I count it a goal of mine to experience as much as I possibly can at Walt Disney World, the food being no exception. Sitting down for a table-service meal at a Disney World resort is always a huge treat for me and because I love tasting the wide variety of meals and flavors available, I frequent the resort restaurants as often as I can. Researching the best meals at the Disney resorts and settling on ten praise-worthy ones that you simply MUST try for yourself is no small feat, because, let’s face it, our palates and preferences are all unique. There are meals, however, that stand out from the rest, the flavors so memorable and mouthwateringly delicious that you’d recommend them to family and friends time and time again. This list is by no means the end-all-be-all exhaustive list of the best meals at the Disney resorts, but it’s a great starting point if you are looking for some superb dishes that will help make your magical vacation even more memorable. Without further ado, here are our top 10 meals you can’t miss at the Disney World resorts!
10. Lump Crab Cakes—Captain’s Grille, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
I have frequented the Yacht Club’s Captain’s Grille no less than ten times in the last year, and I’d be lying if I said it was for any other reason than to experience the incredible flavors of their crab cakes. The first time I ordered these it was based on the recommendation of our server. They were, he claimed, the “best crab cakes on Disney property” and promised I wouldn’t be disappointed. Well, with THAT kind of guarantee, how could I not at least try them? Since this dish is offered here as both an appetizer and a meal, I opted for the appetizer, settling on a pan-seared chicken dish for my entrée. Man alive, I was kicking myself after I finished my last bite of the crab cake appetizer, wishing I had chosen the entrée portion instead of the chicken dish, which I knew wouldn’t hold a candle to the taste sensations I’d just experienced. I practically licked my plate clean of these dreamy crab cakes and vowed to myself that I’d never order anything other than the lump crab cakes for my meal here ever again—they are THAT succulently delicious! The crab cakes are incredibly fresh, the large pieces of crab meat not being overwhelmed by other fillers like many other crab cakes I’ve tasted in the past. They are served with a lemon emulsion, stone-ground mustard cream and succotash—all adding a fantastic depth of flavor to the crab and helping to seal this as one of the best dishes on Disney property. The entrée portion is also served with house-made Old Bay chips, which are crunch-a-liscious. Like our server insisted, you WON’T be disappointed with this dish should you order it on your next trip (and you should!).
9. Tonga Toast—Kona Café, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
I’m not going to lie, it took me WAY too long to try this iconic Disney breakfast. I’d heard the raves about this dish served at the Kona Café for years and years, but since I’m usually a more grab-and-go breakfast person rather than a sit-for-a-meal breakfast person, I simply hadn’t gotten around to experiencing it. Not too long ago, however, I made a point to head over to this restaurant for breakfast just for the chance to taste this breakfast and I couldn’t have been happier that I got out of bed early for it. The dish consists of two large pieces of sourdough French toast, covered in a cinnamon sugar coating, sandwiching slices of fresh banana. You ‘ll receive strawberry compote and maple syrup to pour on top and whether you opt for just one or both to ooze into all the nooks and crannies of your sweetened bread, you simply can’t go wrong. Yes, it is a COMMITMENT of a breakfast and you might want to head back to your hotel room for a nap before jumping on the monorail to Magic Kingdom, but you will never forget the delicious memory of this meal. Worth. Every. Loaded. Calorie. Trust me!
8. All-You-Care-to-Enjoy Platter—Whispering Canyon Café, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort
Eating at this lively, rowdy, rambunctious restaurant is a Disney experience you simply must make time for! The servers are hoots and are ready and waiting to give you and your family a hard time about anything and everything, but in a teasing, most magical Disney kind of way. The southern home-cooked theme of the dishes means your food will be comforting and rib-sticking delicious. The all-you-can-eat platter, though, is one for the books! It begins with an apple-vinaigrette tossed salad and basket after basket of insanely moist cornbread (I like to call it “corn-cake”). The dinner features slow-smoked pork ribs, barbecued pulled pork, roasted chicken, oak-roasted beef strip loin, and western-style sausage served with seasonal farm fresh vegetables, mashed Yukon potatoes, corn on the cobb, and cowboy-style baked beans. If your mouth is not salivating at the thought of all this served to you in endless quantities, you might need to check yourself for a pulse. Between the shenanigans of your server, the lively atmosphere and this phenomenal entrée, you won’t regret making a dinner reservation here! Note: This platter is also served during their lunch hours, and though the offerings are still limitless, the lunch portion doesn’t include everything the dinner portion includes.
7. Blackened Fish—Boatwright’s Dining Hall, Disney’s Riverside Resort
Boatwright’s Dining Hall, to me, is an understated restaurant that often flies under the radar despite the fact that their dishes are dynamite. I’m not complaining as it’s easier for me to get in to when I’m booking my dinner reservations, but I will continue to recommend this place for a cozy, low-key meal. The food here is all influenced with Louisiana style flair, so expect lots of Cajun and spices. One of the best dishes, one that I always return again and again for, is the blackened fish. The fish changes depending on the sustainable selection of the day, but it is always fresh and lightly blackened. This fish used to be served over stewed green tomatoes but now is served over sweet corn griddle cakes (yum!) topped with black-eyed peas salsa (a welcome change, as I always use to sub out the green tomatoes with asparagus anyway). I love cornbread and if it were up to me it would be the pre-dinner bread service at EVERY restaurant, but I digress. You’ll get it here, and it’s delicious, moist, and everything a huge hunk of cornbread with sweet butter should be. Check out this hidden gem of a restaurant and try our favorite blackened fish entrée on your next Disney trip!
