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Best Of Haven Food & Drink 2020

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Best Pizza


J. Burns’ Pizza Shop

5535 Cypress Gardens Blvd, Winter Haven



2306 E Edgewood Dr, Lakeland

(863) 450-2986

FB @jburnspizza

IG @jburnspizzashop


Look, we could argue all day about whether or not pineapple belongs on pizza. But, you can’t argue that J. Burns’ has the best pizza on this side of the county! Established in 1965, this pizzeria has been serving up slices of heaven in the form of their square cut, thin-crust, crispy pie. Their success is fueled by quality service and ingredients. J. Burns’ uses Boar's Head meat, local produce, and dough made especially for their pizza shop. Pro-tip for our gluten-sensitive friends, J. Burns’ serves two types of gluten-free crusts too!


2nd:Floridino’s Italian Kitchen

3rd: Bistro Pizza


Best Burger



278 Ave A SW, Winter Haven

(863) 875-6615


113 Ambersweet Way, Davenport

(863) 438-4324

FB @Adlers.TCB

IG @adlerstcb


We would expect no less than a landslide win for a burger joint with the tagline, “Takin’ care of burgers.” Adler’s is the all-American badass of burgers. Classic, no-frills, no fuss, so wrong it must be right – the kind of burger that makes you want to swear. Midwest, high-fat content ground beef makes up their signature smash patty which sits atop an artisan bun. Get it with hand-cut fries and a craft soda (or a drink at Jenson’s next door if you’re in Winter Haven). You can’t go wrong with an Adler’s Classic. But if you’re feelin’ froggy, order up a Bad Hombre or Twitty burger. Check their socials for inventive weekly burgers – you won’t regret it!


2nd: Andy’s Igloo

3rd: Fire


Best Tacos


Tacos My Friend

3899 Recker Hwy, Winter Haven

(863) 837-7416

FB @tacosmyfriend


Not to be cheesy, but Mexican food is like a hug from a friend. Let’s taco ‘bout it. Maybe we’re taco purists at Haven, but a warm tortilla cradling steak, onion, and cilantro with a squeeze of lime and a drizzle of salsa verde is the way to go. And if you ask Winter Havenites, they’ll tell you no one does it like Tacos My Friend. This colorfully decorated food truck serves up tacos of every kind and a full menu of other goodies from tostadas and burritos to tortas and tamales. One bite from Tacos My Friend and you’ll be taco besties!


2nd:Azteca D’ Oro

3rd: Angel’s Kitchen


Best Cuban Sandwich



325 W Central Ave, Winter Haven

(863) 875-5544

FB @thefirerestaurant



The Cuban is pretty much Florida’s official sandwich and is a staple on many a local menu. Is it the bread, is it the cheese, is it the type of pork or quality of salami that makes a Cuban great? We’ve got no idea, but Fire has found the magic. Their Grilled Cuban is made with succulent mojo pork, ham, salami, Swiss, Cuban mustard, and pickles, served with beans and rice. You could say Fire cuts the mustard with their killer Cuban.


2nd: Publix

3rd: Richard’s Coffee


Best Italian


Arabellas Ristorante

346 W Central Ave, Winter Haven

(863) 293-1797

FB @ArabellasRistorante


Ciao! Have you heard that Arabellas has the best Italian fare in town? Open for lunch and dinner, they offer all the classics and a curated selection of decadent dishes like Ravioli all’Astice and Scaloppine Di Vitello Saltimbocca. Pair your meal with a glass or bottle from Arabellas’ extensive wine list or a nightcap at Ave Bar next door.


