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19 Best Restaurants in Jacksonville you Gotta Try (Hidden Unique Eats!)

Looking for the best restaurants in Jacksonville?

As the biggest city in the Sunshine State, Jacksonville Florida has something for everyone’s taste. With award winning wines, premium steakhouses and fun brunch spots, Jacksonville has something for everyone.

Whether you’re looking for fresh seafood with a view of the intercoastal waterway or you’re just looking to sip a signature cocktail on a rooftop lounge, you won’t be disappointed with what Jacksonville has to offer.  

19 Best Restaurants in Jacksonville you Gotta Try

River & Post Restaurant and Lounge

Located in the Riverside area of Jacksonville Florida, River & Post boasts an incredibly scenic rooftop bar with live music on the weekends. For a casual dining experience in a sophisticated and trendy atmosphere, this place is a must.

Open 6 days a week, including a weekend brunch, River and Post offer delicious entrees from both land and sea. Lunch options include classic clubs, tacos and burgers while dinner options include mouth-watering rib eyes and seared ahi tuna.

With some of the most savory seafood and steaks in the southeast, accompanied by an awesome view, you can’t go wrong at River & Post. Don’t forget to save room for their bread pudding! Reservations for first floor dining are recommended but they aren’t required and rooftop dining is first come, first serve.  One of the most fun and unique places to eat in Jacksonville for sure.

River & Post Restaurant and Lounge

River & Post Restaurant and Lounge/ Facebook

Black Sheep Restaurant

Another upscale option for dining with a view is at Black Sheep Restaurant, a favorite of locals and tourists alike. Located in the historical Five Points district, this fancy southern eatery prides itself on freshness and quality with award-winning food and drinks that certainly warrant a visit.

Start off with some roasted oysters or pimento cheese hush puppies. For dinner, they have several meat choices including lamb, chicken, fish or steak and the Korean Short Rib entrée is highly recommended. With a bulgogi marinade and collard green kimchi, what more can you ask for?

Keep in mind that Black Sheep also has an amazing weekend brunch with classic options like omelets or steak and eggs. One neat thing about Black Sheep is their night caps from 10p.m. to midnight on weekends. Stop by for a signature cocktail and check out the rooftop lounge. With the exception of being closed on Mondays, they’re open six days a week.

Black Sheep Restaurant

Black Sheep Restaurant/ Facebook

Hawkers Asian Street Food

No list of the best restaurants in Jacksonville Florida would be complete without Hawkers. With two locations in Jacksonville, Five Points being the first (nicknamed “five points magic”) and the second in Neptune Beach, Hawkers has a rapidly growing energy all its own and a very cool vibe.

Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, Hawkers is an Asian Himalayan restaurant with tasty flatbreads, baos and dumplings to get you started. Then, follow that up with their famous lo mein or homemade kimchi. And, with so many small plate options to choose from, it’s easy to try lots of different menu items. Order multiple dishes and pass them around for everybody to try.

For an easy dish that even the kids will love, their mouth-watering bulgogi steak or chicken skewers are amazing. And for a slight twist on standard fried rice, change it up and go for their basil fried rice. Interested in saki? They have flights you can order for sampling and tasting.

Hawkers Asian Street Food

Hawkers Asian Street Food/ Facebook

Restaurant Orsay

This is such a well-loved chic and cozy favorite amongst the locals that reservations are recommended significantly in advance. And it’s well worth the wait. In fact, they’re only open 4 days a week but, two of those days, they’re also serving an outstanding weekend brunch.

With a French spin on some American seafood favorites, it’s no wonder they refer to their cuisine as “French heart. Southern influence.” From shrimp cocktail and house made charcuterie to duck and shepherd’s pie, there is something for everyone at Orsay.

Try the pan seared grouper or the lobster pot pie. Both are amazing. More than just incredible French techniques applied to American classic dishes, they also make some interesting and refreshing cocktails. Their staff are well trained and knowledgeable, too, and also super friendly. Highly recommended – one of the best restaurants in Jacksonville for sure.

Restaurant Orsay/ Facebook

Blue Fish Restaurant and Oyster Bar

Oyster fans, this one is for you! Screaming Florida charm with its casual dining and upscale environment, Blue Fish is not only the place to go for oysters but for entertainment, too. With a trendy outside patio, dollar mimosas available for brunch and an upstairs nightclub, this place won’t disappoint! In addition to an awesome oyster and raw bar menu, this hip little restaurant also serves up some very tasty dishes.

