THE 45 BEST BITES IN JACKSONVILLE
Newsflash: Foodies love Jax! It’s true. Jacksonville has a wide variety of dining options, from low-key to fine dining, in all parts of the city. Take a look at the 45 Best Foods in Jacksonville according to word of mouth.
From the traditional Thai Rangous at Indochine, to the fried chicken at Beaches Road Chicken Dinners, locals and visitors alike crave our unique farm to table scene, where each ingredient is fresh and eclectic. #SipSavorJax
Here are the 45 best bites that should not be missed while visiting Jacksonville:
(organized alphabetically by restaurant, you can later organize them by taste after trying them)
1. 13 Gypsies: Risotto
This local restaurant serves traditional Spanish tapas, where everything from the sausage to the cheese, to the bread is handmade. You can’t go wrong with anything from 13 Gypsies menu, but a mainstay of the restaurant is their risotto, which changes daily but is always delightful.
2. Angie’s Subs: The Peruvian Sub
The best subs and sweet tea in town! This Jacksonville Beach favorite has been around for nearly 30 years, and with good reason. On your first visit go for their #1 best seller – the Peruvian. With ham, genoa salami, bacon, Italian sausage, provolone and Peruvian sauce it has everything you want and more! Of course don’t forget to wash it down with some sweet tea.
3. Azurea: Long Line Catch 3 Ways
For upscale dining right by the beach, Azurea is a must. Their long line catch 3 ways uses the freshest locally caught fish and gives you a great variety of preparations to enjoy it. The 3 ways: grilled with tropical fruit salpicone, bronzed with a citrus butter emulsion, and cooked in beignet batter with a smoked Vidalia remoulade. Fish 3 ways, all delicious.
4. Beach Road Chicken Dinners: Fried Chicken
A Jacksonville institution, Beach Road Chicken Dinner has been serving up southern-friend goodness since 1939, and when you taste their chicken you will know why they’ve been around so long. You haven’t had fried chicken until you’ve had it here!
5. Biscottis: Croissant Bread Pudding
Biscottis is well known throughout Jacksonville for their decadent desserts. The menu changes daily, but their signature dish is the croissant bread pudding. This confectionary delight is served warm with vanilla ice cream, and it will melt your heart it’s so good.
6. Bistro AIX: Escargot
Located in San Marco, Bistro AIX is the spot to go for absolutely delicious French and Mediterranean inspired cuisine. Of course you can’t go French and not go with escargot. Here it is served in a rich garlic herb butter sauce and a crostini to soak it all up (you won’t want to waste a drop).
7. Black Sheep: Poutine
Located in the historic 5 Points area of Jacksonville, Black Sheep focuses on fresh, local ingredients and hand-crafted food and cocktails. You can’t go wrong with anything you may choose off this menu, but you’ll never forgive yourself if you miss out on their poutine. They’ve got the basics of your average poutine, hand cut fries and cheese curds, but with a twist in the form of their smoked short rib gravy – that makes this dish anything but average.
8. Bold Been Coffee: A cup of Joe
Locally roasted and brewed fresh, any way you like it, Bold Bean Coffee Roasters is dedicated to sourcing, roasting and serving outstanding coffee. This is a must for any coffee lover, plus their local pastries and fresh tea are a must do, as well.
9. Burrito Gallery: Curry Chicken Burrito
Voted best burrito in Jax six years in a row, there’s a reason the locals love this burrito joint. One of Burrito Gallery’s more unique offerings is their curry chicken burrito, a blend of flavors that is out of this world.
10. Chomp Chomp: Homemade Curry Chips
Another favorite among locals, this is a hole in the wall sandwich joint with plenty of great offerings. At Chomp Chomp it doesn’t matter what you order, it will be good, just be sure to get their homemade curry chips on the side!
11. Culhane’s Irish Pub: Guinness Beef Stew
An upbeat Irish pub in Atlantic Beach, you’ll go for the drinks, but you’ll keep coming back to Culhane’s Irish Pub for this stew.
12. The Dreamette: Homemade Ice Cream
An unassuming little ice cream stand, if you blink you could miss it, but what you don’t want to miss is their ice cream. Serving homemade ice cream for more than 60 years, this treat is hard to beat. Try any of their flavors, homemade syrups and shakes.
13. Engine 15 Brewing Co.: Frito Pie
One of the stops on the Jax Ale Trail, this popular craft brewery’s Frito pie might rival their beer (and that’s saying something). But you won’t have to choose because at lunchtime your pie comes with a free draft.
14. Fionn MacCool’s: Reuben Eggrolls
If you’re looking for a new-age twist on an old-favorite, you can’t miss the Reuben eggrolls at Fionn MacCool’s. This Irish Pub is a great place to grab a beer or catch a game, with plenty of traditional Irish food to offer – but these egg rolls are worth a visit alone. All the essentials of a true Reuben – tender corned beef, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut – wrapped up in an egg roll and served with Thousand Island dressing.
