For a college town brimming with college sports enthusiasts, Gainesville, Florida is also a haven for its natural food culture. Here are our 10 unmissable restaurants.
Even among the hotspot venues in downtown Gainesville, Dragonfly has always been the place to be and be seen. With its New York-industrial-loft style, the acoustics may not be the greatest. However, the sushi is sublime – as are the saketinis, a house-made specialty of sake and Japanese plum wine. Referred to as a modern interpretation of a traditional Japanese pub, the cuisine is served tapas style and is meant to be shared. Including signature sashimi dishes like the wagyu carpaccio or the soft shell crab spider roll, the food is elegantly displayed to catch your eye. With this attention to detail, Dragonfly fare succeeds at being a feast for your senses.
Manuel’s Vintage Room is sophisticated and cozy, like walking into a beloved wine cellar. Within the brick and wine-laden walls, Manuel’s brings a touch of Manhattan’s Little Italy to laid-back Gainesville. The Italian menu, peppered with exotic and local flavors, reflects restaurateur Manuel Chavez’s travels and passion for a fine vintage. Together with his son, executive chef Marco Chavez, Manuel’s has put together a delicious menu. It lists specialties such as seared duck breast served with a blackberry porcini mushroom sauce or sautéed shrimp and shiitake mushrooms in a rose sauce. In a city with limited fine dining establishments, Manuel’s is a welcome respite – if you have a reservation.
Manuel’s Vintage Room, 6 S. Main St, Gainesville, FL 32601, +1 352 375 7372