Lunch in Jacksonville is more than a meal, it’s an opportunity to break out of the busy day’s routine and recharge your batteries. What better way to get your mind off of the stressors of the daily grind than at one of the “River City’s” tastiest lunch-time retreats?
Jacksonville’s Southern roots inspire local regional fare in more ways than one. At The French Pantry guests line up around the building for their chance to dine on farm fresh creations like daily sandwiches specials, their famous Bruschetta, and decadent pastries. If your lunch break finds you downtown check out Olio for “lunch done differently”. You’ll discover elevated classics like the Duck Grilled Cheese and Deep Dish Quiche while sipping on fresh ginger ale in their loft style digs.
The classic burger joint gets a facelift at M Shack, the Bold City’s homegrown gourmet burger spot. Taste all natural hormone free beef prepared fresh daily into creations like Medurable, and the Cross-fit burger. If your taste buds seek something more delicate nibble on tasty bite-sized sandwiches, and desserts at Ashes Boutique and Tea Garden in an intimate setting ideal for your next mid-day escape.
Whether it’s elevated classics, cafe favorites or eclectic combinations you crave, this list will lead you to what you seek. Experience the taste of Jacksonville’s finest foodie destinations at a lunch-time price point that won’t break the bank.
When you walk into a lunch spot and one whiff takes you back to grandmas kitchen, you know you've landed in a great place. At Sun Deli, farm fresh ingredients come together with the finest Boar's Head Brand deli meat to produce the "Best Subs Under the Sun". Try made from scratch soups, prepared fresh daily along side a versatile menu of great sandwiches like BLTs, hearty Meatball, and the classic Club. You can also enjoy chicken, egg, and tuna salads prepared the old fashioned way or if you are feeling adventurous you can detour off the menu for favorites like "The ? Mark" where they'll surprise you with whatever they feel like making you. A visit to Sun Deli is ideal for a quick lunch break and a menu that consistently hits the mark. ((904) 270-1040)
M Shack reinvents the diner with their stylish motif and foodie friendly menu. Serving up burgers, shakes, and more in their signature style M Shack is a collaboration of fine dining restaurateurs Matthew and David Medure. Known for their impeccable taste the brothers took a more casual approach to M Shack bringing the old fashioned diner to a modern crowd with combinations like the Portobello Truffle Burger, The Medurable (topped with foie gras and carmalized onions), and the Asian Burger. The Kale Salad is a popular lighter option along with the Cross-fit Burger, and Marinated Chicken Breast Sandwich. If you're looking to indulge be sure to top your order off with truffle fries, or one of their hand spun milkshakes including Pecan Pie, Peanut Butter, and Banana's Foster. The fresh lemonade will quench your thirst as well as more adult beverages from their beer and wine selection. (904-241-2599)
Put a little spice in your lunch break at local favorite Taco Lu. Known for their flavorful street fare style tacos and a bountiful selection of tequila, Taco Lu is a colorful destination for any time of day. Diners enjoy the eclectic decor hanging from the ceilings, and displayed on the walls in the form of larger than life murals. Taco Lu's fresh ingredients and unique combinations make tacos like the Carne Royale, the Baja Fish Taco, and the Spicy Bird fan favorites. Enchiladas, Quesadillas, and Salads also grace the menu. For a quick lunch or a social afternoon with friends Taco Lu is the the kind of place you can kick back, and dig in to some great tasting food in a fun atmosphere. ((904) 249-8226)
At Biscottis' lunch goers indulge in an inventive menu full of well crafted American and European classics with a charming Southern twist. Enjoy the casually sophisticated bistro setting while dining on signature salads complete with made from scratch dressings, along with small plates ideal for sharing, tasty sandwiches and gourmet pizzas. Lunching on the weekend? Give Biscottis' decadent brunch a try with favorites like Creme Brulee French Toast, Blueberry Pancakes, and Breakfast Burritos that are sure to satiate your appetite. When your sweet tooth comes calling you're sure to be impressed by Biscottis' famous dessert case full of decadent treats like Bread Pudding, Cupcakes, and a host of Petite Desserts. Biscotti's has been a local favorite for over fifteen years, and as such is a definitive must visit in Jacksonville. (904-387-2060)
Hawkers Asian Street Fare
Taste the finest in Pan-Asian street fare in the convenience of one location at Hawkers Asian Street Fare. Situated in the trendy Five-Points business center, Hawkers is conveniently located in the midst of shopping and entertainment. Adventurous foodies flock to Hawkers for it's shareable small plates dished out in generous portions meant for sharing. Order from a variety of selections representing regions across Asia such as the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Korea and more. Fan favorites include the indulgent Roti Canai, Stir Fry Udon Noodles, Spicy Edamame and don't forget the yummy Thai Tea or their creative Trio of Creme Brulee. Hawkers brings some of the worlds best street fare to the neighborhood and delivers it with great service and loads of cool factor. ((904) 508-0342)
