Table Talk: What's New in the Coastal Bend Food and Drink World

Table Talk: What’s New in the Coastal Bend Food and Drink World this January

From restaurant openings to exciting new offerings at local establishments, here's what we've got our eyes on in the Coastal Bend food and drink scene this month.

photo of TacoBar Street food truck, a local favorite in the food and drink scene

Photo by Rachel Benavides

In our monthly Table Talk series, we gather local food and drink news into one place for your convenience. From restaurant openings and closures to new offerings at local establishments, here’s what we’ve got our eyes on in the Coastal Bend food and drink scene this month.

TacoBar Street Scales Back After 9 Years in Business

TacoBar Street announced that this will be its last year in service and is scaling back its hours for the remainder of the year. Locals are saddened by the news after nine years of enjoying street tacos, nachos and more. There is a reason why they’ve won “Best Food Truck” in The Locals’ List every year since 2016. Helping to pioneer the local food truck scene, they have been consistent in an industry that can pose a lot of challenges and setbacks and the Coastal Bend community will certainly miss seeing them around as often. We wish them all the best in their future endeavors!

Roaming Ronin Launches Lunch Bento Boxes

Feast on the signature Ronin Beef Bowl, indulge in the flavorful chicken katsu curry or savor the artistry of sushi in Roaming Ronin’s new lunch bento boxes! The Southside eatery boasts an impressive menu of Japanese-inspired fare and the bento boxes are a new addition. From 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. daily, patrons can order a box filled with a variety of its most popular offerings, so you don’t have to choose just one. 2306 Airline Rd.

Merida’s Tapas & Cantina Opens on the Island

Chef Gail Huesmann is back on Padre Island and has partnered with Mikel May’s owner Merida May Mendoza to craft a new waterfront dining experience. Merida’s Tapas & Cantina opened on Jan. 3 of this year and is housed at the former location of JB’s German Bakery. The interior saw a full renovation, and a 12-boat slip marina and a 3,300 sq. ft. patio deck were added to the exterior. Expect a variety of Latin-infused tapas dishes, happy hour specials and brunch on the weekends. 15137 South Padre Island Drive

Photo of cocktails at Gabriela's Seafood + Tapas
Gabriela’s Seafood + Tapas | Photo by Deux Boheme

Gabriela’ Opens its 2nd Floor Deck With a New Menu

Gabriela’s, the seafood tapas restaurant in Rockport, is expanding its dine-in seating to the upper-level deck, which has been under construction since the restaurant opened in the fall of 2023. Gabriela’s Deck will be open for a trial week with a menu of cold bar tapas and drinks starting Thursday, Jan. 11 for walk-ins only. Get there early to get a spot and enjoy the sunset and waterfront views. 1815 Broadway St.

Island Market Moves to Catering

The Port Aransas smoothie bowl and lunch spot is rolling with the punches and closing its day-to-day and walk-in operations to move into full-time catering services. You will still be able to purchase smoothie bowls, juices, poke bowls and fresh, packaged foods with 48 hours notice. Consider Island Market for your catering needs big and small, and follow along on Facebook and Instagram for updates on its future offerings. 614 Gulf St.

Mariscos Altamar Serves Up Mexican Seafood Dishes  

In what was formerly a Whataburger at the corner of SPID and Weber, a new local spot specializing in Nayarit-style seafood. Mariscos Altamar offers a wide variety of shrimp, lobster and fresh fish options like ceviche and agua chile as well as delicious soups, pastas and paellas. 5114 Weber Rd.

Check out our comprehensive list of local restaurants and what to order when you go.