One of the first things I investigate when I plan a getaway is dining options. Experiencing true local cuisine is my favorite thing about traveling. My husband, Chris, is dedicated to the mantra “call me whatever you like, so long as you don’t call me late for dinner.” His culinary flexibility — minus the strict timing option — allows me to be completely in charge of planning where we dine. Since I am an adventurous foodie, having the ability to make my own palate-appealing selections is heavenly. Orlando is a quick flight from Boston, allowing us to pop down to Disney frequently, and EPCOT is our favorite park to explore. Below are my favorite EPCOT restaurants. I hope you get a chance to try them out the next time you visit.
Our first visit to EPCOT was on our honeymoon, 36 years ago. We spent a week dining our way around the World Showcase, exploring EPCOT’s fine dining establishments. It was an amazing journey and it opened our eyes to worldwide culinary treasures. We still visit our favorites every chance we get.
1. Monsieur Paul
Hands down, my favorite EPCOT restaurant is Monsieur Paul, named after famed co-founder and restaurateur Paul Bocuse. Dining at Monsieur Paul takes a little pre-planning — reservations for the fine-dining restaurant are required in advance. If you are looking for an elegant spot to celebrate a special occasion, you will love this charming eatery. It is an expensive dinner, but the food is amazing.
I highly recommend the decadent red snapper topped with potato scales and a rosemary sauce. As for dessert, the crispy meringue with raspberry sorbet and chantilly is sublime.
I hope someday to be fortunate enough to dine at his signature Paul Bocuse Restaurant in Lyon, France, until then, Disney will suffice.
Pro Tip: Monsieur Paul is on the Disney Dining Plan and reservations are required. There is no children’s menu; although, I have seen a few (very few) children dining on very expensive meals here. There is also a resort casual dress code which eliminates a good number of daily Disney guests.
2. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
The medieval Akershus Fortress in Oslo is the inspiration for Akershus Royal Banquet Hall. The impressively decorated banquet hall is the perfect spot for your princess-in-waiting dining adventure. You and your tiny princess will love the Disney princess visits and photo opportunities.
Dining is served family-style and features an assortment of Norwegian smorgasbord treasures.
Pro Tip: The Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is on the Disney Dining Plan and advance reservations are required.
3. Le Cellier Steakhouse
Tucked away in the cellar of the Canadian Chateau is Le Cellier Steakhouse. The cellar does not offer panoramic views or costumed characters but it has an old world ambiance, delicious food, and a nice selection of wines by the glass.
Our neighbors to the north know a thing or two about cooking meat. The signature entree is their filet mignon with mushroom risotto and truffle butter sauce — I am a sucker for anything truffle. The beef bourguignon poutine (french fries) with gruyere, garlic aioli, and truffle is my other go-to meal. I order it as my entree and don’t share a single fry. For dessert, forgo the sweets and indulge in a glass of Château des Charmes Vidal icewine from the Niagara Peninsula.
Pro Tip: Le Cellier Steakhouse is on the Disney Dining Plan and reservations are recommended.
4. Rose And Crown Pub And Dining Room
United Kingdom Pavilion
Reminiscent of a corner pub in London, the Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room transports you over the pond as soon as you step in the door. The dark wood and UK-themed decor evoke a casual atmosphere where you meet up with friends for a pint or two. Additionally, outdoor patio seating overlooking the World Showcase Lagoon is a beautiful setting to dine al fresco.
I love their signature fish and chips — a classic. Another great option is the British bangers and mash served with Colcannon potatoes, mushrooms, and onions, in a flavorful demi-glace. Don’t forget to leave plenty of room for a must-have plate of sticky toffee pudding. To share or not to share, that is the question.
Pro Tip: The Rose and Crown Pub is on the Disney Dining Plan and reservations are strongly suggested.
5. La Cava Del Tequila
Queue up for a tequila-focused adult beverage at La Cava del Tequila. The long line moves fairly quickly as drinks are served up. With over 200 libation options, La Cava del Tequila is a must-stop for drinking around the World Showcase. It is also a great spot for a happy hour cocktail and nosh to tide you over for a late dinner reservation.
