I'll be in Gainseville and U of FL in two weeks! (go Gators, lol). Any suggestions for nice restaurants in the city -- any and all options, cheap, expensive, any cuisine, breakfast, lunch, dinner, doesn't matter or if Gainseville or central/northern FL specializes in a specific cuisine I wouldn't mind focusing on that too!
I'm completely unfamiliar with the area and northern Florida in general -- thanks for any suggestions. I'll have a rental car so I can travel anywhere.
Also, is it possible or worth doing a Saturday day trip to Georgia? Any destination worthy places or not worth the drive? I know it's the wrong board but I'm looking for a Gainseviller's perspective on day trips that are interesting with good food. I won't ask about Orlando, Miami, etc. because I've already had past visits.
Thanks so much!
We always take visitors to Okeefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (off 441) , rent a small motor boat, see a lifetime's worth of gators in their natural habitat, picnic in the picnic area while deer graze nearby. The tour boat has an entertaining guide with great stories and facts about the swamp. everyone enjoys it
I'm surprised nobody has replied to your question yet. Here are a few of my suggestions:
For pizza, either Blue Highway (on Hwy 441 in Micanopy) or Satchel's (on NW 23rd Avenue). Blue Highway has slightly fancier pizzas (their clam pizza is great) in a roadhouse atmosphere. Satchel's is a Gainesville institution -- funky atmosphere, live music, a fun kitschy gift shop to linger in while waiting for your table. (Be warned: Satchel's takes only cash.)
For Mexican, there's La Tienda Latina on SW 13th Street (aka Hwy 441) -- Mexican by Mexicans, for Mexicans (as well as for grateful employees of the UF teaching hospital up the road.) . Not much in the way of atmosphere (if you've ever been to a working-class taqueria in rural Mexico, it looks like that.) Terrific food, though.
In the shopping center on the SW corner of University and SW 34th Street are Millie's and New Deal Cafe, which are both owned by the same people. Millie's is a casual salad/sandwich/quiche place, nice for lunch. New Deal Cafe is a sit-down place with a slightly larger menu, although there's significant overlap between the two places.
In the same shopping center is Mi Apa, a very casual and pretty solid Cuban place, as well as Sweet Dreams, which features homemade ice cream in a rotating inventory of flavors (such as honey-lavender and chocolate-chili)
I posted here http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/859637 about a couple of solid new Chinese places (Hong Kong Deli and Gator Suyaki --yes, I know that's a really dumb name for a restaurant!)
For fancier eats, there's Sabore in the Tioga Town Center on Newberry (Latin-themed small plates) and Embers on SW 34th Street and SW 35th Place (a steakhouse featuring prime meats). Full disclosure: I've only ever eaten appetizers at these places, but I ate enough of them to get a feel for the competence of their kitchens.
Enjoy your visit!
I'm surprised nobody has replied to your question yet
Me too! Lol. Thanks so much for your reply Felicia! I have Satchel's and La Tienda on my list as well as Mi Apa. I don't have much experience with Cuban food so that sounds pretty interesting. Everything u mentioned sounds very interesting. My childhood friend just moved to Gainsville for post-gad studies, has no car and tld me the only place she's visited so far was Sam's Club for grocery shopping, lol, so we're going to try to explore the whole area. :)