In the last year or two, we’ve had a wave of truly fantastic places opening in Jacksonville. It’s worth celebrating, so we’ve gathered together a list of places you should try, or revisit, if you haven’t already.Moxie has hit its stride and quickly become one of Town Center’s hippest eateries. The cocktails were always outstanding while the service and the food (pretty stellar to begin with) have now reached optimum levels. Corner Taco, one of our food truck success stories, opened a brick and mortar earlier this year on Post Street. It’s just off the main drag in 5 Points, tucked off to the side of Hawkers. Their taco specials tend to be delicious and actually special, which isn’t true at a lot of restaurants.
Out at the Beach, you should be visiting The Flying Iguana. Even though everybody orders the tacos, I’m going to recommend that you think outside the taco, because although I like the unusual flavor combos in their tacos, I think the stuff that’s really out-of-this-world-delicious are items like their Cuban and the giant portion of roast chicken.
Toast is kind of a big deal at BREW. Two beverages take the stage at BREW: coffee and beer. Both go well with toast. The coffee has a welcome complexity, the flavor unfurling in your mouth like the petals of a flower in bloom. I might actually be in love with the coffee. Favorite toast so far: arugula with kimchi and goat cheese. Also, they use locally baked bread from Community Loaves.
We’ll just mention Hawkers, even though literally (and in no way figuratively) every human I know in this city has been there. It’s an Orlando chain, and they serve outstanding Asian street food. Just know that it isn’t a traditional dining experience. Everything is meant to be shared, and the kitchen brings food out as it’s ready.
Those who wish to imbibe at Sidecar should take note of the symbiotic relationship they have with V Pizza. Order a gourmet, tiled-oven pie and then bring it over to Sidecar so you can have a nibble with your cocktail. There’s even a door connecting the two.
The first Maple Street Biscuit Company opened at the very end of 2012, and they’ve now opened several locations. This fast casual, order-at-the counter, put-everything in a biscuit joint has already become an icon of our city. San Marco, Murray Hill, and Jax Beach all have a locale.
Over in Riverside Tres Leches had expanded their menu far beyond the bakery delights which put the Spanish-style eatery on the map. Chef Irene has spiced up their lunch and dinner menu to include Paella, Empandas and Solomillo (Pork Tenderloin). Every other Saturday night Flamenco dancers delight the diners.
Okay, so the Jaxsons Night Market isn’t a restaurant, but it is a great place and time to visit some local food trucks, without having to constantly check food truck schedules. Part market, part celebration, part food truck event, it’s the brainchild of Mike Field, the guy behind Jax Truckies. The third Thursday of the month it takes over a spot Downtown. Search it out and like it on Facebook for updates.