The 100 Best Things to Eat at Disney World
As Walt Disney World launches into an 18-month celebration of the resort's 50th anniversary, park goers have never been better fed. From corn dogs to kimchi ramen, burgers to birria, Mickey pretzels to Mediterranean small plates, there's so much to get into right now, so much to talk about, even in the middle of a pandemic.
Some restaurants remain on hiatus, a handful have closed for good, and yet, even moving forward at a slightly reduced speed, there remains an astonishing amount of choice, enough that even those who have experienced Disney World as recently as a few years ago might be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed by their options. World-class wine lists. Omakase dinners. A broad expansion into plant-based dining.
Allow this list then, compiled after decades of reporting (and eating) in the parks, to come to your aid. Hopefully, you'll find it comprehensive enough to guide you through your entire visit, and then the next. From on-the-fly snacks to great cocktails, it's all here; no need to click around, poring over multiple lists.
You'll find, as you read through, a few of the temporarily shuttered restaurants, the ones we simply couldn't fathom leaving out of the conversation; their status is noted in the listing, and good news could arrive at any time. Some of the venues you'll read about here have only very recently returned to the rotation, and more could follow sooner than you might think.
Note: Reservations are strongly encouraged right now, if not required, sometimes even for casual dining in the parks. Slots are available online 60 days in advance, and they can fill up fast.
The Best Restaurants at Disney World
50th Anniversary Menu at California Grill Contemporary Resort
Opened back in 1971 as Top of The World, the gleaming jewel of the Contemporary has evolved significantly over the years, but one thing remains the same—this is one of the best places to find yourself after a busy day in the parks, from sunset cocktails to the fireworks hour. Celebrate fifty years with the limited-time prix-fixe dinner, paying tribute to every chapter of the restaurant's history, from duck à la orange pizza starters to Grand Marnier soufflés for dessert.
Small plates at Spice Road Table World Showcase
One of the the saddest pandemic-related casualties has been the end of Morocco as we know it, at least for the time being. Fortunately, this lagoon-facing restaurant, long one of Epcot's finest, survived the shutdown, serving a sampling of small plates from the old menu—start with the superb hummus fries. As of Oct. 1, the restaurant is offering dinner packages for the park's new Harmonious fireworks display
Raw bar at The Boathouse Disney Springs
Like a sophisticated crab deck on the Chesapeake, except you're at Disney World, this star of the remade, revitalized Downtown Disney had become the second top-grossing non-chain restaurant in the country before the pandemic, on the back of a lengthy list of carefully selected seafood, both raw and otherwise. One of the best outdoor dining options in the entire resort.
Sushi blowout at Morimoto Asia Disney Springs
Masaharu Morimoto's pan-Asian palace is one of the better restaurants to ever grace Disney property. At the heart of the free-wheeling menu—whole Peking duck, anyone?—is the most dazzling sushi in Central Florida; some of the fish is flown directly in from Japan. Just remember, you're at a fusion restaurant—it's fine to start with the barbecued spare ribs.
Pizzas at Via Napoli World Showcase
Watching the wood-burning ovens in action—named after Italy's iconic volcanoes—is one of the more satisfying activities after a busy day at Epcot. Featuring imported ingredients (even the water) and a kitchen team that really knows what they're doing, this Neapolitan pizzeria is the first and last word in authentic pizza at Disney World.
The entire wine list at Wine Bar George Disney Springs
Disney's master sommelier George Milotes now has his own personal playground, where he serves up tastes (or generous pours) of some of the world's finest wines, in entirely unpretentious surroundings. It's perhaps the only place in the world where tasting pours of legendary Bordeaux wines (Château Mouton-Rothschild 1982, anyone?) land on the same table as macaroni and cheese bites.
Pot roast at 50's Prime Time Cafe Disney's Hollywood Studios
Like stepping into a whimsical movie set from the time period, this lovingly-themed restaurant features lots of nooks and crannies for almost-private dining, plus an incredible collection of vintage televisions, all flickering in the background, while you nosh on comforting classics—like fried chicken and pot roast.
Lunch at Jungle Navigation Co. Skipper Canteen Magic Kingdom
The newest major restaurant in the Magic Kingdom is meant as a companion to the Jungle Cruise, and comes complete with Jungle Cruise-style humor, also known as dad jokes. Groan if you must, but don't miss out on the Thai-style noodles with tofu, house made falafel and edamame hummus, and all kinds of other things you weren't expecting to find.
Dinner at Tiffins Animal Kingdom
Stepping out of the park into this relatively hushed fine-dining restaurant—hiding in plain sight, right at the heart of it all—can be quite the gear change. The whole fried fish, currently served with a fermented black bean sauce and a green papaya slaw, stars on a Southern Hemisphere-minded menu; a strong selection of South African wines complements everything.
