Bay Street Bistro

4.7
294 reviews
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$30 and under
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French
The Bay Street Bistro is an eclectic restaurant and art gallery serving French, Italian and American cuisine, as well as displaying the areas most talented artists.

The Bay Street Bistro is your destination for top quality dining in a relaxed atmosphere, located conveniently in downtown Lakeland, FL. We pride ourselves on making everything possible from scratch, using the highest quality ingredients we can find!

We are also available for private bookings, dinner parties, business meetings and catering for your next event.
What 294 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.8
service
4.7
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
98% of people would recommend it to a friend
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SS
Tampa
3 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a fine dining experience at Bay Street Bistro. Great food, attentive service and a cozy atmosphere. Lakeland’s finest restaurant.

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SS
Orlando
4 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

My guests and I enjoyed our first visit to Bay Street Bistro. The service and atmosphere were excellent - it's a small and intimate restaurant, and the service was attentive but not intrusive - a nice balance. The food was very good, too. One of us had a seafood dish, another a ribeye steak special, and another guest and I both had duck breast. The seafood vol-au-vent came with shrimp, scallops, and blue crab in a creamy sauce wrapped in puff pastry, and the guest who ordered this was very pleased. The ribeye was also well prepared and done exactly as specified - nicely seared, medium rare inside. The duck was tender and tasty, but mine was slightly less done than I would have liked. Meals came with soup or salad - three of us each ordered a different soup, all delicious and served bowl size, not cup. The fourth diner had a caprese salad for a slight upcharge. Sides came with the dinner (not a la carte) and included mashed potatoes and either broccoli or sautéed mixed vegetables. The mashed potatoes tasted heavy to me, but I enjoyed the vegetables (squashes, carrots, and onion). It was a small but adequate portion, given the size of the soup servings - and the delicious hot bread and pesto that also came with the meal. For dessert we shared two orders of house-baked chocolate cake, and it may be the best I've ever had. The portions were generous, too. We ordered two bottles of wine, as well. My only issue with this restaurant was the prices, including the wine. For example, the steak was $50, and it wasn't a very thick one. I think prices were in general a bit high for the level of innovation and for Lakeland. The meals did include side dishes, which isn't always the case, so that helped. We agreed that the prices were $5-$10 high per entree, even with sides included, and everyone in my party was experienced with fine dining. Nevertheless, the food was good, we had no regrets, and I will recommend Bay Street and return, but probably just for special occasions.

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OT
Tampa
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely fantastic !!

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GL
Tampa
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Service was exceptional
Food was delicious, main course
French onion soup was Salty
Kind of noisy
Wine was some of the best I’ve had in Lakeland
You have to try this place

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MP
Tampa
8 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always fantastic; Jacob our server; the best and very attentive to individual needs. Would highly recommend!

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JW
Tampa
13 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Wonderful ambiance in a 98 year old brick building. Excellent service and very good food. Slightly pricey for location however remember price includes soup or salad plus meal, starch and vegetable. Will be back.

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t
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is delicious! Generous serving and a very romantic atmosphere. They only have beer and wine but their wine menu is large. I definitely recommend.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

We had a nice time. The waitress was great. Escargot was good, but the sauce was extremely salty. My beef Wellington was good, reduction was, again super salty, especially since there is panchetta on the Beef Wellington. We are salt ahilics, so the salt was really overwhelming. The duck was over cooked, and a very small portion compared to other places we have had duck. Ambience is nice. Wine choices are excellent. I had the Riesling and it was great.

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RB
Tampa
4 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Other than a table of eight people in the center of the room that was obnoxiously loud, everything was perfect. Even though James (owner) was not present this evening, his staff functioned like clockwork and the food was excellent as always.

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KK
Tampa
3 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My family was visiting on vacation this week and I took them to my favorite restaurant in Lakeland. Again, the food was wonderful and the staff was excellent. I highly recommend the experience with their friendly staff and your taste buds will also thank you. They have a pretty good wine menu as well.

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OT
Tampa
5 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Really nice place.

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KK
Tampa
3 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have been there several times in the past 6 months and never had anything to complain about. The food is always cooked to perfection and the staff is wonderfully friendly and takes care of you. The prices are higher and its worth it!!!

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JH
Cleveland
2 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have been going to Bay Street for about Seven years, and it never fails. Great food, great service, and a great place to go for any occasion.

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R
Tampa
5 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place and great service.
The noise level is a bit high but
the chef and staff really do a great
job taking care of you.

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RD
Cincinnati
3 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely wonderful! Hidden gem in downtown Lakeland. The atmosphere - very romantic. The food - outstanding! It’s a bit pricey, but you get what you pay for. The service - top notch. I had the scallops and they were some of the best I’ve ever had.

