Mainstreet staffers cite favorite restaurants in Gainesville


At the end of the year, it’s nice to reflect on the memories you made. For me, some of those memories are always around a great meal with friends or family.  

The Mainstreet staff weighed in with their favorite places to eat in Gainesville in 2023—but it’s all up for discussion. Feel free to make your own recommendations in the comments below. 

Olivia Hanna – Food Writer  

Northwest Seafood
Photo by Olivia Hanna Northwest Seafood

Northwest Seafood, tucked into the corner near Thornebrook Plaza, is a hybrid seafood shop and to-go restaurant. With fish delivered fresh daily and a lot of it locally sourced from Florida shores, the quality is always top notch. My top recommendations are the fish n’ chips and the Majorcan clam chowder (add a splash of datil hot pepper sauce for extra kick).  

Become A Member

Mainstreet does not have a paywall, but pavement-pounding journalism is not free. Join your neighbors who make this vital work possible.

Of course, the plus of the Millhopper Shopping Center is that after grabbing your meal, you can swing by the beloved local bakery, Uppercrust, and grab a cappuccino and a cinnamon walnut rose pastry. 

  • Millhopper Marketplace Location: 4110 NW 16th Blvd 
  • Hours: 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Mon.-Sat.  
  • Town of Tioga Location: 13005 SW 1st Road, Suite 135 
  • Hours: 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Mon.-Sat. 
  • Uppercrust Location: 4118 NW 16th Blvd 
  • Hours: 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Sun.  

Glory Reitz – Reporter 

El Indio
Photo by Olivia Hanna El Indio

Glory moved to the area earlier this year, and it didn’t take her long to find the local establishment beloved by Gainesville, El Indio. With two locations, the inexpensive and delicious Mexican food is hard to beat.  

Her recommendation? The Carne Asade bowl—which comes with grilled, marinated steak, guacamole, salsa fresca and cheese.  

  • 13th Street Location: 407 NW 13th St 
  • Hours: 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon.-Sun.  
  • 34th Street Location: 5011 NW 34th Blvd 
  • Hours: 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon.-Sun.  

Seth Johnson – Reporter  

Bangkok Square exterior
Photo by Olivia Hanna

Seth’s recommendation is Bangkok Square, a small family-owned restaurant in Gainesville with two locations. Serving authentic, Thai cuisine, Bangkok Square gets high praise from the community.  

Seth recommends trying the Mussaman Curry, which is mussaman paste mixed with coconut milk, potatoes, carrots and peanuts. The spice level is mild for him, but brave it if you are daring enough.  

  • Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 5-9:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri, noon to 3 p.m., 5-9:30 p.m. Sat.-Sun.  
  • Archer Road Location: 6500 SW Archer Road 
  • 39th Ave Location: 8181 NW 39th Lane, #100  

C.J. Gish – Senior Editor  

Inside of Big Mill's Cheesesteaks
Photo by Olivia Hanna Inside of Big Mill’s Cheesesteaks

Big Mill’s is a classic, all-American joint that offers one of the best cheesesteaks in Gainesville. All Big Mill’s cheesesteaks are made fresh to order and served hot. 

C.J. recommends getting the chicken cheesesteak with pepper jack cheese, onions, pickles and lettuce with a side of fries and strawberry milkshake.  

  • Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun.   
  • Location: 2111 NW 13th Street 

Janalyn Peppel – Ad Production Manager  

Northwest Grille
Photo by Olivia Hanna

Janalyn is a lifelong Gainesville resident, so it was hard for her to choose. She loves Northwest Grille’s Sunday brunch, which runs during Northwest Grille weekend brunch, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  

Northwest Grille offers both sweet and savory options on its brunch menu. Janalyn’s favorite item on the brunch menu is the shrimp and grits, a sauté of shrimp, mushrooms and green onions in a 1st Magnitude 72 Pale Ale butter sauce over cheese grits.  

  • Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Wed., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Thur.-Fri., 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun.  
  • Location: 5115 NW 39th Avenue 

Mike Ridaught – Sports Director  

Miller's Ale House
Photo by Olivia Hanna Miller’s Ale House

Mike is a sports guru, so it’s only fitting that his favorite place to eat, Miller’s Ale House, accommodates his love for sports action. With more than 60 televisions in the room, it’s hard to miss the game of your choice.  

An all-American chain restaurant, Miller’s Ale House offers wings, burgers and steak dinners.  

  • Hours: 1 a.m.-1 a.m. Mon.-Thu., 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Sun.   
  • Location: 2881 Bass Pro Shops Blvd 

Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Bangkok Square is great, but they are a little weird about portion sizes for some things. Like a little baby’s teaspoon worth of duck sauce with a spring roll?? C’mon now.

Entrees are solid and shrimp in my experience has been cooked up consistently well by the Archer Rd location. Delicious green curry, pad Thai, Panang curry. And they will make it scorchingly Thai hot upon request!