Cobb salad and a slice of grapefruit cake at Hollywood Brown Derby Hollywood Studios
The legendary Tinseltown mini-chain is by now nearly ancient movie colony history, but this Orlando tribute is wonderfully evocative—almost like you're stepping into a very old Los Angeles restaurant. The signature salad was invented in 1937 by owner Bob Cobb; it pairs well with the nicely-balanced grapefruit cake for dessert. Whether you're on the wagon or off, a Shirley Temple from the bar is just the thing on a hot afternoon.
Good Morning Breakfast With Goofy & His Pals at Ravello Four Seasons Resort
Typically, character meals are a) everywhere and b) serving mostly forgettable food. People who wanted real value for money made the extra effort to hop over to this resort within a resort. With so many of these Disney rites of passage on hold during the pandemic, the best character breakfast is now even better. Not only does it have the best food, but it also has the most character time per child, even though distancing guidelines mean no hugs. Book ahead.
Bread service at Sanaa Animal Kingdom Lodge
Here we have an excellent, Indian-influenced global restaurant with fantastic curries and parathas, plus sweeping views of the savannah (okay, "savannah"). A selection of freshly-fired flatbreads and a generous tray of chutneys, pickles, and hot sauces make for a memorable beginning to the meal.
Prix-fixe dinners at Victoria & Albert's Grand Floridian
How fine can fine dining at Disney World be, you ask? This ultra-exclusive, many times-decorated restaurant is the answer. Like a little Relais & Chateaux-esque wonder, tucked into a bustling resort at the heart of the World, Victoria & Albert's is—normally, anyway—quite simply the best, whatever's on the menu. Currently on Covid-related hiatus.
Guava Short Ribs at Citricos Grand Floridian
No need to go hungry waiting for Victoria & Albert's to reopen. Just next door at this newly-refreshed classic, the food is as good as ever, maybe even better. Strawberry salads, butter-poached cobia, and those fruity short ribs served with cheddar grits and roasted poblano peppers all stand out. A great restaurant for a great night out.
Omakase dinners at Takumi-Tei World Showcase
The Japan pavilion has never been short on food, from teppanyaki dinners to street snacks, but it wasn't until 2019 until the Mitsukoshi Corp. opened a convincingly exclusive omakase dining option, just in time for the you-know-what. Tasting menu-sized portions and Tokyo-level price tags weren't everybody's cup of tea; the rest of us are waiting patiently for the place to wake up from its Covid-induced nap.
Pineapple-Coconut breakfast bread at 'Ohana Polynesian Resort
The all-you-can-eat character breakfasts here—featuring Lilo and Stitch—are some of the most popular, in part due to this relatively humble baked good. Come evening, the same restaurant turns the morning staple into a decadent bread pudding. Book way ahead.
Lamb Bobotie at Boma Animal Kingdom Lodge
This flavorful South African dish of curried, minced meat has long been a favorite at one of the most non-traditional dinners in the entire resort, featuring a variety of African dishes. Boma was one of the first buffets to return to traditional operations after the pandemic shutdowns.
Escargot and French onion soup at Chefs de Paris World Showcase
Say what you want about the pavilions at Epcot, but step into this bustling brasserie in France, and don't be surprised if memories of being in actual France come flooding back. This is one of those old reliables, sometimes lackadaisically serving up completely traditional standards—in other words, like so many places across the Atlantic.
Seafood boil at Cape May Cafe Beach Club
This classic hotel favorite might at first glance seem like a casual coffee shop serving pre-park day breakfasts, and that it most certainly is. Come back at night, however, and you'll find a great, prix-fixe boil dinner with PEI mussels and the like; add as many crab legs ($29/lb.) and whole Maine lobsters ($35/each) as you can eat, and things start to get really exciting.
Dark chocolate waffle at Ale & Compass Yacht Club
This cool and collected, nautically-themed restaurant is the perfect place for a grown-up breakfast of shrimp and cheddar grits, crab cake benedicts, sides of thick-cut bacon and the like. The kid in you, however, may end up ordering the star of the menu, a chocolatey waffle topped with espresso mascarpone cream, dried cherry compote, and chocolate shavings.
Queso Fundido at Frontera Cocina Disney Springs
A few good drinks and snacks might be the best way to enjoy this gorgeous Rick Bayless restaurant. Start with this classic dish: melted Chihuahua cheese with roasted poblano peppers and caramelized onions served alongside a stack of warmed corn tortillas. Add chorizo made with high-quality pork (from the same producer Bayless favors in his Chicago restaurants) for just a couple of bucks extra. In a hurry? Keep it simple with tacos and margs from the to-go window off to the side.
