We always love to talk with you about the latest and greatest of Disney food here on DFB.
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But today we’re taking time to savor a couple of classics: the Lighthouse and Anchors Aweigh Sandwiches have been around for a long time, and they can only be found at Columbia Harbour House in the Magic Kingdom.
This quaint counter service spot is a hidden gem for Disney visitors. It’s not splashy like Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, and it’s not really huge and sprawling like Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn. It’s small and understated. In fact, you could easily walk right by and not even know it’s there!
Straddling Liberty Square and Fantasyland (here’s what it looks like from the Fantasyland side…)
…the restaurant offers several long-time Disney guest favorites. It’s one of those spots that first-timers don’t really know about unless they stumble upon it, but Disney vets try to visit as much as possible.
Fish, chicken, pasta, and more are the features here, and there always seems to be one or two “specials” happening at any given time. But the best part about this spot is that the upstairs dining area tends to be blessedly quiet much of the time.
It’s a spot I often escape to when I need a breather in the Magic Kingdom.
But we’re not here to show you pics of empty tables — we’re here to tell you all about some of those must-have eats that so many Disney fans hold near and dear.
These two sandwiches have quite the following among DFB readers, but those new to Columbia Harbour House might wonder what all the fuss is about. After all, upon reading the description of Anchors Aweigh — which is basically a tuna sandwich — many may ask, “what’s the deal?” (Jerry Seinfeld voiceover in your head entirely optional).
And it’s true — there aren’t any super unique or wacky ingredients that you can’t easily combine in your own home. No surprises here (unless there’s some added pixie dust that my eye can’t pick up. You never know around these parts…). What you see is what you get: tuna salad, tomato, and lettuce on multi-grain bread, served with potato chips. Frankly, it’s not even the prettiest sandwich ever, from a photography perspective.
But maybe the simplicity is what makes it so good: it’s just an easy, quality sandwich for when you need a break from fried foods or sugary decadence. The cold tuna salad and veggies are basic, but fresh.
Speaking for myself, what I’ve always liked most about it is the very lightly toasted multi-grain bread on which it’s served. It’s hearty without being too “seedy,” and you feel like you’re doing something a little better for yourself by going healthier than something served on a bun.
Our second sandwich – the Lighthouse — is served on that same bread (hooray!).
It’s a good time to note that Columbia Harbour House is known for having a few options that are great for vegetarians (including the Vegetarian Chili), and the Lighthouse is one more. The emphasis here is on the lightly dressed broccoli slaw.
It’s difficult to see the hummus unless you deconstruct the sandwich, but since it’s on the bottom, you can definitely taste it from the first bite.
I do think this is a love-it-or-leave-it meal. Not everyone will like the texture of soft slaw and hummus on the bread. Hummus as the main source of protein is a unique choice, but for those who love it, it’s a good one.
Comparing them side by side, the Anchors Aweigh is a very basic sandwich that’s just done well, while the Lighthouse is a fairly unique offering that has its own niche. But these two options just barely scratch the surface of everything on the menu.
You’ll find fish (fried or grilled), chicken, the popular Lobster Roll, and even some comfort classics at dinner like Seafood Macaroni and Cheese and Chicken Pot Pie. Turns out, it’s not just an expression to say there really is something for just about everyone at Columbia Harbour House.
Is Columbia Harbour House a favorite stop for you? Please let us know with a comment!