As food halls become more and more popular, it seems every major city is looking to build one. The good news is that you don't have to go all the way to the city to find one. In the heart of Florida, The Joinery can be your secret food hall haven. 

Now, you could take one look at this large eatery and think this is located in Tampa or Orlando; but, you would be amazed to know that this chic foodie palace is actually situated in small-town Lakeland.

The city of just over 100,000 residents near Tampa has been making a name for itself in the culinary world, and The Joinery may have finally put the city's hidden-gem food scene over the top.

This hall was the creation of Sarah and Jonathan Bucklew, who launched it earlier this year, bringing a slice of the normally big-city meeting space to this growing town.

The two are natives of Lakeland who recently launched their own restaurant in the hall called Plenty, which focuses on healthy, plant-based cuisines.

"I'm passionate about health, whole-food, mostly plant-based cooking," Mrs. Bucklew told Narcity.

"I wanted to create a concept that would bring those passions to life in a way that was fresh, bright, Mediterranean-inspired, and that would leave all our guests feeling very full, nourished, and fueled to take on their days."

In a lot of ways, Plenty is a microcosm of The Joinery as a whole.

In addition to Plenty, the food hall houses eight other food vendors serving everything from Barbacoa Butternut Squash street tacos at Gallito to Queen Salted Caramel handcrafted ice cream at Mayday.

Plenty will feature such dishes as roasted broccolini and Brussels and carrot-topped chermoula over garlic yogurt and wild rice salad.

There's even a bar here called The Bar, serving up all sorts of cocktails and wine.

All of this can be enjoyed in a commune setting that fosters eating together as a community, which is the heart of what food halls are all about, sharing the love of food, together.

One may not have expected this in Lakeland, but then again, the unexpected places always produce the most satisfying surprises.

The Joinery 

Where: 640 E. Main St., Lakeland, FL 

Cuisine: Mixed

Why You Should Go: This small town in Central Florida is home to a huge food hall serving up all sorts of good, filling food. 

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