The Best Disney Restaurants
More than 17 million people vacation at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom each year, and that magic—and those long lines—can work up an appetite.
When hunger strikes on your next visit, don’t turn to the nearest food cart or restaurant. It’s worth seeking out certain restaurants at Disney World and Disneyland that will satisfy kids and adults alike and enhance your experience. Waking up to the Princess Breakfast of French toast stuffed with caramel apple and drizzled in caramel at the Cinderella Castle or sampling piri-piri chicken and South African wines at Jiko restaurant can be as memorable as laying eyes on Mickey for the first time.
Related: Disney World Resort Tips and Tricks
Some of the best Disney restaurants embrace their own themes, like the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant, where you can dig into house-smoked St. Louis–style pork ribs while watching a black-and-white horror movie on the 50-foot screen.
If Sci-Fi Dine-In transports you to another time (the 1950s), Disneyland’s Blue Bayou transports you to another place—a southern bayou, complete with “twilight” lighting and fireflies. It’s delightful to linger here over New Orleans gumbo as the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction floats by.
We have you covered whatever you’re craving, from great to-go snacks (a jumbo turkey leg) to a celebrity chef’s Mediterranean restaurant on Disney’s BoardWalk.
Enchanted Tiki Room, Adventureland, Disneyland
The Tiki Juice Bar’s Dole Whip Float is so popular that it could be its own Disney character. This treat starts off with fresh-made, ice-cold pineapple juice, followed by a generous portion of creamy pineapple nondairy/vegan soft-serve (also available in the less traditional vanilla or orange soft-serve). Disney World visitors can get their fix at Aloha Isle in the Magic Kingdom.
Flying Fish Café, Disney’s BoardWalk
Disney’s BoardWalk complex brings together restaurants, bars, and souvenir shops, with great people- (and character-) watching. Among the hubbub, look for the flashing neon sign that encourages diners to enter the Flying Fish Café, inspired by Coney. The famous Cyclone roller coaster is reflected in hand-painted murals and the wavy-shaped booth backs. Keep your eye on the cloud-painted ceiling as the stars twinkle. If you reserve a seat at the chef’s counter, you can watch the action firsthand as the chefs prepare signature dishes like the potato-wrapped red snapper and the char-crusted New York strip steak.
Rose & Crown, United Kingdom Pavilion, Epcot
With rich woods, etched glass, and old-time photos, the Rose & Crown simulates a British pub experience—especially if you order a round of the fish and chips. An oversize piece of fresh cod (hand battered and deep fried) is served in an English newspaper with English chips. Wash it down with a Half and Half: half Harp Lager, half Guinness. Patio tables deliver one of the best fireworks views in Epcot.
Cinderella’s Royal Table, Magic Kingdom
Dreams come true daily for kids who get to have breakfast with princesses at Cinderella's Royal Table, atop the iconic castle in the Magic Kingdom. Cinderella (the hostess, naturally) guides you up a red-carpeted spiral staircase to a themed restaurant overlooking the park. Cinderella and all her princess friends glide through the castle’s dining room, making a personal appearance at each table. Little princesses will enjoy French toast sticks and scrambled eggs while parents can indulge in lobster and crab crêpes or a vegetarian-inspired baked quiche.
Jiko, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney World
The Animal Kingdom Lodge is designed to represent a wildlife reserve with the sprawling African landscape as its backdrop, and Jiko (“the cooking place”) is the resort’s flagship restaurant. African, Indian, and Mediterranean influences turn up in both the design (a flock of soaring birdlike light fixtures, for instance) and the cooking. Twin wood-burning ovens turn out dishes like piri-piri chicken or oak-grilled filet mignon, while the award-winning wine list features one of the largest selections of South African wines in North America.
Beaches & Cream Soda Shop, Disney's Beach Club Resort, Disney World
Across the lake from the bright lights of Disney’s BoardWalk, Beaches & Cream Soda Shop has a Wurlitzer jukebox, red vinyl booths, and a full-service vintage dining counter. Grab a few friends and order the Kitchen Sink, literally. A real metal kitchen sink is filled with this sundae of scoops of vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, coffee, and mint chocolate chip ice cream. Every topping on offer is poured on, as is an entire can of whipped cream.
Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant, Disney's Hollywood Studios
Within a Hollywood-style soundstage, Sci-Fi embraces the drive-in concept, complete with convertible cars as tables, a 50-foot movie screen, and a carhop. Enjoy the vintage black-and-white horror movies while chowing down on the famous house-smoked St. Louis–style pork ribs or the vegetarian shepherd’s pie. Wash it all down with an Oreo cookie milk shake or the Magical Star Cocktail, a mixture of exotic fruits and coconut rum in a souvenir glow cube.
