We love Walt Disney World for its salty, buttery popcorn, sweet Mickey ice cream bars and cotton candy, refreshing Dole whips, and huge turkey legs, but we also love the top-notch dining options offered here for every appetite. Enjoy cuisine from around the world, gourmet specialties, vegetarian menus, and American favorites like pizza and barbecue. Speaking of barbeque, there are a terrific variety of great barbecue restaurants on Walt Disney World property that all offer a slightly different twist on this tangy and sweet classic American way of cooking. Check out my list below for the best-of-the-best places to go when you’re in the mood for some great barbecue flavor!
1. Flame Tree Barbecue
When I’m hungry for a juicy, savory barbecue meal, the first restaurant that pops in my mind is always Flame Tree Barbecue, located on Discovery Island in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. You can smell the mouth-watering aromas of pulled pork and ribs before you even see the restaurant. It’s hard to miss this place with its colorful exterior and festive pavilions that house the outdoor seating. Order a pulled pork sandwich and baked beans, a plate of ribs, or the barbecue chicken, and following the winding path down to your choice of tables. Seating is nestled among the trees with a lovely view of the waterway and Expedition Everest, with some tables shaded under large pavilions.
2. Polite Pig
Stroll over to Town Center in Disney Springs and pull up at table at the Polite Pig, a relative newcomer to restaurants at Walt Disney World. The counter-service eatery offers modern barbecue favorites complete with a barbecue sauce bar and a bourbon bar. Does it get any better than that? Place your order at the counter, and your food is shortly delivered to your table. Baby back ribs, brisket sandwiches, barbecue chicken, and sausage are some of the delicious menu items, complemented by Southern side items like sweet potato tater tots, jalapeno cornbread coleslaw, mac and cheese, and potato salad. The list is endless!
3. Regal Eagle Smokehouse
The America pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase is the home of the Regal Eagle Smokehouse, a counter-service restaurant serving barbecue variations from across the country. Try the Kansas City smoked half-chicken meal, a sliced Texas brisket sandwich, or the North Carolina smoked pork platter, just to name a few of the tempting offerings available here. Wash it all down with a frozen mint julep, a non-alcoholic berry punch, or one of the craft beers on the menu. This is a terrific replacement to the Liberty Inn restaurant formerly in this space, and it takes its name from the Muppets character Sam the Eagle. Be sure to look for the references to Sam sprinkled through the establishment.
4. Whispering Canyon Café
Grab a seat at the Whispering Canyon Café and be prepared for a feast of barbecue goodness. Located off of the jaw-dropping lobby in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, this eatery takes you right into the old West. Order the Traditional skillet, an all-you-care-to-eat meal that includes barbecue beef brisket, pulled pork, and pork ribs, along with delicious sides potatoes, corn, and green beans. If you choose “The Pig”, you’re in store for pork belly, ribs, pulled pork, and barbecued wings. You can’t go wrong with either choice, and this restaurant is the perfect spot for comfort food in a fun and spirited atmosphere.
5. House of Blues
The West Side of Disney Springs is where you need to go for great music and unique barbecue dishes. Smokehouse meals are served with your choice of pulled pork, chicken, or brisket. If you’re famished, go for the menu item that includes all three! The kitchen makes their own tangy sauces that are sure to please.
6. Roundup Rodeo BBQ
My family loves Toy Story Land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, so I know I’ll love the Roundup Rodeo BBQ table service restaurant soon to come to this park. The storyline is that Andy and his toys are hosting guests in his backyard for a barbeque. I know this will be just as fabulous in décor, theming, and the menu as the rest of Toy Story Land is right now!