It’s no secret that we have a lot of love for Disney’s Polynesian Resort. It’s at the top of our bucket list to stay there, but in the meantime, we settle for lots of Disney Resort hopping and reasons to hang out on the beach. And we’re always looking for somewhere great to eat. We would never say no to dinner at the Polynesian, and Ohana can be a bit difficult to get into! With a new renovation and a new menu, we decided to try Kona Cafe, and are happy to report that we love it as much now as we did the last time we tried it!
Kona Cafe at Disney’s Polynesian Resort
Kona Cafe is located on the second floor of Disney’s Polynesian Resort. While it’s not really Disney themed, it’s themed perfectly to fit in the resort. They’ve recently renovated both the inside and outside of the restaurant. And it looks beautiful. And it has a new menu as well! Kona Cafe is a great for those looking for a last-minute dining reservation at Walt Disney World. And sometimes even has a walk-up list available. We are big fans of Kona Cafe for breakfast and love their Tonga Toast. But dinner offers even more flavors, with many at reasonable price points. Lunch at Kona is additionally fantastic and the Kona Lunch Menu is the same as dinner, for the most part.
Dinner at Disney’s Kona Cafe
As expected, the Kona Cafe Dinner Menu includes meals that are American with an Asian Flair. Everything from pot stickers to noodles to sushi is on the menu at Kona for dinner. While we’re not fans of sushi, there are plenty of other flavors, like sesame and ginger, that we just love.
Drinks at Kona Cafe
Kona Cafe serves up a wide selection of both non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, perfect to add a little fun to your meal. The Agave Garden and Keiki Lemonade on the non-alcoholic menu are favorites. And if you’re looking for cocktails with flavors of the islands, we like the Polynesian Mai Tai and the Lapu Lapu.
Appetizers at Kona Cafe
The appetizer menu at Kona only consists of four items; Seafood Coconut Curry Soup, Glazed Wings, Pork Vegetable Pot Stickers, and a Seafood Platter. Reasonably priced between $10-20, these are great dishes to share as you wait for your meal. We chose the Pork-Vegetable Pot Stickers and they were fantastic. They do come covered in a batter to make them extra crisp. So don’t let the photos fool you- there really are 5 pot stickers under there! And they are really just perfect. You can also grab these at lunch as well. And we highly recommend that you do!
Entrees at Kona Cafe
Kona Cafe has a great selection of items on their menu. You can get anything from sushi, Poke Bowls, to burgers and and steak. We tried the Asian-marinated Airline Chicken and the Kona Braised Short Rib. The Airline Chicken was good, although a little bit on the dry side. It was still good. But no surprise here, the airline chicken we tried in Hawaii a few years ago from a food truck was much better. We also tried the Kona-Braised Short Rib. This was super tender. Bascially fall off the bone tender. Very flavorful, and although it’s one of the most expensive items on the menu, if we weren’t on a budget, we’d get it again. The Sauteed Red Quinoa was the vegetarian option that we tried, and although it was mostly enjoyable, it was nothing to write home about.
While we didn’t order the sushi, there is quite a lineup to be had. You can grab Tuna Rolls, Shrimp Rolls, Rainbow Rolls, and even Vegetable Nigiri. Each dish is less than $30 and is a perfect budget-friendly dinner if you like sushi. Some of the most popular items on the menu are the Sushi dishes, so if that’s your thing, then Kona just might be the pace for you!
Steak, Chicken, and Fish
Serving up a variety of options, you can get Asian-Marinated Airline Chicken, Mahi, Kona Braised Short Rib, New York Strip Steak, and Verlasso Salmon. Costs range from $24-40 and all have a Polynesian flair.
The Sauteed Red Quinoa is the current plant-based option on the Kona Cafe Menu and includes bok choy, carrots, tomato, and chimichurri. If you’re a pescatarian, we’d probably recommend trying one of the fish dishes over this, as it was good, but for $24, we just felt it was a little lacking.
Burgers and Sandwiches
Also on the menu, you can grab the Big Kahuna Burger, featuring jack mustard aioli, and fries. Or the Turkey Banh Mi including pork pate, and jalapeno mayo. Both are specialty sandwiches exclusive to Kona Cafe and highlight authentic flavors.
Dessert at Kona Cafe
One of our favorite desserts at Walt Disney World, Kona Cafe serves one of the most sought-after dessert items at Walt Disney World: Pineapple Coconut Bread Pudding. This amazingly decadent Disney Dessert is perfect for after dinner because it’s sweet, light, and shareable. It’s very similar to the O’hana Bread Pudding and just as delicious. Do not skip it! It’s one of the Must Try Disney Desserts at Walt Disney World. In fact, you can also grab a variation on this bread pudding at Sebastian’s Bistro and Banana Cabana over at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. It’s not quite the same, but it is similar and a good alternative if you’re not able to get over to the Polynesian.
Kona Cafe also offers dessert shooters. These are tiny little desserts that come in small glasses in a variety of flavors. We tried the Tiramisu dessert shooter and it was very light but with enough flavor to be satisfying. These miniature desserts are perfect if you’ve had a heavy meal and don’t have room for the Bread Pudding, or if you just want to be able to try a variety of desserts in one sitting. While the Coconut Bread Pudding is huge and completely shareable, these are a much more reasonable size and perfect for one.
Kona Cafe Restaurant Review
Overall, we really enjoy Kona Cafe for dinner. There are lots of dinner options, a kid’s menu, and fancy drinks and we could eat that dessert daily. If you haven’t made it to Kona Cafe yet, we definitely recommend it. Especially, if you’re looking for somewhere laid back and not too over the top! Have you been to Kona Cafe before? Let us know how you liked it!
Melanie Renee is a photographer, writer, designer and mom. Visiting Disney destinations since 2010, she is also an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. When she's not creating her next coffee recipe, or designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's seeking beautiful sunsets and planning her next trip .