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For the foodies out there - what are the best restaurants in WDW?

Lensman

Premium Member
I'm going with meta-advice: Read some of the trip reports over on the trip reports forum. There are some folks who do a good job of giving you a meal-by-meal, dish-by-disk evaluation of their trip with lots of pictures. I decided that for our next trip, I'm going to formulate our plan using the information there.

As an example, JenniferS is live - 9/3 - 9/16. @JenniferS does a really good job of making the information entertaining, and though I'm sure Mike is entertaining as well I thought I'd give him a shout out and highlight his eating ability - it gives Jennifer a lot of good meals and dishes to review! (And btw, I need to know both of your secrets for staying so slim!)

And as a personal recommendation I'll pile on with the others in recommending Victoria & Alberts. My wife insists on leaving the kids with grandma or aunty and us treating ourselves to dinner when we're there at least one time every trip. It's expensive but the food is great - might be the only place that's actually up to non-Disney fine dining standards. I liked the service especially because, though it is professional, I felt more comfortable than I typically do at high-end NYC restaurants (though my wife also says that she's impressed with my comportment at these places, lol).

I haven't been but Shula's is on my list of places to try, along with a bunch of places from @JenniferS's list.

Another piece of meta-advice is to try to find reviewers who have the same likes and dislikes that you have. This is the "find the reviewer, then the review" strategy. Also, look for TiW holders, they almost have credibility through the volume of restaurant experiences they've had. (Not saying anything against non-TiW people either, just that TiW people are worth seeking out. Note: I'm not a card-carrying member.)

Enjoy! Your November trip sounds like it's going to be very exciting and I've noticed you asking all the right questions on the boards so far!
 

NormC

Premium Member
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We had a fantastic meal at Coral Reef last week and the Wave in the Contempo was also nice. Boma was the best of our buffets last week. Biergarten, Chef Mickey and Tusker House were all OK and overpriced like all of the buffets. Nine Dragons wasn't bad.
 
While California Grill is one of our favs (the pork tenderloin with goat cheese polenta is what dreams are made of), there are several lower key options that we really enjoy as well. We love Crews Cup lounge at Yacht Club. While it has a limited lounge menu, their burger is our favorite on property. They also have a delish manchego cheese dip that is just ooey-gooey goodness. Pair those with a beer or glass of wine and the great service we've come to know there, and we're happy campers. Tutto Gusto wine bar in Epcot is another one of our go-tos. They have some really nice small plates that won't weigh you down. I love their "All the bubbles" prosecco flight and their Aperol Spritz is by far the best I've found on property.
 
California Grill was not great when we went there but someone said that and I’ve heard they have improved. I want to try it again but have to admit my family has resisted.

Yachtsman 12 years ago. 2nd worst meal (and I am talking food quality) we ever had at Disney. Second only to coral reef

Flying Fish was a good meal about 8 years ago but we haven’t gone back

Victoria &Albert is amazing but they have done a HUGE price increase and that is making us not go this year. We decided to try Monsuier Paul instead.

Spice Road. After our first time it has been a MUST every trip since. Good food atmosphere and staff.

Il Mulino. We went there for the first time last year and going back this trip.

Skipper. Same, tried it last trip and going back this time.

Saana is really good. Appetizers better than main courses. We like it for lunch. Only Animal Kingdom Lodge place were you can watch the animals while you eat.

Also trying Jiko this time. We’ve done Boma a bunch of times as the best buffet at Disney in our opinion but as the price went up and the kids are now adult price we decided to go for Jiko. The way my kids eat it will literally be cheaper to have them eat there
Yes I was also shocked to see this. I went in 2013 and the price was $125 (plus wine pairing) and now I think the price is $225. That's pretty excessive.
 

monothingie

Skyliner Survivor
Premium Member
So I am by no means a foodie, but I do enjoy browsing the hotel and theme park options. I don’t make it to DS a lot to eat in full disclosure.

Must do for every trip:
California Grill- Sometimes hit or miss but it’s usually because I’m looking to try something different, so it’s usually my fault. But I never leave unhappy. BTW Request Ron if he’s working to be your waiter. He is perhaps the most knowledgeable and personable waiter there.

Ohana Dinner- (around fireworks time) what can I say I’m a sucker for the bread and adult beverages in Pineapples.

Any One of the AKL restaurants Sana’a, Jiko, Boma- all fantastic. Sana’a bread service is outstanding and worth the trip alone, Jiko offers some really unique options, Boma is just overall great variety.

Biergarten- I’m a sucker for German food and oversized beer options.

Good Should do’s:

Criticos- very nice atmosphere and excellent entre choices.

Narcoosies- much like Criticos, although my last meal was a miss. The scallops and gnocchi did not work out.

Flying Fish - if you like seafood you will find something that you will enjoy.

Spice Road Table - I personally love the variety of options. There is so much to try.