Harvest feast at Garden Grill Epcot
Living With The Land is one of the most earnest attractions at the entire resort, not only advocating for harmony with nature and responsible growing practices, but also putting all of the above into action. So maybe your entire meal won't come from the indoor gardens the restaurant rotates around, but it's nice to sit down to something that doesn't feel like more mindless consumption. Served family style, with visits from Chip n' Dale and their Disney pals.
Dinner and fireworks at Capa Four Seasons
Sit with the grownups at this dashing Spanish steakhouse high atop the best luxury resort at Disney World (funnily enough, almost right next door to the campers at Fort Wilderness), where diners can see every single fireworks show, every single night. Ask about dinner or dessert on the terrace.
Patriot's Platter at Liberty Tree Tavern Magic Kingdom
The pot roast at this Colonial era-themed dining spot was always one of those if you know, you know type meals. These days it comes as part of a relatively affordable, all-you-can-eat, family style meal (lunch or dinner), and it's still a hearty, satisfying dish, served along with roast turkey and pork, plus stuffing, veggies, and macaroni and cheese. Save room for toffee cake, topped with vanilla ice cream.
Teriyaki chicken at Yak & Yeti Animal Kingdom
The restaurant features a fun, pan-Asian menu for before or after you ride Expedition Everest. One of the park's best teriyaki dishes stars a high-quality, all-natural chicken breast and comes with coconut-ginger rice and a mango-infused slaw. The Korean BBQ ribs are an excellent way to begin the meal.
The new menu at Docking Bay 7 Food & Cargo Hollywood Studios
Maybe they figured Star Wars fans were going to be too busy nerding out to eat, but let's just say the launch of Galaxy's Edge two years ago wasn't about the food. And if it was, there was precious little good to be said. This year, however, the main restaurant has undergone something of a menu refresh—look for braised beef and yucca stir-fry, a nice tuna poke served with green papaya salad, and (from the original menu) a veggie kofta and hummus dish that's great to share if you're hungry—main dishes are on the smaller side.
Prix-fixe dinner at Be Our Guest Magic Kingdom
Something so popular as this massively successful Beauty & The Beast cash-in was bound to be controversial. Nine years after the big debut, the fans are still debating, and the rest of us are just sitting in the Grand Ballroom waiting for our French onion soup, the shining star of the menu, which gives you some idea of the adventurousness of the cuisine. Still, at $62 per adult, it's a relatively small gouge, and they throw in the spectacle for free.
Cheese soup at Le Cellier Epcot's World Showcase
Tonight on Mysteries of Disney World: How did a Canadian restaurant become one of the most popular venues in a place where the temperature rarely goes below freezing? It's the cheese soup, stupid. Few WDW restaurant dishes are more enduring, more iconic, more fought over. It could have something to do with all the beer (and the bacon) that go into the brew.
A meal at Olivia's Cafe Old Key West
This pleasant coffee shop, tucked into one of the most relaxed resorts at Disney World, offers a menu we'd happily brake for any place else, from banana bread French toast topped with Bahamian rum syrup (and coconut whipped cream) in the mornings, to crispy conch fritters and some of the park's best fried chicken for lunch and dinner. One of those if-you-know favorites. Now you know.
Brunch at Plancha Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club
After a busy week in the parks, escape to where almost nobody will find you at this secluded clubhouse restaurant, tucked behind the Four Seasons Resort. Bottomless mimosas set the tone, and the Latin American-themed offerings, from churrasco and eggs to coquito pancakes with toasted coconut, are among the not-so-average breakfast offerings.
Sushi at Kimonos Swan & Dolphin
Famously known as the twin hotels on property that aren't really Disney hotels, the Swan & Dolphin have always been a haven for those not necessarily looking for those "touches of Disney magic" during their WDW stay. Outside of the Japan pavilion, this lounge-like spot at the Dolphin offers about as close as you can get to a traditional menu of Japanese staples; the sushi is the star.
A proper steak dinner at The Yachtsman Yacht Club
You don't have to leave Disney property to find a serious steakhouse, the kind that serious steakhouse people like to go to—porterhouses for two, shrimp cocktails, dignified surroundings, this one's got the works. You've probably never heard of it, and the fans are just fine with that.
The Best Casual Dining and Snacks at Disney World
Chicken and ribs at P & J's Southern Takeout Fort Wilderness
Damn pandemic, taking away from us—at least for the time being—the legendary Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue. Some of us were really in it for the all-you-can-eat barbecued ribs and fried chicken buffet, and there's good news—the best of the revue menu, including strawberry shortcake for dessert, is available at this casual spot (grab yourself a picnic table, partner) at the Happiest Campground on Earth.
