The Ultimate Guide To Nightlife In South Padre Island: Best Bars, Clubs, Party Spots, Food & More!

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Last updated on May 25, 2023 by Wandering our World

From bars, clubs, live music, happy hours, dancing and karaoke, South Padre Island is jam-packed with exciting things to do once the sun goes down. So if you thought the fun stops by dark – think again!

Revel with like-minded partygoers as the island’s carefree atmosphere, tropical charm and chilled brews create great vibes for a South Padre Island nightlife adventure. Choose from bayside dive spots or beachfront bars for an evening full of energy. All completed with some mouth-watering cuisines to satisfy your hunger and signature cocktails to quench your thirst.

We know this island well, so below we share with you our favourite party spots on the island. First we look at the best places to enjoy a sundowner (a drink at sun set), then the best bars in South Padre Island, some of the best things to do after sundown.

And lastly we share with you the best restaurants for starting your South Padre Island nightlife adventure, and then something totally and utterly unique. Enjoy!

Our Favorite Picks for Sundowners on South Padre Island

There simply isn’t a better way to kick off the evening than watching those mesmerizing Gulf sunsets with a hand-crafted cocktail in hand. 

South Padre Island has some of the best spots imaginable to do just that.

1. Driftwood Landing

Driftwood Landing is one of our favorite places to watch the sunset with its incredible views over the Laguna Madre.

We love the rustic, relaxed beach-style décor and the wooden deck with the waves lapping below. All of which makes this the perfect spot to sit back and relax, drink in hand.

Driftwood has a selection of wines, beers, and signature cocktails on offer. Our personal favorite being the Driftwood Mojito, made with gin, muddled mint, and blueberries with a touch of lime juice and finished off with soda water,

Sometimes sunset drinks turn into all-night drinks and that’s not a problem at Driftwood, as they are open daily until midnight!

Address: 2401 B, Laguna Blvd, South Padre Island, TX 78597

Photo for illustrative purposes only: Principe

2. Southern Wave Sunset Dinner Cruise

Southern Wave offers South Padre Island’s premier sailing experience, with its comfortable stylish Catamaran.

Sail around the gulf come sunset and enjoy a dining experience like never before. It’s a perfect way to start your evening as you watch the breath-taking sun set over the horizon.

For dinner you’ll get a feast of grilled shrimp, chicken and beef fajitas and fresh fruit. It’s also BYOB! It’s a special experience and a great way to kick off any South Padre Island nightlife adventure.

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3. Tequila Sunset Bar & Grill

Head over to Tequila Sunset Bar & Grill for a nice evening and afternoon bar on the bay. And as it’s directly on the bay, you can expect great sunset views to enjoy alongside the appetising cocktails they serve.

Get merry on their signature creation, the ‘Tequila Sunset’, and enjoy as live bands take the stage during the summer. This place is well known on the South Padre Island nightlife scene for its live music and DJs. So get down there and enjoy!

Address: 200 W Pike St, South Padre Island, TX 78597

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4. Pier 19

If you are looking for a good sunset spot and some good food, Pier 19 is one of our go-to places. You’ll get front row seats to the island’s amazing sunsets here, thanks to this restaurant and bar’s picturesque vantage point.

The quirky restaurant provides some treats to snack on while enjoying the receding sun above the Laguna Madre. A great place for a sundowner. Pier 19 was recently devastated by a fire, but they’re rebuilding so hopefully they will be open for your visit.

Address: 1 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX 78597

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The Top Party Spots and Bars in South Padre Island

This island has a fantastic party scene, as bars across South Padre transform into nightclubs as the evening draws on.

But there’s also many laid back places where you can grab a craft beer or cocktail, listen to music and chat away as the day ends. That’s the wonderful thing about South Padre Island nightlife, it can be laid back or lively, quiet or loud – whatever you want it to be.

1. Coconut Jacks Bar & Grill

There is always something happening at Coconuts Bar & Grill. We love the double-story wooden building with its thatched roof and patio restaurant.  Everything is freshly made on-site, and we loved their hamburgers and the coconut fried shrimp. The kitchen closes at 9:00 pm so get your orders in early if you’re hungry.

You may want to get there early to take advantage of the daily happy hour from 3:00 to 5:00 pm too, which is definitely worth it as they have the best tropical drinks menu in town!

We recommend the Tropical Jack made with whiskey, coconut rum, banana liqueur, pineapple juice and grenadine or their Top Shelf Gold Margarita which packs punch with its combination of Gran Marnier, Cointreau, lime juice, agave nectar and gold tequila.

All of this is topped off with live nightly entertainment all the way through until 2:00am! Feel crazy? They also do jet ski hire…..

