Gators pack away a lot of chow from a pretty impressive array of restaurant choices. Gainesville's got the whole spectrum: fast food, G’ville-style quick eats, the popular mid-priced chains, and extremely cool, upper-class, sit-down restaurants where you take your parents when they come into town. Restaurant Row on Archer Road is convenient, especially when no one can make a decision about where to go for dinner, and you can always find an interesting meal downtown.
It does help to be able to drive to these places—who wants to lumber onto a bus after eating 57 oysters at CJ’s?—but like everything else in this town, it is certainly possible to make it without a car. Prices range from looking-in-the-couch-for-change to parental-units/wallets-are-in-town, and there’s a spot for everyone’s taste. One thing to keep in mind is that especially on weekend nights (which here means Thursday through Saturday), there can be a long wait at the more popular places. In the end, the worst thing you might think to say about Gainesville’s off-campus food is that it’ll tempt you to explore it every night, which is not a good idea: your belly will be full, but eventually your pocketbook won’t be.