San Marco in Jacksonville

Built in 1938, this art deco theater is still active today. (©Ryan Ketterman)

Spend the Day in Jacksonville's San Marco Neighborhood

By Carrie McLaren on 04/25/17
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From bustling nightlife to local shopping, fine dining and locally owned eateries, San Marco offers visitors a peek into Jacksonville’s culture and a glimpse of the small-town feel, just minutes from the heart of the city. 

Great Eats

Whether you’re interested in fine dining at Matthew’s, home to the AAA Four Diamond award since 1999 or a casual night out at The Loop Pizza Grill for burgers and pizza, San Marco has a variety of great eats for every budget.

Other dining hot spots include Taverna with flavors and styles from rustic Italian cooking. Favorites include house-made raviolis and fettuccini. For Southern eats, visit the popular Maple Street Biscuit Company featuring buttermilk biscuit sandwiches paired with toppings such as all-natural chicken, goat cheese, pecan wood-smoked bacon and a true Southern staple: house-made pepper jelly.

Maple Street Biscuit Company Jacksonville, Florida

Venture off of San Marco Square and sample one of the 200 beers at European Street Café and stop by Bistro Aix for their well-known appetizer: Blue Cheese Chips with warm blue cheese dressing atop their homemade potato chips.

Neighborhood gastropub, Kitchen on San Marco focuses on regional cuisine, local goods and a variety of local beers on tap. For an appetizer, don’t miss trying the House Bacon Trio featuring smoked, candied and whipped bacon.

New to the neighborhood, The Bearded Pig features Southern barbecue and local brews, perfect for families, and kids love drawing on the chalkboard fences. Great for sharing, their San Marco Platter features ribs, chicken, your choice of two meats and two side dishes.

James Beard Award nominee Chef Tom Gray’s latest culinary adventure, Town Hall, features modern American cuisine with a comfortable West Coast vibe. This intimate restaurant is a community gathering spot for sharing good food and drink in good company. Using seasonal ingredients from local farms, Town Hall is quickly becoming a hot spot with locals.

And don’t forget dessert! Stop by Jacksonville’s own Peterbrooke Chocolatier for chocolate popcorn and tasty chocolate-covered potato chips.

Shop the San Marco Square

From trendy boutiques to consignment shops and a quaint, independent book store, the perfect souvenirs can be found within San Marco Square.

San Marco Square Jacksonville, FL

For the latest fashion trends, stop by Rosie True, a hip boutique mixing casual and luxurious designs with summertime fashions and accessories. For more of a classic look, stop by Therapie featuring brands like Three Dots and Rachel Pally.

For those on the lookout for bargains, make time to browse the racks at The Snob. Known for their assortment of high-end designer styles, it is easy to score some great deals at affordable prices.

For the little ones, stop by Heyday and pick up kid-sized designer duds from the Tea collection.

The Write Touch is a writer’s paradise. Here you’ll find greeting cards, journals, writing utensils and beautiful stationery. And make time to peruse the shelves at the San Marco Bookstore. This independent shop has been home to new and used books for more than 40 years, right in the heart of San Marco Square.

Experience the Arts

From live theater to art shows and more, San Marco offers art lovers have a variety of outlets to enjoy in the neighborhood.

Known as Florida’s longest-running community theater in Florida and founded in 1919, Theater Jacksonville produces live theater productions throughout the year. Made up completely of volunteers, upcoming shows include Thoroughly Modern Millie and To Kill a Mockingbird.

Stellers Gallery of San Marco features artwork on display and for purchase from local and regional artists. From watercolors, sculptures, oil on canvas and more, Florida’s art scene is alive and well at Stellers as well as the new Vault at 1930.

Built in 1938, the San Marco Theatre features new release films and with food and spirits available right inside the theater, you’ll never miss a minute of the movie. Snag a seat and choose from pizzas, paninis, wine by the glass and bottle, and of course, popcorn, too.

Together with scenic views of the St. Johns River, great restaurants and local shops, it is easy to see why San Marco is one of Jacksonville’s most popular neighborhoods, for locals and visitors alike.

San Marco Jacksonville, Florida