Cravings for a certain cuisine always seem to happen at the most inconvenient times. You’ll be out somewhere or doing something, and suddenly you’ll be dying to enjoy a specific type of food. I hope I’m not alone in this, because it happens to me all the time (most often with Chinese and Italian)! It can even happen to you while on vacation. Luckily, Walt Disney World boasts a wide variety of restaurants that produce just about every flavor of food you could possibly imagine, and at varying price points. Here are seven different types of cuisines and the best places around the parks and resorts to find them (in my opinion).
*Disclaimer: This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are multiple restaurants around Walt Disney World that provide these types of foods, both Quick-Service and Table-Service, and they each put their own unique spin on the dishes. These are just my top picks I’ve enjoyed in each of these categories!
Italian: Via Napoli
There are many American-Italian restaurants around Walt Disney World, but if you’re searching for authentic Italian dishes that even the pickiest eaters will enjoy, check out Via Napoli in the Italy Pavilion in World Showcase at Epcot. This table-service restaurant has been a staple for my family for many years; we just can’t get enough of it! Here you can find a variety of antipasti and pasta dishes, but Via Napoli is really known for its pizza.
The water that is used to make the pizza dough comes from a special spring that is comparable to the water found in Naples, Italy, so you’re getting truly authentic Neapolitan pizza. They’re even cooked in giant ovens named after three of the larger volcanoes found in Italy! A few of my favorite dishes at this restaurant include the garlic focaccia bread, the Margherita pizza, and the Prosciutto e Melone pizza. The pies here are massive, so make sure you come hungry and bring some friends!
Asian: Yak & Yeti Local Foods Café
Asian food is definitely in my top two favorite cuisines (the other being Italian), so I am always up for eating it when I’m at the parks. There are several great Pan-Asian restaurants at Walt Disney World, but if you’re looking for something quick and easy while you’re at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, check out Yak and Yeti Local Foods Café (which we have a full review on here). This quick-service food window is located next to the Yak and Yeti Table-Service restaurant, and several of the meals served in the restaurant are available here in to-go portions.
For those playing it safe, there are options like Kobe-beef burgers and hot dogs, but there are also items like teriyaki beef bowls, chicken salads and wraps, and pork egg rolls for those who want something different. When I eat here, I always have a hard time choosing between the Vegetable Tikka Masala and the Honey Chicken, as they are both so delicious!
Seafood: Cape May Café
I will start this one by saying I personally do not particularly enjoy seafood, but I wanted to include it in this list in spite of that fact. My mother and brother are both seafood lovers, and Cape May Café is their top pick in this category! I have heard from them and multiple other people that this table-service restaurant at Disney’s Beach Club Resort has the best seafood array on Walt Disney World property.
The dinner buffet boasts a variety of dishes, everything from starters like salads and soups to entrées of meat, fish, and shellfish. A few of my brother’s favorite dishes are the crab legs and the clam chowder (which is one of my all-time favorite meals, so I may have to eventually go try it!). If you’re looking to enjoy a quiet, sit-down meal with all the delicious seafood you can sink your teeth into, head to Cape May Café!
BBQ: The Polite Pig
A few months back I wrote a complete review of The Polite Pig, which you can view here, but this is definitely my favorite spot on Walt Disney World property for BBQ. Located at The Marketplace—right next to the entrance to the Lime Garage—at Disney Springs, this quick-service eatery is the perfect place to nosh if you’re craving some “down-home cookin.” The menu is fairly broad, with options like salads, sandwiches, and meats from the smoker like pulled pork, chicken, and ribs.
My favorite section of the menu, however, is the market side selection. They give you the option to build a meal out of three sides, which is perfect for picky eaters or those who don’t eat meat. The sides range from mac-and-cheese and potato salad to corn-on-the-cob and baked beans. For those who are old enough to partake, there is also a bar centrally located in the restaurant with some fun drinks unique to The Polite Pig. All in all, a filling, relatively quick choice to satiate a BBQ craving.
For those craving something a little more outside of the box, Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village is where you want to go! Although this table-service restaurant boasts a variety of delicious options, Sanaa is probably most well-known for its Indian-style bread service. This appetizer allows you to choose from five different flavors of naan bread, and then gives you the choice of three—or if you’re really feeling adventurous, all nine—accompaniments to dip your bread in. The sauces range from mild to spicy, sweet to savory, and can really make this appetizer its own meal if you desire.
The restaurant is also home to African-inspired dishes made with lamb, duck, and seafood, in addition to chicken and steak. The entrée I chose last time I ate there was the Potjie Inspired (choosing “one [option] from the journey” and “one from the harvest”), which included Butter Chicken and Lentil Dhal, along with basmati rice. This restaurant also allows you to dine close to the savannah, giving you a view of the animals while you eat!
Tex-Mex: Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café
Although it is definitely one of the busiest Quick-Service restaurants in Magic Kingdom, Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café has some of the yummiest Tex-Mex items you can find in Walt Disney World. In addition to basics like fajitas, nachos and rice bowls, you can also find more unique items like southwest salads, lettuce wraps, and a plant-based southwest burger.
A few of my go-to dishes here include the Veggie Rice Bowl and the Spicy Breaded Cauliflower Tacos (found under “Tacos 3 Ways”). Perhaps my favorite part about Pecos Bill’s is the toppings bar. You can load your meal up with sour cream, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes, among other items. I always throw lots of salsa on mine! I would recommend visiting this restaurant in particular during a time of day when the whole park isn’t eating, as it does get pretty packed at mealtimes.
American: 50’s Prime Time Café
Many different types of foods can be considered “American,” since so many different cultures and cuisines have come together to make up the United States. If you’re looking for a variety of foods that the whole family will enjoy and that will feel very nostalgic and familiar, however, 50’s Prime Time Café is the place for you.
This table-service restaurant located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will take you straight back to Mom’s kitchen, where you can feast on hearty meals like meatloaf, pot roast, and chicken pot pie, as well as thick, creamy milkshakes for dessert. A few favorites of mine here are Aunt Liz’s Golden Fried Chicken with mashed potatoes and the Peanut Butter and Jelly Milkshake (I know it sounds strange, but the combination is weirdly delicious). You will even be treated as though you’re in Mom’s kitchen, as the servers tell you to set each place properly, clean your plate, and keep your elbows off the table.
Didn’t see your go-to option on the list? Tell me about it in the comments, as I am always looking to find new favorites!
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