Lakeland locals’ favorite classic restaurants

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Palace Pizza | Photo by @thelaltoday

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Classic”: serving as a standard of excellence: of recognized value (traditional, enduring).

We recently asked: “When you think of a “classic” local restaurant in Lakeland, what comes to mind?” We were pleasantly surprised at the volume of mouth-watering responses we received.

To make your dinner (or lunch, brunch, dessert, etc.) time decision less daunting, we narrowed down the list to 17 restaurants that encompass history, classic dishes, (like ‘za + okra) and a strong, local pull.

From Fat Jacks to Reececliff, here are some of the locals’ go-to tastes of home.

Bay Street Bistro, 211 E. Bay St.

Type of food: Upscale Seafood
Price range: $$$
Open for: Dinner
Order this: Beef Wellington – Filet mignon with dijon, mushroom duxelle, and prosciutto, wrapped in a puff pastry and served with a red wine reduction.

Black & Brew Coffee House & Bistro, 205 E.  Main St.

Type of food: Cafe
Price range: $
Open for: Breakfast, Lunch + Dinner
Order this: “Smoked turkey sandwich” – recommended by @gracefullycaptured + “Strawberry toast” – recommended by @davenanna.
Need to know: Make sure to check out the menu at their other Lake Morton location for specialized options.

Café Zuppina, 4417 Florida Ave. S.

Type of food: Mediterranean
Price range: $$
Open for: Lunch + Dinner
Order this: Those brussel sprouts.” – recommended by @theisidoresisters.
Need to know: Swing by The Market to stock up on easy grab + go meals or stay for dessert + Turkish coffee.

Catfish Country Restaurant, 2400 EF Griffin Rd., Bartow

Type of food: Seafood
Price range: $$
Open for: Lunch + Dinner
Order this: Seafood Delight – Baked cod, shrimp, and scallops baked to order + flavored with seasoned bread crumbs.
Need to know: You can order your food for pick-up on the ChowNow app.

Charlie’s Family Restaurant, 2614 Lakeland Hills Blvd. #8

Type of food: All-American
Price range: $
Open for: Breakfast, Lunch + Dinner
Order this: Fiesta Ranchero – Eggs, sausage, onion, bell and Jalapeño peppers, Swiss + American Cheese, all topped with ranchero and sour cream.

Dwayne’s Place Diner & Grill, 6960 Florida Ave. S. 

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Breakfast with the wife . Then date day.

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Type of food: Family + Homestyle
Price range: $
Open for: Breakfast, Lunch + Dinner
Order this: French Toast Breakfast – One French toast, two eggs, a choice of grits, hash browns, or home fries, with a side of sausage or bacon.  

Fat Jacks Deli & Pub, 2940 Florida Ave. S.

Type of food: Deli + pub
Price range: $
Open for: Breakfast, Lunch + Dinner
Order this: Rueben – Boars Head corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing, all served on grilled rye.
Need to know: “FatJacks, is always crowded, but they serve you quickly and the breakfast is great and affordable. Not everyone in Lakeland knows about it, but it’s a great place, and the customer service is great!” Reader Amelia I.

Frescos, 132 S. Kentucky Ave.

Type of food: Pub
Price range: $$
Open for: Breakfast, Lunch + Dinner
Order this:The Big Nashty – recommended by @amie_eats_keto.

Gosh Asian Bistro & Sushi, 4742 Florida Ave. S. 

Type of food: Sushi
Price range: $$
Open for: Lunch + Dinner
Order this: Buddha Delight Roll – Sushi roll with tempura chips, cream cheese, asparagus, avocado, carrots, cucumbers, and scallions.

Jimbo’s Pit Bar BQ, 1215 E. Memorial Blvd.

Type of food: Barbecue restaurant
Price range: $
Open for: Breakfast, Lunch + Dinner
Order this:Chopped pork sandwich with baked beans, ‘slaw, and pickles. Apple pie with cider sauce for dessert.” – recommended by @terryverts.

Mister Fish, 715 E. Palmetto St.

Type of food: Seafood
Price range: $
Open for: Lunch + Dinner
Order this: Large Famous Mister Fish SandwichFish, buns, ketchup, onion, mustard, pickle. #Pro-Tip: Make sure to add on hush puppies. |
Need to know: “Mr. Fish is more of a food stand, but still a local classic!” – @alisonnhart

Palace Pizza, 114 S. Kentucky Ave.

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My favorite place

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Type of food: Pizza
Price range: $
Open for: Lunch + Dinner
Order this: “Their Garlic Knots” – recommended by @danielcheslo, “Lobster ravioli” – recommended by @alyssa_gayle, and “Pasta Al Pesto” – recommended by @jessicakurbatov.

Reececliff Family Diner,  940 Florida Ave. S.

Type of food: All-American
Price range: $
Open for: Breakfast, Lunch + Dinner
Order this: Don’t sleep on their selection of pie flavors for dessert.

Scarpa’s Italian, 1833 E. Edgewood Dr.

Type of food: Italian
Price range: $$
Open for: Dinner
Order this: Delmonico steak with herb butter, purple Peruvian mashed potatoes, and squash soufflé.

S & L Restaurant, 2915 S. Combee Rd.

Type of food: Hamburger
Price range: $
Open for: Breakfast + Lunch
Order this: “Definitely one of their regular burgers, but don’t sleep on the okra or sweet tea.@_kayleeholland
Need to know: They only take cash so hit the ATM before heading over.

The Purple Onion Deli & Grill, 316 N. Kentucky Ave.

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Birthday lunch

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Type of food: Specialty sandwiches, burgers + tater tots
Price range: $
Open for: Breakfast + Lunch
Order this: French Onion Soup – served with grilled Cuban bread + crackers.

The Terrace Grille, 329 E. Main St.

Type of food: American Fine Dining
Price range: $$$
Open for: Breakfast, Lunch + Dinner
Order this: Jumbo Lump Crab Cake Vegetable Medley with Creole Mustard Beurre Blanco.

Quiz

 

See the correct answer at the bottom of today’s newsletter.

– LALtoday team (Jessica + Kaylee)