I’ve always loved Jacksonville. From the parks to the buildings, it just seems like something is always being built. Restaurants are probably the largest construction work at the moment, so I thought it would be nice to take a moment and write some shout outs for my favorite restaurants in Jacksonville. There are four things I always look for in restaurants (old habits die hard I guess), so that should help me guide the reviews. Here goes.
Chomp Chomp is at the top of my list because it’s not only my favorite Jacksonville restaurant, but my favorite restaurant in general. I love the food, the atmosphere, and the service. Ever since this restaurant popped up in Jacksonville, I have been a regular since it came out, and I absolutely look forward to going back each time. The four aforementioned things that I will focus on are the food, service, atmosphere, and management. Management can be tough to gauge because it’s not always prevalent in every restaurant, but I will do my best. Now, for the review. Chomp Chomp is located on the bank of the St Johns River in Jacksonville.
Not literally, because it would fall into the water. It’s a great locale, because the water always looks beautiful even if it’s not really the actual ocean. In case you didn’t know, Chomp Chomp’s specialty is sandwiches. There aren’t enough sandwich places in Jacksonville. My favorite sandwich to order is the Westsider chicken sandwich, which is supposed to be their signature item. I can understand why. Imagine every part of the sandwich, beautifully realized by a chef who puts legitimate thought and care into each meal that they make.
There’s the chicken: soft and tender, melts in your mouth. Unless you’re a vegan who can’t eat chicken, you’ll love this meat. Then there’s the fresh tasting vegetables, the lettuce, the tomato, and the onions. I’m pretty sure they have a miniature farmers market in the kitchen where they buy all of the produce fresh each morning, otherwise I really can’t explain how everything tastes so fresh. Even the sandwich itself just tastes really unique and original. After that, I have to mention the ambience. There’s plenty of windows to produce natural lighting, but the real selling point is how they manage the lights at night.
It’s a perfect spot for a romantic date, and the menu is filled to the brim with plenty of different “adult” drinks. Unless you wanted to bring your kids on the date with you as well, for some reason. I have actually told the owner on many occasions that I think the restaurant is beautiful on the inside, and it’s always obvious that it makes his day. My day is always made whenever I get to eat at Chomp Chomp, so it’s a win-win situation. Another note to add onto the ambience part is how the waiters treat you, which also goes hand in hand with the service.
All of the staff recognize me and know my name, which automatically makes the food taste way better. I don’t doubt that the chefs know my name too, even though I have never met any of them. Knowing that the staff cares about you makes you keep wanting to come back to a restaurant, and Chomp Chomp pulls this off very well. It’s a restaurant that essentially advertises itself.
The service is just as good as the food, if not better. Each staff member treats you with respect and makes sure to give you your space while you try to eat. I can’t stand servers that constantly pester me. I can’t talk with food in my mouth, what do you want? There’s nothing bad I can say about Chomp Chomp, and Jacksonville must have a very large yelp presence with all of the great online reviews that I have seen.
Next up, there’s Nola Moca. I only need one sentence to summarize how great the food is here. Korean brisket lettuce wraps. This time around, you’ll be eating in downtown Jacksonville. Somehow the chefs and management managed to include a wide assortment of food that I’m sure everyone can enjoy. Any great food you can think of is served at this restaurant, and it likely tastes better than anywhere else you could find it. That’s what I love about Jacksonville: all of the great restaurants seem to have ended up here somehow.
What sets this restaurant apart from the competition is the owner’s willingness to lower prices and serve more, which seems to be why they’re doing so much better than their competitors. I mean, your whole family could eat for less than $20! All of the dishes are really filling, so the kids could also just share a dish if you’re really a penny pincher. There’s nothing wrong with buying a few appetizers and supporting a local business, either. That’s typically how I justify ordering two desserts each time. Just don’t tell my wife. If you’re just dying to learn more, scan all of the positive online reviews and look for mine.
Last but not least, there’s Hightide Burrito. I don’t know what it is with me and Mexican food, but I’m always craving a great burrito from this restaurant. There’s a lot of different meats and toppings that you can put into your food, which I really like. Ordering the same meal each time tends to get kinda stale. This is why I have made it my mission to order each and every thing off of the menu from Hightude Burrito.
Only thing stopping me is my weight, and even that isn’t working. Make sure you’re in Southbank in Jacksonville, because this place can get PACKED. I’m not just talking about the rush hour food craze, I’m talking about all day every day. It’s a wonder to me that they haven’t franchised it out yet. Mexican food involves a lot of frying, which means that the kitchen is at risk of grease fires.
Fortunately for Hightide Burrito, they’ve been loyal customers for a very long time. They’ve never shied away from a Jacksonville hood cleaning to meet the health and safety standards. In addition, the management has even paid for some of our additional services, like a commercial kitchen cleaning. For those who want to learn more, make sure to check out our about page. The owner even told me afterwards that he definitely did not regret working with us. That alone is enough to justify all of their great reviews.