What makes a restaurant unforgettable? Is it the theming, the uniqueness of the dining experience, or maybe the variety and taste of the food itself? However you rank eateries, Walt Disney sure has plenty of them to choose from, and more pop up every year, making your choices even more difficult. Here are our top two restaurant choices for every park in WDW – and some may surprise you! What would you add to the list?
1. L’Artisan des Glaces
It may be an ice cream shop, rather than an actual restaurant, but you’ll be missing out if you skip the France pavilion’s L’Artisan des Glaces. This magical spot is one of our foodie faves on property, and it specializes in creating mouth-watering artisanal ice cream in flavors we guarantee you’ve never tasted anywhere else! For a purely adult twist, you can get an Ice Cream Martini, or opt for a Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich for the full France experience. If you’re looking for some savory food to pair with your dessert, you can always go next door to Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie to grab a sandwich, salad or soup.
2. Le Cellier Steakhouse
Deservedly famous for its iconic Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup, made with Moosehead Pale Ale, Le Cellier Steakhouse in the Canadian pavilion is definitely a contender for best table service restaurant in Epcot. Set in a rustic grand chateau, the restaurant serves up tantalizing dishes for the entire family, including filet mignon and rib-eye steak. You can try classic Canadian dishes like poutine, and finish your meal with a maple-themed dessert, or maybe a delectable butter tart. Yes, please.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
1. Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano
On my first visit to Mama Melrose’s, I took the advice of a family member and ordered the Four-Cheese Macaroni with Charred Strip Steak – and it remains one of my all-time favorite dishes at Walt Disney World. You really can’t go wrong at this casual Italian gem, which describes itself as “where Italy meets California”. You’ll find all of your favorite Italian dishes here – and maybe a few happy surprises! One thing is for certain – you won’t leave hungry.
2. Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo
Docking Bay 7 has some of the coolest theming we’ve ever encountered at a WDW quick service spot, and it’s earned rave reviews since opening in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Picture an intergalactic hangar bay that’s been converted into a dining hall, complete with cargo crates you can actually dine in, and an outdoor area with a fabulous view of Black Spire Outpost. And then there’s the food, which is some of the best on offer at Hollywood Studios, including the plant-based Felucian Kefta and Hummus Garden Spread. If you’re looking for a restaurant with plenty of fabulous theming and dishes that offer an alternative to typical theme park fare, look no further.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
1. Yak & Yeti Restaurant
I don’t think we’ve ever visited Disney’s Animal Kingdom without eating at Yak & Yeti. You’ll immediately feel as if you’ve been transported to Nepal as you gape at the cheerful colors, ornamented tables, carved chairs and locally sourced carvings and statues that surround you. Your tea will arrive in a cast iron teapot, and you can start your meal with one of the Shareables plates, meant for two guests. There are numerous options for meat eaters and vegetarians, but whatever you have for your main course, make sure you save room for the Fried Wontons for dessert! One of the things we love about Yak & Yeti is that it’s rarely so busy that you can’t make a last-minute dining reservation; we’ve even walked in without a reservation on occasion.
2. Nomad Lounge
In terms of location, it simply doesn’t get better than this. Animal Kingdom’s Nomad Lounge sits right beside Tiffins Restaurant, with an enviable water view that you can’t beat! This open-air lounge has the feel of a comfortable, elegantly rustic eatery you might find on safari. Though it’s categorized as a lounge, there’s an impressive array of small plates, appetizers and entree options for adults and kids, from Falafel with Garlic Yogurt, to Grilled Shrimp with Ginger-Tamari Glaze, to Churros. You’ll also find a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages at this relaxing oasis.
1. Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen
Skipper Canteen is a special treat for huge fans of the classic Magic Kingdom ride Jungle Cruise, on which it is based (you may even be served by a pun-cracking cast member!). But even those with only a passing acquaintance with the ride will appreciate the unique dishes offered here, which you won’t find anywhere else in the park. We’re talking plant-based Perkins Thai Noodles, “Hardy Har Char” Siu Pork, and Kungaloosh (African-inspired chocolate cake), for starters. With three different seating areas (including a “secret” room), appropriately rustic expedition theming, and plenty of eye candy (feel free to explore as you wait for your meal!), it’s a hit with guests of all ages.
2. Gaston’s Tavern
Who doesn’t love Beauty and the Beast? If you weren’t able to get reservations at Be Our Guest Restaurant – or if you’re looking for a quick bite – Gaston’s Tavern is an excellent way to experience the magic of the classic film while eating some great food. It scores major points in the decor department (go ahead, count all the antlers Gaston actually uses in his decorating), and the food and drink options, while limited, are winners. Try Gaston’s Tavern’s signature drink, LeFou’s Brew (Disney’s answer to Butterbeer), the hearty Warm Cinnamon Roll, and of course, get your fill of the Grey Stuff while you’re here!