Finding somewhere for the whole family to enjoy a meal at Disney can make or break the entire day. Trying to entertain hungry children who are already brimming over with excitement is a recipe for disaster and taking a break to enjoy a family meal together gives everyone the chance to recharge their batteries to help you make the most of enjoying all the delights a magical trip to Disney World has to offer. If your family is like mine, everyone has very different ideas about what makes a great meal and making sure everyone gets to eat something they really like can sometimes be a challenge in itself. Fortunately, there is a vast range of eateries in Epcot which offer a diverse enough menu to make sure there will be something on offer to please even the most fussy eaters in the group,
What are the best restaurants to go to in Epcot? You can find foods from all over the world at Epcot’s World Showcase, from Italian food at Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria to more exotic fare at Restaurant Marrakesh or German inspired dishes at Biergarten. Seafood lovers will enjoy the Coral Reef Restaurant while if you’re looking for something special, French cuisine at Monsieur Paul can’t fail to impress. The Garden Grill and Akershus Banquet Hall also offer great food in a unique atmosphere. There is something for every price bracket to help you make the most of your stay.
Epcot includes a great variety of fast-food options for families on the go who want to quickly refuel before packing in more adventures as well as quality restaurants where you can take make the meal an occasion in itself in classy surroundings. One of the best things about Epcot is the World Showcase which gives you chance to feel like you have visited far flung corners of the world, and the range of different cuisines on offer adds to that feeling. Being able to book ahead through the My Disney Experience App helps make ordering food even easier and a Disney Dining Plan is another great way to plan your spending budget. As well as signature restaurants and quick service eateries, there are lots of spots where you can pick up an authentic snack to keep you going or give you the chance to taste the experience of the different cultures that are showcased. Many restaurants at Disney offer packages and other experiences that keep the whole family entertained while you eat, making refuelling your bodies part of the great overall experience of Epcot.
- World Showcase Restaurants
- Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria
- Restaurant Marrakesh
- Le Cellier Steakhouse
- Monsieur Paul
World Showcase Restaurants
Featuring 11 different countries, each of the restaurants at Epcot’s World Showcase has a flavour and atmosphere of its very own. Most are linked to some of the best Disney characters from movies connected with the country, and you have the chance to meet and greet some key characters while you enjoy your meal.
Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria
This restaurant has been voted the “Best theme park restaurant” by the Sentinel in Orlando and it’s easy to see why. The surroundings are understated but classy with sweeping archways, charming wall paintings, and cosy round tables. Three authentic pizza ovens are a key feature and emphasise what this restaurant is all about: the best pizzas outside of Italy. If you were ever in doubt about whether a theme park could produce a great wood-fired pizza, this restaurant is proof that Disney certainly can. One of the delights of the menu is a pre-designed selection called “Taste of Southern Italy” which includes a variety of well known dishes served in Italy. Starters include risotto balls, prosciutto, and melon balls while main meals have traditional lasagne, chicken parmigiana as well as their dazzling array of freshly cooked pizza. There are also desserts like tiramisu and gelato in lots of different flavors. You will want to sit and enjoy this meal, and because the restaurant is so large you will never feel hurried or cramped. Children can enjoy spaghetti or margarita pizza and dining plans are also accepted.
This restaurant is open for both lunch and dinner and includes all the exotic spices and flavor you might expect from a Moroccan restaurant. Traditional tagines to tempt your tastebuds include Lemon Chicken Tagine or an exotic Mogador Grouper Tagine which is marinated in spices and includes olives and chermoula. There are some excellent spiced meats on offer including beef short ribs “Mechoui Style” and a beef shish kebab. Those with less exotic palettes will still be pleased with North Atlantic salmon or braised lamb shank while children who don’t like the spirit of adventure can still enjoy chicken nuggets or a humber. Young ones with more of a taste of adventure might like to try the kebabs or Moroccan style pasta.
The whole restaurant looks like an elaborate magisterial eastern palace which could be home to a mighty Sultan. Beautifully colored mosaic tiles from floor to the enormous vaulted ceilings add authentic atmosphere while huge chandeliers emit a warm light that helps transport you to the heart of Morocco. Crisp white table linen adds to the sense of class while elaborate gold ornaments make you feel you are surrounded by the glories of the East. Best of all, belly dancers and traditional music make the whole restaurant come alive in an authentic eastern celebration, making you feel you are really part of an exotic world. Fortunately, reservations at this restaurant are quite easy to make and many families don’t have to book ahead as there is usually plenty of room, although you will need to book if you have your heart set on a Moroccan meal.
If there is space at Restaurant Marrakesh, it might well be because most of the crowds of Epcot have chosen to eat at this very popular restaurant, and for good reason too. Biergarten is a buffet restaurant which suits most families as you can choose exactly what you want and sample a variety of different flavors if you are so inclined. It is always Oktoberfest at Biergarten and, although under cover, you feel as though you are sitting outside in the heart of a traditional Bavarian village while live bands perform and the party atmosphere reigns. The food includes German inspired dishes such as sauerkraut and special sausages as well as schnitzel and spaetzle. Children can enjoy the same although there are hot dogs and macaroni cheese on offer for fussier little eaters. The only downside to enjoying a meal at Biergarten is the entertainment is so good you will find it hard to leave.
