It’s true, there are a lot of absolutely wonderful restaurants in the Disney World theme parks.
But what if we told you there were some equally wonderful meals (perhaps even MORE wonderful!) OUTSIDE of the parks? That’s right, today we’re taking a look at some of the BEST meals in Disney World that you won’t find in the parks.
Oak-Grilled Filet Mignon at Jiko
First we have to recommend a meal from a DFB favorite restaurant! In fact, when we polled our team for their favorite meals, this was brought up MULTIPLE times! It’s Jiko — The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. One of the best meals? The Oak-Grilled Filet Mignon!
We can’t help but order the filet at Jiko thanks to the PERFECT blend of flavors between the spices and the meat. Plus, that South African Wine red wine reduction? Killer.
For $52 this steak is served alongside Four-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese, Marinated Tomatoes, and Mushrooms. The side has changed up a few times over the years, with the mac disappearing entirely from the entree for a while only to return in a different, more uniquely flavored form. The mac and cheese incorporates unique African flavors now, but if you prefer classic mac (we totally do!) be sure to ask your server for the mac and cheese from the kids’ menu instead! 🙂 They’ll know exactly what you’re talking about.
Potjie Inspired Butter Chicken at Sanaa
You don’t have to go far to find the next great meal on our list. We are BIG FANS of Sanaa in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge — Kidani Village for its relaxing environment and tasty eats. The tastiest eats of all? The Potjie Inspired Butter Chicken, of course!
The uber tender hunks of chicken have layers and layers of flavors and spices. The tomato, cream, and (of course) butter-based sauce is super flavorful and rich and honestly, we must look crazy scooping every drop out the bowl each time!
There are other meat and seafood-based options to pick aside from Butter Chicken but truthfully, we only make it beyond that amazing chicken if we absolutely have to. Seriously, you don’t want to miss this dish. With your chicken, you also get to choose between Chickpea Wat, Aloo Masala, Lentil Dhal, or Cilantro-Coconut Vegetables. It’s all served with scented Basmati Rice. Yum! You can try this meal for $28.
Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli at California Grill
We’re headed to Disney’s Contemporary Resort for the next dish, and this one has been around since California Grill opened in 1995. Wow! You have to be pretty tasty to make the cut consistently through different menus and chefs! It’ll all make sense to you when you try the Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli.
So what makes this one little pasta have what it takes to stand the test of time? Well, it may not look like much but the flavor combination in this app seriously packs a punch!
Ok, ok, so this is more a starter than it is a meal but we just had to mention this appetizer. The Ravioli is a delightful combo of Tomato-Fennel Broth, Crispy Mushrooms, Tiny Basil, and Organic Olive Oil. The tangy goat cheese with the delicate tomato broth is incredible. We’re dreaming about it right now. YOU can try it out on a visit to Cali Grill for $16. Maybe next time I go I’ll just order two and make it my meal.
Chef’s Table at Victoria & Albert’s
Alright, the next meal we’re talking about isn’t like the others. We’re not talking about a menu item we love, we’re talking an EXPERIENCE we love at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa!
The Chef’s Table at Victoria & Albert’s is an expensive and delicious culinary experience. It’s essentially the peak of dining in Disney World and you’ll be watching the hustle and bustle of the kitchen as you sit steps away from the action!
You’ll have to read our review of the Chef’s Table to get an idea of what a meal is like there — but what’s cool is that yours could be totally different! Part of the appeal of this experience is that it’s personalized to YOU. Plus having the opportunity to interact with chefs hard at work is an incredibly unique experience. How cool is that?
The meal features around nine or more courses and will take HOURS. It’s a slow process meant to give you time to enjoy and appreciate the food. And boy, have we!
Any place that serves us MULTIPLE dessert courses clearly knows what’s up. 😉
This experience is on the pricy side. Right now, a seat at the Chef’s Table will run you $250 per person plus $150 for wine pairings.
Wagyu Beef from Morimoto Asia
For our next item, we’re stepping away from the resorts and into Disney Springs! Head on over to Morimoto Asia to try some SERIOUSLY upscale meat. Like, the best meat in the WORLD type of meat! Like, so fancy you’re presented with a cow snout-print to verify it was of the proper certification! Fancy.
You’re going to shell out some SERIOUS cash if you’re looking to sample the Japanese A5 Wagyu Beef. This stuff is $28 PER OUNCE with a three-ounce minimum. A little goes a LONG way here though.
The beef is cooked AT your table so the whole thing is an experience. If you’ve had Wagyu, you know how delicious the incredible marbling is on this meat (these are the fancy cows you may have heard that some farms give massages and beer to drink to make their meat so perfect!). If you love steak and haven’t had Wagyu, you GOTTA do it at least once!
