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Sep 3, 2007 12:31 PM

Jacksonville and Beaches!

Temporarily moving back to the Jacksonville area afer being away for 10 years. Need all the recs I can get for everything - best divey diner, taco/burrito bars (fish tacos!), pizza, thai, vegetarian, any fusion-y small plate type place, martinis, beer, wine. Basically anything good, fun, interesting.... I did go to some Spanish tapas place in San Marco a couple of years ago that was really good. What was it and is it still there? The downtown area must have changed alot in the past ten years!


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  1. Surprisingly, downtown has not changed that much. There are a couple of nightclubs on Bay St., but I have never been so, I can't comment. Having been gone for 10 years you may not have heard of or visitied Bistro Aix in San Marco. I highly recommend this place for excellent Mediteranian inspired food and its awsome wine list. Speaking of wine, try The Grotto in San Marco for a large selection of by-the-glass vino and a very knowledgeable staff. Pizza -- the old stand-by Al's has spread from the Beaches and now has locations at Baymeadows and Riverside.

    1. Restaurant Medure, Tamas Sushi, Mezze Luna, Old Siam, Lemon Bar at beach
      Safe Harbor in Mayport for waterfront beer/peel and eat spicy shrimp/fresh rolls
      Burrito Gallery, Fred Cotten's BBQ (way out Main Street) downtown
      Bistro Aix, Corner Bistro, Matthews in San Marco
      Blue Bamboo, Lemongrass in Southside
      Joe's Outback Crab Shack for riverfront crawfish, oysters, obligatory fried stuff (way south on State Road 13 in Orangedale - I think - or whatever little tiny town is south of Orangedale)
      That's all I can think of right now. Jax is really spread out but there are hidden gems everywhere. Have fun!

      1. Welcome back!

        There have been some good additions to downtown. I second Burrito Gallery, but also would recommend Chew and Cafe Nola. I've heard good things about La Cena but haven't been yet. International Cafe does a great cuban sandwich.

        For small plates/tapas, I can't think of the place you mentioned in San Marco. But try try Sangria House on the Southside or Pastiche in Riverside. Also, Twisted Martini - there is one at The Landing and another in Ponte Vedra.

        The old standby's are still kicking: French Pantry, Metro Diner, Tidbits, European Street Cafe. I suggest you pick up a Jacksonville Magazine. Most of the recommendations people have given are in the dining guide.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Sunshine17

          Just ate at Blue Bamboo Sun. It was great. Was worth the trip from St Simons. Had dragon's whiskers app & a mango chilli salmon that had just the right amount of burn to offset the mango. There was a large extended family being served family style a some incredible looking items that were not on the menu. Chef is nice & friendly. CIA grad who worked at Blue Ginger under Ming Tsai.

          1. re: beteez

            Gotta love those dragon whiskers! Glad you enjoyed it.

          2. re: Sunshine17

            I was trying to remember the name Sangria House but it wasn't there. I feel better now that you mentioned it - driving me crazy. Can't believe I didn't mention French Pantry - great sandwiches, great salads, long lines.

          3. Was in Jax on business and stumbled upon a great Indian restaurant, Cilantro.
            9825 San Jose Blvd
            (904) 262-9577

            Cilantro Indian Cuisine
            9825 San Jose Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32257

            1. I am a jax native, and while I do not live ther anymore had a great meal on a visit recently. Check out Crush bistro on park ave. avondale. really good french-ish bistro. good wine list too.