= Address = Phone Number = Web site
Average cost of entrees excluding tax and tip.
$ = Under $8 $$ = $8 - $14 $$$ = $15 - $22 $$$$ = $23 and up
RIVERSIDE & AVONDALE (about 5-7 miles away)
Just a stone's throw away from University of Florida Health Proton Therapy Institute, Avondale is another historic neighborhood and one of the most desirable residential areas of town. Take N. Jefferson Street south through downtown and over the small overpass. When you get to the other side you're now on Riverside Avenue. Follow it down a few miles to reach the heart of Riverside, a few miles after that you'll reach Avondale.
The Fox Restaurant
This 1950s style diner offers all-day breakfast and lunch. Menu samples include waffles, omelets, grits, hot plate specials and fried green tomatoes.
Biscotti's was noted by the New York Times Travel section as one of the four best places to eat in Jacksonville. Nightly dinner specials like smoked paprika-dusted flounder and farfalle pasta tossed in a curry-plum tomato sauce complement an array of appetizers, sandwiches and pizzas. The restaurant also offers Sunday brunch.
Known as "The Brick" to locals, this trendy eatery has a full bar and outdoor seating. Brunch and live entertainment are offered on the weekends.
The Mossfire Grill
Named one of Jacksonville's Top 25 restaurants in 2007, this restaurant specializes in Southwest cuisine with a slightly modern twist. The menu is served in a sophisticated, yet relaxed atmosphere with local jazz musicians strumming on the weekends. The sidewalk seating is a great way to enjoy the weather and people watch. Take a stroll down to nearby Memorial Park before or after your meal.
Named the best slice in Jacksonville by Folio Weekly for the past 13 years, Al's is a Jacksonville institution for pizza. Its trendy and comfortable décor is home to its Italian-style menu, including fun NY-style pizzas & calzones. Desserts include "Zeppoli's," Al's version of Beignets, which are lightly fried dough dashed with powdered sugar & sweet raspberry sauce. Mmmm. I'm hungry. Al's has many locations around town; just ask 'em!
Derby On Park
Pick up a newspaper from the magazine stand next door, read the news, have another cup of coffee, and go for a walk in the park or window shop at the nearby boutiques.
Cool Moose Café
A casual and cool morning stop for many a city-folk, the Cool Moose is right on the corner of Park & King. Open for breakfast and lunch only, its sizeable pancakes, cookies, tasty bagel blends, and hot coffee are popular. Do a little window shopping while you're here, as quite a few interesting stores call this block home.
European Street Café
If you're craving something a little different or you'd like to give your taste buds a European vacation, this restaurant is the perfect stop. It offers pitas, wraps, sandwiches, entrees, and desserts all with a distinct flavor that is definitely from "over the pond." European Street also features 150 bottled beers from Belgium, Germany, Australia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Brazil, Austria and other countries. There is a San Marco location as well.
The Loop Pizza Grill
A Jacksonville tradition, The Loop has fantastic fresh pizzas and creamy cold milkshakes. Located on a river marsh, enjoy your meal. The family friendly restaurant also has salads, sandwiches and burgers on the menu. Although there are many locations throughout Jacksonville, this location offers outdoor seating with a marsh view.
A friendly neighborhood restaurant and pub for 15 years, Harpoon Louie's is a casual, comfortable food and drink spot for those in the neighborhood. Burgers, sandwiches, wings, and seafood are the staples of the menu. Covered and uncovered outdoor seating, pool tables, and sports on the TV's create a friendly and comfortable atmosphere.
Some of the freshest seafood in Jacksonville and if you like oysters, you really have a good selection. This is a proton favorite. We like it so much we go there as a group on one of our Thursday dinner outings.
DOWNTOWN (NORTHBANK) & SPRINGFIELD (about 1-3 miles away)
This is our part of town! UF Health Proton Therapy Institute is located in the historic Springfield neighborhood, directly North of Downtown Jacksonville. The Landing and The St. John's River are just a few minutes away. The following restaurants are also just around the corner and take no time at all to get to from UF Health Proton Therapy Institute.
Uptown Kitchen And Bar
From the creators of the ‘Burrito Gallery' in Downtown, comes this contemporary diner, just a couple miles up the road. The sit-down service at Uptown Market features a traditional breakfast menu (can't beat the blueberry pancakes) and an eclectic lunch menu (the Panini is excellent) that emphasizes presentation, as well as taste. You can also enjoy your meal outdoors under the shade of umbrellas.
