Best Disney Resort Restaurants and What to Skip

Best Disney Resort Restaurants and What to Skip

Ok. Before we dive into the Best Disney Resort Restaurants let us just share that the Disney Resort Restaurants are our absolute favorite experiences, so we may be a little biased! We’ve been adding them to our Disney Vacation lineup since our very first trip. and never do we find such amazing food as we do when we are resort hopping.  Here are our favorite Disney Resort restaurants, so far, in no particular order. 

Disney Brunch spots

The Best Disney Resort Restaurants

Grand Floridian Cafe

  • Where: The Grand Floridian Resort and Villas
  • Views: Window seats offer views the gardens
  • Theme: Classic, elegant.
  • Character Dining: No
  • Food: Breakfast, lunch and dinner featuring basics like omelets, sandwiches and salads.

We Recommend it Because: The atmosphere here is calm and classy. You can order a french press pot of coffee and settle in for something easy like breakfast. Or if you want something a little fancier, but not over the top or pricey, you can also find great dishes on the dinner menu. Even as a lunchtime stop, this place evokes the beach-side dining classic of Old Florida. We also love Grand Floridian Cafe for Breakfast. 

California Grill

California Grill

  • Where: The Contemporary
  • Views: Rooftop offer views of Seven Seas Lagoon, and Cinderellas Castle
  • Theme: Farm to table. Sustainable Signature Dining
  • Character Dining: No
  • Food: Elegant entrees, brunch, and flatbread offerings. Wine, wine, and more wine. 

We Recommend it Because: California Grill is a rooftop restaurant and super classy. We have not yet done brunch here, or a flatbread lunch, but it’s on our bucket list. The dinner here combines perfectly seasoned meats, vegetarian options, salad, bread, and a must-have dessert. The donuts are especially light and perfect in every way. If you’re into wines, this is your mecca. Grab a glass and wander onto the rooftop balcony for some Magic Kingdom fireworks viewing. 

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Captain Cooks

  • Where: The Polynesian Resort and Villas
  • Views: Vintage posters of the South Pacific
  • Theme: Polynesian, South Pacific Cuisine
  • Character: No
  • Food: Polynesian noodles, meatball dishes, salads, and sandwiches.

We Recommend it Because: Definitely, one of the best Quick Serve restaurants at Disney you get good food, higher quality and a varied menu.  With noodles, sandwiches, burgers, and flatbreads there is plenty to choose from. We also love that it’s open late for late-night dining and has an array of desserts to choose from. Refillable drink stations make it a great place for you and your refillable mug as well! And when you’re done with your meal, you can grab a Dole Whip just around the corner at Pineapple Lanai! 

best quick serve dining at contempo cafe at walt disney worlds contemporary resort

Contempo Cafe

  • Where: The Contemporary
  • Views: Monorail
  • Theme: American
  • Character Dining: No
  • Food: Burgers, Flatbreads, salads

We Recommend it Because: Home of the best cupcakes, Contempo Cafe offers flatbreads in different flavors, gourmet sandwiches, and salads, and classic fare like wraps and pizzas. The food here is top-notch and well worth the stop if you’re overwhelmed by the lines in Magic Kingdom. Just hop the monorail over to the contemporary. Or walk! Contempo Cafe Menu

Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory

  • Where: Port Orleans- French Quarter
  • Views: French Quarter
  • Theme: New Orleans
  • Character Dining: No.
  • Food: Classic New Orleans, southern cuisine

We Recommend it Because: Home of the must-try Beignets, complete with dipping sauces, you can get loads of sweet treats here. If you’re in for a meal, you can grab ribs, po boy, shrimp, fried chicken, and all sorts of Louisiana comfort food. Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory

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The Mara

  • Where: Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Views: Animal Kingdom Lodge terrace, pool
  • Theme: African
  • Character Dining: No
  • Food: Coffee, dessert, potijie, flatbreads, sandwiches and salads.

We Recommend it Because: We love Animal Kingdom Lodge, but the food here always just blows us away! Excellent flavors, good portion sizes, and good prices. We love that the food is authentic without being too extra! We love the African stew and flatbreads, though are slowly eating our way through this menu! The Mara Menu.

ohana bread pudding


  • Where: The Polynesian Resort and Villas
  • Views: Window seats offer views of Seven Seas Lagoon, and Cinderellas Castle
  • Theme: Polynesian, South Pacific Cuisine
  • Character Dining: Yes, Breakfast only. With Lilo and Stitch
  • Food: Served Family Style. Salad, Bread, Skewered Meats, Veggies, Noodles, Pot Stickers, and Ohana Bread Pudding. 

