First things first, food is for eating. It doesn’t have to be pretty to be delicious, but some dishes truly are so spectacular to behold that you can’t help yourself from standing on the table to get the perfect light/angle combo while the rest of the restaurant looks on in bemused horror. We’ve all been there. But before you go snapping away at your unremarkable turkey sandwich, consider the following truly Instagram-worthy dishes (and drinks) to be found in our fair city.
Beet Tartare @ Black Sheep
What could possibly be more Insta-worthy than vegetables that look like raw meat? I kid but this dish truly is a thing of vibrance and beauty that will incite the entire table (and perhaps even neighboring diners) to ooh and aww as they instinctively pull out their phones. Throw them ‘bows and tell ‘em to quit drooling on your dinner, but get that pic because the bright red beets and strawberry-yuzu granita contrasts oh-so-perfectly with the pale green endive. Now that I think about it, you might want to go ahead and archive the rest of your posts because they will pale in comparison to this gem.
Vanilla Panna Cotta @ Moxie
Desserts don’t really get enough shine these days if you ask me. Maybe it’s because most people get so full on dinner they never make it that far. Maybe we’re too healthy for our own good. Either way, I’d wager many diners never even see a restaurant’s desserts, and in this case, that’s quite the pity. Moxie’s Vanilla Panna Cotta isn’t just a dish, it’s a composition worthy of adoration. Put that thing on a pedestal and all of a sudden it’s an exhibit at MOCA.
Roasted Duck Breast @ Rue Saint Marc
I feel like ordering the duck anywhere is kind of a flex in and of itself. And let’s be honest, a good feed post is all about the flex. Steak is a move if you’re a banker or an oil man or whatever and chicken is just sort of what everybody eats. Duck, however, is not your everyday protein and therefore a cause for some celebration. The creative chefs at RSM take it to the next level, gussying it up with braised cabbage, poached radishes, persimmons(!) and a caraway-riesling sauce. It looks like a masterpiece to boot. MAJOR FLEX!
Bowl of Ramen @ Crane Ramen
A proper bowl of ramen is a study in balance just like any great work of art. All the flavors work together in perfect harmony and since they are intended to be enjoyed individually, their aesthetic integrity is maintained, gracefully adorning the top of the bowl. You can get a great ramen snap one of two ways. There’s the trusty birds eye view we all know and love, but if you can get a seat against the wall, get your dining partner to capture you inhaling those noods for a winning selfie. Extra points for a slurpy Boomerang.
Freak Shake @ Juice Tap
Just looking at photos of this technicolor monstrosity is enough to trigger adult-onset diabetes, but damn if it ain’t a big boss move worthy of your feed. While yes, it certainly is something to behold, I think it demands documentation even more so for its absurdity. It’s a well-deserved trophy for anyone brave enough to even attempt ingesting what has to be a criminal amount of sugar. I’m not even 100 percent convinced that it’s humanly possible for one person to consume one of these bad boys on their own. Maybe people order them just to take a pic. In fact, if you’ve finished one of these, hit me up, I want to hear all about it.
Arepa @ Arepa Please
Nine times out of 10 you’re going to get the best food pic using the overhead shot. But handhelds don’t photograph like other dishes—a full frontal approach is required to get a good view of everything going on between the sheets. Somewhere along the way, people figured out that the best way to snap a sandwich is to hold it in front of a contrasting background, a <foil> if you will. The geniuses at Arepa Please (fka Johnnie’s Deli) commissioned a vibrantly colorful mural that makes capturing your Venezuelan sammie practically mandatory.
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The weekend is finally here!! If you haven't tried our Flaming Scorpion Bowl yet…nows the time! Also…are you feeling alright? Look at that beautiful beast! What's taken you so long?! Ron Zacapa, Mt Gay Eclipse, Damoiseau Virgin Cane, fresh lime, orange, grapefruit, pineapple, honey, passion fruit, and angostura bitters comprise this mighty flaming masterpiece! Make sure to bring a few friends to help you conquer this behemoth! #voidlive #904happyhour #igersjax #jacksonvillebeach #tikiaf
Scorpion Bowl @ Flask & Cannon
Spectacular as it is, a Scorpion Bowl’s IG-worthiness comes less from its wonderfully gaudy aesthetic as it does from the fact that capturing the moment ensures you remember the exact moment when everything went completely off the rails. It isn’t necessarily the alcohol content that’ll get ya (not that it isn’t substantial), but rather the spirit of any evening that involves sucking down a giant flaming bowl of booze as fast as you can with your friends that inevitably leads to full-throttle debauchery of epic proportions. Just be sure to make it an Uber night.
Perfect Disguise @ Grape & Grain Exchange
A far cry from the other finalists on this list, the Perfect Disguise makes the cut for pure cleverness alone. It isn’t often that package design is a consideration in the creation of a cocktail but this is 2018 and the envelope must be pushed afterall. Created by alchemist of alcohol, sorcerer of spirits and wizard of whiskey, Nick Hogan, this cocktail is more than meets the eye which only adds to its beguiling appeal. Essentially a stirred tiki drink, it provides ample “warmth” to battle these oh-so-cruel 80-degree Florida winters with enough tropical flavor to remind you why you still live in this seasonless pseudo-paradise.