Epcot’s World Showcase at Walt Disney World is a fantastic place to satisfy your appetite. With 11 countries represented around the lagoon, there are restaurants to please everyone’s palette. Each country’s pavilion also offers guests unique shopping, architecture, and entertainment. The cast members in each pavilion are native to that country, and they are very willing to chat with guests about their customs and language. The majority of the countries have both a table-service restaurant and a counter-service eatery, and it’s a wonderful way to try a new type of cuisine. During the International Festival of Arts, International Flower and Garden Festival, and International Food and Wine Festival, even more countries are represented via small booths spread out amidst the existing pavilions. Each booth offers a tempting ethnic menu and beverages as well.
If your taste buds are eager for one of the offered dining experiences in the World Showcase, but you don’t have an Advanced Dining Reservation or if you’d rather not invest the time in having a full table-service meal, then trying a counter-service restaurant is a perfect choice. While you can’t go wrong with any of the options, here are the counter-service restaurants that I think are the best of the bunch.
1. La Cantina de San Angel
With lovely shady waterside seating that looks across the lagoon, La Cantina de San Angel is across the walkway from the Mexico building. The menu offers traditional Mexican favorites like soft tacos with your choice of chicken, beef, or fish, nachos, and churros. Margaritas and Mexican beer are also served here. This is a great spot to relax and enjoy a delicious meal with a view. You might even get to hear the nearby mariachi band perform. Inside seating is occasionally available at the adjacent restaurant, La Hacienda de San Angel. The restaurant is on the Disney Dining Plan.
2. Lotus Blossom Cafe
Located in the China area of World Showcase, this counter-service eatery invites guests to dine in a shady open-air patio. The cuisine is Asian and includes many dishes similar to those served inside the table-service restaurant, Nine Dragons. The menu offers stir fry, egg rolls, rice bowls, and chicken dishes. Tea, smoothies, and specialty alcoholic drinks are also available. Chinese varieties of ice cream complete the meal. The cast members are always friendly at the Lotus Blossom Café, service is prompt, and I love how the dining area is tucked away from the crowds. The Lotus Blossom Café is also on the Disney Dining Plan.
3. Tangerine Café
If you’re looking for a change of pace, the Tangerine Café in Morocco fits the bill. With the surrounding exotic Moroccan architecture and tiles, this eatery offers both indoor seating and outdoor tables. It’s quiet and pretty here, and the menu is a great sampling of Mediterranean cuisine, whether this is your first time or if you’ve had it many times before. Lamb, chicken, and falafel wraps are available, as well as platter meals served with couscous and hummus. The portions are large, but I recommend saving room for a piece of tasty baklava or one of the other fresh pastries and a specialty coffee. If you’re ready to exit the park after your meal or head back over to Future World, there is a boat dock conveniently located outside of the Moroccan pavilion, saving guests from having to walk halfway around the World Showcase. The Tangerine Café is on the Disney Dining Plan.
4. Yorkshire County Fish Shop
While this counter-service restaurant always seems to have a long line and it might be slightly difficult finding a good place to sit, you can’t go wrong with the traditional fish and chips, washed down with a cold pint of Harp or Bass. Listening to the British Revolution playing classic British rock tunes and enjoying a meal from this eatery is always a must do for my family.