Disney World is full of glorious things, but one standout feature is its food. Whether you’re taking a leisurely voyage through its kingdoms, heading for the high-octane roller coasters with your friends, or relaxing by your resort pool, you’re always sure to find excellent meals! With so many options, it can be difficult to pick the best one–so here’s our top ten hottest dining destinations to help you get started!
10. Tiffins Restaurant
If you’re looking for sensational flavors and transcontinental offerings, Tiffins is the place to be! Head into Disney’s Animal Kingdom and embrace your adventurous side with dishes like charred octopus, tamarind-braised short ribs, or spiced falafel! Visitors will also love the shrimp and grits that come with applewood-smoked bacon, as well as the butter chicken that’s served on a chickpea-rice croquette—and for dessert, you can’t go wrong with the passion fruit tapioca crème or the chocolate ganache. This warm, earthy restaurant has an ambience that is as savory and surprising as its menu!
9. Nomad Lounge
Adults will be particularly fond of this dining outpost at Disney’s Animal Kingdom; while its neighbor Tiffin’s is an excellent candidate for a lengthier meal, Nomad is a great place for appetizers and drinks! Offerings like the chicken Manchurian bowl (which includes red cabbage kimchi and ginger-scallion oil) ensure that this lounge’s appetizers are far from underwhelming, and each dish can also be paired perfectly with a variety of beverages! The Lamu Libation (starring African rum, Cruzan banana rum, and guava purée with orange, lime, and pineapple juices) is particularly satisfying—and if you’re in the mood for desserts, start your lounge session with the buttery Mustang coffee before biting into a delectably-creamy chili-strawberry churro!
8. California Grill
Want to embrace the West Coast? Try this elite restaurant! The California Grill is accessible with reservations, appropriate clothing, and a ride in a private elevator at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. When you get to the top, stunning views of the Seven Seas Lagoon and the Magic Kingdom await! This establishment’s menu changes with the seasons, but it’s always in keeping with the California theme. Whether you’re in the mood for goat cheese ravioli with tomato-fennel ragù, Pacific-style sushi, or a braised short-rib with parsnip-apple purée, you’re bound to find something appealing here. Desserts like this grill’s warm Valrhona chocolate soufflé (with peanut butter Gianduja ice cream and crunch) are just the icing on top!
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7. Jaleo by José Andrés
In the mood for a siesta? Spend your afternoon resting and dining on authentic Spanish cuisine at Disney Springs! With tapas, paellas, sangria, and a smorgasbord of charcuterie, Jaleo is bound to make you feel like you’ve just landed in Barcelona! You’ll be drawn in by Jaleo’s warm atmosphere—and hooked as soon as you’ve had the Josper-grilled pork sausage with beans and aioli! For your vegetable side dish, try the sautéed button mushrooms and their garlic-flavored white wine sauce; if you’re in the mood to feel even more like a Spaniard, order the cured ham. This ham is cured for thirty-six months, so its flavor is unbeatable!
6. Le Cellier Steakhouse
Eating in Epcot is always surreal, since you’re eating in other “countries”, but the experience is particularly invigorating when you’re trying a Northern food in Florida! At Le Cellier Steakhouse, you can have steaks, seafood, and other hearty cuisine inspired by the provinces of Canada. Try the filet mignon; its mushroom risotto and truffle-butter sauce is excellent! Get into the Canadian theme even further with cheddar cheese soup, steamed mussels, and Le Cellier’s elite version of poutine: French fries, Gruyère, beef bourguignon gravy, garlic aïoli, and truffles. Don’t forget to save room for maple crème brûlée!
5. Il Mulino
There’s a reason why Italian food is always popular, and Il Mulino at Walt Disney World Swan Hotel excels in recreating the signature cuisine’s style and flavors with everything from fried rice balls to seafood risotto to handmade pizzas and pastas. The ricotta cream on the Bianca pizza is particularly good, as is the truffle oil on the wild-mushroom rigatoni. If you’re visiting with four people or more, you can also expand your meal further with potato dumplings or calamari–and you’ll want to say yes to a sumptuous mascarpone-cream-covered tiramisu for dessert, too!
4. Topolino’s Terrace
If you enjoyed the Italian cuisine from Il Mulino, why not add more to the mix? Topolino’s Terrace at Disney’s Rivera Resort merges French and Italian menus together for you to enjoy! We’d recommend the breakfast in particular: with quiche Gruyère, home-made pancetta, and sour cream waffles, it’s a meal that will have you raring to head out into the Parks! Feel free to stop by this rooftop restaurant again at night for other delicious meals, including a filet mignon that’s accompanied by truffled mashed potatoes, charred onions, and a luxurious forest mushroom purée that will make you feel like dancing à la Briar Rose in Sleeping Beauty. The duck confit gnocchi, complemented by pine nuts, will make your evening even more spectacular—and don’t hesitate to dig into the Fruits of the Forest for dessert! This sweet and deliciously-melded blend features blackcurrant mousse, blueberry sorbet, macerated berries, and a hibiscus cake that’s as light as air!
3. The Hollywood Brown Derby
Do you like old movies? If so, the Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be perfect for you! This Old-Hollywood restaurant may feature contemporary American dishes, but never fear: you won’t be bored here. With entrees like The Cioppino—which features lobster, scallop, shrimp, fish, and Kalamata olive bread in a tomato-fennel broth—and the Wagyu Burger’s sensational mixture of pastrami, Gruyère cheese, avocado, tomato, fried egg, and Cognac-mustard, you’re bound to find something appealing! When it’s time for dessert, try the grapefruit cake, a Brown Derby original whose unique blend of vanilla sponge cake, grapefruit cheesecake, and grapefruit jam will bring you back to the elegance of movie premieres. If you’re in the mood to add on an extra classic for the Golden-Age theme, choose the crowd-favorite: chocolate mousse cake with almond sponge and vanilla Chantilly!
Are you staying at Disney’s Grand Floridian, or hoping to visit the resort for a meal? Then look no further! Choosing between appetizers like the creamy Rémoulade-covered shrimp and crab cake and the barbecued shrimp and grits (which feature wild Florida shrimp topped with barbecue sauce, grits, cherrywood-smoked bacon, and pickled green tomato chow-chow) will only be your first challenge at a restaurant of this caliber. Next comes internal debates over the entrees—and with dishes like the Parisian-style gnocchi scallops (accompanied by peas, ham, and truffled lemon cream) and the uniquely-flavored Scottish Salmon (complemented by creamy corn purée, Piccalilli relish, and Andouille sausage), you can’t choose wrong! After dinner, Narcoossee’s chocolate crème torte will be the perfect way to round out the evening.
1. Morimoto Asia
In the mood for fusion? Head to Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs, where Disney once again takes international cuisine in stride! In this restaurant, surprising blends and exciting flavors reign supreme. Shumai dumplings with tobiko caviar, Peking duck with apricot chili, eel and avocado sushi rolls…it’s all a delight for the senses! We’d recommend that you focus on the menu’s specials when choosing a dessert; past hits like the Green Tea Tiramisu (an intriguing blend of matcha mousse, ladyfingers, white chocolate, and raspberry) and the Banana “Lumpia” Split (chocolate-chip gelato, a Thai banana, and Valrhona milk chocolate fried in spring-roll sheets and coated with five-spice sugar) are just a taste of the creations that will come on your visit!
It’s easy to list Walt Disney World’s most famous attributes: after all, Disney’s characters, attractions, parks, and amenities are all sublime, and they’re all imbued with Disney magic! However, Disney’s food has its own special magic to share, too—and after trying the delicious, one-of-a-kind food at these top-tier restaurants, you’re bound to agree!