The New Shades Cafe

In: Eating

15 Aug 2010

For years, Shades was a popular eatery on the North Shore of Lake Travis, with boaters motoring across the lake to enjoy the food and south Florida vibe. Now it’s back, better (and closer) than ever, in Hurst Harbor. Right next to the water, Shades serves salads, sandwiches and burgers in a colorful, casual setting that’ll have you relaxing the moment you walk through the door. The mellow Caribbean music playing may get you in a seafood mood. Below, the fried grouper fingers: big, lightly battered filets that were moist and flaky. They’re served with what may be the best house-made remoulade sauce west of New Orleans.

The Shades Mexican Shrimp Cocktail is like a campechana, a savory parfait of shrimp, chunks of avocado, tomatoes and pico de gallo. Eaten with chips, it makes a delicious dip.

You can order the grouper filet sandwich fried, grilled or blackened. This one is grilled and served on a po’boy-style roll with french fries and remoulade sauce.

This part of the lake floods every few years, so the cafe is built to be completely submerged. There’s no AC, no insulation, just big roll-up doors and fans with misters. Think beach!

Shades Cafe website

map to Shades Cafe

Shades Cafe on Urbanspoon

2 Responses to The New Shades Cafe



March 8th, 2011 at 10:24 pm

We spent a good amount of time here last year and can’t wait for them to re-open for the season on March 12th. The food is great and the setting overlooking the boats and Lake Travis is even better.



May 29th, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Shades posted on their facebook page that they are permanently closed. I called the Sail n Ski owners and apparently they’re partnering up with new folks to renovate and open it under a new name in May. As of today, I haven’t seen any new signage, so it looks like it will be a June opening.

Ed. Reply: Thanks, good to know!

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