waves Port Aransas is where you can grab a real fresh brewed cup of coffee made with beans roasted in small batches weekly by local roasters. You can get a regular “cup of Joe,” or create a specialty coffee drink. They also serve homemade gelato and sorbetto as well as freshly made sandwiches. Find them at 1007 State Highway 361.
An island favorite, Castaways Seafood and Grill offers hand-battered fried seafood options made to order. Bring your own clean fresh catch or choose from the menu at this favorite spot which opened in 1993. You can even find fun items like corn dogs and chicken strips for the kids. Their po’ boys are popular, served on fresh-baked bread as are the gumbo and grilled shrimp with the Chef’s secret seasoning. There is a full bar with beer in draft and bottles, an extensive wine list along with specialty cocktails. Castaways also offers Sunday brunch with chicken and waffles, eggs benedict, omelet eggrolls, a croissant crab sandwich and stuffed waffles. They are located at 337 North Alister Street.
Seafood reigns supreme at the Trout Street Bar & Grill with their famous shrimp platters, crab cakes, pan-seared scallops, and shrimp cocktail. In addition, they serve hand-cut steaks, pasta, sandwiches, po'boys, and grilled chicken. Save room for the orange-infused bread pudding covered in whiskey sauce, topped with fresh fruit and ice cream. They are located at 104 West Cotter Avenue.
FINS Grill & Icehouse offers waterfront dining with a unique menu of seafood, burgers made with Angus beef, and other specialties you expect in the islands. If you bring in your own cleaned fresh fish, FINS will prepare it for your lunch or dinner. Founded by Captain Kelly and Beth Owens, a couple who met when Beth visited the area on spring break in 1987, FINS is the latest journey taken by the couple. Captain Kelly bought the marina where he worked in 1996 and the couple soon saw a need for a restaurant serving fresh seafood. In 2005, they opened FINS next door to the marina, and it has been a local favorite ever since. They are located at 420 West Cotter Avenue.
Combining flavors of Hawaii, Tex-Mex, Asia, and other international locations, Irie’s Island Food creates tacos using house-made tortillas filled with shredded pork, panko-crusted Mahi, fried chicken, garlic shrimp, island-style barbecue chicken, pork with poblano, and more. Each taco is topped with the chef’s signature sauces including the Red Dragon and the sour dill tartar. Enjoy salads, rice bowls, Sea Hog enchiladas or crab Rellenos. Finish your meal with authentic New Orleans-style beignets and a cup of coffee roasted in-house. Visit them at 200 West Avenue G.
A local favorite, Lelo’s Island Bar is known for its signature tiki drinks and juicy burgers. The indoor dining room makes you feel as if you are sitting in a small island café while their outdoor patio accepts your four-legged family members as well. Serving standard pub fare as well as full bar options, including Lone Star beers, an extensive wine list, and their signature tiki drinks, Lelo’s is also open for late-night food as well. You can find them at 212 Beach Street.
Crazy Cajun, located at 303 Beach Street, is nothing fancy. Instead, they serve delicious Cajun dishes that have become local favorites. Be sure to try the Hungry Cajun which includes smoked sausage, fresh shrimp, crab, new potatoes, and corn on the cob, all steamed or boiled in their special spices.
At Grumbles Seafood Company, come as you are, whether you are a fisherman just coming off the beach or the boat or in your best beach attire with your family. The large, covered deck offers beautiful views of the harbor and you can enjoy delicious food while you watch the fish unloaded each afternoon. There is a full bar serving specialty cocktails, beer, and wine as well. Find them at 850 Tarpon Street.
Cancun Mexican Restaurant serves Tex-Mex in a family atmosphere, but without forgetting the adults. Their Margaritas are the best in town and the menu items are delicious, from enchiladas to carne asada to fajitas and tacos, you will find something for everyone. Cancun’s is also a favorite breakfast location where locals flock for their breakfast tacos, homemade Migas and pancakes. They are located at 1023 State Highway 361.
A three-story restaurant and bar, Bluewater Cowboy not only offers beautiful views of the Gulf, but provides a unique dining opportunity. Visit the top floor which gives you the feeling you are on the transom of a fishing boat. The second floor provides a fine-dining experience with a full sushi bar as well as steaks, island-inspired foods, seafood, and more. Bring your own fresh catch for them to cook to order. Try the fried seafood nachos, covered in oysters, shrimp, crawfish and Monterrey Jack cheese sauce. The Cowboy Cakes, a crab cake stuffed with jalapenos, sourdough breadcrumbs and cheddar are a local favorite. Show your military or first responder ID and receive 25 percent off an entrée.
Port “A” Pizzeria serves the best pizza in Port Aransas along with some of the best pastas, wings and more. Try the Signature Supreme loaded with pepperoni, beef, Canadian bacon, sausage, onions, green and black olives, green peppers and mushrooms. Their meatballs are homemade and they also hand make their calzones. Be sure to save room for dessert which may include cherry, cinnamon, chocolate, or apple dessert pizza. There is also an all-you-can-eat buffet at their 407 East Avenue G location.
The smoker works overtime at MacDaddy’s Family Kitchen where you will find the best Southern comfort food in Port Aransas. The restaurant is designed so that large groups can get delicious barbecue quickly while only serving the freshest ingredients. The owners traveled the country trying to find the best barbecue and fried chicken recipes, bringing back the best from Sin City in Las Vegas, Babe’s Chicken House in Fort Worth, and some of the most famous Kansas City pitmasters. They are located at 118 Beach Street.
Family-owned and operated since 1979, Seafood Spaghetti Works offers more than standard Italian fare. They are also known for their inventive seafood pasta dishes. Richard’s Fish, with blue crab, almonds, bacon and avocado topping a freshly sauteed filet and the Dome Steak, sauteed mushrooms and Dijon sauce top a filet mignon that is then wrapped in filo are favorites. Be sure to try the chicken stuffed with pastrami, mozzarella and garlic that is then baked in sherry butter. Bring your own cleaned fish and they will cook it as you like. Visit them at 910 State Highway 361.
After playing a round of miniature golf, stop in at Kody’s for delicious seafood, including Mahi Mahi tacos or hand-breaded fried oysters. The crab cake BLT and fried avocado stuffed with crab are delicious. The restaurant also offers salads, steaks and burgers along with a soup of the day. They can be found at 2034 State Highway 361.