To be born on the island often means more than knowing its greatest hidden gems; for many natives, it also means following in their families’ footsteps by running some of the city’s best restaurants and caring for guests the way only generations of family can.
Italian-born patriarch Tony Smecca—a Sicilian raised on a coastline half a world away from the Texas island where he eventually settled with his wife and sons in 1973—sadly passed away in December 2015. But the beloved restaurateur, who first made his mark with Mario’s Seawall Italian Restaurant, instilled his passion for hospitality in his sons, Johnny and Joey Smecca.
Meanwhile, Tony Lavoi, a native of Palermo, Italy, is often credited with the creation of the muffaletta in New Orleans, circa 1906, but it’s his grandnephew Rosario Maceo who’s responsible for bringing the sandwich to Galveston when he founded Maceo Spice and Import Company in 1944. Maceo’s granddaughter Concetta still runs the place today, where, she says, the classic Italian sandwich continues to dominate the lunchtime menu. “We are known for our muffalettas; our muffaletta is probably the best anybody has had,” Concetta promises. “We take pride in food and flavor.”
Elsewhere, the Kriticos brothers, Tikie and Larry, may be first-generation Greek-Americans, born and raised in Galveston, but they’re second-gen restaurateurs. Whether at their original Olympia Grill on the Seawall or its second location at Pier 21, the Kriticos brothers follow in the footsteps of their father and uncle’s own Galveston restaurants, in whose kitchens they were raised.
Summer Events on Galveston Island Bring Sand Castles, Corvettes and More
This summer, Galveston will be a hot spot for fun festivals and special events, including one of the nation’s largest sandcastle building competitions and Texas’ largest craft beer festival. Read more.
The 5 Best Margaritas in Galveston
Margaritas and summertime go together like bikinis on the beach and red beans and rice, but as any connoisseur of the tequila-fueled libation will tell you, all margaritas are NOT made equal. Read more.
Downtown Paid Parking Program Now Underway
Paid parking in downtown Galveston is now enforced Monday through Saturday from 9 AM to 6 PM daily. Read more.
Spring in Galveston Offers New Beaches, Adventures
Spring is here and the Galveston shore is calling your name. Answer it – and immerse yourself in new adventures, from flyboarding over the bay to horseback riding on the beach. Read more.
Historic Hotels Commemorate National Food Days
We all know that there is a “National Day” for virtually everything and that many celebrate food. Hotel Galvez & Spa and The Tremont House are embracing the fun by commemorating these national food days with special offers. Read more.
Katie's Seafood Becomes Household Name with New Show
Things are jumping at Katie’s Seafood Market in Galveston – and it’s not just the flopping fish. Read more.
Smoky Perfection Rules at Bahia Oaks Island BBQ & Beer
Let me clue you into a tasty new flavor destination on the west end: Bahia BBQ Oaks Island BBQ & Beer. Read more.
New Beaches, Restaurants & Attractions in Galveston for 2016 Spring and Summer Travel Seasons
Just in time for your spring break and summer getaways, Galveston Island will offer travelers plenty of new reasons to visit in 2016, including brand new beaches, attractions, restaurants and more. Read more.
Galveston Food & Wine Festival Package Offers All-Access Weekend with Chef Robert Irvine
The Grand 1894 Opera House, has partnered with Hotel Galvez & Spa®, A Wyndham Grand® Hotel and Yaga’s Entertainment to offer an All-Access Weekend with Chef Robert Irvine during the seventh annual Galveston Island Food & Wine Festival. Read more.
Galveston.com Announces 2015 Best of Galveston Award Winners
After weeks of nominations and tens of thousands of votes, we at Galveston.com are thrilled to present the Winners of the 2015 BEST OF GALVESTON AWARDS, "the Oscars of the Gulf Coast" according to The Houston Chronicle. Read more.