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Jacksonville's Hole in the Wall Restaurants, Part IV

Four places to try and one to avoid.

Published December 18, 2013 in Dining & Nightlife      13 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


The Donut Shoppe

One of two things happen when you walk into a Jacksonville restaurant that's been around for several decades. Either you walk away with a sense disillusionment: "How are they still in business? This place is terrible!" or it all makes sense: "Man, I wish I could have tried this place in the 1950s when Grandmother Jones was still around"-- and usually it's the former.

The Donut Shoppe "has been open since 1962 and is currently owned by David Unkelbach. We have 17 varietys of donuts [misspelling theirs]." It's institutional feeling but clean. Kind of like Unkelback bought a clinic in the 1960s and turned it into a donut "shoppe." But that feel is exactly what makes this place kind of awesome. That and their donuts.

They won me over after I tried one of their old fashioned cake donuts. It was fresh out of the fryer, not too sugary and had that "Oh my God, this is incredible. I need to leave immediately so I don't buy six more and eat them one after the other" kind of euphoria that happens when you eat a successfully deep fried doughy amalgamation with the right amount of sweetness.

For those who love sugar bomb donuts, they have plenty of those to try. Of course, they have coffee and they have "cappuccino" and "hot chocolate." That's a little joke because, you know, it's one of those gas station machines that serves the cappuccino.

This place is worth trying and everything about it gives it that "I'm happy to be here" feel.

Couple of pointers: The coconut donut = Yes, you should do this. Don't go with out cash. Although there is an ATM in the shoppe.

1535 University Blvd N
Jacksonville, FL 32211
(904) 743-1844

Tue-Sun 5 am - 1 pm

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Charles Hunter

December 18, 2013, 06:33:31 AM
The Donut Shoppe!! mmmmmmm

The link with the Clara White Mission is that the food is prepared and served by the Mission's culinary students.  Haven't been there, yet, but is on my list of places to go.

December 18, 2013, 09:15:27 AM
Yes the Donut Shoppe is a MUST TRY.  While you are over on University, try Lupitas Mexican.  It's across from Town and Country.  Some of the best mexican food in town !!!  Would love to see this featured in the next edition of "hole in the wall restaurants" .


December 18, 2013, 09:38:56 AM
Lupita's is awesome. We covered them in the last Hole in Wall.

Link to it here:

Anything else in that area that has your attention?


December 18, 2013, 04:11:36 PM
Anything else in that area that has your attention?

Wally's Subs! It's in the area on Cesery, hard to find if you weren't looking:


December 18, 2013, 07:16:52 PM
Donut Shoppe is incredible, despite their coffee "program", and is always one of my first recommendations to anyone visiting or new to town.  Get there! So dang good and shouldn't be missed by anyone.


December 20, 2013, 03:52:17 PM
Where is Mi Tierra? Didn't see an address given for that one.


December 21, 2013, 03:27:10 PM
This establishment is around the corner from my house.. and I've never stepped foot inside the door.  I plan on doing so on Monday.  I'm sure I won't be disappointed being that I've heard nothing but good things about this place.


December 21, 2013, 03:39:01 PM
Anything else in that area that has your attention?

Wally's Subs! It's in the area on Cesery, hard to find if you weren't looking:

I agree, Wallys has great food.  I've been eating there for years.  It's also a good place to host small meetings for as they even provide free wi-fi.

Dog Walker

December 22, 2013, 11:34:15 AM
Would Crazy Egg in Murry Hill qualify as "hole-in-the-wall"?  It's not a chain, serves mostly locals, is in a commercial strip and has good imaginative food.

Non-RedNeck Westsider

December 22, 2013, 12:45:42 PM
Would Crazy Egg in Murry Hill qualify as "hole-in-the-wall"?  It's not a chain, serves mostly locals, is in a commercial strip and has good imaginative food.

It fits. 

So do The Fox, Bagel Love and Cool Moose. (the other breakfast places I frequent) 


January 01, 2014, 10:05:29 PM

Has anyone tried Cleo's Sandwich Shop? I looked around the threads and couldn't find it.

As you can see they are known for the Taco Salad. A bed of tortilla chips covered with a hearty chili w/beans with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes and onion, topped with ranch dressing. I have heard everything else is great as well but I have never ventured away from the salad.

In a tiny house, maybe 400 square feet, there are a few seats inside and a few more outside under the trees.  In the Northside on Eastport Rd East of Pulaski Rd and just West of where Faye Rd forks with Eastport. And Bring Cash. :)

1438 Eastport Rd
Mon - Fri: 6:30 am - 2:00 pm


January 01, 2014, 10:14:25 PM
I've been to Cleo's before. Never got the taco salad because I'm not a fan of ranch, but a good burger


May 04, 2014, 08:10:03 AM
Headed to el taco nacho today...jacksonvilles only real mexican taco...cant wait...
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