15 Best Restaurants in Gainesville, FL [2023 Updated]

Gainesville, Florida is the home of the University of Florida … among other places of higher education. This means that there are a lot of college students.

While there may be some chain restaurants that could be easier on their wallets, there is also a good selection of others that serve very good food for everyone, since other people come to visit the area.

We are here to help you find the best places to eat – whether you live there or are in town for a few days. You will find that there is likely something for everyone’s palates. Here is our list of the best restaurants in Gainesville.

Embers Wood Grill

$$$$ | (352) 380-0901 | WEBSITE

Best Restaurants in Gainesville, FL Embers Wood Grill

This restaurant deserves its excellent reputation. You can get some of the best food in Gainesville. Your choices include pepper-crusted steak cooked to your exact specification, wood grilled bison strip steak, and vegetables cooked over a wood grill.

People who eat there give it high marks for everything from the food to the atmosphere. You won’t have to pay a lot – the prices are extremely reasonable.

They range from $8 for appetizers to $6-$7 for salads to a high point of $44 for King Crab. This place only serves dinner, though – you typically have a four- or five-hour window to get there and eat.


Bangkok Square

$$ | (352) 375-4488 | WEBSITE

Best Restaurants in Gainesville, FL Bangkok Square

If you want great Thai food, this is your kind of restaurant. This is an especially good place for vegetarians. Bangkok Square has both lunch and dinner menus that have everything from veggie egg rolls to pad Thai noodles.

Their hours are from 11 or 12 to 9:30 or 10 pm, but they close for a while between lunch and dinner. You won’t pay a lot for this fantastic food.


Satchel’s Pizza

$ |  (352) 335-7272 | WEBSITE


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Are you craving a good pizza? This is the place for you. They are open from Tuesday through Saturday. Both the lunchtime and dinner crowds come here.Typically, they open at 11 am and close at 10 pm. As far as their menu goes, you can order regular pizzeria staples like calzones… and they make all of their own sodas, too.

Their restaurant has a unique style – striking glass windows in various patterns and colors, as well as a wall mosaic outside that captures the eye of those who pass by. When it comes to seating – you can sit indoors or outdoors.


Dragonfly Sushi & Sake Co Incorporated

$$ | (352) 371-3359 | WEBSITE

Best Restaurant in Gainesville, FL Dragonfly Sushi & Sake Co Incorporated

You have several mealtime choices: lunch, dinner, or even happy hour – though some days they are only open for dinner. Check ahead if you are thinking about lunch.

There is also a gap of a couple of hours between lunch and dinner since they are close to preparing. The restaurant is open 7 days a week. You can choose things like teishoiku sets with Grilled Chicken or Salted Mackerel.


Metro Diner

$$ | (352) 353- 2889 | WEBSITE


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People come to Metro Diner throughout the course of the day. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can get brunch there too .. and it is also kid friendly.

You can choose from a wide variety – everything from waffles to meatloaf, chicken tenders, and chicken pot pie. The main menu theme is comfort food. So you will be happy when you eat here … and keep coming back for more.


Piesanos Stone Fired Pizza

$$ | (352) 371-8646 | WEBSITE


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While Piesanos has typical pizzeria fare, they also have other choices, like buffalo wings salads calzones, to a lot of different types of gourmet pizzas. You will find something that will satisfy any craving. They are open all day – from 11 am to 10 pm … and stay open until 11 pm on Fridays.


Paramount Grill

$$$$ | (352) 378-3398 | WEBSITE

Gainesville, FL Best Restaurants Paramount Grill

If you are in the mood for American food or fusion food, this is a great place. They are open for lunch/brunch and dinner. You can get everything from burgers to salmon. The prices are a little higher than what other places charge, but the food is quite excellent.

They are open for lunch and then they close for a bit to prepare for dinner. They typically open at 10 or 11 am and stay open to either 9 or 9:30 pm. They are closed on Mondays, so plan around that.


The Top

$$ | (352) 337-1188 | WEBSITE

Gainesville, FL Best Restaurant The Top

This is an excellent college hangout place and they cater to the younger crowd. They usually stay open until 2 am. While they serve dinner during the week, they do serve breakfast on Sundays.

