Jacksonville, Fla., is an eclectic city on the threshold of it’s largest culinary growth spurt in years. In a coastal town that inhabits the largest land mass of of any city in the U.S., you can be sure there are a lot of hungry citizens ready to patronize a fabulous foodie scene. The word is clearly getting around, as dining has become one of the top three reasons visitors flock to the First Coast.
Just across Jacksonville’s intercoastal waterway sits the charming Atlantic Beach Town Center on the border of Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach. Delightful boutiques and locally owned restaurants draw neighborhood regulars and beach-going tourists to enjoy a little retail therapy or unwind with a cool, hand-crafted margarita from Flying Iguana Taqueria & Tequila Bar.
Flying Iguana Taqueria & Tequila Bar features made-from-scratch, gourmet tacos — Photo courtesy of Amy West
Flying Iguana is full of rustic charm that still manages to feel hip, with edgy industrial accents that peek through the design element. As a “casual gourmet” restaurant, they welcome you to stroll off the beach in flip flops and cover-ups and “Let the Good Times Fly."
Bike parking is available for cruisers, and pets are even welcome to sit in the shade with their owners in the outdoor seating, available complete with refreshing water misters. Enjoy live music Thursday through Sunday evenings, while you sip a Pisco Sour. Oh, and don’t be afraid to put the dance floor to good use.
Rustic charm meets industrial accents in Flying Iguana's decor — Photo courtesy of Amy West
Flying Iguana is one of the local slow food shining stars making "J-ville" proud, with Southwest-meets-Peruvian fare that will delight the senses. Hand-held gourmet tacos are always a favorite, with the Baja Fish Taco and Dirty South leading the way in popularity.
Classically trained Executive Chef Josh Agan crafts a flavorful menu with entrees like Agave Brined Pork Chop and Chimichurri Skirt Steak satisfying distinctive taste buds and hungry appetites. Make sure to try the tableside guacamole made right in front of you, and ask about the specials, where Agan likes to get creative.
Desserts are not to be missed, with decadent choices like Coconut Flan and Stuffed Churros (It’s okay to drool.). Pair each robust dish with a refreshing drink from the bar, which features made-from-scratch mixes and simple syrups, but absolutely no powdered mixes. Great brunch specials can also be found on the weekends.
Hand-crafted cocktails are all made fresh, with absolutely no powdered mixes — Photo courtesy of Amy West
Fans love the care and creativity taken in the creation of each dish; it comes as no surprise that there's even a chef’s garden located on the rooftop, where Agan sources Southwest and Peruvian regional peppers, herbs and flavorings that can’t be found on the East Coast.
It’s all about going the extra mile and creating unique and innovative flavors at Flying Iguana, and it is that philosophy that keeps guests returning.
So if you're looking for the perfect beachside spot to satisfy your appetite and take you on a flavorful journey, then visit Flying Iguana Taqueria & Tequila Bar to “Let the Good Times Fly." You'll find fresh ingredients crafted with imagination, resulting in a bold new taste for the First Coast.
Healthy options are plentiful at Flying Iguana — Photo courtesy of Amy West