It is always good to see a restaurant doing well. The recent economic climate in Jacksonville has hit the restaurant industry hard. The political climate being what it is, some Middle Eastern restaurants have had an even harder time of it. Sad as it is to see restaurants have to shut their doors, it is just as uplifting to see good restaurants doing well and pulling through. Hala Café & Imported Foods is doing just that, serving up amazing food and keeping their clientele happy and coming back. Though the main store, bakery, and restaurant are located on University Boulevard, the restaurant in Mandarin will always be my favorite.
The Mandarin Hala Café & Imported Foods has been around for many years, and is the only place to get really good Middle Eastern food in the area. For lunch or dinner, Hala Café has delicious food at a reasonable price. All the classic Middle Eastern fare is represented: Falafel, Fried Kibbi, Hummus, Tabouli, Kabobs, and Baklava. They even have a buffet, meaning you can try almost everything on the menu, including their awesome Stuffed Grape Leaves, for around $10 for lunch. Everything is also served with fresh, warm pita bread. One of the reasons I love Hala Café so much is because each item is made from fresh ingredients and with real time and care. When you eat at Hala Café, you know you are going to have a wonderful meal made by people who care about the food they are serving. Also, you leave stuffed because everthing is amazing and you won't be able to stop eating!
Hala Café & Imported Foods is easily the best Middle Eastern cuisine in Jacksonville. It is not gimmicky with Hookah smoking or Belly Dancers. It is not pretentious; it is just delicious. If you enjoy Middle Eastern cuisine, you're going to love Hala Café. The Mandarin store is located at:
9735 Old Saint Augustine Road
Jacksonville, FL 32257-8992
So stop by, and support our local ethnic restaurants!