Bay Street Bistro

4.7
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366 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 366 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
4.8
food
4.8
service
4.5
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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CC
Orlando
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Ambiance is only so so in an old refurbished building. A bit pricey, but food and service is excellent.

JG
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The restaurant wasn't very busy when we arrived so we were able to chat with the owner who offered the history of the building and restaurant. The food is amazing and worth every penny on our special day. Small and intimate, a great place for a great meal!

JT
1 review
Dined on February 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely amazing dining experience. I’m only sorry it took us so long to find it. Will return again and again.

CS
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful space, vibe, food, & service. The wife and I really enjoyed the Filet and Beef Wellington. Also, the baked brie and escargot were phenomenal.

OT
Orlando
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very unassuming exterior, set in an old building and retaining lots of the old charm. The food was absolutely incredible. I had escargot, caprese salad, and Beef Wellington. The wife had baked brie, and the scampi. Everything was perfectly prepared, best escargot I've ever had! The beef wellington was so good I had to give half of it to the wife, but I got some scampi as trade, also amazing.

Expensive but worth every penny, even if it was twice the price. Excellent service!

OT
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We enjoyed Bay Street Bistro for a Valentines date night. The meal was great and the service was efficient. We hope to go back for a more casual dinner one evening.

MP
Tampa
12 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

James as always did a fabulous job on Valentines Day. He runs a wonderful restaurant and has a fantastic chef Kevin and very accomplished staff. I love going here on a weekly basis!!

EL
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved our Valentine's dinner. We will definitely come back. The food was amazing and the service was excellent.

FC
Tampa
6 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic as always. The attentive staff makes you feel special.

JE
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were celebrating an anniversary and a birthday with good friends. The wine we wanted was unavailable. I would have brought our own bottle but only found out later that was an option. The meal was amazing. We ordered escargot and stuffed portabella. Yum. Each bite just melted in your mouth. The entrees were presented at just the right time in the meal by our server Lindsay. The beef Wellington was hands down the top meal. because or our celebration we were presented with 2 free desserts. The choices could not have been prepared in the same kitchen because they were quite dense and way too much for an after dinner treat. I should have chosen the crime brûlée as it was likely made in house.

OT
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Absolutely fantastic and consistent..... James is very involved and the chef is awesome. Service is on point.

OT
Tampa
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a quiet girls night out and we loved everything about our 1st visits to Bay Street Bistro! Look forward to returning with my husband and trying another delicious dinner!

JW
1 review
Dined on February 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent meal. I had the Chilean sea bass and my wife enjoyed the black grouper. The waiter/owner JAMES was very pleasant and interesting. We really enjoyed our visit and will be back. Also the homemade desserts we shared were wonderful.

WE
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Bay Street is our favorite place for fish. All entrees we have tried have not disappointed. Kevin’s steak dishes are to die for as are his lamb. My only wish is that once in a while we would like a special that bus different from the menu. For instance blue point oysters or North Atlantic sword fish.

AS
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Had dinner with out of town guests. Took our time and ordered appetizers and wine before entrees. Never felt rushed. We met the proprietor and found that everything is made in house including the delicious bread. Will definitely visit here again

OT
San Antonio
6 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Slow! In fairness to them, they had a large party there at the same time. Or waiter was very pleasant but did not know the details of their menu. The Caesar Salad has little taste, but my wife really liked the Butternut Squash Soup. The Crispy Duck with Wild Mushroom Confit was exquisite but a small portion. My wife had the Pork Shank Osso Buco and it was outstanding! Wines are priced reasonably and they have a good selection. Would definitely come back again when there is not a large pary that elevates the noise level.

CS
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service. Best restaurant in Lakeland.

RB
Tampa
9 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We visit Bay Street Bistro several times a year and are never disappointed. Every part of the meal is always outstanding, and we particularly look forward to the blueberry / lemon cake for dessert. The scallops are my wife's favorite entrée, and she is so spoiled by Bay Street's scallops that she will only order them at another restaurant as a last resort.

