The countdown is on to the 2018 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and I’m preparing for our fall Disney trip by sharing 5 must-eats that are back for this year’s event! Planning a first visit to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival? You may want to start with our guide to Epcot festivals here. Ready? Grab your tray and let’s jump right in!
Seared Scallops with Roasted Corn, Butterbean Succotash and Chili-chipotle Butter Sauce – Coastal Eats
These scallops are the real deal! If you’re looking for a seafood fix at this year’s festival I recommend skipping the lobster roll and even some of the shrimp dishes in favor of this one instead. (Actually if you’re even considering the lobster roll, I would just make a reservation at The Boathouse instead!) Years ago Food & Wine offered a different scallop dish in Scotland and I was heartbroken when it disappeared, but this one has totally replaced it. the chili-chipotle butter sauce goes so well with the roasted corn and succotash, and it brings an entirely different flavor to the scallops that I haven’t really had anywhere else.
Before we continue, I think it’s also worth pointing out that Future World has really stepped up its game at the festival. If it’s been a few years since you’ve been, and you’re planning on diving right into World Showcase, plan to spend some extra time snacking around Future World. There are multiple marketplaces all over the park now, and some of them (like Coastal Eats where you’ll find the scallops) have some really incredible dishes.
Madras Red Curry with Roasted Cauliflower, Baby Carrots, Chickpeas and Basmati Rice – India
I’m so happy India is back for this year’s festival! It was one of our favorites last year partially because of this dish. If you’re a fan of curry, you need to give this one a try! What’s more, if you’re vegetarian or gluten-free India is definitely one marketplace you’ll want to hit up– 2/3 of the menu items are vegetarian, and don’t quote me on this but it sounds like the one item that doesn’t come vegetarian could easily be made vegetarian by removing the chicken. This curry is one of the most flavorful I’ve had anywhere and the warm naan bread is just perfect. Oh, and I know it totally doesn’t look like it in this photo, but there is actually rice under there too, it just came with SO MUCH SAUCE (but that’s okay because it was delicious with the naan).
Warm Irish Cheddar Cheese and Stout Dip with Irish Brown Bread – Ireland
I know, I know, you’re probably thinking it’s going to be too hot for soup. OR you’re thinking “why on Earth would I get soup in Ireland when I can get a taste of Le Cellier’s cheddar soup in Canada?” Since Le Cellier is a bit less of a hot commodity than it once was, I would suggest getting this cheddar soup in Ireland during Food & Wine Festival and saving Le Cellier’s soup for a table service meal there (which understandably may not be the same time you’re doing the festival). This isn’t to say anything negative about the food at Le Cellier, I still love Le Cellier and would totally eat there if it wasn’t food and wine, but I would always choose the limited edition version of anything over the one you can get any time. Plus the brown Irish bread that comes with this is to die for and it totally helps me justify eating hot soup in 90+ degree heat.
Charcuterie in a Cone with imported Spanish Meats, Cheeses and Olives with an Herb Vinaigrette – Spain
In some ways it kills me to admit that this is one of my favorite dishes at the festival because it seems so simple compared to the others, but it’s just so good. The cold cuts are delicious, and I love olives (which are really underrated in my opinion at Food & Wine Festival.) Serving charcuterie in a cone makes it easy to carry and eat on-the-go, which can’t be said for the majority of the food offerings at the festival. It’s also refreshing to break for something cold that isn’t a drink, especially if you’ve been snacking on things like curry and hot soup! If you order this, I highly recommend getting the wine flight from Spain as well–all three samples go really well with the charcuterie and you won’t be disappointed.
Belgian Waffle with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream – Belgium
Admittedly this photo does not do one of my favorite Food & Wine dishes justice–I swear there is a delicious, sweet, waffle buried under that whipped cream. You can also order a chocolate version of this, but especially if your time at the festival is limited I would say to grab some chocolate at the chocolate studio and go with the berry waffle here instead. The reason why I love this waffle so much is really the berries. I typically don’t like berry compote when I’ve had it from some local breakfast restaurants, I don’t like when things are too sweet and because of this I always feel like it ruins a perfectly good waffle. Not the case here– the berry compote tastes super fresh and that processed too-sugary taste that makes me cringe is nowhere to be found. I probably only have waffles about two or three times a year, and all of those times are at Food & Wine.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the complete list of menus for the 2018 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. I’d love you to try out some of my favorite dishes, but I also highly recommend checking out all of the menus before you arrive at the festival, especially if it’s your first time going or if you’re short on time. I think this festival has a lot more going on than first timers realize, so it never hurts to glance at the menus and be prepared! As always, you can find the most up-to-date information on the festival direct from Disney at tasteepcot.com.
Do you have a favorite that didn’t make the list? Share it in the comments! I’m going to make a real effort to try more things I haven’t had before on my next Food & Wine trip and I would love some suggestions!