We Recommend it Because: Ohana is one of those restaurants that everyone in your family will like. Sure, the kids may not eat the salad and someone may not love the noodles. But wait till the all-you-care-to-enjoy skewers of freshly grilled meats arrive at your table. Got a vegetarian in your party? Just tell the server! They’ve got a whole special lineup of alternatives that are amazing. And if you’re worried about not loving the bread pudding, just wait till you get the ice cream and warmed caramel sauce involved. Seriously one of the most decadent desserts you will have at Disney. And the kiddies get rice Krispie treats as a backup if they don’t like the special dessert. The experience at Ohana is also worthy of some praise. More casual than most places, there’s no dress code and the easy ukulele music in the background just beckons for you to finally relax and enjoy a meal, away from the park crowds. 

brunch at walt disney world

Topolino’s Terrace

  • Where: Disney’s Riviera Resort
  • Views: Window seats offer views of the beach, lake and Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Theme: Italian and French Provencal
  • Character Dining: Yes, Breakfast only. With Mickey, Minnie, Daisy and Donald
  • Food: Served as ordered. A selection of pastries, breakfast options, steak, etc. Dinner offers regional cuisine.

We Recommend it Because: While we can’t speak to the dinner just yet, the breakfast at Topolino’s Terrace was fantastic. Budget-friendly too. A selection of eggs, omelets, pastries, meats, veggies, and pastries are all flavored perfectly. and excellent portions. French press and specialty coffees are available. 

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  • Where: Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Views: Window tables offer views of the African Savanna on Animal Kingdom Lodge property
  • Theme: African
  • Character Dining: No
  • Food: Individually Ordered. A variety of potjie dishes, meats, vegetarian dishes and naan bread service. 

We Recommend it Because: Another excuse to get away from the busy parks, Sanaa offers a unique dining experience. With some truly flavorful cuisine reminiscent of Africa, you get a variety of spiced dishes, salsas, and desserts you won’t find elsewhere on Disney property ( except maybe at Tiffins for a higher price). And we absolutely agree with everyone that the Bread Service and sauces ( get them all) really are perfection. We also love the pot of tea and elegant little desserts here as a way to prolong the meal and really relish all the warm, spicy flavors of the atmosphere and food. Sanaa Menu

Walt Disney World Lounge for Grown Ups Disney Adults Enchanted Rose Grand Floridian

Walt Disney World Lounge for Grown Ups Disney Adults Enchanted Rose Grand Floridian

Enchanted Rose Lounge at Grand Floridian

  • Where: The Grand Floridan Resort and Villas
  • Views: The Gardens
  • Theme: The Beast’s Castle
  • Character Dining: No
  • Food: Drinks, Appetizers

We Recommend it Because: Because it’s amazing. Really. You can find small plates that are tasty enough for kids and adults, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks that are themed to Beauty and the Beast. We LOVE the truffle fries and it’s the perfect night out or a good place to stop before a late dinner. Check out our full review of the Enchanted Rose Lounge

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Garden View Tea Room

  • Where: The Grand Floridan Resort and Villas
  • Views: The Gardens
  • Theme: High Tea
  • Character Dining: No
  • Food: Pastries, Finger Sandwiches, Tea

We Recommend it Because: We like pretty things, and sipping tea while eating what could be considered an afternoon dessert, but what we consider a perfectly adequate mid-day meal. These little pastries are cute, delicious, flavorful and fill you up. This is perfect for an extra special treat, a party, or a mother/daughter day. This experience runs 35 bucks per person and higher, BUT for us just getting away from the crazy and settling in to have a nice tea is ideal. On days too hot to be outside, or too rainy to be in the parks. Read our Garden View Tea Room Review. 

StoryBook Dining Wilderness Lodge

Storybook Dining at Artist Point

  • Where: Wilderness Lodge
  • Views: The Forest
  • Theme: Snow White
  • Character Dining: Yes
  • Food: Earthy, multiple courses. Meats, Pastas and dessert.

We Recommend it Because: It’s a different kind of character dining! While we don’t love getting a fantastic meal interrupted, this one allows a bit of time between visits from the Seven Dwarfs. And a fantastic meal it is. We love the gnocchi here, the meat is of large portion size, and the little courses that come in between are divine. Perfect for kids and grownups. Check out our review of Storybook Dining at Artist Point.

