When in the Galveston area, a trip to Stingaree Marina and Restaurant in Crystal Beach is at the top of our list of “must-do” events. It is not just the food, it’s the whole experience.
Located on Bolivar Peninsula, this well-worn, roughhewn, two-story establishment stands next to the Intracoastal Canal, with an amazing view of tug boats and barges.
To get there from Galveston you ride the Boliver ferry—a free car ferry run by TXDot that crosses the Houston Ship Channel. Plan on getting out of your car, as you usually see dolphins swimming playfully in the channel.
Located on the Intracoastal Waterway on the bay side of Bolivar, the Stingaree is famous for many things: the beautiful sunsets seen from its deck, the giant tug boats and barges that pass within feet of its windows, and wonderful Gulf Coast seafood—barbecue crab, fried catfish, shrimp and oysters, Red Snapper Ponchartrain, Crabmeat Au Gratin, etouffee, and gumbo.
A crab lovers’ special offers the succulent crustacean in just about every manner imaginable—boiled, barbecued, stuffed, deviled, and baked.
The restaurant owns its own oyster beds in East Bay, so your oysters were probably picked the same day as you ate them. Their crabs are local too. Barbecue crab is awesome, as is the shrimp grilled with a honey-jalepeno glaze.
During the winter months the Stingaree has one of the best seasonal dishes you’ll find anywhere on the Gulf Coast—Oyster Jubilee (oyster season traditionally ends in April).
As its name suggests Oyster Jubilee is a celebration of everything oyster. A colossal dish of over 30 oysters prepared in every conceivable way. Note that the dish is meant to be shared by two people.
Round 1 of Oyster Jubilee is a half dozen Galveston Bay oysters on the half shell, oyster gumbo, and creamy cole slaw. These oysters were tasty and not too briny. The oyster gumbo was a dark roux, filé style gumbo. Delicious.
Round 2 is oysters baked three ways—Rockefeller (the classic, topped with spinach, herbs, bread crumbs, butter), Bienville (herbs, breadcrumbs, butter, cheese), and José (a Stingaree special, topped with pico de gallo and monterrey jack cheese). The dish contains two servings of each preparation, with each serving containing two oysters.
Round 3 is oysters prepared in three ways—deep fried, grilled, and charbroiled. Each preparation contains four oysters. A generous portion of tartar sauce is served on the side. The fried oysters are a Gulf Coast staple. The French grilled oysters are dusted with flour and sautéed in lemon and butter on a flat grill. The skewered charbroiled oysters have a smoky, meaty flavor.
At Stingaree Restaurant you’ll enjoy the freshest and best seafood money can buy. Compared to the pricier seafood restaurants in the Houston/Galveston area, Stingaree’s prices are very reasonable for high-end seafood.
I would recommend Stingaree Restaurant in a heartbeat! This is great seafood!
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We’ll be back the next time our RV travels find us in the Houston-Galveston area—and hopefully soon!
He was a very valiant man who first adventured in eating of oysters.
—Thomas Fuller (1608-1661)