The Best Places To Eat and Drink in Jacksonville, Florida

5 min read by  •  Time Visited: November 2020

If you follow me on Instagram @adventuresingourmet, you might have noticed our multiple trips to Jacksonville this year. My sister and brother-in-law have lived there for a few years now and my parents just moved to Nocatee! Since our family gatherings always revolve around food and drinks, we’ve had the chance to explore some of the local restaurant and bar scene. I haven’t written about Jacksonville since my Guide to Ponte Vedra Beach back in 2018 when we stayed at the Sawgrass Marriott for my sister’s wedding, so I figured I was overdue for an update!

An unforgettable sunset from my sister’s backyard. So beautiful!

Ponte Vedra Beach, Sawgrass & Nocatee

Palm Valley Outdoors Bar & Grill

Located just under the bridge on the Tolomato River, this is a great easygoing spot to enjoy drinks and casual seafood fare outside by the water on a nice day. They sometimes have live music, as well as my favorite, happy hour deals on oysters!

Valley Smoke

Down the road from Palm Valley Outdoors is another popular restaurant on the water, though this one is worth going to on a not-so-nice day too as the inside dining rooms are quite enjoyable. They serve modern BBQ fare, without being fussy, for brunch, lunch and dinner. We’ve been for both and would recommend their cocktails, Deviled Farm Eggs and Smoked Brisket tacos.

M Shack

From the owners of Restaurant Medure (below), this casual burger spot has consistently been voted Jacksonville’s Best Burger by the readers of Jacksonville Magazine for their signature “M Burger.” They also offer alcoholic milkshakes, if that’s your thing.

Restaurant Medure

Previously featured in my Guide to Ponte Vedra Beach, this restaurant ranks at the top of wishlist to return to because it was SO impressive. The service was phenomenal, and the in-house sommelier was incredibly knowledgable, offering us some great recommendations from their extensive wine list. The food is a New American modern take on classics, like the Hudson Valley Foie Gras with Vidalia Onion Confit, Onion Marmalade, Aged Balsamic, Vanilla Truffle Oil – unreal!

3 Palms Grille

Also shared previously in my Guide to Ponte Vedra Beach, this restaurant is located at the 19th hole in the Sawgrass development. They have since done some renovations so it’s on my list to go back to next time, particularly for those life-changing scallops – the best I’ve ever had!

Nineteen at TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse

Lastly, for a nice outdoor atmosphere especially great for bringing visitors or golf fanatics, this restaurant featured in my Guide to Ponte Vedra Beach offers expansive views of the golf course and an upscale environment. We went for lunch so the food was a bit more simple, but I’d be curious to go back another time of day to check out the rest of the menu.

On my wishlist: Coastal Wine Market, South Kitchen, Timoti’s Seafood Shak

St. Johns, Julington Creek & Baymeadows

Whit’s Frozen Custard

Whenever we visit my sister’s house, we look forward to the ice cream they always have in the freezer! We’ve tried so many flavors at this point, including many of their rotating flavors of the week, and also love their Whitties ice cream sandwiches.

Bite A Bagel

We also look forward to picking up these New York style bagels from a local shop that offers the classics and some more unique flavors like egg everything or pumpernickel everything. Can you tell I love any variation of the everything bagel? They also have a french toast bagel that is apparently quite delicious. This isn’t any ordinary bagel shop though because their bagel dough is not made on premise, but is shipped in from a company in New York who has mastered their family recipe. Then they proof overnight, season and steam bake them fresh every morning on site. 

Julington Creek Fish Camp

We went here for the first time on our most recent visit to Jacksonville. They have a good wine and local craft beer list, oysters (we loved the Jack-O-Lantern special), and these amazing off-the-menu scallops in the shell! I would definitely go back for lunch to enjoy the rooftop deck, or dinner to try more from the menu.

V Pizza

I love a unique combination of toppings on a pizza, or any creative variety of a classic for that matter. V Pizza has both, and it’s wood-fired so it smells incredible the moment you walk in. They also have a large craft beer menu, great for ordering a flight, and live music outside with large communal picnic tables.

