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Ice Plant, St. Augustine, FL.
Ice Plant, St. Augustine, FL.
Photo: Facebook

The Eater Jacksonville Heatmap: Where to Eat Right Now

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Ice Plant, St. Augustine, FL.
| Photo: Facebook

Today Eater returns to Jacksonville, FL to focus on nine bars and restaurants that have opened in the past year and are garnering some serious buzz. It's been about six months since the last Jacksonville heatmap and Florida Times-Union restaurant critic and food blogger Jessica Taylor once again offers up her picks for the hottest dining her city currently has to offer.

So what's hot in Jacksonville? Some of the city's best known chefs have left their former posts to stike out on their own (Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails, Flying Iguana Taqueria & Tequila Bar). In the past six months, there's also been a bit of an expansion boom, with restaurateurs creating additional locations or brand new concepts in the Jacksonville area (The Blind Rabbit, Maple Street Biscuit Company, and M Shack, which opens today.) On the drinking front there's a stunning new cocktail destination (Ice Plant), a new craft brewery (Aardwolf Brewing Company), and much more. Here now, the Eater Heatmap to Jacksonville:


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Aardwolf Brewing Company

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The newest addition to Jacksonville’s craft brewery cadre features 20 local and national craft beers on tap in a massive 11,000 square foot warehouse. Local food trucks arrive to serve dinner on weekends and as of September, Aardwolf is pumping out its own brews, including a double IPA called Vulgar Display of Hoppiness and an American brown ale called Eastbound and Brown.

[Photo]

Blind Rabbit

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The brothers behind Riverside’s Southern gastropub the Blind Fig (recently renamed from the Salty Fig for brand coherence) have opened a burger and whiskey bar. An extensive whiskey menu, moonshine cocktails, and Southern-inspired burgers — a recent special was topped with crawfish — bring the speakeasy vibe to the beach.

[Photo]

Flying Iguana

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Flying Iguana has all the elements of a quintessential Jax Beach experience: live music, tacos, an extensive tequila selection, and all one block away from the water. The playful menu from chef Josh Agan (formerly of bb’s) features pork belly tacos with a rum and coke glaze and Southwest “poutine” made with sweet potato fries, red-eye gravy, and queso fresco.

[Photo]

Ice Plant

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Fresh-pressed juices, house-made bitters, and specially developed syrups go into the drinks at St. Augustine’s newest bar. A quick drive down I-95 brings you to a converted ice plant which dates back to the 1900s—a time which also inspires much of the cocktail menu. A small but well-executed menu of upscale pub food makes staying for dinner a must.

[Photo]

Le Bar at Bistro Aix

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Longtime San Marco favorite Bistro Aix has remodeled their large bar area into “Le Bar,” complete with a new look, small plate items, specialty cocktails, and live music. The refreshing Aix 75, their version of the classic French 75, is the perfect accompaniment to the veal bone marrow, served with red onion marmalade, grey sea salt, and fresh horseradish.

[Photo]

M Shack - Burgers, Shakes, and more

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Chefs/restaurateurs/brothers Matthew and David Medure have brought their popular Atlantic Beach burger joint inland to the Town Center. Top quality beef is ground in-house daily to make up burgers ranging from standard to extravagant: the Medurable is a cheeseburger topped with foie gras and caramelized onions. M Shack opens today, after much anticipation.

[Photo]

Maple Street Biscuit Company

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A packed new Jax Beach location has ensured that biscuits will remain at the forefront of Jacksonville’s consciousness for a while longer yet. The menu is built around the restaurant's version of a Southern-style buttermilk biscuit, which can either sandwich a piece of fried chicken and toppings or vegetarian options like collard greens and a fried egg.

[Photo]

Moxie Kitchen & Cocktails

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One of the most anticipated openings of the year, this recently opened restaurant from former Bistro Aix chef Tom Gray is an unexpected addition to the Town Center. The carefully curated menu features craft cocktails and locally-sourced dishes, some of which, like the Dr. Pepper-glazed short rib, make their way onto Moxie’s wood-fired grill.

