Home to the University of Florida, the largest and oldest university in the state, as well as the Santa Fe Community College, Gainesville is a hub of education and culture. Perhaps due to its strong student population, the city is also at the heart of independent music in Florida, having produced numerous musical acts from a variety of genres. The natural surroundings, including parks, lakes and the adjacent Paynes Prairie State Reserve provide a green getaway from the bustle of city life.
Things to do in Gainesville
4.5 based on 314 reviews
Manuel the owner welcomed us! We had a good glass of reistling and arugula salad, snails, lobster ravioli and the gnoccis. We were full for dessert but every single dish was excelent! Tiny, cute place. I recommend to reserve in advance!
4.5 based on 192 reviews
Our dinner here was excellent. I had chicken and shrimp with vegetables in a red pepper sauce and my husband had the Pad Kee Mao combination of beef, chicken and pork. The entrees were delicious and beautifully presented. The atmosphere is quiet and comfortable, and service is friendly and efficient.
4.5 based on 290 reviews
Located in the vibrant and historic Downtown Gainesville, Florida, the heart of the city. For over 10 years Clif Nelson, chef and owner of Paramount Grill, has been serving unique and innovative cuisine. Our wait staff is attentive without being intrusive. We use only the best, freshest ingredients and most everything is house made including our desserts. We serve beer and wine, of which there is a nice variety and is reasonably priced. FREE valet parking available Tuesday-Saturday starting at 6 p.m. and on special holidays.
Paramount Grill has very unique dinners that contain layers of flavors. One of us had the kangaroo filet (a first for us) and the meat was tender and slightly nutty tasting. I had the shrimp and lobster over black pasta, also very good. Another member of our party had the duck. All dinners were tremendous. One dinner had mushroom ravioli, another had arugula ravioli. Of course, there are always other items in the dinners, such as asparagus or mushrooms. For dessert, we enjoyed the chocolate tart (silky smooth) and the blueberry cheesecake. Their wine list has depth to it so there is always something available to complement the meal. While the Paramount is pricy, we try to go at least once a year for special occasions. We love the valet parking.
4.5 based on 519 reviews
We were celebrating a special occasion dinner and we all agreed that this restaurant was the best choice available in Gainesville. We were happy with the wine list. Nice ambiance if a tiny bit too dark. Wait staff was professional, although some might think perhaps a bit too familiar. The arugula beet salad was excellent and so were all the other appetizers we tried. Fish was okay. Lamb shank was very good but I would recommend ordering it with regular sweet potatoes instead of the lobster mashed potatoes (just would have been a better combination).
4.5 based on 1 reviews
Fun place. Funky. Really liked it we had great wait staff. Real good pizza. Make what you want. You have to try all their flavors of home made soda. Plus good desserts. Cookies apple cheese cake. Worth the wait Nd visit
4.5 based on 223 reviews
Ordered the meat lovers pizza and was not disappointed at all. The pizza was delicious and flavorful; cooked to perfection. The person(s) taking my order was friendly and attentive. Prices are reasonable. The clientele are mostly students but that didn’t stop this 57 year old man from experiencing this place for the first time. Would return if I lived in the area.
4.5 based on 261 reviews
There are now two locations in gainesville with excellent pizza and italian offerings.
This little restaurant located in The Hunters crossing shopping center is a delicious spot for Everything Italian. My favorite meal is Chicken Picata. It’s a delightful blend of your favorite pasta and a tangy lemon caper sauce the Chicken pieces are so tender. They serve wonderful yeast rolls with a vinegar/olive oil dressing. PS their pizzas are amazing.
4.5 based on 472 reviews
We were not the best candidates to eat at Dragonfly but the reviews were so good, that we had to check it out. We made our way through the very extensive menu and found things that we liked--I have a shellfish allergy so that means shrimp, crab, etc. are off limits, and my husband doesn't like that anyway. And salmon has to be eliminated--bad reactions to that. So although I wanted to venture out and try the tuna sushi, I decided against it, especially since my husband doesn't like it and we wouldn't be sharing.
He's also anti-vegetable but fortunately, he likes peppers so we had those, a bowl of white rice, and the wagyu beef plate and the chicken breast skewers. Very tasty!!! So if you're into beef or chicken, there's something for you, although depending on your appetite, you might want to order times 2. We were fine, but had plenty of room for dessert.
We ordered the ice cream--requested 2 scoops of strawberry and one scoop of vanilla, and also it was so delicious, fresh and creamy. We asked our waitress about this and she said it's made fresh in-house. Very yummy! Also had a glass of cava and it was also delicious.
So check out Dragonfly. Cool decor, delicious food and great people-watching in downtown Gainesville.
4.5 based on 603 reviews
the TOP / prepped daily / fresh & local ingredients / see you soon
Very creative menu, good vegetarian options, big bar, a very popular dining spot for Gainesville. Get there before 6 pm if you want to avoid a wait. Managed to hit happy hour, and then munched on a variety of appetizers which were all good. We each had something different for the main meal, they do have a taco night which is quite fun. It's popular for a reason, worth the trip.
4.5 based on 272 reviews
Visited the Gainesville location Saturday before Easter. We were in town for a UF baseball game, and had breakfast before the game. I had the meat lover's omelette with hash browns and a biscuit. HUGE omelette! Big portion of hash browns, and the most dense biscuit ever. There was a bit of a wait to get seated, but not too bad. Others in our group had the biscuits and gravy, and eggs benedict, and the child in our group had the chocolate chip pancakes. Everyone was totally satisfied. Server was excellent too.
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