Address: 2301 Laguna Blvd, South Padre Island, TX 78597

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2. Longboard Bar & Grill    

This surf-themed bar is a local hangout and is located right on the waterfront. Known for its live music and delicious cocktails, it is also a great place to take advantage of those spectacular sunsets and regular fireworks displays at South Padre.

We love the setting overlooking the Laguna Madre and their unique stage built over the sea is spectacular. Live bands play 7 nights a week in this 9000ft open-air venue, and the festive atmosphere will have you wanting to stay until closing. Saturdays are Country days and are always festive, but we love the Latin Sundays where you can salsa your way through to Monday.

When it comes to those all-important drinks, there is a wide choice of beers, wines, spirits and cocktails. We recommend giving ‘The Longboard’ a bash. It’s made with vodka, amaretto, peach schnapps, triple sec, rum and finished off with orange and cranberry juice, it’s the perfect way to kick off the evening.  They also have a superb menu, and we loved their street-style tacos.

They are open 7 days a week until 1:00 am.

Address: 205 W Palm St, South Padre Island, TX 78597

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3. The Quarterdeck Lounge

The Quaterdeck Lounge, located in the Isla Beach Resort, is a great place for a party with their high-energy dance bands kicking off at 9:00 pm every evening. They are also renowned for their night-time pool parties hosted by some top DJs, so keep an eye out for those.

You may want to pop in earlier for their happy hour though, which gets going from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. 

When it comes to drinks, you have to try one of their signature cocktails – if rum is your thing, we highly recommend the so-called ‘Painkiller’ made from coconut rum, banana liqueur, orange juice, and coconut cream, nothing painful about that.

Their ‘All-Nighter’ may be just what you need if you plan on staying till closing. It’s made with vodka, rockstar energy, watermelon liquor, and cranberry juice.

The Quarterdeck closes at around 2:00 am and is guaranteed to be a night of island fun.

Address: Isla Grand Beach Resort, 500 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX 78597

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4. On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina

As a Mexican restaurant and cocktail bar, Hilton Garden Inn’s ‘On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina‘ serves authentic Mexican food such as mesquite-grilled fajitas, tacos, and everyone’s favourite on a hot day – ice-cold margaritas! And where better to drink them than beside the hotel and bar’s very own pool!

Enjoy their one-of-a-kind Tropical Margaritas too, which are available poolside and delivered straight to your pool chair. Drop by during Happy Hour (3-7pm) and indulge in some wallet-happy offers.

Address: 7010 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX 78597

Photo for illustrative purposes only: Castillo Ramirez

5. Louie’s Backyard

Offering dining and entertainment by the bay, this outdoor ‘decked’ backyard dining hotspot right by the sea functions as a seafood and steakhouse sports bar.

As the largest sports bar on the island, at Louie’s Backyard you get to chat with friends, catch up on the latest game, and enjoy some of your favourite cocktails.

With 65 HD TVs and 10 Big Screen DLPs its happy hour for sports fans every hour here. While you’re at it, pamper yourself with some hand-cut steaks and peel and eat shrimp.

It’s fun, fun and more fun during the summer months too, as this bar puts on a celestial show of fireworks over the Laguna Madre every Thursday and Friday at 9.15 pm.

Closing at 2am every night, this place is one of the most lively party spots on the island as it transforms from bar to club as the night draws on. It’s a must-visit if you’re looking to drink, dance and have fun.

Address: 2305 Laguna Blvd, South Padre Island, TX 78597

Photo for illustrative purposes only: Rudenko

6. Island Daiquiris 2 Go

Bringing you a bit of island charm, Island Daiquiris 2 Go gives you a mesmerising combination of flavours, but also favourites such as Margaritas, Pina Coladas, and White Russians.

Fun fact – they have an incredible range of drink sizes as well: 16 ounces, 20 ounces, 32 ounces, and even 1/2 gallon!

So add this to the top of your South Padre Island nightlife itinerary before you forget. 

Address: 2600 Padre Blvd Suite C, South Padre Island, TX 78597

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7. Laguna BOB

Seafood; check, cocktails; check, sunsets; check! It’s an all-in-one South Padre Island nightlife experience at Laguna BOB.

If you were wondering what BOB stands for, it’s ‘Bar on the Bay’ – and you can expect incredible sea views from their waterfront deck.

This is a great place to hang out after a full day of fun. So sip on some sweet rum and fresh ceviche while immersing yourself in the refreshingly cool evening breeze.

As an American themed bar, Laguna BOB also serves a selection of hamburgers, sandwiches and subs with chips and coleslaw sides.

This is a laid-back South Padre nightlife spot, but as it’s open until 2am you can easily enjoy beachside drinks and music until the early hours of the morning.

