In the mood for comfort food with a twist? Then we have just the lunch review for you today — Raglan Road at Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney!
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Even though there’s no live entertainment during the day, stopping by the Irish pub for a bite of lunch is a great idea if you really want to take in the beautiful decor and have a truly relaxing meal.
If you’d like to see more about our most recent visit, read on.
When we say that Raglan Road is an Irish pub, we mean it. Like, parts-of-it-were-brought-from-Ireland authentic. There’s more than just fancy Disney Imagineering going on here.
Once you enter through the front doors, the hostess podium is forward and to your left. Head out the left-hand door just before it, and you’ll be seated on the outdoor patio, which boasts its own bar and often, its own entertainment.
To your right is a charming gift shop that stocks a host of Raglan Road-themed products. You’ll also find goods from Ireland, all manner of merch bearing the logo of Guinness beer. There’s beautiful jewelry, pantry items, cookbooks, and more. It’s a wonderful spot to browse.
The Master Chef here at Raglan is Kevin Dundon, and you’ll find his cookbooks — including the brand new one — at the gift shop. On my last visit, Chef Dundon was in town and came out to chat with my family! So fun! What an honor. 🙂
Bar seating in this pub is extensive. With two bars, your chances of finding an empty seat are decent at night (and great during the day). And the bar is fully part of the pub — there’s no separate bar area — so you can enjoy the entertainment from tables or bars, whichever you prefer.
The bars themselves are 130 years old, and were brought to the US from Ireland!
Other materials were either salvaged in Ireland, or were crafted there. The sense of antiquity is enhanced by plenty of rich, dark wood and brass trim.
And this is a pub! So you can expect a wide range of beer, whiskey, and other spirits available for your enjoyment. Lots of the beer options are available on tap, but selections change up regularly, so be sure to ask about the current options.
The dancing podium stands in the center of the circular dining space, and solo dances by different members of the Irish step dancing troupe are performed here to live music. You can also catch dance performances on the stage in front of the fireplace, which has been enlarged since I took this photo.
Leaded glass above lets in plenty of light, and tints it in rosy, cool colors during the day.
The cupola soars, letting in even more light. The high ceilings, bare wood, and tile floors also ensure that Raglan Road can get kind of loud when there’s a full house and the band is playing.
If you prefer it, there are two areas of seating off of the main dining room, which feature lower ceilings, and are a bit quieter.
The Music Room flanks one of the bars. No music actually takes place here, but it’s charming nevertheless.
The Raglan Room is past Bar Number Two, and features all table seating. It feels like a parlour or a private dining area. In fact, special events are often held here.
This table for two features wing chairs in front of a fireplace — perfect for a cozy tête-à-tête.
Other snug alcoves feature beautiful booths. Snug is the right word — it’s a bit tricky to get into these spots. But once you’re seated, it’s quite comfortable.
We visited during the lunch hour on a weekday, so the band wasn’t playing, and the dancers didn’t take the stage. If you visit during evening hours or for The Rollicking Raglan Sunday Brunch, you’ll get a chance to catch the acts. And you totally should, because they’re awesome.
We sampled some brand new dishes — new to us, that is — on our recent lunch visit, and I can’t wait to share them with you!
We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating right here — a meal, or even a drink, at Raglan Road can often be a full sensory experience. These are dishes that you’ve likely heard of before. But Master Chef Kevin Dundon and his kitchen staff like to bring innovation to traditional foods by marrying original twists with familiar flavors.
A peek at the back of the menu tells you a little bit more about the food, staff, and the restaurant’s commitment to quality ingredients. You also get an idea of what all Raglan Road has to offer, from entertainment, to the Rollicking Raglan Brunch and Host the Roast options each Sunday. (Both are fantastic.)
Now, on to the eats! The first thing that you’ll notice about this menu is that it’s very fun to read.
Appetizers appear at the top of the menu (natch). On the left, I love that they divide options into two categories: “It’s All For Me” and “It’s All For Sharing.” Salads appear in the middle, and Sandwiches (Sangers) are to the right. So many good choices.
Below that, you’ll see a list of Entrees and available Sides. Take some time exploring this menu. It’s really interesting.
My husband decided to start with a Pint of Guinness. Because we’re at Raglan. How could we resist?
Meals always start here with Raglan Road’s Brown Irish Soda Bread, which is served with a dipping sauce of Guinness Glaze and Olive Oil. This stuff is completely addictive. It’s one of the few places that I could totally make lunch JUST of that bread basket. It’s that good. (True confession. It’s the glaze — Guinness reduced with Sugar — that’s so incredible.)
But today, it was a smooth, rich, and creamy Potato Soup that was equal parts comfort and warmth.