Bowls at Satu'li Canteen Animal Kingdom
Worried about eating healthy at Disney World? These days, not only do all sit-down restaurants have plant-based options on their menus, but there are also more than a few recent additions that feel like healthy fast-casual restaurants that just happen to be located in, say, Pandora: The World of Avatar. The menu is familiar—customizable bowls featuring a range of proteins and sides. Note—the cheeseburger bao makes a great appetizer.
Ronto Wrap at Ronto Roasters Hollywood Studios
Ever think you'd see the day when a Portuguese pork sausage sandwich with Sichuan peppercorn sauce would become a cult-favorite at a Disney Park? Perhaps the best thing to eat at Galaxy's Edge, the morning version of the wrap is one of the top breakfast sandwiches in the parks.
A visit to Amorette's Patisserie Disney Springs
Chocolate-topped eclairs, quavering fruit panna cottas, mirror-glazed cakes decorated to look like the head of a certain mouse—actual Paris meets actual Mickey at this stunning beauty of a patisserie that takes you on a fast trip to France, and you didn't even have to buy a ticket to Epcot. A serious, European-style pastry palace in the middle of Central Florida? Thank heaven.
Spicy kimchi ramen at Morimoto Street Food Disney Springs
You've got serious ramen in small towns and xiao long bao in West Coast shopping malls, but Disney World is still stuck in pan-Asian land, for the most part; still, this fantastic Morimoto takeout spot is one of the best places for serious food (of any kind) at the Springs.
Fish and chips at Yorkshire County Chip Shop World Showcase
Ever heard of pangasius? The catfish-like breed is quite popular in Europe, but less-known in the United States; native to Asia, it's farmed and shipped in bulk (like, a lot of it) to supply the needs of what must be one of the busiest fish and chip shops in the entire world.
Southern Pig sandwich at The Polite Pig Disney Springs
Been awhile since your last trip to Orlando? Let's catch you up—there's a great food scene here now, and recent years have seen the chasm narrowing between park life and real life. This local barbecue-centric favorite made its Disney debut a few years back. Anyone looking for a great pulled pork sandwich, served here with fennel-apple slaw, needs to visit this spot immediately.
Kakigori at Kabuki Cafe World Showcase
This real-deal Japanese shaved ice—topped with condensed milk and a variety of interesting syrups—is a standout snack for wandering around on a hot day. Grown folks will like the sake-infused options; go for the tangy blackberry syrup.
Proper barbecue (well, close enough) at Regal Eagle Smokehouse
Dry-rubbed, Memphis-style ribs, slow-smoked chickens, chopped Carolina pork—is this recent attempt (opened just before the pandemic) at erasing the memory of previously mediocre offerings at the American pavilion for real? Kind of! There's a lot of sort-of barbecue being served in the resort (and a lot of it's on this list, some of it's quite enjoyable), but this is the first and valiant effort to bring real 'cue to the Disney masses.
S'mores at The Ganachery Disney Springs
You're never far from a candy shop in this part of the world, but for serious chocolate lovers, there's only one stop—this sweet little treasure, hiding in plain sight at the Springs, run by a talented, in-house team that supplies restaurants and hotels throughout the resort. The made-to-order s'mores are the perfect combination of sophisticated and fun.
Japanese fast food at Katsura Grill World Showcase
This no-frills fast-food restaurant (albeit in a pleasant, garden setting) at the Japan pavilion offers up a selection of classic comfort foods—chicken cutlets, curry, steaming bowls of udon, tempura, and more—at affordable prices. There's American-style sushi as well.
Chicken tenders at Chicken Guy! Disney Springs
The best Guy Fieri restaurant ever? This fun, easy-to-access fast-food joint specializes in very good, crumb-crusted tenders served with an array of very fine sauces and great French fries. There are sandwiches made with the same tenders, too. Over Disney dining? Don't go looking for your favorite fast-food chains—this is better.
Birria tacos at 4 Rivers Cantina Food Truck Disney Springs
Starting out in the Orlando area not all that long ago, 4 Rivers Smokehouse has become a Southern favorite for barbecue. Lately, you'll find them operating a food truck at Disney Springs, serving up rather convincing birria tacos and quesadillas.
Spicy Italian sandwich at Primo Piatto Riviera
Visitors from up north who consider an Italian hero (or hoagie or sub or grinder or whatever, as long as it has all the meats, call it what you want) part of a balanced diet will feel awfully unseen, until they discover this casual spot at the property's newest resort. The only thing wrong with the sandwich, topped with house made giardiniera, is the size—it could be a lot larger.
