International food tour of Polk County, FL

Taste your way around the world without leaving Polk County at these 33 restaurants and markets.

zuppina

Cafe Zuppina | Photo by Tina Sargeant Photography

Table of Contents

If you’re like us, you’re always on the hunt for new and exciting international dishes. Fortunately, Polk County is the perfect place to experience the world via international cuisine. Try one of these 32 restaurants and markets for your next meal — no passport required.

Empanadas on a plate with a green dipping sauce

Dip into Latin American cuisine with empanadas by Zarza Latin Food & Grill.

Photo by @zarzarestaurant

Latin America + Caribbean

Zarza Latin Food & Grill, 4648 Cleveland Heights Blvd. | Try a dish fresh from the grill that blends the culinary styles of Peru, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Cuba, and Ecuador.

La Calentana, 1725 W. Memorial Blvd. | This hole-in-the-wall taco stand offers fresh food and creative drinks like Micheladas, and the storefront offers favorites from flan to peppers and spices.

La Imperial Bakery, 830 E. Main St. | This family-owned bakery serves up Puerto Rican-style baked goods, breakfast, and lunch.

Nineteen61, 215 E. Main St. | This restaurant offers brunch, lunch, and dinner menus featuring upscale Latin American cuisine with a modern twist — we recommend the cocktail menu, as well.

West Caribbean Cuban Restaurant, 2215 S. Combee Rd. | Stop by for home-style Cuban sandwiches at this spot open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Mega Mercado, 2009 George Jenkins Blvd. | Whether you want to restock your pantry or try a new Mexican dish at the restaurant next door, try Mega Mercado on your next grocery run. Pro tip: Try the conchas for a sweet treat after your meal.

Sweet Corn Arepa, Lakeland Downtown Farmers Curb Market | Find this booth at the Farmers Market to order an arepa — a Colombian dish made of sweet corn and mozzarella cheese.

Bandidas, locations vary | Dishes and locations vary weekly, but they often find their inspiration in Latin American flavors. Find baked goods and savory bites at local events and farmers markets.

A hand holding a colorful cake pop in front of the Mass Market sign in Lakeland, FL

Pop into local establishments to pick up DOU Bakehouse’s treats.

Photo by @doubakehouse

Europe

DOU Bakehouse, locations vary | This patisserie bakes specialty French macarons, cakes, cookies, and more. Pro tip: Find their baked goods and chocolate bars at Cafe Zuppina and Pressed.

Scarpa’s Italian, 1831 E. Edgewood Dr. | This restaurant’s menu is inspired by traditional Italian cuisine, rooted in the family’s own history of immigrating to America.

Bay Street Bistro, 211 E. Bay St. | This restaurant’s menu provides a diverse representation of offerings with blended European cuisine at its heart. Pro tip: Start your meal off with an appetizer of escargot or bruschetta.

Il Forno Italian Restaurant, 3615 S. Florida Ave. | If you’re looking for Italian-style comfort food, then this is the spot for you. Single-serve and family-style options are available for all appetites.

Uncle Nick’s Italian Deli and Bagels, 6955 Old Hwy. 37 and 1755 E. Edgewood Dr. | Fresh items are baked daily at this Italian deli — pick up a batch of bagels or classic chicken Parmesan.

1916 Irish Pub, 2900 Buckingham Ave. | Play a round of golf before grabbing a pint of beer and a classic Irish meal like corned beef hash.

Best of British Cafe & Bar, 150 California Blvd., Davenport | Specializing in British comfort food, this restaurant’s menu features afternoon tea, toasties, sarnies, a full English breakfast, classic entrees, and more.

Mediterranean Fresh Grill, 6035 Cypress Gardens Blvd., Winter Haven | Get a taste of the Mediterranean with the stuffed grape leaves and pomegranate-glazed salmon.

Crumbles & Cream, 113 S. Evers St., Plant City | Owned by baker Grit Rambusch — a certified pastry chef trained in the south of Germany — this bakery is the spot for those looking for a true taste of Deutschland.

The Proper Pie Co., 511 US Hwy. 17-92 W., Ste. 520, Haines City | Founded in 2008, this shop whips up traditional pies, fish and chips, sweet treats, and offers English groceries.

Bowls of Mediterranean food from Cafe Zuppina

A bowl to-go from Cafe Zuppina’s Market pairs great with a Turkish coffee.

Photo by @cafezuppina

Middle East + Africa

Cafe Zuppina, 4417 S. Florida Ave. | Try unique Mediterranean, Eastern European, and Middle Eastern menu options for lunch or dinner. Pro tip: Grab and go with coffee, pastries, and boxed meals from The Market next door.

Street Cafe, 1023 E. County Rd. 540A | This spot offers freshly made Egyptian foods like shawarma, kofta, and shakshuka.

Manna International Street Food, locations vary | Experience the flavor of Ugandan street food at this food truck. Often spotted at The Yard on Mass, we recommend trying the samosas and skewers.

A platter of colorful sushi from New Moon Sushi

Get your chopsticks ready because we’re on a roll.

Photo by @newmoonsushi

Asia

New Moon Sushi, 4231 S. Florida Ave. | Order up traditional Japanese menu options like sashimi, specialty sushi rolls, soups, and katsu.

Shanghai Express, 2914 S. Florida Ave. | If you’re looking for Chinese comfort food, stop in for egg drop soup, chow mein, fried rice, and a variety of milk teas — make sure to check out the grocery store inside while you’re there.

Curry Mango, 6625 S. Florida Ave. | Open for lunch and dinner, this restaurant offers an expansive selection of Indian dishes. Pro tip: Come in on Sunday afternoons for an all-you-can-eat buffet of foods like hearty butter chicken.

Sabu Ramen, The Joinery, 640 E. Main St. | Here you can try flavorful ramen dishes, steamed buns, and katsu, plus milk, boba, and Thai teas.

Thai Oishi Restaurant, 1535 Town Center Dr. | If you’re craving Thai and Japanese cuisine, this restaurant has you covered. With offerings like Thai fried rice, sushi rolls, ramen, and curry to choose from, you won’t run out of options.

Saigon Bistro, 1554 Town Center Dr. W. | This restaurant’s menu offers an array of Vietnamese dishes and beverages. Choose from options like rice noodle salads, egg noodle soups, rice plates, and sweet milk teas.

MyIndiKitchen, 2810 Lakeland Highlands Rd. | This restaurant offers plenty of vegetarian options, plus pick-up and delivery options if you’d like your Indian food to go.

Pho Tan, 2920 S. Combee Rd. | If you’re a fiend for Pho, then this is the spot for you. Explore their plethora of dishes including Vietnamese bread, lemongrass vermicelli, and Southeast Asian beverages and teas.

Seeking even more sushi spots? Check out seven more of our favorites here.

Markets

Jerusalem Mediterranean Market, 2068 E. Edgewood Dr. | Experience the flavors of the Middle East, Mediterranean, and South Asia at this market. Halal and kosher options are available, and you can pick up a wide variety of fresh bread and sweets, produce, herbs, and more.

SV Oriental Market, 839 N. Lake Parker Ave. | Find various herbs, spices, and foods at this Asian market — one of the largest in Lakeland.

New India Bazaar, 2948 S. Combee Rd. | This market is a great place to find Indian food, including produce, spices, curries, and rice.

Gigi’s Oriental Market, 1751 E. Edgewood Dr. | Shop for prepared foods and gifts, plus a selection of Korean and international groceries.

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