15 Best Restaurants in Jacksonville, Florida (Top Places to Eat)

When I first moved to Florida, my top priority was to seek out the best places to eat in Jacksonville. Whenever I travel somewhere, and, especially before I move somewhere, I always make sure there are delicious food options nearby. This was no exception, and I wasn’t disappointed.

I live south of Jacksonville, halfway between the city and St. Augustine, and thanks to my commute, I’ve been able to explore tons of the best restaurants in Jacksonville. And let me tell you – there are a lot. For me, eating is one of the best things to do in Jacksonville!

The Bold City is up-and-coming when it comes to making a name for itself as a food city. There are so many fantastic restaurants establishing themselves as key players in the food scene.

15 Best Restaurants in Jacksonville, Florida

I’ve been visiting Jax for over five years and have lived here for a year now. Within this time, I’ve eaten at my fair share of restaurants and have compiled this list of some of my favorite eateries in the city, based on the tastiness and quality of food, service, location, and my overall personal opinion.

I’ve eaten at far more restaurants than those listed below, but this is a good starting place to help guide you during your next visit.

1. Restaurant Orsay – Best Restaurant Overall

Meat a stake on a plate close up with mushrooms on the top.

Certain dishes send chemicals firing in your brain as soon as they touch your tongue – and Restaurant Orsay’s entire menu has that effect. Whenever I would research the top restaurants in Jacksonville, this French-meets-Southern bistro would always top the list, so, of course, I had to try it out.

The high-end, elegant restaurant isn’t cheap (understandably), but, if you’re looking for a date night or to celebrate a special occasion, this is a fantastic option. I recommend starting with oysters from the raw bar or steak tartare before moving on to the lobster pot pie or lamb sirloin.

You’ll want to make a reservation and plan on wearing something nice. The restaurant is located in the Avondale area, which has lots of options for both pre and post-dinner activities. And, if you’re a wine lover, Orsay has a seriously impressive wine list.

Restaurant Orsay Information

Address: 3630 Park St, Jacksonville, FL 32205
Phone: +19043810909
Operating Hours: 4 am-10 pm Tues-Thurs, 2 pm-12 pm Friday, 11 am-12 am Saturday, 11 am-10 pm Sunday
Must-Try Meals: Sea scallop tartare, beef stroganoff, trois fois mousse
Average Cost: $5-$30 per starter, $28-$63 per main, $6-$16 for desserts
Website: Restaurant Orsay

2. Indochine Downtown – Best Restaurant Downtown

Thai food is served on the dining table. Traditional northeast Isaan is delicious on a plate with fresh vegetables. Many varieties various Thai menu Asian food on a wooden table, top view.

My choice for the best restaurant downtown also happens to be one of the best restaurants in Jacksonville. Indochine Downtown has been named “Best Thai Restaurant” by a local magazine six consecutive years in a row – and for good reason.

This centrally-located restaurant is in the heart of downtown and is a must-visit spot if you’re in the area. Specializing in Thai and Southeast Asian food, this establishment has dishes that you’ll dream about after you leave. I lived in Thailand for 2 years, and Indochine is about as authentic as it gets.

On the menu, you’ll find traditional SE Asian dishes like chicken laab, pho, pad see ew, curries, and more. Honestly, no matter what you order, you’re sure to be impressed. They also have sushi and some incredible cocktails made with super fresh ingredients.

Indochine Downtown Information

Address: 21 E Adams St #200, Jacksonville, FL 32202
Phone: +19045985303
Operating Hours: 11 am-9:30 pm Mon-Thurs, 11 am-10 pm Friday, 5 pm-10 pm Saturday, 5 pm-9 pm Sunday
Must-Try Meals: Summer rolls, Mee-Krob, duck curry
Average Cost: $6-$10 per starter, $14-$23 per main, $6-$10 per cocktail

3. Salt Life Food Shack – Best Beach Restaurant

A close-up view of a plate of carne asada nachos in a restaurant or kitchen setting.

