When I visit Epcot’s World Showcase, I make sure I’m going on an empty stomach. A foodie to the core, I get really excited about sampling international fare, indulging my taste buds in authentic and unique cuisine. Already an avid Disney World devotee, the idea of taking a food pilgrimage around Epcot’s World Showcase just makes me bristle with anticipation. My usual strategy involves trying at least one new item from each international pavilion as I make that gorgeous stroll through each country. Because most of the countries offer counter service food stops, I don’t have to make too much of a commitment and fill up at just one location. You can easily satisfy your hunger with a hearty meal at the quick-service dining sites or you can grab a lighter snack, leaving room in your tummy to explore other global food offerings. Though I’d always recommend trying a little something from each and every World Showcase country, here are my top 8 best picks for counter-service restaurants at Epcot’s World Showcase!
This counter-service dining spot can be found inside the Germany Pavilion. Here, there are four main menu items, as well as two delectable desserts and a vast selection of German beer for those wanting to quench their thirst (wine and schnapps also available). If you’re looking for something slightly more substantial than an authentic Germany pretzel (which are ‘wunderbar!’), you can go to Sommerfest and choose to fill up with a bratwurst or frankfurter (with or without sauerkraut), as well as Currywurst (pan-seared fine brat with curry ketchup and curry seasoning) and Nudel Gratin (baked Mac N’ Cheese, y’all!). And trust me, no dish is complete without one of their tantalizing and delicious desserts—Black Forest Cake or Apple Strudel with Vanilla Sauce. Lederhosen not required.
7. La Cantina de San Angel
Rarely do I ever miss an opportunity to get at the very least a little snack at this bustling outdoor Mexico Pavilion eatery. Margaritas, churros, loaded nachos, empanadas, and guacamole are just some of the mouthwateringly satisfying menu items. There is something for everyone on this menu and one look at the kiosk lines confirms that this place is a crowd pleaser! And because this location sees quite a few patrons, they often open the back entrance of the La Hacienda de San Angel Inn restaurant (which is not open for lunch) to allow guests extra indoor seating during the busy afternoon hours. The tortilla chips and guacamole are a perfect afternoon snack for those looking for a little fuel but not wanting to completely fill up! And I can’t forget to mention the traditional fruit popsicles called Paletas, available in refreshing flavors like watermelon, mango, lime and coconut, perfect for those sun-searing Florida days.
6. Katsura Grill
The climb up the multi-leveled Japanese gardens to the top of the stairs will not only reward you with a gorgeous, elevated view of the Japan Pavilion but will also lead you to one of the most serene quick-service dining locations at Epcot, offering tantalizing Japanese fare. Sushi lovers will most certainly want a taste of their Spicy Tuna Roll, and teriyaki lovers will be licking their fork clean bite after bite of their teriyaki chicken, beef or salmon. Curry offerings are also available, infusing the distinct, yummy flavor into their Japanese rice bowl and fried chicken cutlets. After you have satisfied your hunger, why not treat yourself to one of their uniquely flavored ice creams (Green Tea, Azuki, or Strawberry) or a Green Tea Cheese Cake and wander over to the taiko drums for an incredible entertainment experience?
5. Kringla Bakeri og Café
One bite of this Norway bakery’s School Bread and I was won over, heart and soul. They are certainly known for their scrumptious Norwegian pastries and desserts (Rice Creams, Sweet Pretzels, Troll Horns, Chocolate Mousse, etc.), but did you know that they offer truly amazing (and truly filling!) sandwiches? Choose between their Smoked Salmon and Egg Sandwich, the Norwegian Club, the Ham and Apple Sandwich, Roast Beef Sandwich and Vegetable Torte. These hearty sandwiches make for a great lunch (or shared for a snack!), just make sure you leave room for dessert (trust me on this one!). They also offer a delicious Viking Coffee made with Baileys Irish Cream and Kamora Coffee Liqueur, a perfect complement to your sweet treat.
4. Lotus Blossom Café
If you’re anything like me, you can’t order just one item off a Chinese restaurant menu, which is why going with several friends and/or family members to the Lotus Blossom Café in the China Pavilion might be the best technique when you’ve got a hankering for some authentic Chinese food. Hopefully, your companions are of the shareable sort and willing to let you fork (or chopstick) into their dishes once or twice. Pot stickers, orange chicken, egg rolls, fried rice, sweet and sour chicken, rice bowls—all of our favorites are found here! Also available are caramel-ginger ice cream and lychee ice cream for that perfect finishing touch.
3. Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie
This French bakery located along the cobblestoned walkways in the France Pavilion is practically an attraction in itself. If the French terms on the menu confuse you, let the pastries lining the display cases do all the talking. They are all beautifully constructed and taste even better than they look. You’ll find various mousses, napoleons, beignets, macarons, crème brulees and much, much more to satisfy your sweet tooth. If you are interested in more savory food offerings, don’t walk past this counter service spot! They offer fresh baguettes with quiches, soups, salads, and huge, hearty sandwiches like the Poulet au Pistou (chicken breast with cheese, tomato, red onion and pesto) and Brie aux Pommes (brie, apples and cranberries in multi grain bread).
2. Tangierine Café
Moroccan cuisine used to intimidate me until I finally decided to branch out years ago and give it a go at Epcot’s annual Food and Wine Festival. Boy am I glad I did, because the Morocco Pavilion and their incredible food offerings have been a favorite of mine ever since! At the Tangierine Café, the menu features items like shawarma (marinated lamb or chicken roasted on a rotating skewer), wraps, and platters in addition to tabouleh, hummus, lentil salad and falafel. Even the less adventurous eater can find something to their liking here simply by giving it a try! The platters are huge and come with plenty of food to make you want to nap afterwards, so either come hungry or plan on sharing! The Moroccan Kefta (ground seasoned beef) Sandwich might look like a burger with fries on the side, but trust me, it’s so much more and the burst of flavors with each bite will most certainly confirm this! Oh and the baklava here? A must! Tucked away in the corner of the quick service eatery, you’ll find the Pastries and Coffee Bar, which is exactly where you’ll want to go to complete the perfect meal!
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1. Yorkshire County Fish Shop
With a menu boasting only ONE entrée and just two desserts, it doesn’t get any simpler than the Yorkshire County Fish Shop located in the United Kingdom Pavilion. Truthfully, if they added to the menu, I still wouldn’t want anything other than their famous Fish and Chips. The flaky white fish, battered to perfection, along with the piping hot “chips” (French fries) is comfort food for your soul! There is typically a line at this counter-window, only proving that guests are eager for their fried fish fix, but enduring a wait for this satisfying meal is well worth it. If you are still hungry after your Fish and Chips, Victoria Sponge Cake is available for dessert, as well as whole, seasonal fruit.
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