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.
List of Galveston Restaurants Open Christmas Day
A comprehensive list of Galveston restaurants that will open their doors to patrons this Christmas Day. Read more.
Galveston Restaurant Review: Hubcap Grill & Cocktail Bar
Heavens to Betsy! Sometimes you just need some red meat in the fashion of a good ol’ burger. When you get that hankering, and your tummy rumbles you won’t be disappointed by the selections and tastes at Hubcap Grill. Read more.
Galveston Restaurant Review: Galvez Bar & Grill
The Galvez Bar & Grill is perhaps most notably known for its Sunday brunch, but that is another review in and of itself. For this endeavor, we chose a late afternoon dinner. Read more.
Galveston Restaurant Review: Mosquito Cafe
Breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day, and Mosquito Café takes it to heart. Read more.
Why Do Snowbirds Love Galveston So Much?
Is it the warmer island temperatures? The wonderful holiday traditions? Take a look at why so many choose Galveston as their winter getaway! Read more.
Galveston.com TV Streaming Apps Now Offer Live & On-Demand Content
The travel channel is now available in the Apple App Store for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and Apple TV devices; the Amazon App Store for Amazon Fire devices; Google Play for Android devices, and soon to Roku Streaming TV & Media Players. Read more.
Galveston.com Presents 2018 Restaurant Week January 6-21
The seventh annual Galveston Restaurant Week - Saturday, January 6th to Sunday, January 21st, 2018 - brings Galveston Island's vibrant food scene to life for two full weeks of delicious dining. Read more.
Island Holiday Guide For The Entire Family
When planning your holiday adventures, you will not want to miss out on what Galveston Island has in store in 2017. Read more.
Maceo's Marvelous Muffuletta
The history of Galveston’s Maceo family is the stuff of legend. These days, however, the name is associated with Maceo’s Spice & Import Co., home of the muffuletta. Read more.
10 Reasons You Should Get On Island Time in Galveston
The return of summer in the Lone Star State heralds the arrival of warm weather, vibrant blue skies and blooming bluebonnets. Read more.