You only need to spend one day in Florida before you quickly realize that “Salt Life” is everywhere – bumper stickers, T-shirts, hats, you name it. Salt Life is a lifestyle brand here in Florida that represents all things “ocean” and “beach” life. The brand took to the state so well that they even opened a restaurant – and it happens to be fantastic.

They have multiple locations, but this is one of my favorite places to eat in Jacksonville because it just feels like Florida. It’s three blocks from the beach, the decor is bright and airy, and the food is fresh and delicious. You feel like you’re just at a super chill beach party.

I never go to Salt Life Food Shack without ordering their Hawaiian wings, but everything is tasty. They also have a full bar, an amazing outdoor seating area, and attentive, friendly staff.

Salt Life Food Shack Information

Address: 1018 3rd St N, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
Phone: +19043724456
Operating Hours: 11 am-9 pm Sun-Thurs, 11 am-10 pm Friday and Saturday
Must-Try Meals: Avocado fries, Caliche’s poke bowl, crab-baked grouper
Average Cost: $7-$16 per starter, $12-$28 per main, $8-$10 for desserts
Website: Salt Life Sea Shack

4. Cowford Chophouse – Best Restaurant for Date Night

Oysters in ice with lemon, and hot sauce.

“Steak, seafood, and rooftop views” is how you’re greeted on the Cowford Chophouse homepage, and I don’t know what better way to spend a date night than by combining those three things. Well, maybe some wine, but, they have that too. This is hands down one of the most romantic restaurants in Jacksonville.

The building of Cowford Chophouse itself is stunning; it’s been standing since 1902 and is a symbol of the city’s rich past. That alone is impressive, but the decor inside is as romantic as it gets. Besides the appearance of the place, it’s the food that really makes this spot special.

To give you a glimpse, appetizers include duck fat cornbread or wood-fired crab legs, entrees range from filet Oscar and lamb chops with truffle butter to Chilean sea bass and mushroom risotto. Everything is created to perfection.

Cowford Chophouse Information

Address: 101 E Bay St, Jacksonville, FL 32202
Phone: +19048626464
Operating Hours: 4 pm-10 pm Tues-Sat, Closed Sunday & Monday
Must-Try Meals: Roasted bone marrow, filet with Cowford steak sauce, A-5 Satsuma Wagyu
Average Cost: $15-$30 per starter, $30-$60 per main, $12-$15 for desserts
Website: Cowford Chophouse

5. The Bearded Pig – Best Restaurant for Families

Tray of Smoked Meats  Bbq Style outside wooden table on Sunny Summer Day

Not all nights can be full of romance and filet mignon; sometimes, you go out with the whole family, including the little ones. That’s when you need to head over to The Bearded Pig – a family-friendly BBQ restaurant with a beer garden.

This delicious Southern-style restaurant has multiple locations around Jacksonville, all of which are family-friendly; however, I always tell my friends with kids to check out the location in San Marco off Kings. It has a big outdoor space with a playground and a huge chalkboard for the children to draw on.

While the kids are playing, you can sit outside, sipping on a beer and enjoying a delicious brisket sandwich or pulled pork platter. It’s a win-win for the entire family!

The Bearded Pig Information

Address: 1808 Kings Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32207
Phone: +19046192247
Operating Hours: 11 am-9 pm Tues-Thurs & Sunday, 11 am-10 pm Saturday, Closed Monday
Must-Try Meals: Burnt ends, beef rib, Frito pie
Average Cost: $5-$10 per starter, $10-$30 per main, $4-$5 for desserts
Website: The Bearded Pig

6. River & Post – Best Restaurant with a View

Fresh Burrata cheese with bread, arugula, and tomatoes.

The best restaurant in Jacksonville with a view hardly has any competition – River & Post takes the crown. There are other rooftop bars scattered around the city, but nothing quite beats the breathtaking vistas at the River & Post rooftop lounge.

The restaurant on the ground floor is incredible, but you’ll want to take the elevator to the rooftop lounge where you’ll see stunning views of the Jacksonville skyline and the St. Johns River. It’s perfect on a sunny day, during sunset, or at night to see the city lights.

