The Hottest 'Hoods

By Lauren Titus / Photography By Jesse Brantman | July 31, 2017
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Town Beer Co. in Murray Hill Jacksonville
Town Beer Co. in Murray Hill serves up a cool, refreshing assortment of local, Florida craft beers.

Ready to navigate new routes to dining and drinking adventures without leaving Northeast Florida? You’re in luck. Our region is booming with new watering holes, restaurants and eateries to explore.
 
We’ve selected four local neighborhoods that are growing like crazy with new or recently opened food and drink businesses. While most of these neighborhoods have a handful of great established offerings (and, of course, there are other neighborhoods that also offer more), these hot-spots are up-and-comers with local restaurateurs and food-makers looking for untapped potential. The result? Locals get new locally owned places to eat or drink and neighborhood economies win.


SPRINGFIELD
 

Allison and Kurt D'Aurizzio, owners of Flour and Fig bakehouse in Jacksonville
Allison and Kurt D'Aurizio in the midst of renovations on Main Stree for Fig and Flour Bakehouse. 

This area north of downtown Jacksonville dates back to 1871, and boasts many restored 19th and early 20th century homes along oak-shaded streets. Every November, Springfield is well-known as the site of PorchFest, when live music streams from many of the neighborhood’s historic front porches. Businesses are moving in with an eye toward commercial revitalization of this primarily residential district.

NEW TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD:

Hyperion Brewing Co.: Jacksonville’s first nano-brewery serving a variety of beer styles.
Social Grounds Coffee Company: Veteran owned and operated coffee shop.
The Cookbook Restaurant: Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner with a small garden in the back.
Flour and Fig Bakehouse: A community bakery and eatery focused on local products and produce.
Main and Six Brewing Company: Brewery and taproom serving beer and other beverages, with a variety of food trucks offering culinary delights.
Crispy's Springfield Gallery: An Italian-themed restaurant, bar and art gallery in a building that was previously the Akra Brothers department store.
8th Street Fast Café: Housed in a former gas station, this café will serve sandwiches, burgers, salads and more.


ANASTASIA BOULEVARD
 


Jeff and Genie McNally stand near the soon-to-be check-out counter at The Market at Stewart's in St. Augustine. 

The “Boulevard” in St. Augustine is no longer just a pass-through on your way into or out of the Oldest City. This entrance corridor is receiving renewed attention as a culinary and commercial destination — outside the mainstream mayhem of touristy downtown, new and existing food and drink businesses are popping up left and right, much to the delight of locals.

NEW TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD:

Llama Restaurant: Upscale Peruvian cuisine in a cozy space, run by a chef and wife duo.
Growers Alliance: Cafe, bakery and gifts, serving Kenyan coffee and featuring an outdoor patio.
Old Coast Ales: Brewery and taproom focused on small-batch, hand-crafted ales.
Old City Market: Burgers and grinder sandwiches made with locally sourced Florida beef.
Creative Juices Natural Cafe: Recently expanded to include grocery items and dinner in addition to fresh juices, salads and sandwiches.
The Market at Stewart’s: Neighborhood grocery store with fresh produce, meats, seafood and ready-to-eat foods, run by the owners of the Floridian.
Osprey Tacos: Fresh on the Fly, authentic street tacos to go (located next door to Old Coast Ales).


MURRAY HILL
 


Town Beer Co. serves an ever-changing selection of beer from local breweries on tap and to-go.

A walkable neighborhood home to a handful of exceptional small food businesses, with room for more. This district has brick buildings just waiting for new enterprises to continue the momentum of recent revitalization and commercial growth. Availability of affordable, bungalow-style housing and its proximity to downtown Jacksonville and other neighborhoods make it an appealing place for young families, young residents and new homeowners.

NEW TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD:

B Street Eats: Latin and South American fare with a modern twist, owned by next-door neighbor Maple Street Biscuit Company.
Town Beer Co.: A craft beer shop and tasting bar showcasing local beer.
La Cena: An Italian restaurant re-located from downtown Jacksonville.
Silver Cow: An eatery serving craft beer and wine, relocating from Riverside.
The Annex: Beer and wine bar with burgers and sandwiches.
El Jefe: Tex-Mex restaurant developed by Chef Scotty Schwartz of 29 South in Fernandina Beach.
The French Pantry: A second location of the popular lunch spot, opening in the former Edgewood Bakery.
R Wood-Fired Pizza: Wood-fired pizza, craft beers and other specialties.
 


NOCATEE
 


M Shack's signature shakes, fries and burgers have made their way south to Nocatee. 

This suburban neighborhood’s growth was a bit of a surprise to us, but it shouldn’t be.  By the numbers, Nocatee is currently the third best-selling, master-planned community in America, and all those residents need somewhere to eat. Local restaurateurs are taking note. While still in its infancy, several well-known eateries are opening additional locations within the development, so if you get hungry between St. Augustine and Jacksonville, there’ll soon be a small array of locally owned places to eat.

NEW TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD:

M Shack: Created by M Hospitality (Matthew’s, Restaurant Medure, Rue Saint-Marc), serving burgers and milk shakes.
South Kitchen and Spirits: A second location for this full-service restaurant currently in Avondale, serving Southern cuisine and cocktails.
Timoti’s: Fast-casual seafood eatery with existing locations in Five Points and Fernandina Beach.

Article from Edible Northeast Florida at http://ediblenortheastflorida.ediblecommunities.com/things-do/hottest-hoods
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