Restaurants Around Mandarin, Florida You Need to Try the Next Time You’re in Town

Mandarin is a neighborhood located in the southern port of Jacksonville. Described as a “tropical paradise” by author Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mandarian is known for its views of the water and large, ancient oak trees draped with Spanish moss. However, we are here to talk about the food that can accompany these wonderful views. The next time you are in Jacksonville, consider taking the short drive to try one of the restaurants on our favorites list. We’ve included a variety of cuisine from Mexican and Thai to American and Italian. There is something on this list for everyone, so try one or try them all -- the choice is yours. 

As of recent times, finding ways to get birthday and holiday gifts to your friends and loved ones has been difficult. With limited travel and shopping opportunities, the choices have been limited. However, GiftYa, an electronic gift card service offers the potential to send a gift to over 1.5 million locations across the United States. You can choose from restaurants, local shops, large retailers, recreation, and more. Surprise them by texting them a gift card to one of their favorite spots, or suggest they try a new one -- no matter what, they will appreciate the gesture.

1. Don Juan’s Restaurant 

Fresh, Authentic Mexican Cuisine With a Full Bar

The flautas served with rice and refried beans -- true authentic Mexican staples. Image courtesy of Yelp.

12373 San Jose Blvd | Jacksonville | donjuansjax.com

Don Juan’s is a homey and bright restaurant dedicated to serving authentic Mexicina cuisine. Their handmade sauces are made from fresh ingredients and guacamole is made daily using the highest quality avocados. That’s not to mention their bar is stocked with over 50 tequila labels, house made sangria, and a variety of margaritas to sample. 

On their menu, you will find fan favorites -- salsa, guacamole, and queso dips to start. Pair these dips with a fresh quesadilla, nachos, burritos, pork, steak, chicken, seafood, and so much more. A trip to any Mexican restaurant isn't complete without sampling the rice and refried beans. At Don Juan’s you are in for traditional Mexican cuisine and a margarita to finish out the meal. 

“Amazingly perfect Mexican food! Loved the service, tacos, fajitas, even the salsa and warm chips! GREAT margaritas. We will now be heading here for all of our Mexican nights! Everyone was soo friendly!!” - Yelp Review 

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2. Clara’s Tidbits Restaurant 

Your Lunch Dreams Have Been Answered With These Healthy Options

Chicken noodle soup -- ultimate comfort food on the lighter side! Lunch that comes guilt free and won’t weigh you down all day. Image courtesy of Yelp.

12276 San Jose Blvd #709 | Jacksonville | clarastidbits.com

If you’re looking for a new lunch spot, look no further because we present to you, Clara’s Tidbits Restaurant. They specialize in homemade soups, salads, sandwiches, and desserts. All of the soups are made from scratch and their bread is delivered from a local bakery each day. Your healthy lunch will be made to order from fresh ingredients. If you have certain dietary needs -- they offer vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free, so rest assured, they will be able to accommodate your order. 

Some of their most popular items include a chicken salad pita sandwich, chicken and sausage gumbo, reuben, and lemon pound cake. They offer specialty cold and hot sandwiches depending on your lunch preference that day and five delicious soups to choose from. Take all the coworkers and try this new lunch spot.

“Finally a consistently good lunch option for this area. When you enter, Ordering takes place using a touch screen.  I chose Chicken salad on a croissant and it was perfect. Just like the San Marco location. The pasta salad was good too.” -  Yelp Review

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3. Thai Cuisine & Noodle House  

Serving Authentic Thai Cuisine and Noodle Bowls 

Beef noodle soup with added fresh steak. Image courtesy of Yelp.

11701 San Jose Blvd #28 | Jacksonville | thaicuisinefl.net

Thai Cuisine & Noodle House prides itself on its simplicity with a menu of traditional Thai cuisine as well as some Asian extras. We know the popularity of a delicious crab rangoon and don’t worry because this location has got them, along with a number of other appetizer options like spring rolls, eggrolls, and fried or steamed potstickers. 

Their extensive menu has a large selection to choose from -- including thai curry, pho noodle bowls, noodle entrees, and a long list of chef’s specials. They offer Thai soups and salads as well as desserts to finish off the meal. If you’ve never had Thai food, we suggest you give this a try. 

