San Marco

The peninsula jutting into downtown Jacksonville is bifurcated by Interstate 95. To the north is Baptist Hospital and the Southbank district, everything west and south of I-95 is the historic San Marco district. Though small in size, San Marco stands up tall among most of Jacksonville’s neighborhoods when you consider the personality of any one region. 

When you enter San Marco, you know it, you somehow feel it. Before the urban sprawl that encompassed the entirety of Duval county, San Marco was once considered the “south side” of Jacksonville. Those days are long gone as San Marco is nestled just under Downtown and a pivotal piece of Jacksonville history.

 It seems nearly all the properties are protected by the historic preservation society and the beatific parks threaten to outnumber the residents. This makes for a picturesque neighborhood offering a tranquil setting for bars and restaurants to open up and welcome guests for an experience you can’t find elsewhere in the growing city.

Hosting the overflow of Southbank and hospital workers, the north portion of San Marco is full of bustling businesses and restaurants by day and slightly more relaxed by night. The south portion of San Marco begins to melt into the residential neighborhoods allowing for a more leisurely paced dining experience. 

The sense and “feel” of San Marco ensures that all the bars and restaurants within its boundaries have that authentic old-neighborhood experience, even if they are brand new establishments recently opened up, there is just something about San Marco that lends an old world charm to everything within it. Come see what San Marco has to offer.

Our Picks for the Top Bars in San Marco

Sidecar

You need a drink, you need a place to enjoy a couple cocktails with like-minded folk where you can escape the riff-raff of the common world and enter a world of relaxed beverage enjoyment… what you need is a trip over to San Marco’s Sidecar bar.

This is an elevated bar that stands up above its traditional bar status as a great hangout but at its heart, is still that local corner bar where you can step inside, order the regular, and enjoy a drink.

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Beer:30 San Marco

When you’re tired of the same old brew, or in the mood for something new, stop by Beer:30 in San Marco where you can browse through their in-depth selections and discuss beer with their intensely knowledgeable staff to discover new tastes to re-awaken the beer lover inside of you.

The small bar and long aisles of craft brews from all around the world welcome you back into the wonderful world of beer and all the flavors it has to offer.

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Bistro Aix

Fine dining, French cuisine, excellent wine selection, worthy atmosphere, and a fun night out… blend them together and you have San Marco’s Bistro Aix. The food here is worthy of candlelight dinners on the Seine, the wine list gives you the best of all possible options, and the atmosphere is fun without being stuffy and uptight.

Bistro Aix is a great night out in Jacksonville without having to worry about getting carried away, at Bistro Aix, you’re always among good people.

  • Hours: Mon – Thu: 11:30am – 3:00pm; 5:00pm – 10:30pm ,Fri: 11:30am – 11:00pm ,Sat: 5:00pm – 11:00pm , Sun:  Closed
  • Address: 1440 San Marco Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32207
  • Phone: (904)-398-1949
  • Website: http://3.84.76.128/

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Grape & Grain Exchange

Grape and Grain Exchange is one of those kinds of bars where you walk in expecting to spend an hour with a drink in hand, and suddenly it’s closing time and you hate to end the evening as it has only just begun.

The people at Grape and Grain Exchange feel like a family, from bartenders, to regular bar patrons, to the stranger who just walked in the door, all are welcome and suddenly, everyone is there as one entity, ready to have a good time.

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The Parlour

San Marco

The Parlour bar and cocktail speakeasy has its own entrance, but it is oh so much more fun to enter through the secretive password protected entrance through San Marco’s Grape and Grain Exchange bookcase. The drinks were stiff and the dance competitions were exciting.

Currently experiencing downtime due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re hoping this nightlife venue recovers from the health crisis as it is one of Jacksonville’s most promising clubs and dancing establishments. The daily “password” was always available on the bar’s Facebook page, but somehow having the illusion of “exclusive” access just seemed special.

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