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12 Cozy Comfort Food Restaurants in Jacksonville

From soul satisfying fried chicken to over-the-top grilled cheese

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Comfort food comes in all shapes, sizes, and flavors. In Jacksonville that includes classic southern dishes like fried chicken with savory sides, super slurpable ramen bowls, and even Irish classics like shepherds pie. When life has given you more than you can handle, stop in at one of the restaurants listed below for a satisfying meal that will soothe your soul.

Editor’s Note: Most Florida restaurants have resumed indoor and outdoor dining services. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for onsite dining, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the Florida Health Department’s website. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Donut Shoppe

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From the outside the Donut Shoppe looks like a typical bakery making run of the mill doughnuts, but once inside it’s easy to realize that this is an old-school treasure. While all of the doughnuts look tempting, don’t leave without getting an “ugly,” which are the Donut Shoppe’s signature apple fritters. The location is open only as long as it has doughnuts, and on many weekends it sells out quickly — so get there early for the best selection.

Crane Ramen Jacksonville

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At Crane Ramen the bowls come out of the kitchen piping hot, loaded with noodles and toppings. Most of the vegetables used come from local farms within 100 miles of the restaurant and stocks are simmering away in the kitchen 24 hours a day. And while every ramen is worth an order, make sure to order a bowl with a side of house hot sauce to give your bowl an extra spicy kick of flavor.

Johnny Angel's Diner

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Step back in time at Johnny Angle’s Diner, where checkerboard floor tiles and neon signs greet guests as they walk in. The menu here is filled with comfort food favorites like grilled reuben sandwiches and piled high burgers, each of which has a throwback name like The Thunderbird, The Elvis Special, and the Laverne and Shirley. Breakfast is served all day, and a diner favorite is the Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which is Captain Crunch cereal crusted French toast topped with fruit, whipped cream, and a sprinkle of graham crackers.

Shut Em Down Authentic Southern Restaurant

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In 2014 Shut Em Down Authentic Southern Restaurant popped up on the dining scene in Jacksonville. Since then the restaurant has been a favorite of locals who spread the word about the juicy fried chicken, meatloaf, fried pork chops, and oxtails. Typical southern sides like potato salad, collard greens, and candied yams are also abundant on the menu. When it’s time for dessert don’t skip the banana pudding, which is one of the best in town.

Simply Sara's

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Southern comfort food is the star of the show at Simply Sara’s. Everything at the restaurants, right down to jams and dressings are made in house. While the dishes rotate frequently some favorites include the beef pot pie, chicken tortilla soup, and strawberry pie. Pro tip: each week the menu changes, but the restaurant’s website lists the weekly menu for the entire month so guests can plan their visit in advance. 

Liberty Bakery

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When comfort food means baked goods, warm quiche, and creamy chicken salad, Liberty Bakery is the spot to be. The small drive-thru location often has a line, but it’s certainly worth the wait. Fans of the bakery are known to plan their week around specials like homemade oatmeal creme pies that will immediately take diners back to their childhood.

The Happy Grilled Cheese

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Is there anything more comforting than a grilled cheese sandwich right out of the pan? At The Happy Grilled Cheese, the restaurant serves grilled cheese sandwiches by the dozen and loads them up with unique toppings like pulled pork, macaroni and cheese, and mozzarella sticks. Make sure to order a side of homemade tomato soup to dip the sandwich into to round out the meal.

Berndt Ends BBQ

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There’s something about barbecue that makes it comforting on a warm Florida day. At Berndt Ends BBQ, it serves barbecue favorites like ribs, brisket, and turkey throughout the day — although it’s not uncommon for it to close early or be out of one type of meat by the middle of the afternoon. No matter which meat is chosen, be sure to add on a side of “crack mac,” which is its addictive macaroni and cheese.

Barbara Jean's On The Water

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Coastal comfort food is on the menu at Barbara Jean’s On The Water, which is nestled along the Intercoastal Waterway. The down home restaurant serves southern favorites like fried catfish and shrimp and grits. For those who aren’t seafood fans, pot roast and turkey and dressing are both notable options. And if given the option, choose to sit outside and dine while waving as boats pass by.

Mackey's Munchies

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When it comes to New Orleans-style comfort food like red beans and rice, jambalaya, and po

boys, Mackey’s Munchies is the spot to be. The restaurant is owned and operated by a husband and wife team, who are just as warm and welcoming as the food the kitchen is dishing out. Do not leave Mackey’s Munchies without trying its Gumbo Jumbo, which combines the restaurant’s back of the house gumbo with jambalaya rice, seafood, sausage, and okra for a unique take on a classic dish.

Just A Pinch Cafe & Catering

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At Just A Pinch Cafe and Catering the breakfast menu is filled with southern favorites with a Hawaiian twist. The restaurant’s take on chicken and waffles gets an island spin with Katsu fried chicken served with King’s Hawaiian Roll French toast. For something more authentically Hawaiian try the Loco Coco, which is steamed white rice, choice of meat, gravy, two eggs, Spam, and macaroni salad.

