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Roasted lamb with dates on a dark plate
Roast lamb, red lentil “harira”, ras al hanout, panisse, and Medjool dates from Rue Saint Marc
Rue Saint Marc/Official Press Photo

11 Ideal Date-Night Restaurants in Jacksonville

Get ready to enjoy a meal filled with romance

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Roast lamb, red lentil “harira”, ras al hanout, panisse, and Medjool dates from Rue Saint Marc
| Rue Saint Marc/Official Press Photo

When it comes to dining Jacksonville has no shortage of restaurants with creative menus, impeccable service, and great views of the many waterways or city skyline. For those looking to get dressed up and take their significant other out for a date night that won’t be forgotten anytime soon consider one of these 11 restaurants in the River City.

Editor’s Note: The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Salt, a high-end seafood restaurant inside Amelia Island’s Ritz Carlton, boasts panoramic views. Diners might be tempted by the chef’s cooking of small pieces of steak on a salt block at the table, or with one of the nightly seafood selections like the local snapper with charred octopus, bamboo rice, bok choy, and mushrooms with a coconut broth. Share the two meals with your date to get a self-created surf and turf dinner.

Congaree and Penn

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Congaree and Penn has been a Jacksonville staple for years and is often thought of as a must-do when friends or family are in town. For a fun date-night activity book a sunset wagon ride that can be taken before dinner. Once seated at the table take in the views of the on-site vineyards and the quiet, adults-only atmosphere. Order a glass of wine or cider made from the fruits grown right at the farm, then try the shrimp and grits made with locally caught shrimp, Tasso ham, sweet and savory tomato gravy, and spicy pepper jelly.

Cowford Chophouse

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This restaurant is a classic American steakhouse with a distinct Florida twist with menu items like duck fat cornbread and crispy fried oysters. All of the steaks at Cowford Chophouse are served a la carte with sides like a one-pound baked potato, creamed corn, and macaroni and cheese that can be added at the diner’s choosing. End the meal with a stunning dessert like cinnamon roll brulee, which starts with a house-made cinnamon roll and combines it with vanilla bean creme brulee and tops the whole thing with powdered sugar icing.

River & Post

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Looking for a date-night spot with great views? Then River & Post is the place to be. The rooftop lounge overlooks the downtown skyline and the St. Johns River. The seafood-forward menu is filled with options like ceviche served with sweet passion fruit and crispy plantain chips, broiled oysters with spicy chorizo, and perfectly seared scallops with sweet corn risotto.

Matthew's Restaurant

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One of the most acclaimed restaurants in Jacksonville is Matthew’s Restaurant in the San Marco neighborhood. The restaurant combines French and Mediterranean cuisine into dishes that use sustainable seafood along with farm-to-table produce. The menu is filled with options like Hawaiian tuna tartare served with a lemongrass broth and refreshing ginger-compressed cucumber. For a classic entree consider the beef tenderloin, which comes with a fragrant truffled bread pudding and brown butter baby carrots.

Rue Saint Marc

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Rue Saint Marc combines French techniques and flavors with an approachable atmosphere that makes for a great date night. While the standard menu at the restaurant is always loaded with options, the Rue Experience tasting menu is a fan favorite. The five-course menu changes often, but previous menus have included dishes like mushroom arancini, seared scallop with onion fritter, and roasted duck with farro. The tasting menu option is also a bargain at $65 per person.

Restaurant Orsay

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Locals know that Restaurant Orsay is the spot to go to impress someone. The menu is quite large with dishes running the gamut from a traditional cassoulet to a lobster pot pie topped with biscuits. But the star of the menu is the beef wellington, which is shown off at the table before cutting into portions in the kitchen. Just make sure to give the restaurant a call 24 hours in advance, so the chefs have time to prep and cook the dish.

Biscottis

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The Avondale neighborhood of Jacksonville has many charming restaurants and cafes, and one of the standouts is Biscottis. The cozy restaurant is known for its ancho chili-rubbed pork chop, which is served with a sweet and savory caramelized apple butter sauce, baked macaroni and cheese, and sauteed green beans. Be sure to stick around for dessert, or just walk up to the cake counter and ask for a slice to-go and enjoy it at home.

Norikase

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Norikase is one of Jacksonville’s best kept secrets. The nine-seat sushi bar serves hand rolls, cocktails, and sake. The restaurant is the only one in town doing an omakase dining experience featuring a 17-course tasting menu with a chef that acts as a guide through the experience. All of the seafood for the omakase meal is sourced from the famed Toyosu Market in Tokyo, ensuring the meal is steeped in tradition and high-quality ingredients.

Restaurant Medure

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Since 2001, Restaurant Medure has been serving the people of Jacksonville the pristine produce from local farmers and making all of its pastas by hand. One of the best variations of pastas is radiatori, which is a spiral pasta that’s meant to resemble a car radiator and is served with bolognese, whipped ricotta, and parmesan cheese.

