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A hand holds a chocolate treat shaped like Mickey Mouse’s head in front of the Magic Castle.
Mickey Bar
Bill Addison and Helen Rosner

The 38 Essential Dishes and Restaurants at Disney World and Epcot

Classic treats shaped like Mickey Mouse, otherworldly “Star Wars” themed foods, the perfect restaurant to watch the fireworks, and more of the best things to eat across Disney’s Orlando parks

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Mickey Bar
| Bill Addison and Helen Rosner

Finding an exemplary dining experience or dish isn’t a given at a resort like Walt Disney World, where efficiency can trump flavor. But the sprawling complex boasts a wide variety of standout dishes for those willing to look for them. These are meals people remember for years, clamoring for their return should they ever disappear and stalking the recipes online. We found all of the resort’s most spectacular restaurants and dishes — from hulking pieces of meat to hall-of-fame citrus cakes, hoisin spare ribs to lobster rolls — and compiled them, Eater-style, into this Disney 38. Consider this a cheat sheet for the best and brightest across the parks.

Carlye Wisel is a theme park journalist and expert who reports about things like how Butterbeer was invented and Disney’s secret food lab on her podcast, Very Amusing With Carlye Wisel.

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Columbia Harbour House

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When you need an actual meal in the Magic Kingdom but simply don’t have the time, skip the sad burgers elsewhere and indulge in grilled salmon, fried shrimp, lobster rolls, and more unexpectedly tasty seafaring fare.

The Mickey Premium Bar

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Once and forever a classic, the Mickey Bar is dessert perfection. It's indulgently sized, it stays frozen for longer than seems possible, and that dark chocolate casing's sweet bitterness is the exact right contrast to the creamy vanilla ice cream.

A hand holds a chocolate treat shaped like Mickey Mouse’s head in front of the Magic Castle.
Mickey Bar.
Bill Addison and Helen Rosner

Turkey Leg at Liberty Square Market

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An icon of the parks since it was introduced in the early 1990s, the hulking turkey leg is a smoky sodium bomb that’s almost ham-like in its flavor. Not for the faint of heart. Find it here, at Prince Eric’s Village Market in the Magic Kingdom, or at Fife & Drum Tavern at Epcot.

A server hands a large turkey leg, wrapped in wax paper, toward the camera with a menu and snacks blurred in the background.
Turkey leg.
Helen Rosner and Bill Addison

Mickey Waffles

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Small and large waffles shaped in Mickey’s likeness aren’t just a cult favorite, but an ideal pairing of fluff and crunch, done to confounding perfection every time. They’re mostly available at breakfast, making Sleepy Hollow’s version, topped with strawberries and whipped cream, a particularly indulgent way to start the day.

A group of Mickey Mouse-shaped waffles on the griddle.
Mickey waffles.
Walt Disney Company

Corn Dog Nuggets at Westward Ho

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Imagine pigs in blankets except corn dogs. The perfect bite-sized snack.

Cheeseburger Egg Rolls

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These deep-fried beef and cheese spring rolls are gimmicky, sure, but they make a divine midday snack. Find them at the cart near the entrance to Adventureland, likely at the end of a long line.

Two egg rolls in a cardboard boat with dipping sauce container.
Cheeseburger egg rolls.
Carlye Wisel

Dole Whip at Aloha Isle

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Dole Whip is iconic for a reason. The pineapple soft serve is the perfect balance of sweet and tangy, and is even better as a float with pineapple juice.

Two soft serve treats, one in a cup and the other topping a drink.
Dole Whip and Dole Whip Float.
Bill Addison and Helen Rosner

Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen

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It’s worth praising any restaurant that strays from chicken nuggets within view of Cinderella Castle, but Skipper Canteen’s Jungle Cruise-inspired menu of braised pork cachapas, tofu curry stew, and sustainable fish is among Disney’s best.

a large hunk of fried chicken drizzled with sauce and sliced vegetables, on a plastic plate set on a wooden tabletop.
Fried chicken at the Skipper Canteen.
Disney Parks

Cheeseburger at Steakhouse 71

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Only appearing on the lunch menu, this diner-style burger is the ideal combo of two greasy beef patties and gooey American cheese — and a far cry from the hockey pucks you’ll otherwise get in the parks.

A tall cheeseburger overflowing with cheese, pickles, onions, and sauce, beside a small salad on a metal tray.
The cheeseburger at Steakhouse 71.
Matt Stroshane

Narcoossee's

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Following an overhaul, Narcoossee’s has emerged with a more refined menu and refreshed interiors, paired with the same waterfront views of fireworks over the Magic Kingdom that have long made the restaurant so in-demand come nightfall.

Fillets of roasted fish stacked on a bed of asparagus and a pool of sauce.
Fish at Narcoossee’s.
Carlye Wisel

Fried Chicken at Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue

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It’s moist, crisped to perfection, and in true Disney fashion, served all-you-can-eat at a long-running vaudevillian show.