Wafaa & Mike's Middle Eastern Café
A fabulous mix of authentic Middle Eastern and traditional American foods, everything is made fresh, fresh, fresh. While the interior of the restaurant is bland, tasty favorites like the Philly Cheese Steak, Gyro Wrap, and Greek Salad keep your taste buds interested. The menu also features items such as kibi, falafels, taboule, and grape leaves, as well as burgers, hot wings, and platters. Construction on the back patio seating area is well underway, which will feature covered seating and fountain area.
Three Layers Coffee House
A true neighborhood coffee house, this local haunt was recently named "Best Coffee House in Jacksonville." It caters to coffee lovers with a sweet tooth, as well as those with a more healthy desire. Similar to a Starbucks in feel, this independently owned restaurant makes its own pastries, cakes, smoothies, and muffins, sandwiches and soups, as well as assorted flavors of coffee and cappuccinos. In the evenings the attached wine bar attracts a mellow crowd, while local musicians and artists can be found performing in-store. The secluded Zen Garden is a great place to relax and unwind as well.
The saying, "don't judge a book by its cover" fits here. Although the Mexican restaurant is tiny and looks a bit cliché, the food is very good! The covered outdoor seating across from Confederate Park is relaxing. Grab a bite to eat and take a stroll through the park; stop and smell the roses, literally, at the rose arbor. Right down the street from the Institute, Hola! is a good choice if you have a Mexican food craving.
This urban eatery offers a tasty menu of Mediterranean Cuisine. The atmosphere is casual so you can certainly lean back in your chair and enjoy yourself without hesitation. Wraps, salads, burgers, paninis and vegetarian dishes make up the bulk of the menu with other traditional Mediterranean and American items as well. Jerry, the owner and chef, is a very gracious host and would love to talk philosophy with you, given the chance. However, it's a very popular breakfast and lunch destination for downtowners so he's usually busy in the kitchen.
Described as "a wonderful little hole-in-the-wall," this casual restaurant is a great choice for those looking for a large menu of authentic Italian fare for reasonable prices. Located right next to the Florida Theatre, the restaurant is the ideal spot to enjoy a meal before or after a show. Dora offers numerous pastas and sauces, pizza, calzones, fresh seafood, sub sandwiches, salads, steak and veal. The Grouper Francisco and Chicken Saltimbocca are two popular favorites.
An eclectic little restaurant complete with an indoor dining area, bar and outdoor patio, Burrito Gallery serves huge burritos and tacos, including interesting varieties like ginger teriyaki tofu, fresh mahi and yellow curry chicken. The restaurant also offers soups, salads and deli wraps. Local art is on display throughout the restaurant.
Café Nola @ Moca
Tucked inside Jacksonville's Museum of Contemporary Art, this upscale bistro boasts gourmet lunch selections such as a tea-infused duck salad, sweet potato crabcakes, smoked balsamic chicken sandwich and Indian-style steamed mussels.
DOWNTOWN (SOUTHBANK) & SAN MARCO (about 3-4 miles away)
The St. John's River splits downtown Jacksonville in half, leaving the pleasant San Marco neighborhood on the South Bank of the river, as well as most of the downtown upscale, gourmet dining. From UF Health Proton Therapy Institute, take 8th Street to I-95 South, go over the river, and get off at the very first exit: "San Marco." Local boutiques and cafes adorn the aptly named ‘San Marco Blvd.' to the right, while high class national brand restaurants are to the left.
The hip eatery and bar features wide selection of creative dishes including grilled fishes, meats, homemade pastas and risottos, seafood, salads and gourmet thin-crust, wood-fired pizzas.
Northeast Florida's only Mobile Four Star and AAA Four Diamond Restaurant, Matthew's is one of the ritziest restaurants in town. Gourmet entrees like sockeye salmon with jasmine rice and cucumber relish are accompanied with a selection of more than 400 wines.
River City Brewing Co.
