Drinking Around the World at Disney’s Epcot
There’s more to Walt Disney World than thrill rides and character breakfasts. As Epcot and the reinvigorated Disney Springs can attest, award-winning food and drink is another major draw to central Florida’s magical escape. Lucky for us, while Disney World’s renowned Food & Wine Festival comes but once a year, Epcot’s World Showcase is open every day.
From Mexico to Morocco and Italy to France, we ate and drank our way around the lagoon—and reported back on the best places to go, the drinks to buy, and the snacks to chow down on at each of the park’s 12 pavilions. Read on for our definitive guide to drinking around Epcot’s World Showcase.
This piece originally appeared on Travel + Leisure.
Where to Go: Resist the urge to grab the first salt-rimmed plastic cup cocktail you spot, and instead head for the temple. Inside, near the San Angel Inn, you’ll find La Cava del Tequila, whose menu of specialty tequilas and signature margaritas is—no joke—worth the trip to Epcot alone.
What to Get: A margarita on the rocks, of course. Popular flavors include avocado, jalapeño, and pomegranate.
If You’re Hungry: Get the trio combo—tortilla chips that come with the “Mexican Flag” (salsa, queso, and guacamole, which is blended with serano chile).
Where to Go: Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe pours strong Viking Coffee, but if the day is hot, and you’re seeking something a bit more refreshing—and something a little more authentic—check out the cart outside.
What to get: Danish Carlsberg beer (pay a little extra and you get to keep the mug!) or a Scandinavian liquor called Linie Aquavit Glacier which, for those who can muster the shot, is something of a bragging right.
If You’re Hungry: Grab a sweet pretzel or lefse flatbread from the café.
Where to Go: Head to the Joy of Tea, adjacent to the lagoon, for all your slushie tea and cocktail needs.
What to Get: The Peach Snap! (with Schnapps) was sweet and delicious, while the Mango Gingerita thoroughly cleansed the palette.
If You’re Hungry: We’d go for the curry chicken pockets, a perfect mid-day snack, or head to the back of the pavilion for your favorite Chinese takeout (think potstickers, egg rolls, and barbecue pork buns).
Where to Go: It’ll come as no surprise that the Germany Pavilion is one of the better stops on the tour, with options including the buzzy Biergarten, the convenient Bier Cart, and the quick-service restaurant Sommerfest.
What to Get: Riesling or any of the house brews. Stumped? Ask any bartender for their preference—the Oktoberfest is nearly always recommended.
If You’re Hungry: Schnitzel, strudel, bratwurst, soft pretzels—if it’s German, it’s probably here. Anyone with a serious sweet tooth would be remiss to skip Werther’s candy shop.
Where to Go: The Tutto Gusto wine cellar inside the Tutto Italia restaurant stocks more than 200 bottles of fine Italian wines, and is kind enough to offer a nice selection of flights for those who can’t narrow down the choices. In addition to sweet treats, the Gelati stand at the front of the pavilion pours varietals by the glass including Chianti, sangria, and corbinello.
What to Get: You won’t go wrong with any of the wines.
If You’re Hungry: For those traveling in a pair, the Gusto Plates at Tutto Gusto showcase Italian antipasti like wine-marinated pork sausages, fennel-and-pepper salami, and olive oil-marinated artichokes and are perfect for sharing.
Where to Go: Sit-downs like the Fife & Drum Tavern and Liberty Inn are favorites for their colonial interiors and comfort food favorites like hot dogs, hamburgers, and salads, but Block & Hans is the place to be for a quick pick-me-up.
What to Get: Block & Hans pours all manner of Napa Valley wines, IPAs, and craft beers, as well as your standard Sam Adams.
If You’re Hungry: The funnel cake stand is everything we love about America.
Where to Go: What would a showcase on Japan be without a sake bar? Those craving a taste of the country’s national beverage can find a tiny one in the back of the Mitzukoshi store.
What to Get: Try the citrusy Yuzu Suke or the Kairakuen plum wine (with an actual plum plopped inside!) There’s also beer, including Ginga Kogen.
If You’re Hungry: Stop by the Kabuki Café outside for edamame,kakigori (Japanese shaved ice), and bite-size nigiri.
Where to Go: There’s not much to speak of in terms of quick service eateries in Morocco, but Spice Road Table, a relatively recent addition to the pavilion, has a walk-up bar with a small menu of specialty cocktails. Just try not to gawk at Aladdin and Princess Jasmine, known to pass by on their way to the marketplace.
What to Get: Spice Road’s signature sangria (in white, red, or sparkling) is the drink of choice. Otherwise, spring for any of the colorful cocktails, such as the Andalusian Nights (with apricot brandy and piña colada) or the Tangier’s Breeze (with vodka and pineapple juice).
If You’re Hungry: The small plates are especially hunger-quenching: lamb sliders, spicy garlic shrimp, mussels tagine, assorted baklava…
Where to Go: Ah, Pa-ree. Of course there’s wine in abundance at the legendary Monsieur Paul restaurant and Les Chefs de France brasserie, but do not leave without considering ordering one of the slushes from the outdoor Champagne Kiosk.
What to Get: The Grey Goose Citron (it’s like sinfully sweet lemonade) and Grand Marnier Orange are ice cold and served in coupe-like cups that keep things fancy even as everything starts to melt and dribble down your chin. Don’t worry—the women inside the Dior boutique will be too busy spritzing you with eau de toilette to notice.
If You’re Hungry: A fresh-out-of-the-oven baguette from Les Halles Boulangerie-Pâtisserie or a chocolate macaron ice cream sandwich at L’Artisan des Glaces artisanal ice cream shop should do the trick.
Where to Go: The Rose & Crown pub, aside from being one of the toughest dinner reservations to come by at Epcot (its back patio is famously a perfect vantage point for the nighttime spectacular, IllumiNations), is a great spot to hang out and enjoy a pint.
What to Get: If you’re celebrating a special occasion, or looking to indulge, spring for the Single Malt Flight, whose scotch selection—Glenkinchie (Lowlands), Oban (Western Highlands), and Lagavulin (Inner Hebrides)—is like a taste of Scotland herself.
If You’re Hungry: Fish and chips, bangers and mash, loaded Yorkshire pudding— the English pub grub here is elevated to a tee.
Where to Go: The Canadian château is most famous for housing Le Cellier Steakhouse, one of Disney World’s preeminent dining experiences, where reservations book up to a year in advance. Those without one can still stop by the outdoor kiosk for a tipple.
What to Get: Moosehead and Molson are the standard Canadian brews here.
If You’re Hungry: The Trading Post is souvenir central. Along with ornaments, perfume, and hockey gear, you can also pick up cookies, candies, and—what else?—maple syrup.