Steeped in history, Jacksonville, North Carolina, is a city that offers a wide range of activities for the entire family. From relaxing on one of the many beautiful beaches to experiencing cultural activities, to shopping for unique items, the possibilities are endless. Luckily, the dining scene is equally impressive with a host of international flavors, so read below for some of our top picks.
If you have a hankering for some delicious pizza, then look no further than Abruzzo’s Pizza. This family owned and operated pizza joint loves sharing their creations with family and friends. Procuring the freshest ingredients available, the kitchen crew puts together a variety of combinations, including the classic margherita topped with mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and tomato sauce, and the cheeseburger pizza with ground beef, onions and cheddar. If you’re feeling creative, you can also build your own. Abruzzo’s also offers subs, calzones, stromboli, pasta and sweet treats.
Brewed Downtown is a great place to visit if you’re looking for a jolt of energy in the morning or a pick-me-up in the afternoon. This coffee shop, however, offers much more than espresso-based drinks, coffee, tea, and smoothies; they also offer a menu brimming with tasty eats. If visiting at breakfast time, the veggie frittata and the southwest version with cheddar, bacon, roasted red peppers, black olives and jalapeños are two great options. The lunch side of the menu features salads complete with house-made dressings, and specialty sandwiches such as the spicy Italian panini.
Duck’s Grille & Bar is a locally owned and operated venue offering guests a good time and tasty eats. Featuring a vibrant atmosphere, this bar and grill hosts numerous events every month, including a DJ Dance Party, live music, and Dueling Pianos to name a few. They also run food and drinks specials such as ‘buy one bottle of wine and get one for a penny,’ $2 select drafts on Mondays, and $1 off drafts on Thursdays. The food menu offers a variety of sandwiches, burgers and pasta among other dishes for lunch, and entrées highlighting meat and seafood for dinner.
Elsa’s Place will tantalize the taste buds of anyone who walks through its doors. Specializing in Caribbean and fusion cuisine, Elsa’s dishes are exploding with bold flavors that will make you want to return again and again. Within a friendly, colorful atmosphere, guests can feast upon dishes such as jerk chicken, smothered pork chops, goat, and oxtail, to name a few. Complementary side dishes are also available, including collard greens, cucumber salad, potato salad, stir fry vegetables, and several others.
For a taste of Colombia in Jacksonville, be sure to visit Liliana’s Colombian Restaurant & Bakery. Offering an array of dishes made with recipes handed down from generation to generation, Liliana’s traditional fare is sure to make taste buds happy and leave stomachs full. Within a festive interior, guests can try highlights such as the charbroiled chicken or the hearty bandeja paisa, a Colombian country-style plate with grilled steak, red beans, white rice, pork cracklings, Colombian sausage, fried sweet plantains, a fried egg, and a white corn patty.
A flavorful layer on Jacksonville’s culinary scene is Marrakesh. Repetedly enticing customers with its Mediterranean delights, this restaurant offers guests a beautiful interior adorned with warm, soothing colors and a friendly staff, in addition to its incredible menu. Marrakesh’s recipes include the maqluba, which is a casserole with rice, chicken, carrots, potatoes, and cauliflower seasoned with special spices; grilled seasoned lamb chops; and grilled salmon kabobs. All these dishes can be enhanced by various side dishes, such as tahini salad, cucumber salad, and lentils and rice.
The Old Siam is a welcoming venue serving an array of Thai plates to hungry patrons every day of the week. A lovely interior adorned with Thai-inspired décor awaits guests who are visiting to have a taste of this restaurant’s healthy, fresh fare. To warm up on a chilly day, start your meal off with some tom yum gaisoup, which is a hot and sour soup with chicken, veggies, lemon grass, lemon leaf, galangal root, and lime juice, followed by the classic pad Thai, pad broccoli with choice of protein, or the house specialty: chicken in peanut sauce.
For top quality Japanese fare and other Asian delights, including creative sushi rolls, be sure to visit Saké Asian Fusion. With an experienced chef at the helm, you are sure to receive something exquisite and palatable. Decorated with dark woods and warm colors, the interior space is a comfortable environment in which to sample delicacies from the extensive menu. If it’s sushi you’re looking for, try the eponymous sake roll with shrimp, asparagus, and avocado, wrapped with soy bean nori and topped with salmon, tuna, more avocado, tobiko and a special sauce. For other Asian fare, savor some teriyaki, chicken with Thai mango sauce, or broccoli shrimp.
For some delicious French-inspired treats, TataJo is the place to visit. Because they wanted to offer guests a taste of their home country, Lydia and Patrick created this ‘French food corner.’ Utilizing only the best and freshest ingredients available, TataJo creates a range of baked goods and delicious French fare, which can be taken home; and they have a food truck. Some of the delicious dishes you’ll find on the menu include the lamb sausage baguette sandwich with tomato, garlic, spinach, egg and cheese; the croque madame, a ham and cheese sandwich topped with an egg; and the classic quiche Lorraine. They also offer sweet and savory crêpes.
Wasabi is a wonderful option if you happen to be looking for tasty Japanese fare. The team at Wasabi goes the extra mile to make sure that you are happy with your visit and your meal. Producing artfully plated dishes made with the best ingredients available, Wasabi is sure to delight the taste buds of anyone dining in their establishment. From appetizers like vegetable or pork gyoza to specialty hand rolls, to entrées like chicken katsu or tofu curry, the menu is varied, ensuring that every diner will find something to whet their appetite.