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Posted by on Dec 25, 2008 in College Towns, Road Trips, Stories | 0 comments

A Student’s Guide to Gainesville


Gainesville is a great college town and is all set up for easy access to a good time, no matter where you are or when you visit. There are plenty of bars, clubs, and restaurants for you to enjoy that are right near the University.
gainesville bar by djrue
If it’s a sports bar you’re looking for, then The Swamp is the place to be. The Swamp has a ton of history with the University not only because of it’s great food and lively atmosphere, but also because you can share the excitement of the much-crowded bar on game day. Mother’s is also another cool bar nearby that is very sports-oriented. Some other local favorites include 08 – a country bar, Happy Hour – a billiards bar, and Market Street Pub which is great for late night dancing.

When the overly crowded bars start getting on your nerves, you can always check out the more laid back pubs such as Stubbie, a really cool bar with a huge selection of beers (around 200). Brothy’s is another relaxed bar that represents a classic Irish Pub and The Speakeasy is a cool little secluded bar, if you can find it.

Feeling cheap?

Gainesville has three great bars that are sure to leave you and your wallet smiling. The first of these is Jack’s, a dive bar with cheap drinks and hilarious ambience. The Salty Dog is located next to the stadium and is good for a cheap Salty Dog Gainesville by djruedrink as well. Finally, you get what you pay for at The Grog House, a typical bar atmosphere with some typical sub-par food.

On the other hand, if you’re willing to spend a little more, the Lux is a good place to start with an upscale bar and cool atmosphere. The Top has another “cool” scene and great food, but leans more toward the artist/hipster crowd while the Rue Bar is a more snobby club containing four separate bars. There is also a good rock music scene in Gainesville. Some concert venues include Common Grounds (the largest venue), 1982 Bar, Tim and Terry’s, and The Atlantic which doubles as a dance club on weeknights and show venue on weekends.

The local restaurant selection

It varies in style and taste. Some authentic Mexican food can be found at Tijuana Flats, On The Border, Burrito Borthers – a Gainesville staple that people swear by, Calico Jack’s Cantina – a good place to watch the game while eating the best wings there is to offer, and El Indio – a small, cheap, fast food restaurant with the best chips, cheese dip, and fish tacos in town. The Pita Pit on 34th Street stands out because it is one of the few restaurants in the area that is open after 2am. Maude’s has a relaxed atmosphere and is the place to go for good sandwiches and coffee.

International Cuisine

You can also find a variety of international cuisine around town. Bento is a great Asian cuisine that’s located on the west side of town and Maui Teriyaki has some good fast food teriyaki. Ballyhoo Grill is located next to Bento and also has quality food. Authentic Greek food can be found at Gyros Plus while the Latin Cafe adds some spice with their inexpensive Cuban menu. If you’re feeling patriotic, stick to the greasy pizza of America. Leonardo’s is a slightly upscale, Califonia-style pizza joint with great individual pizza’s. It makes a quick change
from pizza joint to jazz club on Mondays and other weeknights as well. Five Star Pizza

By Jason Burkey

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