For the Love of Food: Gilhooley’s seafood is worth the drive to San Leon

Gilhooly's Restaurant and Oyster Bar is located at 222 9th St., San Leon, Texas.

By Keri Elliott, columnist

Gilhooley’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar in San Leon, Texas, is an off-the-beaten-path, Travel channel-famous dive that has great food and drinks.

Charbroiled oysters are topped with cheeses and shrimp. The Big Bread is an appetizer that can easily be looked over for its simplicity but it is worth the order. Soft and airy French loaf slathered with garlic and butter, seafood or sausage smashed on the flat top is then covered with a crisp layer of parmesan cheese. I suggest eating it with their house-made tartar sauce.

There are a few things I will try at every eatery if they are offered and Gilhooly’s marks all my main menu items off the list: crab/seafood cakes, fried pickles and (spicy) margaritas! The price point is decent and expected for a seafood restaurant, especially for the quality of food you will get. My husband ordered the chicken-fried steak sandwich and there was hardly a bite left at the end of the meal.

During non-pandemic times, they occasionally offer live music. We were there recently and enjoyed classic rock over the speakers. Eating outside, even during a 100-degree Southeast Texas day, is part of the true Gilhooley’s experience. You have the option to seat yourself inside as well.

The servers were very aware of social distancing, wore masks and all table items (menus, sauces, and such) were sanitized between patrons.

Please be aware no one below the age of 18 is allowed. So, while this recommended restaurant is not family friendly, it is a great place for date night for moms and dads.

To reach Gilhooley’s, program your phone map for 222 9th St., San Leon, Texas, 77539. Be sure to check them out on Facebook as well!

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