Buckets of fried chicken, salad, dessert, and sides like mac and cheese and beans, on a red table cloth nearby plates set for dinner.
Fried chicken at Hoop-Dee-Doo.
Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company

Classic Cocktails at Enchanted Rose

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This vaguely Beauty and the Beast-inspired modern bar is at odds with the Victorian theming of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, but makes up for it by way of well-executed Negronis, Old Fashioneds, and a full martini menu.

Three highball cocktails, one with cucumber strip and lemon wheel garnish, one bright red with skewered blueberries, and one fizzy with a sprig of thyme, all placed on a silver tray.
Highballs at the Enchanted Rose.
Disney Parks

Trader Sam's Grog Grotto

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Yes, there’s a must-see tiki bar tucked inside Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. An offshoot of Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel, this outpost is packed with just as many gags and glorious drinks as the original.

Bread Pudding at ʻOhana

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The Polynesian Village’s famous pineapple-coconut breakfast bread becomes an evening indulgence baked in custard, topped with ice cream, and finished with bananas Foster caramel sauce. You can also order the dessert at Polynesian’s Tambu Lounge.

A large slice of bread pudding, topped with ice cream and beside a carafe of syrup.
‘Ohana bread pudding.
Bill Addison and Helen Rosner.

Character Brunch at Four Seasons Resort Orlando

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Travel outside of the resort — you’ll have to find your own transportation there — to Ravello’s excellent character brunch, offered on Thursday, Saturday, and select Tuesday mornings at Four Seasons Resort Orlando. Goofy, Mickey, and Minnie greet guests, but the extensive buffet provides an experience far exceeding the standard meet-and-eat.

A costumed Goofy laughs as he approaches a table of children and their mother.
Goofy at the Character Brunch.
Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort

Liege Waffle at Connections Eatery

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In a theme park known nearly as much for food as for entertainment, it’s not easy for a new item to break through the noise. This perfectly caramelized waffle, made from fresh brioche dough, is the exception and a favorite of in-the-know fans.

Lobster Roll at the Boathouse

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Though the Boathouse has garnered a cult following for its fresh seafood, firecracker shrimp, and surprisingly good bread plopped down on each table, the lobster roll is the breakout star of this restaurant’s surf and turf menu. A toasty buttered roll, modest in size, overflows with chunks of mayo-slicked lobster. No need to fill up on the mound of shoestring fries alongside.

An overstuffed lobster roll with french fries, on a plate with a lemon wedge and ketchup container.
Lobster Roll at the Boathouse.
Bill Addison and Helen Rosner

La Cava del Tequila

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Spirit aficionados, look no further. With a selection of over 200 tequilas, this bar in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion is a must on any visit. (Just don’t be surprised if those grab-and-go margaritas make you feel superior to everyone waiting in line out in the heat.)

Flavored margaritas and shots of tequila on a table in a low-lit, white brick-lined space.
Drinks at La Cava del Tequila.
Walt Disney World

Wine Bar George

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Disney’s go-to master sommelier George Miliotes mixes approachability with elevated tastes at his namesake restaurant, where nearly the entire menu, chimichurri-topped skirt steak and all, is served as shareable plates. Just don’t let the extensive and affordable wine list lead you to believe the crispy mac and cheese bites are a pedestrian outlier. They’re utter perfection.

A large steak cut into slices and topped with chimichurri, served with green beans.
Chimichurri-topped skirt steak at Wine Bar George.
Disney Parks

Cookies at Gideon’s Bakehouse

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With their irresistibly doughy centers and topping-speckled surfaces, Gideon’s half-pound cookies are so legendary that Disney World came calling and now serves as this local bakery’s flagship location. The wait, often by virtual queue, is worth it; you’ll need extra time to decide which delectable cakes and daily specials to add to your cookie haul.

A wooden hand laying on an open book holding a cookie covered in chocolate chips.
Chocolate chip cookie at Gideon’s.
Gideon’s Bakehouse

Spare Ribs at Morimoto Asia

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Masaharu Morimoto brought Peking duck and dim sum to the world of theme park fare when he opened on property, and the ribs — crispy, sweet, and slathered in a sticky hoisin-based sauce — are a worthy highlight.

Large spare ribs stacked on a plate in a small pool of sauce.
Spare ribs at Morimoto Asia.

Fish and Chips at Yorkshire County Fish Shop

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For England’s beloved takeaway fare, Disney serves hake encased in crackly golden batter. The thick fries alongside deliver similar crunch. Don’t forget a few dashes of malt vinegar.

From above, two pieces of fried fish served on top of fries in a newspaper-lined basket.
Fish ‘n’ chips.
Bill Addison and Helen Rosner

Croque Glace at L’Artisan des Glaces

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The France pavilion’s dessert novelty is a freshly baked brioche cut in half, stuffed with one scoop of homemade ice cream and sauce, and toasted on the panini press. The result is warm on the outside, cold and gooey and wonderful in the middle.

Serves at work behind the counter.
Croque Glace.
Bill Addison and Helen Rosner

Takumi-Tei

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With its omakase-only menu, impeccable service, and elegant decor, this refined Japanese eatery is the epitome of transportive Epcot dining. If you have the time — and the budget — don’t skip it.