15. The Fish Company: Szechuan Fish
Serving up fresh local seafood in Atlantic Beach, The Fish Company is a great spot for oysters and drinks, but what makes them stand out from the other seafood restaurants is their Szechuan Fish. A new spin on the classic Asian preparation, the daily fresh catch is seasoned with five spices, seared and served over fresh spinach and warm soba noodles topped with a special reduction.
16. The French Pantry: Bruschetta
One of, if not the, most popular lunch spots in Jacksonville. This cozy little pantry has a menu that changes daily, but whatever the offering of the day is – you know it will be fresh, made from scratch and absolutely delicious. The bruschetta is the most popular among locals. They have several options to try. Also, be sure to enjoy a slice of cake, their wedding cake is one to remember.
17. Indochine: Crab Rangoon
Voted Folio Magazine’s “Best Thai Restaurant” 3 years in a row, Indochine is the place to go for anyone who loves Thai food, wants to try Thai food, or just likes food at all. Their crab Rangoon is the must-try here, with real lump crab and curried cream cheese. This is not your average Rangoon.
18. Juliette’s Bistro: BBQ Buttered Shrimp
Located in the Omni Jacksonville Hotel, Juliette’s Bistro has been serving up delicious First Coast cuisine for 27 years. The BBQ buttered shrimp combines some of the best Jacksonville and Juliette’s has to offer with local fresh shrimp cooked with Duke’s Brown Ale from local Bold City Brewing.
19. Julington Creek Fish Camp: Mayport Shrimp and Grits
Many southern cities will lay claim to Shrimp and Grits, but no one does it quite like Jacksonville. With fresh, locally caught Mayport shrimp and a white wine butter sauce, Julington Creek Fish Camp’s dish is a shining example of a local favorite.
20. Kickbacks: Corndogs
Sometimes it’s the simple things that make the best dishes. Kickback’s Gastropub (along with the adjoining Goozlepipe and Guttyworks) offer everything from high end adventurous dishes to old-school favorites like tater tots, spaghettio’s and corndogs which are perfect in their simplicity, and pair perfectly with any of the over 180 beers on tap.
21. Maple Street Biscuit Company:The “Five Biscuit”
A fresh-made flaky biscuit, all natural fried chicken breast, bacon, and cheddar cheese topped off with sausage gravy (with a kick). Locally sourced ingredients and southern charm are plentiful at this wildly popular breakfast spot. Maple Street has lighter options too, but if you’re doing a good southern-style breakfast, you should do it right!
22. Marker 32: Octopus and Corona Bean Salad
Featured on Emeril’s Florida, Marker 32 is a staple of the Jacksonville culinary scene. Everything on the menu is prepared daily from scratch by classically trained chefs. One of Marker 32’s (many) highlights: broiled octopus with rosemary, garlic and black pepper over a chilled corona bean salad on top of a white bean hummus, with a tomato puree and basil oil.
23. Matthew’s: Chef’s Adventure Menu
One of the most innovative and distinctive restaurants in Northeast Florida’s fine dining scene, Matthew’s offers a unique (and of course delicious) menu. Chef Matthew Medure is constantly coming up with new and exciting dishes, so it would be impossible to choose just one for this list, so we leave that up to the chefs with the Chef’s Adventure Menu, where they take you on a culinary exploration through the season’s freshest and finest options.
24. The Metro Diner: Chicken and Waffles
A true diner and a local favorite, Metro Diner is a great spot for some of the best breakfast in Jacksonville. Must try: all the reviews agree, the chicken and waffles with their strawberry butter is simply delicious!
25. Mojo BBQ: The Whole Hawg
Can’t decide between all the delicious barbeque options at Mojo’s? Get a little bit of everything with the Whole Hawg, it has ribs, chicken, pulled pork, beef brisket, turkey breast and smoked sausage served with four side items. Hope you’re hungry!
26. Moon River Pizza: The Special
Moon River Pizza is a funky pizza joint that makes pies the old-fashioned way, hand-tossed, covered in hearty tomato sauce and freshly grated cheese. For your classic everything pizza, try “The Special”, loaded with meat, veggies and of course, extra cheese!
27. Mossfire Grill: Pacific Rim Tuna Taco
Seared yellowfin tuna, tangy Asian slaw, green onions, homemade sesame seed sauce and a soft flour tortilla make this taco the one to have on Tuesdays or any day of the week at The Mossfire Grill.
28. Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails: Cheese Curds
The entire menu at Moxie’s is delicious, but before you indulge in a decadent dish you must try their PBR-Battered Cheddar Cheese Curds with spicy ranch dip. Need we say more? Moxie Kitchen + Cocktailsis the perfect place to grab a bite after working up an appetite shopping all day at the St. John’s Town Center.
