With more than 550 lakes dotting Polk County, locals and visitors alike all have their favorite lakeside dining spot. In Winter Haven, with full-length windows and a lakeside patio, Harborside Restaurant is a modern American steakhouse, seafood and oyster bar that features only the finest cuts of dry aged meat and daily delivered fresh fish. Also in Winter Haven, with its neighborhood restaurant feel and its location on the shores of Lake Ned, no place epitomizes casual lakefront dining more than Harry’s Old Place. Situated on the shores of scenic Lake Pierce in Lake Wales, Cherry Pocket Steak & Seafood Shak provides a perfect blend of entertainment, scenery and fresh seafood.
If you’re headed to Winter Haven or Lakeland for a romantic weekend, or if your kids have a sophisticated palate, book a reservation at our most popular fine dining restaurants including Arabellas Ristorante and Nutwood in Winter Haven, or Nineteen61, Bay Street Bistro and Scarpa’s Italian in Lakeland. In 2017, Arabellas Ristorante was named in OpenTable’s Most Romantic Florida Restaurants list.
From kid-friendly restaurants and barbecue restaurants recognized by Garden & Gun Magazine, to Gastropubs and TripAdvisor’s #1 restaurant in Lakeland, here are a few of our local favorites: Andy’s Drive-in Restaurant & Igloo, Fire Restaurant and Bistro Pizza in Winter Haven, Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grille, Red Door Lakeland and Café Zuppina in Lakeland, and Peebles Bar-B-Q in Auburndale.
Sweets & Baked Good
Cookies, cakes, pies, and CRUFFINS are just a few of the goodies you can find at the various artisanal bakeries located in Polk County. But don’t fear – if you’d rather gelato or perhaps a Turkish coffee, we’ve got you covered too. Our local favorites include Born & Bread Bakehouse (Cruffins) and The Market at Café Zuppina in Lakeland. If you’re on the east side of Polk County, go to Gourmet Goodies Bake Shop in Winter Haven or Lavender n’ Lace Tea Room in Lake Alfred.
You can visit chain coffee shops anywhere, so be sure to experience one of Polk County’s locally owned shops during your Central Florida vacation. Concord Coffee in Lakeland is a roaster and coffee shop, Hillcrest Coffee features a variety of locally roasted beans including Ethos Roasters, while Black & Brew Coffee House & Bistro in Lakeland brews locally roasted Patriot Coffee. Ethos Roasters is also served at N+1 Coffee in Winter Haven.