1. Eat Like A Parisian, In Florida
Source: Restaurant Orsay via Facebook
3630 Park St(904) 381-0909Yelp
: 4.5 stars, 203 reviews
At this hip seasonal restaurant you can finally try all that French cuisine that you’ve never known how to pronounce. Escargots, foie gras, ooh, la la!
And if you don’t quite work up the nerve to go full European Orsay also puts a French twist on classic Southern food too, like pork chops with Pommery mustard cream and potato hash with Tabasco beurre rouge.
2. Go Groovy At BB's
Source: bb's restaurant and bar via Facebook
1019 Hendricks Ave(904) 306-0100Yelp
: 4.5 stars, 190 reviews
The restaurant’s motto is "a groovy place to b." Get it?
Anyway, they're absolutely right. The atmosphere, the food, the impeccable plating, the flavors…everything will make you feel groovy. They even bake yummy, gooey mozzarella into the bread for bruschetta, if you didn’t already believe me.
And don't ever skip dessert. The bread pudding is amazing. And the key lime pie. And the chocolate cake. You get it.
3. Skip The Food…Just Get Some Beer
910 King St(904) 388-9551Yelp
: 4 stars, 176 reviews
Just kidding. Don’t skip the food. But you’ll have a hard time with your drink order here, what with the more than 80 tap beers and more than 600 bottles. May the odds be ever in your favor.
Kickbacks doesn’t disappoint on the grub either, with a solid menu starring favorites like French dip and specialty burgers (stuffed feta burger, anyone?) that all pair spectacularly with the extensive beer list. Download their app for some help finding the perfect pairing!
4. Stuff Your Face With A Loaded Goat
Source: Maple Street Biscuits via Facebook
Maple Street Biscuit Company
2004 San Marco Blvd(904) 398-1004Yelp
: 4.5 stars, 166 reviews
Yeah I know that sounds weird, just hear me out. The name Maple Street Biscuit Company sounds good enough to try out, doesn't it?
This place has a great, relaxed vibe with cozy wood decor everywhere, and you’ll soon realize that it’s called a biscuit company because their biscuits are indeed the true heroes of the menu. Fluffy, crumbly and buttery—so yummy.
Here’s the deal: Fried chicken on a biscuit, with a variety of delicious toppings. The Loaded Goat has fried goat cheese. Not so weird-sounding now, right? You can also just get jam on a biscuit, bacon on a biscuit, pulled pork on a biscuit, or egg and sausage on a biscuit.
Basically if you’re a weirdo who doesn't like biscuits, don't come here. But who cares, because that’s more biscuits for me.
5. Mexican Food That Won’t Weigh You Down
Source: Burrito Gallery via Facebook
21 E Adams St(904) 598-2922Yelp
: 4 stars, 125 reviews
This is the place to go in town for fresh and delicious Mexican classics like tacos, burritos and the like. And the venue itself has a festive atmosphere with live local music.
But Burrito Gallery gets original too, with flavor twists like the Yellow Curry Chicken Burritos and even gluten-free and vegetarian meals like Ginger Teriyaki Tofu Tacos. So no matter who’s in your party, everyone will find their Mexican food match here.
6. Pretend You’re In A French Café
The French Pantry6301 Powers Ave(904) 730-8696Yelp: 4.5 stars, 161 reviews
Yes, this is another French place. But hear me out, because this one is a can’t-miss either. And the French Pantry goes far beyond the basic French cuisine.
Paninis, bang bang shrimp, French dip—need I say more? All of the ingredients are high quality and delicious and are combined and presented perfectly.
And if you feel like celebrating at the end of the meal, try the wedding cake. That’s right. You don’t even have to crash someone's big day just to get in on the best part.
7. Get The Best Bowl Of Pho At... Bowl Of Pho
Bowl of Pho
9902 Old Baymeadows Rd(904) 646-4455Yelp
: 4 stars, 197 reviews
The name is pretty straightforward because there’s really only one thing they make: Bowls of pho. But they do it so very, very well. Try the Rare Beef or go for something a little more “out of the bowl” like grilled shrimp or egg rolls. Ok, bowl puns over.
8. Treat Yourself For Any Reason At Biscottis
Source: Biscottis via Facebook
3556 St. Johns Ave(904) 387-2060Yelp
: 4.5 stars, 128 reviews
At Biscottis you basically can’t go wrong with any menu choice. Everything is to die for. Bread pudding, eclairs, and every kind of cake you could imagine. I’ll just say four words: Flourless Chocolate Rocky Road.
And the choices change daily so you’ll never get bored. Maybe stop by with a friend to justify ordering more than one…
And if you decide to actually stay for a main course you won’t be disappointed either, with light but delicious fare like an Apple Dill Chicken Salad Wrap or Grilled Artichoke & Prosciutto. Just don’t get too full for the desserts, that would basically be a sin.
