Located in northern Florida, Gainesville is a city that is best-known for the University of Florida. However, it is also a great place for tourists to visit because of the many things there are to see and do in this area. These include parks, museums, and interesting landmarks. If you are visiting this city, then eating out is likely to be an important aspect of your stay. Fortunately, there are many fantastic restaurants from which you can choose in this city as it is known for its food culture. Here are the top five restaurants in Gainesville, Florida (in no particular order).
1. Dragonfly Modern Izakaya & Sushi
This popular sushi is one of the trendier dining hotspots in Gainesville, Florida. Although the sublime sushi is the specialty of this restaurant, it is not the only food on offer. The food is served tapas style which is great for groups of friends who want to sample lots of dishes and share their food. The highlights of the menu include the wagyu beef and the signature sashimi dishes. While eating out at this restaurant, you should also sample some of the house-made specialty drinks, including Japanese plum wine and sake.
2. The Swamp Restaurant
Although the name may not sound that inviting, it is so-called because it is located opposite the Ben Hill Griffith Stadium, which is also known by fans as The Swamp. This lively eatery is popular amongst the locals, which is always a good sign of the standard of food a venue serves. The restaurant often screens local sports matches on big screens outside, so many people enjoy eating on the patio when the weather is good. The atmosphere is relaxed with a fun vibe while the menu offers a diverse range of food. There are casual lunch items, such as nachos and wings, or upscale offerings including the gourmet burgers and ahi tuna.
3. Manuel’s Vintage Room
Lovers of Italian cuisine will adore Manuel’s Vintage room. This traditional-style Italian restaurant has a cosy and sophisticated atmosphere. The menu consists predominantly of traditional Italian dishes, such as pizzas and pastas. However, there are also examples of dishes that are influenced by other parts of the world. Two of the specialities of the menu are shitake mushrooms in a rose sauce and the seared duck breast that is served in a porcini mushroom and blackberry sauce. This venue is also a great place for wine enthusiasts as there is an extensive menu of wines from which diners can choose. This is such a popular venue that it is best to make a reservation first rather than just walking in off the street.
4. Mark’s Prime Steakhouse
The downtown area of Gainesville is now one of the trendiest parts of the city. One of the forerunners in this transformation was Mark’s Prime Steakhouse. This restaurant set a new standard in the city in terms of upscale dining. The interior of the restaurant is sophisticated yet inviting and is a great place for a celebratory meal. In addition to the obvious meals from the grill that you would expect in a steakhouse, there is also a fantastic selection of dishes made from food bought at the local seafood market. The vegetables served are also locally sourced and everything is served freshly prepared. The freshness and seasonality of the menu is one of the key features of the restaurant that attracts so many regular dinners.
5. Paramount Grille
This restaurant has a separate lunch and dinner menu, so it is a great place to eat at all times of the day. It is also open for Sunday brunch. The chef at Paramount Grille prides himself on using organic, fresh, seasonal produce to create an ever-changing menu. As you would expect from a grille restaurant, the highlights of the menu are the steaks and other grill items. However, these are not the only delicious dishes that you can try during your visit to this modern American establishment. The main part of the restaurant has an intimate feel but there is also a contemporary area with an open-plan feel and a chic design. There are large windows overlooking downtown Gainesville, so people often opt to sit in this section of the restaurant.