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Bay Street Bistro, Lakeland, FL
Bay Street Bistro, Lakeland, FL
Bay Street Bistro, Lakeland, FL
Bay Street Bistro, Lakeland, FL
Bay Street Bistro, Lakeland, FL

Bay Street Bistro

4.7
4.7
876 Reviews
$50 and over
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.

NOTE: Reservations of a party of 6 or more, please call us directly at: 863-683-4229.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 8 times today

Additional information

  • Dining style
    Casual Elegant
  • Price
    $50 and over
  • Cuisines
    French, Contemporary American, Contemporary French / American
  • Hours of operation
    Dinner Tue–Thu 5:00 pm–8:00 pm Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–9:00 pm
  • Phone number
    (863) 683-4229
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Dress code
    Business Casual
  • Executive chef
    Kevin Smith
  • Catering
    We are available to cater your next event no matter how big or small. You can choose items from our existing menu or create your own custom menu with our chef Kevin Smith. Please contact us to find out more.
  • Private party facilities
    We are available for private bookings, dinner parties and business meetings. Please contact us to find out more.
  • Private party contact
    James Rawlins: (863) 683-4229
  • Neighborhood
    Lakeland
  • Cross street
    N. Kentucky Ave.
  • Parking details
    Free parking is available after 5pm in the parking lot on the ride side of our building. Private lot signs are posted in the parking area, however there is free public parking in the lot after 5pm every day.
  • Public transit
    We are located within a short walk from the main bus station for our local public transit system Citrus Connection, on South Florida Avenue.
  • Entertainment
    We support and display various works from the areas most talented artists in our dining room.
  • Additional
    Banquet, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Gluten-free Options, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What 876 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.7
4.7 based on recent ratings
  • 4.7Food
  • 4.8Service
  • 4.6Ambience
  • 4.4Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Tampa / Central Florida West

    French

876 Reviews
  1. OpenTable Diner

    Tampa

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined 1 day ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Osso bucco was fantastic!! Three of us had it. Fourth had the beef Wellington. So yummy! Great crispy fresh Cesar salad with warm rolls and seasoned butter was divine, as was the lentil soup. Took home dessert. Of course the lemon blueberry cake. What a way to celebrate four birthdays!!! Bravo….we will be back. If only someone could fix the poor acoustics.

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  2. BarbaraL

    Western NC

    17 reviews

    5.0

    17 reviews

    Dined on March 23, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    While a lot of restaurants depend on Instagramable plates and chase food trends to drum up customers, the Bay Street Bistro is confident in its Frenchish/Americanish menu that almost tastes like a throwback to the good ole pre-social media places found in every big city. Now these bistros are rarities in cities but thankfully you can find them in charming towns like Lakeland that offer historic downtown buildings to house small unique restaurants with chefs who care about their food instead of ubiquitous chains where cooks come and go, unattached to the mundane final product. Even the decor doesn't feel designed to death, but is cozy and conducive to a wonderful sit down meal with linen tablecloths and unhurried courses. Our servers were easygoing and attentive without hovering over us, and were fine with splitting plates and ordering appetizers as mains. My older son (a new doctor) is moving to Lakeland and said recruiters always courted him in high end steak restaurants with, well, flavorless hunks of meat. The Bay Street Bistro delivered the best ribeye he'd eaten alongside mashed potatoes and gravy and roasted vegetables. He split the 20-ouncer with the Dad who seconded it as "best steak" in a long time. They also split a huge platter of escargots in garlic butter, soft, melt-in-your-mouth morsels out of their shells. My daughter-in-law chose the baked brie with a wild blueberry compote on toast points. Wasn't this an 1970/1980's trend? I miss it. She loved it with the poached pear salad on greens. Meanwhile, I devoured a huge bowl of mussels in decadent garlic cream sauce, scooping up the cream in empty shells with my fingers. Oh, for the days when diners felt no guilt about cream and butter! California cuisine be damned! Well worth the calories and fat. You can intermittent fast the next day to repent, or do an extra workout if you end your dinner with a homemade cake or crumble, luring you as they sit on a nearby antique French sideboard.