29. MShack “M” Burger
How do you know you have a truly great hamburger? When it stands up on its own and the “M” Burger at MShack does just that! American cheese, lettuce, vine ripe tomato, pickle, all natural, hormone-free beef ground fresh daily and “shack sauce” make this hand crafted burger. Of course, it only gets better as you start adding toppings, and MShack has plenty more to offer!
30. North Beach Fish Camp: Blackened Mahi
Located just steps from the sand in the middle of the Beaches Town Center the North Beach Fish Camp is one of Jacksonville’s best fish camps. Their signature dish is a perfect example of southern beach cuisine: fresh blackened Mahi with Tasso ham gravy, collards and creamy grits. Yum!
31. Olio: House Fries with Basil Aioli
For “lunch done differently” locals head to Olio in downtown Jacksonville. With inventive soups, salads and sandwiches this is a favorite among the working crowd and visitors alike. Their duck grilled cheese is a star, but don’t miss out on the fries with house-made basil aioli, or if you’re feeling extra hungry go for the bacon cheese fries (make sure you still get that aioli though!).
32. On the Fly Sandwiches & Stuff: Overloaded Sweet Potato Planks
At On The Fly -a local food truck-, the sandwiches are definitely worth a try, but the stuff is where it’s at. Sweet potato planks, topped with melted bleu cheese, pulled pork and their special On The Fly Sauce – that’s some really great “stuff.”
33. Peterbrooke:Chocolate covered popcorn
Two great things, chocolate and popcorn. How could you possibly make them better? By combining them of course! And nobody does it better than Peterbrooke.
34. The Potter’s House Soul Food Bistro: Smothered Pork Chops
For soul food done right, the Soul Food Bistro is the place to go. It was a tough call between the fried chicken and the smothered pork chops, but the pork chops come out as king of the comfort foods.
35. Restaurant Orsay: Duck Confit Hash
For fine dining in a relaxed atmosphere, Restaurant Orsay is the perfect destination. A French Bistro with southern influence, this is a great spot to grab dinner, but their brunch is where you will find our favorite – the duck confit hash. Fingerling potatoes, fried eggs, fresh herbs and tender duck make the perfect dish for a great Sunday Funday.
36. Poe’s Tavern: Rue Morgue
A gastropub named after the great poet, Poe’s Tavern has burgers to match some of the artist’s greatest works. The Rue Morgue is a dish just as epic as Poe himself, a bunless burger with fries covered in chili and queso, topped with a fried egg. It will get your tell-tale heart pumping.
37. Safe Harbor Seafood Market & Restaurant: Mayport Shrimp
A visit to Jacksonville is not complete without dining on the local Mayport shrimp (there’s a reason there’s so many shrimp dishes on this list!). For a true Jacksonville fish camp experience, try it at Safe Harbor Seafood Market & Restaurant right on the dock in the historic Mayport Village.
38. Salt Life Food Shack: Caliche’s Poke Bowl
For those enjoying the Jacksonville Beach experience, a trip to Jacksonville would not be complete without a visit to this local food joint. Salt Life’s signature dish is a true tribute to their ocean loving lifestyle: fresh tuna, steamed spinach, sticky rice, avocadoes, and a special marinade make this poke bowl unforgettable.
39. Singleton’s Seafood Shack: Minorcan Clam Chowder
Singleton’s is a cozy little seafood shack in Mayport that just happens to have some of the best Minorcan Clam Chowder you’ve ever had.
40. Sweet Pete’s: Caramels
Sweet Pete’s makes over 10,000 pounds of caramel a year, and for good reason. People can’t get enough of the sweet stuff. Made right here in Jacksonville, Sweet Pete’s Caramels are a true Only in Jax treat! Be sure to try the signature Sea Salt Caramels.
41. Sweet Theory Baking Company: Cinnamon Roll
Sweet Theory Baking Co. in Riverside handcrafts treats that are egg, dairy, soy and peanut free yet full of flavor! Their donuts are fluffy and perfection, but their cinnamon rolls take the cake!
42. TacoLu: Bangin’ Shrimp Taco
Fish tacos, tequila and mexcal – what more could you ask for? TacoLu is the place to go if you want great food, but also want to have a great time. There’s a reason this place is always packed. Must try: the bangin’ shrimp taco with its Asian style fried shrimp, cabbage and chipotle cream.
43. Taverna: Soppressata Pizza
Located in the San Marco Dining District, Taverna specializes in seasonal European cuisine. Their soppressata pizza, with Italian dry salami, fried egg, house-made mozzarella and San Marzano tomato, has developed somewhat of a cult following. Just one bite and you’ll see why.
45 is a good number, but we could really make a list of the 1,000 best dishes in Jax, our food really is that fabulous! Jacksonville has so many great restaurants with so many delicious offerings, it would be nearly impossible not to miss some of them. Be sure to let us know what your favorite dishes in Jacksonville are through social media with the hashtag #OnlyInJax or #SipSavorJax.
To try these and other delicious dishes in Jacksonville go to www.visitjacksonville.com/restaurants and start planning your culinary adventure!