The restaurant game is strong in Walt Disney World. Whether you eat at your Disney resort, at a theme park, or at the ever-expanding Disney Springs, your taste buds are in for a treat. But do you know who is behind your favorite eateries in WDW? A chef can make or break a dining experience, and luckily, Walt Disney World has some of the best chefs in the country, if not the world. Chances are, you’ve heard of many of them! Here are 8 restaurants with the best chefs at WDW.
1. Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill
Famed California chef Wolfgang Puck lends his name to this restaurant in Disney Springs, and he brings his hugely influential style to both Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill, and Wolfgang Puck Express. We love the open kitchens at Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill (who doesn’t love watching the creation of their own meal?), and of course, the gelato bar – which you don’t even need to have advanced dining reservations for! You’ll find family-friendly shareables here, along with pizza, sandwiches, pasta and much more.
2. Morimoto Asia
Not only does Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs deliver drool-worthy Pan-Asian cuisine, the restaurant itself is stunningly gorgeous, featuring dangling crystal chandeliers. Japanese sensation Masaharu Morimoto helms this memorable dining experience, and he’s created a menu of Chinese, Japanese and Korean dishes that showcase his creativity. To add to the fun, you can enjoy a sneak peek backstage when you dine: the exhibition kitchens allow you to watch as delicious meals come to life. Sample classic Asian fare like Dim Sum and Peking Duck, or try something new like the Portobello Mushroom Fries or Oreo Tempura.
3. Yachtsman Steakhouse
Long a guest favorite, this classy restaurant, located in Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, is a sure hit with meat lovers of all ages! But a lesser-known fact is that it also caters to vegetarians and vegans, now more than ever. Chef Michael Rodriguez (you may recognize the name, as he recently moved to the Yachtsman from California Grill) has developed a special menu specifically for the non-carnivores in your party. It’s called the “Chef’s Selections” menu, and you can select four of the 10 vegetarian or vegan items for your meal. Of course, meat eaters will still find plenty of deliciousness here, including steaks, seafood and chicken.
4. Flying Fish
Award-winning chef Tim Majoras (he was hailed as the Critic’s Pick for Best Chef in Orlando Magazine’s Dining Awards for 2019) is behind the tempting dishes at Flying Fish. You’ll find this sophisticated, contemporary restaurant at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort. Chef Majoras specializes in meals that are as beautiful to look at as they are delicious. In fact, his gourmet seafood dishes have been compared to fine art. Indulge in Lobster Bisque, Artisan Cheeses, Wagyu Filet Mignon, Swordfish and much, much more – brought to your table with a creativity and eye for presentation that will have you pulling out your phone for some mega-Instagram-worthy shots.
5. Terralina Crafted Italian
We’ll forgive you for thinking you’ve been transported to Italy’s Lake District when you visit Terralina Crafted Italian, at Disney Springs. The dynamic duo of award-winning chef Tony Mantuano and executive chef Justin Plank brings you a dazzling array of Italian favorites, including pasta, pizza, calzones, vegetable dishes and many more. Watch as the gourmet wood-burning oven fires you next course, or relax with a glass of wine outside on the verandah. And for those who miss the Portobello Country Italian Trattoria – not to worry, some of your favorite dishes are still on the menu!
6. Homecomin’ Florida Kitchen
You may recognize him from cooking shows like Top Chef Masters and BBQ Pitmasters: his name is Art Smith, and he’s the famous chef behind Homecomin’ Florida Kitchen at Disney Springs. As the name would suggest, this welcoming venue pays tribute to Florida’s past, and most ingredients come from local farms, fisheries or ranches. Feel-good dishes include Art’s Famous Fried Chicken, Church Lady Deviled Eggs, and Hamilton County Chocolate Pecan Pie.
Internationally recognized, award-winning chef José Andrés was born in Spain, and brings the rich culinary diversity of Spain to guests at JALEO in Disney Springs. You’ll find traditional Spanish dishes here, but cutting-edge tastes are also waiting to be discovered. An impressive variety of tapas take the starring role on the menu, accompanied by wood oven-fired paellas and adventurous new dishes you’ll definitely want to try. If you don’t have time for a table service meal, drop in at Andrés’ nearby Pepe for some counter-service hot and cold Spanish-style sandwiches.
8. Victoria & Albert’s
Of course, no list of the best chefs at Walt Disney World would be complete without mentioning Disney’s flagship restaurant, Victoria & Albert’s, and its executive chef, Scott Hunnel. Hunnel has journeyed around the world, from Italy to Thailand to Hong Kong to the UK, in search of the best ingredients and restaurants to inspire his dishes. Anyone who has had the pleasure of eating at Victoria & Albert’s will know he has succeeded in mixing these global tastes with fresh, local ingredients to create the perfect gourmet dishes for guests. Choose the Chef’s Table experience for an extra-special culinary treat: you’ll meet the culinary team, and they’ll create your own custom, multi-course dinner, just for you!