There is so much to see and do in Jacksonville that you are sure to work up an appetite. When it comes to heading out for a romantic dinner for two or an intimate celebration, the city has a wealth of cozy cafés, fine-dining establishments and casual restaurants from which to choose.

The ‘River City by the Sea’ has something for every occasion from sipping world-class wines and enjoying some of the best cuisine in the city at the Wine Cellar to taking a culinary journey to Greece and Italy at the family-owned Mediterrania Restaurant. Head to One Ocean’s Azurea for the freshest seafood in town, dine on classic French cuisine at Restaurant Orsay, and take a culinary journey through Italy at the family-owned and operated Toscana little Italy.

1. Azurea

Azurea
© Azurea

Boasting beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean, One Ocean’s Azurea restaurant is an award-winning dining establishment that is renowned for its fresh seafood and variety of fish. Inspired by the spectacular views of the surrounding ocean, the elegant restaurant features contemporary décor and low lighting, creating an intimate ambiance. The seasonally changing menu offers dishes reflecting the latest culinary trends with an amalgamation of taste and flavors from Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Chef Ted Peters presents dishes such as Southern Coast Grouper, Hand-Picked Diver Scallops, Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna, and the ultimate Chef’s Signature Seafood Tower of Citrus-Poached Lobster Tail, Seasonal Oysters, Jumbo Shrimp, Mussels & Clams, and Seared Ahi Tuna. Adventurous diners can try the five-course ‘Adventurous Palate’ for an epic culinary experience. Explore Jacksonville beaches on vacation.

1 Ocean Blvd, Atlantic Beach, FL 32233, Phone: 904-249-7402

2. Marker 32

Marker 32
© Marker 32

Marker 32 is a polished eatery that has been drawing locals and visitors alike to enjoy excellent food and wine for 27 years. Opened in 1992, the family-owned-and-operated restaurant specializes in locally sourced seafood and coastal classics such as crab cakes, freshly caught fish, shrimp, and oysters, as well as prime steaks, lamb chops, pasta dishes, and fresh salads. Boasting panoramic views of the Intracoastal Waterway, the restaurant also offers private dining for special functions and events, along with a full-service bar featuring a wide range of libations from signature cocktails and imported spirits to craft beers and ales, and wines from around the world.

14549 Beach Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32250, Phone: 904-223-1534

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3. Restaurant Orsay

Restaurant Orsay
© Restaurant Orsay

Restaurant Orsay is a rustic French bistro that serves classic French cuisine in an elegantly chic setting and has been hailed as one of the finest dining establishments in Jacksonville. Owned by Jonathan Insetta, Jason Eddy, and Michael McKinney, and their expert culinary team, the bustling restaurant provides a warm and genuine dining experience with delicious, lovingly prepared cuisine served with smiling, attentive service. The menu features classic French and Southern-inspired dishes such as starters of Foie Gras and Escargots, followed by entrées of perfectly cooked duck, trout, and comforting meatloaf. Mixologists prepare handcrafted cocktails with flair or serve craft beers, ales or French wines by the glass or bottle, and the pastry chef produces decadent delights like Vanilla Bean Creme Brulée or handmade Macarons for dessert. More beaches in Florida

3630 Park Street, Jacksonville, FL 32205, Phone: 904-381-0909

4. Eleven South

Eleven South
© Eleven South

Tucked away in a cozy spot on the coast of Jacksonville Beach, Eleven South is a local favorite known for its well-executed menu and award-winning wine list. The inviting eatery has a warm, intimate feel and is perfect for that special dinner for two with a crackling fireplace, a charming bar, and soft lighting. Menu favorites include classics like freshly caught Atlantic Salmon and Black Grouper and perfectly grilled Baseball-Cut Top Sirloin, all of which are paired with expertly selected vintages - both well-known and rare. The menu is topped off with a selection of handcrafted desserts such as Salted Caramel Chocolate Torte, Créme Brulée, and a traditional Georgia Peach Cobbler, and there is a private dining room for special celebrations or business meetings. Browse our best places to visit in Florida guide for more ideas.

