downtown dining

Adams Street Deli & Grille (126 W. Adams St., 475-1400) As advertised, they serve deli food as well as burgers and such. They deliver Downtown if your order is over $10. We recommend their homemade potato salad. Monday-Friday 11am-3pm

Akel’s Delicatessen (21 W. Church St., 665-7324) In the JEA building, this New York Deli serves falafel, substantial sandwiches, subs and salads, as well as a breakfast menu. Weekdays 7 am-2 pm

b.b.’s (1019 Hendricks Ave., 306-0100) This Southbank restaurant serves snappy-but-classy lunches and dinners. There’s an excellent array of desserts. (They are, after all, the sister restaurant to Biscotti’s.) We love their non-traditional calamari, drizzled with sweet and spicy sauces. Monday-Thursday 11 am-10:30 pm, Friday-Saturday 11am-midnight. Full bar

Basil Thai & Sushi (1004 Hendrix Ave., 674-0190) Excellent sushi, a good wine list and some upscale Thai flavor makes this a popular Southbank lunch and dinner spot. L, D

Benny’s Sandwich Shop & Gifts (121 W. Forsyth St., 634-1525) Tucked away in an old bank vault in the tunnel at the Atlantic Building, Benny’s Sandwich Shop is hidden, but known to locals. Everything is made from scratch — simple soups, salads and sandwiches. Also a great spot to grab a last minute gift. Monday-Friday 7:30 am-4 pm

Bento (301 Bay St. W., 236-2214) Order a Bento box or a sushi roll for a fast lunch. Located on the 2nd Floor of the AT&T Building. Monday-Friday 11 am-2 pm

The Brick Coffee House (214 N. Hogan St., 354-9945) Serving Seattle’s Best coffee, salads, sandwiches and baked goods. Monday-Friday, 6 am-4 pm

Burrito Gallery (21 E. Adams St., 598-2922) Burrito Gallery has the chops to put some fine
art on the walls and some damn fine tacos on your plate. They consistently feature the best and brightest young artists from the Jacksonville area, both on the canvas and on the actual walls. Burritos come in two sizes here, ginormous and gargantuan. Vegetarians who haven’t yet discovered this place should come in for the ginger teriyaki tofu burrito and the grilled veggie. The tacos are a smaller choice, but just as tasty. Closed Sundays. Closes early at 3 pm on Monday, Tuesday-Thursday 11 am-10 pm, Friday 11 am-midnight. Full bar

Cafe 331 (331 W Forsyth St., 354-1999) Yummy omelets with real Greek feta, delightfully bland
chip buttys to soak up the extra alcohol at the end of the night, keeping their kitchen open extra
late and an interesting lineup of DJs and entertainers are just some of the reasons why Cafe 331 has a following. Full bar. Closed Sundays. 6 am-2 am

Café Nola (333 N. Laura St., 366-6911) At Café Nola, they do what they can to make
sandwiches sexy. Back on the upscale menu is their fabulous asparagus blueberry salad. Monday – Friday 11 am – 2:30 pm, dinner on Thursdays 5-9 pm, First Wednesday Art Walks. First seating 5 pm. Full bar

Casa Dora Italian Restaurant (108 E. Forsyth St.,356-8282) The owner is the chef at this
family friendly Italian eatery. Excellent prices and good food make this a stop for many before
they head to the Florida Theatre. L, D. No lunch hours on Saturdays. Closed Sundays

Chamblin’s Uptown Cafe (215 N. Laura St., 674-0870) Really great sandwiches, coffee and granola in a book store. Monday, Tuesday and Friday 7:30 am-5 pm, Wednesday 7:30 am-9 pm, Saturday 9 am-9 pm, Sunday 11 am-5 pm

Chew (117 W. Adams St., 355-3793) They serve beautifully presented soups, salads and sandwiches, including a fried green tomato blt during lunch hours. They also offer wine dinners on occasion. Beer and wine. Monday-Friday 10:30 am-3 pm, Thursday-Saturday 5:30 pm-9:30 pm

Da Real Ting (128 West Adams St., 633-9738) The jerk chicken at Da Real Ting really is the
real thing, the best jerk in Jacksonville. For some bar bites that can’t be beat, try their conch fritters, served with a spicy sauce. They keep late hours but they vary, so call ahead if you’re making the trip. Full bar

Jax City Cafe (100 E. Forsyth St., 633-9028) Serving subs with a French twist. Croissants, pastries, paninis and subs. Lots of vegetarian options. 7:30 am-4 pm weekdays. Closed on weekends.

Juliette’s at the Omni (245 Water St., 355-6664) The menu at Juliette’s is best described as Southern bistro food with a French/urban twist. An elegant eatery favored by Downtown theatre-goers on their way to a show at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts. B, L, D. Full bar

Indochine (21 E. Adams St., 598-5303) Asian cuisine, with an emphasis on Thai. Over Burrito Gallery. Monday-Friday, 11 am-3 pm, WednesdaySaturday, 6 pm-11 pm

Koja Sushi (2 Independent Dr., The Landing, 350-9911) Those looking for a Japanese meal
experience ought to know that there is a strong Korean influence as far as dishes other than
sushi are concerned. Locals know to ask for the excellent kimchee, a traditional Korean dish of
fermented veggies. Monday-Friday 11 am-10 pm, Saturday & Sunday 5 pm-11 pm. Full bar

La Cena Ristorante (211 N. Laura St., 633-9255) A bit snooty, to be sure, but that’s
part of their charm. La Cena is where government officials and high-powered lawyers go for
dinner Downtown when they’re tired of steak houses. This expensive Italian restaurant feels
private and exclusive. D. Beer and wine

Ruth’s Chris (1201 Riverplace Blvd., 396-6200) Dine on corn-fed Midwestern beef or fine seafood with a view of the St. Johns at the Crowne Plaza. They pride themselves on fun with class, but it’s the class that people go back for. They season the steak with very little, letting the true flavor of the aged beef show through. If you’re not up for steak, go for the lobster, it’s nothing less than delicious. Monday-Thursday 5 pm-10 pm, Friday-Saturday 5 pm-10:30 pm, Sunday 5 pm-9 pm. Full bar

The Skyline Dining and Conference Center (50 N. Laura Street, Suite 4200, 791-9533) The buffet and sandwiches are pretty tasty at the Skyline, but our chief reason for going is for the spectacular view of Downtown. Monday-Friday, 11 am-2 pm

Tidbits (1076 Hendricks Ave., 396-0528) Chicken salad, deli and home-style sandwiches are served up at this Jacksonville tradition. They’re also known for their catering service. Monday-Friday, 11 am-2 pm

Twisted Martini (2 Independent Dr., The Landing, 353-8464) Standards like fried calamari and
seared ahi tuna round out their tapas-heavy menu. Spain, Italy, Thailand and Mexico are just
some of the countries that inspire the courses on their international menu. Try the Xango’s fried cheesecake or Death by Chocolate Cake if you’re in the mood to indulge or just finish your
meal with a chocolate martini. L, D. Full bar, of course

Wine Cellar (1314 Prudential Dr., 398-8989) Classic, beautiful dining with an eclectic menu and, of course, lots of wine to choose from. Tuesday-Friday, 11 am-2 pm, Monday-Saturday 5:30 pm-10 pm