True Local Spots

When we visit a new city, if possible we always want to visit the true locals spots. These places typically have been around quite some time. Locals to the city would normally identify these as places they’d want to take their friends who are in from out of town. In Jacksonville the places we think most exemplify the title “true locals place” are(in no particular order):

Angie’s subs – If you asked a Jax beach native to name a place the community gathers before or after going to the beach you can guarantee Angie’s subs will be mentioned. Angie’s is a huge part of the fabric of the Jax beach community. Try the Peruvian!

French Pantry – The French Pantry is one of the younger restaurants on this list. It makes the list because quite frankly it is without question the best lunch spot in Jax. If you’ve been to The French Pantry I’m sure you’ll agree.

Beach road chicken dinners – Beach road chicken dinners has been serving up the best chicken in Jax on Atlantic Blvd since it was the only road to the beach, hence the name. It is the quintessential locals spot. Amazing fried chicken at a great price!

Metro Diner Shrimp and Grits

Metro Diner Shrimp and Grits

Singleton’s – Where else can you be greated by a swarm of friendly cats as you walk into a tasty seafood restaurant? When I was growing up this was the one place my Dad always made sure to take our out of town guests.  Try having dinner on the porch at Singleton’s and check out the shrimping boats docked just outside.

Three Layers Cafe – While Three Layers hasn’t been around as long as some of our other locals spots it has become the prime gathering spot in Springfield. Make sure to try the Jeff square if you decide to stop in. Affordable lunch and fantastic desserts make this spot a locals favorite.

European Street– European street has been a Jacksonville staple for quite some time. They even survived the passing of the restaurants founder without a dropoff in quality. Great unique sandwiches, wonderful huge cookies, and a myriad of European treats make this place a lunch time favorite.

Taco Lu – Taco Lu showed up in town and took the Jacksonville restaurant scene by storm. They were so busy in the first few years that you literally couldn’t find parking. Since moving to the old historic former location of “The Homestead” their parking situation is solved and the place is slammed nearly every day of the week. In a relatively short period of time Taco Lu has become the darling of Jacksonville Beach.

Eurpean Street Cookie Collection

Eurpean Street Cookie Collection

Metro diner – Metro Diner has been a Jacksonville breakfast and lunch favorite since 1938 at their San Marco location. In recent years they’ve opened 3 more locations. I doubt you’ll find one that isn’t packed at prime time on a Sunday morning. Their slogan is “Where the locals eat!”. It’s a fitting slogan.

Clark’s fish camp – Clark’s fish camp is one of the most unique local restaurants in Jax. They’ve got more taxidermy on the walls than a taxidermists shop. Walking into the restaurant surrounded by the heads of all sorts of exotic animals is an experience all to itself. Then dining on the likes of kangaroo and snake on their menu takes that experience to a whole ‘nother level.

Whitey’s fish camp – Whitey’s fish camp has been a clay county favorite since as long as I can remember. If you ask a long time Orange Park resident where to go to get fresh fish chances are he’ll say Whitey’s.

Three Layers Jeff Square with Ice Cream

Three Layers Jeff Square with Ice Cream

  1. I have tried Clark’s several times in the past few years and I really wanted to love it, especially as it has such cool native fauna decor- but the food is really not very good. I live very close, and I still take guests to Whitey’s instead. All your other reccs are right on!

  2. We tried Singleton’s at Mayport a while back after seeing it on Triple D. I have to say we were not impressed, food wasn’t good and didn’t really enjoy the atmosphere. If I’m going that way would much rather eat at Seafood Kitchen in Atlantic Beach, better food, better prices and better atmosphere.

  3. Good listing. However, I disagree with Singleton. This place is a run down jiont. The food is okay. Safe Harbor is a better choice for seafood; it’s simple and fresh and in a very nice atmosphere.

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