After a recent visit, the best Mexican Restaurant in Jacksonville, FL, and now one of my new favorite places to eat out, is La Nopalera, located at 8818 Atlantic Blvd. In the Southside area of Jacksonville, the restaurant is in an easily accessed location 10 miles from the beaches and about 15 miles from the airport. Daily hours are from 11 am to 9:45 pm. I now love this place for many reasons, but here are the biggest, standout ones that made a great visit.
Can you imagine looking at your bill and surprisingly thinking, “Wow, that’s all?” This is what I thought as soon as I viewed the well priced menu items. Prices for dinner average around $8.00, and with 106 regular menu items and 10 lunchtime specials, there is an amazing variety of generously filled plates from which to choose. On this visit, I decided to try the Enchiladas Suizas for $9.00 (grilled chicken filled corn tortillas with a creamy, cheesy tomatillo sauce) and the Shrimp Quesadilla for $8.50 (huge flour tortilla filled with grilled shrimp, green onions, peppers, and tomatoes, comes with rice and Mexican Salad). Both plates were filled to overflowing with lots of cheese, more meat and shrimp than I expected, and loads of fresh vegetables.
Like an amazing alcoholic beverage to accompany your meal? Beer, wine, and unforgettable lime or strawberry margaritas are on tap here. Like the generously sized plates of food, the drinks also provide great taste and exceeding large sizes. I tried what I feel to be the best value for your adult-beverage-buck here which was the frozen, 32 oz lime flavor margarita. Like the food, this drink was happily too much for me to finish, affordably priced at $7.00, and could even be shared between two adults.
I felt like an appreciated and honored guest in someone’s home from the moment I arrived. The greeter welcomed me as soon as I walked in the door with complementary chips, fresh salsa, and a clean table without a wait. Even though the place was full and obviously busy, my waiter had no problems keeping my water topped off, plenty of napkins on the table, and it seemed I never had to ask for a thing. I made a side trip to check out restroom half-way through my meal, and even though old, it was extremely clean and all supplies were plentiful. All around, I felt my needs and expectations were exceeded.
Food Quality and Consistency
I looked around at other tables and noticed that all the food looked as fresh and largely piled as mine. Drinks were full all around. Every staff member I could see had a friendly smile and seemed to be happy to be working there. This contributed to consistent good service for all. Seeing the servers joking and conversing with patrons, and watching the kitchen staff having fun and dancing to upbeat music while they cooked, provided me the perfect proof of great management. I highly enjoyed my visit. After eating in many Mexican places in Jacksonville, I have no problem deeming La Nopalera indeed the Best Mexican in town.