Downtown Gainesville has long boasted a food and drink culture that outshines much of the rest of the county. In fact, many residents consider it to be their unofficial capital of dining and entertainment. This is because the city offers so much from so many different perspectives: historic architecture, multiple festivals, sporting events, multiple theater venues, five major film facilities and a plethora of other dining opportunities. It’s also highly accessible from the rest of the world, thanks to an array of highways that connect it to other cities and counties. As a result, a visit to downtown Gainesville can allow you to experience a diverse range of experiences along with dining options.
The food and beverage market in downtown Gainesville is truly extensive, ranging from casual dining and coffee shops, to gourmet dining and fine dining. One particular gem is the gourmet food truck, which has long been a staple of the Gainesville music scene and has since expanded to serve food in its own right. While it may not be a restaurant, this food truck has managed to acquire a reputation as one of the city’s best destinations for fine dining and other fine foods.
Located off of Medical Center Parkway in Downtown, the Fried Catfish will surely make your mouth water with its delectable batter and flaky, succulent fries. The menu features a variety of traditional fried dishes, like the chicken fried steak and the biscuit-filled shrimp cocktail, but also includes some creative twists on fried menu items, such as the Jackknife BBQ Burger. Of course, there’s also the amazing nachos on the side. The Fried Catfish is definitely worth a stop and could very well be the best meal you have ever had in downtown Gainesville.
If you are looking for a unique dining experience, then you should certainly check out the Nelly’s BBQ and Grill. While it is certainly one of the more popular establishments in Downtown Gainesville, you’ll also find that there are several other locations from which to choose from. In addition to its fantastic tasting dishes, the Nelly’s BBQ and Grill offer a wide variety of interesting entrees to choose from. In particular, the pulled pork sandwich is a crowd-pleaser that people just love. On top of the delectable pulled pork sandwiches, the barbeque ribs and beef brisket are some of the best tasting dishes you can find anywhere in Downtown, and are the perfect accompaniment to any cocktail.
If you aren’t quite ready to dine at one of the Downtown Gainesville restaurants, you might want to consider stopping by The Landing. If burgers and fries aren’t your thing, you can check out the impressive collection of waterfront patio dining in Downtown, which serves up some of the most delicious seafood in the area. While you’re there, don’t forget to try some of the fantastic sushi in Gainesville, which is also available at this restaurant. The only downside to this place is the somewhat expensive prices, but considering the quality you get, it is well worth the cost. Additionally, the sushi comes with gourmet ingredients and a variety of delicious sashimi, so you are sure to be satisfied.
While many people aren’t aware of it, Miami Dade International University actually has a great dining facility on 11th Avenue in Downtown, and if you happen to stop by them have several outdoor seating choices. Along with the many wonderful dining options they have, the barbecues that they host are legendary, and you can even catch the college football game on one of their screens. Of course, no visit to Miami Dade would be complete without stopping by Cuban Burger, which is the restaurant that has the country’s only licensed indoor aquarium. While there isn’t a lot of outdoor seating available, you will find some beautiful tables and a fantastic view of the aquarium from your stools at Cuban Burger.
Along with all the delicious sushi and barbecues, there are also some excellent restaurants that have food to offer just as good or better than the sushi and barbecues. For example, Tandoori chicken is delicious and really goes well with most Indian curries, but there are some other dishes that would go great on this tasty chicken. Similarly, Kashmiri peas are another wonderful option for those who want to have a lighter meal. There are several dishes in the Kashmiri food group including Roti, Rice, and Paneer. All the dishes mentioned here are served in the traditional Indian manner, so expect great tasting food and service.
If you are looking for a burger that tastes just like its namesake, then drive through Burger Bay, because it is the only place that serves the very best in Gainesville, Florida. With many delicious foods to choose from, you will be hard pressed to not be satisfied. While there are no indoor restaurants, expect to drive through windows all around this wonderful burger shop, and you can expect to enjoy a very warm, fresh bun any time of the day. Additionally, you will find that the prices are very reasonable, and this local chain has been serving consumers for decades. Don’t be surprised if you stop here just once during your entire vacation, because this is definitely one location that you simply cannot miss. From the delicious local food to the fun-filled atmosphere of the surrounding streets, Downtown Gainesville restaurants offer something for everyone.