Located directly on the St. John's River in downtown Jacksonville, RCBC boasts a wonderful city view from its dining areas. Casual and fun, this restaurant serves dishes with a global flavor, specializing in fresh seafood, steaks and imaginative pastas. The glass encased, on-site brewery lets you view the beer's brewing process. If you go on the weekend, you'll be able to enjoy live music on the outside decks while you eat seared scallops and ravioli, tempura chicken stir-fry, fresh brochette, or some other delicious meal.
The Chart House
Another well-known chain of high quality, The Chart House's specialty is seafood and steaks. Located on the river, menu features include Chilean sea bass and succulent Alaskan crab legs. Their salad bar is a meal in itself and the service is first rate.
The brand name when it comes to steaks, this restaurant is yet another option for those looking for high-end dining. Being a consistent winner for Best Restaurant and Best Steaks local restaurant guides, Ruth's Chris delivers great food and great service. Located on the river in the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel, across from Friendship Park, you'll be treated to a first class evening of dining.
This upscale-high-volume restaurant’s atmosphere promotes lively conversation and an enjoyable meal. BB’s is known for their rich selection of desserts with over 16 options available. Make sure you view the dessert case before making your decision. The menu is eclectic, including char grilled fillet, Thai barbecue, gourmet pizza and fired rock shrimp salad.
Breakfast and lunch doesn't get much better than this. With a cute diner ambiance and delicious food, you really can't go wrong at Metro Diner. Try the crab cakes benedicts if you enjoy crab. If you're not much of a seafood eater, opt for a delicious sandwich. Choose the homemade potato chips as your side, they are crunchy and yummy. Be warned – breakfast brings in the masses and they are only open until 2pm.
SOUTHSIDE (about 10-15 miles away)
The Southside of town is a HUGE area and is actually separated into smaller sections, including Mandarin, Arlington, Baymeadows, Intracoastal area and the ‘Southside'. Most of this area is typical suburban sprawl with every imaginable type of store, housing, service and restaurant. With more condos, gated communities, and apartments than true neighborhoods, most restaurants are a drive, not a walk, away.
This upscale chain of restaurants will ensure you have a flavorful, rich meal with attentive service. The decor makes you wonder if you've wandered into an exclusive country club. Aesthetically pleasing and elegant, the oil paintings and African mahogany paneling throughout help create the refined, decadent ambiance. The menu is top notch, as you'd expect, with seared citrus salmon, broiled fresh lobster and dry aged porter house steak.
An established chain of Chinese-inspired bistros, this restaurant serves top notch Chinese and Asian foods. A relaxing, zen-like environment sets the mood for good food and conversation. In fact, as the servers will tell you, sharing of food is encouraged (within your party, of course). Better go practice your chop sticks skills!
Maggiano's Little Italy
This restaurant creates a warm feeling of an old Italian gathering place. A national chain, Maggiano's is known for its savory home-style Italian food. Usually bustling with guests and families, it's a good option for quality Italian food in large portions. They also serve some American dishes like meatloaf and burgers.
Everyone's been to a Cheesecake Factory before, so this description is elementary, I suppose. Their huge and varied menu ranges from omelets, to fish tacos, to hibachi steak, to pizza, to seared tuna salad and everything in between! Large and lively, the restaurant can play casual or upscale. You be the judge.
This upscale chain of restaurants serves authentic Mexican cuisine in a sophisticated atmosphere. A blend of classic, traditional Mexico with a heavy modern influence, the ambiance is very relaxing, while retaining a high-end feel at the same time. You can find daily fish specials, certified Angus beef, and traditional Mexican food on the menu.
Mitchell's Fish Market
Do you love fresh fish? If so, this high-end chain of restaurants/fish markets would be a great place to enjoy a meal. Detailed oil paintings of ships and fish decorate the walls, while nice, classically modern fixtures and furniture fill the dining areas and bar. The emphasis is on "fresh," so the menu changes twice daily to ensure that only the freshest fish and ingredients are used. Virtually every kind of fish and seafood is usually available. You can also purchase fish to take home and cook.
Lost your mojo? Go get it back at this great BBQ restaurant. Referring to blues song lyrics that convey a cool vibe or a lucky feeling, Mojo's name sets the mood for a unique BBQ blend of regional specialties. Rubs, sauces, spices and cuts specific to certain parts of the country are served with a little pinch of Mojo spin. The colorful and bold art on the walls and the open, airy, loft-like environment create a modern feel. Being relatively new to the BBQ scene in Jacksonville, this restaurant has already created quite a following. Be the next to get hooked at one of their many locations.
