Cheese. Queso. Fromage. Formaggio. No matter how you say it, we love to eat it. Jacksonville has so many great restaurants with countless cheesy dishes. Here’s a round-up of a few of our favorites.
Best Cheese Fries – Cruisers Grill
If you haven’t visited Cruisers Grill for some of their famous cheese fries, then you don’t know what you’ve been missing. Seasoned with a little salt and pepper these cheddar fries can be ordered as a small or large, but I’ve never met anyone who opted for the small. Don’t forget their unforgettable ranch dipping sauce. It’s like heaven in your mouth.
Best Cheesy Chips – The Blind Rabbit Whisky Bar
The Gorgonzola Chips at Blind Rabbit are one of my favorite appetizers around town. Crunchy, fresh potato chips drizzled smothered with Gorgonzola fondue and topped with chives and a balsamic glaze. It’s the perfect plate to share with your cheese loving friends.
Best Cheese Pizza – Moon River Pizza
Are three cheeses enough for you? Moon River Pizza’s White Pie features not only mozzarella and Parmesan, but takes white pizza in a whole new direction with the addition of feta cheese, too. The ability to buy it by the slice, and their super fresh garlic, only adds to the appeal.
Best Cheese Burger – Kickbacks Gastropub
Kickbacks makes a stuffed burger that comes filled with your choice of blue or feta cheese. Top that with another slice of your favorite cheese for a double dose of cheese greatness.
Best Mac & Cheese – Maple Street Biscuit Company
Maple Street doesn’t mess around when it comes to mac & cheese. Made with five different kinds of cheese and topped with crunchy, cheesy crackers, this mac & cheese is a crowd favorite for adults and children alike. The cup sized serving is perfect as a side or a meal by itself.
Best Cheese Danish – Knead
You may not immediately think bakeshop when you think cheese, but Murray Hill newcomer Knead is out to change your mind with their Honey Cream Cheese Danish. This isn’t the tough, chewy “danish” you choked down at a hotel continental breakfast–this is light, flaky pastry with just the right amount of house-made honey cream cheese at the center.
Best Cheese Soup – European Street Cafe
Thick, rich and over the top cheesy, European Street Cafe’s beer cheese soup has set the standard for beer cheese soup in Jacksonville for well over a decade. Served in a bread bowl or with a warm pretzel stick, this is the perfect cheesy comfort food.
Best Queso – Corner Taco
This was a tough category because there is a lot of good queso to be found in Jacksonville. But Corner Taco takes the prize with their original combination of Cheddar & Brie Queso Dip.
Best Cheese Grits – Black Sheep
Black Sheep sources their grits from a local farm and the same goes for the delicious cheese they use to flavor them. Creamy with just the right about of cheesy decadence, these are a true treat.
Best Cheese Plate – Ovinte
Mix and match from 10 different cheese on the menu to create your perfect cheese plate. Served with local fresh honeycomb, Marcona almonds, and seasonal fruit makes this a great plate to share.
Best Cheese Toast – Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails
One of our contributors called Moxie’s Pimento Cheese Toast “life changing” and after tasting it myself, I’d have to agree with her. Garnished with potato chips and pepper jelly, this dish is an explosion of taste and texture.
Runners Up – Some of our Favorite Cheesy Appetizers
Kickbacks – French Mushroom Spread
Fresh mushrooms, shallots, wine & herbs, mixed with a blend of cheeses, spread over toasted bread & served with alfredo sauce is a cheesy highlight on the menu at Kickbacks. Don’t be fooled by the name, this appetizer has cheese, cheese, and more cheese.
The House Made Ricotta at 13 Gypsies, with smoked honey and house bread, has a rich flavor and creamy texture making it the perfect way to start your meal. The smoked honey adds just the right amount of sweetness.
Black Sheep – Pimento Olives
Huge fried green olives stuffed with pimento cheese and deep fried to perfection make this Black Sheep appetizer one that’s almost too good to share. Just when you thought that olive stuffed with cheese was enough, there’s an extra side of pimento cheese dip to add to the flavor.
Not just your average bruschetta, bb’s take on this classic is stuffed with mozzarella to make it extra cheesy and delicious. The addition of marinated tomatoes, pine nuts, & fresh basil makes it fresh and flavorful.