“This is our "go-to" Thai cuisine place. The food is delicious, the owners are wonderful and kind and they are so accommodating!  Love this place! It's the best in Jax!” - Yelp Review 

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4. ChopHouse Thirteen

Upscale Steaks and Fresh Seafood Served in a Smart Casual Setting

What’s better than a classic cheeseburger? Or try one of their premium 100% certified Black Angus steaks. Image courtesy of Yelp.

11362 San Jose Blvd | Jacksonville | chophouse13.com

ChopHouse Thirteen is an upscale dining experience complete with private rooms if you want a more intimate experience. Their motto is to serve the best steaks accompanied by the best service to give you the most enjoyable dining experience possible. They offer 100% certified Black Angus Beef, fresh seafood, sides prepared in-house, and a conditioned wine room with an extensive selection to choose from. 

When you arrive, dress smart casual meaning no slippers, tank tops, or sleeveless tops in general. Start your meal with a selection from the appetizer menu, soup, or salad. Then move to their dinner menu, which features filet, ribeye, strip steaks, lamb chops, lobster, fish, and surf and turf options. Finish your meal with a look at their dessert menu or perhaps a dessert wine to wash it all down. You won’t be disappointed with this experience. 

“This is a great spot for happy hour! I had dirty martinis with blue cheese stuffed olives  and their blue cheese/pancetta chips. The bartender provided great service and they have TVs to watch the game. I'm looking forward to going back for dinner.” - Yelp Review 

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5. Dolce’s Pizza

Authentic Italian Cuisine and Pizza Served in a Modern Atmosphere

Chicken pesto pizza served the way a true Italian pizza should be made. Image courtesy of Yelp.

12276 San Jose Blvd Suite #712 | Jacksonville | dolcespizzajax.com

Dolce’s Pizza began in 2010 with the intention of serving authentic Italian cuisine and true Italian pizza. As their menu states, their pizzas are fresh, tangy, and full of zest! They offer a wide variety of specialty pizzas from Hawiian to spicy Caribbean chicken and chicken pesto. However, they are more than your meets the eye pizza joint. 

They bake fresh garlic and pita bread in house and use them for wraps, and hot and cold subs. They also feature a number of pasta dishes served with their homemade garlic bread and a fresh salad. Don’t forget to try the salads made with fresh ingredients and dressing. The first time you go, try pizza -- but the next time be sure to get a taste of their other menu options. If you are also looking to support local businesses -- this is the place to go.

“Love Dolce's. Family business with great pizza, chicken parm is fantastic, meatball sub is great. We are regulars, at least once a week!!! Check them out!” - Yelp Review 

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6. Julington Creek Fish Camp

Dinner of Fresh Seafood With a View of Julington Creek 

Shrimp and grits. Image courtesy of Yelp.

12760 San Jose Blvd | Jacksonville | julingtoncreekfishcamp.com

Julington Creek Fish Camp is a restaurant that invites guests to relax and socialize in a warm and glamorous setting. Their delicious, fresh seafood is prepared with Southern soul and style. This location is located along the banks of Julington Creek as the namesake suggests. You will be able to indulge in the views because they offer indoor as well as outdoor patio seating. So, enjoy an outstanding meal while taking in the scenery with a fresh cocktail, draft beer, or a selection from their wine menu. 

They offer both lunch and dinner menus depending on the time of day you want to stop. On their dinner menu, you will find a number of starters and main that include fresh fish, shrimp, crab, chicken, or steak. You can also sort through their fried dinner platter options and finish your meal with their signature white chocolate bread pudding. 

“Great food, good service and a great atmosphere. Went on New Year's Eve so it was a little more hectic than normal but a good time nonetheless. Recommend if you're in the area. I had snapper, oysters, alligator tail and it was all delicious!” - Yelp Review 

Purchase a GiftYa for Julington Creek Fish Camp

These eateries offer a selection of cuisine from your basic American to upscale seafood and steaks to more ethic foods like Thai and Mexican. Whatever your food mood is -- it’s on this list. Uncover a new hidden gem in Mandarin and add it to your favorites list.

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