Beach Road Chicken Dinners
A local tradition, this hole-in-the wall, Southern treasure has been around for as long as anyone can remember (more than 60 years). In 1939, Beach Road Chicken Dinners on Atlantic Blvd was the only restaurant on the only road to the beach, hence its namesake. Probably the best fried chicken in Jacksonville, Beach Road is an old fashioned restaurant that proudly serves fried chicken and southern food "the way mama used to make." A great Southern dining experience (just don't tell your doctor!).
Havana - Jax Café
The best known Cuban-American restaurant in town, Havana-Jax reminisces back to Cuba's golden era. The atmosphere is casual and fun, with live music playing in the Cuba Libre lounge area. The menu features mostly authentic Latin cuisine with some American considerations. Yucca Frita (fried yucca), lechon asado (marinated roast pork with rice and beans), and frijoles negros (black bean soup) are samples of what's on the menu. After the meal, relax on a leather couch and listen to the lively music. This is the place to try Cuban food!
Seven Bridges Grille & Brewery
This restaurant is a good choice for those looking for good food without the upscale atmosphere or prices. Steaks, seafood, pizza and burgers are on the menu, as well as a long list of wines and beers. In fact, they brew their own beer in an on-site micro brewery. Live music is performed most days of the week and outdoor seating lets you enjoy the warm, breezy evenings. A casual, relaxed night (or day) out awaits you.
Clark's Fish Camp
This local favorite caters to fish lovers and those looking for a more exotic, wild taste. Originally a bait and tackle shop, Clark's converted to a restaurant some 20 years ago and now serves just about every type of seafood imaginable. The rustic, woodsy look and feel matches the surroundings, located directly on Julington creek. Clark's has a more exotic menu than you might expect, including kangaroo, eel, ostrich, antelope, snake, buffalo, and of course, gator tail. Speaking of which: Don't feed the gators (as they'll constantly remind you)!
This ambiance-rich restaurant offers contemporary Asian-inspired cuisine. The unique lighting and modern, yet classic, décor creates a very soothing atmosphere. You can find dishes like seared ahi tuna, peanut-lime chicken salad, and chile-mango veggie stir fry on the menu. The desserts are uniquely scrumptious as well, featuring green tea or ginger ice cream and Thai tea crème brulee. Definitely not your standard casual Chinese buffet, Blue Bamboo is a fun and interesting dining experience.
THE BEACHES (about 18-22 miles away)
Jacksonville offers beautiful public beaches for your walking or wading pleasure. Though technically not one beach, Atlantic Beach (Northern most), Neptune Beach (middle), and Jacksonville Beach (Southern most), lay next to one another seamlessly and without fees. You can reach the beach three ways from UF Health Proton Therapy Institute:
- Take Jefferson St. South a few blocks to Union Street and make a left (it's one way). Stay in the 2 left-hand lanes as you'll be taking the Arlington Expressway exit over the Mathew's Bridge soon. Once you're over the bridge the expressway runs into Atlantic Blvd., which goes straight to the beach.
- Take I-95 South to Exit 349 "To Jax Beach", this road will shortly turn into Beach Blvd. which will take you straight there.
- Take I-95 South to J Turner Butler Blvd., Exit 344. Make left to get on JTB East, which runs into the beach. This way has the least amount of lights and is all highway.
Sneakers Sports Grille
This huge sports-themed restaurant and bar features enormous TV's and projector screens to watch sporting events. While the menu is typical sports bar fare, the outdoor seating lets you feel the warm breeze coming off the ocean just a block away. Sneakers has a Southside location as well.
Located directly on the Intracoastal Waterway, this restaurant features gorgeous views of the marshes and superb service. The menu is made up of local, fresh seafood and New American cuisine like herb-crusted wild salmon and New York strip steak with bleu cheese fondant. Reservations are recommended.
Campeche Bay Cantina
Casual and laid back, Campeche Bay has repeatedly won awards for Best Mexican Restaurant, Best Fajitas, and Best Margaritas in Jacksonville. The brick and stucco exterior sets the mood for Mexican-style tamales, chili rellenos, burritos, enchiladas, steaks and fresh seafood. A large helping of complimentary chips and salsa starts things off right, while the outdoor patio lets you enjoy a warm, evening sunset to end things right.