6. Potjie Inspired Entrée—Sanaa, Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Kidani Village
I’m a firm believer that basically every dish served at Sanaa is a home-run. It’s the restaurant that always tops the list of guest favorites and is an unexpected delight for many. I think that it just might be because so many people don’t know WHAT to expect when they visit this restaurant featuring African-inspired cuisine for the first time. Usually, any hesitation is squashed with just one bite of the flavorful food here, proving that you don’t have to be an adventurous and daring foodie to love this place. One of the best ways to explore the cuisine at any restaurant is to order a sampler platter, granting you the option of choosing more than one delicious entrée to partake in. With the Potjie Inspired dish, you can choose two of the following: Butter Chicken, Spicy Durban Shrimp, Seasonal Greens and Tomatoes, Paneer Tikka, Goan Seafood Curry, Spiced Lamb, Lentil Dhal, or Chickpea Wat. This entrée offers choices that both vegetarians and meat-eaters will appreciate, and is served with Basmati rice or pilaf. The Butter Chicken has always been a go-to favorite for me, each bite of poultry impossibly moist and flavorful and we can’t rave enough about their spiced lamb. With this entrée, you can have a little bit of both! If spicy food is a deterrent for you, talk to your server and they will be more than accommodating in educating you with the level of spice in each dish.
5. Hawaiian Style Feast—‘Ohana, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
With something to please every member of your family—even the choosy ones—you can’t go wrong heading to the all-you-can-eat family style dinner at ‘Ohana. The meal begins with pineapple-coconut bread (yes, it’s to-die for!) and a mixed greens salad with sweet Lilikoi dressing. Next up, the appetizers, featuring pork dumplings tossed in a garlic ginger sauce and honey-coriander chicken wings. Both are finger licking, rib sticking delicious, and might tempt you to fill up before your main courses arrive. Exhibiting some self-control is a must, because you don’t want to miss out on the sweet and sour chicken, Szechuan sirloin steak, and peel-n-eat shrimp. ALL of this food also comes with endless bowls of noodles tossed in teriyaki sauce and stir-fried vegetables. My final piece of advice that you MUST heed: save room for dessert. The bread pudding a la mode with banana-caramel sauce is an EXPERIENCE, one that has you closing your eyes and drifting to the clouds with every scrumptiously sweet bite. Ask around, this dessert is legendary!
4. Botswana-style Seswaa Beef Short Rib—Jiko, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
There are quite a few contenders on the menu at Jiko that could easily be spotlighted on any top ten list, because frankly, there is just no such thing as a bad meal at Jiko. There is also a FULL vegetarian menu in addition to the regular menu, making this restaurant a sought-after experience for any and every palate. With so much mouth-watering goodness on the menu here, I had to at least mention some of the other contenders—the wild boar tenderloin appetizer is so beloved that many order it as their main entrée, the spice rubbed pork shank is delicious and decidedly one of the more popular dishes as is their filet mignon, which always receives rave reviews. Order one of these and you won’t be making a mistake. If you are a beef eater, you don’t want to miss a chance to sink your teeth into their short ribs. Perfectly tender and incredibly seasoned, this meal will definitely leave a lasting impression. It is served with cooked mushrooms and a tasty sambal sauce and all rests atop a bed of potato puree. Delectable, every single bite! A must try for sure!
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3. Idaho Potato-wrapped Red Snapper—Flying Fish Café, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
The dishes served at this upscale dining establishment on the charming Boardwalk pretty much always knock it out of the park. Check out some of the online reviews—everyone loves this place, as do we! Again, highlighting just one meal is kind of cruel considering how many outstanding dishes come out of this open kitchen but one that simply HAD to be mentioned was the potato-wrapped red snapper. Nobody does seafood like Flying Fish Café, and just one bite of this fish will have you nodding in enraptured agreement. The fish is always uber fresh and succulent, the lusciously creamy leek fondue sauce and the beautifully concentrated veal jus reduction that comes with it adding another dimension of phenomenal flavor. Each bite is heaven. You know those ridiculous hypothetical questions people (me) ask other people (my friends) like, “If you had only one meal to choose from to eat every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?” The answer would have to be this meal…definitely this meal.
2. Oak Fired Filet of Beef—California Grill, Disney’s Contemporary Resort
As if you needed any other excuse to eat at this signature dining restaurant other than the stellar location and impeccable view of Magic Kingdom, I’ll give you yet another—the Oak Fired Filet of Beef! Those who have tasted this superb dish are all shouting a resounding “YES!” as they read because it’s quite unanimous—this dinner is sensational and unparalleled! The steak is so juicy and perfectly cooked that you probably won’t even need your knife; your beef will cut like butter. As one of their signature dishes and one that’s been around since the initial opening of the restaurant, the filet of beef is as close to perfection as it gets in a meal. It is served with a sweet corn risotto which is the perfect accompaniment to your beef. Try it and see why this lands as our number two spot!
1. The 7-Course Dinner—Victoria and Albert’s, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
The 7-course prix fixe dinner experience at the super fancy, fine-dining Victoria and Albert’s makes BIG promises. The fact of the matter is that you won’t leave here spending less than $150 per person, so you better believe this meal has a lot to live up to. But the dinner here absolutely, unequivocally delivers on its promise to be a meal of a lifetime. I’ve yet to come across a person who has taken the leap to dine here and not been blown away by their experience, not only meeting their high expectations but far surpassing them. The ever-revolving menu changes on an almost daily basis simply because the chef wants to present the freshest ingredients possible, always infusing ingredients at the peak of their season. And though the food here is no doubt the best part, the entire experience—from the service to the atmosphere to the meal presentation—is out of this world, a definite bucket list contender. You will never forget this magical meal, the flavors so deliciously memorable that it will probably earn the number one spot as your favorite dinner of all time.
Do you have a favorite meal at the Disney World resorts? Share it with us in the comments below!
BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!