Llama Restaurant

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Located in the heart of St. Augustin is Llama Restaurant, a Peruvian restaurant filled with modern touches. Each dish on the menu is made with the traditional ingredients found in Peru such as Peruvian giant corn and black carob tree sap. The plates are artfully set with sauces, herbs, vegetables, and protein. Don’t miss the potato cake trio, which is topped with avocado, then individually with chicken, shrimp, and octopus.

Salt

Salt, a high-end seafood restaurant inside Amelia Island’s Ritz Carlton, boasts panoramic views. Diners might be tempted by the chef’s cooking of small pieces of steak on a salt block at the table, or with one of the nightly seafood selections like the local snapper with charred octopus, bamboo rice, bok choy, and mushrooms with a coconut broth. Share the two meals with your date to get a self-created surf and turf dinner.

Congaree and Penn

Congaree and Penn has been a Jacksonville staple for years and is often thought of as a must-do when friends or family are in town. For a fun date-night activity book a sunset wagon ride that can be taken before dinner. Once seated at the table take in the views of the on-site vineyards and the quiet, adults-only atmosphere. Order a glass of wine or cider made from the fruits grown right at the farm, then try the shrimp and grits made with locally caught shrimp, Tasso ham, sweet and savory tomato gravy, and spicy pepper jelly.

Cowford Chophouse

This restaurant is a classic American steakhouse with a distinct Florida twist with menu items like duck fat cornbread and crispy fried oysters. All of the steaks at Cowford Chophouse are served a la carte with sides like a one-pound baked potato, creamed corn, and macaroni and cheese that can be added at the diner’s choosing. End the meal with a stunning dessert like cinnamon roll brulee, which starts with a house-made cinnamon roll and combines it with vanilla bean creme brulee and tops the whole thing with powdered sugar icing.

River & Post

Looking for a date-night spot with great views? Then River & Post is the place to be. The rooftop lounge overlooks the downtown skyline and the St. Johns River. The seafood-forward menu is filled with options like ceviche served with sweet passion fruit and crispy plantain chips, broiled oysters with spicy chorizo, and perfectly seared scallops with sweet corn risotto.

Matthew's Restaurant

One of the most acclaimed restaurants in Jacksonville is Matthew’s Restaurant in the San Marco neighborhood. The restaurant combines French and Mediterranean cuisine into dishes that use sustainable seafood along with farm-to-table produce. The menu is filled with options like Hawaiian tuna tartare served with a lemongrass broth and refreshing ginger-compressed cucumber. For a classic entree consider the beef tenderloin, which comes with a fragrant truffled bread pudding and brown butter baby carrots.

Rue Saint Marc

Rue Saint Marc combines French techniques and flavors with an approachable atmosphere that makes for a great date night. While the standard menu at the restaurant is always loaded with options, the Rue Experience tasting menu is a fan favorite. The five-course menu changes often, but previous menus have included dishes like mushroom arancini, seared scallop with onion fritter, and roasted duck with farro. The tasting menu option is also a bargain at $65 per person.

Restaurant Orsay

Locals know that Restaurant Orsay is the spot to go to impress someone. The menu is quite large with dishes running the gamut from a traditional cassoulet to a lobster pot pie topped with biscuits. But the star of the menu is the beef wellington, which is shown off at the table before cutting into portions in the kitchen. Just make sure to give the restaurant a call 24 hours in advance, so the chefs have time to prep and cook the dish.

Biscottis

The Avondale neighborhood of Jacksonville has many charming restaurants and cafes, and one of the standouts is Biscottis. The cozy restaurant is known for its ancho chili-rubbed pork chop, which is served with a sweet and savory caramelized apple butter sauce, baked macaroni and cheese, and sauteed green beans. Be sure to stick around for dessert, or just walk up to the cake counter and ask for a slice to-go and enjoy it at home.

Norikase

Norikase is one of Jacksonville’s best kept secrets. The nine-seat sushi bar serves hand rolls, cocktails, and sake. The restaurant is the only one in town doing an omakase dining experience featuring a 17-course tasting menu with a chef that acts as a guide through the experience. All of the seafood for the omakase meal is sourced from the famed Toyosu Market in Tokyo, ensuring the meal is steeped in tradition and high-quality ingredients.

Restaurant Medure

Since 2001, Restaurant Medure has been serving the people of Jacksonville the pristine produce from local farmers and making all of its pastas by hand. One of the best variations of pastas is radiatori, which is a spiral pasta that’s meant to resemble a car radiator and is served with bolognese, whipped ricotta, and parmesan cheese.

Llama Restaurant

Located in the heart of St. Augustin is Llama Restaurant, a Peruvian restaurant filled with modern touches. Each dish on the menu is made with the traditional ingredients found in Peru such as Peruvian giant corn and black carob tree sap. The plates are artfully set with sauces, herbs, vegetables, and protein. Don’t miss the potato cake trio, which is topped with avocado, then individually with chicken, shrimp, and octopus.

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