Three Great Days In Pearland: A Dining, Shopping & Sightseeing Tour

crab cake benedict

Sponsored by Visit Pearland

Whether spending time in Pearland for business or pleasure, everyone has to eat! Head to this bustling city just south of Houston for an impressive, diverse selection of restaurants, and find an assortment of activities and entertainment, too. We’ve put together three days’ worth of recommendations for enjoying the breadth of what Pearland has to offer. You might be surprised at how much there is to discover!

Take breaks between dining with visits to area parks and art installations, including the Mural Tour and Pear-Scape Art Trail. (Pro tip: before heading out, go to the Visit Pearland website and get your free electronic tour passport, which includes artist information and other details.) 

Check out the Pearland Events Calendar to see what else is happening during your time in town. Staying over? Choose from more than 10 hotels with a variety of amenities. Visit the Pearland Convention & Visitors Bureau website for additional itineraries and information.

Day One: Breakfast

strawberry and cream filled donut
Find a full menu of sweet and savory breakfast fare at Peña’s Donut Heaven & Grill in Pearland. Courtesy photo.

Peña’s Donut Heaven & Grill, 11601 Shadow Creek Parkway: Kick off your dining adventures at this family-owned kitchen, which is popular for its broad selection of sweet and savory morning favorites. There are donuts, cinnamon rolls and muffins in a variety of flavors and fillings, plus breakfast plates and sandwiches. Customize bowls, burritos and tacos from an extensive list of ingredients. Visit on Tuesdays and get two tacos for just $4. Appease your taste buds with the Texas Brisket Donut — smoked chopped brisket, onions and pickles tucked into a soft glazed donut — or the Peña’s Donut Sandwich with egg, sausage and American cheese.

For Texas-sized appetites, opt for the Ultimate Southern Chicken Biscuit loaded with marinated deep-fried chicken breast, an over-medium egg, bacon, cheddar and gravy or the Meaty Trio stuffed with a fried egg, ham, bacon, sausage and cheese. There are waffles and pancakes, too, available with a variety of add-ins like fruit, chocolate chips, and walnuts. 

Day One: Lunch

fried catfish tacos
Flavor-packed lunches await at Boiling Dragon in Pearland. Courtesy photo.

Boiling Dragon, 11625 Broadway: Chef-owner Harold Wong opened his casual seafood spot in the summer of 2020, and fans love his selections of fresh-catch fish and seafood, housemade soups, po’boys and more. Must-try starters include tempura-fried Fire Cracker Shrimp tossed in a sweet-and-spicy Korean aioli, Shrimp Krab Puffs, an addictive combo of tempura-fried shrimp, krab stick and cream cheese served with sweet chili, or Cray Cray Fries, which are signature garlic French fries smothered in decadent Alfredo Crawfish Sauce.

Seafood baskets make excellent lunch fare and are stocked with a choice of catfish, tilapia, shrimp or oysters with French fries alongside. There are po’ boys and baos, too, the latter of which includes the Crab Daddy stuffed with fried soft-shell crab, spring mix, pickled garlic cucumber, tomato and Cajun aioli. Keep an eye out for new specials like Catfish Tacos.

Bonus: Boiling Dragon is a stop along the Pearland Mural Tour! When you enter, you’ll get an eyeful of the colorful octopus that greets guests. 

Day One: Between Meals

Between meals, head to mixed-use development Pearland Town Center. There, browse for new titles at the bookstore, get a fresh manicure and blowout, or pick up new fashions at one of the many shops and boutiques.  

Day One: Afternoon Treat

snow cone with chocolate and strawberries
The Snowcone Lady’s Snack Shack in Pearland is brimming with icy treats and savory snacks. Courtesy photo.

The Snowcone Lady’s Snack Shack, 4218 Broadway: This cheerful, year-round outpost is popular for sweet treats, savory snacks and a family-friendly atmosphere. Menu highlights include snow cones that start at just $1.50. Additional favorites include chamoys, banana splits and specialty sundaes. For a creative combination of cool and sweet, try the Snow Cone Fruit Chill, which is shaved ice accompanied by diced strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, bananas or pineapple, then finished with chamoy, Tajin chile, choice of snow cone syrup, sour belts candy and a tamarind stick. Shakes and Frappes round out the icy menu, in flavors such as Banana with Cinnamon and caramel, respectively.

