View Full Version : Need help from locals to find restaurant

12-17-2006, 03:15 PM
We would like to find an area with some restaurants about half way between WDW and St Pete to meet some relatives for dinner. Any ideas?


12-17-2006, 04:09 PM
It's more than half way, but I love Columbia in Ybor City.

I'll bet Safety Mom has some ideas for you. You might also want to try the Community Boards, Virgo lives in Aubrun, which is around the halfway point.


12-17-2006, 04:51 PM
Sorry I am not real familiar with restaurants towards Tampa.

12-17-2006, 05:20 PM
Halfway would be about Lakeland, Florida. There is a great steakhouse off the 2nd Lakeland exit going west on I-4 from WDW. I can't think of the name but maybe it will come to me later. There are numerous good restaurants in Lakeland.

Can't come up with a name but go to Yellowbooks.com and get them to search the restaurants. Couldn't find my steakhouse.

12-17-2006, 07:34 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. I'll check into some of these locations. Or, maybe I can just get the relatives to come to WDW!


12-18-2006, 07:05 PM
The "chain" restaurants in Lakeland are nearly all at the US98 exit, and mostly north near the shopping mall. Unfortunately don't know the name of any locally-owned nice places.

I second the nomination for the Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City/Tampa. Very unique atmosphere of old world Spanish and Cuban. It's closer to St. Pete than to WDW but if the St Pete person has to do I-275 in the evening rush hour, your travel times may be similar! If interested, use I-4 Exit #1 and head south a few blocks to 7th Avenue.


12-19-2006, 08:48 PM
It will probably be on a Saturday or Sunday, so hopefully traffic won't be too bad. Should I count on a 45-60 minute drive?

12-19-2006, 10:30 PM
In Lakeland, off I-4 at exit 31 going north on US 98 are many of the national name restaurants. Our favorite is Olive Garden which is on right side of the road about 1/2 mile from the exit.


12-20-2006, 04:35 AM
From WDW to LAkeland should take you 45 minutes or less, although you never know what type of madness You'll find on I-4. I'd take the new 429 from Western Way to I-4, it's a toll road but you should ahve it to yourself, which to me makes paying $2 in tolls worth it!


12-20-2006, 08:23 AM
A couple minutes off I-4, but worth it, is the Branch Ranch. West of Lakeland, about 10 miles east of Tampa, has to be fairly close to the middle of St Pete and WDW. Homestyle country cooking, delicious, and definitely not another chain.

It's on Branch-Forbes Road (or something like that), was the old exit 10, not sure of the new number. Not far from Dinosaur World.