If you’re staying in a hotel on Seawall Boulevard, your inaugural meal should definitely be at Gaido’s Seafood Restaurant (3800 Seawall Blvd., 409/762-9625, $7–28). This venerable institution has been serving memorable meals since 1911, and its legendary reputation is evident everywhere, from the time-honored trimmings to the traditional menu to attentive service. The shrimp bisque is exquisite, the garlic snapper is succulent, and the crab cakes are outstanding.
Although it’s a regional chain, Landry’s Seafood House (5310 Seawall Blvd., 409/744-1010, www.landrysseafoodhouse.com , $6–27) is a respected eatery, even in a Gulf Coast  town known for its local legends. Opt for the fresh catch Lafitte, gulf red snapper, or broiled flounder. Landry’s also does shrimp well, including a fried option stuffed with seafood.
Specializing in the Cajun variety of seafood is Benno’s on the Beach (1200 Seawall Blvd., 409/762-4621, www.bennosofgalveston.com ). This is the place to go for a hearty helping of crawfish étoufée, jambalaya, spicy crab, or oysters.
One of the best restaurants in the entire region is just a few minutes from the shore at Mosquito Café (628 14th St., 409/763-1010, www.mosquitocafe.com , $5–19). You’ll definitely want to have breakfast here at least once, and you may find yourself returning for each meal since the flavor-packed, creatively inspired, healthy food makes such an impression. Grab a hot mug of strong coffee and try to decide among the delectable options such as Mosquito Benedict (a fresh-baked scone covered with portabella mushrooms, sautéed shrimp, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, asparagus, and poached eggs topped with serrano hollandaise sauce), cinnamon-tinged French toast, fluffy pancakes, or bagels and lox. Lunch items include hearty bowls of pasta with homemade pesto, olives, and feta cheese, or tasty sandwiches on delicious fresh-baked bread with hickory-smoked bacon, avocado salsa, and goat cheese. There’s one stinger: Although lunch is served daily, the Mosquito is only open for dinner Thursday through Saturday.
For a simpler, low-key breakfast or lunch, drop by the nearby neighborhood stalwart Sunflower Bakery and Cafe (506 14th St., 409/763-5500, $4–10, closed Sun.). You’ll find warm, soft, fresh-made bakery items (breads, pastries, desserts) and flavor-packed sandwiches (the turkey, bacon, and avocado on honey wheat bread is especially tasty) along with healthy salads and even a few eclectic daily specials. This is the perfect place to order a to-go lunch for the beach—just don’t forget to include brownies and their legendary strawberry lemonade. Be forewarned: The Sunflower isn’t known for its quick or attentive counter service.