I visited Jacksonville for the first time last weekend and I’m still recovering from the food coma that ensued. My boyfriend is interning at a law firm in Jacksonville for the summer so it was the perfect opportunity to knock another city off my list.
I feel like when we together we eat way more than the average couple (remember everything I posted from our D.C. trip?). I would consider us both foodies, but not the healthy “I’ll try anything” type. The more unhealthy it is the better is typically our motto.
We ate at some of the best restaurants Jacksonville has to offer; from tacos to popsicles. Here’s a breakdown of everywhere we went:
III Forks Steakhouse
Price Range: $50-60 per person
If you didn’t know this already I am a meat and potatoes girl. Give me the entire bread and butter basket then hit me with a giant rib eye. III Forks was an absolute dream. The waiter was very attentive and knowledgable about the menu and I wouldn’t expect anything less going to steakhouse of this degree. We ordered the filet mignon cooked medium rare with fresh asparagus and mashed potatoes on the side. For dessert we tried the creme brulee and it was just perfect. Creme brulee is a tricky dessert and I can be picky about how it’s made, but this had just the right amount of caramelization and it was delicious.
I’ve been to quite a few fancy steakhouses in my 25 years, but III Forks tops the list. It even rivals Berns Steakhouse in Tampa, which I tried last month. If you have the time and you are looking for an upscale dining experience I highly recommend this restaurant. Not to mention the front entrance is stunning. Check out that sparkly wall and the wine rooms!
Price Range: $8-10 per person
Maple Street is hands down my new favorite breakfast restaurant. Everything is served on buttery, fluffy biscuits and I mean EVERYTHING. They serve normal breakfast biscuits topped with eggs, bacon, and cheese. If you’re more adventurous they have biscuits with goat cheese, honey, jelly, and more.
You could seriously taste the love in every bite. I ordered The Five and Dime and Josh had The Sticky Maple. Mine was covered in gravy and cheese as you can tell from the picture. We also ordered a sweet biscuit to share and it was basically a glorified cinnamon roll.
I’m already asking Josh if he can take me to Maple Street again the next time I visit it’s seriously that good. This was by favorite restaurant in Jacksonville!
Occasion: Happy hour, dinner
Price Range: $15+ per person
By this point in my visit I was starting to feel a little food sick, but Josh insisted Black Sheep was worth it and so off we went. I ordered the mac and cheese and he had a pork sandwich with a whiskey cocktail.
The mac and cheese had the right cheese consistency and flavor, but in all honesty I wouldn’t say it’s the best I’ve ever had. Mac and cheese really has to wow me! I’m partial to Homeroom in Oakland though, now THAT is one-of-a-kind mac and cheese.
Occassion: EVERY OCCASSION
There was quite the buildup leading up to our trip to Sweet Pete’s. Josh told me there was a fabulous candy store in downtown Jacksonville, but I didn’t understand just how incredible it was.
Sweet Pete’s is a big, colorful, three-story house and candy store right in the middle of downtown. The best way I can describe it is like a mix between Sugarfina and Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. On the first floor there have hundreds of boxed candies, everything from sour gummy worms to wasabi chocolate covered peas. When you walk through the main door you’re greeted with bouquets of chocolate flowers!
On the second floor they have different kinds of old-fashioned and normal candy you would find at the grocery store. The third floor is dedicated to parties and classes. We peeked at the schedule and one of the classes they offered was chocolate making! I mean how cool to spend all afternoon in a candy store learning how to make chocolate — any kid’s dream. My dream too, but I’m a big kid!
Price Range $5-10 per person
I love all kinds of tacos and when I found out TacoLu is one of the most raved about taco places in Jacksonville I really wanted to go. This restaurant is very inexpensive and they have great happy hour and brunch specials.
They had your normal, everyday tacos and also some unique ones. I ordered the Bangin’ Shrimp and brisket. Josh tried something a little crazier – the Carne Royale with grape and brie salsa. I really liked TacoLu and I will definitely eat there again next time I visit Jacksonville.
Kairos Nutrition Bar
Price Range: $5-10
Some juice places are pretty pricy, but Kairos is inexpensive with really good green smoothies! I ordered the Piña Kaleada.
Price Range: $15 for a medium pizza
Pizza is pizza, it almost always tastes good. V Pizza is on another level though; all of the ingredients are organic and fresh. They are well-known for their traditional wings which we also tried and they were more sweet than spicy. Our white pizza was piled with fresh mozzarella, ricotta, and garlic.
The only downfall is the pizza gave us garlic breath for HOURS afterwards! Well worth it though.
Price Range: $3-4 a pop
This was a great little treat on a hot, humid day! The Hyppo has some of the most interesting popsicle flavors I’ve ever heard of. From ginger and bourbon infused pops to every kind of berry you can think off they really have it all. You can even get your pop dipped in chocolate if that tickles your fancy.
Occasion: Lunch/Happy Hour
Price Range: $9 a drink
Lemon Bar doesn’t look like much from the outside, just your typical beach dive bar. It’s connected to a seemingly questionable hotel with a great view of Jacksonville Beach.
The drinks are quite tasty though and seriously makes you feel like you’re in a Jimmy Buffett music video. Their most popular drink on the menu is the Lemon Freeze and it has a little ice cream in it.
Great drinks and appetizers (order the coconut shrimp if you’re a fan!). Overall fun environment for a Saturday or Sunday afternoon at the beach.
This about covers every restaurant, bar, and dessert place we hit during my 4-day stay. If you’re familiar with the Jacksonville area and you have suggestions please comment or email me, I’m sure I will visit again in the future.