It’s a new year so you will be seeing all sorts of “Best of” articles, memes and columns. Some even did theirs in the middle of last year. How you decide who the best anything was for the year before the year is over seems a little sketchy, but that’s none of my business.
This article is the sixth in a series showcasing the best in Jacksonville, Florida. We did ours differently than most. Our best is not just a popularity contest as many others are. We accepted votes, via our facebook page, to get a list of the top twenty as selected by the citizens of Jax. We then sent Deputy Examiners into the field to independently rate each burger, beer, cocktail, happy hour, etc…
We took those totals and came up with a list of the five best in each category as well as 5 honorable mentions. There were a few categories that didn’t have twenty and in that case we used the top half for our in field examinations. Our best of are not listed in any particular order, they represent the best Jax has to offer in their respective categories. We have left the best part for you; try each one and decide for yourself which is The Best in Jax! Best Neighborhood bars in Jacksonville;
Intuition Ale Works is often described as a hidden gem, remember to look behind the fence and find the door with stickers on it This local craft brewery might not seem to qualify as a neighborhood bar but they have a Tap Room with over twenty taps. The brewery specializes in small-batch handcrafted ales. The beer is very creative and flavorful and awaits you in their Tap Room as do plenty of locals waiting to discuss beer and other relevant and irrelevant topics. You know, the same as any other neighborhood watering hole, only this one has better water.
Kickbacks Gastropub has one of the largest and most varied selection of beer to be found in Jacksonville. They also have quality food and host a blend of neighborhood regulars and folks from other areas of Jax who have come to experience the legend of Kickbacks.
Both the beer selection and the menu are constantly expanding and improving, much like Kickbacks itself with their recent addition of Guzzlepipe & Guttyworks and the Belgian Basement to be up and running soon. “Belgian inspired bar and dining space, private dining room, private beer lockers and a network of refrigerated beer “catacombs” where we store over 100,000 vintage bottles and kegs of beer”
Rain Dogs is located in The 5 Points neighborhood of Jacksonville. It’s really two bars in one. The back room hosts live music while the front of house has beer and wine, an assortment of board games and a virtual, who’s who of the local neighborhood.
Scratch that two bars and make it three as the entrance and front of building is a third gathering area for those wanting a smoke and or to people watch and discuss any and everything. Rain Dogs is open and welcoming no matter what your lifestyle or socioeconomic background may be. They also have $2 beers even when it’s not happy hour (12 ounce cans of Busch) to aid your economic future. Saturdays and Sundays they offer bottomless Mimosas from Noon until 4 p.m. for $10.00.
Sidecar Jax is an urban beer garden and cocktail bar in the heart of historic San Marco. They are known for their inventive and flavorful cocktails, friendly service. and house made grapefruit, orange, and limoncello. Sidecar boasts 20 rotating draft beers, over 50 bottled beers, two cocktails on tap, and whiskey on tap.
Honorable Mention; Aardwolf Brewery, The Garage, Grape & Grain Exchange, Lemon Bar.