Kona Cafe

  • Where: The Polynesian Resort and Villas
  • Views: Monorail
  • Theme: Polynesian
  • Character Dining: No
  • Food: Hawaiian flavors for breakfast, lunch and dinner

We Recommend it Because: It’s such a hidden gem! We love it for breakfast. Hello Tonga Toast. And Dinner. With noodle bowls, Polynesian flavors, potstickers, and special drinks the menu offers delicious things for kids and adults alike. We love Kona Cafe for breakfast and dinner!

Sebastians Bistro at Disney World

Sebastian’s Bistro

  • Where: Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Views: Skyliner, Disney’s Riviera Resort, Lake
  • Theme: Caribbean
  • Character Dining: No
  • Food: Caribbean flavors for breakfast, lunch, and dinner

We Recommend it Because: Definitely, one of the best newer restaurants, Sebastian’s Bistro combines Caribbean foods with a little sass. The dinner combines both classic and plant-based options with cilantro rice, jerk meats, and veggies. And we loved the bread service with dipping sauces best. Plus you get a Coconut Pineapple Bread Pudding here that is to die for. Check our Sebastian’s Bistro Review for all the details. Sebastian’s Bistro Menu

Breakfast Pastries at Ale and Compass Breakfast

Ale and Compass

  • Where: Disney’s Yacht Club
  • Views: Disney’s BoardWalk
  • Theme: New England
  • Character Dining: No
  • Food: Classic American, seafood, Sandwiches and bowls for breakfast, lunch, and dinner

We Recommend it Because: One of our favorite restaurants, Ale and Compass Restaurant at The Yacht Club offers us breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And you grab many meals on the To-Go Menu. This is such an easy restaurant to enjoy! We love the plant-based options, chocolate Mickey Waffles, and flatbreads. A step up from quick service this restaurant offers pastas, burgers, seafood, and more. This is definitely one of our go-to restaurants at Disney World, and an easy place to make Last-minute Dining Reservations at Disney. It’s also a budget-friendly restaurant with meals ranging from 15- 35 dollars a plate.  Ale and Compass Menu. 

Disney Resort Restaurants That Almost Made This List

1900 Park Fare

 We love this restaurant at the Grand Floridian Resort for breakfast or dinner. Cinderella’s evil stepmother and crazy stepsisters are always in for a good time with sarcasm and wit. For a fun character experience, this is a great go-to buffet-style restaurant. 

Whispering Canyon Cafe

At Wilderness Lodge, this is certainly the best budget-friendly all-you-care-to-enjoy meal around. Whispering Canyon Cafe, much like 50’s Prime Time Cafe is an immersion experience. So be ready to get familiar with your waiter, straws, and ketchup. Later there’s a horse race around the tables in classic Old West Style. Be sure to get the bottomless milkshake and read our Whispering Canyon Cafe review!

Disney Resort Restaurants On Our List to Try

Chef Mickeys Hash Browns

Disney Resort Restaurants YOU CAN SKIP

Chef Mickeys at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

While Chef Mickey’s remains one of the more difficult reservations to get, we would say it’s NOT worth the hype! This is a character dining location featuring Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy. Offering breakfast and dinner, this restaurant serves classic American food for both meals. The biggest issue for us here was that foods are served en masse and warmed until served. Served as a typical buffet, this left many foods on the list too dry, too mushy, too cold, etc. Additionally, since this restaurant is geared toward very young children, the foods prepared were fairly bland. In addition, the restaurant feels dated, but not in a good way, and the character interactions were rushed. All in all, we would not recommend this restaurant, as Topolino’s Terrace or Crystal Palace offer better experiences. 

Riverside Mill Food Court at Port Orleans Riverside

Maybe our stomachs just aren’t made for Southern Louisiana cooking. But some of the food we had here was either over-spiced or dry or soggy or just didn’t taste that great. As we don’t eat fast food generally it also could be that this amount of grease just doesn’t agree with us. Your call, but we’ll be going to Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory at French Quarter next time. 

Gasparilla Island Grill at The Grand Floridian

While we love love love the Grand Floridian, we’ve only ever gotten sub-par service at this quick-service restaurant. It’s heartbreaking to say. The cupcakes have soggy bottoms, the sandwiches are average, the coffee counter is never staffed and if you want hot cocoa, plan on waiting. This quick service does offer seasonal treats and Disney Snacks, so we’ll probably give this one another shot, but for now, be forewarned we’d skip it. 

The Best Disney Resort Restaurants that should be on your Disney Foodie List! Here's all our favorites and the ones we still need to try! #polkadotpixies #disneyrestaurants #disneytips #disneyresortrestaurants

Co-Founder and Director at Polka Dot Pixie Co LLC | Website | + posts

Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.

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