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  3. CSully

    Tampa

    37 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    37 reviews

    Dined on March 20, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Had a fabulous birthday meal! The escargot, caesar salad, beef bourguignon, Rombauer Zinfandel, and dessert were all perfect!

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  4. Jack

    Orlando

    28 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    28 reviews

    Dined on March 14, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    The food was very good, service excellent. We’ll go back.

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  5. Wisteria

    New Orleans

    59 reviews

    5.0

    59 reviews

    Dined on March 10, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    All of our party of four thought this was one of the best meals we’ve had in sometime. Wonderful duck breast with risotto cooked perfectly with incredible reduction sauce Tender beef Wellington with yummy mashed potatoes. Fantastic sea bass. The salads were fresh and delicious. Excellent wine. We shared a superb blueberry cake with a light and incredible lemon icing. Nice atmosphere. I definitely recommend this place

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  6. OpenTable Diner

    Orlando

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on March 7, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The ambiance was nice. Very romantic and the service was amazing. Food is top notch

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  7. CharleneRedhead007

    Tampa

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on March 6, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The food was excellent and the service couldn't have been any better.

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  8. April

    Orlando

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 2, 2024

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 1
    Disappointed. Heard good things and was expecting a much different experience. First, it is crowded, a lot tables are crammed in a small space, as soon as you walk in the front door there is a table. Second, we were not greeted by anyone, we had to walk toward the kitchen area to find someone. It was very loud, definitely not a spot to go if you’re looking for a quiet romantic evening like we were. We were immediately told they were understaffed by the owner so we expected a wait for the food. I ordered the $70 filet mignon entree and was served the tenderloin tip which was extremely disappointing, it was extremely overcooked, even for well done. It was hard as a rock and inedible, and my side of risotto was cold. My husband liked his sea bass but not enough to finish the whole dish. The owner did take the filet dish off our bill, but I left hungry and had to stop on the way home to get something to eat. Overall, we were looking for a romantic quaint French restaurant and this was not that place for us unfortunately.

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  9. LyndaM

    Northern MI

    2 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on March 2, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Always a treat when in Lakeland…OMG! Try the duck appetizer. SO Delish!

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  10. JenniferR

    Orlando

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 1, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    We had not been in years but the quality was still great.

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  11. BryanA

    Tampa

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 29, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Had a great meal. Atmosphere was great. Highly recommend.

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  12. JeanetteC

    Tampa

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 28, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Best restaurant in Lakeland Quality of food, service, ambiance top notch 5 stars!

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  13. MeredithG

    Greater Boston

    11 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on February 24, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The food was delicious, and service was perfect. We drove in for the night to go to a concert and were worried about leaving leftovers in the car during the show. Our server filled a bag with ice and wrapped everything up for us - above and beyond! We will definitely return.

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  14. JimD

    Tampa

    19 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    19 reviews

    Dined on February 23, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    excellent food and great service. As always, a very enjoyable evening.

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  15. OpenTable Diner

    New York City

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 18, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    My husband and I had one of the best meals here last night. From the wine to the dessert, every sip and every bite was impeccable! U must visit, worth every penny.

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  16. NelsonG

    Tampa

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 17, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Went with my wife for Valentine weekend and we were not disappointed. I am not an expert, but I do have culinary training and experience. This place is special. It was one of the best dining experiences we have had. Service was great, everyone was friendly and knowledgeable. Food was outstanding! There are some touches and techniques that show mastery of a craft, only skilled individual would appreciate. Throughout our dinner there were many moments like that. For instance, the bread... perfect crust, but once cracked open exposes a fluffy warm interior. The butter, fluffy and flavorful. Not hard and salty. The mussels, giving a hint of seafood but perfectly complementing the umami in the creamy garlic sauce. Filet precisely cooked to temp still maintaining a crust.... and fluffy little creamy nuggets of lobster, without being rubbery. Asparagus, cooked through but still snappy with velvety mashed potatoes. Only thing I regret is not leaving room for dessert. Next time. "Perfection is many little things all done correctly." - Marco P. White

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  17. ScottB

    Orlando

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 17, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The food was delicious. Great flavors and presentation. The service is always spectacular. It is always a pleasure to dine there.

