The presence of the University of Florida brings people from a variety of backgrounds together and therefore has created a rich cultural and culinary environment in Gainesville.
Because of the diverse local community, enriched by the University of Florida, Gainesville offers fantastic food options from just about all corners of the earth. Andreas, one of the chief residents and a Gainesville native, has created his own extremely biased introduction to Gainesville food which includes just some of the many great dining options. Alternatively, if you don’t trust him, you can find other food recommendations from a local food critic. Everyone’s favorite pizza place, Satchel’s has also been featured as one of 18 pizza places you must try before you die.
Local Source Foods
The Gainesville area has a strong sense of pride in their culture and food, and as a result has strong local source food movement. Many of the local restaurants get their ingredients as much as possible from local farms. These are also available to the general public through community sourced agriculture, farmers markets (held multiple times per week in 3 different locations around town), or our local co-op market. Some of the local farms seasonally invite local restaurants to host farm to table dinners on their grounds where their chefs prepare food with ingredients picked straight from the ground. You also can get specialty groceries at one of Gainesville’s Asian, Latin, or Indian markets.
The Harn Museum of Art located on campus is home to over 9,000 pieces with focuses on African, Asian, modern, and contemporary art as well as large collections of photography and ancient American and Oceanic art. Located adjacent to the Harn, the Florida Museum of Natural History provide opportunity to explore Florida’s history and natural wonders while the Butterfly Rainforest allows you to step into a totally different world where you are surrounded by thousands of butterflies! The Hippodrome State Theatre features both Off-Broadway and Broadway plays with their own professional actors. It also has a movie theatre which shows only independent and art house films.
Gainesville has a very vibrant local music scene which has produced bands such as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Less Than Jake, and Against Me! to name a few. A growing downtown has multiple venues to enjoy up and coming bands while the Phillips Center for Performing Arts host Broadway musicals, plays, and nationally touring artists of every kind. The Bo Diddley Plaza in the heart of downtown Gainesville features food from local vendors and free live music every Friday in May through October.