The Fox Restaurant in Jacksonville’s Avondale shopping district is an unassuming, narrow local diner sandwiched between storefronts. The simple space works all three shifts, piling their menus with straightforward dinner options, light lunches and hearty breakfast fare, including a Honky-Tonk Omelet that earns top billing thanks to a judicious amount of sausage gravy. The corned beef hash, benedicts and Belgian waffles are also favorites with locals, who belly up to the white Formica counter or assorted tables to get an early-morning mouthful. Funky vintage art packs the walls, while old-school toys and character dolls fill entire runs of shelving. This beloved neighborhood diner is counted on for its hefty portions, reasonable prices and friendly service, though weekend lines can tend to reach the sidewalk out front.
Horizons Continental Cafe owner and head chef Courtney Thompson unleashes Asian and Italian influences on a menu of continental fare. Like passengers on the world's slowest merry-go-round, dishes step in and out of rotation weekly, keeping the menu stocked with surprises. Lunchtime yields café fare such as grilled paninis and seafood salads, and during dinner, chefs typically simmer fish fillets and steak in savory wine sauces. Horizons' catering services can craft a customized menu for an off-property event or allow access to the second-floor dining area for an intimate hang-glider-launch event.
Darrell's Dog Gone Good Diner dishes out eggs, burgers, sandwiches, and homemade cakes. Eggs (starting at $2.45 for two) can be made-to-order, with options including scrambled, over easy, and served atop an expensive magazine, and omelets can house fresh cheese, mushrooms, or green peppers, to name a few ($4.25). Breakfast fare also comes in hearty packaging, like the breakfast pork chops ($6.99) and sirloin strip steak ($7.25). As the sun heads back into its sun-cave, later-day meals are ordered at a higher rate. The signature half-pound burger (starting at $4.95) decorates itself in seasoning, and Darrell's Rueben, a diner favorite, stacks thick strips of corned beef, kraut, swiss cheese, and thousand-island dressing between rye bread ($4.95 to $6.95).