As we mentioned in Part One of The Best of the Best: Foodie Edition, Disney World has made serious strides in breaking the mold and broadening their food options, keeping hungry foodies like us returning again and again. Roaming all over Disney property and sampling the latest and greatest dishes is a tough job (*wink, wink*), but somebody’s got to do it. We here at Disney Fanatic have done some of the leg work for you, coming up with 14 unconventionally quirky food-related categories for which we crowned a winner and a runner-up. Don’t just take our word for it though, head on over and indulge yourself in some of the finest foods and drinks this side of the Milky Way!
14. Best Flavor-Explosion French Fries—
Winner: Poutine Fries (Le Cellier Steakhouse, Epcot’s Canada Pavilion)
French fries are just the greatest, am I right? Sure, they’re terrible for you, but we don’t give a flip after we’ve taken that first salty, fried potato-y crunch of them because they are just that deliciously addicting. You’ll find French fries every five feet or so on Disney property, but if you want THE BEST French fries that come with an awakening experience, then head over to Le Cellier Steakhouse. There is nothing subtle about these fries. They are in-your-face awesome. Served as a side dish, these freshly fried strips of potatoes are topped with Canadian Cheddar crumbles, Black Truffle and red wine reduction. We want to swim in a sea of these fries with our mouths open. We want to order nine servings of these and forget about the entrée altogether.
Runner Up: Truffle Fries (Crew’s Cup Lounge, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort)
13. Best So-Good-You-Could-Cry Cookie—
Winner: Carrot Cake Cookie (The Writer’s Stop, Hollywood Studios)
Dream with me here: Imagine holding in one hand two giant, soft, carrot cake-y cookies sandwiching lusciously smooth cream cheese frosting. Too good to be true, right? A perfectly perfect carrot cake, but in cookie form? It HAS to be just a dream! But no, it’s true and it’s real and it’s just as amazing as everybody says it is. I’m a little obsessed with this cookie. This cookie is the standard for which every other cookie in the world is measured against. Ultimately, they all fail in comparison.
Runner Up: Ice Cream Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich (Various stops around The Walt Disney World Resort, most notably Sleepy Hollow Refreshments and Plaza Ice Cream Parlor in the Magic Kingdom)
12. Best Comfort Food with a Crunch—
Winner: Fish and Chips (Yorkshire County Fish Shop, Epcot’s United Kingdom Pavilion)
Two perfectly fried, crunchy strips of fresh, flaky fish and a pile of thickly sliced “chips” (French fries) is all you need to bring sheer, unadulterated happiness to your soul. And because your “crunch” will drown out the thoughts that rush to mind as you take your first bite, we’ll give you a little insight into what they’re saying—“Thaaaaaaaank yooooooooou.”
Runner Up: Funnel Cakes (Various food stops around the Walt Disney World Resort)
11. Best Dessert with an Animal Reference—
Winner: Zebra Domes (Boma, Animal Kingdom Lodge/The Mara, Animal Kingdom Lodge)
These coffee-Kahlua-flavored chocolate treats are a staple at Boma’s buffet spread. Just as iconic as Tonga Toast and Dole Whips, these little mounds of deliciousness are so enticing you’ll have a hard time not heading straight to the dessert end of the buffet line before you even take a bite of your first course. Also available at Animal Kingdom’s quick-service dining spot, you can purchase a 6-piece container of these treats “to-go”…though I must warn you—you probably won’t want to share them. If someone demands that you do, just tell them they’re made out of zebra and run off with them as fast as your feet can take you.
Runner Up: Chocolate “Moose” (Le Cellier Steakhouse, Epcot’s Canada Pavilion)
10. Best Food Requiring Post-Meal Breath Mint—
Winner: French Onion Soup (Le Chefs de France, Epcot’s France Pavilion)
Potently delicious, this buttery, silky smooth soup has such a distinct blend of intense flavors—from the onion to the spices to the melted Gruyere cheese topping—that it’ll hang around with you the rest of the day if you don’t do anything about it. The rave reviews this soup receives confirms that it’s worth every onion-y slurp, even if you don’t have a peppermint handy afterwards.
Runner Up: Fried Herb and Garlic Cheese (50s Prime Time Café, Hollywood Studios)
9. Best Meal-with-a-View Restaurant—
Winner: California Grill (Disney’s Contemporary Resort)
If you’ve never dined here before, you are missing out on an out-of-this-world dining experience. One of Disney’s most popular signature dining spots, this restaurant stands far and above most other dining establishments—quite literally, as it is found on the top floor at the Contemporary Resort. With a bird’s eye view of Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom and the Seven Seas Lagoon, there is no better place to gaze and graze than right here. This is THE place to experience the nightly fireworks show and it might even be during the best meal of your life!
Runner Up: Sanaa (Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge—Kidani Village)
8. Most Smell-sational Food—
Winner: Anything from Karamel Kuche (Epcot’s Germany Pavilion)
Upon walking into this cozy, cottage-like building, your senses will immediately become captive to the tantalizing scent. Those little glands in your jaw begin salivating at the idea of sweet caramel and you can’t get in that line fast enough. As you walk past the display case holding the caramel-infused concoctions, you will have a very, very hard time choosing between them. In fact, between the hypnotically sweet smell and the large number of selections here, you might never want to leave.