Caramel popcorn at Karamell-Kuche World Showcase
If you had to choose one snack, and one snack only, during your Disney visit, and assuming your teeth are in great shape, make it this one. The closest you'll come to finding the shop in those Werther Original's commercials in real life (they're the sponsors, after all), the typically fantastic popcorn is just the start—look for caramel-covered everything year-round, while during the holidays, procuring one of their gingerbread cookie sandwiches stuffed with salted caramel buttercream should be a top priority.
Classic gingerbread cookies at the Grand Floridian
Yet another sad thing about the pandemic was the lack of giant gingerbread house—painstakingly constructed each year by the pastry team at the World's most extravagant hotel, of course. Good news then: the house (and attendant bakery) is scheduled to be back this season. A half-pound of classic gingerbread to take home for us, but they do a decent, marzipan-laced stollen bread—beautifully presented in a take-home box—as well.
Shrimp tacos at ABC Commissary Hollywood Studios
Ever eaten at a studio commissary? Expect much the same in atmosphere at this easygoing cafeteria that often gets overlooked, but shouldn't be anymore, with a much-improved menu over past years—the grilled shrimp tacos on flour tortillas with cabbage slaw and chipotle dressing are far more beach-in-Baja than Disney World, and well worth seeking out.
Churros at Nomad Lounge Animal Kingdom
You can get churros all over, even if they're not quite so famous here as they are at Disneyland, but when you're ready to get serious, grab a seat on the deck at Animal Kingdom's classiest bar, and order up these puppies, served with not one but two dipping sauces—vanilla cream and a strawberry jam with a chili pepper kick.
Creme brûlée from Les Halles World Showcase
Ever eaten the classic French dessert on the go? Now's your chance. This pâtisserie should be one of your first stops if you're lucky enough to be here ahead of the crowds and find them open. Their tartes au citron, napoleons and macarons and, oh heck, just about everything, are well worth a taste. Start with the classic French lunch-on-the-go: a demi-baguette filled with ham, cheese, and a Dijon mustard butter. Not quite the real thing (and not quite the real place) but awfully satisfying.
Grilled corn on the cob at Harambe Fruit Market Animal Kingdom
Maybe it's because it looks like one of those occasionally-spotted fruit carts placed throughout the parks to remind you to eat healthy, but for whatever reason, this Harambe Village treat is almost totally overlooked. The grilled corn on the cob comes nicely seasoned with a blend of spices and served ready to gnaw on.
Gelato in a waffle cone at Gelateria Toscana World Showcase
This Italy standout features some of the great classic flavors you'll find in actual Italy, from stracciatella to amareno cherry. For those who prefer their sweets alcoholic, there's everything from Prosecco by the glass to an Italian-style margarita (less lime, more limoncello).
Lighthouse Sandwich at Columbia Harbour House Magic Kingdom
For a long time the vegetarian's secret best Disney friend, this famous sandwich is back after a too-long hiatus. It's a simple, classic affair, hummus spread on toasted multigrain bread with broccoli slaw and tomato, and that's the point. Veggie or no, this is a great lunch stop, featuring good fried fish and above-average chicken strips.
Carrot cake cookie at Trolley Car Café Hollywood Studios
A strong cup of coffee and this iconic, cream-filled sandwich cookie to start your day and you'll be about ready to launch yourself to infinity and beyond (or a galaxy, far, far away).
Purple glazed ube donuts at Everglazed Disney Spring
When Universal went out and forged a partnership with Voodoo Donuts, Disney obviously had to have their own doughnut shop (you see this sort of thing happening a lot, in recent years). It's a very good one, featuring all sorts of interesting flavors, starting with the popular Filipino purple yam; the cold brew coffees here are excellent as well.
Dole Whip Float at Aloha Isle Magic Kingdom
A glass of chilled pineapple juice topped with a swirl of refreshing (non-dairy) pineapple soft serve has been one of the most popular Disney snacks for a few decades now; it's nearly always the right weather, too. Spoon it up with a fresh pineapple spear
Kitchen sink sundae at Beaches & Cream Soda Shop Beach Club
Eight scoops plus every topping in the house—including an entire can of whipped cream—make up the largest sundae ever to grace a Disney World menu. You'll see more than a few on the tables at this casual favorite, newly refreshed while on a recent hiatus, serving up pleasing, diner-type fare.
Cookies at Gideon's Bakehouse Disney Spring
The Levain Bakery of Orlando is now the Levain of Disney World, too. Their sizeable cookies are so popular there are ordering limits, and on many days you'll have to join the virtual queue and be invited back later to make your purchase. Layer cakes here are equally decadent.
