I was a regular at Richard’s Fine Coffees in Winter Haven, even before I met my wife. Then we lived in Winter Haven after we got married and enjoyed Richard’s as a “third place.” We don’t get there as often these days, but we felt it was time we visited for Polk Eats.
One thing we love about Richard’s is that it’s in the same building as the Winter Haven Public Library, one of our favorite Polk County library branches (check out their permanent used book store!). There is some outdoor seating but only one umbrella the day we were there. There is a lot of natural light inside from large windows. The interior is cozy – there’s a TV that always seems to be on but I’ve never heard the volume on. In the past we recall them playing music too loud at Richard’s, but this time was perfect, some holiday-themed music (think Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole) at a comfortable volume. The staff was friendly and courteous during our entire visit.
Richard’s is a viable lunch spot with a small selection of sandwiches and salads. I haven’t been there for lunch but a number of folks have told me their sandwiches are excellent. We were there for a coffee shop, and they didn’t disappoint.
My wife ordered a spiced chai to drink and a mocha cream muffin. We both agreed the chai was probably the best we’ve had. Most coffee shops serve chai latte, but this was chai without the steamed milk, and that made it a very different beverage, so we tasted more of the delicious spiciness of the chai. The muffin was moist and chocolatey and very rich, more like a piece of cake than a muffin. (Since this is a coffee shop, we should comment that my wife has had coffee there several times and found it very good.)
I also ordered the spiced chai. My pasty choice was as Oreo muffin. The muffin was decadent and delicious, with plenty of Oreo bits. The frosting on top didn’t taste exactly like the actual Oreo frosting but more like thick whipped cream. The staff graciously heated our muffins in the microwave before bringing them out to us, and that was a nice touch.
With tip, our total was only $13. We had a pretty good idea of what to expect at Richard’s, but it was still a fun experience. We always feel comfortable recommending Richard’s as a place to hang out and relax with a book or good conversation. They are easy to find in downtown Winter Haven, on Avenue A Northwest at 4th Street Northwest, with the fountain out front and in the same building as the library. Enjoy!