216 11th Avenue South, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250, Phone: 904-241-1112

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5. Black Sheep Restaurant

Black Sheep Restaurant
© Black Sheep Restaurant

Black Sheep is a casual eatery housed in an impressive building that is the local go-to spot for traditional Southern fare and craft beers. Exuding a warm, homey setting, the neighborhood eatery serves a menu of locally sourced Southern Regional Americana fare with signature dishes such as Fried Green Tomatoes, Braised Beef Short Ribs, and Mac & Cheese. For those wanting something lighter, the menu offers delicious options like a Kale & Smoked Trout salad and a Little Gem salad, along with sharing plates, appetizers and of course, mouth-watering desserts. The full-service bar has a range of ales and craft beers on offer, as well as global wines, imported spirits, and handcrafted cocktails. Read about the best Florida weekend getaways for a relaxing vacation.

1534 Oak St, Jacksonville, FL 32204, Phone: 904-380-3091

6. Bistro AIX

Bistro AIX
© Bistro AIX

Named after the French town in Aix-En- Provence that is renowned for its fresh homegrown produce and delicious South-of-France fare, Bistro AIX is a trendy café-style eatery that serves innovative French cuisine in a charming, Old-World setting. Located in the heart of the historic San Marco district, the bistro features a welcoming dining room with exposed brick walls, antiques, and ornate mirrors and an open kitchen with a wood-fired oven where expert chefs show their skills. A full-service Bohemian bar is attached to the dining room and offers an array of libations and fine French wines, and diners can enjoy live music on certain days of the week. Browse our things to do in Florida guide for more ideas.

1440 San Marco Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32207, Phone: 904-398-1949

7. BB's Restaurant and Bar

BB's Restaurant and Bar
© BB's Restaurant and Bar

BB's Restaurant + Bar is a buzzing bistro on Hendricks Avenue that serves innovative New American cuisine and mouth-watering desserts in a casually chic setting. One of the best things to do in Florida, The hip eatery features contemporary décor and a molded-concrete bar and presents a menu of made-from-scratch fare and arty dishes prepared with locally sourced and organic ingredients. A glass case showcases the bistro’s decadent delights, and a curated wine list provides a variety of fine wines to pair with every plate. Don’t miss the daily cheese selection with flavors from around the world and the chocolate ganache cake which is a must. Check out these Jacksonville breakfast spots.

1019 Hendricks Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32207, Phone: 904-306-0100

8. Blue Orchid Thai Cuisine

Blue Orchid Thai Cuisine
© Blue Orchid Thai Cuisine

Located in Harbour Village, Blue Orchid Thai Cuisine is a family-owned and operated restaurant that serves traditional Thai cuisine in an amiable and inviting setting. Managed by husband-and-wife team, Executive Chef Montakran “Bam” and Jeff Schofield, the family-friendly restaurant brings a touch of Thailand to Jacksonville with freshly prepared authentic Thai dishes and a range of craft cocktails and casual wines. Native to Thailand, Chef Bam uses unique ingredients such as Thai basil, galangal, and Asian mushrooms to bring the unique and subtle flavors of Thai cuisine to the fore in dishes such as Coconut Shell Curry, Pad Thai, Cashew Stir-Fry, and Bird’s Nest Raad Na.

13475 Atlantic Blvd #32, Jacksonville, FL 32225, Phone: 904-723-1300

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9. Dwight's Bistro

Dwight's Bistro
© Dwight's Bistro

Dwight’s Bistro is a casual, neighborhood eatery with art-adorned walls and eclectic mosaic murals that serves a menu of innovative French, Italian and Mediterranean fare in a friendly, welcoming setting. Situated on Penman Road, the restaurant serves dinner only Monday through Saturday and offers a variety of dishes ranging from fresh seafood and fish, prime, grass-fed meats, fresh vegetables and salads, and homemade pasta plates. Signature dishes include Seared Yellowfin Tuna, Crab Cakes, Sea Scallops, Quail, and Lamb Chops, and a decadent Banana Foster tops the menu off.

