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Recs for Vegetarian-friendly ADRs in the era of "family style" menus?

AKSafarifan

New Member
Original Poster
Hello! I am planning a week-long trip to WDW in October. This will be the first trip in 25 years for most of the group, and except for a 1 day visit to Animal Kingdom, the first trip in 20 years for me. Looking at pre-covid menus, many restaurants on property seemed pretty vegetarian-friendly (at least one main course option). Now, it seems like most are serving family style meals and the food choices for vegetarians look quite poor. The vegetarians in the group eat eggs and dairy products but no meat, including no fish, shellfish, or poultry.

Any advice for ADRs? Our window opens up in a couple weeks and I am trying to decide what to book. I think we will want at least one sit down meals a day to give older members in our party a bit of a break. We have park hopper tickets and are excited to take advantage of Food& Wine some days, too.

We are staying at the Swolphin and will not have a car but are willing to bus/gondola/boat/monorail/Lyft ourselves around :) Everyone going is an adult and we're not too interested in character meals (never done one, though!). We are are pretty adventurous eaters as long as it is ovo-lacto vegetarian!

When I went to AK, I had no issues finding vegetarian food (snacks, Satu'li bowl, Yak & Yeti veg tikka masala). I'm worried that it will be difficult with the reduced menus of Covid times, especially for sit down meals.

Thanks for any help! Moving to family-style meals definitely made this a more complicated decision.
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
All of the family-style places offer a vegetarian version of their platters. You can Google around to see what's offered for each one. My vegetarian daughter thought the Biergarten one sounded good when we looked into it (by reading the vegan review here: https://www.google.com/amp/s/vegand...ew-family-style-at-biergarten-restaurant/amp/) but we won't get to try it in person for 3 weeks.

All of the menus at every TS still seem to offer vegetarian options, however, even with truncated menus. Additional vegetarian items (or modifications to make other meals vegetarian) may be available on request.
 
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ArmoredRodent

Premium Member
Not sure why you think the options are poor, unless you're referring only to character meal service, which traditionally doesn't have great food of any cuisine. Actually, you should have no trouble finding vegetarian food at most Disney outlets, including both table service and counter service. If you scan Disney menus, you will see that plant-based options have grown like ... well, like weeds, if you will. There's even a plant-based page on the main WDW site. The current menus show a wide variety of interesting dishes at every major park. For example, I'm looking forward to trying the Felucian Kefta and Hummus Garden Spread at Docking Bay 7 at Hollywood Studios, grilled veggie enchiladas, empanadas de queso, and tacos at Hacienda San Angel in Mexico, and the veggie loaf (something I often make for guests at home) at Garden Grill in Epcot's The Land, a character meal, by the way. Tip: don't rely on Disney's menu descriptions, check out some of the other major food review blogs; just google vegetarian meals at Walt disney World, and look for the videos and menu pictures.

If doing your homework is too much, just ASK at the restaurant, and often you can get custom-ordered dishes exactly as you want them, even at family-style meals.
 

AKSafarifan

New Member
Original Poster
All of the family-style places offer a vegetarian version of their platters. You can Google around to see what's offered for each one. My vegetarian daughter thought the Biergarten one sounded good when we looked into it (by reading the vegan review here: https://www.google.com/amp/s/vegand...ew-family-style-at-biergarten-restaurant/amp/) but we won't get to try it in person for 3 weeks.
Thanks for the link to the Vegan Disney Blog! They have some up to date reviews from the past month or two which are extremely helpful. Unfortunately, some of their experiences line up with other recent reviews I've been reading--not all of the plant based family style meals are created equal and just because a restaurant previously had tasty plant based options is not an indication they do now. This was what motivated me to post here, to see if other people had advice based on their recent experiences.

Disney's Guide to Plant-Based Cuisine states right at the top that "Some menu options may not be available during the phased reopening" of WDW, so I am not relying on their guides but instead reading reviews from the past month or two and as well as asking here.

@ArmoredRodent We are also looking forward to eating at Docking Bay 7! I always try to plan ahead and avoid hoping that the chef can make something special, especially at restaurants with low staffing, limited menus, or where the food is mostly prepared offsite. It sounds like Disney dining is currently struggling with staffing and has implemented limited menus in places, so I am trying to make sure we have ADRs or other plans as much as possible. It's great to hear that Disney chefs are normally so accommodating!
 

bee

Well-Known Member
My wife and I are both vegetarian and we sometimes meet up at Disney with my brother, who is also vegetarian. We all eat eggs and dairy but also enjoy lots of vegan food.

As @Weather_Lady noted above, all of the family style meals have both meat-full and plant-based options. From the menus I have seen, the plant-based options look interesting and have good vegan proteins/meat substitutes so it's a balanced meal and worth the price. I would hate to pay just as much as someone who's eating meat just to have a salad and a sad pile of carbs.

Now, for some specifics:

On a recent trip we enjoyed the skillet at Whispering Canyon Café at Wilderness Lodge, and we are returning on our next trip later this month.

Some in-park restaurants we have enjoyed in the past: La Hacienda de San Angel, Rose & Crown, Le Cellier (get the poutine with red wine reduction instead of beef gravy).

Some new-to-us resort restaurant family style ADRs we have made based on menus and photos/reviews: Cape May Café breakfast (Beach Club), Sebastian's Bistro dinner (Caribbean Beach), and 'Ohana breakfast (Polynesian).

In general, restaurants in the parks are more expensive than resort restaurants. For example, the Liberty Tree Tavern platter looks good, but at $39/adult it's rather steep compared to WCC for $24.

As a vegetarian I will continue to avoid steakhouses and restaurants that heavily feature seafood. I know they'll have an option for me, but there are probably much better choices at other restaurants. If you want a nicer meal, try California Grill (one of my favorites and a must-do on every trip) or Citricos (new for us for but the veg choices look great)!

And, as you noted, you'll be there for Food and Wine at Epcot, and it looks like there are a lot of vegan and vegetarian choices this year! On our Epcot days we do have ADRs, but we might end up cancelling one or more and just enjoy the festival foods.
 
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Figgy1

Premium Member
Just adding Sanaa at Kindani, WCC as others have mentioned, I'm not sure what the current situation is but MM has always gone above and beyond.
 

Figments Friend

Well-Known Member
I found the 'Impossible' meatless meat loaf dish at Liberty Tree Tavern quite tasty.
After a long day in the Park, it was nice to sit down and relax in air conditioned comfort and enjoy an all you care to eat meal.

I'd recommend it.

Sau'li Canteen also has some serious yummies for Veg Folk.
Love the bowl options...and other tasty treats there.
Keep in mind it is likely still mobile only ordering...with no walk up service.
But that may have changed by now.

Happy dining!

🙂

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