The friendly staff at MaggieMoo’s Ice Cream and Treatery churns dozens of creamy flavors fresh each day before enhancing frozen creations with inventive mix-ins and toppings. They power through shivers to fold nuts, candy, and fruit into ice-cream varieties such as chocolate banana, and sprinkle sugary toppings over ice-cream pizzas, one of MaggieMoo's signature creations. Aside from other avant-garde dessert offerings—which include ice-cream cupcakes—the staff slings frozen favorites including cones, creamy milkshakes, and ice-cream cakes.
Occasional appearances by Miss Maggie Moo, the business's iconic cow, delight customers. She also lends her services to fundraising efforts for local schools and charities.
The Donut Shop in the Arlington section of Jacksonville has been a sweet landmark since 1962. With several moves within the neighborhood due to leasing issues, its new location on University Boulevard has continued its loyal following, offering doughnut fiends 2,400 square feet of takeout space that serves up sweet sensations in the pre-dawn hours. With its lime green walls and gleaming glass and white case, patrons come from all over the city with their cash (yes, it’s a cash only shop), and leave with at least a dozen of their favorites regularly. Make room for a chocolate éclair, the curiously-shaped “ugly” or a honey stick. The Donut Shoppe is an unassuming little hole in the wall that prepares donuts of a quality, appearance and taste that other shops lack; just arrive early, because when the doughnuts are gone, the shop closes.
Since opening in 1980 as a German deli, European Street Cafe has steadily increased the scope of its menu to accommodate an eclectic mix of French, American, and Mediterranean influences. In addition to a beer selection that features 20 drafts and 150 bottles from foreign and domestic producers, the bistro-style eatery?s four locations ply patrons with hot and cold sandwiches. Bavarian bratwursts and spicy kielbasas appear alongside corned-beef sandwiches and pitas with homemade tabbouleh. Taking care to offer vegetarian and gluten-free alternatives, chefs pile sandwich ingredients upon the diner's choice of bread, including pumpernickel, sourdough, and ciabatta. Beyond the ever-expanding menu, certain locations also lure in passersby with trivia nights that test visitors' knowledge of food-fight physics.
Smoothie King, at the St. Johns Town Center on the south side, is one of the top smoothie brands in Jacksonville. Known for its thick, delicious and creamy smoothies, Smoothie King offers a mega menu of flavors like strawberry kiwi and carrot kale, made with natural juice, real fruit and vegetables. Customers can also get enhancers for things like weight loss, muscle building, energy and protein replacement. Smoothie King also offers snacks like energy bars and high protein cookies, as well as a wide variety of supplements for all health needs and goals. With bright yellow walls, overhead lighting, pristine counters and colorful board menus above the counter, the smoothie shop feels light and airy. There are a few tables and chairs, but most shoppers grab their smoothie to go.
Pete Behringer's passion for sweets ignited at the age of 14, when his mother founded Peterbrooke Chocolatier, the site of his first job. Pete?s profession hasn?t changed in three decades, and his passion and talent for handcrafting artisan confections has flourished. His insistence on weaving together simple, all-natural ingredients with an artisan touch earned him the proud title of Chocolatier of the Year for his gourmet chocolate treats, many of which are gluten-free, at Jacksonville's 2012 Taste of Chocolate Challenge. Within his candy shop, a century-old picturesque Victorian nestled in historical Springfield, he displays rainbows of jellybeans, sour gummy bears, vegan and gluten-free products, and colorful lollipops shaped like animals, airplanes, and Rorschach blots. When he's not spinning natural cane sugar into edible masterpieces, Pete hosts candy-making classes, parties, and events in his candy shop or on location. Sweet Pete's was featured on CNBC's The Profit in 2014. And now the company has teamed with Marcus Lemonis to open a 20,000 square foot candy shop.
Jacksonville locals love to talk about The French Pantry. There’s the bread, the European feel – and the long lines. This Southside establishment takes their pantry moniker seriously, with a paltry square footage that offers no more than a counter and some wooden communal dining tables, perfect for rubbing elbows with strangers. The cozy hole-in-the-wall bakes fresh bread daily, served with seasonal olive oil, or piled up as a sandwich. Try the rare roast beef and boursin, with fresh greens, tomatoes, and a tomato-mayo spread. Or head for the turkey, pesto and goat cheese, which remains a local favorite. The quaintly decorated but decidedly diminutive storefront is only open for weekday lunches from 11 a.m. to-2 p.m., and is really only recognizable by its faded green awning. Servers will help find you a seat if one is available, but expect a wait regardless.