So, yes, apologize to your wallet in advance but your taste buds will be thanking you! This is some of the best quality meat in the world prepared tableside over an Ishiyaki Grilling Stone with Sansho Peppercorn Sauce. This was SO WORTH IT.
Twilight Feast from ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Did you know Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort has THE BEST room service of all hotels in the known universe? Ok, that might be a bit of a stretch, but they DO have the amazing Twilight Feast. What’s that? You’ve never heard of the Twilight Feast, you say? Clearly you missed us shouting our love of it from the rooftops. 😉
Forewarning, this meal IS pricey — it’s $60 PER person — but hear us out! It’s a LOT OF FOOD. Like, totally enough food for at least two people to share one order! For the price you get an entire meal of the same food served at the Polynesian’s uber-popular sit-down restaurant, ‘Ohana. And we do mean an ENTIRE meal!
Order this bad boy and you’ll be chowing down on pineapple-coconut bread, salad, Spiced Chicken Wings, Asian-style Pot Stickers, Yakisoba Noodles, Stir-fried Vegetables, and ‘Ohana Sunset Punch (POG juice!). PLUS, you’ll get all the same skewered meats and oak-grilled shrimp you’d be served in the restaurant. Finally, it is topped off with ‘Ohana’s famous Bread Pudding.
It’s hard to narrow down what we love most about this meal. Is it the ‘Ohana teriyaki noodles? The carafe of POG juice? Perhaps it’s the iconic ‘Ohana bread pudding? Ok, wait, maybe it wasn’t so hard. It’s definitely the bread pudding that we love the MOST, but the rest of the meal is GREAT too! 😉
Royal Prime Rib Roast from Storybook Dining at Artist Point
Tucked away at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is a fantastic character meal where you can meet Snow White and friends — Storybook Dining at Artist Point. Not only do you have the chance to meet some HARD to come by characters at this meal, including Dopey, Grumpy, the Evil Queen, and Snow White, but this spot also has some seriously good food.
We think the Royal Prime Rib Roast is definitely one of the fanciest and tastiest entrees you can snag at a character meal!
The roast is tender and juicy and the flavors of the sides go PERFECTLY with such a rich cut of meat. You get some seriously zippy Horseradish Mashed Potatoes, Carrots, and a perfectly cooked traditional Popover. The whole thing is drizzled with a rich Jus!
The appetizers and desserts are shared at this spot (the table receives cutely plated small bites per person for both courses), but each guest is served an individually plated entree! Dinner here is a bit pricey at $60 for adults and $39 for kids (or only one credit on the Disney Dining Plan!), but the characters and gorgeous presentations are well worth the cost.
Beaches & Cream Grilled Cheese, and a No Way Jose at Beaches and Cream
Alright, we’ve got a two-courser comin’ at ya! Head on over to Beaches and Cream Soda Shop at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club and order the Beaches & Cream Grilled Cheese with Creamy Tomato Soup as your entree for $13. P.S. You can add bacon or ham for $5!
This sammie may not look like much but LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING! The blend of cheeses is UNREAL. Dunk it in that creamy tomato soup and you’ve got a pretty perfect lunch, there!
BUT WAIT, there’s more! If you asked us to pick one of our favorite desserts in Disney World, the No Way Jose would def pop into our heads. Do we want ice cream? Do we want ALL the peanut butter sauce? Have you MET us? PB is our JAM!
$11 will bless you with this monster treat made with SO MUCH Peanut Butter and Hot Fudge, Chocolate and Vanilla Ice Cream, Peanut Butter and Chocolate Morsels, Whipped Cream, and a Cherry. OMG. Now we want one. If only we knew how to make one at home…Oh, WAIT! We DO!
Hoop Dee Doo Revue
So this next one is a definite must-do if you’ve never done it before, but the food is NOT the star here. While we enjoy the buckets of all-you-care-to-enjoy Fried Chicken and Smoked BBQ Pork Ribs with Green Salad, Baked Beans, Fresh-Baked Cornbread, and Strawberry Shortcake; the meal can be kind of inconsistent.
It’s very generic barbecue staples done just OK, but the show? ALWAYS SO FUN.
Look at all their smiling faces! It’s easy to miss out on this show tucked alllll the way away at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, but you should make the trek! There are a few tiers of seating (we recommend upgrading to a better tier) so the price ranges from $66 to $75. Did you know this is one of the longest-running dinner shows of ALL TIME?!
Chicken and Waffles from Grand Floridian Cafe
Next, we’re headed to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa for a stunner of a meal — Chicken and Waffles at Grand Floridian Cafe. The coolest part of this dish is it actually grew from being an off-menu hack to a full menu item!
Imagine the CRUNCHIEST Corn Flake crusted fried chicken, resting atop a freshly made Applewood-smoked Bacon Malted Waffle (if you ask, they’ll serve it on a Mickey Waffle because you’re in DISNEY! 🙂 ).