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  18. JeffS

    Tampa

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 17, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    This is our go to special occasion place. We love the atmosphere and the food. Service is always perfect. I cannot wait until our next chance to visit.

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  19. Rick

    Jacksonville

    8 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on February 16, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great food Had Filet,Scampi and Duck All were excellent and great desert. Busy night but service and food were excellent. We will be back

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  20. OpenTable Diner

    Tampa

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 3
    There are too many things and not enough space. We were very disappointed in the experience. The food tasted good but came out cold. The cost was really high for the lack of detail. When we mentioned the cold food we were blown off and no one apologized for it. The owner was too busy with one table the entire time we were there. Must have been someone important. We have eaten there many times in the past but this may be the last.

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  21. Stardust

    Tampa

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on February 14, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Bay Street Bistro is romantic and charming! The perfect place for an anniversary or romantic evening. Food is superb!! Top notch gourmet, and service is perfect! Everything you'd want in a French restaurant

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  22. NancyB

    Tampa

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on February 14, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    My family and I love the Bay Street Bistro. We will be back again and again

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  23. CraigM

    Tampa

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on February 14, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The best restaurant in Lakeland. Always a treat to be able to experience. The filet was insane.

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  24. CarolPms

    Tampa

    154 reviews

    4.0

    154 reviews

    Dined on February 10, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    For a small place it is very very efficient & attentive & unlike any other place we have recently visited. Management obviously made good decisions hiring. We loved our meals -- the Beef Wellington & the filet Oscar special. Tried a glass of a new wine (to me.) It was accurately described to me. Appreciate the meal comes with a soup or salad & just enough accompaniments -- we still took home leftovers !

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  25. AdamC

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 9, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Perfect place for date night! My wife and I had a great time. The food was amazing, the service was impeccable, and the atmosphere was perfect.

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  26. KathyS

    Raleigh

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 9, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We went for our anniversary and found the service to be amazing! This restaurant lives up to its reviews in every category. We highly recommend it for any special occasion.

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  27. OpenTable Diner

    Tampa

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 8, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    I ordered the ribeye. Medium rare, It came extremely rare. I sent it back and all they tried to do was warm it up a little bit and send it back and it was extremely rare, still. Nobody from the back ever came out to talk to us. I told Our waitress, that I was done with the steak. And I did not want it. The house salad was very bland with no real flavor. I was kind of disappointed. The fact that a stick cost $75, If it was sent back, all they did was try to warm it up a little more.. I was very disappointed. I have been to a number of steakhouses around the Bay area. And if I ever had a problem, they always gave me a new stake. Freshly cooked, I'm not really sure why they did it this way. No one ever came out and talked to us, very disappointed.

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  28. KimV

    Tampa

    37 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    37 reviews

    Dined on February 7, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We celebrated my husband’s birthday here. It was a great choice! Amazing sea bass! Cooked perfectly and chef even added our favorite sauce. Wonderful service! Also loved the wine selection and homemade dessert! It’s been a while since we’ve eaten here. Not sure why. Will definitely be back soon!

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  29. WesE

    Atlanta Metro

    14 reviews

    5.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on February 3, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Food, service, wine list are all way above average. There is no other that does seafood as well. The servers are attentive and friendly. We feel at home there. That is not typical of a fine dining restaurant. We take guests there without hesitation and always receive raves. Bay Street has been our go to spot for over a decade.

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  30. MariaF

    Tampa

    26 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on February 3, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The salmon mediterranean was very fresh and plentiful. Loved the peach salad. Dessert we shared was the lemon and blueberry cake.

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  31. JohnC

    Tampa

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on February 2, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We really enjoyed coming back and appreciate the high standards. The food was very good and service great! Nice to see James and that he is still making his great homemade desserts.

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  32. NinaM

    Tampa

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 31, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Food was great. The service was very prompt and helpful.

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  33. OpenTable Diner

    Tampa

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on January 27, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    From the appetizers to desserts the meal was outstanding. Fresh, flavorful and prepared to perfection. Staff was attentive, helpful and very pleasant. If there is a negative it would be the noise level is over the top. If you come early enough you can have a pleasant conversation although once the restaurant fills up it is very difficult. Our appetizers we enjoyed: baked brie and escargot (so tender and flavorful). The entrees: we had: Beef Wellington; Eggplant dish; puff pastry with seafood; filet mignon. Everyone at the table enjoyed their meals and time together.