Wicked Barley Brewing Company

Pre-COVID, we all went here as a family and it was packed! It’s definitely a popular spot, for good reason. I loved their craft beers and the outdoor area in particular – very lively and charming.

On my wishlist: Legacy Ale Works

Julington Creek Fish Camp

Five Points & Downtown Jacksonville

Restaurant Orsay

It’s a close call, but this award-winning restaurant is definitely one of my favorite spots in Jacksonville! Even though it’s probably the farthest drive from my sister’s house, we’ve still gone multiple times. Their wine list, cocktails, service, and cuisine featuring traditional French techniques with a touch Southern influence is top notch. Their creme brûlée in particular is the best I’ve ever had!

Hoptinger Rooftop

I miss a good rooftop bar from my NYC days, but going to Hoptinger helps! In the trendy Five Points neighborhood, it’s a bier garden and sausage house that attracts a young crowd. I’ve only been once but I would definitely go back if I was in the neighborhood.

Black Sheep Rooftop

Another rooftop in the Five Point area is this amazing brunch spot! They source ingredients locally for their modern Southern fare, and also have a great craft cocktail and craft beer menu.

If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by our favorite cocktail boutique, The Glass Bottle Society!

Jacksonville Beach

Marker 32

Located on the intracoastal side of Jacksonville Beach is this local seafood restaurant offering upscale dishes from its classically-trained chefs. I recommend going during the day or around sunset to enjoy the views through the large, wraparound windows.

Safe Harbor Seafood

This popular seafood market on the also offers fast casual dockside dining. Enjoy a fresh catch of the day or a traditional seafood basket while looking over the St. Johns River.

On my wishlist: Eleven South by the owners of 3 Palms Grille above

In case you missed it, check out my Day in Amelia Island.

Steve says thanks for reading!

In This Adventure

  • Restaurants

    • Restaurant Medure

      Modern setting for innovative New American plates plus an extensive wine list among chic decor.

    • 3 Palms Grille

      Located within the Sawgrass development in Ponte Vedra Beach, this restaurant serves a varied menu for brunch, lunch and dinner, and offers outdoor dining with a view of the golf course.

    • Safe Harbor Seafood Market & Restaurant

      Bustling seafood market on the river serves over-the-counter catch in a no-frills pierside setting.

    • Valley Smoke

      Easygoing eatery offering classic Southern BBQ staples & sides, plus bourbon drinks, wine & beer.

    • Palm Valley Outdoors Bar & Grill

      Easygoing eatery & bar offering Southern-style fare & seafood dishes plus water views & cocktails.

    • Restaurant Orsay

      Seasonal French food & creative cocktails meet in this dining room with plush seats & exposed beams.

    • Marker 32

      Polished eatery with locally sourced seafood & expansive views of the Intracoastal Waterway.

    • Black Sheep Restaurant & Rooftop

      Casual eatery plating locally sourced Southern chow plus a full bar serving craft beers & cocktails.

    • M Shack
    • Julington Creek Fish Camp

      Relaxed, elegant spot for seafood with a Southern twist, plus a full bar & a view of the river.

    • V Pizza

      Artisan pizza menu made from better-for-you ingredients. They have multiple locations in the Jacksonville area.

  • Bakeries and Sweets

    • Whit’s Frozen Custard

      Frozen custard chain with vanilla, chocolate & a rotating weekly flavor, plus a range of toppings.

    • Bite A Bagel

      Bagel and sandwich shop known for their freshly baked New York style bagels and homemade cream cheese.

  • Breweries

    • Wicked Barley

      House-brewed craft beers & gourmet bar bites highlight this relaxed pub with indoor/outdoor seating.

  • Attractions

    • TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse

      This Mediterranean-style, 77,000 square foot clubhouse at TPC Sawgrass blends old world charm with modern, upscale amenities. It includes a variety of dining options, an expansive gallery of PGA Tour memorabilia, and a world-class golf shop, all of which are open to the public. 

  • Bars

    • Hoptinger Bier Garden & Sausage House

      Hoptinger is a modern “Baverican” bier garden. We have more than 60 taps devoted to carefully selected craft beer along with a full liquor bar to serve countless libations and creations. We offer a unique menu of creative sausage dogs and other loosely Bavarian-inspired gastro pub food. 

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