You’ll Be Floating on Clouds at These Upscale Restaurants in Jacksonville

December 30, 2020
GiftYa
jason wolfe

Sometimes you just need to treat yourself. While for some people that will occasionally translate to retail therapy or a trip to the spa or even just a bouquet of their favorite flowers, when it comes to treating yourself, there is nothing quite as universal as treating yourself to a nice meal out at a place you wouldn’t find yourself frequenting. A lot of people tend to save those kinds of restaurants for special occasions but there’s no rule that says you have to. If you feel like treating yourself, do it! Find some of the best upscale restaurants to treat yourself to in Jacksonville down below.

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Treating yourself isn’t just about your desires. Sometimes, when you’ve had a long week or month or year, a good old-fashioned splurge on something you wouldn’t necessarily spend the money on is exactly what you need. That being said, your bank account probably won’t always appreciate what you’ve treated yourself with quite as much as you do. GiftYa understands the struggle of trying to balance your needs with whatever is reasonable within your budget, and that’s why they’ve partnered with local restaurants to provide you with e-gift cards and hopefully take a bit of the financial pressure off of you. Order one for the friend who really needs to treat themself today!

Blue Orchid Thai Cuisine

Chopsticks can absolutely be a part of an upscale dining experience - especially when the dishes look the way the ones at Blue Orchid Thai Cuisine do! Image courtesy of Blue Orchid Thai Cuisine Instagram

13475 Atlantic Blvd, Ste 32 | Greater Arlington | blueorchid.menu

When we say treat yourself, we don’t mean drain your entire bank account just to experience something that you wouldn’t normally be able to justify putting that money towards - which is exactly what you would be doing if you bought a plane ticket to Thailand rather than just dining out at a Thai restaurant.

And you can find one of those Thai restaurants right in Jacksonville’s Greater Arlington at Blue Orchid Thai Cuisine. Here, they take traditional Thai cuisine and raise it to a new level by using fresh ingredients to make it all the more delicious and providing a beautiful presentation to go along with it.

If you’re wondering just how authentic the food here at Blue Orchid Thai Cuisine really is, just know that their head chef, Bam, actually hails from Thailand, and she’s brought some Thai recipes that have been in her family for generations along to her role at this restaurant.

“YUM in capital letters!!!! This Thai establishment is by far one of the best in Jax! We've visited twice  & haven't been disappointed with anything we've ordered so far.” - Yelp Review

Buy a GiftYa to Blue Orchid Thai Cuisine >

Cowford Chophouse

Garnish is key to any truly beautiful dish, and the perfect garnish is something you’ll always find accompanying your meal at Cowford Chophouse. Image courtesy of Cowford Chophouse Instagram

101 E Bay St | LaVilla | cowfordchophouse.com

If you’re any level of foodie, you’ve probably heard of steakhouses by now - and if you’re familiar with some of them, you’re probably well aware of just how upscale a lot of them can be in the restaurant world. While LaVilla’s Cowford Chophouse prefers to use the term “chophouse” over “steakhouse,” it is essentially the same concept.

Here, you can find a menu packed with steakhouse favorites, such as steak (a given, as referenced by the name) and seafood. This particular restaurant, however, takes the upscale nature of many steakhouses one step further, going on to provide you some of the most fantastic views in the entire city as you enjoy your food out on their rooftop.

“Cowford” is actually an ode to Jacksonville’s original name, which is quite fitting when you consider all of the history accompanying the building where they’re located, alone (ask your server if you get the chance). 

You’ll receive some of the most exceptional service in the city here, so be sure to make your reservation as soon as you feel the urge to treat yourself coming on the next time.

“This place! From the moment we checked in at the hostess counter until we walked toward our valet, we were treated like royalty. Not one single person came near our table without wishing us Happy Anniversary.” - Yelp Review

Buy a GiftYa to Cowford Chophouse >

Salt

Creativity is key to a truly unique restaurant, and there are no chefs more creative than the ones spearheading the dining experience at Salt. Image courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island Instagram

4750 Amelia Island Pkwy | Northside | ritzcarlton.com

Now, typically we try to keep our recommendations as local as possible to reduce the amount of travel time it will take you to reach your next “treat yourself” destination. But sometimes, if you really want that impeccable dining experience, you have to be willing to take that extra step.

If you are willing to take that step, you’ll definitely want to be making a trip out to Amelia Island, where you can find one of the best upscale restaurants in all of Jacksonville - connected to Amelia Island’s famous Ritz-Carlton. Just in case you needed any further convincing about whether a trip out here would be worth it, just search The Ritz-Carlton and observe its opulence.

