10 Best Foods in Jacksonville, Florida


Best Foods in Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida, offers a vibrant and diverse culinary scene. This guide explores the city’s best foods and where to find them, along with recommendations for both budget-friendly and premium dining options.


Jacksonville’s culinary landscape is as diverse as its cultural heritage, boasting a mix of traditional Southern fare, fresh seafood, and unique local specialties. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, Jacksonville’s food scene is sure to delight your palate with its distinctive flavors and dishes.

Mayport Shrimp

What is it?

  • Description: Mayport shrimp, not a specific species but named for being caught and unloaded in Jacksonville, especially in the historic fishing village of Mayport, is a local favorite.

Where to Eat

  • Best Places: Look for restaurants across Jacksonville and the First Coast that pride themselves on serving fresh Mayport shrimp.

Jacksonville-Style Garlic Crabs

What is it?

  • Description: A variant of the seafood boil, these crabs are cooked in a melted garlic butter sauce, often accompanied by sausage, corn, eggs, and potatoes.

Where to Eat

  • Best Places: Available at many local crab shacks and restaurants, especially in the Northside area.

Gullah Geechee/Lowcountry Cuisine

What is it?

  • Description: This cuisine includes dishes like shrimp and grits, Hoppin’ John, salmon patties, and she-crab soup, reflecting a mix of local seafood, staples, and spices.

Where to Eat

  • Best Places: Found across Jacksonville, offering a taste of cultural history and tradition.

Datil Peppers

What is it?

  • Description: A small, waxy, and extremely hot pepper variant, almost exclusive to the Jacksonville area.

Where to Eat

  • Best Places: Look for dishes and sauces in local restaurants that feature this fiery ingredient.

Honey Drippers

What is it?

  • Description: A simple, frozen treat made from Kool-Aid or fruit punch, perfect for Jacksonville’s hot summers.

Where to Eat

  • Best Places: Often homemade, but available from local vendors known as honey dripper ladies.

Camel Riders

What is it?

  • Description: A signature Jacksonville sandwich created by the local Arab American community, featuring a pita stuffed with various meats and fixings.

Where to Eat

  • Best Places: Widely available across Jacksonville, particularly in areas with a vibrant Arab American presence.

Premium Dining in Jacksonville

  1. Terra Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse
    • A classic churrascaria offering Brazilian meats rodizio-style.
    • Location: 4483 Southside Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32216​​.
  2. Restaurant Orsay
    • A Belle Èpoque dining room serving since 1900.
    • Location: 3630 Park St, Jacksonville, FL 32205​​.
  3. Biscottis
    • A convivial bistro serving small plates, sandwiches, salads, and brunch.
    • Location: 3556 St Johns Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32205​​.

Budget-Friendly Dining in Jacksonville

  1. Bowl of Pho
    • A Vietnamese restaurant offering Asian cuisine.
    • Cuisine: Asian, Vietnamese​​.
  2. Hangar Bay Cafe
    • Known for its Japanese quick bites.
    • Cuisine: Quick Bites, Japanese​​.
  3. Maple Street Biscuit Company- Murray Hill
    • Offers American cuisine in a quick bite format.
    • Cuisine: Quick Bites, American​​.


Jacksonville’s food scene is a delightful blend of traditional Southern cooking, fresh seafood, and unique local flavors. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious dining experience or a budget-friendly meal, the city has something to cater to every palate and budget.

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