Don't let the strip mall location fool you, this chef-owned and-operated bistro is an intimate and unique dining experience. The Mediterranean menu is complemented by charming accents you won't find anywhere else: extensive fragmented tile work, vintage wine bottle cork collection and fresh flowers throughout. You can watch Chef Dwight Delude as he creates your dish in his exhibition kitchen. The menu is small and changes according to the chef's whim, but fresh seafood and salads, hand-rolled pasta, veal and lamb are usually available. With only eight tables, reservations are recommended.
Joe's Crab Shack
A festive, casual and lively beachfront hot spot, Joe's is a large seafood restaurant and bar frequented by locals. You'll find almost every kind of seafood on the menu as well as burgers, steaks and sandwiches. The patio lets you take in the ocean view and feel the sea breeze while you enjoy your meal or drink.
Ragtime Tavern & Seafood Grill
Ragtime is a jovial Cajun restaurant and tavern with good food and better spirits. Fresh seafood and an on-site micro brewery make the food and drink some of the best in the area.. A fun place to meet up with friends and family, it usually draws quite a weekend crowd. The food is classic Louisiana Americana featuring all the usual Cajun and Creole suspects.
This chain of trendy, mildly upscale seafood restaurants has a huge following of fresh and grilled seafood lovers. Although steak, chops, chicken and pasta are on the menu, their wide selection of fresh fish including Mahi Mahi, picatta, pistachio parmesan crusted rainbow trout and seared swordfish have made them so successful.
Casa Marina Hotel & Restaurant
The oldest structure on the beaches, circa 1924, this restaurant and hotel offers a rich history you can see and feel upon visiting. Pillars of politics, movies and crime have stayed at the hotel in its golden age, such as Harry Truman, FDR, John D. Rockefeller, Charlie Chaplin, Laurel & Hardy, Jean Harlow, Al Capone and "Machine Gun" Kelly. Fully restored to its elegant roots, the ambiance and service will ensure you have a classic, romantic and intimate evening of upscale dining. The menu features salmon wellington, goat cheese salad, and rack of lamb, as well as a variety of sandwiches served during lunch. There is an outdoor veranda and patio seating boasting stunningly beautiful views of the ocean. Tapas and martinis are also available in the lounge area.
Sticky Fingers Rib House
A small Southern chain of Memphis-style ribs and BBQ, Sticky Fingers is simply delicious. The dry rub comes highly recommended, but the wet is just as finger lick'n good. If you are not a rib or fry eater, salads, sandwiches and other delectable southern style foods are also available. Thank goodness for wet naps!
Enjoy authentic Italian cuisine, genuine brick oven pizza, pasta, wine, salads and more at this local favorite. The mozzarella and tomato salad is particularly tasty. Enjoy the elegant décor inside or the warm sea breeze if you choose to dine outside.
Chicago Pizza & Sports Grille
Deep-dish pizza and sports are a great combination, especially if it's Chicago- style deep-dish with ingredients from the Windy City itself. This family-oriented restaurant and sports bar offers plenty of flat screen TV's to watch your team while you enjoy a taste of Chicago. Surprisingly, this restaurant offers a number of vegetarian dishes that you probably won't find at other sports bars. There's a Southside location as well.
Named the best slice in Jacksonville by Folio Weekly from 1995-2007, Al's Pizza is practically a Jacksonville institution for pizza. The Italian-style menu includes NY-style pizzas and calzones. For dessert, try Zeppolis - Al's version of beignets, lightly fried dough with powdered sugar and raspberry sauce.
Slider's Seafood Grill
A classic beach-casual destination for locals, dive into fan favorites like fish tacos, Cajun grilled mahi, butternut grouper and seafood gumbo. Known for delicious and fresh oysters, don't miss Thursday's Happy Oyster Hour for oysters, steamed crab clusters, shrimp and beer specials. For the sweet tooth, try the key lime pie.
Roy's of Jacksonville Beach
Best described as Hawaiian fusion cuisine, award-winning Chef Roy Yamaguchi conjures up the freshest seafood dishes, blending European sauces and Asian spices. Try the Wood-Grilled Szechuan Spiced Baby Back Pork Ribs appetizer and Roy's Classic Roasted Macadamia Nut Mahi Mahi in a lobster butter sauce. Cap off your dinner with Roy's Melting Hot Chocolate Soufflé.