[Photo]

The Parlour at Grape & Grain Exchange

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The Parlour, the speakeasy side of San Marco specialty liquor store Grape & Grain Exchange, is quickly establishing itself as one of Jacksonville’s premier live jazz venues, as evidenced by a surprise visit from Wynton Marsalis in September. Enjoy the music with a specialty cocktail, like the ‘Perche No?’ featuring barrel-aged Fernet Branca.

[Photo]

Aardwolf Brewing Company

The newest addition to Jacksonville’s craft brewery cadre features 20 local and national craft beers on tap in a massive 11,000 square foot warehouse. Local food trucks arrive to serve dinner on weekends and as of September, Aardwolf is pumping out its own brews, including a double IPA called Vulgar Display of Hoppiness and an American brown ale called Eastbound and Brown.

[Photo]

Blind Rabbit

The brothers behind Riverside’s Southern gastropub the Blind Fig (recently renamed from the Salty Fig for brand coherence) have opened a burger and whiskey bar. An extensive whiskey menu, moonshine cocktails, and Southern-inspired burgers — a recent special was topped with crawfish — bring the speakeasy vibe to the beach.

[Photo]

Flying Iguana

Flying Iguana has all the elements of a quintessential Jax Beach experience: live music, tacos, an extensive tequila selection, and all one block away from the water. The playful menu from chef Josh Agan (formerly of bb’s) features pork belly tacos with a rum and coke glaze and Southwest “poutine” made with sweet potato fries, red-eye gravy, and queso fresco.

[Photo]

Ice Plant

Fresh-pressed juices, house-made bitters, and specially developed syrups go into the drinks at St. Augustine’s newest bar. A quick drive down I-95 brings you to a converted ice plant which dates back to the 1900s—a time which also inspires much of the cocktail menu. A small but well-executed menu of upscale pub food makes staying for dinner a must.

[Photo]

Le Bar at Bistro Aix

Longtime San Marco favorite Bistro Aix has remodeled their large bar area into “Le Bar,” complete with a new look, small plate items, specialty cocktails, and live music. The refreshing Aix 75, their version of the classic French 75, is the perfect accompaniment to the veal bone marrow, served with red onion marmalade, grey sea salt, and fresh horseradish.

[Photo]

M Shack - Burgers, Shakes, and more

Chefs/restaurateurs/brothers Matthew and David Medure have brought their popular Atlantic Beach burger joint inland to the Town Center. Top quality beef is ground in-house daily to make up burgers ranging from standard to extravagant: the Medurable is a cheeseburger topped with foie gras and caramelized onions. M Shack opens today, after much anticipation.

[Photo]

Maple Street Biscuit Company

A packed new Jax Beach location has ensured that biscuits will remain at the forefront of Jacksonville’s consciousness for a while longer yet. The menu is built around the restaurant's version of a Southern-style buttermilk biscuit, which can either sandwich a piece of fried chicken and toppings or vegetarian options like collard greens and a fried egg.

[Photo]

Moxie Kitchen & Cocktails

One of the most anticipated openings of the year, this recently opened restaurant from former Bistro Aix chef Tom Gray is an unexpected addition to the Town Center. The carefully curated menu features craft cocktails and locally-sourced dishes, some of which, like the Dr. Pepper-glazed short rib, make their way onto Moxie’s wood-fired grill.

[Photo]

The Parlour at Grape & Grain Exchange

The Parlour, the speakeasy side of San Marco specialty liquor store Grape & Grain Exchange, is quickly establishing itself as one of Jacksonville’s premier live jazz venues, as evidenced by a surprise visit from Wynton Marsalis in September. Enjoy the music with a specialty cocktail, like the ‘Perche No?’ featuring barrel-aged Fernet Branca.

[Photo]

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