Guide to Restaurants at the St. John’s Town Center

As the largest mall in the Jacksonville area, the St. John’s Town Center offers a huge selection of shops of all kinds as well as restaurants.  For today’s article we offer up our guide to the restaurant scene at the St. John’s Town Center.  Here’s a little bit about all your food options available at the St. John’s Town Center.

Ovinte - Outside Seating

Ovinte – Outside Seating

CASUAL EATS

Bahama Breeze Island Grille – Part of Darden Restaurants, the nation’s largest restaurant chain.  With Caribbean-inspired food and tropical drinks, Bahama Breeze offers up a taste of the islands.  Their drinks are especially tasty and the outside dining space is great place to sit and relax when the weather is nice.

The Loop Pizza Grill – One of the earliest gourmet pizza chains, The Loop offers pizza, burgers, salads and more.

Wasabi – Quite possibly the cleanest and nicest Japanese steakhouse in Jax, Wasabi offers exactly what you’d expect from a Japanese steakhouse.

California Pizza Kitchen – Offers California spin on global flavors.  They offer hearth baked pizza such as Original BBQ Chicken, Thai Chicken, and Jamaican Jerk Chicken.

Bold City Grill – A restaurant and bar located on the bottom level of the Sheraton, just around the corner from the St. John’s Town Center.  They specialize in New American cuisine, but with a new Peruvian chef at the helm, much of their menu now has a bit of a South American twist.

Bold City Grill - New Bar Bites Menu

Bold City Grill – New Bar Bites Menu

Cantina Laredo – Tasty Mexican fare served in an upscale atmosphere.  The menu includes grilled fish, chicken, and steaks with signature sauces like chipotle-wine with portobello mushrooms or sautéed artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers.  Cantina Laredo is known for their fresh guacamole prepared tableside and their award-winning signature margarita, Casa Rita.

Blackfinn Ameripub – Blackfinn attempts to give new life to the classic American pub.  Flatbreads, salads, steaks, and pasta are just some of the offerings from their fairly large menu.

Maggiano’s Little Italy – Somehow Maggiano’s finds a way to be a chain, yet feel like a local Italian spot.  Their Italian fare is above average as far as chain restaurants go.  Add to that a cozy, intimate atmosphere and valet parking and you’ve got a great dinner spot right in the middle of the Town Center.

M Shack – The brainchild of local chefs Matthew and David Medure, M Shack is a gourmet burger place that combines the old-fashioned burger joint with a new school culinary flair.  They offer a wide variety of gourmet burgers and milk shakes.  Can’t decide between throwing back a cold one or having a decadent milk shake after a long day of shopping?  Now you don’t have to – M Shack also serves adult milk shakes for your enjoyment.

Sunrise Burger @ M Shack Burgers

Sunrise Burger @ M Shack Burgers

PF Chang’s – Affordable, upscale Chinese food.  PF Chang’s adds modern twists to classic Asian dishes.  The food here is typically served family style, and I’m always amazed at the quality they can provide for the price.  If you like Asian food, you’ll love PF Chang’s.

Ted’s Montana Grill – Two words – Bison Burger.  Ted’s is an upscale burger spot known for their bison burgers, among other meat-centric options.  These guys were a step ahead of the current gourmet burger trend.

The Cheesecake Factory – Cheesecakes (obviously) plus a giant menu with something for everyone.  Aside from the fact that there’s usually a ridiculous wait, The Cheesecake Factory is a good choice for groups since their menu is roughly the size of three restaurant menus put together.  Somehow they still pull off delicious food that we would recommend.

Sushi House – A simple little sushi spot where you can stop in and grab a bite in a nice quiet environment.  Make sure to visit on Monday for $3 sushi rolls.  It’s a crazy good deal!

Cooper’s Hawk Winery – Cooper’s Hawk is a restaurant centered around a wine club.  The wine is good and if you’re a huge wine fan you’ll love their tasting where you try 8 different 1oz pours of wine for $12.  Additionally your server can bring you just about any wine in the place to try on the house.  The drawback at Cooper’s Hawk is that you get the hard sell the whole time.  They will all but beg you to join their wine club over and over and over.  It makes us not want to come back.

Coopers Hawk Winery

Coopers Hawk Winery

Bono’s BBQ – A Jacksonville institution, Bono’s has been serving real pit barbecue since 1949.  Bono’s fancies itself to be real southern barbecue.  Service is warm, inviting, and very kid-friendly.

Applebee’s – We all know Applebee’s.  This chain has reinvented itself over the last few years with each restaurant taking on a sports theme familiar to the area.  Since The St. John’s Town Center is right across the street from The University of North Florida, this Applebee’s makes UNF athletics a big part of the theme.

Mimi’s Café – A quaint and inviting restaurant serving French-inspired dishes and wonderful baked goods.  They offer lots of options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Their quiche is a customer favorite, as are their yummy muffins.

BJ’s Brewhouse – With locations all over the country, BJ’s boasts a huge menu with options from deep dish pizza, to fresh and healthy items that actually taste good to creative pasta dishes at reasonable prices.  Don’t miss their signature dessert the Pizookie, an ooey gooey deep dish cookie covered in ice cream.

Bazille – An upscale modern dining experience in an unexpected location…the second floor of the Nordstrom department store.  The bistro-style cuisine is not only tasty, but is also beautifully presented.  If you’re looking for a great lunch spot or a place for an early date night (they close at 9pm when the store closes), this is the place for you.

DATE NIGHT SPOTS

The Capital Grille – Many people consider The Capital Grille to be the gold standard for a great steak in Jax.  Want a great high-end steak?  This is the spot.  But be prepared – it won’t be cheap.

Moxie – Moxie Kitchen and Cocktails is a frontrunner in the Jax fine dining scene.  Much like the décor, the food is modern, yet comfortable and accessible.  They serve food that you’re probably pretty familiar with (deviled eggs, for example) and put a unique twist on it.  Moxie manages to make upscale dining fun and interesting and it’s right at the top of our list when it comes to dining in Jax.

Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails - Deviled Eggs

Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails – Deviled Eggs

Seasons 52 – Upscale, healthy dining in a warm and cozy atmosphere.  Headed out for a nice dinner and don’t want to be overstuffed afterward?  This is the place. The food is delightfully fresh and delicious.  All items on the menu are said to be under 475 calories, which is great if you’re looking for tasty food that’s a bit healthier.

Mitchell’s Fish Market – Mitchell’s Fish Market is a large national chain focused on serving fresh seafood.  Every day they offer a variety of fish to choose from and most people would consider them one of the better seafood spots in Jax.  Their massive desserts (the “Sharkfin” Pie in particular) have also caught the attention of many diners in town.

J Alexander’s – Delicious upscale American fare.  They serve up steaks and seafood that are tasty, but not necessarily good for your waistline.  A little pricier than some other Town Center eateries, so may be best reserved for date night.

Ovinté – We love Ovinté.  The service is great, the loungy relaxed vibe is great, and the food is great.  Their sharable tapas and desserts in particular are fantastic.  Fancy s’mores?  Yes please!

Ovinte - Limoncello Bread Pudding

Ovinte – Limoncello Bread Pudding

Brio Tuscan Grille – Brio offers up a menu inspired by the flavors of Tuscany.  The menu includes options like bruschetta, pastas, risotto, and lamb chops.  The ambiance is open, bright, and inviting, and we have always had great service here.  It’s a good choice for a reasonably priced night out.

QUICK EATS

Five Guys – A national chain known for their burgers and handcut fries.  Burgers are made to order and can be customized to your liking.  Their fries are especially good and the best part is that they give you a TON of them.

Bento – Fast casual sushi that we think you’ll enjoy.  It’s not the best sushi in town, but they deliver a consistently tasty product nearly every time.  They also get the food to you quickly, which is a big plus.

Bento - Kentucky Roll

Bento – Kentucky Roll

Seasons of Japan – A chain with locations across the country, Seasons of Japan serves sushi and Hibachi style cuisine that is cooked to order.  Don’t expect grill tables like a Japanese Steakhouse though – Seasons of Japan is closer to fast casual than sit down.

Panera – Breakfast, pastries, and healthy lunches.  We bet you’ve been to Panera a time or two and probably know what to expect.

Panda Express – Fast food Chinese that’s actually fast and decently good.  They also now serve up tasty Asian-inspired drinks, including fruit teas, coffees, and boba milk tea!

