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Although Jacksonville is home to many upscale and gourmet restaurants, those establishments that have great prices can also please the palate.
Beach Road Chicken Dinners 4132 Atlantic Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32207-2039, (904) 398-7980. This local favorite cooks up delicious fried chicken with all the fixin's and keeps it coming until you cry "uncle." And for a price of less than $8 per person, you simply can't do better! The no-frills dining room is come-as-you-are casual and family-friendly with friendly waitresses who are on a first-name basis with their regular customers. After all, some families have been coming here since Beach Road's opening in the 1930s, providing third and fourth generation customers. "The dinner" is served family-style, meaning there's no end to the bounty until you put a halt to it. In addition to the perfectly crisp chicken (four pieces of tender white meat, dark meat or a combination), you get a tower of fresh, light biscuits, rich gravy, crunchy coleslaw, cream peas and mashed potatoes, french fries or rice. Items also come a la carte. Regardless of what's ordered, only the heroic make it to dessert: key lime or lemon pie. Take-out is available (separate door on left side). You can call in ahead or order it there with only a 10 minute wait.
Pizza Italian 1053 Park St Jacksonville, FL 32204-3907, (904) 355-3820. This restaurant has been in business in Jacksonville's historic Five Points area for decades. Boasting an Italian owner/chef, diners will sit in the small dining room at booths or tables and order from a menu that includes some of the best Italian cuisine this side of Italy. For about $5, hungry patrons will receive a dinner salad, unlimited crunchy and delicious garlic bread, and a large plate of lasagna smothered in homemade meat sauce and cheese. Other menu items include spaghetti and meatballs, manicotti, excellent pizzas and hot and cold subs.
Sonny's Real Pit Bar-B-Q. Sonny's has been around since 1968, and they have several locations. The decor is on the kitchy side (wagon wheel chandeliers and such), but the food's authentic: smoked meats (beef, pork, chicken, turkey and ribs) and lots of sides to choose from, like fried okra, beans and onion rings.
The Loop. Serves pizza, large selection of gourmet salads including Greek, Caesar, and Cajun Chicken. They also have burgers, for non-meat eaters, a Portabello Mushroom Sandwich with grilled onions and roasted garlic mayonnaise. For a cool drink have a malt or shake, or soft drinks, coffee and tea (with free refills on these). They also offer a selection of beer and wine.