Top 10 – Amazing Restaurants at Disney World

As I mentioned yesterday, when I think of Disney I think of the rides and the food. Walt Disney World has some fantastic restaurants. Some so fantastic that I’ve never ben able to hunt down a reservation… I’m looking at your Le Cellier.  While most people don’t normally associate great food and dinning experiences with theme parks and thrill rides, Disney World is the exception. And whats better than to eat at a great restaurant right after getting off of Pirates?

The things I took into consideration for my Top 10 are: The Food, The Cost (is it worth the price), and The Experience.   And I’ve ruled out restaurants I haven’t been too, as that just wouldn’t be fair.  There’s also a few that didn’t make the list for a number of reasons but still came close.  Beaches and Cream has the kitchen sink I really enjoyed, but that’s sort of a one trick thing.  Sunshine Tree Terrace has Dolewhip… but that’s it.  Heck even the Funnel Cake Kiosk in the American pavilion was on the list for a while, till I came to my senses.   And with that – onto the Top 10!

#10 Starring Rolls Cafe
Park/Resort: HollyWood Studios
Type: Café/Bakery

Reason: Bottom of the Top List that made it is the Starring Rolls Cafe.  Not once have I gone to Hollywood Studio in the mornings and not had breakfast here.  It is quite, has a good selection of pastries, and decent drinks. It’s not flashy, or overly themed, but being centrally located between the three “big” rides in the Studios, it’s a great place to have the family have some breakfast and relax, while you run to get some Fast Passes to start off your day.

#9 Trail’s End Restaurant
Park/Resort: Fort Wilderness Campground
Type: Buffet

Reason: Being a frequent resident of the campgrounds during my Disney stays, this is the most convenient restaurant for the family.  Especially when arriving and the day is short.  The rustic buffet has food that will fill most appetizers and the wood cabin fits right in with the surrounding woods.

#8 Earl of Sandwich
Park/Resort: Downtown Disney
Type: Counter Service

Reason: This is a rather overlooked restaurant nestled among the Marketplace.  The food is fresh and tasty, all for a very low price.  Probably the best value for the food on property.  The decor is simple and kinda fast foodish, looking like something from England, complete with TVs showing “live” images from different public areas over there. My favorite here is to get a “The Original 1762” (roast beef with horseradish)and some Chicken Tortilla soup.  Delicious… together for under $10.  A deal indeed.

#7 La Cantina de San Angel
Park/Resort: EPCOT / Mexico
Type: Counter Service

Reason: This is the first entry of my love of faux and real “mexican” food.  There’s a rather limited section, but what it does it does well.  Nachos, tacos, empanadas… all delicious.  Add to that the outdoor atmosphere over looking World showcase and you have a winner.  And if you add a nice margarita and a churro makes it even better.

#6 Biergarten
Park/Resort: EPCOT / Germany
Type: Buffet

Reason: Live oompah bands with a dance floor that plays every 30 minutes or so (that my daughter loves).  Tons of traditional german foods that I remember from my youth, and of course a giant liter of ice-cold beer.  All of this contained, “outdoors” for a giant Octoberfest… year round.  If you go with a  small party be warned you will be seated with other families.  The entire environment is designed to bring people together while enjoying good food, good music, and good times.

#5 ‘Ohana
Park/Resort: Polynesian
Type: Buffet

Reason: Although I know this is a buffet, and I swear i’m going to save my stomach for the endless beef, chicken and shrimp that comes later in the meal, I can’t but help snarf down the Fried dumplings, chicken wings, and hot Hawaiian bread that come to the table well before the main course.  Of course that’s the point.  Great food, great atmosphere.  If you plan your visit right, you can even see wishes from the Magic Kingdom from the restaurant, complete with music piped in.

#4 Tusker House
Park/Resort: Animal Kingdom / Africa
Type: Buffet

Reason: For those looking for something… a little more atypical, this is a great starting point.  The buffet allows you to sample and try a bunch of different foods, as well as some mostly familiar pieces to fall back on.  The buffet area has the appearance of being outside with the draping sheets over head blocking the harsh african sun.  A neat tip, schedule the latest reservation they allow.  Animal Kingdom typically closes much earlier than the other parks and by booking late you get to enjoy this restaurants without sacrificing park time. Also make sure to take a few moment to listen at the entrance to the building; you’ll be able to hear the fake “workings” of the kitchen upstairs

#3 Columbia Harbour House
Park/Resort: Magic Kingdom / Liberty Square
Type: Counter Service

Reason: Here’s a restaurant that tends to be missed by many, well at least part of it.  Although I love the decor that’s decked out with pictures of boats, and the sea, and of course the food… What make this so special is the fact that people don’t look up.  While downstairs is usually packed and difficult to get a table, just by heading up the stairs you get whatever choice of seating you’d want.  And what seating it is! My favorite spots sit right above the walkway between the lands.  One one side a view of the Rivers of america and Liberty Square, the other a view of Fantasyland.  Sitting down on a hot day enjoying some shrimp and fish, while people watching Is a great way to take a small break from the packed park.

#2 La Hacienda de San Angel
Park/Resort: EPCOT / Mexico
Type: Sit-Down

Reason: I was lucky enough to get a reservation for my #2 the week it opened.  Open only for dinner, and situated behind  la cantina de san angel (in fact you can use  it as additional seating for lunch…) this has a wide range of mexican foods.  You can get tradition meals, or even platters for 2. All delicious.  You can even get flights of Tequila (5 different shots ranging from sweet to spicy).  The decor is bright and interesting. And if you time you reservation right you can even get a front row view of Illuminations through the huge windows overlooking the lagoon.

#1 Tortuga Tavern (formerly El Pirata y el Perico)
Park/Resort: Magic Kingdom / Adventureland
Type: Counter Service

Reason: This is my favorite park… I think, possibly since it’s always been so hard to get to.  This counter service has always had a great selection, probably based on the fact it has a “taco fix’n” bar to add to your burritos, nachos, and my favorite – Taco Salad. The area is filled with old flags, sea faring pictures, and of course – right outside the Pirates of the Caribbean fort.  I have yet to eat here since they’ve switched over to being called Tortuga Tavern, so it might fall a few places after this trip.

What about you?  Have a favorite restaurant I should be trying out?  Agree with some of my choices?  Leave a comment below.  Tomorrow… FOODS!!!

Categories: Disney with Tasel, Eat'n with Tasel, OpinionTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: