On the 20th floor of the Omni Corpus Christi, the AAA Three Diamond Republic of Texas Bar & Grill (361-887-1600) offers classic Texas steak house fare and wraparound views of the bay and the city. Order a glass of vino from the lengthy wine list, and pair hearty, flavorful meat-forward dishes, including quail, buffalo rib eye, and venison, with sides like brussels sprouts with pork belly, or mac-and-cheese with jumbo lump crab and Hatch chiles. (Be sure to designate a driver if you plan to drink alcohol.)
Since 1983, Water Street Oyster Bar (361-881-9448) has served up fresh Gulf seafood in an old transmission shop that’s been revamped into a coastal haven. Of course, there’s oysters, but don’t skip the fried Gulf sampler with the catch of the day, panko-crusted shrimp, and cornmeal-dusted oysters; the Gulf shrimp roll with poached Gulf shrimp in a lemon dressing; or the Water Street po’boy with fried shrimp and oysters.
For a casual dinner with a view of the sunset and the JFK Bridge, head to Doc’s Seafood and Steaks (361-949-6744), perched on the water. Doc’s eclectic, surf-and-turf menu includes crab cakes, steaks, yellowfin tuna tacos, salads, burgers, and an impressive tropical drink list.
Arguably Texas’ favorite fast-food establishment, Whataburger began in Corpus Christi in 1950. There’s an Insta-worthy replica of the original burger stand at 4126 S. Staples Street; the short menu painted on the unassuming white building lists a burger for 35 cents and a milkshake for 15 cents. Next door, a modern Whataburger serves favorites such as the patty melt or the jalapeño and cheese Whataburger with spicy ketchup on the side.