Between all the different attractions, shows, and activities of a Walt Disney World vacation, one can work up an appetite pretty quickly. But one of the things that makes Walt Disney World so great is that your dining options go far beyond standard food fare. You can have a delicious burger and a Dole Whip one day, but also have unique, authentic dishes from around the globe the next day. With all those options, it can make deciding where to eat quite a challenge. One of our Disney Insider writers, who happens to be a fan of all things Walt Disney World, shared with us her favorite places to eat when she is at the Parks.
Take a look at her picks:
The fifteenth floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort is home to California Grill, where the flavors of California come together in beautifully executed dishes. The restaurant has floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook Bay Lake and the Magic Kingdom. But it’s more than just the atmosphere that makes California Grill special, the food really is the star here. The menu reflects seasonal offerings, but you can always find sushi–like my favorite, the Dragon Roll–as well as their signature dish, the Oak-fired Filet of Beef. You might think you’ve had a great steaks before, but the Oak-fired Filet of Beef will top them all. It is cooked to perfection and has a melt in your mouth-like quality that will send you into a culinary bliss. The Chocolate Pudding Cake with Nutella filling and chantilly cream is a chocolate lover’s dream, and offers a light and airy finish to your meal. As if the evening weren’t magical enough, the music for the fireworks spectacular Wishes is piped into the restaurant and onto the adjacent observation deck, so you can enjoy your meal while watching the fireworks over Cinderella’s Castle.
Tucked within the beautiful Canada pavilion in Epcot is Le Cellier Steakhouse. You might wonder what’s in store as you travel into the cellar, but what you’ll find is authentic Canadian cuisine served by some of the friendliest cast members around. You have to start the meal with pretzel bread and a bowl of the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup. It doesn’t matter if it’s a humid summer day in Orlando, this cheesy, savory soup is a must. I also love that Le Cellier serves different versions of poutine, a traditional Canadian dish of french fries covered in gravy and other toppings. And every meal has to end with the Maple Crème Brûlée, as this creamy maple infused custard is one of the best crème brûlée in Walt Disney World.
Citricos is a hidden gem of Walt Disney World fine dining. Located at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Citricos may be missed by those seeking its neighbor restaurant, Victoria and Albert’s. Over the years though, I have come to find that Citricos always delivers consistently fantastic meals with wonderful, personalized service. The cuisine changes with the seasons, but it always features dishes with a Mediterranean style. My favorite meals in the past have included a pork tenderloin dish with a creamy polenta and the Madeira-braised short ribs. Save room for dessert, because the lemon cheesecake cannot be missed.
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, guests can experience the magic of filmmaking by being transported to their favorite films and Hollywood’s Golden Age. Nearby the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular is 50’s Prime Time Cafe. When you step through the doors, you’re instantly taken to a 1950’s home where your “cousins” deliver the meals “mom” is cooking in the kitchen.The menu has all the comfort food classics, including my favorite onion rings and fried chicken. The Sampling of Mom’s Favorite Recipes is my top choice though, as it has a smaller portion of the fried chicken, meatloaf and pot roast. But, you better finish all your vegetables and keep your elbows off the table too! Like your family, the “cousins” of 50’s Prime Time Cafe are not opposed to teasing you just a tiny bit.
Kouzzina by Cat Cora is located at Disney’s BoardWalk, a shopping and dining area located outside Disney’s BoardWalk Inn. The restaurant overlooks Crescent Lake and is within walking distance to Epcot, making it a perfect place to start or end your day. It is open for breakfast and dinner and serves Greek and Mediterranean-style cuisine by celebrity chef, Cat Cora. I particularly love having breakfast here because the dishes stand out from your regular morning fare. The Stacked Kouzzina Breakfast and the Turkey Sweet Potato Hash are my two favorites, mainly because they both feature the sweet but savory sweet potato hash. The Stacked Kouzzina Breakfast also comes with olive bread and and artichoke spread on the side that I could almost make a meal out of alone! Kouzzina will only be around through September 2014, so make sure to try it now if you have the chance.
Do you have any Walt Disney World restaurant favorites of your own? Let us know all about them in the comments below!