The food is top-notch, and the bartenders are amazing, so I always like trying their specialty cocktails. Try their roasted cauliflower or the burrata plate for the perfect snack to enjoy as you take in the view.

River & Post Information

Address: 1000 Riverside Ave #100, Jacksonville, FL 32204
Phone: +19045752366
Operating Hours: 11 am-10 pm Tues-Sun, 4 pm-10 pm Monday
Must-Try Meals: Burrata plate, pesto oven-bread, blackberry BBQ wings
Average Cost: $11-$16 per starter, $14-25 per main, $14 for desserts
Website: River & Post

7. TacoLu – Best Mexican Restaurant

Traditional Mexican Food. Cheesy Enchilada, fajita, flour tortillas.

Florida isn’t exactly close to Mexico, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find good Mexican food. Since I’m originally from the West Coast, I was especially excited to discover Taco Lu – it was like I was back in Baja California.

Known as one of the best Mexican restaurants in Jacksonville, this little cantina in Jacksonville Beach is whipping up some of the most delicious fish tacos (tacos, in general), nachos, enchiladas, and tequila cocktails in the entire city. They also offer a great brunch on weekends.

What’s also seriously impressive about this spot is its tequila and mezcal collection – they have hundreds and hundreds of bottles to choose from. I’m not even joking, hundreds.

TacoLu Information

Address: 1712 Beach Blvd, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
Phone: +19042498226
Operating Hours: 11 am-10 pm Tues-Thurs, 11 am-11 pm Friday, 10 am-11 pm Saturday, 10 am-10 pm Sunday, Closed Monday
Must-Try Meals: The Taco Rosa, street corn nachos, TacoLu margarita
Average Cost: $8-$11 per starter, $5-$15 per main, $4-$9 for desserts
Website: TacoLu

8. Taverna – Best Italian Restaurant

Plated butternut squash mezzaluna ravioli.

It’s never long before I have a craving for some authentic Italian food. Taverna in San Marco is widely known as one of the best Italian restaurants in Jacksonville. Unlike other Italian restaurants with oversized portions and heavy-handed sauces, Taverna is elegant, thoughtful, and true to its roots.

They have brunch, lunch, dinner, and happy hour, which makes it a great option no matter the time of day or week you visit. The chef-driven menu has elevated Italian options like sauteed calamari, house-made ravioli, bolognese, and more.

During happy hour, you can get appetizers such as herbed ricotta, patatas bravas, and parmesan truffle friends for discounted prices. Beer, wine, and cocktails are on offer as well.

Taverna Information

Address: 1986 San Marco Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32207
Phone: +19043983005
Operating Hours: 11 am-9 pm Tues-Thurs, 11 am-10 pm Friday & Saturday, 10 am-9 pm Sunday
Must-Try Meals: Burrata caprese, orecchiete, mushroom marsala
Average Cost: $9-$25 per starter, $17-$40 per main, $3-$15 for desserts
Website: Taverna

9. Dockside Seafood Restaurant – Best Seafood Restaurant

Close up delicious grilled seafood platter.

No trip to Florida is complete without a seafood experience – after all, it really doesn’t get much fresher than this. Dockside Seafood Restaurant is known around town to be the best seafood restaurant in Jacksonville, and I can attest.

There was a line out the door, so I knew it was going to be delicious. It’s a no-fuss, order-at-the-counter establishment with a bar, serving some of the freshest, most delicious seafood in the city. Steamed, grilled, blackened, or fried – they do it all.

I loved my order when I went. I started with chilled smoked fish dip (as you do, here in Jacksonville), then split the grilled scallop basket and grilled crab cake melt with my partner. Everything was fantastic – I couldn’t find one flaw.

The view is also amazing, as it sits right on the river. So, get there early and grab a spot on the large seat-yourself patio. Keep an eye out for dolphins and manatees as you enjoy your meal – it’s a really special place.

