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Because you are where you eat

It’s clear that there has been immense growth in Lakeland, and the food scene is no stranger to that growth. Perhaps our booming restaurant scene should be given some credit for such growth. 

In a recent article by the Tampa Bay Times, Lakeland was noted for its potential as the “next hip food city.”

“Something is happening in Lakeland, and it seems to be happening all at once…The city halfway between Tampa and Orlando is in the middle of a food entrepreneur boom, buoyed by the plucky spirit of a younger population striving to invigorate the hometown they never thought they’d come back to.”

Lakeland’s food scene has grown immensely but it was not overnight. Many have spent over a decade committed to making their dream come to life and putting in the hard work to offer new experiences for us Lakelanders. The vision of these early food innovators paved the way for our city to expand their palates and allow other contenders to have a seat at the table too. The innovation of the culinary enthusiasts helped our city better embrace new flavors and experiences outside of what would have been considered normative. And people are taking note of this — near and far — more than ever.

It’s often said, “You are what you eat.” So perhaps now may be the time to ask ourselves what does our food scene say about us?

Our connection to food reminds us that we’re a city dedicated to innovation and growth, that we believe in doing better, and that we have a vision for the future.

Food has always been a common ground, a universal experience that transcends our unique backgrounds. Restaurants in particular have played an essential role in our lives whether that be professionally, socially, or artistically. They are a backbone to our sense of community and help us thrive as a society. Throughout history, a seat at the table provided a means for people to gather together and partake in life’s major events. It’s a safe and controlled environment for us to connect and remember that we’re not alone.

In Lakeland, our food scene continues to build that same sense of community. Food is the way to our hearts, and local food is a unique part of our community’s culture. This is what Lakeland’s food scene says about us. Our connection to food reminds us that we’re a city dedicated to innovation and growth, that we believe in doing better, and that we have a vision for the future. Not only does what we eat say a lot about us, but where we eat reminds us that we’re a community committed to this city and believe that we’re better together.

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