Star Drug Store

Diner | Soda Fountain
One of the best

Star Drug is a local gem that’s survived three hurricanes and a fire. Previous owners have used hooks from the ceiling to pull cabinets and display cases off the floor when it flooded. It’s also rumored to be haunted (of course).

Opened in 1917, Star Drug Store is arrayed around a U-shaped tile soda fountain counter. Lining the walls are pharmacy items that run a gamut of desires. Back when it was a working pharmacy, drug buyers would retire to the mezzanine level and lie down on cots so the druggist could observe their reaction. Today, the mezzanine displays novelty signs for sale and offers a bird’s-eye view of counter.

The menu is simple Americana: sandwiches, salads (of the potato and pasta variety), burgers, and soups. A Reuban variation called the Raquel is made of turkey, garlic slaw, Swiss, and 1000 Islands dressing. Its rye is just the right thickness, and griddled to a satisfying crunch. With the Raquel, we get a Caesar side salad with a twist: feta cheese. The dressing tastes homemade, and the feta mellows things out.

A turkey and grilled cheese sandwich is simple and comforting: American cheese, buttery bread, thin slices of turkey. We enjoy it with the Star’s non-traditional tomato soup, which includes chopped tomatoes, bacon, croutons, and oregano. It’s as if tomato and minestrone got together with bacon and kept all the good bits.

A Monday special meatball sub has the right amount of meatballs (only a tiny bit of bun is left at the end). I wish there was a touch more sauce, but it’s that kind of cozy comfort food that feels so good on a chilly spring afternoon. We get it with a traditional tuna salad. Everything comes with a dill pickle spear.

Star is a soda fountain, so we can’t leave without a few sweets. Our waitress tells us how she and the owner tried five different recipes for an egg cream until they got it just right: it’s got a little less chocolate syrup, and includes a touch of Coca-Cola. 

Chocolate lava cake sundae is a chocolate-lover’s dream: spongy dark chocolate cake filled with hot molten chocolate topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, three cherries, and chocolate syrup. We can only take down a quarter of it.

Outside, the Coca-Cola sign is one of the oldest porcelain neon signs of its kind in existence, and it’s fully restored. But the true treasure at Star is the service, which is kind and unforced. It probably started with previous owner George Clampitt, who desegregated the Star’s lunch counter in the 1950s. It was the first in Galveston, and undoubtedly led others to do the same.

We take our check to a cheerful woman at the front who looks like Judi Dench’s twin sister. She is pleased that we had a great meal, and encourages us to come back soon. We shall!

What to Eat
Star Drug Store, Hot Lava Cake Sundae
Hot Lava Cake Sundae
The lava cake sundae is for chocolate-lovers.
Star Drug Store, Raquel with Caesar
Raquel with Caesar
The Reuben's sister, a Raquel, with turkey and spicy slaw
Star Drug Store, Meatball Sandwich with Tuna
Meatball Sandwich with Tuna
Monday's special meatball sandwich.
Star Drug Store, Grilled Cheese with Turkey and Tomato Soup
Grilled Cheese with Turkey and Tomato Soup
Grilled cheese and turkey with chunky tomato soup
Star Drug Store, Egg Cream
Egg Cream
Unique egg cream contains a touch of Coca-Cola.
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday9am - 2pm
Monday9am - 2pm
Tuesday9am - 2pm
Wednesday9am - 2pm
Thursday9am - 2pm
Friday9am - 2pm
Saturday9am - 2pm
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch, Dessert
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

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