Since having a son in college at the University of Florida in Gainesville, we’ve been back a few times to visit. It’s been fun to drive around and tell stories of how we met, and reminisce about places we’d frequent. Ahhh nostalgia! I counted up 10 places that are still in business after 25 years! Some places have had a little face lift, change of venue or change of owners. If you are a Gator, see if you remember any of these places! (I also thought of some classics that are no longer around -separate post coming soon!)
10 Iconic Gainesville Restaurants
- Burrito Brothers – Although the location has changed (just around the corner from the original location on 13th Street), the place still serves really good burritos. And guac. Get the guac. The place is a little more upscale from the dive it used to be.
- Krispy Kreme – This place doesn’t look like it’s changed much since I went to school here in the mid 80s. I love to tell the story of how during freshman year my friend, Nancy, and I rode our bikes here in the middle of an all-nighter to buy BOGO dozen donuts and how we EACH finished off a whole box. Yep. A.whole.dozen. (See that building going up in the background? That’s where Burrito Bros USED to be located! Now those building are gone and this behemoth is going up!)
- Copper Monkey – Right across the street from campus, I only remember eating here once, on a date. I don’t remember the food at all, just that the guy was weird. I think that tarnished the place for me but I’d probably give it a try again. It’s amazing to me that THIS place “made it” when so many other places didn’t (post coming soon!)
- El Indio – This place gave Burrito Bros a run for their money! Another Mexican eatery close to campus with affordable pricing.
- Emiliano’s – I remember eating here a few times when I was in school here. It was a little swankier than I could usually afford, being a college student and all. I was happy to see it was still going strong after all these years!
- Steak and Shake – Although this is a chain fast food restaurant, it has been here forever (a McDonald’s and a Burger King have come and gone!) My husband remembers eating here when he was a kid and his family would come to Gainesville from Ocala to shop. I remember there was a murder in this restaurant when I went to school here.
- Wine and Cheese Gallery – We bought the wine for our wedding at this little shop on Main Street (a nice Montepulciano d’Abruzzo). I was so happy to see it’s still in business! (Actually, in looking up the shop I found out it had closed down last year but reopened under a new owner. It looks like it’s a food place too now! I guess I’ll have to check it out next time I’m in town!)
- Leonardo’s 706 – Actually Leonardo’s has three locations around Gainesville: one VERY close to campus, one a few blocks down (that’s the 706 location) and one in Milhopper. Rumor has it that the one by campus will be closing soon since the university bought that block. I remember that 706 was famous for their garlic knots.
- Mr. Han’s – I remember going here to celebrate a few times. It was a fancy Chinese restaurant. According to one Yelper, “The restaurant itself is a little tired looking and a bit past its glory, but nice enough I suppose. The food quality still makes it well worth a visit.”
- Market Street Pub – We used to come hang out here, drink beer and shoot darts. When we stopped by recently to celebrate his 21st birthday we found the location closed (it was a Sunday). According to the website, a few things have changed, one of which is that it is now a performance venue offering cabaret and belly dancing. So although the place has changed, it’s still in operation!
Pin this graphic to remember which of these restaurants is your favorite! If you attended the University of Florida in the 80s and early 90s, what places would you add to my list?