Top 16 Best Places To Eat In Gainesville FL

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Best places to eat in Gainesville FL are The Top and The Swamp Restaurant. They offer the best food at a reasonable price.

Most people probably associate Gainesville with two things: the University of Florida, and Gatorade.

This thriving community in northern Florida has a lot to offer locals and guests, including award-winning restaurants and delectable cuisine. Gainesville, which is the largest city in North Central Florida, is a lovely place that is great for families, young professionals, and college students.

The place also offers the ideal blend of urban and suburban life, and many people opt to relocate there because of its thriving real estate market, inexpensive cost of living, immaculate parks, entertaining activities, outdoor pursuits, well-maintained surroundings, and excellent beaches that are nearby.

1. Embers Wood Grill

Embers Wood Grill great reputation of this restaurant is well-deserved. In this restaurant, you may find some of the best cuisine.

You can choose between pepper-crusted steak cooked to your precise specifications, bison strip steak roasted over wood, and veggies barbecued over wood.

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Everyone who has eaten there has praised it for everything from the cuisine to the ambiance. The costs won't be much at all because they are very affordable.

They start at $8 for appetizers and go up to $44 for king crab. They also range from $6 to $7 for salads and the only meal served here is dinner, and you usually have a four or five-hour window to eat.

2. The Top

The Top Gainesville is a well-known American eatery that offers inventive meals, beer, and burgers in a hip setting. It is situated in Gainesville's downtown.

This relaxed restaurant has excellent service, enjoyable music, delectable beverages, and even better meals. There is always something delicious on the menu for dinner because there are many vegan and vegetarian alternatives available.

Dine-in, delivery, and pick-up options are offered by this business, which opened in 2000. There is even a lovely terrace that is pet-friendly so your pets can relax and take in the pleasant weather while you and your friends and family enjoy delicious cuisine and drinks.

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In restaurants downtown Gainesville, there is a separate bar and late-night menu since the kitchen is open until one in the morning. After dinner service, only patrons who are at least 21 years old are permitted inside.

Since The Top exclusively takes walk-ins, bookings are not accepted. Prepare to sit at different tables if your group is larger than 12.

3. Dragonfly Sushi

Dragonfly Sushi is a modern Japanese pub in Gainesville that serves fresh and authentic sushi and sashimi. Their menu includes different salads, soups, platters, and rolls.

There is even a vegetarian menu with small plates, grilled veggies, and vegetarian sushi rolls.

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It has a full bar with happy hour cocktails and sweet treats like cheesecake, crème brulée, and various ice cream flavors. 

4. Mi Apá Latin Café

Mi Apá is a colloquial name for Mi Apá Latin Café. It is conveniently situated just off NW 34th Street and ideal for a pick-me-up after classes.

If you go there for breakfast, order the arepa loaded with scrambled eggs, ham, and cheese. Also, grab the coffee with Leche.

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Locals suggest eating one of the dishes and definitely ordering rice and beans on the side if you're stopping by for lunch or dinner.

There is something for everyone on the extensive but not overpowering menu. If you're a busy student on the go, Mi Apá's prices are quite affordable for students, and the drive-through line is quick and easy.

5. Spurrier's Gridiron Grille

One of the most well-known Florida Gators football players in history, Spurrier established the exclusive Spurrier's Gridiron Grille in the Celebration Point complex in 2021. He continued his career as a college football coach after his playing days.

Along with football, he also does food. The cocktails, appetizers, and entrees at this premium restaurant are to die for.

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Although this restaurant is a bit pricy for students, it's the ideal venue to take family members who were present to see Steve Spurrier's career in action. The food is superb. The Spurrier's bacon cheeseburger, or the Emory & Henry Seafood Pasta.

Cheesecake, lemon tarts, and chocolate chip cookies are examples of desserts. The bar selection is broad and includes specialty drinks like mocktails and cocktails.

The spicy mango mocktail or the raspberry lemon drop martini are also suggested. Those who must avoid gluten should visit Spurrier's.

6. Bangkok Square

This is the kind of restaurant you want if you want excellent Thai food. Vegetarians will really appreciate this location.

The lunch and dinner menus at Bangkok Square include everything from vegetable egg rolls to pad Thai noodles.

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Although they are open from 11 or 12 until 9:30 or 10 p.m., they take a break between lunch and dinner. This wonderful food won't cost you anything.

7. Flaco's Cuban Bakery

Excellent lunch and dinner options may be found at Flaco's Cuban Bakery. The arepas are a definite hangover treatment, and the Cuban sandwiches make the ideal straightforward lunch.

If you're out Downtown, Flaco's, as it is affectionately known, is the best food to eat while intoxicated. End your night on a high note at Flaco's after a Downtown bar crawl. Start at University Club, then on to Arcade Bar, Cry Baby's, and Downtown Fats.

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With a 2:30 a.m. closing time, this restaurant is aware that customers will require some mouthwatering arepas, Cuban sandwiches, tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, or empanadas to fill their appetites and round off the evening. 

8. Satchel’s Pizza

Do you yearn for a tasty pizza? The place for you is here.

Tuesday through Saturday are their business hours. Both the lunch and evening groups frequent this location. They typically open at 11 a.m. and shut down at 10 p.m.

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You can purchase best pizza in Gainesville like calzones from their menu. Additionally, they produce all of their own sodas.

Their restaurant has a distinctive look with eye-catching glass windows in a range of shapes and colors, as well as an eye-catching wall mosaic outside that draws attention from passersby. You have a choice of inside or outdoor sitting when it comes to the area.

