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Apr 21, 2008 06:37 PM


I'm moving to Gainesville for grad school and I was wondering if there are any restaurants there that aren't college dives or chains. Does anyone have any good suggestions?

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  1. There have been several other threads about Gainesville restaurants in the past, which you can find by using the search function. Anyway, what are you into? Chains run rampant in Gainesville, but don't be too quick to discount all dives. Here are some of my favorites, that I've written about before:

    Chop Stix Cafe: great Pan-Asian specialties, extensive menu, huge portions, fantastic value, wonderful noodle dishes, and surprisingly good sushi. The restaurant itself, located in Chinese buffet hell on SW 13th Street, is beautiful, and located right on a lake. It is perfect for bringing dates and visiting families. Service can be slow, but it's worth the wait more often than not.

    Satchel's Pizza: a total dive, and far from UF and any studenty parts of town, but the best pizza around. Cash only!

    Mildred's Big City Food: beautifully-presented New American cuisine, with the more casual New Deal Cafe right next door.

    Aw heck, here's one of the Gainesville threads from last year:
    (But there are others!)

    1. Dragonfly has amazing sushi. It's located downtown. They have very innovative rolls and a more upscale atmosphere than most college places. But it gets insanely crowded, so its best to go early or be prepared for a really long wait.

      1 Reply
      1. re: butrfli1227

        Dragonfly does indeed have good food, just don't plan on being able to talk over the noise if it's busy!

      2. Some addendums to previous G'ville posts:

        Burrito Bros. is still around, but they've moved (temporarily) behind the Presbyterian Student Center - still good eats. Hopefully someday they'll actually complete the new shopping/dining/apartment complex they're building on the corner of 13th and University and BB will have a home there again.

        Places I didn't see mentioned: Harry's (cajun), Ballyhoo Grill (seafood), for upscale italian, Manuel's, Amelia's and Alessandro's. Mark's Prime downtown used to be very good, but Mark sold it and opened MT's Chophouse (also good), and I haven't visited Prime since it's been under new ownership.

        Used to do Ivey's occasionally, but I think they're only open for lunch and Sunday brunch now.

        And for G'ville oldies, the Original Pizza Palace just reopened on 13th St, just north of UF. What I heard is that the guys from OPP left and opened Satchel's then OPP closed. Now the guys from Satchel's have reopened OPP. Haven't been; heard it's pretty good but has a few bugs to work out still.

        You should also check out Newberry and Alachua. There's two decent places in Newberry - Newberry Backyard Barbque and SOB's - and I just read on the Chow board about a new pizza place that's good. I haven't been up Alachua way for a while, but I understand they've got a couple of decent places there now as well.

        Re: the comments in other threads on Indian restaurants, the place on Archer Rd is rumored to be moving. The other Indian spot in town is Chutnee's; I haven't been because the scut is it's not too greaat. The place in Ocala is the Amrit Palace and it is indeed the best place for Indian in the area.

        2 Replies
        1. re: suemac

          Second Ballyhoo Grill! It's one of the great places to go after Gator football games, just so you know. I did see a woman sitting at the bar after a game one night studying. They have some great appetizers and seafood.

          1. re: PDeveaux

            I'll 3rd Ballyhoo Grill. Eaten there a few times and have never been disappointed. The Bloody Marys are good too. Big with a jumbo shrimp on the spiced rim.

        2. This following list of family-owned eateries might help
          as a starting point.

          I moved to G'ville from Boulder CO about two years ago.
          I sometimes feel I've been ship wrecked on a culinary desert island.
          Well maybe not a desert but very arid but it's a dry heat :-)

          1 Reply
          1. re: YoDuh

            Heh ... it's definitely NOT a dry heat in G'ville! I could never understand the 'dry heat' comments until I visited Phoenix. It's amazing - they spray water in the air there to cool you down. Try that in G'ville ... yeah, right!

          2. Yea, but few. Hardly any that are not student oriented nor ACR oriented. One of the best is The Red Onion Grill. I like the atmosphere, kinda trendy and modern but not stuffy. The food is really good and it has a great bar. I live near there and go pretty often. Never been disappointed. It's in a nice apartment complex doing the urban thing so there are always some young professionals at the bar. They had live music out on their patio the other night and yummy martini specials.
            The other would be O!O Tapas and Tini's. I don't always care for the atmosphere. It's a little pretentious and a little expensive, Thurdays seem to be their night for martini specials. Food is hit or miss. Well, those would be my two. Have fun!