A visit to Walt Disney World includes dining at some unique restaurants! In Epcot’s Germany pavilion, the Biergarten is more than a place to eat; it’s also an entertaining venue! Welcome back guest author Rebecca Dolan with a fun review.
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Everyone has a restaurant or two that, for them, make a trip to Disney World complete. For me, that’s Biergarten.
This all-you-can-eat smorgasbord in Epcot’s Germany Pavilion is one of the few restaurants I insist on visiting nearly every time I’m in Orlando. Like Rose and Crown, Biergarten was one of those places my mom made me eat as a kid and I hated it. But, now it’s one of the few places where I truly relish getting my meat and potatoes on. And, if you’re a meat and carbs kind of a guy/gal, then this is definitely the place for you!
The Biergarten can be found at the back of the Germany Pavilion, under the big bell. The hostess stand is located outside, under the stone arch to the left.
They’re a bit particular about how things are run here, and you won’t be allowed inside the restaurant until your name is called and your party is complete.
Walking inside is actually like being transported back outside, as the cavernous restaurant is designed to look like an Oktoberfest celebration being held in a town square.
A semicircle of Bavarian-style buildings, draped with flags of various German locales, arches around a central stage, while a full moon oversees the action.
At least once during your seating, the stage will come alive with the sounds of a lederhosen-clad band that plays everything from alpine horns to polka.
It’s important to note that the party atmosphere comes complete with party-style seating. Each of the long, communal tables sits eight, so smaller parties will be combined. But, you’ll probably be too busy eating to chat anyway.
The food at Biergarten is all served on a buffet, while the drinks are served by the German wait staff.
Behind the semicircle of tables is the buffet, which consists of two entrée lines with a dessert station and a carving station between them. So, pick the shortest line; it’s all the same.
At the beginning of the line are cold salads and meats, with options like cucumber dill salad, macaroni salad, potato salad, sausage salad, liverwurst, and sliced meat.
Next comes the bread (read: unlimited hot soft pretzels!) and soup, which changes seasonally. On this trip the cream of asparagus was on offer. Get excited if you’re there on beer-cheese soup day. I’m going to be the one who says it: it’s way better than the one at Le Cellier.
After the soup are the hot entrees, like rotisserie chicken, pork shank, sausages and sauerkraut, spaetzle, schnitzel, and German potato salad. I find that the spaetzle is best with Jager sauce, which sadly wasn’t on the buffet. But, the red wine and paprika sauces worked just fine.
The kitchen was also testing out a chicken fricassee that day, which was nothing special. I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t make it into permanent rotation.
On the carving bar you’ll likely find German-style meatloaf and roast pork. But, the real stars of the carving station in my eyes are the bits of pork skin they keep to the side. They’re crunchy, salty, fatty, and utterly addictive. Nobody really seems to eat them, so, more for me!
Don’t miss the condiments lined up next to the meats. The sweet, whole-grain mustard is absolutely necessary for slathering on the pretzel rolls.
The lunch and dinner buffets are almost identical, with a couple different offerings available at dinner. One particularly delicious item on the lunch buffet only is the cheesy spaetzle. Not entirely authentic, but tasty nonetheless.
The only thing I don’t love about the Biergarten is dessert, which I find kind of underwhelming. I’d rather save room for a caramel apple from the Werther’s store — Karamell-Küche — at the pavilion’s entrance (or a funnel cake from The American Adventure).
Of course, this being Germany, having a beer is almost required. You can choose to have a half-liter, full liter, or a beer flight. There’s a nice selection of German wine, too, if beer isn’t your thing.
On a previous visit our waiter insisted on us trying beer mixed with Coke, which is apparently a big thing in Germany. I asked about it this time, but this waitress insisted that was actually not the case; beer with lemonade is the thing to do.
Taking her word for it I ordered one up, but it didn’t exactly knock my socks off. I’d still say it’s worth a try if you’re a beer fan, though.
How can you go wrong with dinner and a show, especially when it’s way cheaper, than, say, Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue? (And, with a much bigger food selection.)
Sure, if you’re more of a salad eater, Biergarten’s probably not right for you. But, if you’re looking for hearty stick-to-your-ribs fare or a giant glass of beer, this is one of the best places on property to get it. Lots of it.
What brings your family to the Biergarten? Will you try this restaurant on your next trip to Disney? Let us know in the comments below!