One thing that guests love to do on a Walt Disney World vacation is eat! Throughout the resorts, four theme parks, and Disney Springs there are seemingly endless dining options for guests to choose from. While there are plenty of full service restaurants which include sit down meals and wait service, there are also lots of counter service options that serve up delicious food in a more laid back and timely fashion. Counter service does not mean that the food is any less spectacular than the full service meals, especially in Walt Disney World! Each counter service location in Disney is amazing for its own reasons including delicious food, wonderful theme, and beautiful ambiance. Here are the top ten Walt Disney World counter service restaurants.
10. Sunshine Seasons –
Epcot’s Future World is home to The Land Pavilion which celebrates the beauty and efficiency of the environment and Earth. Located on the lower level of the pavilion is the counter service dining location Sunshine Seasons which is open each day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Guests love dining at Sunshine Seasons as there are several different counters to order from, each with their own theme and offerings. Guests can nosh on a turkey ciabatta sandwich, pork chops, fresh fruits and vegetables, and delicious baked goods. No matter what meal a guest orders up, the ambiance can’t be beat as the open air seating area offers sweeping views of the entire pavilion and its atrium ceiling.
9. Capt. Cook’s –
This counter service restaurant is located at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort off of the bottom level of the Great Ceremonial House. Capt. Cook’s is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and serves up unique options like a Polynesian Salad with Chicken, and Aloha Pork Sandwich. Many guests love visiting Capt. Cook’s for breakfast since they can order up some delectable Tonga Toast which features fried sourdough bread stuffed with bananas and coated in cinnamon sugar.
8. Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory –
Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort is home to the counter service restaurant Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory. The restaurant is themed around a storage space for larger than life Mardi Gras floats and props including jesters, crowns, and colorful masks. Open for all three meals each day, the location serves up classic New Orleans style options like dirty rice, Po’ Boys, and gumbo. Many guests love stopping in at Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory after a long day in the parks to indulge in beignets which are fried dough squares coated in powdered sugar.
7. Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café –
Located in Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café is a counter service location open for lunch and dinner. The restaurant is unique in that the main dining room features an audio animatronic of Cosmic Ray who performs his out of this world lounge act for guests. Many guests also enjoy dining at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café thanks to three separate ordering bays which each focus on a specific type of food like burgers, sandwiches, and chicken.
6. Flame Tree Barbecue –
Guests who are exploring the Discovery Island section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom are often drawn in by the enticing aroma of barbecue coming from Flame Tree Barbecue. This counter service location is open for lunch and dinner and serves up classic barbecue options like St. Louis Ribs, barbecue chicken, and pulled pork. Guests especially love enjoying their meals on a patio behind the ordering counters which offers sweeping views of Expedition Everest across the river.
5. Be Our Guest Restaurant –
This counter service location in the Magic Kingdom is unique in that it is counter service for breakfast and lunch and a full service restaurant for dinner. Be Our Guest Restaurant allows guests to dine inside the Beast’s castle on traditional French options like a Croque Madame and Tuna Nicoise Salad. Guests who save room for dessert can also sample The Grey Stuff which is delicious!
4. Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café –
Nestled in Frontierland in the Magic Kingdom is this unique counter service location which is open daily for lunch and dinner. Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café serves up rustic options including chili-cheese fries, barbecue pork, and southwest chicken salads. Guests especially love stopping by Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café for the toppings bar which includes fresh vegetables and accoutrements to take an ordinary meal and make it extraordinary.
3. The Mara –
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort features a counter service dining location named The Mara which is named after a river in Kenya. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night dining, The Mara serves up traditional American options as well as African cuisine. Guests who are looking to try something new can sample a Bobotie Platter or African Stew alongside standbys like turkey sandwiches and Mickey waffles. Guests also love indulging in Zebra Domes for dessert, enjoying the unique flavors of chocolate and Amarula Cream Liquor.
2. Sleepy Hollow –
This counter service dining location can be found in the Magic Kingdom on the bridge between the hub and Liberty Square. Sleepy Hollow is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and serves up decadent waffle sandwiches, funnel cakes, and fresh coffee. Guests love dining at Sleepy Hollow for the delicious food options and open air patio which offers a great place to people watch and enjoy time in the Magic Kingdom.
1. Satu’li Canteen –
The newest counter service hot spot is in Animal Kingdom’s Pandora – The World of Avatar. After your journey down river on Na’vi River Journey and flying on a banshee on Avatar Flight of Passage, the next best place to stop is Satu’li Canteen for a bite. The theming is a long ago an RDA (Resources Development Administration) mess hall that has now been decked out with a colorful array of Na’vi (Pandora natives) art and cultural items. You’ll find a great menu for lunch and dinner where you can choose a bowl and/or pods. Create-Your-Own-Bowl by choosing one protein, one base, and one sauce. Two pod selections – vegetable curry pods or cheeseburger pods – are also delicious! Don’t forget to try their Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse and Chocolate Cake. Plus, Satu’li Canteen is the birthplace of the mobile ordering. Order and pay for your food from the MyDisneyExperience app and pick up your food when you arrive. It’s awesome!