Category Archives: Top Eats
Last week, I struggled a bit coming up with quick service spots in Hollywood Studios that I thought were good enough to recommend to others. We figure if you’re kind enough to read our site, we owe it to you to be honest and accurate. The last thing any of us wants is for someone to be sitting in the World thinking “Wow, they were really wrong about this place” so we take this pretty seriously. Well, I’m happy to tell you that I didn’t struggle to find places to recommend in Epcot. In fact, the real problem was narrowing it down. Here’s my top five.
5. Sommerfest has a really limited menu, so if you have vegetarians in your group, you might want to send them ahead to the next pavilion so you can enjoy your sausage without them giving you accusing, hungry glances. Sommerfest is modeled after the German schnellimbuss, which are the small, fast food stands you’ll find throughout Germany. You’ll find pretzels, wurst (served with sauerkraut and a roll), German beer, and pastries, often Black Forest Cake and a delicious Apple strudel. The desserts are above average, so it’s one of those places where the included dessert which comes with your quick service meal on the dining plan is a particularly good bargain. The wurst is very flavorful, although I’d love it if they served it with some mustard that had more of a “bite” to it. The rolls served with the wurst are its weakest link, as is often the case with Disney World restaurants. Sommerfest lacks adequate seating, but if you can get one of the few nearby tables, you’ll enjoy one of the most shaded spots in Epcot. Good people watching too.
4. Located in the Norway paviolion in Epcot, Kringla Bakeri og Cafe has two things that always stand out in my mind: One, the really extraordinary rice cream, which is their super-creamy but not too sweet (so it counts as lunch) version of rice pudding; and two, the friendliest cast members in the World Showcase, which is saying a lot because it’s Disney and everyone is friendly. I’m not sure what they’re putting in these kids’ school bread, but whatever it is, I’d like some for the cashiers at my local Whole Foods, please. Besides cheerful cast members and rice pudding, you can find a wide variety of pastries, sandwiches, small salads, a soup of the day, and a vegetable tort. All of it’s fresh and all of it’s very good. There’s a small, shaded seating area as well.
3. Vegetarians can eat really well at Epcot quick service restaurants and one of the best spots is the Tangerine Cafe, located in the Moroccan Pavilion, where they’ll find a tasty vegetable platter with traditional accompaniments. Shawarma platters with couscous, hummus and bread, wraps, and Mediterranean Sliders are exotic enough for the setting but not so spicy as to be unappealing to more timid palates. There’s also a kids’ menu with chicken fingers and burgers. As a bonus, this place is just exotic enough that it scares off some guests, so you’re unlikely to encounter massive crowds. Reward yourself for being in the know with some delicious baklava.
2. Boulangerie Patsisserie, located in the French pavilion at Epcot, is one of those places that everyone seems to love. Not surprisingly then, it can get pretty crowded, but I’ve found the line moves quickly. Sandwiches, pastries, salads and quiche are on the menu. The only downside is that there are very few places to sit save for the sides of the long fountain just outside and competition for those spots can get downright ugly. Consider bringing your food over to one of the benches that line the World Showcase Lagoon and have a relaxing little picnic.
1. I picked Sunshine Seasons as number one because it has some of the best and freshest quick service food anywhere in Walt Disney World, not just in Epcot. While I think there are better individual dishes in the World Showcase, or at least ones that I prefer, the wide selection at Sunshine Season means there’s something for everyone in your group: Asian-style noodle bowls, soups, sandwiches, salads, grilled salmon, and rotisserie chicken, in addition to kid favorites like macaroni and cheese. The quality is generally high, so you won’t leave feeling unsatisfied or worse, ripped off. Located in the Land pavilion right next to the entrance of Soarin’, Sunshine Seasons stays busy and there’s little in the way of the type of theming you’ll find at restaurants in the World Showcase. It’s a place to fuel up for a decent price and continue touring. If you missed breakfast at your resort, it’s one of the few places in Epcot where you’ll find quick service breakfast items.
Dishonorable mention: These posts are designed to showcase what we think are some of the best choices at a given park or resort, but I feel I would be remiss in not mentioning one that I think you should avoid, mainly because there are too many excellent meals available elsewhere and I don’t like to see anyone waste their money or have a disappointing meal. The worst offender in an otherwise exemplary group of restaurants is Lotus Blossom Cafe, located in the China pavilion, arguably the loveliest and most detailed of all the World Showcase pavilions. I’m not sure, but somehow they’ve managed to make Chinese food that’s even worse than you’ll find back home in your mall’s food court, and that is something of an accomplishment. It’s too bad because the cast members are great and I could spend hours exploring the China pavilion, which undoubtedly has me hankering for a snack.
