Eat, drink and be merry – what better way than exploring JAX eateries and watering holes? JAX offers a taste of local life with the fresh seafood caught right off the coast and southern comfort food that tastes better than grandma’s home cooking, but also an international flair with a melting pot of cuisines and award-winning culinary artists.
With intricate tasting menus, island fare and heathy superfoods galore, the culinary scene in Northeast Florida is right on track with the hottest trends. So, foodies of the world, unite, and dig into the flavors of JAX!
Tasting menus are all the rage right now…and why wouldn’t they be? You get to experience the best a restaurant has to offer with multiple courses of bite-sized dishes. Below are some of the delectable tasting menus our region has to offer, curated by some of the best chefs in the nation:
Two-time James Beard Award nominee Matthew Medure and his brother David are the brains behind Medure Brothers: Culinary Concepts which believes that “dinner should be more than a meal; it should enliven your senses.” The mantra is shown through each restaurant’s unique atmosphere and savory selection. The rotating chef’s tasting menus at two of their seven locations, Matthew’s and Rue Saint-Marc, push the boundaries of flavor and artistry. Whether you choose to partake in Matthew’s Chef’s Adventure Tasting Menu with six courses of artfully plated French and Mediterranean dishes or the Rue Experience featuring a five-course tasting menu with the chef’s presentation of the season’s best ingredients, you’re in for a sensory-filled dining experience that won’t be easy to forget.
Located in historic St. Augustine, Michael’s Tasting Room is a casually elegant restaurant focuses on steaks and coastal Spanish inspired cuisine with a seasonal chef’s table experience that allows a taste of all the delicious offerings prepared by Chef Michael himself. The Wine Spectator has also awarded Michael’s wine list its Award of Excellence for eleven years in a row.
Omakase at Norikase is tucked away in a hidden sake and hand roll sushi bar in the Southside neighborhood – but (shhh!) you didn’t hear it from us. Norikase is truly a hidden gem with omakase tastings where the chef carefully curates a 17-course menu full of sushi, sashimi, soup and more, that is unique to each party. Pair the tasting with a selection from their extensive sake bar or handcrafted cocktail!
Touting itself as an experience-driven restaurant, Asado Life is a brand-new waterfront eatery along the San Sebastian River in St. Augustine offers a selection of prix fixe menus and four types of experiences including barcuterie, waterfront Asado, chef’s table experience and four-course Gaucho-style Asador Club all centered around a live fire grilling concept.
Healthy living is a way of life in JAX and finding food that is good for you and tastes amazing is not difficult in the region. A few of our favorites include healthy gastropub fare at Super Food and Brew in downtown Jacksonville; healthy fast food (not an oxymoron!) from Homespun Kitchen in Atlantic Beach and Jacksonville’s Riverside neighborhood; and vegan southern comfort food from baked mac and cheese to buffalo wings at Murray Hillbilly in Jacksonville’s eclectic Murray Hill.
Let’s face it, Florida exudes tropical vibes. And with 87 miles of Atlantic coastline, there’s no wonder how island fare made its way to Northeast Florida.
Looking for some relaxing reggae tunes and delicious food? Dine indoors or under a palapa at the Conch House in St. Augustine. Whether dining on Jamaican jerk chicken or coconut-style fresh catch, you’ll want to douse everything in their homemade datil pepper sauce – a traditional delicacy of the area.
Hawaiian fusion mixed with Southern comfort foods is what you’ll find at Just a Pinch Café – chow down on Loco Moco, Hawaiian French toast, and a whole lotta Spam in this cozy spot in an unassuming strip mall on Fleming Island.
The small Polynesian bar Secret Tiki Temple is tucked behind large non-descript doors in the back of a Chinese restaurant and is only accessible via secret password (so call ahead!). Tropical drinks, bar bites – yes, Spam is on the menu – and island décor make this Jacksonville speakeasy one not to miss.
All the restaurants listed above merely scratch the surface of what the culinary scene in JAX has to offer.
Eating is no longer just about the food, it’s the full experience, so find that in JAX.