Fulfill cravings for warmer fare with nachos, hot dogs, and three kinds of elote, such as Corn In A Cup topped with mayo, butter, cotjia cheese, and a side of the house “chilesauce” or Corn And Hot Cheetos finished with Hot Cheetos, nacho cheese and jalapeños. The large, inviting, pet-friendly patio has games like basketball, corn hole, oversized Connect Four, hula hoops, tabletop games and more.

Day One: Dinner

burger with onions, mushrooms and cheese
Good Vibes Coastal Kitchen in Pearland serves a mix of local seafood and loaded burgers, plus cocktails and beer. Courtesy photo.

Good Vibes Coastal Kitchen, 1329 East Broadway: This casual-chic locale boasts a menu of creative spins on fresh catch, burgers and more. Try starters from the cold and raw bar such as the Gulf Coast Ceviche Tostada topped with fresh shrimp, mahi, crab, lime juice and avocado, or fried oysters, crab cakes and bacon-wrapped Coastal Stuffed Jalapeños filled with lump crab and shrimp.

Entrée-style options include Shiner Bock-battered mahi-mahi fish-n-chips or the Crawfish Pasta, which includes penne tossed with sautéed crawfish, asparagus, sweet peppers and mushrooms in a Cajun garlic butter sauce. Seafood alternatives include burgers like the Kraken loaded with onions, mushrooms, cheese and a peppercorn-cognac sauce, Smoked Brisket Tacos and the Cajun Hot Chicken Sandwich.

Stop by for brunch on Sundays with best bets like Birria Huevos Rancheros, which are chili-scented refried black beans topped with tostadas, short rib birria and choice of two eggs prepared any style, or Crab Cake Benedict finished with sautéed spinach, a soft poached egg and Hollandaise sauce. Saturday includes a reduced brunch menu with options like cinnamon rolls. Both days include mimosas and build-your-own michelada and Bloody Mary selections. 

cold coffee in a tall glass
The menu at First Cup Coffee Co. boasts standbys and inventive flavors — and the spacious shop is good for large groups, too. Courtesy photo.

Day Two: Breakfast

First Cup Coffee Co., 2645 East Broadway: Perk up for a full day in Pearland at this spacious shop that opened in 2022. The name pays homage to historical “firsts”, including references to notable people, places and events. It’s also the site of one of the murals on the Pearland Mural Tour. The painting on the building pays tribute to Texas history and local Houston icons. 

The coffee roasts also follow the historic themes with selections like The Boston Common, The Buzz-Armstrong and The Carver, named for George Washington Carver. In addition to drip blends brewed from Texas-roasted beans, there is an extensive menu of espresso drinks available hot or iced. Try standbys such as mochas, nitro cold brew or chai, plus creative variations like Cookie Butter or Maple Pecan lattes and Strawberry Matcha. Order hot or iced ciders in flavors like Caramel Apple, Lavender and Apple Crisp, or refreshers like Berry Hibiscus and Watermelon Redbull RUSH.

Pair drinks with sweet and savory baked goods including croissants, muffins, scones, bagels, and empanadas in six filling combinations. The latter include chorizo and egg, chicken, or ham and cheese.  

Pick up a bag of coffee to enjoy at home, and marvel at the larger-than-typical size: First Cup sells 16-ounce bags instead of the 12-ounce size available at many shops. There are PODS for single-serving coffee makers, too. Once caffeine is checked off the list, swing by nearby Independence Park and Delores Fenwick Nature Center to see more art while taking in a natural setting.

Day Two: Lunch

Barbecue plate with sides
Central Texas BBQ smokes brisket, sausage, chicken, turkey, pulled pork and ribs to serve with a whopping 15 side options. Courtesy photo.

Fuel up for lunch at Central Texas Style Barbecue, 4110 West Broadway: This popular destination has been a local mainstay for more than 50 years. The multi-generation family staff dishes up Texas-style barbecue classics: hickory-smoked brisket, chicken, ribs and sausage, plus pressed Cuban sandwiches and an extensive variety of sides and desserts.