If you’re there check it out:

Monsiuer Paul - good solid traditional French cuisine. Last meal the wine pairings suggested by our host were not good however.

LeCelier- This place gets beat up, and sometimes unfairly. Most often my bigest complaint is the consistency of meals and service. I’ve had a multiple good and bad meals there with no correlation between each of them. My one piece of advice is avoid the ribeye, you will be disappointed.

Skipper Canteen-Used to be much higher in my list when they first opened. After they dumbed the menu down it reflected it.

Tiffins- this place gets no love but has some really great options for a park restaurant. Plus you can always get a table.

Brown Derby: solid options but nothing eye catching for its uniqueness.

Rose and Crown- solid English pub options. Nothing special but the atmosphere and bar options are fun.

Kona Cafe- all around good would not necessarily go for dinner but definitely check it out for breakfast and lunch.

Meh:
Coral Reef- The atmosphere and view is better than the food.

Chefs De France- good, not great. Very generic and loud.

Tutto Italy/Tony’s/Mama Melrose- Typical Italian fare, nothing exceptional.

Tepan Edo- if the show is your thing then go for it.

Sci-fi Drive In-more atmosphere than food.

Crystal Palace/Ohana/Chef Mickeys breakfast- Remember you’re going for the characters not the food.

Bleh:

Nine Dragons- worse than Panda Express

Yak and Yeti- even worse than Panda Express

Be Our Guest Dinner- If you like the atmosphere and don’t care about the food your being served.

San Angel Inn: sit down Taco Bell.
 
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Mickey5150

Well-Known Member
Jikos is a great restaurant, I recommend siting at the counter and having some good interactions with the chefs. In Disney Springs I absolutely love Raglan Road. Live entertainment at a real Irish pub with modern takes on pub classic dishes. Jungle Skippers in MK is a good meal in a really interesting building.
 

piglet21

Well-Known Member
Jiko. It's my favorite restaurant in WDW by far. The restaurant itself is beautiful, the waitstaff are always exceptional, and the food is authentic. If you're also into wine, the wine selection there is unique and really delicious.
 

righttrack

Well-Known Member
I live in the greater NYC area and I've not tried anything in WDW that would come close to what's available in Brooklyn or the Village from a food standpoint. I did find experiences where the food was good, the presentation was wonderful and the overall theme of the restaurant made the experience what it was. A few of my family's favorites:

O'hana
Biergarten
Akershus
Boma
Jikos
Saana

These places seem to have it all and are on our must-visit list each trip. Sometimes it's the food, but mostly it's the total experience. Have fun!
 

Minnie1986

Well-Known Member
I'll be in WDW for 5 days--and we are a foodie family. Which restaurants should I definitely include on my list? I'm looking for the best of the best in terms of food, not the prettiest. Recommendations?
You know you're going to a theme park, right? I get it; I grew up in the heart of NYC so I'm a foodie as well, but you might want to adjust your expectations. Don't get me wrong, there are delicious options but lower the bar.
 

mdcpr

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
You know you're going to a theme park, right? I get it; I grew up in the heart of NYC so I'm a foodie as well, but you might want to adjust your expectations. Don't get me wrong, there are delicious options but lower the bar.
True - but there's always hidden gems. I do have my sights on Jaleo.
 
Capa at The Four Seasons is outstanding... a cocktail at the rooftop bar at sunset is perfection and a great way to start the evening. Allow time to explore the resort... it is stunning.

As others have said, Victoria’s & Albert’s is amazing - especially the Chef’s Table, if you’re able to get it.

Flying Fish and Bluezoo are both excellent. Must dos for us almost every trip.

Jiko is fantastic and has the option of sitting at “the cooking place” - a small bar where you watch chefs preparing some appetizers and desserts and you can interact with the chefs, ask questions etc. I also echo the previous poster’s recommendation of making a whole evening out of exploring the resort, animal viewing areas (they even have night vision goggles) etc.

I’ve not tried it but Morimoto does offer an omakase option - 5-7 courses.

Wine Bar George is another terrific option in Disney Springs. The food is delicious and they will do some very cool pairings if you’re into that and have a huge selection including some very “exclusive” wines by the ounce that you might ordinarily not otherwise have a chance to try. George himself is often there and it’s really interesting to talk to him, learn about the wine and how to think about pairing etc.

Have a great trip. Come back and tell us where you ate and what you thought!
 

Heppenheimer

Well-Known Member
Biergarten- I’m a sucker for German food and oversized beer options.



Skipper Canteen-Used to be much higher in my list when they first opened. After they dumbed the menu down it reflected it.
I will say that the quality of the food at Biergarten has gone down, but I'd still prefer less-than-perfect German food over no German food anyday.

I'm disappointed to hear that Skipper's Canteen went the dumb-down route, but it seemed inevitable. I had a surprisingly good meal there, but the tables were only half-filled, which at Disney World, usually means that a change will soon arrive... and those changes sadly never involve making the food more adventurous.
 
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