13 Incredible South Padre Island Restaurants for Your Family Vacation

Taking a family vacation to South Padre and wondering where to dine? Find 17 incredible South Padre Island Restaurants the entire family will love for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

South Padre Island, situated on a barrier island in the Texas Gulf, is a premier family friendly destination and popular vacation spot for beach goers. With tons of family friendly activities, water sports, nature trails, and fun excursions, visitors are sure to work up an appetite.

It’s a good thing there’s no shortage of incredible South Padre restaurants, as well! Whether you’re looking for a casual beachside brunch, upscale dinner, or seaside cocktails and apps, your taste buds will be covered.

Plus, find the best restaurants on South Padre for seafood, along with spectacular waterfront views.

Catch an epic sunset over the bay while you sip a sangria at Painted Marlin Grille, dine on tacos while watching the waves crash at Cafe on the Beach, or snag some of the best ceviche you’ll ever have at Ceviche Ceviche.

As a popular family friendly beach destination, there’s no shortage of kid friendly options, too. Most restaurants will have kids meals, highchairs, and laid back vibes to suit the entire family.

best restaurants on south padre island

13 Incredible South Padre Island Restaurants for Your Family Vacation

Best Restaurants on South Padre Island for Seafood, Steaks, and More

Cafe on the Beach at The Palms Resort and Cafe

fish tacos at cafe on the beach on South Padre Island
We loved the fresh fish tacos at Cafe on the Beach!

Cafe on the Beach is one of our favorite South Padre restaurants for absolutely insane ocean views. You’ll find classic American dining options, along with daily specials and fresh seafood.

Ceviche Ceviche

A popular counter service joint serving ceviche creations and poké tuna bowls. Choose from styles like classic, Peruvian, and fiesta, or build your own. Vegans and vegetarians should note that Ceviche Ceviche offers a non-meat/seafood option of garbanzo or black beach ceviche.

The Meatball Cafe

shrimp pasta from The Meatball Cafe on South Padre Island
We love the pizza and pasta dishes at The Meatball Cafe

One of the best restaurants on South Padre Island for families, kids will love noshing on pizza at The Meatball Cafe while adults can indulge in pasta, Italian entrees, and a full wine list. Don’t miss the risotto balls, either.

Sea Ranch

A waterfront restaurant with an always changing menu, Sea Ranch is a must visit. One of the top rated South Padre Island Restaurants for fresh seafood, Sea Ranch specializes in local, wild caught gulf seafood. You’ll also find steaks and pastas, as well as a children’s menu and comprehensive cocktail menu and wine list.

Painted Marlin Grille

Red wine sangria at Painted Marlin Grille, one of the many South Padre Island restaurants overlooking the Laguna Madre,
Enjoy a red wine sangria and fresh seafood at Painted Marlin Grille, one of the many South Padre Island restaurants overlooking the Laguna Madre,

One of the newest South Padre Island Restaurants, Painted Marlin Grille offers exceptional views, daily drink specials, and phenomenal food. Opt for their famous shrimp cakes, one of their cajun inspired dishes, or a simple burger. For $10 per pound or person, your own catch can be cooked and served alongside hush-puppies and a side.

Liam’s Steakhouse & Oyster Bar

One of the best restaurants on South Padre Island for fine dining, Liam’s boasts prime cuts of steak, fresh oysters, fine wine, and the world’s best fried shrimp. Unassuming from the outside, Liam’s is all about the culinary experience on the inside.

Pier 19

Pier 19, one of the top rated South Padre Island Restaurants, overlooking the water
Catch the sunset over Pier 19, one of the top rated South Padre Island Restaurants, situated on the Laguna Madre

*Pier 19 recently closed due to a devastating fire. They plan to reopen eventually.

It comes as so surprise that Pier 19 continually ranks as one of the top South Padre Island Restaurants. Situated on a dock in the Laguna Madre, dine above the waves and catch an incredible sunset and maybe spy some dolphins! Don’t miss their crab cakes, ceviche, and baja style tacos.

Pier 19 also offers a “you hook it, we’ll cook it special” for a low price per person, as well as breakfast. Know that Pier 19 does not take reservations.

South Padre Island Bars and Brewery Restaurants

Laguna Bob’s

Known as the bar on the bay, Laguna Bob’s is typically where the locals hang out. With live music, sunset views over the Laguna Madre, and fantastic cocktails, it’s no surprise why Laguna Bob’s is a favorite. The colorful seaside shack also offers a small menu with burgers and seafood.

Padre Island Brewing Company

south padre island brewing
Padre Island Brewing Company certainly doesn’t skimp on their tasting flights.

Padre Island Brewing Company is known for handcrafted beer, burgers, and pizza. While the food is decent, the beer flights is where it’s at. Sample five brews on tap in what we consider to be one of the most generous flights ever.

Louie’s Backyard

Louie’s has a little bit of everything: seafood, Tex-Mex, burgers, steaks, sandwiches, salads, and dessert, including their famous death by chocolate cake. With nightly specials and frequent live music, Louie’s is often the place to be to hang out and grab cocktails on the bay.

South Padre Restaurants for Breakfast

Yummies Bistro

foamy almond milk latte and a Mexican chocolate coffee from yummies.
Yummies Bistro boasts an impressively foamy almond milk latte! Don’t miss their other fun coffees, like the Mexican chocolate.
Southwestern style breakfast is a must at Yummies!
Southwestern style breakfast is a must at Yummies!

Yummies Bistro makes one of the most incredible breakfasts we’ve ever had. Nothing makes a morning on the island better than southwestern style eggs with homemade salsa and beans and an almond milk latte. You can grab coffee on the run from their to-go counter, too.

Josephine’s Kitchen

Specializing in all day breakfast, Josephine’s prides itself on made from scratch, authentic American breakfast (and lunch!). Just like at home, nothing comes pre-bagged or frozen here.

Grapevine Cafe and Coffeehouse

Grapevine Cafe is one of our favorite South Padre restaurants for gluten free food. The lemon blueberry and goat cheese gluten free pancakes were some of the best we’ve ever had. Plus their traditional breakfasts are delicious and the coffee is always fresh.

What South Padre Island Restaurants will you visit?

Let us know where you plan to dine on your next SPI trip. And drop a comment if there’s a fabulous restaurant we may have missed.

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