Gainesville Area Restaurants
Here are some great restaurants and places to eat around Gainesville and Alachua County. My tastes vary, but there is something for everyone here. I hope you enjoy!
Dragonfly Sushi and Sake Company—The best sushi place I know. Extensive menu of innovative cooked and raw sushi, traditional Japanese dishes with a flair, and a great selection of wine, beer and a full bar. You'll love the setting with lots of energy and open kitchen. I love the kitschy Japanese movies in black & white. Don't miss my favorite desserts- the red bean ice cream or the tempura cheesecake. Special events and limited seating ,VIP room available by reservation. Outdoor and sushi bar seating as well. 352-372-3359, 201 SE 2nd Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32601.
Crane Ramen—Newly opened, Crane Ramen brings a big-city experience and taste profile to downtown Gainesville. With a full bar, fresh local ingredients, and everything from the stock up made in-house, the food is as good as the atmosphere. At 16 SW 1st Avenue. (352) 727-7422.
Chopstix—They are locally owned, with two locations in Gainesville- South 13th Street (one of the few views of Biven's Lake) and Thornebrook Shopping Center (great for outdoor dining). They have a great assortment of Asian and Pan-Asian food including Pho, Panang Curry, Vietmanese (try Ap Chao), full bar and sushi. Enjoy!
Yummy House China Bistro—Originally from Tampa, Yummy House is a truly authentic Chinese restaurant, with heaping portions, fantastic food and service. This is not your typical “Chinese” place—Yummy House is the real deal. Give the spring rolls a try. Located just past I-75 at 7605 W Newberry Road. (352) 333-7688.
Paramount Grill—Located in the heart of downtown Gainesville, Paramount is the run by owner Clif Nelson and staffed by the best group in town. Excellent service and the best recommendations make dining here a delight. I love the elegant yet relaxed setting. I love the flat bread appetizer, berry salad, angus filet and a nice bottle of the Cakebread Chardonnay. Also, on Sundays they offer a superb brunch. 12 SW 1st Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32601. They can be reached at 352-378-3398. Reservations accepted.
(Photo: the intimate setting at Paramount Grill)
Marks Prime Steakhouse—A beautiful setting for some really great food. Start with a great selection of appetizers like blue crab claws or a seared Ahi tuna. Don't skip the salads as the "Original Blue" is not to be missed. Their US Prime steaks are served sizzling and range from the petit filet to my favorite the 16 ounce Ribeye. There are many options besides beef including my mom's favorite, Wood Grilled Salmon. All sides are served family style. Try their new piano bar or their many private dining options available for meetings or special events. Full bar and large wine list. Mark's can be reached at 352-336-0077. 201 SE 2nd Avenue, Suite 102, Gainesville, FL 32601.
Ember’s Wood Grill- Another Gainesville favorite, Ember’s has some of the best steaks in town and a renowned wine list. Located on 34th Street just south of Archer Road, they’re easy to find and are also available for private events. 3545 S.W. 34th St., Suite A. (352) 380-0901.
Rocky used to have a place in Gainesville. Now his famous ribs are known throughout Alachua County and can be found atNewberry's Backyard BarBQ. Just a short 15 minute drive from West Gainesville, his spare ribs are worth the trip. Start with his footlong onion rings and then try his special smoked turkey or better yet bring some friends and splurge for "The Newberry Feast for Four" and try it all! They're located at 25405 West Newberry Rd. • Newberry, FL 32669. Open for lunch, but closed Sundays.
When I get the chance and happen to be in Williston, I head for the Ivey House. Williston is a growing area and I worked with a gentleman who bought a house not far from the restaurant. I love their raspberry tea. Great fried shrimp and real home cooking. You can also enjoy their gift shop. The setting is very relaxed. You feel like your visiting some friends as you dine in a rambling Southern house. They're located at 106 North Main Street, Williston FL 32696. You can't miss it, but just in case~ 352-528-5410.
Adam's Rib Co.—With two convenient locations, enjoy some of the best barbecue in town, also offering breakfast. I love the feel and central location of the original on NW 13th Street. Great smoked flavor, with awesome pulled pork and spare ribs. A real hit for catering or crowd-pleasing take out. 2111 NW 13th Street, (352) 373-8882; 1515 SW 13th Street, (352) 727-4005.
Satchel's Pizza—A favorite of locals and visitors alike, Satchel's has great pizzas, salads, and calzones along with freshly baked desserts. There is a gift shop full of whimsical finds, the work of local artists displayed on the walls and a space in the back that hosts musical events and private parties. Don't miss the experience of sitting in the bus! Satchel's is cash only. 352-335-7272. 1800 NE 23rd Avenue, Gainesville FL 32609.
Leonardo's Pizza of Millhopper—It is actually located at the corner of NW 16th Blvd and NW 43rd Street. Chicago style pizza with really thick crust, amazing sauce and generous toppings all under lots of cheese. I love the the Big Leo. They have a real down to earth approach: this is great pizza and you came here to eat well. They're located at 4131 NW 16th Blvd, Gainesville, FL 32605. Order to go at 352-376-2001.
Piesanos Stone Fired Pizza—Located in the Hunters Crossing Shopping Center at 5200 NW 43rd Street #302 in Gainesville and Tower Square Shopping Center at Tower Road and Archer Road. Not just for pizza, Piesanos is my new favorite feel-good Italian restaurant. I love the setting and attentive service. The full bar is a great complement to the area. I've enjoyed the huge salads, pizza and lasagna. Great place for lunch or dinner. There is also a dedicated "to go" area with separate entrance for those busy nights.
Manuel’s Vintage Room—Manuel’s is rated #1 in Gainesville by tripadvisor and offers formal Italian dining, with a knowledgeable staff and gentlemanly owner. From the pear purse appetizer to the tiramisu, everything at Manuel’s is delicious, and whatever you order, they have a wine to fit your palate and price point. Wonderful place for a special occasion or a night on the town. Seating is limited, I’d recommend making a reservation. (352) 375-7372, located at 6 S Main St, Gainesville, FL 32601, just south of University Avenue.
Amelia’s Fine Italian Cuisine—Amelia’s, owned by UF alum Andy Fass, offers classic Italian in a relaxed atmosphere. Located immediately behind the Hippodrome State Theatre, Amelia’s is perfect for a graduation, anniversary or birthday celebration. They also have a private dining room which can accommodate larger parties. (352) 373-1919, located at 235 South Main Street #107 Gainesville, FL 32601.