1527 Penman Rd, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250, Phone: 904-241-4496

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10. 13 Gypsies

13 Gypsies
© 13 Gypsies

Borne from a love of traditional Spanish food and a relaxed Mediterranean-style way of dining, 13 Gypsies brings a variety of delicious Spanish and Mediterranean tastes to Jacksonville. The small, but cozy eatery run by Chef Howard features minimalist décor and serves a menu that focuses on Spanish tapas and dishes. With a heritage firmly rooted in Spain, Chef Howard presents a menu that showcases his love of good food with items such as homemade and freshly baked bread, home-cured charcuteries, cheeses, sausage, and pickled vegetables. Pasta is freshly made by hand and ingredients are locally sourced and organic where possible. Browse free things to do in Jacksonville.

887 Stockton St, Jacksonville, FL 32204, Phone: 904-389-0330

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11. Matthew's

Matthew's
© Nomad_Soul/stock.adobe.com

Owned and managed by award-winning chef, Matthew Medure, the appropriately named Matthew's is the flagship restaurant of his culinary empire. Located in the center of the city, the fine dining establishment exudes a refined, elegant ambiance with low lighting and glistening silverware, and serves a menu to match. An innovative Chef’s Adventure Tasting Menu features six courses of cuisine and wine pairing if requested, while the á la carte menu blends American, Asian, and French influences and features signature dishes such as Maine Diver Scallops, Air-Dried Duck Breast, and Grove Farm Lamb Loin. Matthew's is a special occasion kind of place and is perfect for a romantic celebration of love.

2107 Hendricks Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32207, Phone: 904-396-9922

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12. Alhambra Theatre and Dining

Alhambra Theatre and Dining
© Alhambra Theatre and Dining

Enjoy a great meal alongside an entertaining performance at Alhambra Theatre and Dining. Undeniably one of Jacksonville’s most unique entertainment destinations, guests to Alhambra will enjoy watching an unforgettable display of theatre arts all while feasting on a mouthwatering three-course meal. When it comes to dinner theatre, Alhambra is one of the best places in the whole country to go as it is one of the longest-running dinner theaters in the United States. Food at the Alhambra doesn’t disappoint either, as each of the three courses is expertly prepared by Executive Chef DeJuan Roy who performs his own masterpiece in the kitchen.

12000 Beach Boulevard, Jacksonville, Florida 32246, Phone: 904-641-1212

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13. Cowford Chophouse

Cowford Chophouse
© Cowford Chophouse

Located in an iconic building along East Bay Street in 2014, the Cowford Chophouse is a restored historic landmark that now dishes out magnificent and mouthwatering steakhouse food. Cowford Chophouse is owned by Jacksonville native Jacques Klempf while the kitchen is helmed by Executive Chef Ian Lynch. Under their leadership, guests can sample fine-dining-style menu offerings that are sure to please even the ficklest pallets. Tuck into delectable starters like the Roasted Bone Marrow and Duck Fat Cornbread before feasting on your choice of steak. Cowford Chophouse features a number of add-ons to enjoy alongside their cuts of meat.

101 E. Bay Street, Jacksonville, Florida 32202, Phone: 904-862-6464

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14. Sake House

Sake House
© Sake House

Sake House Japanese Grill and Sushi Bar is a chain of Japanese restaurants specializing in fine Japanese and Asian cuisine, such as freshly prepared sushi, rolls, and Hibachi plates. The restaurant features minimalist décor and plenty of seating, with professional and friendly staff serving plates of handmade sushi, tempura, Hibachi, and teriyaki. Sharing platters of sushi and rolls are ideal for a group of friends or a party, and a full-service bar offers a wide range of drinks from genuine sake served hot or cold, to Japanese beer, red and white wines, and non-alcoholic beverages.

