There’s a lot going on at the Beaches Town Center. This is the increasingly popular beach destination where Atlantic Boulevard meets the ocean. The place is abuzz with all sorts of new shops, inviting cafes, lively bars, and enticing restaurants. While some may come and go, one of the most enduring destinations, and a favorite among locals, is Mezza Luna Ristorante.
After twenty-seven years of operation by the venerable restauranteurs Chef Ben and Liza Groshell, who are also the creators and owners of the Fish Camps and Valley Smoke, it’s no surprise that Marker 32 has become one of Jacksonville’s most iconic and well regarded dining destinations.
When it comes to culinary impact, one of the most enduring and highly regarded restaurants contributing to the cool and groovy vibe of the city is bb’s, a perennial favorite in the Southbank neighborhood, just a stone’s throw from the St. Johns River in historic San Marco.
One of the liveliest spots in Jacksonville is the Five Points neighborhood in Riverside, considered the bohemian center of the city. If you haven’t visited in a while, and enjoy ethnically inspired foods, you’ll want to check out Escape Restaurant & Bar. Described as a melting pot of cuisines from around the world, their menu pays delicious homage to a cornucopia of culinary styles and cultures.
A visit to St. Augustine is always enjoyable. There’s the imposing Castillo de San Marcos, plenty of old world charm, the scenic Mantanzas River, lots of galleries and museums, and a wide variety of entertainment options. And when it comes to exceptional dining experiences, Michael’s, formerly Michael’s Tasting Room, is yet another remarkable attribute in this already noteworthy destination.
One of Jacksonville’s most culturally and historically significant neighborhoods is Riverside-Avondale. One of the most awaited events in the ‘hood was the opening of Derby House Diner on the corner of Park and Margaret Streets. While locals may remember this eatery as Derby on Park (if you’re old enough, you may even remember this was originally a Texaco station), it has changed hands and is now owned by Chad Munsey and Michael Schmidt – owners of The Bearded Pig in San Marco and the Rec Room, also in Five Points.