Le Cellier Steakhouse
This signature restaurant has a long waiting list so you will need to get your reservations in early to be sure of a place. Set in the Canada section of the World Showcase, it offers high-end dining options including lobster tail, poutine and stunning steaks. The whole place looks like you are sitting in a wine cellar of a grand French castle and the atmosphere is augmented with beautiful candle light. Food here is expensive, but well worth the extra cost as you enjoy fine Canadian dining such as you might find in a top class restaurant outside a theme park. As the park is open from 9 am to 9 pm, a dinner reservation here is a great way to top off a day spent at Epcot as you won’t want to rush such an elegant meal. The Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail or Canadian Cheese Soup make excellent starters and for a main meal you can’t go wrong with stunning Filet Mignon or Chateaubriand made for sharing. As you would expect from a top Canadian restaurant, the desserts are out of this world with Maple Creme-Brulee or Warm Pecan Pie both very popular choices. Children can go for steak or chicken while Mickey Macaroni Cheese or Pasta Marinara for less adventurous tastes.
For French cuisine at its finest, Monsieur Paul is another signature restaurant at least as good as Le Cellier. This is a real gourmet restaurants and the chefs are classically trained in French cooking techniques to make sure the food is as authentic as you might find in Paris. Starters like Peakytoe Crab or escargot make you feel like you are really eating in France and main meals include Poached Sablefish and Roasted Duck Magret cooked in the traditional way. Again, this is not a cheap restaurant but if you enjoy fine dining you won’t be disappointed here. There is also a Prix Fixe Menu which includes veal, venison, or poached Dover sole. A taster menu offers oysters and an escargot tart and the desserts come with all the trimmings you might expect. The food is presented in the haut cuisine style, with sauces delicately adorning the plate so the food looks as good as it tastes. If you are worried the children might be left out, that needn’t be the case. You won’t find chicken nuggets but a beef tenderloin or the option of seared salmon are great favorites and they will be delighted with the rich chocolate mousse for dessert.
As you might expect from a top French restaurant, you will find crisp white linen table cloths and sparkling silver cutlery and a window seat will give you some of the best views of Epcot. There is a strict dress code, and men must wear collared shirts while women wear long skirts or trousers. Shorts and flip-flops are not allowed so you may want to take a change of clothing.
Are There Restaurants Outside World Showcase?
If you don’t want to restrict the group to one style of cuisine, there is an excellent restaurant that is not part of the World Showcase section called The Garden Grill Restaurant. It is situated next to Living With the Land and offers some amazing views. Garden Grill is a buffet restaurant with something for all the family and it is a great choice for breakfasts to set you up for the day with traditional American and English favorites and some Mickey pancakes and waffles to please all age groups. Amazingly, this restaurant has rotating views as the restaurant actually moves around while you eat. The rotation is very slow, though, so you needn’t worry about falling over or feeling unwell. The scenes alternate between the rainforest, open prairie, farmhouse, and thunderstorms as part of the Living With The Land Scenery. That lovable duo, Chip n Dale feature here and each meal is referred to as the Chip n Dale Harvest Feast. Lunch and dinner include a range of breads, grilled beef, and fresh vegetables all sustainably sourced from the Living With The Land garden so everything is organic and fresh. There is also the chance to meet Chip N Dale and take part in a photoshoot as they will interact with guests as you enjoy your meal. The food is served buffet-style so there is something for everyone and you can sample a range of different flavors to make the most of your meal.
What About Character Dining Experiences?
As well as meeting Chip n Dale at the Garden Grill, other Disney characters are available throughout Epcot and take part in a number of meet and greet opportunities in different restaurants such as the Akershus Banquet Hall. This elaborate restaurant looks like a medieval castle straight out of a fairy tale with its massive archways, large royal flags and decadent purple carpet. Your meal is part of the Queen’s party and she has invited other guests along for your entertainment, including at least six of the Disney princesses which include Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, and sometimes the sisters from Frozen. The Akershus Banquet Hall is situated in the Norway section of World Showcase.
How Do Dining Plans Work?
With a dining plan, you purchase vouchers for every family meal ahead so you know how much money you have left in your budget for spending. When you arrive at your restaurant, you present a voucher for each person for each meal. While dining plans are accepted at all restaurants, you may be guided to certain sections of the menu, especially in signature restaurants, and some of the more expensive meals can cost more than one voucher. It is a great way to make sure everyone eats, and can mean you don’t have to carry money around unless you really want to.
How Do I Book Ahead?
You can make reservations at any restaurant up to 180 days before the start of your holiday, either through phoning ahead or using your online Disney account. Some of the most popular restaurants book up well in advance so early reservations are crucial if you have your heart set on going somewhere particular. Once you arrive, you can also use the My Disney Experience App to order food at some of the quick-service restaurants. You can then alert staff when you arrive and your food will be ready for you without delay.