As the new year begins and the Spring semester rolls around, Byppo has put together a list of restaurants you should try for the new year! From old favorites to brand new eateries opening this Spring, here are our top picks for safe, local, and must-try restaurants to support here in Gainesville.
1. Midpoint Park & Eatery
We’ve been looking forward to the opening of a brand new outdoor food park right next to campus this year, perfect for a socially distanced meal. Opening in Spring 2021, Midpoint Park & Eatery is the perfect place to grab a quick bite or sit down and enjoy a meal and show with friends. With a large, open outdoor space with seating for up to 100 people, an event stage, and 4 new restaurants, Midpoint is the perfect place to try something fresh for the new year. Two restaurants planning to open in the food park this Spring are Da Kine Poke and Mexi Cocina. If you have an appetite for poke or have been craving some juicy birria tacos, then Midpoint Park & Eatery is the place for you. Whether you’re there to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Midpoint Park & Eatery is going to be Gainesville’s newest food hot spot this year.
2. One Love Café
One Love Café, located in the heart of Magnolia Parke, can be easily described in 4 simple words. Good food, good vibes. Opened in 2014, One Love Café has served Gainesville as an outdoor patio café even before outdoor dining became the norm this year. Home to musicians, artists, and loyal customers alike, One Love Café is a friendly and relaxed café to enjoy a show and order some handcrafted drinks and food. This restaurant is perfect for pets, kids, and family weekend outings if you’re looking for somewhere to explore this year and haven’t had a chance to visit this local gem. Sourced from local farmers and vendors, the food served in their restaurant isn’t the only way you can support local businesses in town. Every Thursday, One Love Café hosts a farmer’s market, where you can buy directly from local farmers and vendors.
3. La Tienda
If you’re craving authentic Mexican food and you haven’t had the chance to try La Tienda, this restaurant is a must-try for the new year. La Tienda, meaning the store in Spanish, was founded almost a decade ago here in Gainesville. Similar to many other Latin eateries, La Tienda started off as a small grocery and local stop for Gainesville’s small Latin working community. As word got out about the delicious food and authentic Mexican taste that couldn’t be found anywhere else in Gainesville, the greater local community and loyal Gators gave La Tienda it’s current-day popularity. It’s not uncommon to find the restaurant busy during lunch hours on any day, but the burritos, tortas, tacos, and more are worth the visit.
4. Dick Mondell’s
Dick Mondell’s is the perfect one-stop-shop for a classic burger and fries. Located across the street from the 4th Ave Food Park, Dick’s is one of Gainesville’s newer burger joints. Dick’s fresh taste on the classic burger, coupled with a menu riddled with humorous innuendos and food item names, Dick Mondell’s is one of the best new restaurants in town to try while supporting local businesses and staying safe against COVID. In addition to their classic burger, The Original Big Dick, Dick Mondell’s also offers chicken and vegetarian Impossible meat burger options. Despite being a burger restaurant, Dick’s has found a refreshing new take on burgers and delivered a new taste and style to Gainesville’s food scene.
After serving Gainesville for years in their well-known and loved food truck, Tinker has finally opened a brick-and-mortar restaurant on Main Street to serve their famous Venezuelan street food. Well known for satisfying late-night cravings, post-Saturday night out hunger, and for bringing some Latin flair to Gainesville’s food community, Tinker has seen huge success as both a food truck and now as a restaurant Downtown. If you’ve never had their grilled arepas (arepas asada) or tasted a Venezuelan hot dog (perros) before, Tinker’s new restaurant can be located easily with their bright TINKER sign, lighting up the street and inviting hungry customers in for a taste of their delicious meals.