After 19 trips to Disney World, my family has tried a majority of the dining options that "The Happiest Place on Earth" has to offer. Traveling to Disney World can be overwhelming, so this list should help take away the stress from how to pick from the hundreds of restaurants and food services located throughout the parks and resorts.
When you are tired of the crowd at Disney World's Epcot, stop for a quick meal at the serene setting of the Katsura Grill at the Japanese Pavillion and listen to the taiko drums playing nearby. It is an affordable counter service option and is almost always my first stop upon arriving at Disney World. Make sure to check out the surprisingly low-calorie and delicious green tea ice cream.
#SpoonTip: Add the chili spice to the Shrimp Tempura Udon Soup for an extra kick.
This quick service restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating that overlooks Epcot's world showcase lagoon. The tacos with seasoned chicken, homemade corn tortillas, Mexican rice, refried black beans, and salsa are delicious and the churros with caramel dipping sauce are not to be missed
This German buffet-style restaurant is also located in Epcot's world showcase. Upon arriving, you instantly feel the authentic Bavarian theme of Munich, Germany's Oktoberfest. With the German musicians, dancers, and long communal tables, you can enjoy their incredible food selection buffet-style.
Located at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, this restaurant serves incredible African-flavored cuisine in a buffet. This is always on our go-to restaurant list. I recommend being daring and trying just about everything this place offers. I promise, you can't go wrong.
#SpoonTip: If going to Boma inspires you enough to want to travel to Africa (which definitely happened to me), check out the best places to eat in Cape Town.
As one of Disney's high-end signature eateries, Tiffins celebrates the global inspiration behind the design of Animal Kingdom Park. Tiffins starts its patrons off with Pomegranate Focaccia bread with pomegranate, molasses, and olive oil on the side. From there, the selections have imagination, quality, and adventure. The Berkshire pork tenderloin is a fan favorite.
This gem is hidden in Hollywood Studios. One step inside and you immediately feel the comfort of grandma's home cooking. The restaurant gives the '50s feel with black and white TVs with shows playing like "Andy Griffith" and "My Three Sons." The waiters tell you to wash your hands and set the table yourself, allowing it to be an overall fun and different dining experience. This restaurant is most known for the peanut butter and jelly milkshake.
#SpoonTip: Peanut butter and jelly is not limited to just the classic sandwich mom packed for lunch. Check this out if you love the famous combo as much as I do.
Stop off in Adventureland at Aloha Isle for the best treats in the Magic Kingdom. The soft serve delight called the Dole Whip float is a frozen treat blended in pineapple and vanilla or swirled with pineapple juice. Perfect for a long, hot day.
#SpoonTip: Learn how to make this amazing treat at home here.
Trails End is one of Disney's best kept secrets with its large servings and moderately-priced food. It is southern cooking inspired in a lodge setting buffet at the Disney Campsites, with menu items like chicken and waffles, s'mores, and pulled pork sandwiches. Unless staying at the campground, patrons take a ferry from Magic Kingdom to get to Trails End.
Kona Cafe, located at the Polynesian Resort, is considered one of the best breakfast options in all of Walt Disney World. Kona Cafe is a Hawaiian-inspired cafe known for its macadamia nut pineapple pancakes and banana stuffed sourdough French toast.
Enjoy a night of waterfront dining at the upscale Boathouse at Disney Springs. The decor boasts nautical artifacts and very unique seating arrangements. There is a lot of fun going on as you dine, including watercraft, such as Vintage American Amphicars, Italian water taxis, and live entertainment. The yellowfin tuna poke is hands down the best I have ever had.
The Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie is located in the France pavilion in Epcot. This fast-casual restaurant bakes all of their pastries and bread every morning and usually sell 800 baguettes a day. They also make their own ice cream. The head baker there used to work for famous Joel Robuchon. The Pavilion even offers a crepe kiosk. So the only real question is: why go all the way to France when you can get what you want at Disney World?
This is by far my favorite restaurant in all of Disney World. Located in Disney Springs, this Cuban restaurant has menu options like Lechon Flatbread (flatbread with duck, sweet plantains, and honey), Papa Rellenas with chipotle mayo dipping sauce, Tres Leche Cake and Rice Pudding. The best approach to eating here is come hungry and split multiple dishes among the table.
Hidden in the midst of Disney Springs is the Irish Pub. The menu is limited, and the fan favorite is their classic Fish and Chips. Each table is loaded with malt vinegar and copious amounts of tartar sauce.
The Beach and Yacht Club Resort is my favorite for multiple reasons: the sand-filled pool, the walking distance to Epcot and Hollywood Studios, and of course, its being the proud owner of Beaches & Cream. Beaches & Cream is perfect for a late lunch with their grilled cheese and tomato soup and even better for a late-night treat with their grilled banana bread and peanut butter sundae.
#SpoonTip: For extra family fun, try out their Everything but the Kitchen Sink Sundae.
Magic Kingdom stays open far later than the rest of the parks on most nights. This often leads us to be walking around aimlessly, looking for some type of food. That is where Sleepy Hollow comes into play. Their menu is small, and it is a fast food window service, which is perfect for that midnight meal. You can't go wrong with their chicken and waffle sandwich.
Disney World is a vacation designed to create memories and make time spent with your friends and family magical. These restaurants not only have some of the best food around, but they also have atmospheres that make it unforgettable. Do yourself a favor and make sure to try out these places next time you make your way to "The Happiest Place on Earth."