My wife and I are both lovers of locally-owned coffee shops. Polk County is blessed with some fine coffee shop options (including Mitchell’s, which we visited last year). So no arm-twisting was required to get us to Concord Coffee in Lakeland during the recent cold spell that affected Florida and most of the rest of the country. It can be a little tricky to find, located in a small strip mall that faces South Florida Avenue in the Dixieland neighborhood. It’s worth slowing down to find.
The interior is spotless, with lots of windows and white paint to create a bright, cheerful atmosphere. There are some outside tables that would be pleasant on warmer days. Dog owners take note – you can see some water bowls in the photo, so you can enjoy your coffee outside and your dog won’t go thirsty. We enjoyed the music they were playing (think the likes of Springsteen and McCartney in their mellow versions), and we appreciated the soft volume even more. We received friendly, welcoming service. Concord Coffee is generally staffed by young adults (folks in their 20s), and in a world that seems to be falling apart most of the time, the staff at Concord Coffee makes it one of those places that gives me hope for the future.
My wife is the coffee drinker in the household (I’m actually allergic!), but on this cold morning we both asked for hot chocolate with a touch of peppermint sweetener. The pastry selection was a little light that morning, but they have a unique selection of toasts served in creative ways. I ordered Nutella with chia seeds, my wife ordered honey-almond butter. The toast came with a side of fresh fruit, and we both asked for bananas.
The hot chocolate was just what we needed on this icy morning. The drinks had cooled off a bit by the time we got them, so that was our only quibble with the Concord experience. But they were expertly presented (our server even apologized, saying he was a beginner, but we would never have known). The hot chocolate is made with dark chocolate so it’s not overly sweet like many hot chocolates. The peppermint flavor was very subtle so it didn’t overpower the chocolate.
The toast was such a nice surprise. I haven’t seen this at other coffee shops. When something that seems so simple is served in a creative and flavorful way, it’s a real treat. My wife’s toast came with banana slices and a dusting of cinnamon. Mine came with a mix of strawberries and bananas. The bread was toasted just right for us, not burned.
What a delightful way to spend a morning, a hot beverage, a light and flavorful snack, and good conversation in a friendly environment. With tip our total came to just over $20. Concord Coffee offers online sales of some of their coffees, but you will have a lot more fun if you go there in person. They are on South Florida Avenue in Dixieland, between Hunter Street and West Patterson Street. There is plenty of parking in the alley that runs north/south just on the west side of South Florida Avenue. Enjoy!
If we have inspired you to visit Concord Coffee, or if you have already been and want to share your experience, please do so via the comments section below. And if you have Polk County restaurant tips, we would love to hear from you via our Contact Us page. Thanks for stopping by and happy eating!