Burger and fries at D-Luxe Burger Disney Springs
They probably could have just ordered up a Shake Shack (there are three of them in Orlando already), but instead Disney decided to do the thing themselves, and let's just say the right decision was made. Formidable burgers on buttery grilled buns, memorable hand-cut fries, and thick, gelato-based shakes are worth a bus ride to the Springs.
Troll horns at Kringla Bakeri Og World Showcase
Most visitors to this charming Scandinavian bakery at the Norway pavilion are in it for the famed school bread, a sweet roll filled with custard and topped with toasted coconut, and that's fine, but connoisseurs will prefer the more balanced orange marmalade cream that goes into puff pastry horns.
Pepe by Chef Jose Andres Disney Springs
This fun little takeout spot for Spanish-style sandwiches on delicate pan de cristal is yet another reason to trek to the Springs for lunch or dinner. The Pepito Ternera is an absolute star, stuffed with chopped flat iron steak and topped with cheese, roasted peppers and caramelized onion. Currently on Covid-related hiatus.
Peter Pan Floats at Storybook Treats Magic Kingdom
Maybe it's because the powers that be have a weird habit of disappearing this cult favorite from the menu ... otherwise why wouldn't Key lime soft serve and Sprite—with a chocolate feather, for accent—be one of the most famous refreshers in the park? Be glad more people don't know about it; the lines get long enough.
Fruit waffles at Sleepy Hollow Refreshments Magic Kingdom
Slathered in Nutella and stuffed with fresh fruit, this once fairly obscure offering has become pretty famous of late, remaining a popular snack throughout the day, among those in the know. There's a great savory chicken waffle sandwich, as well as the kid-pleasing Mickey waffles, topped with strawberries and cream.
Totchos at Woody's Lunch Box Hollywood Studios
Is it just us, or is Toy Story Land sort of crying out for a real restaurant? While we wait patiently for something measuring up to the theming (and the rides, don't forget the rides), let's all munch on tater tots topped with chili and cheese and sour cream.
Impossible Burger at Grand Floridian Café Grand Floridian
Not quite yet a paradise for plant-based eaters, Disney is certainly trying; by now, you can expect to find all manner of meat replacements on menus throughout the parks and hotels. At this gorgeous all-day café, the burger is well-seasoned, topped with caramelized onions and vegan Gouda cheese, all served on a proper hard roll.
All-You-Can-Eat Wurst at Biergarten Epcot's World Showcase
Just in time for Oktoberfest, Germany's beloved buffet returns to classic form, serving up all the cured meats—and schnitzel, spaetzle, cold salads, and frosty steins of beer you could ever want or need. More sauerkraut, please.
Cupcake sundae at Sprinkles Disney Springs
This long-time staple at the brand's Beverly Hills ice cream shop is now available in Orlando; just about the only cupcakes worth a damn on property (sorry Disney bakers, you know it's true) come topped with the house made ice cream of your choice. Best dessert, ever.
Barbecued chicken at Flame Tree Barbecue Animal Kingdom
Sometimes you just want to sit down at a picnic table with some no-fuss grilled meats and classic sides in a friend's backyard—nothing fancy, just good food. This is as close as you get to that around here. Ask about the slightly ridiculous macaroni and cheese side dish that has become something of a social media star.
Oregon wine fondue at Territory Lounge Wilderness Lodge
A rotating selection of Oregon wines means fondue night is a truly grown-up affair at this civilized hotel oasis, the perfect place to tide you over until Artist Point—one of the nicer sit-down restaurants at Disney World—makes its awaited return. Ask for the house made potato chips; they're thick, delicious, and come with a chimichurri spiced ranch dip.
Dinner at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Hollywood Studios
Bringing both Star Wars and Toy Story to the least-appreciated park means a whole new audience is now appreciating some of the Studios' hidden treasures, like this outdoor movie venue (in reality, it's just clips from old sci-fi films, but who's actually watching) where you dine in a car straight out of a classic cartoon. Bring the kids, for onion rings and hot fudge sundaes and burgers.
Cheshire Cat tails at Cheshire Cafe Magic Kingdom
Chocolate-filled tiger tail pastries are zipped up with colorful icing to create a Fantasyland favorite; if you're in the Animal Kingdom, look for a variation at the Isle of Java snack stand.
Corn dog nuggets at Casey's Corner Magic Kingdom
What is it about theme parks, one could go 364 days in a year and not think about corn dogs, and suddenly, it's like, hey, do you think they have corn dogs? They most definitely do, in a handful of locations around the Magic Kingdom; the hand-dipped whole enchilada (recently spotted on the menu at Sleepy Hollow Refreshments) is a must, but the nuggets are more easily shareable, and a hit with the kids.