Go for meat plates complete with proteins and sides, or opt for sandwiches stuffed with tender goodies. Loaded baked potatoes are a fan favorite, too, — particularly the chopped beef — and each includes butter, sour cream, cheese and chives. The restaurant even serves vegan “sausage” and vegan “chopped beef” as part of plates, sandwiches or in potatoes. When it comes to sides, choose from 15 options, including macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes, baked or pinto beans, corn on the cob, broccoli rice and potato salad. Sweeten your order with 12 desserts such as carrot cake, family recipe Pineapple Cream Cheese Pie, Anna Banana Pudding and pecan pie.

Day Two: Between Meals

History buffs can take in the sights and sites of some of Pearland’s treasured landmarks. Destinations include the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad Depot, which served as an essential cornerstone for community and commerce from the early 1900s until the early 1970s, and the Old Settler’s Cemetery, where visitors can see an evolution of gravestone styles dating back to 1894. 

selection of beers in glasses
Choose from a rotating selection of up to 20 taps at Vallensons’ Brewing Company. Courtesy photo.

Day Two: Afternoon Break

Vallensons’ Brewing Company, 4081 Rice Drier: Husband and wife Valle and Lori Kauniste opened their family- and dog-friendly nano-brewery in May 2017. It is open Thursdays through Sundays and serves a variety of beer, wine and cider.

At any given time, there are 15 to 20 different beers on tap. Examples include Vali Boy West Coast IPA, Salty Dog fruited sour and Belgian Golden Strong ale. Enjoy Vallensons’ beers in the backyard or patio, or order 32-ounce crowlers and growlers to go.

Kick back with an Estonian Raw Ale inspired by Valle’s heritage, or try one of the three flagship selections that are named in honor of Pearland. The Settler’s Oatmeal Stout is a 2019 US Open Championship Gold Medalist and is named for the city’s original settlers, while the local historic 1900s train station inspired The Depot Pale Ale. The Advocate Amber Ale is a nod to Pearland’s first newspaper. 

frozen blue daiquiri with candy toppings
Fuel up on frozen fun at Daiquiri Xpress in Pearland and pair with hot bites like tacos and nachos. Courtesy photo.

Day Two: Dinner

Daiquiri Xpress Mexican Taco Bar, 3525 South Main: Owners Antonio and Jacky draw on their backgrounds to bring delicious Mexican street food and refreshing frozen cocktails to raving fans at their vibrantly-hued shop. Dishes include sopes, nacho or elote style flautas, quesadillas, street tacos, tortas, nachos and loaded fries. For a full spread, choose from three combos that each include a 32-ounce “fully loaded” candy-topped daiquiri. The 5 Mariachis Street Tacos and 5 Flautas are $25 each, and the 2 Quesadillas combo is $23. The kids’ menu includes a choice from four combos such as street tacos or flautas that include a virgin daiquiri.

The namesake cocktail is available in eight variations (or build your own from 15 flavors), and each is served bedecked with a pile of gummies and candies. Opt for customer favorites like the La Pinche Sancha Daiquiri, or Netflix & Chill Daiquiri that features three layers of Hurricane, Hypnotic and Liquid Marijuana daiquiri flavors finished with sweet-and-sour gummies. There are zesty micheladas, too, available with a choice of nine beers (or Topo Chico). Note that alcoholic drinks are available for delivery (hotel sipper, perhaps?), but I.D. is required. For those abstaining, booze-free daiquiris come in eight flavored lemonades like lemon, watermelon, strawberry and Blue Hawaiian.

Day Three: Breakfast

sausage, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich
Find an assortment of breakfast sandwiches and more at The Box Bakery and Kitchen in Pearland. Courtesy photo.

The Box Bakery and Kitchen, 1130 Broadway: Take in the cheerful, retro vibe at this bakery that incorporates locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. Breakfast selections include sandwiches, tacos and bowls. Customize with regular or keto-friendly bread and choice of egg, ham, bacon, sausage or house-smoked brisket or pulled pork for sandwiches, and add options like potato or chorizo for bowls and tacos. 

There are biscuits, too, available as a sandwich or with cream gravy and eggs. For those seeking a more traditional spread, the Breakfast Platter, which costs up to $10.50, includes two tortillas and either smoked brisket, smoked pulled pork, potato, chorizo and bacon or breakfast sausage with potato and charro refried beans. Upgrade your meal with à la carte extras such as peppers and onions, hash browns, avocado or salsa.