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OT
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service. Prices were a little high especially when a vegetarian pasta cost the same as the other main entrees. The escargot was amazing. Food was delicious.

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MP
Tampa
8 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We go here weekly; that speaks for itself. It is consistently excellent. Attentive staff and delicious food!

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DP
Charleston
1 review
Dined on February 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent all around. Great value. Good food. Highly recommend.

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BB
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

The last time I was at the restaurant was approx a year ago, March 2018. The food was much better then. Service was okay but the individual that new the most about menu and ingredients was a floater and our waiter was either newer or didn't take the time to study or learn more about the finer points of upscale dining service. I may try them again in the future to see if they come back up. Also I see that the wait staff from last year is no longer there.

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M
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was my first visit and I will definitely go again.

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SF
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

A gem in Lakeland. Maybe a bit pricy but wonderful food, great service. Highly recommend.

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JJ
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent meal, combined with great service. Highly recommend.

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JR
Orlando
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I booked a reservation here for myself and 3 co-workers. The setting was quaint and inviting. Service was excellent, as well as the meal and drinks. I am not from Lakeland but would return again on another visit.

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AH
Orlando
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Enjoyed our visit. It did take a little longer but they compensated us

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CB
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I would absolutely recommend The Bay Street Bistro to a friend. My boyfriend and I were celebrating a late Valentines Day Dinner and the quality of the meal, as well as the service was truly astounding. To top off such an amazing experience, our server personally wrote 'Happy Valentines' on our dessert dish, which was on the house. I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone who wants to dine in a classy, comforting, and extraordinary ambiance. Absolutely Fabulous!

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PS
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Both courses (herb crusted lamb and chicken cordon bleu) were the best We’ve had. Tomato bisque was devine and the Caesar salad was the perfect balance of tang and heartiness. Never feel like I was waiting on drinks too. Also the bread and pesto dip was incredible.

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SC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was fantastic, food was incredible, and the ambiance was romantic and intimate. Every member of the staff we encountered was incredibly friendly and accommodating. The food choices provided a great range of options, and the wine list had great choices. We absolutely loved it and definitely will be coming back!

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EP
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We wanted a restaurant where we left thinking “that was the best food we’ve had in a long time!” Bay Street Bistro hit the spot. It had great food, great staff, the timing of our meal was fantastic so we didn’t feel rushed, everything was cooked to perfection, and it tasted amazing. My mouth is watering to go back!

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MV
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Bay Street Bistro has the best steaks in town. This is a great restaurant to go to.

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BJ
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Even if you just go for the food, it's worth the trip. However, the service and decor were both delightful. My group of 4 truly enjoyed ourselves. My husband and I intend to make this a regular stop.

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S
Tampa
29 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best dinner I ever had there. The place is elegant but very comfortable. There is an amazing near life size photo of a woman at a street restaurant towards the back on the right. Finishes off the decor perfectly.

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r
Orlando
51 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great service and our Grouper was awesome cooked Mediterranean way

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DB
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 3

We had visited this restaurant before and were looking forward to dinner there again on our annual drive through Lakeland. Unfortunately it was a disappointing evening. The restaurant was hosting several large groups, one over 16 and one at least ten or more and it is a small place. The noise level was uncomfortably loud. One of us ordered Beef Wellington (it was a special day) and found it tough and chewy. The other diner ordered Shrimp with Cappellini and was overwhelmed by the raw garlic taste. Way too overpowering. Neither of us ate more than half of our entree. The soup and salad appetizer was fine, though, and service was excellent.

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

Over priced and unimaginative. Would not expect any chef to offer 5 preparations of their fish entree. Just lack luster, I am a breed home cook.

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OT
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sea Scallops amazing as always! Service was superb. You guys never disappoint.

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M
Tampa
3 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a fantastic meal. Great place for every day or a special evening. Wait staff was very professional and fun.

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Was a little disapointed when server told me they where out of the veal marsala. Especially upsetting since was only 7pm . Explained to me none came in delivery that day. Wife said her selection , 1/2 rack of lamb tasted as good as it looked, and my 2nd selection, the chicken cordon bleu, was excellent. Overall would have been a 5 star rating if had not been out of my original selection, the veal marsala.

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OT
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A hidden gem in Lakeland!

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a
Montana
17 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner with grown children. Always great food and attentive service. Save room for desert.

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R
Tampa
5 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Each time we visit we have excellent service and the specials are unique and different.
We highly recommend the restaurant and the best part we feel its better then some of
Tampa upscale spots.

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