9. Paramount Grill

The best spot to eat Mediterranean food is Paramount Grill. It is situated in Gainesville's downtown.

Owner and head chef Clif Nelson has been providing the neighborhood with exquisite meals since the restaurant first opened in 2001.

The restaurant serves creative cuisine created with top-quality ingredients that are entirely produced on-site.

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Paramount Grill offers great service in a sophisticated setting and has a large selection of beer and wine, free parking, and exquisite cuisine that are all reasonably priced.

There is always something fresh to experience when dining at this establishment because the menus are constantly changed and only include seasonal, locally produced ingredients.

10. Metro Diner

The Metro Diner is frequented by patrons all day long. They provide lunch, supper, and morning.

There is also brunch available, and it is family-friendly. Also several options are available, including waffles, meatloaf, chicken tenders, and chicken pot pie.

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Comfort food is the primary menu theme. You will therefore be pleased when you eat here. and return for more often.

11. The Swamp Restaurant

The Swamp Restaurant is widely regarded as Gainesville's premier bar and grill. It is a famous landmark with old-world elegance, a front lawn, and regular live performances and events.

This historic restaurant is a favorite gathering place for locals and college students thanks to its lively ambiance, delicious food, and refreshing drinks. It is located between the University of Florida and Downtown Gainesville.

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The Swamp Restaurant is more than simply a favored neighborhood restaurant, bar, and event space since it offers unlimited mimosa brunch, sorority socials, Monday margaritas, and gameday tailgates.

Best food in Gainesville restaurant has been serving the Gainesville community for more than 25 years. It offers brunch, lunch, and dinner menus, as well as game day, kid, and even dog menus.

12. Original American Kitchen

You're looking at Original American Kitchen (OAK) if you're in Downtown Gainesville around 11 a.m. and see folks with mimosas and plates piled high with delicious brunch tacos, eggs, and avocado toast.

With enhanced staples like wild mushroom ravioli, the finest grilled cheese and tomato soup ever (no, really), fried green tomato sliders, and limitless mimosas, this restaurant serves amazing brunch and dinner. Desserts like handmade bread pudding, pecan pie, and fried Oreos will satisfy your sweet taste.

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You can count on the rustic and charming design no matter where you sit. A wall on the right has mason jars with flowers, a gallery wall made of a ton of one-of-a-kind mirrors, and a giant chalkboard wall has menu information and drawings.

OAK is a real treat that will have you coming back for more delectable meals and social media pictures with your pals. Because of its handy Downtown location, you may cruise the streets and soak in the history of Gainesville after you've had your fill of mimosas and brunch fare.

Take a quick trip to a record store, grab an iced coffee from Wyatt's Coffee, then decide where you want to go for dinner. What a wonderful start to the weekend.

13. La Tienda

The greatest authentic Mexican food in Gainesville can be found at La Tienda. Go to La Tienda if you're a new student hoping to impress your new pals by taking them to a fantastic neighborhood Mexican restaurant that isn't Chuy's.

At El Indio, you won't have to worry about negotiating the occasionally tense drive-through environment. The food is reasonably priced and of excellent quality.

Although this restaurant is frequently crowded with patrons waiting for meals, it is still worthwhile looking for a table because the tacos are exceptional.

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This location is a quick two-minute drive from campus but is on SW 13th Street beyond Shands Hospital, making it difficult to reach on foot. Locals advise ordering a burrito, soft tacos, or enchiladas.

Bring your vegetarian friends since La Tienda also offers a vegetarian meal! To share, order some chips, salsa, and queso. You won't be sorry. The hours of La Tienda are 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

14. Cilantro Taco’s

One of the top restaurants in Gainesville is Cilantro Taco. What was once a very well-liked food truck now has a standalone restaurant off of Newberry Road in Tioga Town Center!

Due to the fact that everything is created to order, this family-run restaurant is a favorite among those who want tacos, burritos, nachos, or salads. Every day of the week has a special, but Taco Tuesday is by far the most well-liked! $9.50 gets you two tacos, chips, and a beverage!

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In addition to the usual favorites of barbacoa, chicken, and ground beef, they also serve wild-caught fish, shrimp, and even beef tongue!

15. Harry's Seafood Bar and Grille

Gainesville is two hours inland from the ocean, but that doesn't mean you can't get excellent seafood there. With mouthwatering seafood and steaks ideal for a festive evening with family or friends, Harry's Seafood Bar and Grille is a restaurant with a New Orleans vibe.

This restaurant is one of the more upmarket ones in town, making it perfect for celebrating a birthday, graduating, or hosting visiting family. Harry's, a restaurant in Downtown, is known for its delicious and authentic specialty crab cakes.

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The French-baked scallops are excellent, and the New Orleans ribeye is juicy and tender. For those who enjoy a little kick, we suggest the Bayou Bloody Mary from the bar menu.

Use Harry's happy hour from 2 to 7 p.m. if you don't mind eating dinner a little earlier than the norm or are a big fan. There are other savings available, including $3 draft beer, $4 glasses of wine, and $4 premium cocktails. 

16.Volcanic Sushi and Sake

If you're seeking sushi, Volcanic Sushi and Sake is among the greatest eateries in Gainesville. They have two locations: one in Hunters Crossing and one in Haile Plantation. Visit this sushi restaurant after touring Devil's Millhopper!

Delicious sushi rolls are available at Volcanic, along with a complete lunch and supper menu. Try the chicken lettuce wraps or the Melissa Bites fried sushi rice balls with tuna tartare for an appetizer!

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You may eat inside or outside, and a playground is only 15 feet away deal if you're dining with kids! They provide wok-seared beef, curries, and ramen.