Without a doubt, Bay Street Bistro is the best restaurant that Lakeland has ever had in the 36 years that I have lived here.

OT
1 review
Dined on January 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was nice -good food and peaceful.

OT
Orlando
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

If you are looking for an outstanding place to eat this is the place for you!!! Food was A MAZ ING!!! Service was outstanding.

t
Charleston
3 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

About halfway in between Orlando and Tampa you'll find this classic little bistro that puts out some very classic dishes that'll have you coming back for more. The duck was perfectly seasoned and the balance of sweet to salty was perfection. The Wellington was even better than the duck! Dessert was a combination of peanut butter and chocolate that's made in house by the chef. Bay Street Bistro is a cute little place featuring some very nice pieces of art in the walls, an upbeat vibe, friendly staff, and great plates. I'm looking forward to a second visit to try more of the menu.

@tripswithjake

OT
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We really like going there. A hidden jewel in Lakeland.

CJ
Tampa
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

We made reservations through Open Table. We arrived 10 minutes earlier than our reservations. The owner of the restaurant said he did not have our reservations. He was very rude and not accommodating even when we showed him our confirmation number from Open Table. He told us he didn't know what to tell us. He didn't have a table for us. Did not apologize. We will never be back.

CS
Tampa
3 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best food and service in Lakeland!

CR
Savannah
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Bay Street Bistro is my go-to restaurant for the best food Lakeland has to offer. The space is quaint, the menu is very well rounded, well prepared and attractively presented giving every guest a range of choices. The servers are attentive and caring. The owner takes time to be assured of everyone's satisfaction.
It is not inexpensive, but it is worth a special evening.

MP
Tampa
13 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always reliable friendly service with outstanding food; we go there weekly.

D
1 review
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved the atmosphere, the food excellent, and service was superb! Highly recommend.

RT
Orlando
16 reviews
Dined on December 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

I am so glad Lakeland has Bay Street Bistro.
Love the food, polite waiters, desserts to die for!

t
San Antonio
36 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful dining experience! Every dish was described in detail. All homemade and delicious!! We'll be back.

J
Tampa
3 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Quiet, out of the way restaurant. Great for date night or a meeting with friends where conversation is important. The food is very good and service attentive but not intrusive.

JD
Tampa
3 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Terrific made to order. Grilled grouper was perfectly fine. Nightly special of scallops over parmesan risotto was great!

RB
Tampa
10 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Typical evening at Bay Street Bistro. Excellent meal, including that wonderful blueberry / lemon cake for dessert. Outstanding, attentive service. Bay Street Bistro never fails to live up to our expectations for the best restaurant (by far) in Lakeland.

DE
1 review
Dined on October 31, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

I would go back this Bay Street Bistro and have told many friends about our wonderful dinner and service

EA
Columbus
2 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Dinner with my granddaughter

OT
Charleston
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Chef Kevin is gifted and the restaurant beautiful.

R
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It a very good place. Will be going back, its more than 5 Star. Great for special occasion.

MP
Tampa
13 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience4

We had the please of the owner being our waiter and had an outstanding experience. Always a pleasure to dine at such a fine establishment and the food is always consistently excellent. So nice they remember us individually and our specific tastes!!

CM
Tampa
2 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall1food3service2ambience2

the food was ok but cold. it was overpriced for the food. the quality was ok, the service was just ok considering there were only 2 tables of customers.

H
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food,service and value. Owner took time to see that his customers were satisfied . Great spot!

RB
Tampa
10 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As usual, everything we had was outstanding. James and his staff do a great job.

However, I do have a comment regarding the server. This actually pertains to so many servers in the industry today. It involves the use of the words "we, us, and our." The server should not ask if "we" are ready to order. or how is "our" meal, or is everything good for "us." These words all are properly used to include the speaker, or in this case, the server. So many servers today are using these words incorrectly, and I find it to be quite condescending. Restaurant owners and managers, please break your servers of this annoying practice.