Address: 2401 Laguna Blvd, South Padre Island, TX 78597

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8. Clayton’s Beach Bar & Event Venue

Proudly standing as the largest beach bar on the Texas Coast, catch some amazing live entertainment and groove to the beat with sand under your feet. And all while sippin’ a nice cold one.

You can party the evening away here as there’s a lively crowd on Friday and Saturday night as local bands and internationally acclaimed DJs rock the sandy shores.

Dive deep into some delicious cocktails at Clayton’s like one of their all-time favourites with locals, the punch-packing techni-coloured ‘Tsunami’. This place turns into one of the best clubs in South Padre at the weekend.

Address: 6900 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX 78597

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9. Coral Reef Lounge

This is South Padre Island’s popular local dive bar at the north end of town, and it’s a great spot for karaoke 365 nights of the year! Coral Reef Lounge is also one of the few places on the island that allows smoking.

Experience a great range of cocktails and drinks that are bound to have you coming back for more the next day. You can also find Porky’s Pit BBQ truck stationed in their parking lot, which offers hearty meals and snacks.

Address: 5301 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX 78597

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10. Bar Louie

The South Padre branch of the Bar Louie American Bar and Restaurant chain will have you eating and drinking to happiness. Serving great drinks and good food paired with a stellar atmosphere, relax and hang out at this beach bar as you while away the night.

Tantalise those taste buds with crispy bar bites, Mexican-inspired snacks, loaded flatbreads, healthy salads, towering sandwiches and burgers, or full-on meals. And quench your thirst with some signature cocktails, twisted mules, beers, wines and sangrias. 

Address: 6700 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX 78597

Photo for illustrative purposes only: Ragiboglu

11. Kelly’s Irish Pub

A classic Irish-American bar, decked with a cosy interior, Kelly’s Irish Pub lives up to its name serving big pints of Guinness and traditional Irish cuisine.

This is great place to hang out as they’ve got billiards, darts and occasional DJ entertainment. Keep away the hunger pangs by experiencing the taste of Ireland with their scotch eggs, Irish nachos and egg rolls, loaded tater tots and fried pickles.

Then drown in some amazing craft beers and whiskeys while you’re there! Be ready to party as it can get lively!

Address: 101 E Morningside Dr, South Padre Island, TX 78597

Photo for illustrative purposes only: Finkelsen

12. Wanna-Wanna Beach Bar & Grill

This open, tiki-style beach bar with great sea views, serves an array of vibrant cocktails and is Caribbean themed fun and food.

Down some frothy craft beers or tap into Wanna-Wanna’s extensive wine list, while quenching your hunger with some good old pub grub like boiled or fried shrimp, fresh ceviche or burgers! They often have live music in the evenings too!

Address: 5100 Gulf Blvd, South Padre Island, TX 78597

Photo for illustrative purposes only: Biascioli

13. Padre Island Brew Co.

A visit to Padre Island Brew Company is a must if you are visiting. Serving up craft beer, tantalising burgers, stuffed sandwiches and homemade pizza, Padre Island Brew Co. is an experience of its own.

The second oldest brewpub in the state of Texas sells to-go growlers instead of cans or bottles, and as the only restaurant in South Texas that brews its own beer, they are known for their unique flavour and quirky ingredients.

Expect lots of tasty craft beers to start your evening off well, including fruit beers using grapefruit, blackberries and raspberries. Tasty!

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Top 9 Restaurants on South Padre Island

Start your South Padre Island nightlife adventure off in the right way, with these delicious dining options.

1. Blackbeards’ Restaurant

While mainly a seafood restaurant, Blackbeards’ Restaurant has a diverse menu so everyone should find something here. Try the onion rings, tortilla chips or fresh seafood snacks for appetisers. Then for mains, enjoy chicken fried steak, gulf oysters or fish tacos!

Or choose from their delectable range of seafood platters to share. For lighter meals try their sandwiches or burgers. For dessert, you can’t beat Blackbeards’ key lime or fresh-fried apple pie. And to enjoy it all, try any of Blackbeards’ 32 varieties of domestic, IPA’s and imported beers, wines or cocktails!

Address: 103 E Saturn Ln, South Padre Island, TX 78597

Photo for illustrative purposes only: Zigic

2. Chilitto Pikin

The island’s favourite Mexican restaurant, Chilitto Pikin, serves authentic and delectable Mexican food ranging from fish dishes and incredible pork fajita to blackened shrimp tacos.

Choose from tacos mexicanos, tex mex, enchilada and fajita plates to sink your teeth into. If you are in for a challenge try out their monster tortas that can serve five! In fact they’re known for their large portion sizes on all their dishes.