Fionn MacCool's Irish Pub & Restaurant

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At Fionn MacCool’s Irish Pub and Restaurant it serves up classics like fish and chips, bangers and mash, and corned beef and cabbage. But for the ultimate in warm comfort food get its take on shepherd’s pie, which combines lamb and vegetables in a silky smooth gravy, topped with mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese. Everything is then wrapped in a sheet of puff pastry, baked, and served piping hot. This dish is definitely big enough to share, or bring part of it home for a second comfort food filled dinner.

Donut Shoppe

From the outside the Donut Shoppe looks like a typical bakery making run of the mill doughnuts, but once inside it’s easy to realize that this is an old-school treasure. While all of the doughnuts look tempting, don’t leave without getting an “ugly,” which are the Donut Shoppe’s signature apple fritters. The location is open only as long as it has doughnuts, and on many weekends it sells out quickly — so get there early for the best selection.

Crane Ramen Jacksonville

At Crane Ramen the bowls come out of the kitchen piping hot, loaded with noodles and toppings. Most of the vegetables used come from local farms within 100 miles of the restaurant and stocks are simmering away in the kitchen 24 hours a day. And while every ramen is worth an order, make sure to order a bowl with a side of house hot sauce to give your bowl an extra spicy kick of flavor.

Johnny Angel's Diner

Step back in time at Johnny Angle’s Diner, where checkerboard floor tiles and neon signs greet guests as they walk in. The menu here is filled with comfort food favorites like grilled reuben sandwiches and piled high burgers, each of which has a throwback name like The Thunderbird, The Elvis Special, and the Laverne and Shirley. Breakfast is served all day, and a diner favorite is the Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which is Captain Crunch cereal crusted French toast topped with fruit, whipped cream, and a sprinkle of graham crackers.

Shut Em Down Authentic Southern Restaurant

In 2014 Shut Em Down Authentic Southern Restaurant popped up on the dining scene in Jacksonville. Since then the restaurant has been a favorite of locals who spread the word about the juicy fried chicken, meatloaf, fried pork chops, and oxtails. Typical southern sides like potato salad, collard greens, and candied yams are also abundant on the menu. When it’s time for dessert don’t skip the banana pudding, which is one of the best in town.

Simply Sara's

Southern comfort food is the star of the show at Simply Sara’s. Everything at the restaurants, right down to jams and dressings are made in house. While the dishes rotate frequently some favorites include the beef pot pie, chicken tortilla soup, and strawberry pie. Pro tip: each week the menu changes, but the restaurant’s website lists the weekly menu for the entire month so guests can plan their visit in advance. 

Liberty Bakery

When comfort food means baked goods, warm quiche, and creamy chicken salad, Liberty Bakery is the spot to be. The small drive-thru location often has a line, but it’s certainly worth the wait. Fans of the bakery are known to plan their week around specials like homemade oatmeal creme pies that will immediately take diners back to their childhood.

The Happy Grilled Cheese

Is there anything more comforting than a grilled cheese sandwich right out of the pan? At The Happy Grilled Cheese, the restaurant serves grilled cheese sandwiches by the dozen and loads them up with unique toppings like pulled pork, macaroni and cheese, and mozzarella sticks. Make sure to order a side of homemade tomato soup to dip the sandwich into to round out the meal.

Berndt Ends BBQ

There’s something about barbecue that makes it comforting on a warm Florida day. At Berndt Ends BBQ, it serves barbecue favorites like ribs, brisket, and turkey throughout the day — although it’s not uncommon for it to close early or be out of one type of meat by the middle of the afternoon. No matter which meat is chosen, be sure to add on a side of “crack mac,” which is its addictive macaroni and cheese.

Barbara Jean's On The Water

Coastal comfort food is on the menu at Barbara Jean’s On The Water, which is nestled along the Intercoastal Waterway. The down home restaurant serves southern favorites like fried catfish and shrimp and grits. For those who aren’t seafood fans, pot roast and turkey and dressing are both notable options. And if given the option, choose to sit outside and dine while waving as boats pass by.

Mackey's Munchies

When it comes to New Orleans-style comfort food like red beans and rice, jambalaya, and po

boys, Mackey’s Munchies is the spot to be. The restaurant is owned and operated by a husband and wife team, who are just as warm and welcoming as the food the kitchen is dishing out. Do not leave Mackey’s Munchies without trying its Gumbo Jumbo, which combines the restaurant’s back of the house gumbo with jambalaya rice, seafood, sausage, and okra for a unique take on a classic dish.

Just A Pinch Cafe & Catering

At Just A Pinch Cafe and Catering the breakfast menu is filled with southern favorites with a Hawaiian twist. The restaurant’s take on chicken and waffles gets an island spin with Katsu fried chicken served with King’s Hawaiian Roll French toast. For something more authentically Hawaiian try the Loco Coco, which is steamed white rice, choice of meat, gravy, two eggs, Spam, and macaroni salad.

Fionn MacCool's Irish Pub & Restaurant

At Fionn MacCool’s Irish Pub and Restaurant it serves up classics like fish and chips, bangers and mash, and corned beef and cabbage. But for the ultimate in warm comfort food get its take on shepherd’s pie, which combines lamb and vegetables in a silky smooth gravy, topped with mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese. Everything is then wrapped in a sheet of puff pastry, baked, and served piping hot. This dish is definitely big enough to share, or bring part of it home for a second comfort food filled dinner.

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