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Nov 11, 2009 09:02 AM

International (Ethnic) Food in Jacksonville

Here is a decent summary of international (ethnic) food in Jacksonville. My list is composed of what I feel are the best and only truly good experiences within driving distance. The radius of all of these is about 15 miles from the JTB/Southside intersection.

Disclaimer: none of the restaurants provides a more authentic experience than what can be found in places like New York, Chicago, Miami, etc. These are simply the best in the area and are comparable to the eats found in a bigger city but would not be defined as above average in a bigger city. These are the best of Jacksonville. Feel free to expand upon these, if they do provide a somewhat authentic experience.

El Rinconcito (Colobmian restaurant): picada, bandeja paisa, empanadas, arepas, morcilla, postobon, etc. Nice interior as well. Owners are great.
Antojitos Colombianos Panaderia (Colombian bakery). Fresh made. Owner is great. Breads, empanadas, etc.

Pho King: Nice interior. Many pho options, banh mi, bubble tea, the grilled pork rice dishes are awesome as well.

Piscos: ceviche, lomo saltado, Peruvian donuts, inka cola, etc.

Mi Pueblo (grocery). This place has a nice little kitchen in the back that makes cemitas, taco al pastor, etc. Basically no seating, get this sandwiches, tacos, etc to go.

Madrid (run by venezuelans but they make a lot of cuban items here). Ropa vieja, Cuban sandwiches, café cubano, picadillo. Empanadas are Venezuelan style.

Rico Mex. You can get baleadas here.

Flavors(restaurant). Nice lunch buffet. Tandoori chicken, dosas, paneer, vindaloo, etc.
Mayuri (restaurant).
Apna Bazaar (grocery).
Indian Grocery (grocery).

Sam Won Garden. Korean BBQ. Electric. A little pricey.
Dae Ho (Korean grocer). Four dollar kimchee tubs in the freezers in the back.

Bamboo Creek. Dim Sum order from menu.
Jax Oriental Market. Chinese grocery.

Puerto Rican.
Las Antillas. Six dollar lunch. Hot counter setup.

Brazil Grill. Great brazilian buffet, but only open for lunch M-S. Feijoada, picanha, guarana.

Sammy's Italian Deli. Olives, deli meats, cheese, Italian imports, and make lunch sandwiches...get the Tony's Special.
Tommy's Brickoven Pizza. Crust is great. Sauce is good too. Tommy is the man.

Not going to list Thai and Sushi places. One on every corner, all basically the same. Nothing stands out in this group.

I will add to this list if I find new places.

Sam Won Garden Restaurant
4345 University Blvd S Ste 1, Jacksonville, FL 32216

Pisco's Restaurant
4131 Southside Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32216

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  1. Thanks, Moot. This is a great list you've got here.

    I'll try a few I haven't hit - I'm west of the river, and most of your picks are from the Southside to the beaches. I'd add Pepe's Hacienda for Mex - it's another tienda/taqueria setup on St. Augustine Road at Dupont. In the same strip area across from Pepe's is a good family Greek place at Athens Cafe - comfort food, w/ great owners - once you're a regular you're like family. I'll add Puerto Plata on Blanding - the owners are from the DR and are just great. Standard carib stuff much like Rican, with a twist. I like their tostones that come w/ a bowl of garlic sauce. Yowza.

    Pepe's Hacienda
    3615 Dupont Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32217

    2 Replies
    1. re: mezzrow

      yeah you are exactly right about Puerto Plata for Dominican and Athens Cafe for Greek. Forgot about those two.

      1. re: mezzrow

        White I'm not well versed on the Southside dining scene, I look forward to exploring Moot's list. Also, want to second the recommendation for Pepe's Hacienda. It is always worth the drive.

        Pepe's Hacienda
        3615 Dupont Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32217

      2. Mootsarell - thanks for the options. I have not tried a few of those places and will give 'em a shot.

        I know you did not touch sushi, and a few years ago, I would have agreed that not one of the sushi places in JAX stands out. However, Sumo Sushi in Riverside is, in my opinion, far and away the best sushi restaurant in town and worthy of mention.

        Sumo Sushi
        2726 Park St, Jacksonville, FL 32205

        1. Bowl Of Pho on Baymeadows and Southside, check for the recent review.

          1 Reply
          1. re: CDB76

            Ahh yes Bowl of Pho. I actually like the pho and the selection of food a little better at Pho King. But, yes you are right Bow of Pho is a contender for the Jacksonville Pho Title! I also think Bowl of Pho's interior is a little too nice....I need a little bit more humble of an interior when I do ethnic dining.