Not sure what to order? Try a tequila flight and taste-test your favorite. My suggestion is the Piña Loca made with ginger pineapple juice, Ilegal Mezcal, and Ancho Reyes chile liquor with a black ant salted rim. Yup, you read that correctly, black ant salt — crushed black ants mixed with dried chilies, salt, and sugar. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. You can grab a small serving of chips to accompany your libation break.
Pro Tip: La Cava del Tequila is not on the Disney Dining Plan and there are no reservations.
6. Biergarten Restaurant
Every day is Oktoberfest at the Bavarian-inspired Biergarten Restaurant. Grab a seat in the hall while German musicians and dancers dressed in traditional garb entertain you. I enjoy the fun and lively atmosphere of the Biergarten. You can usually get a reservation fairly easily and the casual atmosphere is a perfect interlude when you are enjoying a long day at EPCOT.
The family-style buffet fare includes favorite classics like schnitzel, spaetzle, and sauerkraut. Enjoy their beer flight with samples of Beck’s Pilsner, Warsteiner Dunkel, König Ludwig Weissbier, and Schöfferhofer Pink Grapefruit Hefeweizen. If you already have a favorite, order up a half liter or a full liter if you are uber thirsty.
Pro Tip: The German Biergarten is on the Disney Dining Plan and reservations are strongly recommended.
7. Chefs De France
At Chefs de France it is like taking a seat in a chic Parisian cafe. The light and airy dining room offers a refreshing oasis from traipsing around the World Showcase Lagoon.
My favorite dish at Chefs de France is the cassolette d’escargots de bourgogne au beurre persillé; delicate escargots baked in garlic butter — oo la la. Order the boeuf bourguignon for a hearty plate. Add a bottle of 2012 Dom Perignon with a hefty price tag (out of my price range) or a more reasonably-priced glass of sparkling Cuvée Prestige to round out your meal.
Pro Tip: Chefs de France is on the Disney Dining Plan and reservations are strongly recommended.
8. Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar
Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar is an Italian-inspired wine bar. The small (by Disney standards) restaurant offers gorgeous Italian wines and a select menu. The cellar-like decor with exposed stone and rich wood is a visual respite from the colorful panorama of the World Showcase.
Relaxing over a bottle of wine and antipasti with your traveling companion provides a refreshing moment away from the crowds. I like the tagliere, perfect for two. It includes all the classic Italian goodies we love to graze on: prosciutto di parma, salametto, asiago, gorgonzola, fontina, artichoke hearts, grissini, and cerignola olives.
Pro Tip: Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar is not on the Disney Dining Plan and does not take reservations. They will, when busy, add your name to a waitlist when you walk up to the host.
9. Via Napoli Ristorante E Pizzeria
Sometimes you simply need pizza. Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria is ready to fill your wood-fired, southern Italian pizza cravings. Most pizzas come in an individual size, a large which serves two to three people, and the Mezzo Metro size serves four to five diners — a good option for large groups.
They serve antipasti and plated entrees, but we go for the pizza. My favorite is the carciofi pizza, a white pizza topped with artichoke, fontina, mozzarella, and truffle oil. A good second choice is the quattro formaggi pizza topped with mozzarella, parmesan, fontina, and provolone.
Pro Tip: Via Napoli is on the Disney Dining Plan and reservations are strongly recommended.
Dining At EPCOT Restaurants
Across EPCOT, there are luxurious fine-dining establishments, charming cafes, and lively bars offering guests a cornucopia of options. Finding the one to perfectly complement your visit is easy.
You will be less stressed about EPCOT dining if you plan ahead. Make your most important, gotta-have-them reservations before you even leave home. Some venues offer walk-up service, but your day needs to be flexible since you could encounter a long wait. When all else fails, stop at one of the many kiosks along the World Showcase Lagoon walk and enjoy a quick nosh while you stand in line waiting your turn for the next amazing Disney adventure.
When you are ready to visit Disney, our packing guide will get your trip off to the perfect start. And when you are ready to see the rest of the world through a foodie lens, you can visit some of my favorite spots for taste testing. Miami’s Little Havana is a wonderful take on authentic Cuban cuisine. The Czech Republic has an up-and-coming foodie community turning traditional dishes into superstars. A little closer to home, Winston-Salem’s southern-influenced plates will make your taste buds tingle. Bon appetit!