To start, you can choose from oysters by the dozen, an oyster sampler or Oyster Rockefeller, just to name a few. Both of their crab and salmon cakes are delicious appetizers or try their fresh goat cheese salad. For a lighter entrée option, any of the beef, chicken or fish tacos are fantastic or, for a heavier option, try the scrumptious Mahi Bowl.

They also have dozens of wine options that pair nicely with any of their fresh fish or savory steaks so make sure you check out the wine menu.

Congaree and Penn

A classy and charming farm to table option is Congaree and Penn. This restaurant combines dining and tourism in the most elegant way, as well as offering passes to simply explore the farm’s 330+ acres. You can even picnic on the farm with a special menu.

Definitely worth the visit for experiencing agritourism at its finest! With a sophisticated selection of alcohol, juicy steaks and stunning backdrop, Congaree and Penn is a legend. Inside and outside dining are available. Or, for larger parties, you can even dine alongside the farm’s grapevines for a magical experience. This option is, however, only available certain months of the year.

Reservations are not only recommended, they’re required. Furthermore, this little gem is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and you’ll want to keep in mind that children are only allowed on Fridays, Saturday and Sundays from 11-4.

Congaree and Penn

Congaree and Penn/ Facebook

Island Wing Company Bar and Grill

Island Wing Company Bar and Grill is a very trendy tropical bar that offers you plenty of baked and grilled options because their whole basis for beginning was to “keep the taste but ditch the grease” (hence their famous slogan of “get baked”).

So, while you won’t find any fried food here, you’ll still have all the favorite dishes of an island wing bar. Obviously, you’ll find some tasty wings here but their fish and chicken tacos are absolutely mouth-watering too.

And the spicy smoked tuna dip is a local favorite and definitely worth a try. Not into meat? That’s okay. You’ll find plenty of delicious vegetarian (and some gluten free) options like the zesty zucchini, beer battered mozzarella sticks or Hawaiian BBQ chicken nachos. Want to try an interesting spin on a few classics? Try the Mahi Ruben or the Ahi BLT. Both come highly recommended so you can’t go wrong with either.

Island Wing Company Bar and Grill

Island Wing Company Bar and Grill/ Facebook

Hana Moon Japanese Restaurant

Less than half an hour south of Five Points, and inconspicuously located in Mandarin North Center, is one of the best Japanese/Asian Fusion spots in all of Jacksonville. They have some of the freshest sushi and sashimi around town and each roll is creatively plated, colorful and decorative.

For several rolls to share, try a sushi boat and include their yummy Hana Moon Roll. Their moon rice cakes are also a local favorite. If sushi isn’t really your thing, head over to the hibachi grills instead where the portions are very generous.

Open for both lunch and dinner, and only being closed on Mondays, leaves plenty of opportunity to get a table here. Service is fast and friendly and dining is indoor only. It’s reasonably priced for the quality and creativity of what you get and the environment is clean, casual and cozy. If you can manage to save room for dessert, it’s crafted and plated just as beautifully.

Hana Moon

Hana Moon/ Facebook

Marker 32

For fresh local cuisine or some of your favorite American classics, Marker 32 has plenty of delicious, five star menu options to choose from. Located on the intercoastal waterway, this chic restaurant not only has fantastic food prepared by talented chefs and exceptional service from knowledgeable staff but it also has an incredible view of the water while seated in a lovely upscale environment.

If you’re looking for fine dining, this is definitely the place to go. It is a bit pricey, though, but it’s well worth it. Also, they typically fill up pretty quickly so reservations are recommended. Want to try something a little daring for dinner? Give the grilled octopus a try.

And, with such an excellent wine list, you’re sure to find something to pair with it. This chic restaurant with its lovely upscale atmosphere not only has a gorgeous view of the water but, also, Marker 32 has fantastic food prepared by talented chefs and knowledgeable staff who take pride in providing exceptional service.

Marker 32

Marker 32/ Facebook

Dwight’s Bistro

This upscale gourmet restaurant is located in Neptune Beach near Margaritaville. Serving authentic French, Italian and Mediterranean dishes, patrons love this place. Every dish is artistically plated and then served to you on top of white linen tablecloths amongst beautifully creative mosaic walls.

Start with the Chef’s Cheese Plate appetizer or crab cakes and then try one of their delicious handmade pastas. Looking for a steak instead? The filet mignon is highly recommended which, like their pastas, can be paired nicely with a wine from their rather impressive menu.

From sea bass, quail or lamb to fettuccine and spaghetti, Dwight’s Bistro has the most flavorful, delicious food. And, if you can, the crème brulee is worth trying to save room for. Open only for dinner and closed on Sundays, Dwight’s Bistro is simply the top-notch, charming little gem that you’ve been looking for with some incredible European dishes for a truly memorable experience.