So what are your favorites? We’d love to hear your take on Epcot quick service restaurants in the comments.
Epcot in my opinion has the best Dining in all of Walt Disney World, with vast choices I find myself trying to eat my way around the World Showcase on every visit. Casual Dining in Epcot is where it’s at! Don’t get me wrong there are some good Quick Service Options but Casual has some of the best Dining options available.
I had a hard time narrowing it down to a Top 5 List..I mean a really hard time with choices like, Akershus, The Garden Grill Restaurant, and Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room. I literally had to force myself to pick 5.
Here we go…
5. Biergarten Restaurant - Who doesn’t love to celebrate Oktoberfest? The authentic German food here is delicious. We try to always make it here atleast one time every trip.
4. Nine Dragons Restaurant - Great Chinese Food, great atmosphere but the only downfall to this restaurant to me is how busy it is.. Evertime we have been here the food was really good but the restaurant was full. I guess that isn’t a bad thing the more I think about it.
3. Le Cellier Steakhouse – My absolute favorite place to have a steak at Disney. From the fresh baked bread, to the Cheddar Cheese Soup this romantic stop in the Canadian Pavilion is a must for any Disney Foodie.
2. San Angel Inn – I might be alienating myself here from the rest of the pack as putting San Angel Inn this high on the list. I love this restaurant! From the first time I stepped foot into the Mexican Pavilion I was in love. I love the dark romantic atmosphere of this restaurant. The food is authentic mexican and much different than most people are accustomed to. For Lunch or Dinner you need to eat here!
1 .Coral Reef Restaurant - Talk about a room with a view. Who wouldn’t want to have a meal with an underwater view of The Living Sea coral reef? Some of the best seafood in all of Disneyworld you will want to make sure you have your Advanced Dining Reservation in as soon as possible.
I hope you enjoyed my Top 5 Casual Dining Restaurants from Epcot. What are yours? Let us know in the comment section below.
Quick service dining in Hollywood Studios is sort of a mixed bag. You can find some really good food, but if you’re not careful, you’ll encounter some real duds. In fact, as far as quick service goes, I have to say that DHS is probably the weakest link of all the parks. I’ve found this is particularly true for vegetarians. Still, there are a few gems. Let’s discusss.
1. Starring Rolls Cafe. Lots of fresh and delicious pastries, sandwiches, and cool drinks. You can’t go wrong here. The small, outdoor cafe seating area where you can watch the world go by is an added bonus. Just so parents with small children know, it can be a little difficult to maneuver with strollers.
2. Backlot express. Standard theme park fare, although better quality than most. Vegetarians will be happy with the veggie sandwich. Those who need to avoid gluten will find satisfactory chicken tenders here. Kind of a hidden gem where you’ll rarely encounter out of control lines.
3. Toluca Turkey Leg Company. Okay, I know, I’ve mentioned turkey legs twice now in these Top Eats posts, but it’s because they really are good. So stop fighting it and just give in and get a turkey leg. It’s not like you’re neighbors are going to see you walking around gnawing on one, right? Actually, that did happen to me once. Added bonus: Tons of covered seating nearby.
4. Fairfax Fare. In the shadow of the Tower of Terror, Fairfax Fare gets an honorable mention just for being bold enough to serve chicken, brisket, ribs and chili dogs all at the same outdoor location, but the food here is also pretty good; the ribs can be on the dry side. Gluten-free buns available on request. Tends to get busy at lunchtime.
I often get asked whats my favorite meal at Walt Disney World Resort. After receiving that question I then ask What kinda of meal are you referring to..Casual, Character, Quick Service… As I have a list for just about every category at Walt Disney World..
Today I discuss Hollywood Studios Casual Dining Restaurants:
How do I define a Disneyworld Casual Dining Meal? I look at it as something more that just walking up and ordering your food and eating. Most times I look at a Casual Meal as maybe a buffet or where you actually can sit down and enjoy the meal or the atmosphere of the restaurant.
I am not saying that Quick Service counters don’t have atmosphere I am just saying that a Casual Service Meal is a step up in quality of food.
Here is my Top 3 Hollywood Studios Casual Dining Restaurants..
3. Hollywood & Vine – I love coming here for Breaskfast! When we plan our Disney Vacations we make sure to visit the Magic Kingdom Last and usually pick Hollywood Studios as our starting point for our vacation. While Starring Rolls is great for breakfast later in the week I usually pick Hollywood & Vine so my little one can see the Little Einsteins! Most times it is very quiet in there since I like to pick a meal just before the rope drops. Just a good breakfast buffet with all your Disney Favorites.
