If you’ve been following me on instagram, you already know I spent the last week or so in Gainesville, FL for concerts with Stephen Fine. We were both faculty members at a summer music festival called Performance Arts Institute a long while back. We hadn’t seen each other for the last 3 years or so I was beyond excited when he invited me to come perform with him!
We had 3 concerts lined up featuring tough repertoire so we spent pretty much every minute of our time together rehearsing. We tackled Brahms’ f minor sonata for piano and viola, Britten’s Lachrymae, and a virtuosic number by Zimbalist called “Tango” from Sarasateana.
I’d never been to Gainesville prior to this trip so I didn’t really know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. They actually had better asian food than Baltimore which sounds crazy, but I promise that I’m speaking truth! I didn’t get to take pictures of my meals, but I’m going to recap everything for you guys, just in case you decide to visit in the future. So, without further ado, let’s talk about the best places to eat in Gainesville, FL.
Where to eat in Gainesville, Florida
1. Yummy House
I was craving Chinese so Stephen and I came here twice. I got to try their Braised Tofu (comes with perfectly cooked bok choy + mushrooms), Garlic Chicken, Salt n’ Pepper Tofu (no veggies here), pork buns (this was the most “eh” of the bunch), and pork + mushroom dumplings.
Everything was good, but the Salt n’ Pepper Tofu stood out by a long shot so definitely try this if you come here. Apparently, it’s a chain in FL so you could come across one in a different city? If you hit up the location in Gainesville though, save room because there’s a Kung Fu Tea right next door, and boba’s always a good idea in my book.
2. Crane Ramen
This ramen shop’s very hip with some seriously delicious housemade noodles! I ordered the Agedashi Tofu Steamed Buns (soy-marinated tofu, wrapped in nori and flash-fried with sweet potato sauce) and the Tonkotsu Ramen ($12.95). The former was a little bland, but hot chili oil took care of that fast!
The ramen was absolutely delicious, and it was topped with pork belly, woodear mushrooms, house hot sauce, soy-marinated egg, black garlic oil and scallions. The broth was a bit too salty for my taste, but I enjoyed the noodles and the house hot sauce immensely, and I’d absolutely go back.
3. The Hyppo
Soooo gourmet popsicles are a thing in FL, and I’m here for it! I haven’t had a popsicle in ages, and they had at least 30 different flavors. They all looked incredible so it took me a good 5 minutes to decide, but I ultimately went with blueberry cheesecake. I can’t even begin to tell you guys how much I loved that ice-pop. Their sweets are all natural, featuring ingredients that are non-GMO and are made fresh daily so they get an A+from me.
Hands down, one of the coolest places I’ve ever been to. Their menu’s eclectic, and they source their produce from local growers, which is all kinds of awesomesauce. I ordered their Shrimp ‘n Grits and a Ginger Beer and loved everything! If I had 3 more stomachs, I would’ve also tried the Sweet Potato Enchiladas, Gnocchi della Casa, and Falafel Burger. I guess that just means I need to go back ASAP!
Julie, Stephen’s sister, generously took us out to Public & General to eat after our first concert at University of Florida. Their name’s a reference to their bar in the back & their convenience store up front. They’re kind of like Cracker Barrel except way, way better, like there’s no comparison.
I ordered the BBQ Mushroom Sandwich, and it was topped with coleslaw, which upped the texture tenfold. It came with a side of dill fries and roasted tomato mayo, and I got a yummy cider to drink! Service was kind of slow, but the food was totally worth the wait. This is a really fun place to come with friends so I highly recommend stopping by if you’re in the area.
Alright friends, I hope you enjoyed today’s food/travel post. Gainesville was nothing like I imagined, and I mean that in the best way possible. It’s been a minute since my last trip, but I’d definitely go back to visit in a heartbeat. A huge thanks to the Fine family for being such wonderful hosts – I hope to see you all again soon! For more on food or travel, click on their respective links. Until next time, friends. Happy eating!