Address: 3305 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX 78597

3. Pier 19

Located on the pier at South Padre’s Laguna Madre, Pier 19 specialises in fresh Mexican seafood. This place even gives you an opportunity to catch your seafood off the pier, then give it to your chef to whip up a feast.

Pier 19 also serves traditional breakfast favourites, vegetarian selections, burgers and soups. Open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, munch on some amazing burgers and sandwiches which are served with a choice of coleslaw, seasoned fries, onion rings or fresh fruit.

Address: 1 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX 78597

Photo for illustrative purposes only: Krisanov

4. Ceviche Ceviche

A local favourite, Ceviche Ceviche is a counter-service joint specialising in build-your-own ceviche.

Choose from shrimp or fish, one of four house styles (The Classic, The Islander, The Peruvian and Ceviche Salad), a variety of vegetable and fruit toppings and sauces. Watch while the staff chop up and give your custom concoction a good mix.

Address: 1004 Padre Blvd H1, South Padre Island, TX 78597

5. Windjammer’s Beachfront Café

A breakfast, lunch and dinner café, Windjammer’s Beachfront Café offers a beautiful dining experience with a view of the Gulf or their on-site swimming pool.

Soups, sandwiches, burgers and Mexican-inspired dishes are the go-to for dinner here. Must try dishes include the Tres Tacos, triple loaded with chicken, beef, shrimp or fish, or the Windjammer’s famous devilled eggs, topped with caramelized bacon.

Serving some of the island’s favourite appetisers, Windjammer’s menu also includes sandwich boards that come with french fries, sweet potato fries or onion rings.

Address: 1004 Padre Blvd H1, South Padre Island, TX 78597

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6. Liam’s Steak House & Oyster Bar

If you are looking for a night of fine steaks and seafood, then Liam’s Steak House & Oyster Bar is the place to go.

As for the menu, whet your appetite with a fresh ceviche appetiser or a spinach artichoke crabmeat dip. For mains, you have a choice of raw or cooked oysters, or something from their surf and turf options. There’s also pasta dishes such as tuna red pepper pasta or blackened shrimp marinara.

They also serve a range of ‘Speciality’ dishes, such as red snapper Rockefeller (topped with spinach, bacon, shrimp and a three-cream sauce), bacon-wrapped shrimp and bourbon-glazed salmon. Basically, it’s hard to go wrong with anything on the menu here.

Address: 202 W Tarpon St, South Padre Island, TX 78597

7. Sea Ranch Restaurant and Bar

Preparing delicious and fresh seafood, Sea Ranch Restaurant and Bar serves ‘local wild-caught’ treats from the Gulf of Mexico.

This restaurant’s main highlights include the Sea Ranch Seafood Sampler and South Padre Poke. They also serve an off the grill selection such as filet mignon, lamb chops, chopped sirloin and rib-eye steaks if seafood is not your thing.

With a long wine menu and lounge cocktails, it’s a great place to spend the evening. Choose from champagne, sparkling, white, red or cabernet sauvignon wines or some island-inspired cocktails.

Address: 33330 State Park Rd 100, South Padre Island, TX 78597

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8. Dirty Al’s

Claiming the title of ‘the world’s best fried shrimp’, Dirty Al’s is open for lunch and dinner every day of the week and serves tasty shrimp-stuffed jalapenos, New Orleans-style boiled shrimp, taco salads and shrimp, oyster, fish and chicken soft tacos.

Using fresh seafood from the Gulf, Dirty Al’s has also been voted as one of the best restaurants in South Texas.

Address: 33396 State Park Rd 100, South Padre Island, TX 78597

9. Gabriella’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria

Indulge in the taste of Italy with Gabriella’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria, serving brick oven-made pizzas alongside a menu of Italian favourites.

Gabriella’s antipasti includes Italian nachos (topped with black olives, Roma tomatoes, Tuscan relish and mozzarella), zucchini fritters and toasted ravioli. For soups try the Tomato Basil Bisque or classic Italian Onion Soup.

Their Five Layer Lasagne and Ravioli Dinner are some signature specialities that are loved locally. While other than the brick oven pizzas, Gabriella’s also serves brick oven calzones and subs. For dessert, indulge in Italian favourites like Tiramisu and Cannoli.

Address: 700 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX 78597

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And For Something a Little Unique….

1. La Jaiba Downs Crab Races

We just couldn’t resist.  If you’re stuck for something to do on an early Wednesday evening, then head down to the Quarterdeck to try your luck at crab racing! 

Crab races kick off at 6:00 pm, so take a bet on your favorite crab and who knows both of you could be winners. At least this is one sport where you don’t have to worry about post-race tests or dramas. Winners receive “Grand” dollars which you can be used to buy drinks or food. Now that’s one way to kick off your South Padre Island nightlife adventure.


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