How to Have a Progressive Dinner through Downtown Gainesville

progressive dinner gainesville

Downtown Gainesville is home to a plethora of quality restaurants. Why not hit up three in one night? Yep, one night.

Known as a progressive dinner, this style of eating incorporates three meals at three different places. Starting at one and ending at the other, join us on this journey through Gainesville’s food scene and get ready to be impressed.

Appetizer – OAK wings

progressive dinner gainesville

Original American Kitchen has more than just a cute flower wall, delectable wings can also be found in this classy southern joint.

Deep fried and rubbed in a sweet and spicy dry rub, these wings will keep your tastebuds on their toes! The candied barbecue tang cuts into the tender and juicy chicken meat creating a melt-in-your-mouth experience. The wings are just spicy enough to have you reaching for the fresh carrots and celery served alongside. Dip them in the creamy garlic ranch sauce or take a sip of OAK’s strong sweet tea to cool off further if you’re not one for spice.

Sit and enjoy the aroma and ambiance of quaint, mirror-filled and flower-draped walls before heading around the corner to our next stop.

Entree – Harry’s Seafood Bar and Grille Bourbon Street Salmon

progressive dinner gainesvilleUpon hearing from a waiter that the Bourbon Street Salmon was arguably the best in Gainesville, I was a little skeptical. However, after my experience I can say that Harry’s is definitely the best salmon I have had in Gainesville, which makes it the perfect entree for our progressive dinner.

Marinated for 24 hours, excellently cooked and wonderfully coated in honeyed glaze, this salmon needs no knife. Instantly pleasing with a subtle bourbon zing, it is worth its weight in gold. Enjoy with a  hearty helping of “smashed” potatoes, chunky and loaded with butter and salt. The light salmon provides zesty flavor to the dense and filling potatoes making this meal just enough to satisfy.


Dessert – Leonardo’s 706 Black Mountain Cake

progressive dinner gainesville

Our next stop is full of chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate- what could be better?

Seven layers of decadent chocolate cake all come together between layers of rich chocolate ganache to form this irresistible treat. Enough to satisfy at least two, Leonardo’s serves their Black Mountain Cake in thick slices smothered with chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Chocolate chips also adorn this moist piece of magic. Desserts that aren’t overly sweet are hard to find, but Leonardo’s 706 knows how to find the balance. For those in a chocolate craze, Leonardo’s makes the perfect end to a great night.


At the end of your whirl through Gainesville’s greatest restaurants, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that with so many spectacular options, every night can be a progressive dinner night! Grab your appetite and get ready to hit the town starting with these tasty stops.

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