Being a bustling college town, Gainesville always has some exciting activities and attractions that draw visitors from all over.
Gainesville is home to the Florida Gators at the University of Florida, so there’s no shortage of bars and restaurants to check out.
If you’re not watching a football game, you can also check out the Florida Museum of Natural History and multiple beautiful conservation areas.
Besides all of the amenities that come along with being in central Florida, there’s also the restaurant scene.
As you might expect, there are bars and restaurants aplenty in this city, so you really can take quite the culinary journey during your time here.
- Satchel’s Pizza
- Dragonfly Sushi & Sake Company
- Embers Wood Grill
- The Top
- Northwest Grille
- Paramount Grill
- Mi Apa Latin Cafe
- La Tienda
- Mojo Hogtown Bar-B-Que
- Crane Ramen
- Halo Potato Donuts
If you’re not sure where to start, I may be able to help. I’ve ranked all the best restaurants Gainesville has to offer and put them all on a convenient list that you’ll find down below. You’ll know exactly where to eat in Gainesville after reading this.
1800 NE 23rd Ave, Gainesville, FL 32609
First up is Satchel’s Pizza. If you’re coming to Gainesville, or even if you already live here full-time, you have to try Satchel’s. It’s just a fixture of Gainesville, if you ask me.
Satchel’s is located near the University of Florida East Campus on Northeast 23rd Avenue. If you’re in the area, definitely check it out. Even if you’re not, it’s always worth a drive.
What I recommend from Satchel’s Pizza is the Satch-Pan Pizza. This one is basically their own signature, thick-crust pizza with the most delicious, crispy edges. It’s an absolute must-try.
201 SE 2nd Ave #104, Gainesville, FL 32601
Dragonfly Sushi & Sake Company is up next and I think you’re really going to love this place as much as I do. If you’re ever in the mood for sushi, this is the place to come when you’re in G-ville.
I always start with some sake when I come to Dragonfly. They offer a wide range of sake to try, so I like to sample couple of new ones each time I go. This place is perfect for a night out for some drinks and fresh sushi.
Check out Dragonfly off of Southeast 2nd Avenue, just a few minutes north of Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention and Depot Park.
3545 SW 34th St A, Gainesville, FL 32608
If you’re really looking to treat yourself for a special occasion, or even if you’re planning a romantic evening out to dinner, I strongly suggest coming to Embers Wood Grill. There’s no place like it to come for surf n’ turf.
You can find this gem off of Southwest 34th Street, just south of Kohl’s department store. Definitely keep your eyes peeled if you’re in the area, you don’t want to miss it.
Of course, I recommend the surf n’ turf here at this upscale chophouse, but the menu is loaded with other great choices as well.
30 N Main St, Gainesville, FL 32601
Next up is The Top. This is an American restaurant that’s become immensely popular around town between visitors and locals alike. I can’t recommend this place enough for a fun Friday night out.
They offer great nightly specials on food and drinks here at The Top, so you can come in and really get your money’s worth. Be sure to check out their vegan and vegetarian menu items, too.
Look for The Top on the corner of North Main Street and Northwest 1st Avenue in Downtown Gainesville, right next to The Wooly and The Atlantic Nightspot.
5115 NW 39th Ave, Gainesville, FL 32606
Next up is Northwest Grille and this is another mainstay of Gainesville that you do not want to pass up on.
I love this spot because it’s one of the only places you can get fresh seafood of this caliber in town.
I always come here when I’m craving something like fish or shellfish, but that’s not all they have on their menu, of course. I recommend coming here for a nice weekend brunch, too.
Whenever I come to Northwest Grille, I usually come on the weekend for brunch because I really enjoy their build-your-own bloody mary option.
12 SW 1 Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601
Paramount Grill is the next place I want to point your attention towards, and for very good reason.
This is another American restaurant that you do not want to miss, particularly if you’re spending time in the Downtown area.
It doesn’t get any more central than this. Paramount Grill is right off of Southwest 1st Avenue and Southwest 1st street, directly in the heart of Gainesville where all the action is.
When you come to Paramount Gril, I recommend coming for lunch and grabbing either a panini or a wrap, but they serve dinner and brunch as well.
114 SW 34th St, Gainesville, FL 32607
Mi Apa Latin Cafe is up next and boy is this one always a treat. Mi Apa is a lowkey Cuban joint with some of the greatest food in the city, if you ask me.
Of course, whenever I come to Mi Apa Latin Cafe, I usually end up ordering the classic Cuban sandwich. It’s my favorite sandwich ever. However, there are plenty of other things on their menu to choose from.
Definitely check out Mi Apa Latin Cafe off of Southwest 34th Street in the Westgate Regency Shopping Center. It’s perfect for a lunch break in the middle of a shopping spree.
2204 SW 13th St, Gainesville, FL 32608
Now, it’s time for some Mexican flair. La Tienda is the place to go for delicious Mexican food when you’re in town and it’s loved by locals and visitors alike.
You’ll see what makes La Tienda so amazing the moment you step foot in the establishment. It’s got a great vibe and the food is unbelievable.
There’s also indoor and outdoor seating, too, so you can enjoy that fresh Florida air while you eat.
Definitely check out La Tienda the next time you’re in the mood for tacos, burritos, quesadillas, or any other traditional Mexican delicacy.
12 SE 2nd Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601
If you’re like me and you love some good, old-fashioned Southern BBQ, then I’ve got a real treat for you. Mojo Hogtown Bar-B-Que is a barbecue restaurant that will absolutely blow you away.
This is a BBQ haven and it never lets me down. They’ve even got a whole list of great beers on tap to go with your barbecue food. I can’t think of a better combo than beer and BBQ!
Check out Mojo Hogtown Bar-B-Que off of Southeast 2nd Avenue next to the Hampton Inn & Suites Gainesville-Downtown. Just make sure you try their famous onion rings.
16 SW 1st Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601
Ramen is one of those incredibly comforting and popular Japanese dishes that pretty much everyone loves, including myself. When I’m in Gainesville, there’s only one place I go for this delicious dish: Crane Ramen.
Crane Ramen is located off of Southwest 1st Avenue in the Downtown area of Gainesville, so there’s plenty to do in the area before and after you eat.
I highly recommend either the tonkotsu or the shoyu ramen because those are my two favorites, but be sure to check out all of their tasty options so you don’t miss anything you might like.
1323 S Main St, Gainesville, FL 32601
Last up is Halo Potato Donuts and, well, this one isn’t exactly a restaurant, but the donuts and coffee here are so good that it just wouldn’t feel right leaving them out.
Halo Potato Donuts is the ultimate destination to start your day off right with coffee and a donut.
The donuts here are made fresh every single day, and you can just tell because they taste unlike any other donut in town.
Be sure to check out their special of the day when you come here. You never kow what sweet treat they’ve concocted next, but you do know that it’s going to be good if it comes from Halo Potato Donuts.
As you can see, there’s no limit to the delicious options here in Gainesville. This college town isn’t just all nightclubs and bars. I was somewhat surprised myself when I came to this revelation.
The city is full of top-tier restaurants, cafes, and other places to eat, so go ahead and get started on this list so you can find your new favorite dining destination!
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment and we’ll check it out!
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