2nd:Carrabba’s Italian Grill

3rd:Olive Garden


Best Sushi


Tsunami Sushi

317 W Central Ave, Winter Haven

(863) 293-2395


5937 Cypress Gardens Blvd #300, Winter Haven

(863) 324-6777

FB @TsunamiSushi2013

IG @tsunamisushiwh


Tsunami is pretty much our sushi soymate. They are quite shrimply, the best sushi spot in Winter Haven. And the puns painted on their walls downtown make it worth rolling up to Tsunami alone. This chic sushi stop offers a full menu of sashimi, makimono, tempura, miso, and more. The garlic lime edamame is a fave along with the Samurai Ninja Roll and Sebastian Roll. Check the specials board behind the sushi bar for some innovative sushi goodness!


2nd:Sakura Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar

3rd:Royal Asian Fusion


Best BBQ


Gaskins Barbecue & Lobster

600 Cypress Gardens Blvd, Winter Haven

(863) 656-1605

FB @Gaskinsbarbecue

IG @gaskinsbarbecue


Gaskins on Cypress Gardens is the sister location to a York Beach, Maine eatery of the same name. Let’s leave the lobster for another time and talk about the barbecue, baby. Served on newsprint parchment giving an authentic look to Gaskins’ authentic flavors. They’ve got handhelds like the Savage Swine along with ribs, pulled pork, chicken, and brisket barbecue by the pound, plate, or sampler to share (or not) with killer sides like potato salad, cornbread, and baked beans with a hint of maple. How could you not love barbecue smoked over oak and hickory daily?


2nd: Blackburn’s BBQ

3rd: Rick’s Bar-B-Q


Best Donut


The Donut Man

1290 6th St NW, Winter Haven

(863) 293-4031

FB @thedonutmanWH


Any work meeting, parent-teacher conference, or simply a Tuesday morning can be made one thousand percent better with a box of Donut Man donuts. It’s an irrefutable scientific fact. The Donut Man is a Winter Haven icon known for slinging the best sugary and sprinkle-topped treats. Perhaps most recognized for their Amazing Apple Fritters, we’d be remiss to ‘glaze’ over their other offerings of assorted cake donuts, filled donuts, and raised donuts along with sandwiches, bagels, muffins, croissants, coffee and more. Don’t be jelly, grab a box for yourself!


2nd:Baking Donuts Plus

3rd:Dunkin’ Donuts  


Best Submarine Sandwich



FB @publix

IG @publix


Florida is known for many things – sunshine, snowbirds, alligators, lovebugs – to name a few. But what makes us the envy of the nation, our claim to fame if you will, is being the birth spot of the Pub Sub – a sandwich so iconic you can buy merch for it online. Publix offers a mélange of sub sandwiches, but you can’t call yourself a Floridian until you’ve tasted the tried-and-true Chicken Tender Sub made with Publix Deli famous double hand-breaded chicken tenders.


2nd:Firehouse Subs

3rd: Jersey Mike’s Subs


Best Mexican Restaurant


Azteca D’Oro

5860 Cypress Gardens Blvd, Winter Haven

(863) 295-9080


1235 N Parkway Frontage Rd, Lakeland

(863) 606-6682

FB @AztecaDoroWinterHaven

IG @aztecadororestaurant


Tacos aren’t just for Tuesday at Azteca D’Oro! They have an encha-lot-of tasty Mexican cuisine from ceviche, fajitas, and burritos, to tres leches and deep fried ice cream. Sentiments frequent in their reviews include flavorful, authentic food and friendly service. We’ll leave it as one Google reviewer wrote, “and the margaritas are huge.”


2nd:El Olivo Mexican Restaurant

3rd:Tijuana Flats


Best Breakfast


Egg Haven

301 3rd St SW, Winter Haven

(863) 268-8269

FB: Egg Haven


Eggscuse me, a moment of your time please. Nobody does breakfast like Egg Haven. This 3rd Street diner covers all the breakfast bases and it’s over-easy to see why it’s so well-loved. Drive by (or drive-thru) any morning and you’ll see patrons enjoying their eggs and bacon, biscuits and gravy, pancakes, and blueberry French toast on the sunny patio. Late-risers rejoice, Egg Haven breakfast is served until 3pm!


2nd:First Watch

3rd:Eagle Lake Family Diner


Best Seafood


Harry’s Old Place

3751 Cypress Gardens Rd, Winter Haven

(863) 324-0301

FB: Harry’s Old Place

IG @harrysoldplacewh


Seafood with a sunset anyone? Harry’s Old place has been the place “Where the fish is always de-lish!” since 1992 serving fresh fish, steaks, chicken, pasta, and the like. Harry’s provides a down-to-earth dining experience overlooking Lake Ned. Cheers with a drink from their full liquor bar on their lakeside patio!



3rd:Crab Craze 


Best Thai Restaurant


Thai Haven

309 W Central Ave, Winter Haven

(863) 291-8085

FB @ThaiHaven

IG @thaihaven_fl


Authentic, made-to-order Thai cuisine in an intimate downtown setting. This family-owned and operated eatery serves up warm, dreamy flavors in each dish on their extensive menu. Thai Haven’s lemongrass soup is the perfect rainy day pick-me-up and their red curry is beyond delicious. Many of their dishes can be ordered at different spice levels to accommodate each patron’s palate.


2nd:Saigon Garden

3rd:Sawadee Thai Food


Best Greek Restaurant


The Krazy Greek

6366 Cypress Gardens Blvd, Winter Haven

(863) 875-2753

FB @krazygreekrestaurant

IG @krazygreek_wh


Take a foodie trip to the Mediterranean without leaving Winter Haven at The Krazy Greek. Beautifully prepared, humble Greek fare in a casual, clean atmosphere. Popular dishes include gyros, Mediterranean platters, Souvlaki pitas, Greek salad, Greek fries topped with oregano and parmesan cheese, and of course, baklava!


2nd:Andrea’s Family Restaurant

3rd:Mediterranean Fresh Grill


Best Chinese Restaurant


China Garden

6027 Cypress Gardens Blvd, Winter Haven

(863) 318-1900


There is nothing like curling up on the couch with a glass of wine, Netflix, and China Garden takeout. It’s hard to feel low when you’re slurping roast pork lo mein. China Garden serves New York-style Chinese cuisine with all the sweet and sour, crab rangoon, egg roll, fried rice goodness you could ask for. Patrons rave about their yummy food and fair prices!


2nd:Golden Wok

3rd:Beijing Restaurant


Best Oysters


Gary’s Oyster Bar & Seafood House

660 E Alfred St, Lake Alfred

(863) 956-5055

FB: Garys Oyster Bar


Happiness on the half shell sums up our feelings about Gary’s Oyster Bar. This not-so-secret hidden pearl serves sensational seafood in a cozy casual atmosphere. If you haven’t had them yet, add their char-grilled jalapeno bacon oysters to your bucket list because aw shucks, they’re good!


2nd:Old Man Frank’s



Best Ice Cream


Andy’s Igloo

703 3rd St SW, Winter Haven

(863) 293-0019


IG @andysigloo


A hand-dipped ice cream cone from Andy’s is the whipped cream, sprinkles, and cherry on top of any day. There’s a little something for everyone between their 12 flavors of hand-dipped sundaes and milkshakes. Hold up your frozen treat in front of their iconic sign for a sweet Instagram post!


2nd:Dairy Queen

3rd:Carmen’s Ice Cream Parlor


Best Food Truck


Tallulah’s Table by the Sea

(863) 289-6255

FB @tallulahstable

IG @tallulahstable


Maybe it’s the Grouper Fingers, maybe it’s the cute mermaid on their truck – whatever the driving (or should we say swimming) factor behind it, Tallulah's takes the top spot for Best Food Truck! Tallulah’s serves Sunshine State classics like fish and shrimp tacos, along with creative pick-me-ups like Watermelon Shrimp Cocktail and a Seafood BLT. Float on over to their Facebook to see where they’ll be next!


