If you take pride in calling yourself a traveling foodie, you will love your stay at Jacksonville, Florida. Thanks to a number of top American chefs (the likes of Tom Gray, Jon Insetta, Sam Efron and many others), this ‘river city by the sea’ can rightfully boast of a thriving food scene. Here, we list three of the best restaurants in town, but there is so much more to the Jax food scene that if you have time in hand, we do encourage you to explore Jacksonville further.

Best Restaurants in Jacksonville FL

1. Orsay

Owned by the Head Chef Jon Insetta, Orsay is a must-visit food destination while you are in the city. Ask around for the best dining place in the city and chances are that the majority will point you toward this great place located at the thriving Avondale neighborhood. Walk around the neighborhood, do some window or real shopping (whichever you prefer!), but more than anything, soak up the atmosphere of the place and when you feel a little tired in the limbs, head up straight to Orsay to regale yourself with some mouth-watering delicacies.
Although a fine dining destination, the atmosphere with its unpretentious industrial-style décor is pretty casual. When it comes to food, some of the must-orders here include Scallop Crudo; Steak Frites, Hudson Valley Foie Gras; Orsay Truffle (which is their version of Ferrero Rocher); and do make sure to check out their sweetbreads.
However, great as the foods are, you’ll be doing yourself a grave injustice if you do not dive in the famous cocktail scene of the place. Try out the Zombie Jamboree, the Cereal Killer, or even the simple Gin & Tonic.
Foodie Tip: 4-7 pm is Orsay’s Cocktail Hour and you can get beer and wines as well as a select range of cocktails at easier prices within this time pocket.

2. Town Hall

Located at the San Marco Square which is more of a community gathering spot for the Jacksonville residents, Town Hall is the brainchild of the famous chef Tom Gray and the restaurant owner Sarah Johnston. If you want a mix of the local vibe and fine dining, this is the place to head to. Some of our top recommendations include Pastrami Benedict; Seared Scallops or Seared Octopus (depending on the season and the availability); and the Town Hall’s signature Cast Iron French Toast. For appetizers, check out the Housemade Ricotta, Crispy Brussels Sprouts or the Cali Omelet. For vegans as well as vegetarians, the house also has an incredibly tasty offering which is their Cauliflower Steak, thoughtfully topped with slightly charred avocado. And as for desserts, make sure not to miss out on the Bruleed Banana Split.
Foodie Tip: The daily Happy Hour at the Town Hall lasts from 4:30 to 6 pm. Make the best of it with $5 bar bites and beers and $6 wines and the new addition to the restaurant’s liquor menu— the wine cocktails.

3. Cowford Chophouse

If you would like a steakhouse-like place with an antique interior (not to mention some incredibly yummy chops and steaks), make sure you stop by the Cowford Chophouse. To start with, the old pine tables as many as 300 years old (!) is enough to take your breath away and then, to complement this, there is the colorful interior decorated tastefully with the pastoral painting of Jim Draper. As for food, the must-haves include the House Risotto; the Wood-fired Chicken; and the especially famous Colorado Lamb cut chops. Another great attraction of the place is its spacious 130-seat rooftop. So, once you are done with your hefty dinner, head to the rooftop and order some nice cocktails and relax!

Editor
dparham@hobnobjax.com

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