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Fun places in Gainesville/Jacksonville

t1chic Oct 8, 2007 11:50 AM

Hi -

I will be visiting Gainesville (specifically UF) soon and want to explore the restaurant scene in Gainesville/Jacksonville. Any fun or interesting places you would recommend? I'm leaning towards fun things like fondue, belly-dancing, make your own food, etc. etc. Thanks!

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  1. j
    jessicam29 RE: t1chic Oct 8, 2007 12:31 PM

    Dragonfly is the best sushi restaurant in Gainesville....located in downtown Gainesville by the historic Hippodrome theater.

    1. b
      Big Bad Voodoo Lou RE: t1chic Oct 8, 2007 11:47 PM

      Bento Cafe in Gainesville is a cool little Pan-Asian restaurant that is great for lunch or a quick, fun dinner before a movie, since it's right next to the movie theater on Newberry Road. They have bento boxes (segmented trays with different goodies in each compartment, like exotic and good versions of school lunch trays), sushi, and more, but they also have bubble tea in multiple flavors. Sweet and refreshing as a drink or a dessert, it is a neat experience to have bubble tea for the first time, with the chewy tapioca balls at the bottom of your drink, wide and colorful straws, and heat-sealed cellophane lids on your cartoony cups.

      1. s
        Swedeisme RE: t1chic Oct 9, 2007 10:08 AM

        I think if you're looking for a fun or interesting place you should definitely check out Satchel's Pizza. It's not right next to the school, but it's a great place to eat. Their pizza is outstanding and I have been craving their salad and a calzone since I moved away!!

        It's a funky little restaurant that is usually packed and is more popular amongst the older students and residents. I highly recommend it!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Swedeisme
          Big Bad Voodoo Lou RE: Swedeisme Oct 9, 2007 03:14 PM

          Satchel's is hidden away, far from the chains and congestion of Archer Road, but it really is the best pizza in Gainesville. I second the recommendation.

          However, they do not take credit cards (or didn't the last time I was there), so be sure to have cash on you!

        2. r
          Rachal961 RE: t1chic Oct 10, 2007 07:45 AM

          The Pontiac was very good last time we were there visiting the young'uns. No belly dancing though. Don't know of any fondue places in G'ville- unless Melting Pot has oozed into the chain restaurant glut up there.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Rachal961
            polkcountygator RE: Rachal961 Oct 22, 2007 01:19 PM

            Melting Pot on University Ave past Downtown has been there since late 90's or earlier.

          2. k
            killedge RE: t1chic Oct 10, 2007 10:34 AM

            I lived in Gainesville for 4 years and the places I enjoyed were The Top(good place for a good meal), Hogan's Heros(great subs and beers) and Chopsticks(Chinese).

            4 Replies
            1. re: killedge
              Big Bad Voodoo Lou RE: killedge Oct 10, 2007 11:17 PM

              It's actually Chop Stix (Cafe), and it's more of a Pan-Asian thing... unless there is another Chinese restaurant called Chopsticks, which could get confusing. But Chop Stix Cafe, south on SW 13th Street, heading away from campus, was one of my favorite restaurants in town, with a beautiful location right on a lake.

              1. re: killedge
                maxzook RE: killedge Oct 21, 2007 02:28 PM

                Sorry, Hogan's Heros is gone.

                1. re: maxzook
                  polkcountygator RE: maxzook Oct 22, 2007 01:22 PM

                  Really?? I loved that place. I also miss Joe's Deli tremendously.

                  1. re: polkcountygator
                    ryno RE: polkcountygator Oct 30, 2007 02:45 PM

                    I'm pretty sure there's still a Hogan's on N 13th ST next to Brasington's Outdoors.

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                polkcountygator RE: t1chic Oct 22, 2007 01:21 PM

                The Swamp Restaurant on University across from the real swamp (Football Stadium) is great for people watching, sitting outside, enjoying the energy of a college town. The food is American, but is pretty good.

                1 Reply
                1. re: polkcountygator
                  PDeveaux RE: polkcountygator Nov 4, 2007 11:18 AM

                  We enjoyed The Swamp one weekend in Gainesville for a football game. The food is decent and it's great vantage point to watch that whole scenario of the big college football traditions!

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