Dwight’s Bistro

Dwight’s Bistro/ Facebook

Coop 303

Another Atlantic Beach favorite, located in the North Beaches Town Center, is Coop 303. With an array of seating options including an upstairs patio, a downstairs patio and gorgeous rooftop seating, Coop 303 prides itself on ensuring that you have an enjoyable dining experience. Offering modern and classic dishes in a sleek and stylish environment, it’s worth stopping by.

Try their delicious seared ahi tuna with sriracha sauce, asparagus and ginger vinaigrette rice noodles. Steak and chicken options are available, as well as two burgers – one from angus beef and one plant based with a vegan bun. For picky kids, their fried chicken basket is amazing and comes with a delicious spicy honey dipping cause.

Staying for a drink? They have dozens of wines and whiskies to choose from, as well as any of their signature cocktails. Open 7 days a week with brunch on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and Happy Hour during the week from 2-6pm, this unique and snazzy spot will turn you into a regular.

Coop 303

Coop 303/ Facebook

III Forks Prime Steakhouse

Contemporary elegance describes III Forks perfectly. With no shortage of wine, this restaurant has glass rooms made of wine bottles. It goes without saying that they’re wine list is quite remarkable.

Furthermore, with their creative plating and incredible presentations, this Texas original restaurant is a cut above the rest. Buying only USDA prime, hand-picked steaks, you’re guaranteed to get a premium cut cooked with extraordinary flavor. Start with the crabcakes appetizer, which comes with a creole beurre blanc sauce, and then consider the salmon with it’s incredible tarragon chimichurri sauce.

A few vegetarian options are available, including a really yummy veggie burger. All of their desserts are equally amazing too. Between the food, the service and the atmosphere, III Forks Steakhouse is somewhere worth visiting. Located in Tapestry Park, this restaurant serves dinner only and they’re closed on Sundays.

III Forks Prime Steakhouse

III Forks Prime Steakhouse/ Facebook

Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant

This casual, contemporary-American option is a chain restaurant is awesome for sampling handcrafted wines, enjoying a delicious meal or both. With over 200 wine awards and a Napa-style tasting room, Cooper’s Hawk is highly recommended. If you plan to eat, though, reservations are recommended. Their menu is plentiful with lots of interesting choices.

They also have a useful tool on their menu which are the dish’s bin numbers, essentially guides to help easily pair a flavorful wine with any meal. Start with their complementary bread or a light salad which is always fresh. For dinner, the braised short rib risotto is amazing or, if you can’t decide between land or sea, have both with their incredible surf and turf, which is great with the bacon wrapped Drunken Shrimp for your surf. For wines, there are so many delicious options.

The romance red is a local favorite or try the tasty Tempranillo. Talk to your server, too, because they’re guaranteed to be incredibly knowledgeable and can certainly recommend something.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant

Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant/ Facebook

North Beach Fish Camp

If you’re looking for a lively beach seafood restaurant with the ocean just a stone’s throw from your table, then look no further than North Beach Fish Camp. Owned by the same husband and wife of Marker 32, this is another awesome restaurant with friendly staff. A great place to bring people in from out of town, North Beach is a trendy vibe all its own.

This fun dining spot is casual and laid back. All of their food is amazing and their shrimp and grits are awesome – definitely some of the best in Jacksonville. Want to eat on the beach instead? Order from their takeout counter.

Menu options are traditional fish camp dishes that are absolutely scrumptious! Want something less traditional? They have a grilled octopus if you’re brave enough. They also have plenty of tasty beer and refreshing cocktail choices too. For a really delicious drink, try their Jalapeno mojito.

North Beach Fish Camp

North Beach Fish Camp/ Facebook

Flying Iguana Taqueria and Tequila Bar

In the mood for tacos instead? Then head next door. Located right beside North Beach Fish Camp is the Flying Iguana with it’s famous Latin fusion.

With specialty tacos ranging from an achiote grilled chicken with salsa roja, lime aioli and fresh avocado to a farm-to-table taco with roasted local veggies, cucumber pico di gallo and a chipotle tomato sauce, there’s a mouth-watering taco for every taco lover! They even have some really delicious gluten free options as well. And with over 100 different tequilas to choose from, it goes without saying that you’re guaranteed to have a delicious drink.

For an incredible margarita, their own Flying Iguana Margarita is so yummy! Make sure you save room for dessert, though. This place has some of the best pecan praline bread pudding anywhere! Topped off with chocolate sauce and served with vanilla ice cream, it’s a must try! This hip little spot is open seven days a week and outside dining is available. Reservations aren’t required.