2. 50′s Prime Time Café -I love the atmosphere in there. The old 50′s look and feel is great. Serving up some of the best classic American Meals. If you come in here hungry you will leave happy and satisfied. The waitresses here are very friendly and attentive(wink wink). Be sure to ask for a TV Table when you get there so you can enjoy a classic TV show with your meal!
1. Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater – One of my favorite places to eat at Walt Disney World! I love watching the old B Movie trailers on the big screen. Sitting in the old convertibles and sipping on a milkshake while you wait on your delicious meal is a perfect Disney moment. I love the HUGE cheeseburgers here and for me its one of the best in all of Walt Disney World. Be sure to make your Advanced Dining Reservation early as this place is ALWAYS packed.
What’s your Top Hollywood Studios Casual Dining Restaurant? Let us know in the comment section below.
I’m going to just come right out and say it: I’m a bit hard to please when it comes to food. I like to cook and I like using good ingredients, so when I’m served bad food, I get a bit grumpy, particularly when I’m paying a lot for it. So when Chip asked me to write this, I paused for a minute. I want to give my honest opinion but I don’t want to sound like a food snob because, let’s be honest, the food police are pretty annoying. So I decided to shelve my inner snarkiness–you don’t want to see me around a plate of Figaro Fries–and focus on the good when it comes to Magic Kingdom quick service, because there’s a lot of good out there.
First thing’s first: There’s more to theme park food than burgers, fries and hot dogs and you know if anyone is going to do that right, it’s going to be Disney. Yes, you’ll find plenty of fast food, so much so that in a fog of hunger, you might miss some real highlights, but it’s out there. And second, you can eat quick service meals in the Magic Kingdom regardless of your dietary needs, be that vegetarian, gluten-free, or even kosher. Besides Epcot, the Magic Kingdom has perhaps the best selection for those with dietary restrictions. Here are five of my favorites that I think give you a good value in taste, quality and price.
5. Cosmic Rays Starlight Cafe. This place is huge and often busy with something for everyone. Decent roasted chicken, wraps, salads and yes, burgers. Many people swear by the burgers at Pecos Bill, but my favorite Magic Kingdom burger can be found here. You can even request a kosher meal or a gluten free roll. Be sure to try the Chicken and Ribs combo as its one of Magic Kingdoms best deals!
4. Turkey Legs in Adventureland. You’ll smell it first, so you won’t need directions. It’s like a Siren’s Song to meat eaters. Okay, it’s all protein and a lot of fat, but for $7.59 you get enough for two people (or one teenage boy). You can even use your quick service dining plan credits here; you’ll also get dessert (usually a cookie) and a drink. This isn’t a diet meal, but it’s cheap and if you’re not into a lot of carbs and you want something fast and different, this is a good choice. Besides tasting really good, you’ll get a chance to get in touch with your inner Barbarian and embarrass your spouse while you walk around the park gnawing on a big piece of meat. On busy days when lunchtime lines are out the door, these carts rarely have more than a ten minute wait for service and also sell surprisingly good single serving pizzas. Check out this fun picture of a Gigantic Smoked Turkey Leg.
3. Columbia Harbor House in Liberty Square, just across from the Haunted Mansion. One of those overlooked locations, there’s usually seating upstairs even on the busiest days. This is a great choice for vegetarians, who can sample the vegetarian chilli or the Lighthouse Sandwich. The fried fish is crispy and not overly fishy, although the less said about the tarter sauce the better.
2. Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station. Stir fries, noodle bowls, salads and kid-friendly nuggets and hot dogs, this is a great choice for something that’s both healthy and different, with plenty of good vegetarian choices as well. I give Disney credit: How many theme parks dare to serve tofu?! And manage to do it well enough that even meat eaters like it? Well, Disney has managed to do just that here. The joke among Disney fans is that it’s rarely open and when it is, it’s usually during the busiest times of the year, although I’ve also seen it open during the middle part of December when the parks weren’t all that busy. Definitely worth checking out. You know, if it happens to be open.
1. Main Street Bakery, I actually eat it and more importantly, enjoy it.. Other than the long lines, this is my favorite lunch stop in the Magic Kingdom. The sandwich selection isn’t huge, but the quality is excellent with nice vegetarian options and gluten free rolls available. It’s also a good buy on if you’re on the meal plan. I generally am not crazy about the desserts that come with quick service meals, but since they’re included, I feel strangely compelled to take one even if I know I’m probably not going to eat it. At the