824 Lomax Street, Jacksonville, FL 32204, Phone: 904-301-1188

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15. Taverna

Taverna
© Taverna

Taverna is a locally owned restaurant that serves a seasonal menu of delicious dishes inspired by the tastes of Italy and Spain and served in a comfortable, inviting atmosphere. Located in historic San Marco and helmed by Chef Sam Efron, the restaurant boasts a rustic charm with a wood-fired brick oven out of which come baked lasagnes and thin-crusted pizza with various toppings. Other Mediterranean dishes on the menu include Sicilian Seafood Stew, Sautéed Mussels and Clams, Spaghetti Frutti di Mare, and Crab Carbonara. The cuisine is paired with an award-winning wine list with well-known and rare vintages that can be enjoyed by the bottle or the glass, as well as craft beer and ales and classic cocktails.

1986 San Marco Boulevard, Jacksonville, FL 32207, Phone: 904-398-3005

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16. Toscana Little Italy

Toscana Little Italy
© Toscana Little Italy

Located in the Miramar Center, Toscana little Italy is a family-owned and operated restaurant that takes diners on a culinary journey through the cobbled streets of Italian’s tiny villages and gives them a taste of the Mediterranean. The family-friendly restaurant offers an extensive menu of traditional cuisine such as fresh seafood and fish, prime, grass-fed meats and chicken, handmade pasta and homemade sauces, wood-fired pizza and sun-kissed herbs and vegetables. An Italian restaurant wouldn’t the same with a range of decadent desserts, and Toscana little Italy presents sweet treats such as a Chocolate Genoise, Tiramisu, and Sicilian Cannoli, along with a variety of coffees and liqueurs, fine wines, and craft beers.

4440 Hendricks Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32207, Phone: 904-900-1059

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17. Town Hall Restaurant

Town Hall Restaurant
© Town Hall Restaurant

Located in San Marco, Town Hall is a new restaurant from chef Tom Gray, brainchild and owner of Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails. Set in the former location of the Grotto restaurant on San Marco Boulevard, Town Hall serves an ever-changing menu of innovative dishes boasting fresh, layered flavors and prepared using seasonal ingredients from regional farmers and producers. Signature dishes include appetizers of fried oysters, duck fat cornbread, and Brussel sprouts topped with a fried duck egg, followed by entrées of lamb chops, roasted chicken, seared local fish, and cauliflower steak for vegetarians. The cuisine is accompanied by California-inspired wine list of casual wines by the glass and bottle, as well as classic cocktails, and local craft beers.

2012 San Marco Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32207, Phone: 904-398-0726

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18. Biscottis

Biscottis
© Biscottis

Biscottis is an irreplaceable icon in the heart of the Avondale and Riverside area known for its Southern charm, eclectic and classic American food, as well as craft cocktails, and the best desserts in town. Operating out of their small and welcoming bistro-style restaurant, Biscottis promises a memorable dining experience and unforgettable meals. Biscottis has a brunch, lunch, and dinner menu with show-stopping menu items like the Butternut Squash Agnolotti, Blue Cheese Crusted Beef Medallions, and the Diver Scallop Fideos. When at Biscottis, however, one simply must not miss out on their spectacular dessert offerings, all of which are homemade in their bakery. The Biscottis Bakery offers 14 different decadent cakes daily alongside a handful of seasonal cakes.

3556 St. Johns Avenue, Jacksonville, Florida 32205, Phone: 904-387-2060

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19. The Blue Fish Restaurant

The Blue Fish Restaurant
© The Blue Fish Restaurant

Located in The Shoppes Of Historic Avondale, The Blue Fish Restaurant is a busy restaurant with a focus on fresh seafood with a raw bar serving freshly shucked oysters and made-to-order sushi. Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner; the restaurant has a comfortable dining room and a charming outdoor courtyard where diners can tuck into classic shrimp cocktail, tuna poke bowls, herb-crusted jumbo lump crab, and seared ahi tuna. Private parties and special celebrations can be held in the upstairs section of the restaurant which is suitable for banquets, parties, and receptions, and a full-service bar hosts happy hour every evening of the week. Browse day trips from Orlando

3551 St Johns Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32205, Phone: 904-387-0700

20. III Forks Steakhouse

III Forks Steakhouse
© III Forks Steakhouse

Classy and contemporary, the III Forks Steakhouse is the perfect place for a private and romantic dinner, a special family occasion, or a business dinner for VIP workmates and clients. Not only is III Forks Steakhouse inviting and modern, its incredible menu of premium USDA Prime beef, ultra-fresh seafood, and impressive 1,500-bottle wine room promises a top-notch experience for every guest. Spend some time in the bar or lounge area before heading into the foyer or your own private dining area to enjoy your dinner. Try unique offerings like their 42-Day Dry Aged Angus Beef steaks or options like the Durham Ranch Wagyu. III Forks Steakhouse’s seafood menu features stunning offerings like the Atlantic Salmon, Cold Water Lobster Tail, and Chilean Seabass, while other lighter options are available as well.