Their hours are typically 5 pm to 2 am and they are only closed on Mondays. You can get everything from a burger to salmon to tuna. People consistently rave about how well things are cooked. The prices are also quite reasonable.


Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grille

$$ | (352) 372-1555 | WEBSITE


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This place definitely has a seafood theme – the website is called Hooked on Harry’s. Get it? Hooked, as in a fishing hook. You can get things with a Bourbon St. flavor, with Jambalaya. There is chicken, shrimp, salmon … you name it.

Seafood is the main name of the game, though. You can come here seven days a week – they open at 11 am and close at 9 pm during the weekdays and 10 pm on weekends.


Mojo Hogtown Bar-B-Que

$$ | (352) 727-7871 | WEBSITE


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Are you a big fan of barbecue? This is your kind of place, then. People rave about everything from the wings to the grits to everything in between. They even serve delicious salmon, if you want to try something different than barbecue.

Don’t worry – if you are a night owl, they stay open late, closing at 11 during the week and 1 am during the weekend.


Adam’s Rib Co

$$ | (352) 378-7437 | WEBSITE

Restaurants in Gainesville, FL Adam's Rib Co

“Best Ribs I’ve Ever Had,” is a common comment when it comes to customer experiences. They cook them just right and the meat comes off the rib perfectly. One thing to keep in mind, though – they are only open from Tuesday to Saturday.

They are only takeout at the time of this writing due to Covid restrictions, but the portions are large and you will more than get your money’s worth. They are open until 8 or 9:30 depending on what day of the week it is.


Northwest Grille

$$ | (352) 375-0500 | WEBSITE


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If you want true Florida food, this is the right spot. Menu choices include alligator tail, crab cakes, lobster, and steak. They are open seven days a week and close at 10 pm on most days, with Friday being the exception, when they stay open until 11. They open at 11 am, when they cater to the brunch/lunch crowd in Gainesville.



$$ | (353) 373-2489 | WEBSITE

Restaurant in Gainesville, FL Chuy's

Are you a fan of Mexican or Tex-Mex food? This is a perfect place to get that kind of food in your belly. They open at 11 and usually close at 9 pm, though they are open until 10 pm on the weekend. They serve fajitas and also burritos that are, in the exact words on their menu, “Big as Yo’ Face” … which is pretty large.

If you are hungry for enchiladas, then this is also a great destination. You can come here seven days a week and find something different each time.


Bonefish Grill

$$ | (352) 377-8383 | WEBSITE


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It’s probably illegal to not have at least one place in each Florida city or town that has the name “Bonefish” in it. This place, if you haven’t figured it out, serves seafood.

One of the main highlights, from multiple reviews, is the salmon, which earns consistent raves. They are usually open until 10 pm throughout the week, 11 pm on the weekend and they close a bit early on Sunday, at 9 pm.


Mi Apa Latin Cafe

$ | (352) 376-7020 | WEBSITE

Gainesville, FL Restaurants Mi Apa Latin Cafe

Florida has a large Latin population, and this restaurant makes them feel right at home. Do you want Spanish or Cuban food? You will find it here. The food is so authentic that you might feel like you are in Cuba. They are open seven days a week, closing at 10 pm during the week and at 11 pm on the weekends.



These are some of the best restaurants in Gainesville. Enjoy finding one place that will suit your appetite for that particular day. Then, with a full stomach, you can go out and enjoy what Gainesville has to offer. Have fun!

Restaurants in Gainesville, FL

5 thoughts on “15 Best Restaurants in Gainesville, FL [2023 Updated]”

    • You are correct on both points. The saddest thing is when satchels is not burnt, it’s amazing. But then the bottom is as black as the oven that cooked it (you know what I’m talking about) it’s bitter and not appealing.

  1. There’s no Indian restaurants on your list. For GREAT vegetarian food try the Mint Indian restaurant on Newberry road just west of I-75 Absolutely the freshest best Indian food I’ve had in Florida. The owners are very nice. We had a wonderful meal in a tiny restaurant that was a total surprise. Quality food, wonderful owners. It gets 10 out if 10 from us!


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Restaurant Observer is the ultimate go-to destination on the web when looking for nothing but fantastic places to genuinely enjoy food across the United States. Inspired by the saying when there’s good food, there’s a good life, Birch Restaurant starts the food blog to scout the best food places across the country.