Flying Iguana Taqueria and Tequila Bar

Flying Iguana Taqueria and Tequila Bar/ Facebook

Poe’s Tavern

One of the oldest bars in Neptune beach, this cool, eclectic restaurant is a local favorite. With upscale pub food in a peculiar and scholarly environment, Poe’s offers gourmet burgers and fresh sandwiches but they also craft some savory fish tacos!

The citrus marinated mahi mahi, for example, is insanely good, and the yellowfin tuna taco with a pineapple relish and chipotle sour cream is incredible. Poe’s fish tacos are just so tasty and definitely worth a try. Soups and salads are also delicious, particularly the sesame seared ahi tuna salad with dried cranberries and a mango lime vinaigrette.

A kids menu is available is traditional choices like a burger or a grilled cheese sandwich and their dishes all come with fries. This literary dining experience is available from 11am-10pm, seven days a week. Outside dining is available and reservations aren’t required.

The Capital Grille

Capital Grille is a formal dining experience in the Saint Johns Town Center. Known for it’s swanky and refined atmosphere with white linen tablecloths, capital also has excellent food and impeccable service. Because of that, reservations are recommended.

If you don’t make one, though, it’s worth the wait. Here you’ll find some of the most savory steaks and freshest seafood in the whole city. Not to mention a fascinating wine list boasting incredible world-class wines. Start with an awesome lobster bisque that will have you thinking you’re somewhere in Maine or go for their amazing caramelized French onion soup.

Follow that up with a juicy, dry aged New York Strip with a spicy black peppercorn flavor or, for a seafood option, try their outstanding pan seared sea bass with mushrooms and asparagus. Everything is delicious at Capital! Not that you’ll have much room for dessert after the generous portions of their entrees, but get a slice of house-made cheesecake and fresh fruit to take with you. You’ll be sorry if you don’t!

The Capital Grille

The Capital Grille/ Facebook

Casbah Café

This café and premier hookah lounge is serving up some delicious Middle Eastern fare. Located in historic Avondale, here you can choose from mouth-watering kabobs or fresh wraps and tasty pitas. They also have an impressive drink selection with everything from lagers to ales to IPAs. Or try any of their amazing cocktails. The Casbah’s Prohibition Tea is an incredibly refreshing favorite with rum on the rocks, sweet mint tea and sour mix.

That’s one delicious drink! While you sip, why not try the hookah for a truly authentic Middle Eastern experience. Start with some hummus or stuffed grape leaves, both of which have vegan options available. For dinner, you won’t be disappointed with any of their savory meat kabobs and you should try them with a side of basmati rice pilaf.

Everything from the food to the service to the eclectic atmosphere makes Casbah Café a fantastic experience. They’re open daily from 11am to 2am so there’s plenty of opportunity to get a table.

Casbah Café

Casbah Café/ Facebook

BB’s Restaurant

Only a few minutes from San Marco, and open seven days a week, this place has been voted the best restaurant in northeast Florida multiple times. Their fresh herbs and veggies even come directly from their own rooftop garden.

If you can’t make it for lunch or dinner, they also have a scrumptious brunch with traditional choices. Choose from chicken and waffles or their famous cinnamon bun pancake stack. If pancakes aren’t really your thing, try their delicious fish and grits.

They’re made from a blackened catch of the day and cheesy grits, tasty fried green tomatoes and finished off with an amazing bacon marmalade. Signature soups are also available and you’re served complementary house made bread.

And with such an impressive wine list, you’re sure to find something to nicely pair with any dinner. Equally notable, though, are their award-winning desserts, which are available by the slice or cake. You’ll definitely want to save room!

BB’s Restaurant

BB’s Restaurant/ Facebook

Fox Restaurant

For a tasty breakfast with a vintage vibe, check out the Fox Restaurant. Famous for its omelets like the pizza omelet, with savory sausage and pepperoni, made with fresh veggies like mushrooms, peppers and onions, and the Honky Tonk omelet, made with that same great sausage, tasty onions, peppers and cheese, it’s no secret that Fox has you covered for specialty, signature omelets that you won’t find anywhere else.

Whether you’re looking for American cuisine classics or you want to change it up with a burger in between a grilled cheese, they have it. Not interested in an omelet? They have pancakes and breakfast plates to choose from too.

For lunch, try either of their delicious chicken salad or tuna salad, both very fresh options. With some interesting menu options in a low key atmosphere, this place is definitely a favorite for both breakfast or lunch and they’re open seven days a week.  One of the best hidden and unique restaurants in Jacksonville FL.

Fox Restaurant

Fox Restaurant/ Facebook

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