2nd:Tacos My Friend

3rd:Jimmy’s Famous Seafood


Best Fast Food



Multiple Locations

FB @ChickfilA

IG @chickfila


Oh, the great Chicken Sandwich War of 2019 – it was a simpler time. The people have spoken and Chick-fil-A has been named the victor, in East Polk County anyway. Chick-fil-A stands out among other fast food establishments for their focus on customer service and addictive chicken sandwiches, nuggets, milkshakes, and more.





Best Diner


1st Street Diner

106 Avenue I SE, Winter Haven

(863) 875-7057

FB: 1st Street Diner


The 1st Street Diner is a regular haunt for many locals. Patrons rave about the fair prices, generous portions, and large menu selection. Breakfast is served all day and they offer daily specials. Breakfast shrimp and grits – need we say more?


2nd:Egg Haven

3rd:Big Tom’s Diner


Best Fine Dining


Arabellas Ristorante

346 W Central Ave, Winter Haven

(863) 293-1797

FB @ArabellasRistorante


Unmatched in food, service, and atmosphere, Arabellas places guest experience at the forefront of everything. The decor is elegant with ambient lighting, exposed brick walls, and billowy window treatments framing palatial windows. Voted Best Italian and Romantic Restaurant as well, it’s safe to say Arabellas will provide a five-star fine dining experience. One reviewer described it as the kind of restaurant you see in movies.





Best Patio


Tempo 1930

58 4th St NW, Winter Haven

(863) 875-5323

FB @Tempo1930

IG @tempowh1930


They’ve done it again! Grab a cocktail and relax on the patio at Tempo 1930. The spacious (often open) front windows of Tempo gaze over Central Park. Walk to the back patio and you’ve entered another world entirely. The space outside has  dreamy string lighting making for an upscale backyard hangout.


2nd: Fire

3rd: The Twisted Prop Bar & Grille


Best Waterfront Dining



2435 7th St SW, Winter Haven

(863) 293-7070

FB @HarborsideFL

IG @harborsiderestaurant


The big red letters serve as an invitation to Polk County’s lakeside foodie paradise. Harborside’s wave-lapping, sunsetting views of Lake Shipp make for an idyllic respite to enjoy surf and turf and a beachy cocktail. Boats docking and taking off backdropped by a Chain of Lakes sunset makes for an unparalleled dining experience. One review raved, “Best spot in Winter Haven for a great meal on the water!”


2nd:The Twisted Prop Bar & Grille

3rd: Tanners Lakeside Restaurant & Bar


Best Bar


Central Tavern

273 W Central Ave, Winter Haven

(863) 229-5027

FB @Centraltaverndtwh

IG @centraltavernwh


Central Tavern is the place to get together for drinks with friends on their patio in the heart of downtown Winter Haven and to join the party on a busy weekend late night. This pub boasts full-service liquor, wine, and 20 craft beers on draft. A row of TVs above the bar makes for the perfect spot to grab a beer and watch the game.


2nd:Ave Bar

3rd:Barrel 239


Best Cocktail


Tempo 1930

58 4th St NW, Winter Haven

(863) 875-5323

FB @Tempo1930

IG @tempowh1930


Tempo’s jazzy vibe, airy view of Central Park, and unique patio hangout aren’t the only reason patrons pack the house. Their cocktails match the mood downtown. Owner Becca Andreasen creates and curates Tempo 1930’s cocktail list. This includes temptations like the Red Skirt Sangria Flight with a trio sampling of Spanish Sangria, a Maple Walnut Old Fashioned, and Key Lime Martini. Andreasen incorporates the flavors of the season with their changing seasonal cocktail menu.