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  34. OpenTable Diner

    Orlando

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 27, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The food was excellent. We had escargot as our appetizer and beef wellington, which was cooked perfectly. The server was efficient and pleasant. It's a little loud but lots of fun energy.

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  35. DebiW

    New York City

    14 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on January 17, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    Pear salad, scallops & Chilean sea bass special were phenomenal!

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  36. JimD

    Tampa

    19 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    19 reviews

    Dined on January 12, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    excellent food and service. A most pleasant evenng out.

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  37. Looloo

    E. Tennessee

    16 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    16 reviews

    Dined on January 12, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Food is kind of pricey but delicious: it is all cooked and seasoned very well, as far as the ambience it was a little bright at first, but when the lights were dimmed the elegance of the restaurant really showed.

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  38. LindaS

    New York City

    15 reviews

    4.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on January 11, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    Yes, a 5 star expensive restaurant, but it was like going to a an artsy desolate creepy town. Restaurant itself was amazing although lighting was uninviting and rather dark. Food -shrimp & cappellini was excellent and the pear salad was amazing with all the different flavors. Service was a solid 5 stars; she was informative, attentive and very friendly. Dessert was the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had in my life full of icing and chocolate chips. Minuses: annoying table near entrance across from us with a baby walking around,then watching tv at the table, then crying, walking around again with parents chasing her, going to the door. You get the picture. Parents going in and out creating a draft; loud and ridiculous. Not sure a restaurant can control these things, but it dampened the ambience and mood. Why do people take infants and toddlers out to fancy restaurants after 7pm? I have three children and would never put myself or others in that situation. Alas a mixed review. Almost a 3 star rating as the disturbance ruined the excellent dinner. But changed it to 4 since the food and waitress were top notch. Figure it out new parents. Find a babysitter. Or don’t go. Lastly, we spotted an old guy with a beard across street peering at us with a light in background and it looked like a reflection either from restaurant or building next door. Then he disappeared and returned again. We walked out and there was no reflection, no light, building across street empty and dark and the building next to restaurant dark and closed. Yes creepy neighborhood indeed.

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  39. OpenTable Diner

    Tampa

    5 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on January 9, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Our server was new and didn’t seem to have timing quite down yet; the owner and a different server had to clear plates and bring us items a few times. But the food was impeccable as always and it was a slower night, so it was a quiet and perfect atmosphere.

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  40. JohnE

    Tallahassee

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on January 5, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great time as usual always good love this place!!!

    Is this helpful?

FAQs

Bay Street Bistro is rated 4.7 stars by 876 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 8 times today
Google Map for Bay Street Bistro

211 E Bay St, Lakeland, FL 33801

Additional information

  • Cross street
    N. Kentucky Ave.
  • Neighborhood
    Lakeland
  • Hours of operation
    Dinner Tue–Thu 5:00 pm–8:00 pm Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–9:00 pm
  • Price
    $50 and over
  • Cuisines
    French, Contemporary American, Contemporary French / American
  • Dining style
    Casual Elegant
  • Dress code
    Business Casual
  • Parking details
    Free parking is available after 5pm in the parking lot on the ride side of our building. Private lot signs are posted in the parking area, however there is free public parking in the lot after 5pm every day.
  • Public transit
    We are located within a short walk from the main bus station for our local public transit system Citrus Connection, on South Florida Avenue.
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Executive chef
    Kevin Smith
  • Entertainment
    We support and display various works from the areas most talented artists in our dining room.
  • Additional
    Banquet, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Gluten-free Options, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Phone number
    (863) 683-4229
  • Catering
    We are available to cater your next event no matter how big or small. You can choose items from our existing menu or create your own custom menu with our chef Kevin Smith. Please contact us to find out more.
  • Private party facilities
    We are available for private bookings, dinner parties and business meetings. Please contact us to find out more.
  • Private party contact
    James Rawlins: (863) 683-4229
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