- Adam’s Rib Co. ($) – This local rib shack is located right across SW 13th Street from the Shands South Tower. Great BBQ.
- Embers – Popular date location. Very nice, highly rated local restaurant.
- Miller’s Ale House Trivia Nights – Test your trivia knowledge against others in Gainesville. With $8 pitchers of Miller, it’s hard to pass up! Many people enjoy their wings and nachos.
- Gator’s Dockside – Want to watch any particular sporting event? Dockside is a student favorite to go with a group of people and eat, drink, and have an amazing time. Gator football players have been known to frequent this place as well!
- Mark’s Prime – High end restaurant downtown with some of the best steaks in Gainesville.
- The Red Onion Neighborhood Grill – A good quality restaurant in NW Gainesville. Has a great happy hour and great daily specials. Amazing sweet potato fries!
- The Top
Asian Fusion/ Sushi
Cuban / Spanish
- Kabab House ($$)- Craving some Indian food? In the past there wasn’t much of a selection in Gainesville, but Kabab House has changed that. Located a few blocks from campus on University Ave, it is a great place to try a different kind of cuisine. If you are in a rush, call ahead and order so that the food will be ready when you get there. Try the Paneer Masala or Chicken Tikka Masala.
- Blue Highway Pizza ($) – Located past Lake Wauberg heading south on 441, its about a 15 minute drive to get there. There is another location by Town of Tioga off of Newberry Road as well. It is a great place to eat a meal after you have worked up an appetite while kayaking at Lake Wauberg. Try their Greek Pizza, it’s excellent!
- Italian Gator ($) – Jonesing for a slice of pizza after a night in Midtown? Italian Gator or as its known by the locals as “Pizza by the slice” is a little hole in the wall joint located right across from campus. Whether its at 2AM or in the middle of the afternoon, a slice of their pizza with a drink really hits the spot.
- O Sole Mio – An owner from Naples, Italy, and ingredients made from scratch including the pasta, make for some delicious food and a very popular restaurant! There are two locations – one in Jonesville and the other in Alachua. Great pizza also!
- Satchel’s ($$) – Their regular pies are fantastic, but if you are looking for an experience, try the deep dish. With a patented salad dressing, the Satch Salad is one of a kind. If you plan to go there on a weekend night, make sure you get there early as it is famous around Gainesville and is often packed!
- V Pizza & Sidecar – Ovens and ingredients imported straight from Italy. A small chain started in Jacksonville,
- Boca Fiesta
- La Fiesta ($)- La Fiesta (off of Newberry Road by 75) is known for its great Mexican food and even better service. You order a meal and it comes out in 10 minutes so it makes for a great quick, affordable dinner at a sit-down restaurant. Try the queso, it’s amazing!
- La Tienda Restaurant($ to $$) – Authentic Mexican Restaurant. Not too many authentic Mexican Restaurants in Gainesville unfortunately, but luckily this one is very close to campus and just a quick trip on the #13 RTS bus line.
- Tijuana Flats ($)- Located right across from campus on University Ave, Tijuana Flats is a student favorite. Famous for their unique take on tex-mex food, what sets them apart is the sauce selection which is frequently rotated. Try the “Smack my ass and call me Sally” sauce. It is quite tasty when combined with the black bean chimichanga!
- Mother’s Pub and Grill– $1 beers everyday! Mother’s is located off of University Ave a few blocks away from campus. With an older crowd, Mother’s office great specials on Friday nights ($3 Long Islands) that make it a great place to go before heading out!
Being a college town, most restaurants in Gainesville offer some sort of vegetarian or vegan option. Below are a few local restaurants that seem to delight in their vegetable-based options:
- Civilizations – A very diverse veggie-heavy menu.
- Satchel’s – In addition to lots of veggie and faux-meat toppings, they offer vegan cheese (I believe they use Daiya).
- Boca Fiesta – Very veg-friendly mix of tex-mex and southern comfort food. Always has at least 4 veggie taco fillings – tempeh, TVP, sautéed veggies, or fried okra. Also vegan desert nachos!
- The Top – A variety of options from veggie burgers to seitan bacon. Do yourself a favor and try the pecan-encrusted tofu on a salad. Yum!
- Karma Cream – Gainesville’s largest selection of vegan ice cream options.
- Reggae Shack – Huge menu of Carribean offerings, almost all of which have a vegan option with delish tofu, tempeh, or seitan.