2nd:Ave Bar

3rd:Central Tavern


Best Wine Menu


Grape Expectations Wine Bar

5535 Cypress Gardens Blvd #150, Winter Haven

(863) 318-8800

FB @GrapeExpectationsWineBar

IG @grapeexpectationswinebar


Looking to ‘wine’ down after a long day? Grape Expectations does not disappoint. This wine bar boasts the largest selection of wines by the glass in Winter Haven with their expansive selection of California and international wines. You can sip with friends at their upscale digs or buy a bottle to go. Check their Facebook for the next Yappy Hour when furry friends are welcome to come with!


2nd:Arabellas Ristorante

3rd:Olive Garden


Best Coffee


Richard’s Fine Coffee

330 Avenue A NW, Winter Haven

(863) 291-3082

FB: Richard’s Fine Coffees

IG @richards_coffee


There’s nothing like a cup of Joe from Richard’s, we’ve certainly sipped a few of their Red-Eyes to get through a workday. It’s hard to espresso just how good their coffee is! Along with classic beverages, iced drinks, frappes, and coffee creations, Richard’s offers spiced Chai, hot tea, hot chocolate, and a menu of tasty salads and sandwiches.


2nd:N+1 Coffee

3rd:Starbucks Coffee


Best Beer List


Grove Roots Brewing Co.

302 3rd St SW, Winter Haven

(863) 291-0700

FB @groverootsbrewing

IG @groverootsbrewing


Grove Roots isn’t only a shining star in Winter Haven, but a beer beacon across Central Florida. Owner Joe Dunham and his team are always concocting creative brews to feature on their board like their grapefruit IPA, Plum Sour Gosé, and coffee chocolate stout Peanut Butter 6 AM. Craft purists can’t go wrong with any of Grove Roots’ flagship beers either – Slanted Ladders, Wakes of Grain, Rind & Shine, and 6 AM Pickers. On their menu, patrons can find something within or outside of their comfort zone depending on how adventurous they’d like to get!


2nd:Union Taproom

3rd:The Florida Brewery


Best Wine


Keel & Curley Winery

5210 Thonotosassa Rd, Plant City

(813) 752-9100

FB @keelandcurleyatkeelfarms

IG @keelandcurleyatkeelfarms


Starting in 2003 with just 10 gallons of blueberry wine, Keel & Curley Winery has curated a reputation for their line of tasty wines. K+C has three signature wines made with 100% blueberries. Guests love their innovative fusions as well, like Wild Berry Pinot Noir, Peach Chardonnay, and Key West Key Lime Wine.


2nd:Lakeridge Winery

3rd:Island Grove Wine Company


Best Polk County Beer


Slanted Ladders | Grove Roots Brewing Co.

302 3rd St SW, Winter Haven

(863) 291-0700

FB @groverootsbrewing

IG @groverootsbrewing


One of Grove Roots Brewing Co.’s flagship beers, Slanted Ladders pays homage in name and flavor to Polk County’s citrus history and heritage. This White Pale Ale (ABV 5.8) is available year-round. According to Grove Roots, “Beaming with citrus aromas, our signature pale ale marries a brassy blend of American hops and a smooth malt base for a balanced ale with a lingering tropical finish.”


2nd:Honey on the Double | Grove Roots Brewing Co.

3rd:Beach Me Up | The Florida Brewery


Best Publix


Publix Super Market at Southeast Plaza

884 Cypress Gardens Blvd, Winter Haven

(863) 291-0312

FB @publix

IG @publix


Forging a top-tier grocery experience, Publix Super Markets have earned a reputation as one of the southeast’s favorite grocery chains. The voters have spoken and Publix Super Market at Southeast Plaza Shopping Center is your favorite! One review on this location reads, “I love Publix. I’ve been shopping there for over 50 years. I’m so pleased they still have customer service. The store is always clean and I can always get help finding something.”


