The foodie behind the blog Prosecco and Pineapple unveils her favorite Jacksonville restaurants
Whether you’re craving Southern fried chicken, all-you-can-eat catfish, rooftop cocktails, or up-scale ceviche tacos with an oceanside view, Jacksonville restaurants have got you covered.
To get the 4-1-1 on the Florida city’s best eats, we asked local expert Meagan Eddy. Eddy grew up on Fleming Island, about a 35-minute drive from downtown Jacksonville. She later moved into the city, and has spent much of her time discovering Jackonsville’s ever-evolving food and drink scene. She shares her culinary adventures on her blog, Prosecco and Pineapple.
“I cook, I support local, and I try to inspire those around me to enjoy life through culinary adventures,” she says. “I am a teacher by day, but have always had a strong passion for food. I see myself as a facilitator of the food culture here in Jacksonville and am very proud to be apart of its growth.”
We recently caught up with her — just before she headed back to the (virtual) classroom to teach — and asked her to share some of her favorite finds in Jacksonville.
Artistic Fuel: When did you start to appreciate the city’s food culture?
Meagan Eddy: Growing up in Fleming Island, the food culture was a little lackluster. When I moved away for college I really gained a love for finer cuisine. Jacksonville is well known for seafood, just due to its location and being surrounded by water. My favorite memories growing up were definitely at Whitey’s Fish Camp because my parents lived on the creek and we would go there for the all-you-can-eat catfish special. Now that I live in a more central location I have really enjoyed experiencing all that Jacksonville has to offer. The culinary scene has dramatically grown since I lived here as a child. New restaurants are constantly opening with fun and inventive concepts.
A|F: How has Jacksonville’s food scene changed over the years?
Eddy: I feel the diversity within Jacksonville’s food scene is what has really changed over the years. So many new cultural experiences popping up left and right around town. The food truck scene here has also really taken off which has been exciting to watch. It’s great to see the food culture here growing and thriving and that is largely due to our supportive community. People in Jacksonville love to support local and enjoy trying new places even if it means driving to the other side of town.
A|F: When out-of-town guests come to visit, what are some places you recommend as must-stops?
Eddy: There are so many amazing places across Jacksonville, it’s really hard to pick just a few. Jacksonville is so diverse and each area has its own amazing spots to visit. But I most commonly visit the downtown/Riverside area or the beaches. In the downtown/ Riverside area, there are a few great roof tops. This really gives you a view of Jacksonville, which can be quite beautiful. River and Post, Black Sheep, and Cowford Chophouse probably have the best views and the best food as far as rooftops go!
If you are closer to the beach, I suggest visiting the Atlantic Beach/Neptune area. It’s a collection of delicious restaurants one block from the ocean. My personal favorites are North Beach Fish Camp and Doro.
But you really can’t go wrong with any of the restaurants in that area. They range from casual tacos to Southern fried chicken with an upscale twist. It’s a really fun spot to spend your evening.
A|F: How do you see Jacksonville restaurants coming out of Covid?
Eddy: The community of Jacksonville has been incredibly supportive through Covid. Jacksonville has done a great job following restrictions as far as limiting patrons and requiring face coverings. They’ve found fun and inventive ways to do family-style to-go meals and to-go cocktail kits. I have full faith that our restaurant scene will strive now and continuing on into the future.
A|F: Tell us about your day job?
Eddy: I am in my ninth year of teaching. I taught two years of pre-K and six years of kindergarten. This year I am teaching virtual pre-K, and I am incredibly excited about that. I love being the Littles’ first experience with school, especially during these crazy times. I want school to be something they enjoy and look forward to for the rest of their educational careers.