Ashes Boutique and Tea Garden
Escape on your lunch hour for an intimate tea time at Ashes Boutique and Tea Garden. Tucked away in Jacksonville Beach near quaint antique shops, and charming boutiques, the tea room at Ashes is a popular hideaway. Enjoy tasty bite sized sandwiches and fresh salads, along with quality tea, and sweet concoctions. Do a little shopping in the boutique before or after and leave with elegant treasures unique to the tea room. Perfect for a girls afternoon, dress up and tea for the little ones, or a private business lunch. At Ashes Boutique and Tea Garden you'll find quality food prepared with Southern grace and and a relaxing setting free of the usual lunch-time hustle and bustle. ((904) 270-0220)
Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails
Enjoy an eclectic menu featuring seasonal creations sourced from the finest local purveyors at Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails. Tempting taste buds with their coast to coast inspiration, the menu pairs fan favorites like the reimagined Chicken + Waffles, and Sloppy Joe alongside more adventurous offerings like Seared Octopus, and Chicken Livers. Moxie's impressive building showcases in design and construction the story and heart of the owners. The Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails concept was built around a full circle philosophy starting with eco friendly construction and advanced conservation practices built into the entire operation system of the building, and rounding out in the absolute best locally sourced ingredients prepared from scratch every day. A meal at Moxie is not only full of flavor and great taste, but also a whole lot of heart. That's the kind of dining we can all get behind. (904-998-9744)
If you are looking for a downtown lunch destination, Olio is a must visit. This loft style restaurant serves an upscale menu in a trendy atmosphere. Elevated favorites like the Deep Dish Quiche and Duck Grilled Cheese impress lunch goers with farm fresh ingredients and an inventive flair. It's evident that extra thought goes into every detail of each dish, with daily specials revealing innovation and tasteful balance for adventurous foodies looking to discover something new. Conveniently located on the corner of East Bay and South Market St., Olio meets the demand of the lunch time rush while dishing out heaps of flavor. ((904) 356-7100)
Eleven South Bistro & Bar
Enjoy fine dining in a sophisticated setting with great value at Eleven South Bistro and Bar. Known for their intimate ambiance and date night draw, Eleven South boasts a lunch menu that's just as popular. Standard favorites supply the menu and are supplemented with a rotation of seasonal creations crafted to inspire and delight your tastebuds. Guests enjoy casual outdoor seating on the covered patio which keeps pleasant temps year around, with plenty of indoor seating offered as well in the elegant dining room. The service is impeccable and the wine list is the winner of many impressive awards. The menu is inspired by creations from around the world leaning heavily on Mediterranean and European influences, with a scratch kitchen utilizing the freshest local ingredients. For business or pleasure a lunch at Eleven South Bistro and Bar is full of flavor and sophistication without a trace of pretentiousness. (904-241-1112)
The French Pantry
One of Jacksonville's most sought after lunch spots is also one of it's most humble. The French Pantry is a cozy little nook located off the beaten path in a more industrial corner of Jacksonville's corporate sector. The menu changes daily with specials posted along chalk boards and post-it notes which line the bakery case. Generously portioned sandwiches, bruschetta, and salads keep diners returning for French inspired cuisine with a Southern American twist. Guests aren't afraid to pile into any available seat turning the dining room into a family style gathering where co-workers, friends, and family bond over a shared love of The French Pantry's indulgent menu selections. Finish your visit to The French Pantry on a sweet note by ordering one of the made from scratch pastries like the popular Wedding Cake, Blueberry Torte, or decadent Cheesecake. ((904) 730-8696)
About Amy West
Jacksonville, FL based Amy West is the creator of amywesttravel.com, a travel and lifestyle brand including TV show "Like Love Want Need".
New Zealand, China, Malta, Germany, and Brazil all find pins on Amy’s world map amongst other exotic destinations she's visited.
Amy regularly appears as a guest on several media outlets including WJXT News 4 Jax, Daytime Talk Show "The Chat", NPR Radio show “First Coast Connect”, and Jax Moms Blog. Look for Amy on "Amy West Travel the Blog" where she posts reviews on her exciting adventures.
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