At Salt, you can look out over the coast as you enjoy some of the finest food in the Jacksonville area. When you first look at the menu, you might not think it’s much - but don’t let the simple ingredients fool you because the chefs here at Salt are masters of their trade.

“Really excellent meal here.  We opted for the 4-course Chef's Tasting - foie gras, fish, pheasant, citrus cheesecake.  Plating was beautiful, food was fab, servers were super friendly, wine selections were A+.” - Yelp Review

Buy a GiftYa to Salt >

Seasons 52

Seasons 52 takes the “flat” in flatbread to a whole new level (and we’re not complaining). Image courtesy of Seasons 52 Instagram

5096 Big Island Dr | Southside | seasons52.com

What makes a restaurant good? Well, in most cases, it’s knowing how to use their ingredients as masterfully as humanly possible, but what tends to make a restaurant great is this mastery combined with outstanding service and a refined atmosphere.

If this “great” restaurant is exactly what you’re looking for, well, look no further than Seasons 52, where they combine fresh, organic ingredients with some of the best service in all of Jacksonville. The menu here at Seasons 52 rotates throughout the year, evolving to highlight the ingredients that are in season locally during that time of year.

Alongside their upscale, beautifully presented eats, they have 52 wines to offer you by the glass. They also have cocktails, of course, so whether you’re a wine fan or not, there are plenty of options for you to enjoy while you eat this fine food.

“Love this place and their amazing terrine desserts!!! I usually go there for the desserts but I am always happy with whatever appetizers or entrees I end up ordering, as well.” - Yelp Review

Buy a GiftYa to Seasons 52 >

Matthew’s Restaurant

Whether it’s wine, champagne, or a carefully crafted cocktail, you should always have a refined drink to accompany a refined meal. Image courtesy of Matthew’s Restaurant Instagram

2107 Hendricks Ave | San Marco | matthewsrestaurant.com

There are certain types of fusion cuisines that you’ve definitely heard about, even if you weren’t exactly consciously aware that it was a fusion of cuisines: Asian fusion, tex-mex, and even China-mex. We have a feeling, though, that there’s one type of fusion cuisine that you’ve never heard of and you can find it right in Jacksonville!

Matthew’s Restaurant features a unique blend of traditional French food you might find at those bougie restaurants around Paris and authentic Mediterranean cuisine to give you an experience that you’ll definitely be able to say you’ve never had before. 

Though they’ve only been around for about twenty years now, Matthew’s has developed quite the name for itself over the years, simply by providing you with some of the most impeccable service in the city. Here at Matthew’s Restaurant, they have taken the traditions of fine French dining and Mediterranean cuisine and elevated them to give you the best experience.

“I went to Matthew's Restaurant for my surprise birthday dinner and it was SIMPLY AMAZING! This was the BEST meal I have ever had in my entire 34 years of living.” - Yelp Review

Buy a GiftYa to Matthew’s Restaurant >

Town Hall

If you don’t like brussels sprouts, you clearly haven’t had them cooked the right way yet. Give the ones at Town Hall a try!. Image courtesy of Town Hall Instagram

2012 San Marco Blvd | San Marco | townhalljax.com

If you’re familiar with politics on any level, you’ve probably heard of a Town Hall debate at one point or another. On both a national and a local level, Town Hall debates are something that bring entire communities together to discuss the issues that are most relevant to them in their everyday lives. 

In a way, the name of San Marco’s Town Hall is quite fitting in this respect. While they try to leave politics out of the everyday conversation that takes place within their walls, it is actually their greatest hope that they’ve been able to create a space where their community can come together to convene and chat and laugh and enjoy some good food and drinks.

You can come by for brunch to enjoy some of their most beloved breakfast/lunch combos (keep in mind that the only thing sweet on their brunch menu is their French Toast) or you can opt to come by for dinner instead and indulge in some of their savory mains featuring fresh veggies.

“One of my FAVORITE places in Jacksonville. Absolutely swooning over this place with its fantastic menu and cocktails. Chef Tom is one outstanding individual! Everything on the menu is terrific, all of the cocktails are to die for.” - Yelp Review

Buy a GiftYa to Town Hall >

Sometimes you just need to treat yourself. If you’ve been searching for a new restaurant to try as you go out and provide yourself with a little TLC, look no further than the restaurants on this list. Let us know which one gave you the best experience in the comments below!

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