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Top 20 best restaurants in Jacksonville for 2014

Top 20 best restaurants in Jacksonville for 2014-slide0
Photography courtesy of: Cantina Laredo

At Jacksonville Fine Dining Examiner, we like to compile yearly lists of the best restaurants in Jacksonville to help our readers find the most enjoyable food in the area. Here are a few such articles from past years:

The veranda at Azurea.
Photography courtesy of One Ocean Resort

This year, we will provide a list of our top 20 favorite restaurants in and around Jacksonville. The restaurants are in order from our least favorite all the way up to the restaurant we consider the best in the Jax. If you want to learn more, each restaurant title is linked to a detailed review.

20. Wasabi: This is our favorite Japanese steakhouse for several reasons. It has an impressive bar and sushi area up front to compliment the traditional grilles in the back. The sushi is very good, but we think the filet is the real draw at Wasabi.

19. Ovinte: This is a new addition to the list. We actually weren't wild about the restaurant/wine bar the first time we visited. However, we ordered better the second time and had an excellent experience (see the link for more on what we ordered).

18. Mojo no. 4: Another new addition, Mojo No 4 is a bit more upscale than most bbq places. Mojo offers multiple types of whiskey and mixed drinks to accompany excellent fried green tomatoes, brisket, and pulled chicken.

17. Chart House: The unique building makes this a very interesting and cool place to visit for an upscale seafood dinner.

16. III Forks: With roots in Texas, III Forks offers of the highest quality steaks in town. The restaurant has a trendy ambiance and offers a great bar area for locals to meet and greet.

15. Aqua Grill: This Ponte Vedra restaurant has been in business for over 25 years and we believe some of that is due to the large portions, extensive menu, and live music frequently featured at the restaurant.

14. Seasons 52: We like Seasons 52 because they try to break away from the high fat and oil content we see in a lot of restaurant meals. They were also one of the first to offer mini desserts and we believe theirs are some of the best.

13. Ocean 60: Local music and semi-upscale dining at Atlantic Beach.

12. Cantina Laredo: This is our favorite upscale Mexican restaurant. We recommend the table side guacamole and enchiladas veracruz.

11. 13 Gypsies: This small restaurant offers likely the best tapas we've ever had along with authentic tres leches cake and sangria.

10. Wine Cellar: Much like Eleven South, Wine Cellar feels like you're dining in someone's living room. This long-standing restaurant relies on its extensive wine list to attract customers.

9. Biscottis: The impressive desserts are the draw to this quaint Avondale bistro.

8. Ruth's Chris (Downtown Jacksonville location): The view, service, and steaks are all prime at the downtown Ruth's Chris.

7. Verandah: This new entry to the list was recently remodeled by Omni and we were impressed with the result (click the link to see our recently written review).

6. Taverna: We are confident that our readers will enjoy the local flavor of this San Marco restaurant.

5. Eleven South: Located in Jacksonville Beach, Eleven South is easily mistaken as a house from the outside. Despite the inconspicuous appearance, Eleven South offers some of very best fine dining in the area.

4. Orsay: This Avondale restaurant excels at both drinks and food and offers a cool ambiance for upscale dining.

3. Salt: The Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island provides the setting for this very upscale AAA Four Diamond restaurant.

2. Bistro Aix: This has been one of our favorite restaurants for quite some time. Bistro Aix changes its offerings frequently, but our preferred steak, the Stilton Blue Cheese Filet Mignon typically remains on the menu.

1. Azurea: Once again, Azurea tops out our list of best restaurants in Jacksonville. The view, combined with the amazing service and unique, locally sourced meals make Azurea our highest recommendation for an upscale, fine dining experience.

For more from Jacksonville Fine Dining Examiner, follow us on Twitter @JaxFineDining

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