Chicken fried rice at Yak & Yeti Local Food Cafés Animal Kingdom
Ever wind up in the Animal Kingdom thinking to yourself, what I could really use right now is an order of fried rice? The food court near Expedition Everest, a casual spinoff of the previously mentioned restaurant of the same name, has a few tricks up its sleeve, but none better value than this $6 side portion served up in a takeout carton—perfect for mobile dining.
Mickey pretzels resort-wide
However sophisticated the food might get at Disney World, one truth will hold—the most popular snacks are probably always going to be Mickey-shaped snacks. For example, there are some fine pretzels to be had around the resort, but for most fans, it's gotta be the Mickey pretzels, sold with a little peel-top pot of cheese product. They're not entirely wrong. (Read Food & Wine contributor Carlye Wisel's in-depth guide to finding the best nacho cheese at Disney World here.)
Japanese Snacks at Mitsukoshi World Showcase
Shrimp chips, squid chips, you name it, this mini-branch of Japan's Mitsukoshi department store offers up an array of above-average snacking options for those looking to stock up on Japanese junk food without having to sneak, say, dried and seasoned baby crabs through customs.
Seasoned fries at Mr. Kamal's Animal Kingdom
With rare exceptions (and you'll find some on this list), French fries at Disney World tend to be out-of-the-bag disappointments; this obscure refreshment stand near Expedition Everest is a glaring exception. The fries are frozen, as per the norm, but they're also nicely seasoned, and served with an array of creative, help-yourself dipping sauces, turning an average snack into a sauceaholic's dream. Try the saffron aioli.
Num Num Cookies at The Market Hollywood Studio
What's this, in the last place you'd probably think to look—a brown butter chocolate chunk cookie baked like a tart, in its own little paper carrier? A Pixar Place favorite for good reason.
Croque Glace at L'Artisan des Glaces Epcot World Showcase
Believe it or not, every venue at the France pavilion didn't make it onto this list—only most of them, and absolutely this little treat spot, where scoops of the house ice cream are served in a pressed, warm brioche. Will you ever settle for a waffle cone again? Don't miss the macaron ice cream sandwiches, either.
Cuban sandwich at Backlot Express Hollywood Studios
Many overlook this casual spot hiding in plain sight at the heart of the original park, but the pressed Cubano is an excellent, quick lunch option. Save room for the Wookie Cookie, which is actually a sandwich as well—two oatmeal cookies filled with vanilla cream frosting.
Jumbo turkey legs resort-wide
Did you think this list was going to be complete without Disney World's ultimate walking around meal? A park staple since the late 1980s, something like 1.6 million of these smoky bad boys are sold each year. Find yours everywhere from the Yak & Yeti food court at Animal Kingdom to the Fife & Drum at Epcot World Showcase, to Sleepy Hollow Refreshments in the Magic Kingdom.
Oak grilled rotisserie chicken at Sunshine Seasons Epcot
With all the charm of a college mess hall, this place has its share of detractors, but keep your eyes on the prize—the roast chicken here is one of the most honest, straightforward (and quite good, too) lunches around. Comes with black beans and yellow rice.
Citrus Swirl at Sunshine Tree Terrace Magic Kingdom
For many park-goers, say Dole Whip and they'll assume you mean the pineapple floats at Aloha Isle, but that's just the beginning—there are a variety of different flavors and combinations available, if you know where to look. For many non-pineapple people, this refreshing twist of frozen orange juice and vanilla soft serve is the go-to. It's certainly Florida appropriate.
Grilled Chicken Bowl at Harambe Market Animal Kingdom
There's no Chipotle at Disney World, not just yet, but the cilantro rice and mixed green bowls topped with grilled chicken and salsa hit that same spot for us—quick, tasty, and no-fuss, though the convincingly-themed African village setting is a lot cooler than your average Chipotle. Satu'li Canteen across the park may get more play for their bowls, but it also gets more crowds.
Mickey's Premium Ice Cream Bar Resort-wide
The one and only, the real O.G.—made by Nestle since before many of us were born, this simple vanilla ice cream bar with the dark chocolate coating is quite easily the most iconic snack in any Disney park. If you don't eat at least one, were you even there?
The Best Drinks at Disney World
Fuzzy Tauntaun at Oga's Cantina Hollywood Studios
One of the best bars at Disney World is also one of the newest—this hyper-themed Galaxy's Edge watering hole is already famous for their signature drink, essentially a fuzzy navel made truly memorable with a medicinal Szechuan button flower-infused foam that will numb your lips temporarily. You don't have to know the first thing about Star Wars to love this place.