2nd:Publix Super Market at Winter Haven Square

3rd:Publix Super Market at Shoppes On The Ridge


Best U-Pick Farm


Whitehead’s Blueberry Farm

1024 Macon Rd, Winter Haven

(863) 295-0020

FB @whiteheadsblueberryfarm

IG @whiteheadfarm


Jam, jelly, muffins, pie, oh my! Pick all the fresh blueberries you want and pay per pound. Whitehead’s Blueberry Farm is a u-pick family favorite. During the blueberry season which typically runs from mid-April through the first weekend in June, grab a basket and pick as many as you’d like from their over 30,000 blueberry plants across 15 acres.  


2nd:Ridge Island Groves

3rd:Lonesome Oak Blueberry Farms


Best New Restaurant


J. Burns’ Pizza Shop

5535 Cypress Gardens Blvd, Winter Haven



2306 E Edgewood Dr, Lakeland

(863) 450-2986

FB @jburnspizza

IG @jburnspizzashop


J. Burns’ is on a winning streak – Best Pizza AND Best New Restaurant! Folks can’t seem to get enough of their crispy, thin-crust, square slices. Tasty pizza made with quality ingredients like Boar's Head meat, local produce, and dough made especially for them, paired with friendly customer service has kept this pizza institution going for over 50 years. We’re so glad they’ve brought their pie to this side of the county!


2nd:Gaskins Barbecue & Lobster



Best Catering


The Catering Company of Central Florida

2090 Havendale Blvd NW, Winter Haven

(863) 207-7057

FB @thecateringcompanyofcentralfl

IG @cateringco.ofcentralflorida


The Catering Company is known for food and service that go above and beyond. Corporate meals, wedding buffets, hors d’oeuvres – clients can customize their event menu to their palate. One satisfied Catering Company customer wrote, “Had them cater my wedding and 3 weeks later I still have people talking about how good the food was. Presentation was beautiful and the food was fresh and delicious!”


2nd: Cam’s Catering

3rd: Firehouse Subs


Best Romantic Restaurant


Arabellas Ristorante

346 W Central Ave, Winter Haven

(863) 293-1797

FB @ArabellasRistorante


Put some dazzle in your date night. Arabellas is at the heart of Winter Haven’s Time Square, tucked along the sidewalk beneath the string lights cascading over Central Avenue. The dreamy ambiance is only an accent to the sumptuous Italian fare and wine list at Arabellas.





Best Vegan Food


Bambu Cafe

371 3rd St NW, Winter Haven

(863) 280-6346

FB @BambuBodyBar



We could all use more fruits and veggies! For the freshest, tastiest vegan food around, Best Of Haven voters think you should check out Bambu Cafe. Satisfy those vegan cravings with delicious salads and soups like Kale Veggie, Sweet Potato, and Creamy Cauliflower – just look for the ‘V’ next to it on the menu board. Bambu Cafe is also renowned for their fresh juice, smoothies, and infused water. Kick off your visit with some kombucha too!


2nd:Thai Haven

3rd:Smoothie Squad


Best Dog-Friendly Restaurant


The Twisted Prop Bar & Grille

615 7th St SW, Winter Haven

(863) 293-1937

FB: The Twisted Prop Bar & Grille

IG @thetwistedprop


They should call it The Twisted Prop ‘Bark’ & Grille for how much people love this dog-friendly restaurant! The Twisted Prop is a great place to chill out on The Chain with your pup while chowing down on wings, burgers, and other bar fare. Enjoy drinks, dogs, great food, and friendly service while lounging on Lake May.


2nd:Grove Roots Brewing Co.



Best Bakery


Gourmet Goodies Bake Shop

68 4th St NW, Winter Haven

(863) 318-1400

FB: Gourmet Goodies Bake Shop

IG @gourmetgoodieswinterhaven


Gourmet Goodies takes the cake for best bakery again! This sweet spot overlooking Central Park offers a selection of gourmet baked goods including stunning custom cakes, cupcakes, cookies, French macarons, and more. Gourmet Goodies even has you covered for a dinner treat or celebration pick-me-up with their variety of dessert cakes. Chocolate Indulgence anyone?


2nd:Sugar & Slice Bakery


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