Dockside Seafood Restaurant Information

Address: 2510 2nd Ave N, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
Phone: +19044793474
Operating Hours: 10:30 am-9 pm, Every day
Must-Try Meals: Grilled crab cake melt, shrimp po’boy, chilled smoked fish dip
Average Cost: $4-$14 per starter, $11-$22 per main
Website: Dockside Seafood Restaurant

10. Sushi Bear – Best Sushi Restaurant

Sushi set uramaki and spicy sushi rolls served on  bamboo tray. Various kinds of sushi pieces served on black slate with wooden chopstick.

Sushi Bear might not look like much from the outside, but, in my opinion, it’s one of the best places to eat in Jacksonville. I absolutely love sushi, and Sushi Bear ticks all the boxes and then some.

Found in a strip mall in southeast Jacksonville, this unassuming sushi restaurant is constantly busy because the fish is unbeatably fresh, the rolls are creative and delicious, and the staff is so nice.

My favorite items are the steamed shumai, Fancy Q roll, and chicken katsu. Based on online reviews, it seems like every item they create is worth a try though.

Sushi Bear Information

Address: 4530 St Johns Ave #9, Jacksonville, FL 32210
Phone: +19045030690
Operating Hours: 11 am-10 pm Mon, Wed & Thurs, 11 am-11 pm Friday & Saturday, 12 pm-10 pm Sunday, Closed Tuesday
Must-Try Meals: Fancy Q roll, Crazy Roll, any hibachi item
Average Cost: $5-$13 per starter, $6-$25 per main, $4-$6 for desserts

11. Carmine’s Pie House – Best Pizza Restaurant

New York-style pizza, with fresh mozzarella, sliced mozzarella, and cherry tomato.

Pizza is my favorite food. Hands down. No question. It’s so flavorful, so versatile, so comforting, and Carmine’s Pie House is known to be one of the best restaurants in Jacksonville. And as far as I’m concerned, it certainly is.

They don’t simply make pizza, they make New York-style pizza, Chicago deep-dish pie, calzones, pasta, and more. Even guests from Chicago say it’s a fantastic deep dish, and that’s saying a lot.

The environment at Carmine’s is also awesome. There are bold murals on the walls by local artists, eclectic pieces of decor, and loud 80s rock in the background. It’s so much fun.

Carmine’s Pie House Information

Address: 2677 Forbes St, Jacksonville, FL 32204
Phone: +19043871400
Operating Hours: 11 am-9 pm Sun-Thurs, 11 am-10 pm Friday and Saturday
Must-Try Meals: Chicago stuffed pie with your favorite toppings, The Frenchy pizza, lobster mac and cheese
Average Cost: $7-$14 per starter, $4-$20+ per pizza
Website: Carmine’s Pie House

12. 5th Element – Best Indian Restaurant

Indian cuisine spicy red Tandoori chicken with cucumber raita.

5th Element has become a Jacksonville favorite for its bold, authentic Indian flavors, fresh ingredients, and a wide variety of menu items from across all regions of India. As soon as you walk in the door, you’re greeted by a glorious scent of all kinds of spices and meats.

Located in the Baymeadows area of Jacksonville, this Indian restaurant hasn’t left one item out. Despite the large menu, every item is thoughtfully prepared with the perfect balance of flavor and spices. I am yet to be disappointed.

For example, on the menu, you’ll find samosas, sambar, dosa, tandoori, fried rice, saag, curries, vindaloos, and so much more. You’ll likely have to make a few visits because it’s going to be very hard not to want to order everything!

5th Element Information

Address: 9485 Baymeadows Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32256
Phone: +19044488265
Operating Hours: 11 am-10 pm Sun-Thurs, 11 am-10:30 am Saturday & Sunday
Must-Try Meals: Paneer Pakora, lamb tikka masala, masala dosa
Average Cost: $5-$13 per starter, $7-$15 per main, $3 for desserts (average)
Website: 5th Element

13. Murray Hillbilly – Best Vegan Restaurant

Pescatarian salmon salad with beans, cucumber and sprouts for healthy diet, food delivery service and order online

Okay, I’m not vegan, but I am obsessed with Murray Hillbilly. Omnivores, pescatarians, and vegans alike will fall in love after one bite because everything is over-the-top delicious. If you are vegan, you’ll be very proud of Jacksonville for this incredible restaurant.

