There is no shortage of restaurants for a good breakfast in the Port Isabel and South Padre Island area of South Texas. It’s a tourist mecca with lots of dining choices, but plenty of locals also enjoy eating out — and they expect the best. Here is my “Top Five List” of restaurants for breakfast in the area:
5. Los Cabos, Port Isabel.
Being so close to the Mexican border, only 22 miles to the nearest crossing, there are many restaurants in this area like Los Cabos, but none better for a Mexican breakfast. A favorite of tourists and locals alike is the super-sized taco in a home-made flour tortilla with any combination of egg, potato, sausage, chorizo, and cheese. A serving of tasty, medium-spicy salsa served warm is included. The interior of the restaurant is a bit rough, but service and value are excellent.
4. Fisherman’s, Port Isabel.
In a small building on “the fingers” canals, Fisherman’s offers a variety of American and Mexican fare, specializing in cinnamon rolls from their own bakery. Each day features a moderately-priced breakfast special. The pancakes are huge; a short stack should do just fine for most appetites. It’s a small facility with a small staff. If the cook is sick, they won’t be open.
3. Dirty Al’s at Pelican Station, Port Isabel.
The interior of the restaurant is magnificent — as is the atmosphere. And, the view of the lower Laguna Madre is spectacular. Breakfast offerings are traditional Mexican and American, done well and reasonably priced. There isn’t a more pleasant way to start the day than having eggs, chorizo, refried beans and a tortilla at Pelican Station. Bon appetit, and buena vista!
2. Yummies Bistro, South Padre Island.
A store-front in a small strip center doesn’t do justice to the dining experience. Flavored coffees bring customers in; the menu brings them back. In addition to Belgian waffles, omelets, and apple wheat pancakes, the menu includes such unique fare as the “Savannah Red Eye”, ham topped with eggs and a coffee flavor poured over; and “Rancheros Santa Cruz” with sautéed shrimp, bacon, ham, potato and black bean topped with eggs over easy. Yummy!
1. Chef House, South Padre Island.
Locally popular chef and owner, Esmeralda Crus, built a following in Port Isabel and recently moved his Chef House across the causeway to South Padre Island where he expanded his seating capacity. Food preparation and presentation at the Chef House are second to none. For egg lovers, his “Eggs Benedict” will match, if not surpass, any you’ve ever tasted. Chef House is a restaurant where every visit seems to be better than the last. Chef Crus prepares each dish as if it’s the only one he will prepare all day, and he wants it to be perfect. It always is.