The Best Restaurants In Lakeland, Florida

Jimmys Eastside Diner
Jimmy's Eastside Diner | © Jeffrey Isaac Greenberg 9+ / Alamy Stock Photo
Audra Clemons

Lakeland offers travelers through the central Florida area genuine down-home hospitality. From fine-dining to mom and pop locales, here are our top 10 selections for delicious cuisine.

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Fred’s Market Restaurant

Market, Restaurant, South American, Vegetarian, Vegan, $
Fred’ Market Restaurant is a family owned and operated farm-to-table concept, offering food that is slowly cooked in a natural and unprocessed way and served in a warm, friendly atmosphere. The Johnson family has been serving uncompromising, fresh ingredients and family values to customers for over 60 years. From the menu, order the Market Table, which gives you access to smoked pork ribs, golden fried chicken, crispy catfish, grilled tilapia, veggies, cornbread and desserts.

Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grill

Bar, Restaurant, Seafood, American, Cocktails, Wine, Beer, $
Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grill is a New Orleans inspired restaurant located in downtown Lakeland. The restaurant prides itself on fusing the best of cajun, creole and southern flavors adding a contemporary twist. Popular dishes are shrimp and scallop Orleans, grilled chicken Baton Rouge, crab crusted blackened red fish, Bourbon Street salmon and French Quarter beef tenderloin.

Chef T’s Garden Grill & Restaurant

Restaurant, French, Italian, Wine, Beer, $
Chef T’s Garden Grill & Restaurant offers wholesome meal in the turn-of-the-century atmosphere of Lakeland’s historic Chiles house. Dine inside and enjoy a sophisticated ambiance with candle-lit tables, period furnishings and cozy dining rooms. Outside, guests can relish their meals in a garden environment, enclosed by flowers and tropical foliage.

Loco Gringo’s Cantina

Loco Gringo’s Cantina offers a mix of Latin foods, Cuban, Colombian, Caribbean, and of course Mexican, with a ‘Floribbean’ twist. Don’t expect to be waited on by servers, as all ordering comes via the counter. Happy hour entails two-for-one margaritas. From the menu order the Turf Cha Cha bowl, Chimichanga and fish tacos.

Mister Fish

Restaurant, Diner, Seafood, Fast Food, Vegetarian
Mister Fish has been a family owned and operated restaurant since it was opened in 1968 by David Lee and Geneva Martin. It is now run by their daughter Michele Christman. Best known for their famous Mister Fish sandwiches and freshly prepared dinners, this restaurant remains a local favorite.

Fresco’s Bakery & Bistro

Bakery, Bar, Bistro, Gastropub, Restaurant, Pub Grub, American, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, $
Known as downtown Lakeland’s only Bourbon Bar, Fresco’s Bakery & Bistro serves unique lunch dishes and a killer Sunday brunch. Enjoy live music most evenings and hamburgers that compliment a full Bourbon bar. From the brunch menu try the bottomless mimosas, eggs Benedict and French toast.

Jimbo’s Pit B-B-Q

Bar, Bistro, Restaurant, BBQ, Fast Food, Vegetarian, American+
Jimbo’s has been serving the Lakeland area for over 50 years. Offering drive-though service and indoor and outdoor seating, Jimbo’s is known to have the best ribs, brisket and smoked chicken in town. Try the rib plate and cherry pie.

Bay Street Bistro

Bistro, Diner, Restaurant, French, American
Bay Street Bistro is known for top-quality French, American and Italian dining in a relaxed atmosphere. From the menu, choose the poached pear salad, which consists of poached pears, goat’s cheese, spiced walnuts and balsamic glaze on a bed of mixed greens.

Reececliff Family Diner

Diner, Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, Vegan
Reececliff Family Diner is one of the oldest restaurants in Lakeland, consistently serving delicious food for over 75 years, and forty of them with the same cook. This down home diner is a staple in the city, with rocking chairs on the front porch and a welcoming atmosphere. Try the country fried steak smothered in white pepper gravy and served with three sides and fresh baked bread.

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