Head south of downtown to the Murray Hill area and you’ll find the cleverly named establishment. The menu is full of vegan/faux-meat items that are, quite honestly, mind-blowingly good. There’s a bacun cheeze biscuit, BS burger, chickun wingz, mac n’ cheeze, and many more choices to pick from.

One visit and you’ll see why this previous food cart was in need of a brick-and-mortar establishment.

Murray Hillbilly Information

Address: 1044 Edgewood Ave S, Jacksonville, FL 32205
Phone: +19046836376
Operating Hours: 11 am-8 pm Wed-Sun, Closed Monday & Tuesday
Must-Try Meals: Muenster cheeze fries, maple chikun biscuit, Hillbilly Whopper
Average Cost: $8 per starter, $6-$13 per main
Website: Murray Hillbilly

14. Beach Hut Cafe – Best Budget Restaurant

Burger With Lettuce and Cheese

Delicious food doesn’t have to cost a fortune. When I want tasty, no-frills food for a great price, in a great location, I always head to Beach Hut Cafe in Jacksonville Beach. It’s less than two blocks from the beach, and they serve diner-style breakfast, burgers, sandwiches, and daily specials.

An adorable “diner on the beach,” the Beach Hut Cafe is truly a Jacksonville Beach staple. The breakfast hours can become fairly busy, but that’s only because it’s so delicious, (and it’s cheap). Lunch is nothing to scoff at either – their simple burgers and deli sandwiches are out of this world.

Get a full two-egg breakfast with home fries and bacon for just $8 or a cheeseburger with all the fixings and chips for less than $10. It’s an awesome option for budget travelers and families.

Beach Hut Cafe Information

Address: 1281 3rd St S, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
Phone: +19042493516
Operating Hours: 7 am-2 pm, Every day
Must-Try Meals: Steak n’ eggs, BLT, country fried chicken
Average Cost: $5-$13 per breakfast item, $5-$11 per lunch item
Website: Beach Hut Cafe

15. Matthew’s Restaurant – Best Fine Dining Restaurant

Fine dining cuisine - french dish on the table

I had the great privilege of dining at Matthew’s Restaurant and to say it was amazing would be a serious understatement. Known as the premier fine dining restaurant in Jacksonville, it is truly a culinary experience like no other.

Located in the food-centric neighborhood of San Marco, this high-end restaurant has been making elegant French and Mediterranean cuisine for over 25 years. The service is impeccable, and the environment is sleek and relaxed. It’s simply gorgeous.

On the menu, you can expect to find items such as a caviar selection, steak tartare, escargot, duck, wagyu beef, and seared foie gras. It’s everything you want in a fine dining experience. Reservations are highly recommended – don’t miss out on this one.

Matthew’s Restaurant Information

Address: 2107 Hendricks Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32207
Phone: +19043969922
Operating Hours: 4:30 pm-10 pm Mon-Sat
Must-Try Meals: Seared foie gras, beef tenderloin, Iberico Pork Secreto
Average Cost: $17-$36 per starter, $35-$95 per main, $14-$15 for desserts
Website: Matthew’s Restaurant

Must-Try Meals in Jacksonville, Florida

Assortment of various barbecue Mediterranean grill food- fish, octopus, shrimp, crab, seafood, mussels with kebab, sauces, light blue sunny wooden background.

There are a few meals and dishes around Jacksonville that have made me desire to order them again and again. The staple of Jax is always seafood, so, of course, I’ve shared my favorite. I’ve also included some others that are truly mouthwatering and shouldn’t be missed:

Beef Stroganoff at Restaurant Orsay

There’s something about beef stroganoff that’s so comforting and nostalgic to me. Restaurant Orsay is elevating the simple dish with braised short rib, leeks, and creme fraiche. It melts in your mouth.