Italian wines and cocktails at Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar World Showcase
Retreat from the hordes—just like in real Italy!—to this civilized cave with great Italian cocktails (often served by great Italian bartenders), a nice wine list, and great bar snacks. It's truly a grownup's paradise, and best treated as an afternoon aperitif spot on your way to someplace else, though they do have a dinner menu if you can't move another foot.
Cider (and crepes, naturellement) at La Creperie de Paris World Showcase
All eyes—and ears—are on the newly-expanded France pavilion this fall, where the long-awaited Disneyland Paris import, Remy's Ratatouille Adventure, makes its debut; also comes this brand new eatery, overseen (along with the rest of the pavilion's culinary offerings) by Jerome Bocuse, son of the dear-departed Paul. The specialty? Crepes to order, served with dry hard ciders from Brittany.
Beer (and pretzels) at Baseline Tap House Hollywood Studios
A real craft beer bar in a Disney park? Don't be so surprised—beer has become a big deal throughout the resort in recent years, just as it has everywhere else. Charcuterie, cheese boards, and one of the best soft pretzels around (served with spicy mustard and beer cheese sauce) make this a great après-Star Wars spot that feels kind of like every brewpub you've ever been to in Southern California.
All-You-Can-Drink Beverly at Club Cool Epcot
The closure of this unique Coke-branded offering, featuring unlimited samples of Coke products from around the world, was heartbreaking for true Disney fans. As of this fall, the club is back in a beautiful new home. The famous Beverly, a bitter aperitif soda popular in Italy and hated by Americans for not being sweet enough, takes center stage.
Craft beers at Block & Hans Epcot's World Showcase
As we've mentioned, lists throughout the park are increasingly reflective of the great strides made in American beer, and cider, and mead. This unprepossessing kiosk is a must-stop for a rotating selection of all of the above, from names you know (like Dogfish Head) to those you'll be glad to be introduced to.
Coffee service at Kona Café Polynesian
Breakfasts of banana-stuffed French toast topped with strawberry compote and macadamia nut pancakes are a tradition for many families staying at one of best-loved resorts at Walt Disney World; grown-up coffee lovers stick around for the 100% Kona coffee, the rare Maragogype varietal, served in a press pot and a steal at $9.50 for two cups.
Schoefferhofer Pink Grapefruit Hefeweizen at Sommerfest World Showcase
This bright, citrusy German import wasn't invented with Central Florida summers (and springs and falls) in mind, but it may as well have been, given how popular it has become around the Germany pavilion.
Grand Marnier Orange Slush at Les Vins des Chefs de France World Showcase
The classiest slushie in the history of slushies. Real Paris needs this.
A pint at the Rose & Crown Pub World Showcase
This thoroughly enjoyable—and looks-wise, rather convincing on the interior—roadside pub on the way into our favorite part of Epcot (where all the food is) remains one of the better places for an afternoon cool-off. Get up to the bar and order yourself a pint of Smithwick's, or Strongbow Cider. For the hungry, there are sausage rolls.
Cocktails at Enchanted Rose Grand Floridian
This sophisticated lounge is essentially Be Our Guest for grownup fans. The clue's in the name, and if you have to ask, never mind, because everyone likes the drinks here, specifically some of the finest cocktails in all of Disney World.
Jasmine tea at Joy of Tea World Showcase
Midway through your Disney adventure, don't be surprised if you start dreaming of starting a cleanse, once you get back home. For now, the simple pleasures of a steaming cup of unsweetened-anything could well lure you to this prominently placed kiosk in China.
Night Blossom at Pongu Pongu Animal Kingdom
You don't need a sweet tooth to love Disney World, but it sure helps. Finding something that isn't riotously sweet, which appears to be the default setting around here, can be something of a challenge. Enter this delicious, non-alcoholic drink as colorful as the Pandora world it inhabits, made with layers of apple limeade and desert pear slush, topped with passionfruit flavored boba balls.
Lefou's Brew at Gaston's Tavern Magic Kingdom
So maybe you wish you had a Butterbeer instead, sorry, wrong park, but this frozen, nicely tart apple concoction flavored with toasted marshmallow syrup and topped with an all-natural passion fruit foam is a fine substitute and a star at this Beauty & The Beast-themed snack bar.
Shots at La Cava del Tequila Epcot's World Showcase
Pretend we're Google, and ask us the best thing to eat at Mexico in Epcot. Our answer? The tequila—and mezcal—menu (not the actual menu) at this adult hideaway just steps from the San Angel Inn. Sample as many as you want straight up, or dive into the engaging cocktail list; high-rollers can spring for a tasting, with dried grasshoppers and all.