9822 Tapestry Park Circle, Suite #111 Jacksonville, Florida 32246, Phone: 904-928-9277

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21. Rue Saint Marc

Rue Saint Marc
© Rue Saint Marc

Rue Saint-Marc is a French American Bistro with a hip vibe and relaxed ambiance that serves modern French cuisine and an array of handcrafted cocktails. Located in San Marco, the Medure-owned restaurant offers guests an unforgettable dining experience in a beautifully designed dining space with modern décor and soft lighting, and a creative menu of contemporary cuisine. The small restaurant only has four booths and one larger table for larger parties, a charming patio and a full-service bar with an extensive range of libations. The French-inspired menu features signature dishes such as Pork Belly Rillons with muscadine grape glaze, Cavatelli Pasta with ricotta cheese in a saffron tomato sauce, Local Fish Meunière with chateau potatoes, and Fried Cornish Hen with soy roasted mushrooms.

2103 San Marco Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32207, Phone: 904-619-0861

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22. Enza's Italian Restaurant

Enza's Italian Restaurant
© Brent Hofacker/stock.adobe.com

Located in the Mandarin Landing shopping mall, Enza's Italian Restaurant is a casual, family-friendly white-tablecloth eatery that serves traditional Italian cuisine and daily specials against a backdrop of live music nightly. The restaurant serves a comprehensive menu with favorite dishes such as Beef Carpaccio, Calamari Fritti, Spaghetti Carbonara, Baked Cannelloni, Eggplant Parmesan, Shrimp Aglio E’ Olio, and Lobster Ravioli. Enza's Italian Restaurant has a full-service bar that serves a wide range of drinks and cocktails and hosts an array of fun events such as cooking classes and demonstrations, group banquets and private functions, and live music throughout the week.

10601 San Jose Blvd #109, Jacksonville, FL 32257, Phone: 904-268-4458

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23. River & Post

River & Post
© BillionPhotos.com/stock.adobe.com

Renowned for serving fresh selections from land and sea, River & Post is a unique dining concept with a delectable seafood-forward menu, handcrafted cocktails, and spectacular views. Aptly named for its location on the corner of Riverside and Post, the restaurant is based in a prominent Riverside building with a trendy rooftop lounge boasting breathtaking views over the St. Johns River and downtown Jacksonville. The 450-seat restaurant serves a menu of creative cuisine including prime steaks and lamb chops, fresh seafood and catch-of-the-day fish, hearty burgers and fries, po’boy sandwiches, and lobster rolls. The 3,500 square feet rooftop lounge is the perfect place to sip signature cocktails and watch the sun set before enjoying a romantic dinner.

1000 Riverside Ave #100, Jacksonville, FL 32204, Phone: 904-575-2366

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24. Seasons 52 Restaurant

Seasons 52 Restaurant
© Seasons 52 Restaurant

Located in St Johns Town Center, Seasons 52 Restaurant is a rustic, family-friendly eatery serving a rotating menu of seasonal American fare accompanied by a curated selection of global wines, and classic cocktails. The farm-to-table grill-and-wine bar serves a seasonal menu of dishes prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients from regional farmers, artisans, fishmongers and ranchers, including prime, grass-fed meats, chicken and pork, fresh seafood and catch-of-the-day fish, and homegrown herbs and vegetables. A full-service bar presents an extensive list of fine wines from around the world, craft beers and ales on tap, and signature cocktails with imported spirits.

5096 Big Island Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32246, Phone: 904-645-5252

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