Downtown Jacksonville features perhaps the highest concentration of office buildings in the entire city, with over 48,000 people working in the downtown area on any given weekday.
And once the clock starts creeping closer to noon, most of those workers are unleashed onto the downtown streets in search of lunch.
If you’ve been working downtown for a while, chances are you’ve got your daily lunch routine down already. You’ve picked your favorite spot, learned when the lines are shortest, and so on.
But what about those who have just recently joined the downtown club – or are just looking to grab lunch as they pass through downtown?
We’ve come up with a list of six of our favorite places to grab lunch in the downtown area. Check out our picks, and then let us know your favorites!
ADDRESS: 15 N. Ocean St.
MON-FRI HOURS: 11am to 2am
We’re big fans of Spliff’s Gastropub – we actually even previously wrote a review of the restaurant. Located on Ocean St. close to the Main Street Bridge, Spliff’s offers what they call “gourmet comfort food.” This includes their specialty items: mac and cheese with a variety of different topping options, flaky pastry sandwiches, and grilled cheese. Top it all off with one of their rotating selections of craft beer, and you’ve got a pretty great lunch break.
SUPER FOOD AND BREW
ADDRESS: 11 E. Forsyth St.
MON-FRI HOURS: 10:30am – 8:00pm
Originally a food truck, Super Food and Brew set up its permanent home in downtown Jax around two years ago. The restaurant serves fresh-made selections including salads, bowls, sandwiches and more. Our personal favorite: the fried mac and cheese balls. The menu got a slight revamp when ownership changed earlier this year, but the joint’s classics stayed put. To top it off, they also serve a rotation of up to 50 craft beers to help you forget all about that rough morning meeting.
CANDY APPLE CAFÉ
ADDRESS: 400 N. Hogan St.
MON-FRI HOURS: 11am to 3pm (Mon); 11am to 9pm (Tues-Thurs); 11am to 10pm (Fri)
If you’re looking for a weekday brunch spot, Candy Apple Café is the place to be. The café complement to Sweet Pete’s offers a delicious breakfast-themed menu, with highlights including their omelets and the Bourbon Pecan Waffle featuring spiked maple syrup. The café also features crafted cocktails – some of which incorporate chocolate and candy to tie in the building’s overall theme.
THE COURT URBAN FOOD PARK
ADDRESS: along the Hogan St. parking garage near the Landing
MON-FRI HOURS: 11am to 2pm (roughly)
A new concept launched earlier this year, The Court Urban Food Park brings a revolving collection of Jacksonville’s hottest food trucks to the heart of downtown. The trucks generally set up shop from 11am to 2pm along Hogan St. near the Landing. The park recently began offering a “Mid-Week Market” on Wednesdays featuring fresh grocery items from local vendors. It’s a concept that has a lot of downtown brick-and-mortar establishments angry, but has become a hit with consumers and those who frequent the downtown area at lunch time.
THE HAPPY GRILLED CHEESE
ADDRESS: 219 N. Hogan St.
MON-FRI HOURS: 11am – 3pm
Fresh off of opening this week, The Happy Grilled Cheese has gone from one of Jax’s hottest food trucks to downtown’s newest brick-and-mortar eatery. The restaurant serves up a variety of unique takes on an American classic: grilled cheese sandwiches. Highlights include the Mac Melt, which features homemade mac and cheese and grilled onions, and the Crunch Melt which boasts the following ingredients: three cheeses, mac and cheese, bacon, grilled onions, chips, and a tomato soup drizzle.
D&G DELI AND GRILL
ADDRESS: 223 E. Bay St.
MON-FRI HOURS: 7am – 2:30pm
Located along Bay St., D&G offers a pretty standard slate of deli items such as sandwiches, burgers and wraps. Meat options include beef, chicken, turkey, and even Mahi-Mahi and salmon. The deli’s extensive breakfast menu is served at a $2 up-charge after 11, but is available until closing time.