50’s Prime Time Café, Disney's Hollywood Studios
Vinyl chairs, Formica tables, and checked floors are a clear giveaway that you’re at the 50’s Prime Time Café. Pull up a seat, as the sassy servers here are all-too-eager to put you in your place. Whether you avoid a good chop busting or not, we suggest you order Aunt Liz’s Golden Fried Chicken or Mom’s Old-Fashioned Pot Roast. Any dish here requires a Peanut Butter and Jelly Milkshake as a sidekick. But please, above all, mind your manners.
Liberty Tree Tavern, Magic Kingdom
Dine like a founding father at Liberty Tree Tavern, a colonial inn–style restaurant whose six themed rooms each commemorate a notable American, from George Washington to Betsy Ross. The patriotism also comes through in dishes like Patriot’s Platter, a full Thanksgiving Day–style feast available year round. The all-you-can-eat family meal consists of roasted turkey breast, carved beef and sliced pork with mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables, herb bread stuffing, and macaroni and cheese.
Victoria & Albert’s Restaurant, Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney World
The finest restaurant across Walt Disney World, Victoria & Albert’s uses exquisite ingredients from around the globe like Imperial osetra caviar from Russia and Australian Kobe beef tenderloin. The chef de cuisine personalizes a 10-course dinner for you and nine of your closest friends—if you book the prized chef’s table adjacent to the kitchen.
Blue Bayou Restaurant, Pirates of the Caribbean, Disneyland
Serving countless swashbucklers since 1967, Blue Bayou is set in a perpetual “twilight” surrounded by fireflies and the sounds of the bayou. As you watch the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction guests float by, enjoy a cup of New Orleans gumbo or Royal Street Seafood Jambalaya.
Napa Rose, Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Disneyland
Napa Rose’s menu changes seasonally, embracing the restaurant’s commitment to California-based farm-to-table ingredients. (The chef’s four-course prix fixe tasting menu changes weekly.) Sink your fork into expertly prepared dishes like portobello mushroom bisque “Cappuccino” or strawberry sage barbecue duck breast. The inlaid wood trim coupled with the rich handcrafted wood furniture and accents complement the panoramic views of Disney California Adventure Park.
Turkey Leg Wagon, Frontierland, Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland transports you back to the American Old West—a simpler time when meat on a handlebar became our country’s first fast food. Indeed, the jumbo turkey leg at the Turkey Leg Wagon is the ultimate park snack. The giant leg plays to every carnivore’s weaknesses: meaty, smoky, salty, and juicy, all in one delicious bite.
Carnation Café, Main Street U.S.A, Disneyland
Located right on Main Street U.S.A, where both the Carnation Ice Cream shop and the Flower Shop once stood, Carnation Café is steeped in history and fresh from a 2012 refurbishment. It was a favorite of Walt Disney, who often ordered the homemade meatloaf and fried chicken—dishes you can still enjoy here. The café also offers breakfast specialties like apple-granola pancakes.
Hollywood Brown Derby, Disney's Hollywood Studios
Hollywood’s golden age lives on at this open-air replica of the legendary Brown Derby restaurant, dominated by rich woods and caricatures of stars and starlets. Dine with gusto on the charred-glazed filet of beef topped with a Cabernet and roasted shallot butter, or stick to the lighter, original Brown Derby cobb salad.
The sights, sounds, and smells of Oktoberfest permeate this communal-style seated restaurant in (where else?) Epcot’s Germany pavilion. The buffet showcases traditional favorites like pork schnitzel and bratwurst alongside Bavarian cheesecake and hand-pulled apple strudel. Throw back a few steins of beer, and you may even feel a sudden urge to polka.
California Grill, Contemporary Resort
A private elevator whisks you to the 15th floor of the resort, where you’re greeted with a panoramic view of the Magic Kingdom and its surrounding resorts. This vantage point makes California Grill an ideal place to catch the Magic Kingdom’s fireworks show. The seasonal West Coast menu is crafted around fresh ingredients, from sushi to brick oven–fired flatbreads topped with roasted chicken.
Plaza Restaurant, Magic Kingdo
This small restaurant is done in a European turn-of-the-century style and encased in glass, allowing spectacular views of the Cinderella Castle. The casual but elegant décor makes way for classic family fare like burgers and sandwiches; the strawberry chicken salad is a refreshing departure. The Plaza Restaurant also offers the health conscious a no-sugar-added butter pecan milkshake.
Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
The Polynesian dancers, fire-knife performers, and high-energy drummers of the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show take to the outdoor stage at Luau Cove nightly for 5:15 and 8 p.m. seatings. Bring your appetite, as this all-you-can-eat dinner is packed with regional dishes, notably barbecued ribs with Kalua pulled pork, roasted rosemary-garlic chicken, and Polynesian rice. Round out your meal with tropical rum punch served in a hand-carved pineapple keepsake, plus a generous serving of warm pineapple bread pudding with caramel sauce.
Wolfgang Puck’s Grand Cafe, Downtown Disney
Austrian-born chef Wolfgang Puck has become famous for his Asian-inspired dishes, and his approach is on fine display here in Downtown Disney. Snag an onstage seat at the sushi bar to watch the experts finely slicing yellowtail sashimi and making rolls. The spicy tuna roll, for instance, packs in fresh tuna, cucumber, sesame seeds, and a spicy Sriracha sauce that brings just the right amount of heat.
Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop, Disney California Adventure Park
Italian immigrant Domingo Ghirardelli started a now-world-famous chocolate company in San Francisco after striking it rich during the Gold Rush—and rich certainly describes the offerings at this outpost. The menu features a massive family-size sundae called the earthquake: eight scoops of ice cream, eight house-made toppings, bananas, whipped cream, chopped almonds, chocolate, and cherries. Good luck!
Cozy Cone Motel, Disney California Adventure Park
Stop to refuel at the Cozy Cone Motel in Cars Land. The themed snack stop has five giant caution-cone-shaped quick-service options; first up should be Cone #1 for churro bites, paired with a chocolate dipping sauce. Another dangerously addictive snack waits at Cone #4: Red’s Apple Freeze is an apple juice slushy combined with toasted marshmallow syrup and topped with a passion fruit and mango foam.
Sleepy Hollow, Magic Kingdom
This quick-service restaurant in Liberty Square stands out for its waffle sandwiches, a perfect lunchtime pick-me-up. Sandwich options include sweet-and-spicy chicken and ham, prosciutto, and Swiss cheese. Those with a sweet tooth will go straight for the Nutella and fresh fruit waffle sandwich.
Columbia Harbour House, Magic Kingdom
Fish lovers unite at this Colonial-themed counter-service restaurant in Liberty Square. The fried-fish basket, the New England clam chowder, and the lobster roll, served with house-made chips and broccoli, are fan favorites. Lighter options including grilled salmon with couscous and steamed broccoli will make you smile.
Restaurant Marrakesh, Morocco Pavilion, Epcot
Held inside a sultan’s palace, the family-style Royal Feast presents seafood bastilla, a thin pastry filled with grouper, shrimp, and mushrooms; roast lamb mechoui, a traditionally prepared lamb shank; and steamed tiny semolina pasta with vegetables. Live belly dancing adds spice to the experience.
Flame Tree BBQ, Animal Kingdom Park
This counter-service barbecue joint takes pride in house-smoking its St. Louis ribs low and slow, allowing the rubs to create rich oak flavors. Ribs are finished with the trademark house-made barbecue sauce and served with special-recipe baked beans and coleslaw.
L’Artisan des Glaces, France Pavilion, Epcot
This is civilized house-made sorbet and ice cream—profiterole, coco-white chocolate, pistachio, pomegranate—created with a deft French touch. The croque glace offers any flavor served in a warm brioche with chocolate or raspberry sauce. An ice cream martini includes two scoops with a dollop of Grand Marnier, rum, or whipped cream vodka, served up.
The Boathouse, The Landing in Downtown Disney
An upper-end affair serving steaks, chops, and—what else?—seafood, The Boathouse features a multi-million dollar collection of 19 vintage boats, as well as cocktails at The Dock Bar and dinner in The Runabout Room. After dinner, hop on an Italian water taxi or a restored 1960s Amphicar (an amphibious automobile) for a tour of Downtown Disney. In 2016, Downtown Disney will complete its ongoing transition into Disney Springs.
Trattoria al Forno, Disney’s BoardWalk
This Italian-leaning eatery serves Neapolitan-style pizza straight from the oven, along with Florentine steak and a devoutly regional Italian wine list. Trattoria al Forno also symbolizes the thoroughness of the Walt Disney Imagineering team: the stylistic conceit is an early 20th Century tavern and boarding house evolving over succeeding generations into an elegant, forward-thinking establishment. You can’t beat Disney at the theme-restaurant game.