Runner Up: Famous Hot Dogs (Casey’s Corner, Magic Kingdom)
7. Best Drink Worth Getting a Brain-Freeze Over—
Winner: LeFrou’s Brew (Gaston’s Tavern, Magic Kingdom)
I’m not gonna lie, when I first heard of the combination of flavors making up this newish beverage being offered in New Fantasyland’s Gaston’s Tavern, I was more than a little skeptical. No-sugar added frozen apple juice concentrate with a hint of toasted marshmallow, topped with a passion-fruit infused foamy froth. On a boiling hot afternoon, I decided to give it a go. Taking my first gulp, my frothy-mustache lined smile said everything—this drink is delicious! So good in fact, that guzzling is easy, almost guaranteeing those painful brain-freeze throbbings.
Runner Up: Grand Marnier Orange Slush (France Drink Kiosk, Epcot’s World Showcase)
6. Best Grab-N-Go Sweet Treat—
Winner: School Bread (Kringla Bakeri og Kafe, Epcot’s Norway Pavilion)
The one grab-and-go treat I NEVER miss when touring Epcot is this beloved pastry. In truth, it “schools” all other pastries on how to be sweet but not SO sweet that you’ll have a sugar crash after you’ve finished it. School bread is very unassuming at first glance, but don’t let that stop you from letting your teeth tear into it and finding that amazing vanilla custard inside the bread. Topped with icing and toasted coconut, there is no better way to tell yourself you love you than to indulge in this treat!
Runner Up: Cinnamon Roll (Gaston’s Tavern, Magic Kingdom)
5. Most Spectacularly Delicious Disney RESORT Dessert—
Winner: Almond-Crusted Cheesecake (Narcoossee’s, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa)
I like cheesecake. I don’t want to marry it, but I think it’s tasty enough. Cheesecake doesn’t do it for me the way chocolate does, so it’s never really a true contender when choosing a dessert off a menu. But when I heard the hype surrounding the Almond-Crusted Cheesecake featured at Narcoossee’s, I knew I had to give it a shot if for nothing other than to cross it off my list. I didn’t want to have a full dinner beforehand, so I went straight to the bar just for this dessert. The plate arrived and I skeptically took my first bite…and the heavens opened up and the angels sang. Just WOW! Insanely delicious, I can’t even begin to describe how amazing it was, only that I was held captive to every delectable spoonful. If a fire-breathing dragon came surging up out of the water outside the restaurant’s windows and began wreaking havoc on the place, I swear I wouldn’t have noticed. That’s how good this dessert was.
Runner Up: Bread Pudding a la mode with Bananas-Caramel Sauce (‘Ohana, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort)
4. Most Eyebrow-Raising Burger—
Winner: PB & J Burger (ESPN Club, Disney’s Boardwalk Resort)
Burgers are a dime a dozen on Disney property, served a myriad of different ways to keep them exciting. I’m not sure who the first chef was that decided to combine their favorite childhood sandwich with a burger, but dang, it actually WORKS. Who would’ve thought?! This identity-crisis-burger is topped with jalapeños and bacon, and is covered in creamy peanut butter and grape jelly on a toasted butter bun. You might have to be a bit daring and adventurous to order this crazy concoction, but just like any good skydive the result is thrilling and rewarding…and you don’t have to worry about your parachute opening.
Runner Up: Battered Burger (Cookes of Dublin, Downtown Disney)
3. Worth Getting Heartburn Over—
Winner: Naan Bread with Spicy Jalapeno-Lime Pickle or Red Chile Sambal Dip (Sanaa, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge—Kidani Village)
There are many dishes at Sanaa that will wake your taste buds up with a jolt but our favorite spicy dish is this appetizer with the accompanying dipping sauces. I heartily recommend this incredibly tasty bread-service which comes with your choice of three breads and three sauces/toppings for your dipping pleasure. There are days when I enjoy the sensation of breathing-fire while I eat, and there are days when my taste buds are just as happy being sleepy and not overly-stimulated. Regardless of what day I’m having, I can still enjoy this dish! For those not wanting that zesty kick of spice, you can order the more mild bread and accompaniments (just make certain to ask your server which breads/sauces to avoid!).
Runner Up: Spicy Chicken Waffle (Sleepy Hollow Refreshments, Magic Kingdom)
2. Best Mickey-Shaped Food—
Winner: Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar (various food carts around the Walt Disney World Resort)
Biting into Mickey’s head is like taking a bite out of my childhood. Wait…let me rephrase that. Indulging in this delicious chocolate covered ice-cream treat shaped like Mickey’s head is like reliving my glorious Disney World-filled childhood days. I don’t know if it’s thanks to the nostalgia itself, but I absolutely love this simple treat. Perfect for hot days, cold days, happy days, crazy days, and all the days.
Runner Up: Mickey Waffle (Various restaurants serving breakfast around the Walt Disney World Resort)
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1. Most Epic Cupcake You’ll Ever Eat—
Winner: Butterfinger Cupcake (Starring Rolls Café, Hollywood Studios)
From inside the modest display case at Starring Rolls Café, the Butterfinger Cupcake taunts you. With a mound of vanilla whipped frosting covered in Butterfinger crumbles towering over a foot tall (just kidding, but it certainly seems that way), you might be too intimidated to even attempt to make a dent in this monstrosity of a dessert. But go ahead, order one to share (or don’t share) and let your fork glide down the fluffy white frosting covered in candy crunch, through the chocolate fudge center and into the rich, moist chocolate cake. One bite will have you declaring that day as “National Butterfinger Cupcake Day” and your life will never be the same.
Runner Up: Red Velvet Cream Cheese Cupcake (Starring Rolls Café, Hollywood Studios)
Have you tried any of our winners? Let us know in the comments below! And don’t forget to check out our “Part One” of Best of the Best Disney World: Foodie Edition.
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