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Thursday, February 29, 2024

The guide to locally owned restaurants: Part 2

If you missed part one, this is the second part in a series highlighting the unique locally owned restaurants in Gainesville. This post focuses on two younger Gainesville businesses: Boca Fiesta and Cymplify.

Boca Fiesta

Boca Fiesta is located in downtown Gainesville at 232 SE First St., right next to the Hippodrome Theatre. Boca Fiesta is an eclectic Tex-Mex fusion restaurant with a full bar and quirky décor.

Boca Fiesta was opened by former Against Me! Drummer Warren Oakes, and co-owners Jacob Inde and Geoff Humphreys in 2009. Unlike most restaurants in Gainesville, it has successfully stayed open since. This can be attributed to its personable service and ever-evolving menu. While it is best known for its Tex-Mex, the restaurant has also introduced a brunch menu, cheeseburgers and barbeque sandwiches.

While Boca Fiesta is known for being vegetarian friendly, it’s a carnivore haven as well. Wild-caught gator is a menu staple, but one unique feature of the restaurant is the occasionally offered weird meat. Anything from ostrich to rattlesnake may be featured on the menu.

The night I most recently dined in my server recommended the Tuna Taco Trio ($13) and the Chimichanga Platter smothered in queso ($12). While I am a sucker for tuna tacos, the chimichanga with beef was likely the best dish I’ve ever had at the restaurant. The roja and creamy chipotle drizzled on top paired with the queso gave it an irresistible punch of flavor.

The service is just as consistent outside as it is inside, and the outdoor seating offers a great place to dine with groups of friends and their dogs. With karaoke on Mondays at 9 p.m. and Trivia on Tuesday and Thursday at 8 p.m., Boca Fiesta is simply a great place to go out for dinner with friends.

For more information visit Boca Fiesta’s website:


Cymplify is located off Newberry Road at 5402 NW Eighth Ave. It is a loose statement to call Cymplify a restaurant; it is a compound market, coffee house, and ice cream shop. Cymplify is brand about empowering people.


CYM Coffee Co. (CYM stands for “Change Your Mind”) was opened by the Sister Hazel lead singer Ken Block his friend and family co-owners in 2012. Cymplify began as a brand offering motivational workshops, and grew.

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The coffee house at Cymplify is one of the most cozy and comfortable in town. When you walk into CYM Coffee Co. you are greeted by a shop that feels like a friendly Florida home and an extremely extensive menu.

The coffee house offers hot and cold coffee beverages as well as baked goods. The Grilled Cheese Wagon food truck can also be found multiple days a week serving sandwiches at the Cymplify compound.

Cymplify also hosts monthly food truck rallies with vendors from across Gainesville. The most recent rally, hosted on June 7, featured the Gotta Have It, Humble Pie, and Blackbeard’s Real Pit BBQ. The rallies benefit different organizations each time, most recently supporting Florida Organic Growers.

For more information visit Cymplify’s Facebook page:





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