We had a large group dining, so it gave us a chance to try a wide range of dishes that we hadn’t seen before. But we started with a must-have — Fish and Chips.
This is a great version of classic pub fare. The beer-battered fish fillets are cooked perfectly, and the chips are thick and tender.
Served with house-made Tartar Sauce and a wedge of Lemon, you can also request Malt Vinegar, of course.
But we also wanted to try something you guys ask me about all the time — the Gluten Free Fish and Chips! I’ve heard so many folks say that they actually like the Gluten Free version better than the regular!
Well, the chips are exactly the same, so we asked to have a side of Garlic Parmesan Truffle Oil Skinny Chips in their place.
While I enjoy chips, this American Girl also enjoys a side of fries too. And it was fun to have a couple of different styles to share. The skinny chips are dressed up with kinds of flavor, which makes them delicious enough on their own.
Here’s a close up comparing the traditional fish with the version featuring a gluten free batter — the gluten free is on the right. I thought flavor-wise, they compared favorably. You can see that the batter on the gluten free fish is a little darker and crispier, but I didn’t think it impacted the taste. Both were flavorful, and not at all greasy.
Now — here’s a little DFB tip (this is the reason you guys read this blog, right?). Since Cookes of Dublin, the counter service spot around the side of Raglan Road, shares a kitchen with them, I couldn’t resist asking for a side of their Vintage Irish Cheddar and Bacon Dip. This is — and I’m not even exaggerating a little here — one of the BEST things I’ve tasted, ever. Anywhere.
Tangy, sharp Irish Cheddar Cheese and Bacon — how could it be any better? And you can dip anything in this stuff! Chips and fish are fantastic in it, but I’ve also dipped burgers into the cheesy goodness.
Next, we sampled Kevin’s Heavenly Ham. This is a classic Raglan dish! The menu describes it as a Loin of Bacon. But the presentation actually involved American versions of what we think of as country ham and bacon, sort of sandwiched together.
But hey — you will never hear complaints from me about bacon and ham combos. The flavors here were expectedly smoky and salty, but nicely flavored as well. It’s served on a bed of creamy Colcannon Potatoes.
We also really enjoyed the two sauces — a Raisin Cider Jus, which was beautiful with the ham, and Parsley Cream that married nicely with the potatoes.
We also tried the Schnitzel Savvy. The breaded cutlet of meat here is also made with Ham, and is served with Smoked Bacon Baked Beans, and a Fried Egg on top. It was soooo good — with the ingredients sort of all stacked up, cutting into it meant a bite of all the flavors together, and it was heavenly! This would be an awesome option for brunch too, I’m thinking. The schnitzel is served with a side of Chips.
With entrees behind us, it was time to consider the Dessert Menu. In addition to some really delicious sounding sweet endings, coffees and teas here are thoughtfully chosen and prepared for best flavor. And who can resist a good Irish Coffee??
In the end, we settled on a couple of desserts to share. First up was the Strawberry Apple Crumble. In the past, these have been the flavors of one of our favorite Raglan Road desserts, the Strawberry Apple Tart.
While this version, which is served in a Mason jar, is delicious, it really doesn’t hold a candle to the former version, which took the shape of a traditional, crumble-topped tart. I blame the shortcoming on there not being nearly enough crust! Plus, I’ve always found it hard to dig into a mason jar and get all of the tastes in one bite…haven’t you?
We also sampled the Fluffy Lemon Clouds once again. Could you love that name any more than you already do? Not likely.
This gorgeous little pie is comprised of a Pastry Shell filled with rich, tart Lemon Curd (!!!!!), topped with perfect teardrop-shaped Meringue Kisses. The meringue is gently caramelized to a golden brown.
This is completely incredible! Really, you already know that I consider lemon curd to be one of the world’s most perfect foods. But the combination of creamy meringue (it’s not dry at all!), lemon curd, and pastry is everything good about lemon pie.
From beginning to end, this was another memorable and delicious meal at one of our favorite lunch spots.
And the track record remains: we still love Raglan Road. It is a fact that we just never seem to have a bad meal or experience at this pub. From food to service to entertainment, there is rarely a misstep when I visit here.
I will say that, if you’re after a time of entertainment in addition to delicious food, visit for dinner or brunch. That’s when the dancers take the stage, accompanied by fantastic, traditional Irish live music.
But if you’re after an intimate conversation with friends, be sure to visit during lunch. I recently stopped by for a late night visit, looking to catch up with friends. We were seated right in front of the stage, and as amazing as the entertainment was, it made conversation impossible.
Still, a visit to Raglan Road is always a treat, and I’ll continue to recommend it as a must-do destination, especially if you love a pub atmosphere. It’s top notch.
Have you been to Raglan Road at Downtown Disney? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts!