Jacksonville’s culinary landscape is a bit of a mess—in a good way. This diverse city is home to hundreds of unique restaurants, meals, and chefs. The ever-changing population brings food trends right to the city center, then allows them to permeate the existing culinary scene. Though Jacksonville’s food culture is consistently in flux, a few dishes have survived the shifting landscape. Below, we have four of the city’s signature dishes you have to try when you visit or move to our wonderful city.
Shrimp and Grits—This is a traditional dish in the Lowcountry of coastal South Carolina, Georgia, and Northern Florida. Traditionally served as a breakfast dish, this savory meal is perfect for any time of day. The dish is prepared with grits boiled in milk or water, mixed with a variety of hot spices, and topped with grilled, boiled, or pan-friend shrimp. In other parts of the south, the grits may be accompanied by friend catfish or salmon. Here in Jacksonville, however, you’ll always see shrimp as the preferred option.
Biscuits and Gravy—Like Shrimp and Grits, this dish is traditionally served for breakfast but makes a fantastic meal at any time of day. It consists of soft dough biscuits covered in gravy made from sausage drippings, flour, milk, and bits of bacon. Sausage gravy is traditionally served as part of the dish, and diners may opt for sides like fried eggs, sliced tomatoes, or bacon.
Fish Tacos—Jacksonville is situated on the Atlantic coast, which means this city is known for its seafood. The most beloved seafood dish? Fish tacos. This dish is composed of grilled or fried fish (or shrimp), lettuce, pico de gallo, and sour cream or citrus sauce. Served in a corn tortilla, this is a popular food for many southern coastal U.S. cities.
Key Lime Pie–Though Key Lime Pie originated in Key West, Florida, the whole state is enamored of the dessert. The pie is made of key lime juice, egg yolks, and sweetened condensed milk served in a pie crust. Eat it with a fork on a plate or on a stick covered in chocolate.