Podcast: Gaido's Seafood Since 1911

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exterior of Gaido's Seafood Restaurant with giant green crab on the roof

1911, a year that saw the Galvez hotel, the jewel of the seawall, open and a little seafood restaurant that would stand the test of time and become a century-old landmark right here on our own island.

Gaido's Seafood Restaurant is a family-owned establishment that has been serving the freshest fish in the Gulf of Mexico for over 100 years. Gaido's was founded by San Giacinto Gaido, also known as Cinto, an Italian immigrant who fell in love with the island of Galveston and its bountiful seafood. Cinto had the vision to serve only the best. That commitment has been passed down through generations of the Gaido family.

As you may imagine, Gaido's has seen its fair share of famous faces over the years, with presidents and entertainers enjoying meals at the restaurant. But, just as necessary are the thousands of families who have made Gaido's a part of their annual traditions, celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, and retirements here year after year.

In its earliest years, Guidos began at Murdoch's pier and through the 20th century, grew from a sandwich shop to a motel, to a premiere seafood restaurant. Eventually landing at the location we see it today.

It's not just the food that has stood the test of time at Gaido's, but also the way it's prepared. They still peel the Gulf shrimp, shuck Galveston bay oysters, and fillet fresh fish by hand, the same way Cinto did more than 100 years ago. And the recipes used in the unique sauces, seasonings, salad dressings, and delicious desserts are all house-made and passed down from generation to generation. In addition, Gaido's has incorporated traditional southern deep-frying, Southwest open-flame grilling, and rich Creole flavors, creating a menu and an experience that is truly unique and delicious. For a period of time, Guidos even had a private club in the back, the Pelican club.

But, Gaido's story isn't just about seafood and good food. It's also about family, tradition, and a love for the island of Galveston. The Gaido family struggled to make a living in Galveston, but Cinto saw an opportunity in the food service industry while Galveston was ramping up to be a tourist destination. He worked at various restaurants before opening a sandwich shop in 1911 and, eventually, Gaido's Seafood Restaurant. Despite the difficult early years, the Gaido family fell in love with Galveston, the warmer weather, and the community of other Italian immigrants who made the island their home.

Today, Gaido's is run by the 4th generation of the Gaido family, and their commitment to quality and tradition remains as strong as ever. The Gaido family motto, "Learn what is wanted and then serve," it's a motto that has served them well for over a century. And that's why Gaido's is truly a coastal classic. This beloved institution is set to serve the freshest seafood and create memories for generations to come. And whatever you do, do not forget the pecan pie!

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J.R. Shaw Creator & Host of Galveston Unscripted

J.R. Shaw is the creator and host of Galveston Unscripted Podcast & audio tour. Shaw recognizes that history is nuanced and learning it can be powerful. He's made it his mission to reduce the friction between true history and anyone who is willing to listen! J.R. Shaw focuses on telling the full story through podcasting and social media with the goal of making learning accurate history easy and entertaining for all who seek it.

J.R. grew up along the Texas Gulf Coast, where he learned to love talking with anyone about anything! He started Galveston Unscripted after he realized how much he loved talking to people about their stories related to Galveston Island and Texas History. "So much of our history is lost when we don't have the opportunity to hear from those who lived it or have second-hand knowledge."