What takes this to the next level is the Sriracha Honey it’s served with. Yes, we said Sriracha Honey. Yes, it’s EVEN MORE delicious than you’re imagining. OH YEAH, and you can get it for breakfast OR lunch! Just take our $24 already!
Click here to check out how we feel about the Chicken and Waffles being a full-time breakfast menu item!
Jambalaya, Mickey Beignets, and Pecan Praline from Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory and Scat Cat’s Club Cafe
There are a few menu items we can’t pass up when we head to Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort — French Quarter. Usually, this means that we end up having one entree and two desserts but are we complaining? No. No, we are not.
Start with the Jambalaya for $11.99, it’s Chicken and Andouille Sausage with Vegetables and Rice cooked in a rich Spicy Sauce. It comes with a nice big hunk of cornbread, in case you didn’t get enough carby goodness from the rice! 😉
The jambalaya has just the right amount of kick and makes for an awesomely satisfying meal with those classic bayou flavors. Princess Tiana would be proud of the Sassagoula kitchen!
For dessert(s), order the Mickey Beignets (because, duh) and the House-made Pecan Praline for $3.99.
If you’ve never had a praline it’s a type of candy that’s basically a ton of brown sugar cooked down with pecans til they melt in your mouth when you eat them. They’re aaahmazing.
As for those beignets? They’re light, airy fried dough…COVERED in powdered sugar. Do we really need to say more? You can snag six Mickey Beignets across the lobby at the Scat Cat’s Club Cafe for $8.49 or three for $4.49. Aren’t all snacks better when they’re Mickey-shaped??
Tenders with Buffalo Sauce and Loaded Mac and Cheese from Chicken Guy!
This next meal is a fun one! Head over to Chicken Guy! in Disney Springs, wave at the picture of Guy Fieri with a chicken on the wall, and get ready to go to Flavortown! 🙂
Make your choice of Crispy Fried or Grilled Chicken Tenders for $5.99 for three or $7.99 for five — don’t forget the buffalo sauce (or whatever sauce you want, they have TONS)! Say what you want about Guy Fieri, but this man knows his chicken and dipping sauces.
Oh and even though their fries are tasty, we’ve been known to pass on them in favor of the crazy good LOADED Mac Daddy Mac ‘N’ Cheese instead. OMG is this stuff good! Take mac and cheese (already a good thing) and cover it with bacon, green onions, chopped fried chicken tenders (even better!). Don’t forget to ask for extra SMC (that’s Super Melty Cheese in Guy Fieri-speak ?) because what mac and cheese wouldn’t benefit from a swim in even MORE cheese?! Yeah, we know, no shocker here that we’re looking for extra cheese. YOU CAUGHT US!
Firecracker Shrimp, Gibson’s Sandwich King Burger, and Key Lime Pie from The Boathouse
The Boathouse in Disney Springs has some serious favorites on the menu and not all of them are seafood! Start out this delish meal with the Firecracker Shrimp with Sriracha Mayo, Serrano Chilis, and Sweet Peppers for $16. They’re spicy, they’re sweet, and they’re SO delicious. The combo of flavors on this app is not to be missed.
For your entree, snag the Gibson’s “Sandwich King” Award Winning Burger for one of the best burgers in Disney World at $20. It’s topped with Crispy Cherry Peppers, Jalapeño Havarti, and Spiced Mayo, and served with Fresh-cut Fries. This thing is burger nirvana.
Wrap your meal with the Key Lime Pie in a Mason Jar for $10! We love us some sweet and tart so this delivers!
Plus, we secretly haven’t gotten over the whole Mason Jar trend. It’s still kinda cute!
Spaghetti Carbonara from Il Mulino
Head on over to Disney World’s Swan Hotel for a favorite at Il Mulino that you just gotta try! Il Mulino just has really really good food overall! But our choice here is almost always the Spaghetti Carbonara.
Pasta Carbonara is a simple dish that’s REALLY easy to mess up. Thankfully that is NOT the case here! You get a thick and yummy mix of Spaghetti in a creamy Cheese and Egg Sauce, mixed with Pancetta. YUM. The egg in the sauce isn’t hunks of scrambled eggs or anything strange — the egg is gently cooked with the cheese to thicken into a velvety sauce.
Honestly, this pasta makes us feel things. It’s rich but not overwhelming and the pancetta adds just the right salty bacony flavors. A bowl of this creamy goodness will run you $23.
Whew! That list was too much goodness, guys. Don’t be duped into thinking the only good food at Disney World requires a park ticket! Plus, bonus points if you’re STAYING near one of these spots — you can basically roll back to your room (or if you’re enjoying the Twilight Feast…even better!) and call it a day. BRB, gotta go figure out how to make Super Melty Cheese at home now!
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What are your favorite meals outside of the parks? Tell us in the comments!