Bowl of seafood soup with bread
Chef Steve Haug cooks his beloved family recipe for seafood soup at Magnolia Cajun Comfort in Pearland. Photo by Steve Haug.

Day Three: Lunch

Laidback Lunch at Magnolia Cajun Comfort, 1807 Broadway: The excellent Cajun and Creole fare is the big draw at this cool destination helmed by Chef Steve Haug. Discover a two-part menu that caters to a variety of tastes: Cajun and Comfort (though a case could be made that they are one and the same). Dine at dinner for an extensive selection, and stop by midday for an enticing mix of curated favorites.

It’s hard to go wrong with the Pick 2 Combo available at lunch that costs just $12. Choose two from seven selections such as a half-po’boy, cup of Seafood Soup, Caesar salad or cup of red beans. There are entrée salads, too, such as Blackened Shrimp with bacon and remoulade dressing, Grilled Chicken spiked with strawberries, candied walnuts and feta, or Steak that features filet mignon with avocado and blue cheese crumbles. Seafood fans can choose from the fried Seafood Platter that comes with shrimp, catfish, French fries and hushpuppies, along with single-serving shrimp or redfish tacos

Day Three: Between Meals

The next Boutique Shop & Hop is just around the corner! This bi-nnual event takes place the Saturday before Mother’s Day and the last Saturday in October and is a fun — and delicious — way to support local businesses. Print a passport online and visit at least five locations on the map for a chance to win a gift card from a participating shop. Complimentary perks include drinks and snacks at each stop. The next event is October 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Day Three: Afternoon Pick-Me-Up

latte in green mug
Enjoy a full menu of coffees, teas and more at this Pearland original that roasts all of its beans in-house. Photo by Ellie Sharp.

Pearland Coffee Roasters, 4106 Broadway: This intimate local spot with free WiFi is perfect for catching up with a pal, working remotely or studying. The warm and cheerful dining room, as well as the inviting back patio, offer a lovely respite throughout the day.

The shop opened in 2010 and serves exclusively house-roasted coffee beans. Look for specials such as two unique Americanos: the Golden Pear with pear and cinnamon and the Mark Belt made with brown sugar, peppercorn and bay leaf. Catch  seasonal picks when you can such as Red Light Matcha made with pomegranate, elderflower tonic water and matcha, Caramel Praline or the Sweet Potato Pie latte. There are also drip coffees, traditional espresso drinks like regular and flavored lattes plus teas available hot or iced.

Find an assortment of whole beans to go such as Black Star Blend, Palo Alto and Colombia Medellin Supremo. There are ticketed outdoor movie screenings, too. Visit the website for the current schedule and to reserve seats. 

Nutella & Strawberry Pizza at Taglia in Pearland
Save room for dessert like the Nutella & Strawberry Pizza at Taglia in Pearland. Courtesy photo.

Day Three: Dinner

Taglia Fresh Italian, 3115 Dixie Farm Road: Planters filled with fresh flowers and Italian music add homey ambiance to the breezy, covered patio to this restaurant, and the interior is equally welcoming. Its name comes from the words “cut it”, which reference the breaking of bread at the beginning of a meal. There is much more than bread to enjoy here, however, and the extensive menu includes dishes for every taste, along with a full bar of cocktails, beer and wine. 

Starters include Crispy Calamari, Manicotti Bites, Mediterranean Hummus and The Board layered with prosciutto, mortadella, capicola, salami, parmigiano, fresh mozzarella, ricotta, grilled zucchini, olives, cherry tomatoes, grilled pita and fig jam. Entrée staples include customizable pastas, lasagna, spaghetti carbonara, eggplant parmigiana and gamberoni alla griglia (jumbo grilled shrimp). There are a variety of salads, paninis, pizzas and calzones plus an array of desserts such as gelato and cannoli. Visit at night when the glow of string lights beckon guests to relax and wind down. Dogs are welcome, but patio space is first-come first-served.

You can also check out the Pearland Convention & Visitors Bureau on social media for the latest updates dining, entertainment, shopping and more. Follow on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. There is even a YouTube channel with videos that take you right to the people and places that make Pearland a great food and drink destination!

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