A food fanatics guide to Jacksonville, Florida
From fish restaurants by the ocean to legendary breakfast cafés and world-class pizza spots, Jacksonville has all the best cuisines covered. The city in Florida’s northeast has a growing food scene with 15 chefs on the Best Chefs America list. So if you plan your holidays around your stomach, Jacksonville is a brilliant destination city to eat your way around, boasting 50 restaurants in the core of downtown Jacksonville alone. We’ve picked some of our favourites to make it a little easier for you when choosing.
Azurea One Ocean
This stunning restaurant is located on the shimmering waters of the Atlantic Ocean, so we’ll give you one guess what they specialise in… delicious fresh seafood of course. There isn’t a bad seat in the house as every table offers a view of the ocean. Azurea’s menu changes seasonally, meaning the menu showcases the region’s ingredients at their best. You have to try the chef’s signature seafood tower; with a selection of chilled lobster tail, steamed mussels smoked salmon, and much more besides.
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Ragtime Tavern Seafood & Grill
Ragtime Tavern is perfect if you can’t settle on just one cuisine. It offers Cajun, Mexican, Italian and more. If you’re a fan of shrimp, the ‘Ragtime Shrimp’ is the dish for you. It’s served in beer-batter and rolled in flaked coconut giving it both crunch and a delicate sweet flavour, and that’s before you add the gorgeous honey mustard sauce that’s served on the side. Ragtime is also a great hotspot for locals, especially on a weekend as it has a fabulous bar and plays live music in the evening if you want a boogie. When a place is packed with locals, it’s always the sign of a good restaurant.
If you’re craving a stone baked classic southern pizza then look no further then Mellow Mushroom, where it makes its pizzas with its signature spring water crust which is both thin and delicious. You can build your own pizza; they offer three sizes, 11 types of cheese and an uncountable choice of ingredients. Mellow Mushroom also offers a great choice of gluten-free and vegan options. Try some of their ‘munchies’ to start with, especially the pretzel bites coated with garlic butter and parmesan served with their signature beer cheese dip… our mouth is watering just writing about it.
Ellen’s Kitchen is the go-to place for breakfast in the Neptune Beach area in Jacksonville. Locals have been going here for 50 years; this may be because they make everyone feel right at home. If you’re an early bird, try and arrive before 9 am as a selection of breakfast dishes are only $4.95. After 9 am they are $7.95, but still worth every cent. You’ll have to try ‘Grandpa’s’ breakfast which is chicken fried steak covered with sausage gravy with two eggs, this is a dish you definitely don’t see on UK menus every day.
Just off the Intracoastal Waterway sits the magnificent Market 32 restaurant, owned by Ben Groshell who grew up fishing and crabbing in this beautiful location. Market 32 offers an array of delicious fish and meat dishes. The bistro steak is to die for, especially with the truffle, rocket and pecorino fries. If you visit at happy hour between 5 pm and 7 pm, don’t miss out on the $3 drinks and appetisers; just make sure you’re sitting at the bar to receive the deal.
If you plan your holiday around your stomach and want a gastronomic adventure in Florida, talk to our team on 0800 669 6409 or email us who will be happy to help plan your next holiday for you.