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Jacksonville Recommendations

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I will be in Jacksonville next week for four days and am looking for lunch and dinner recommendations. I will be staying at the Hyatt Regency and won't have a car, but am open to cabbing. So far, I've heard about Casbah, River City Brewing Co., Derby House, Biscotti's Express Cafe, and Brick. I'm pretty open to cuisine, but would prefer no chains, I would like to have one nice dinner so I'm willing to splurge a little bit (preferably still under $100), but otherwise stay under $50-60. Thanks!

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Casbah Cafe
, Jacksonville, FL 32099

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  1. for a nice dinner I'd suggest either Orsay or Bistro Aix. For a low key southern meal (breakfast or lunch), I'd recommend the Fox. None of these are chains.

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    Bistro Aix
    1440 San Marco Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32207

    1 Reply
    1. re: karenfinan

      x2 on what karen said, Bistro Aix is nice for dinner too, and if you like good beer swing by Bold City (not river city, it sucks) beforehand. Also French Pantry is supposedly amazing.

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      French Pantry
      6301 Powers Ave, Jacksonville, FL

      Bistro Aix
      1440 San Marco Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32207

    2. Ditto to what Karen and Dr. Todd said. In downtown try Chew for lunch and some dinners or La Cena for dinner. Orsay is owned by the same folks as Chew. Both are very good. French Pantry is very hard to to get into. Metro Diner in San Marco has very good homemade pastrami.

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      Metro Diner
      3302 Hendricks Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32207

      French Pantry
      6301 Powers Ave, Jacksonville, FL

      San Marcos Restaurant
      3351 17th St, Sarasota, FL 34235

      1 Reply
      1. re: marelyisdead

        yes Fench Pantry is wonderful! but very hard to get into and you will either get there at 11 or wait.....worth it if you have the time.

      2. Within walking distance, I would recommend La Cena (dinner only), Chew, and Burrito Gallery. La Cena is upscale Italian (with excellent fresh pastas). Chew is sort-of fine dining, new American cuisine; and Burrito Gallery is a burrito place - but its good and reasonable.

        If you're taking a cab, Orsay (dinner only) is my favorite restaurant in town right now. Excellent food with french influences and great atmosphere. For lunch, French pantry is the best in town. But, you probably need to budget 2 hours with travel time - also, it would probably be tricky catching a cab back. Pinegrove Market is probably 1-A in terms of lunch - great sandwiches. If they don't have it displayed, ask for the yellow menu with the specialty sandwiches - there are some great ones on there.

        As you venture south and to the beaches, there are tons of other options, but the above are all fairly close.

        Of the ones you heard about, I would nix Derby House (very average), River City (average and WAY overpriced), and the Brick (pretty good, but there are definitely better options). Casbah is a very good and fun middle eastern restaurant with belly dancing on the weekends. You can get a lot for the money there as well. Biscottis is a very good upscale new-american restaurant. However, if I were you, I would take a water taxi from the Hyatt side of the river to the south bank to Biscotti's sister restaurant, BB's. The food is very similar to Biscottis (I like it a little better), but the main benefit is you get to travel by water.

        Good luck!

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        Burrito Gallery
        21 E Adams St, Jacksonville, FL 32202

        Casbah Cafe
        , Jacksonville, FL 32099

        1. Thank you all so much for your recommendations! I had an amazing dinner at Bistro Aix; sat at the bar overlooking the kitchen, which was quite entertaining and I received great service from my waiter/bartender as well as from the kitchen staff. I started with the berry gin fizz, which was very refreshing, and the goat cheese/prosciutto salad, also delicious with a great balance of flavors. The chopped basil and freshly ground pepper made the dish. I had the Norwegian salmon with succotash and pearl pasta for my entree. I rarely order salmon in a restaurant as it's usually overcooked, but this was perfectly rare. As I told the chef, it was like summer on a plate.

          I also made it to Burrito Gallery. My carnitas burrito was ridiculously large, but quite tasty. A good find for a quick meal and it's a fun little space.

          Other than that I ended up eating at the meeting I was attending and had room service at the Hyatt one night.

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          Burrito Gallery
          21 E Adams St, Jacksonville, FL 32202

          Bistro Aix
          1440 San Marco Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32207