9. Chomp On Tasty Tacos Or A Bold Burger At Chomp Chomp
106 E Adams St(904) 762-4667Yelp
: 4.5 stars, 61 reviews
So much alliteration.
I think you have to try Chomp Chomp just because it's actually named Chomp Chomp. Am I right? Anyway, once you try it, you'll want to chomp away on a regular basis.
The restaurant has a light menu with interesting flavor combinations like a Korean BBQ sandwich with kimchi and pulled pork, and jerk chicken with a grilled pineapple and cucumber slaw. And everything comes with yummy curry chips.
Plus they’re open until 2 a.m. to satisfy your chomping desires at any time.
10. The Go-To Pizzeria
Source: Carmines Pie House via Facebook
Carmines Pie House
2677 Forbes St(904) 387-1400Yelp
: 4.5 stars, 78 reviews
Every city needs a dynamite pizzeria, and in Jacksonville it’s Carmines Pie House. You've got your straight-up classic pizzas like pepperoni and mushroom, and then you've got the Purple Haze, The Pineapple Express and a bunch of other awesome pies with fun and flavorful topping combinations.
And Carmines has all the other delicious Italian fare you’d want at a quality pizzeria too, like subs, calzones and endless pasta.
11. Don’t Skimp Out On The Soul Food
Source: The Soul Food Bistro via Facebook
Soul Food Bistro at The Potter's House
5310 Lenox Ave(904) 394-0860Yelp
: 4.5 stars, 61 reviews
If you're looking for real good old-fashioned soul food, get yourself down to Soul Food Bistro at The Potter's House. The place is the real deal: Fried chicken, pork chops, and the best of all the fixins. Mac n' cheese, corn bread, collard greens…is your mouth watering yet? Mine is.
12. You Won't Be The Black Sheep Anymore After A Meal Here
Source: Black Sheep Restaurant via Facebook
Black Sheep Restaurant
1534 Oak St(904) 380-3091Yelp
: 4 stars, 136 reviews
Black Sheep rocks quality American fare made with fresh, local ingredients—which everyone knows really make everything taste better. The menu is full of fancy but still down-to-earth dishes like barbecue pork belly, smoked trout salad and braised beef short ribs.
And yes, this is the kind of place where you’ll pay a little more, but it's more than worth it.
13. Take Your Special Occasions To Taverna San Marco
Source: Taverna San Marco via Facebook
Taverna San Marco
1986 San Marco Blvd(904) 398-3005Yelp
: 4 stars, 84 reviews
Taverna San Marco is perfect for foodies, although you'll still like it if you're not one, trust me. They talk the big talk with phrases like "terroir-driven wines" and "seasonal European cuisine" and they have an almost intimidatingly-modern and perfect dining area, but in reality, what they have is just really great food.
They use local, high-quality ingredients and obviously think pretty carefully about everything that goes on the plates. And they do have a great European selection—try the lamb Meatballs, zuppa di pesce and roasted Garlic Hummus.
14. Go Under The Sea At The Wackiest Restaurant Ever
Clark's Fish Camp
12903 Hood Landing Rd(904) 268-3474Yelp
: 4 stars, 129 reviews
This place offers much more than the food. You have to go here at least once if just for the experience. If you can stomach it (ha), it's full of taxidermy bears, lions and other wildlife that will watch you eat very carefully. And it's right on the water, so it looks like something out of a movie. Maybe a weird one.
But make no mistake: Clark's is the place you come for seafood in Jacksonville. By that I mean that Clark’s carries almost anything you could possibly imagine from the water: Scallops, shrimp, oysters, crab, tuna, calamari, and even "swamp food" like gators, snakes and frogs.
Don’t worry, if you’d rather go for the land-dwellers you’ll find them here too, like kangaroo, ostrich and antelope.
15. Metro Diner Is A Jacksonville Restaurant Icon
Source: The Metro Diner via Facebook
3302 Hendricks Ave(904) 398-3701Yelp
: 4 stars, 154 reviews
This place gives you the ultimate classic diner experience. Even the restaurant itself looks like a place where two weary cops would stop for a bite at the end of a long shift.
Breakfast: Eggs, hash browns, pancakes and breakfast meat. Or go for chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits or biscuits and gravy.
Lunch: Comfort food like pot roast, chicken pot pie or meatloaf, or something lighter like a sandwich, soup or salad.
Plus there are always drool-worth daily specials like a waffle BLT and challah French toast. And it doesn’t matter where you are in Jacksonville when the diner craving hits, because they’ve got four locations.