In a world of drive-thrus and table service, sometimes we want both. Thus, counter-service restaurants were born so you could quite literally have your cake and eat it too.
Read on for 12 restaurants in Lakeland offering counter service.
LoveBird Almost Famous Chicken, 2101 S. Florida Ave. | This spot operates Mon.-Sat., from 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. and serves up a cluckin’ good menu. Order a classic fried chicken sandwich like The G.O.A.T., or spice up your life with Nashville Hot Wings + your choice of sauce.
Good Thyme, 1037 Dixieland Mall Ln. | Order at the window and leave your troubles behind you at this tried and true local spot. Here, you can pop in for breakfast from 7:30-11 a.m., or for lunch from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. This spot is always adding unique flavors to the menu like this week’s pulled pork smash burger.
Lakeland BBQ & Ice Cream Company, 2101 S. Combee Rd. | Speaking of bbq, this local spot is one of three locally owned and operated restaurants with locations in Polk City + Avon Park. Here, you can order something like the couch potato, which boasts over 1-lb. of bbq and cheese.
Cafe Zuppina, 4417 S. Florida Ave. | Order at the restaurant counter or shop the market to pick out a home meal at this Mediterranean spot. At Cafe Zuppina, you can order gyro platters, the beef wellington, shish kebabs, or homemade desserts and coffees at the Market.
Black & Brew Coffee House and Bistro, 205 E. Main St. | Stop in the downtown location, or take a scenic drive around Lake Morton to the library location 100 Lake Morton Dr. As you probably know, Black & Brew serves up coffee and tea, plus breakfast, lunch, and dinner, every day of the week.
Born & Bread Bakehouse, 1113 Florida Ave. S. | Born & Bread whips up homemade pastries, breakfast items like cajun biscuits & gravy, baguettes, jams, butter, and lunch like the Cuban croissant.
SoFresh, 4756 Florida Ave. S. | Let your customizable meal ideas soar here, with your choice of a buildable warm bowl, salad, wrap, quesadilla, smoothie, or juice. Not feeling creative? Order a pre-crafted option like the “bbq bowl,” topped with brown rice, corn, onions, black beans, mozzarella, and bbq sauce.
The Joinery, 640 E. Main St. | Lakeland’s one and only food hall, The Joinery is home to eight different counter service spots including Mayday Ice Cream, Plenty, and Gallito Taqueria.
Palace Pizza Downtown, 114 S. Kentucky Ave. | Another local counter service staple, Palace Pizza’s downtown Lakeland spot is one of many locations serving up fresh pizza, pasta, and of course, those fan-favorite garlic knots for both lunch + dinner.
The Juice Box, 4295 Florida Ave. S. | Vegan or vegetarian? The Juice Box has something for you, serving up smoothie bowls, juices, toasts, and more.
Tea Largo Beverage Co., 4634 Cleveland Heights Blvd. | Acai anyone? Tea Largo serves up acai bowls, bubble tea, coffee, matcha, and snacks like Hyppo Pops, Barnana Banana Bites, and more.
Mitchell’s Coffee House, 235 N. Kentucky Ave. | Dine in for breakfast or lunch at this locally-owned cafe. Visitors can stop by for menu items like breakfast burritos, salads, soups, sandwiches, and, of course, coffee.
Did we miss your favorite counter-service spot? Share it with us, as well as your order, here.