Pad See Ew with Scallops at Indochine Downtown

Pad See Ew is one of those Thai dishes that can be different at every restaurant you order it from. Indochine Downtown’s version is perfect and very authentic. The wide rice noodles are cooked to a T and they’re gorgeously dressed in a sweet soy sauce that I dream about, literally.

Grilled Crab Cake Melt at Dockside Seafood Restaurant

Crab frill with flames closeup of delicious grilled seafood.

Crab is a staple here in Jacksonville and every time I visit Dockside, I can’t help but order the Grilled Crab Cake Melt. The crab cake has tons of lump meat and is served as a generous portion, the white cheddar doesn’t overwhelm, and the roll is toasted yet soft. What’s more, it’s served with a side of classic Southern hush puppies.

Orecchiete at Taverna

Nothing makes me happier than homemade pasta. Taverna has mastered the pasta-making craft and their orecchiete is the stuff dreams are made of. It’s served with a slow-cooked pork ragu, broccolini, and pine nuts. Divine!

Chicago Stuffed Pie at Carmine’s Pie House

People tend to have a hard opinion on Chicago deep dish pie. Before Carmine’s, I had only tried it in Chicago and it felt sacrilege to have it anywhere else; but Carmine’s is seriously legit. The crust doesn’t take over and it’s not too saucy. It’s cheesy, flavorful, and authentic. I like mine with sausage, mushrooms, and black olives.

Food Tours in Jacksonville, Florida

A great way to experience all the culinary excellence that Jacksonville has to offer is to take a food tour. Here are a couple of tours that are a great way to taste your way around town:

The Avondale Culinary Tour in Jacksonville

Round up your friends and head on a culinary adventure in Avondale with this fun food tour. Voted as one of America’s Top 10 Great Neighborhoods, you’ll stroll through historic Avondale while stopping at some of the tastiest restaurants in the area. Book your 3-hour tour here.

Savoring San Marco

San Marco is known as one of the most food-centric neighborhoods in Jacksonville. On this 3-hour walking tour, you’ll discover hidden gems that are off the beaten path during your five stops of sips and bites. You’ll also learn about the rich history of San Marco and take in the sights of street art and murals. Book your tour here.

Jacksonville, Florida Restaurants: FAQs

Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions about the best restaurants in Jacksonville, Florida:

What are the best restaurants in Jacksonville, Florida?

The best restaurants in Jacksonville, in my opinion, are Restaurant Orsay, Indochine Downtown, Taverna, and Sushi Bear.

What time is dinner in Jacksonville, Florida?

Dinner in Jacksonville can range anywhere from 4 pm to 10 pm, depending on your preference.

What time is lunch in Jacksonville, Florida?

Lunch in Jacksonville can range anywhere from 11 am to 2 pm, depending on your preference.

What time is breakfast in Jacksonville, Florida?

Breakfast in Jacksonville can range anywhere from 7 am to 11 am, depending on your preference.

Do you tip in Jacksonville, Florida?

Yes, it is customary to tip in Jacksonville; usually 20% for good service.

What neighborhood has the best restaurants in Jacksonville, Florida?

The neighborhood with the best restaurants in Jacksonville would be either Avondale or San Marco.

Where is the best pub food in Jacksonville, Florida?

The best pub food in Jacksonville can be found at Strings Sports Brewery.

What’s the best restaurant in Jacksonville, Florida with a view?

The best restaurant in Jacksonville with a view is River and Post.

What food is Jacksonville, Florida known for?

Jacksonville is known for its fresh seafood.

Does Jacksonville, Florida have good food?

Yes! Jacksonville has an excellent food scene.

What is the best Mexican restaurant in Jacksonville, Florida?

The best Mexican restaurant in Jacksonville is TacoLu in Jacksonville Beach.

In Conclusion

Discovering new and delicious restaurants in Jacksonville is one of my favorite hobbies. All of these restaurants have made a lasting impression on me, in the best way. It’s exciting to watch Jacksonville’s culinary scene grow and expand every day.

When visiting the area, I hope you find this guide helpful for experiencing the best places to eat in Jacksonville. Happy eating!

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