Jacksonville is one of the emerging culinary destinations in the U.S. thanks to the many excellent restaurants that one can find in the city. Jacksonville is also home to 15 chefs on the Best Chefs in America list. The best thing about the Florida culinary scene is that the best places to eat are not concentrated in just one location but are actually spread out in different spots. This is why food tripping is one of the best things you can do in the city. If your appetite allows it, you can sample different kinds of cuisines in a single day. And each restaurant that you will visit will give you a unique and unforgettable dining experience. What follows is a short list of the 5 best gourmet restaurants in Jacksonville.
The Capital Grille
“Comfortable elegance” is how the restaurant’s website describes the experience of dining in The Capital Grille. With African mahogany paneling and Art Deco chandeliers, the restaurant’s interiors offers a stately yet warm and welcoming setting that doesn’t intimidate diners. The restaurant is carefully designed to provide a sophisticated atmosphere to complement its menu offering and gracious service.
Their menu philosophy is simple: everything that arrives at a customer’s table is meant to be delightful. This is why the restaurant uses only the finest and freshest ingredients to prepare dishes that are designed to engage all of the senses.
The Capital Grille is famous for their dry aged steaks that are meticulously processed on premises for almost three weeks. The long aging process is meant to provide extraordinary flavor and fine texture. After the aging process, the steaks are hand-carved by their in-house butchers and then grilled to perfection. Apart from steaks, the restaurant also offers fresh seafood and world-class wines. The Capital Grille is located at 5197 Big Island Drive Jacksonville, FL 32246. To make a reservation, you can call them at (904) 997-9233. For more information, you can visit their website at https://www.thecapitalgrille.com/locations/fl/jacksonville/jacksonville/8029
Chart House is a seafood restaurant that has been around for more than 50 years already and is known for redefining the ideal dining experience. It has 26 restaurants all over the United States and each is famous for providing spectacular views, excellent service and of course delicious food. Apart from fresh seafood, Chart House also specializes in succulent steaks and slow-roasted prime ribs that are impeccably prepared by their highly-skilled and well-trained chefs. Their recipes may seem common but they actually offer unique twists that incorporate local flavors.
The Jacksonville branch of Chart House is a uniquely-styled structure that overlooks the city’s beautiful downtown riverfront. From the riverside location, guests can watch dolphins swimming and view boat shows and fireworks display that happen all-year-round. Created by the renowned architect Kendrick Bangs Kellogg and inspired by the legendary Frank Lloyd Wright, the building is considered as one of the most interesting structures in the city. It was even hailed as one of the top 100 buildings in all of Florida.
Located inside the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), NOLA MOCA is one of the most popular destinations in downtown Jacksonville. The restaurant serves high-quality freshly made dishes that include seasonal entrees and uniquely-crafted versions of pastas, soups, flatbreads and desserts. Apart from mouth watering food, NOLA MOCA also offers a full bar with seasonal handcrafted cocktails, world famous wines and locally brewed beer.
The restaurant is open on weekdays, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner is served every Thursday and during Downtown Art Walk every first Wednesday of the month. Since MOCA Jacksonville is a non-profit, you are supporting the arts everytime you eat at NOLA MOCA.
You can find NOLA MOCA is inside MOCA Jacksonville located at the University of North Florida on 333 North Laura Street, Jacksonville, Florida 32202. To make a reservation, you can call them at (904) 366-6911.
Established in 1974, Wine Cellar is famous for bringing the old world charm of the French countryside to Jacksonville. At Wine Cellar, you have the option of spending a romantic time while dining under the shade of majestic oak tree in its brick-paved garden or an enjoy an intimate affair in one of their elegant dining rooms. It is consistently featured as a top 500 restaurant by Florida Trend Magazine and as a top 25 restaurant by Jacksonville Magazine. Its wine list is also a perennial winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.
Wine Cellar is an old favorite of many Jacksonville residents. This is because for more than four decades, the restaurant ha continued to offer the classic continental cuisine that its loyal patrons have loved over the years. This does not mean though that the restaurant’s menu has not evolved. In fact, it consistently offers new and eclectic dishes. The restaurant’s elegant and beautiful archways and brickwork perfectly complement its excellent cuisine.
Wine Cellar Chart is located at 1314 Prudential Drive, Jacksonville, Florida 32207. To make a reservation, you can call them at (904) 398-8989. For more information, you can visit their website at http://www.winecellarjax.com
Basil Thai and Sushi
If you are in Jacksonville and you start to crave for gourmet Asian cuisine, then Basil Thai and Sushi is the place for you to go. The restaurant is actually considered as one of the cornerstones in the Jacksonville community and known locally as the “Best Thai in Town.” It has been recognized for offering excellent Thai cuisine and for the remarkable service of its very friendly staff.
Apart from offering traditional Thai food, the restaurant is also famous for its modern interpretations of classic Thai dishes using only the freshest ingredients available. When you enter the restaurant, you will feel as if you were transported to Thailand thanks to its unique and colorful interior.