Let me introduce you to my best friend in the whole world, Emily Asher! Alongside being my ride or die, and generally an incredible human being, she is the voice behind TheThriveness, a blog centered around health & fitness. We are both passionate foodies so we decided to collab and create a post focused on food, and how much two girls can eat in 3 days. Emily came up to visit me last weekend and we went to a bunch of hotspots around Gainesville. Here I’ll tell you where and what we ate, as well as what I thought about each place. Make sure to hop on over to her page to read her thoughts-especially if you follow a vegetarian/vegan diet, because she does! Full disclosure: this is probably going to be a really long post.
Without further ado…let’s eat!
Guys. If you live in/have visited/are visiting Gainesville, you must try The Jones. Not only is it a really cute place to have a meal or a few drinks, but the food is divine. They have a pretty extensive breakfast,lunch & dinner menu, and their prices are pretty fair. We went for dinner & drinks before going out in Downtown Gainesville. We ordered the Tempus Vernum, a cucumer infused vodka drink, with hints of lavender & ginger. Trust: this drink could be dangerous because it’s so smooth and tastes great. To eat, we shared the Inca Bowl, which contains quinoa, sweet potatoes, black beans, avocado, salsa & a protein of your choice (we chose tofu to accommodate Em). It also comes with an egg to order-which Emily didn’t eat of course, but I enjoyed immensely. Let me tell you- I could eat this every day. It like a flavor explosion in my mouth. So many things going on, but they were all so good. Also-it was a lot of food. We shared the entree and still had some left over. PS: check out their brunch, it’s also incredible.
Can.we.just? Nope-I can’t, literally can’t. I want this pizza all day, every day, for the rest of my life. I want to marry this pizza (sorry Rohan, still love ya babe). Anyway, I’ve heard Blaze referred to as “the Subway/Chipotle of pizza,” but that’s just disrespectful. Yes, the idea is the same; you go down the line, tell the sweet pizza gods behind the counter what you want on your pizza, and then they give you this amazing thin-crust pizza from the heavens. Even though it is very fast, it is so quality. I am not an adventurous pizza person by nature, but this time I got the works: red sauce, mozzarella, ovalini mozzarella, pepperoni, salami, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, and basil. It was divine. You can really customize this as well, they offer gluten-free crusts & vegan cheese. And it’s a pretty big personal pizza, I had to take half home. Trust me: just do it
Yes, that is a popsicle, but it’s not just any popsicle. The Hyppo makes gourmet ice pops with flavors you can only dream about. They use all natural ingredients, free from preservatives and artificial colors, and no GMOs. They have over 450 revolving flavors, from simple, like Strawberry-to crazy weird like Pineapple Cilantro. They even have a selection of spicy flavors like Mango Habanero. I tried a Maple Mamey flavor while Emily had the Avocado Coconut. Both were interesting to say the least. I wasn’t personally a fan of the Avocado Coconut, but the Maple Mamey was pretty good. It was a bit sweet for me, so I only had half of it. I went back the following Monday with my mom and had the Blueberry Lavender Lemonade which is the greatest thing I’ve ever tasted. Seriously, go check them out and get something weird.
Brunch at Leonardo’s 706 is like going to your grandparents’ house for a huge meal on a Sunday afternoon. Not only is the food delicious, the people are amazing. We caught the tail end of brunch -mostly because we are sleepy sloths and couldn’t get up early. We met the actual Leonardo, who started us out with complimentary brunch punch and mini muffins (or ‘miffins’ as he called them). There is an ‘international brunch buffet’ which features different dishes from around the world. But, since we came late and I personally can never eat enough to make a buffet worth it, we chose to order brunch entrees. I got the salmon eggs benedict, which was incredible. Also- it was a ton of food, I could only eat half. This place really stands out, in terms of their service, everyone was so nice and went out of their way to make sure we had a great experience. We even got free dessert- freshly made from scratch chocolate pudding! Overall, 5/5.
Oh Karma Cream, how I love thee. I discovered this delightful little ice creamery while I was at university at UF. What I love most about this place is that it has a selection of regualr dairy ice creams, as well as non-dairy vegan flavors. I used to have a dairy allergy, so I know that usually substitutes taste like death. Not these. They have really great flavors made with rice/almond/coconut milk, and they actually taste like ice cream. Emily tried the strawberry flavor, topped with coconut and bananas and I had the chocolate hazelnut topped with fudge. Soo good. Karma Cream also offers vegan sandwiches (the Fluffernutter is a must-try), pastries, coffee and teas. We shared a traditional chai tea, made with almond milk, and it was delicious. Whether you go for traditional ice cream or vegan nicecream, you won’t be disappointed.
Talk about saving the best for last. A relatively new addition to the Gainesville scene, 3Natives is a hipster-Instagramaholic’s dream. Along with salads and wraps, they serve açai bowls, smoothies and fresh juices. It’s fresh, healthy and absolutely delicious. The venue is a little shop, with beach themed decor and tons of natural lighting so you can get the perfect Insta-pic. The staff is super helpful, and everything is customizable. I tried the V.O.T. with papaya instead of mango, while Ems got The Bird. We also both tried their fresh juices. I had the Black Lemonade, which is made with purified H2O, lemon juice, cane sugar and activated charcoal. I was actually really nervous to try it but it was so good. It’s light, and refreshing, more lemon-y than sweet. Although this spot isn’t exactly cheap, it’s worth it. Overall, so impressed.
Gainesville has so much to offer for the avid foodie, between its cute coffee shops to the fancy restaurants and everything in between. And it was so nice to have so much time with my sweet Meow. It can be hard when your best friend lives in another city, so it was really nice to catch up and have this experience with her. Also she totally gets my need to Instagram everything I eat. Goth sisters 5evah.
Coming to Gainesville soon? Come try these places out! Let me know if you’ve been to any of these, or what other recommendations you have in the comments below! As always, if you made it this far, thanks for reading and being wonderful! Stay golden!