PONTE VEDRA BEACH (about 22-25 miles away)
This upscale coastal community caters to those with a few more dollars in their pocket. This family-friendly community is located directly south of Jacksonville Beach in St. John's County. The best way to get there: Take I-95 South to J Turner Butler Blvd., Exit 344. Make a left to get on JTB East, which runs all the way to the beach. JTB Blvd ends at 3rd Street (at the Beach, not Springfield). Take 3rd Street South to wander into Ponte Vedra Beach, if you go North you'll be in Jax Beach.
This consistenly chosen “Top 25 Restaurant” by Jacksonville Magazine and repeatedly recognized as the “Readers Choice Favorite Restaurant” by Women’s Digest Magazine serves some of the most amazing entrees such live Maine lobster, creative pasta dishes, steaks, and fresh seafood. A popular spot for the professional golfers when they are in town.
Lulu's Water Front Grille
Located directly on the Intracoastal Waterway, LuLu's can be reached by land or water. Casual, relaxed and comfortable, the atmosphere allows people to kick back and enjoy themselves after a long day. The screened waterfront porch provides fantastic views of the marshes and waterway. LuLu's menu is heavy on fresh seafood, as you might expect, but also has steaks, specialty salads, pasta, soups and burgers.
Featured in Southern Living, this family-run restaurant and diner offers casual Southern dining at its best. Located on the Intracoastal Waterway, virtually every seat indoors has an unrestricted view of the Cypress, Palm and Live Oak lined waterway. The large outdoor deck allows you to be even closer to the gorgeous marsh. The food, like the view, is truly great Southern Shore cooking. The crab cakes are famous and are shipped throughout the country to customers. The menu also includes tuna steaks, pot roast, roasted chicken BLT and shrimp salad among other treats.
ST. AUGUSTINE (about 40 miles away)
The nation's oldest city, est. in 1565, St. Augustine is very charming. Fantastic restaurants, bed & breakfasts, historical sites, and beautiful beaches saturate this cozy town. While you're there, go to Castillo de San Marcos, the 330-year-old limestone, shell, and coral castle built by the Spanish to protect the coast. St. Augustine makes a great day trip or afternoon escape. Getting there is a snap: From UF Health Proton Therapy Institute, take I-95 South about 45 minutes (35 miles or so) to Exit 318. You'll see a sign for St. Augustine/Flagler College, follow that half a mile and you'll come to FL-16 East. Take this into the city.
Located in the heart of the historic district, Columbia's giant patio dining room is a showpiece with its high arched ceilings, skylight, indoor palms and greenery that create a beautiful and unique dining atmosphere. Decidedly traditional and historic, this upscale restaurant serves authentic Spanish dishes from original recipes brought over from Spain in 1905. The menu includes the popular 1905 salad, grilled chicken in yellow rice, steaks and a vast array of seafood. Within walking distance from several landmarks, including the Castillo de San Marcos, enjoy a meal and the sites.
Gypsy Cab Company
This casual, eclectic restaurant and bar has been serving "urban cuisine" since 1983. The winner of many awards for dining, Gypsy's menu changes daily and incorporates a plethora of international tastes, flavors and spices. Their specialty is the Gypsy Chicken: a whole chicken breast stuffed with Swiss cheese and herb butter, smothered in mushroom tarragon sauce. Other menu items usually include baked ziti, roasted duck in raspberry glaze, and portabella mushroom with crabmeat stuffing. Described as "hip" and "happening," this restaurant is a favorite for locals and tourists alike.
This local, cozy eatery is strictly casual and relaxed with home-style cooking and service. The small space has had a big reputation for its fried shrimp. Favorite sides include hush puppies, sweet potato casserole, sweet corn and green beans. O'Steen's is very popular, so be prepared to wait for a table. With that in mind, the antique shop next store is equipped with speakers to let patrons know when their seats are ready.
LEFTOVERS . . .
The list above is only a portion of the good / great restaurants in the area, but not even close to all of them. You'll find little diners & bistro's that we just don't know about yet, as well as upscale fine dining that we haven't tried. Go out and explore the city, discover your own favorites, and we can see about adding them to our list. Eat healthy, but also sneak in a treat or two while your here. Everything in moderation!