Sweet Marlays' Coffee takes its moniker from the middle name that owner Tammy Kozinski shares with her four daughters and granddaughter. Visitors find members of the family hard at work behind the counter, brewing up coffee from hand-selected beans and baking delicious pastries and desserts. Guests sip coffee drinks spiked with Ghirardelli chocolate and butter pecan, or Irish cream and English toffee, pairing cups with homemade pastries, desserts, bagels, turkey-pesto paninis, and flaky-crust spinach pies.
Heaping platters of steamed fish embellished with ginger and scallions, and piping vats of caramel shrimp and pork stew sit at the center of the table at Ánh Hồng Restaurant. Voted best of Yelp and a Zagat award winner, Ánh Hồng Restaurant serves up family-sized portions that encourage friends and relatives to indulge in not just traditional Vietnamese specialties, but also a shared dining experience. The family-style eatery caters to single and small group diners as well, whether they are vegetarians ready to dive into a pile of lemongrass tofu, or vigilant meat eaters enjoying pork fried rice or chicken pho, a popular Vietnamese soup. The menu also boasts plenty of options for dessert, including mango and strawberry smoothies and Vietnamese puddings made from fruit and fresh milk from the chef’s pet cow’s coconut.
Inside Dwight's Bistro, wall-to-wall mosaic tiles offer an eyeful of crafted wine bottles, goblets, and swirls colorfully pieced together. Chef and owner Dwight Delude's bistro cuisine is just as eclectic. Diners savor lamb chops in mint jelly and mouthfuls of filet mignon and enjoy handmade pasta, featured in the restaurant's rotating selection of jumbo ravioli. To wash down these delectable dishes, guests can choose from an extensive list of red, white, and sparkling wines.
At Back Alley Bistro, breakfast begins in the early morning and doesn't end until well past noon. Skilled chefs bustle about the kitchen, sizzling up housemade corned-beef hash, battering french toast, and topping buttermilk waffles with fresh fruit, nuts, and chocolate chips. But the versatile chefs don't limit themselves to breakfast food—come lunchtime, they add juicy Prime Angus burgers and crispy subs to their repertoire. While they enjoy their repast, diners perch at tabletops in the sunny dining room, sipping old-fashioned Coca-Cola and freshly squeezed lemonade.
Rifle through the pages of the menu at Nirvana Cafe, and you'll see dishes inspired by cuisines from across the globe—there's tender gyros and kebabs from the Mediterranean, plump perogi from Eastern Europe, and tangy Korean-style carrot salad. But there's also a variety of American favorites, such as chicken salad wraps and creamy new york cheesecake. As chefs bring these dishes to life in the kitchen, diners lounge on banquettes amid the bold red walls of the bright dining room, sipping freshly squeezed juices and imported Russian beers.
Blue Bamboo sits on Jacksonville’s south side, spinning hip Asian flavors with Southern comfort food inside their fresh, inviting space. Considered one of the best restaurants in town, you’ll find dishes like red curry shrimp & grits, honey-seared ahi tuna and peppercorn beef filet on offer at Blue Bamboo, which also holds cooking classes and does the occasional catering gig. Known for their dim sum Sundays and exotic cocktails like Thai-garitas and hand-muddled mojitos, the cream colored walls, white linen tables and red hanging paper lanterns give the place a comfortable feel. Don’t leave without trying the dragon whiskers (fried zucchini).