Toss Green – Toss Green might as well be called the Subway of salads.  Locally owned and quickly becoming a local favorite, at Toss Green you walk down a huge line of fresh salad ingredients you pick from while your personal salad builder puts the pieces together for you.  If you’re looking for a healthy St. John’s Town Center Restaurant this is the spot for you.

Toss Green Locally Owned

Toss Green Locally Owned

Chipotle – This one is pretty self-explanatory.  Fast casual, fairly healthy, fresh Mexican fare.  Their guacamole is especially tasty.

French Fry Heaven – One of a handful of locally owned gourmet French fry shops.  This location is actually a food cart rather than a storefront.  These guys offer a variety of French Fry creations that you’re sure to enjoy, ranging from Cajun to poutine to cheeseburger and even sweet varieties like the “St Mick” with cinnamon and brown sugar.  If you’re looking for a quick snack or just something a little different to munch on we think you’ll really enjoy French Fry Heaven.

Pei Wei – Owned by the same company that owns PF Changs, Pei Wei is essentially the fast casual version of PF Changs.  Fairly tasty Americanized Chinese food is what you can expect.

Firehouse Subs – Jacksonville’s own national sub chain.  Two Jacksonville brothers launched Firehouse locally and never looked back.  Firehouse has grown into one of America’s favorite sub shops, and it’s one of our favorites too.

Firehouse Subs - Sicilian

Firehouse Subs – Sicilian

Chick-fil-A – Home of the original chicken sandwich.  You’ve heard of Chick-fil-A, right?  If you haven’t you are missing out.

Zoe’s Kitchen – Fast casual, fresh Greek cuisine.  Their salads, pita sandwiches, and kabobs are especially good.  And they offer several different types of hummus for all you hummus lovers out there.

Burger Fi – Burger Fi aspires to offer a gourmet burger.  Their burgers and hot dogs are both hormone and antibiotic free.  They serve custard instead of ice cream and offer real cane sugar soft drinks.

Pollo Tropical – Fast casual spot serving up Caribbean and Latin food.  They are best known for their citrus-marinated grilled chicken, but also offer sandwiches, salads, and sides all with a Latin flair.

McDonald’s – McDonald’s is, well an option. We wouldn’t recommend it, but it’s there.

SWEETS

Peterbrooke – One of a chain of locally owned chocolatiers.  Wonderful chocolates and ice cream are on offer when you need to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Mochi – Quite possibly the most successful locally owned frozen yogurt chain, Mochi offers lots of options for self serve yogurt toppings and mochi.  Mochi is our favorite of the frozen yogurt options as well.

Sweet FROG – Another frozen yogurt chain.  Unfortunately this is one of our least favorite frozen yogurt chains based on taste.

Sweet by Holly – Two-time winner of Cupcake Wars Hollis Wilder bakes some of the best cupcakes you will ever eat.  These are quite possibly our favorite cupcakes in Jax.  Make sure to stop in on Mini Monday for $1 mini cupcakes.

Sweet by Holly

Sweet by Holly

Kilwinn’s – A candy shop offering chocolates, ice cream, candy apples, and more.  Kilwinn’s is a pretty typical chocolate shop.  Who doesn’t like chocolate?

DRINKS

Starbuck’s – If we need to tell you about Starbucks you’ve been living under a rock for the past 10 years.

Ebar – Located off of the courtyard just outside the entrance to Nordstrom, this trendy little coffee shop is a great place to get your caffeine fix while strolling the Town Center.  They offer plenty of coffee and tea options, light snacks, and free Wi-Fi.  It’s sort of like Nordstrom’s version of Starbucks.

Smoothie King – Smoothies and light lunch options.  Smoothie King has tons of smoothie blends and flavor, all customized to your liking.

Teavana – A place for anything and everything related to tea.  It’s kinda like Starbucks, but for tea.

Watt’s Juicery – A remote kiosk location of the recently opened Watt’s Juicery in Jax Beach.  This kiosk is between Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters at the St. John’s Town Center.  They sell all sorts of tasty cold-pressed juices, waters, and cold brewed coffees.

 

 

 

3 Comments
  1. This reads like a brochure printed by Simon Malls instead of something from a restaurant “review” website. It conveys the impression that the author has yet to actually eat in more than a handful of the places included in the list…

  2. Pingback: Sweets For Your Sweetie - A Guide to Finding the Perfect Gift For Your Foodie Valentine - Jacksonville Restaurant Reviews

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