Kakigori Shave Ice at Kabuki Cafe

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This shave ice is the most refreshing treat you’ll find at Epcot on a hot day, hands down. Choose from a selection of fruit flavors, and don’t say no to the sweet milk topping, which is worth the upcharge.

A hand with bright nail polish holds up a decorated paper cup filled with shave ice dyed pink and green. In the background is a decorative Japanese gateway arch.
Kakigori shave ice.
Carlye Wisel

Caramel Popcorn at Karamell-Küche

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Candymaker Werther’s Original hosting a branded shop in Epcot’s Germany pavilion seems suspect until you get a whiff of Karamell-Küche’s made-before-your-eyes caramel corn, a far cry from the bagged stuff for sale around the parks. (You can now find it at Magic Kingdom’s Big Top Souvenirs as well.)

A restaurant sign reading Karamell-Küche.
Exterior of Karamelle Kuche.
Anna Fox/Flickr

Wood-Fired Pizza at Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria

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Made with Caputo flour, San Marzano tomatoes, and specially sourced water to emulate Italy’s finest, Via Napoli’s wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizzas are irrefutably perfect. The entire conceit of Epcot is a facsimile of global cultures, but these pies are the real deal.

A slice of pizza on a plate with a small bit of basil, with the rest of the pizza on a platter in the background.
A slice at Via Napoli.
Disney Parks

Shiki-Sai Sushi Izakaya

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Featuring an extensive menu packed with sashimi, udon, small plates like okonomiyaki, and even DIY sushi for the kids, this izakaya in Epcot’s Japan Pavilion is the ultimate crowd-pleaser.

An array of sashimi and other bites.
Sashimi at Shiki-Sai.
Carlye Wisel

Grapefruit Cake at the Hollywood Brown Derby

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Tangy and sweet, this cake is the one reason to visit the Hollywood Brown Derby.

A slice of cake, in a pool of sauce decorated with swirls, garnished with a large dried orange wheel.
Grapefruit cake.
Bill Addison and Helen Rosner

Bavarian Pretzel at Baseline Tap House

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Buttery, doused in salt, and served with gooey beer cheese, this not-your-everyday theme park pretzel is a consummate match for Baseline’s 16-tap wall of California beers.

A large pretzel served on butcher paper with dipping sauces.
The primo pretzel at Baseline Tap House.

50's Prime Time Café

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If it’s a themed meal you’re after, then 50’s Prime Time Café is a must. The food is fantastic; don’t miss the PB&J milkshake or the pot roast. Servers are hilarious (and sometimes mean), the decor is A-plus, and the restaurant has a lengthy list of cocktails.

Diners inside a restaurant dining room decorated like the ‘50s, including an old TV set, patterned walls, and midcentury kitchen items.
50’s Prime Time Café.
Bill Addison and Helen Rosner

Tiffins

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Created as an ode to Imagineers’ trips around the globe while building Animal Kingdom, the space features art gallery-inspired decor, and the menu could rival those of nationally regarded restaurants. Signature items include a whole-fried sustainable fish served teeth and all.

A restaurant interior decorated with animal illustrations on the walls.
Inside Tiffins.
Tiffins

Churros at Nomad Lounge

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Since Animal Kingdom’s Avatar-themed expansion, the bar attached to Tiffins has become an ideal spot to take a load off. Grab a cocktail — Jenn’s Tattoo, a vodka-watermelon concoction, is perfect on hot Florida afternoons — and a round of fresh churros with chile-strawberry-guava sauce for the table.

A wooden balcony with patio chairs and couches, and low tables, with tall trees surrounding the second-story area.
Balcony at Nomad Lounge.
Disney Parks

Satu'li Canteen

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Never mind the vaguely Avatar-linked backstory. Here, protein-topped bowls of grains and greens provide sustenance you’ll need on those long, hot days, with enough quirky finds — cheeseburger bao, orb-shaped blue cheesecake — to keep it interesting.

Dumplings, chips, and slaw on a plate beside otherworldly food items.
Avatar-inspired fare at Satu’li Canteen.

Num Num Cookie at the Market

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Don’t think twice about this brown butter chocolate chunk cookie, served warm. It’s a must.

Three large chocolate chunk cookies in plastic cups on a plate.
Num Num Cookie.
Disney Parks

At Animal Kingdom's Sanaa, dunk varieties of naan, kulcha, and paratha into a rainbow of spreads and dips, some of which hold surprising heat. Request a window table for spectacular up-close views of animals on the adjoined savannah.

Pieces of naan beside small ramekins of sauces.
Naan with a spread of dips.
Sanaa

Ronto Wrap at Ronto Roasters

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A Portuguese sausage topped with Sichuan peppercorn sauce wasn’t likely to become a cult favorite, but Disney fans can’t get enough of this open-faced pita sandwich. If the smelter droid out front “roasting” meat isn’t your speed, a vegetarian Zuchii wrap pairs tahini-slathered grilled zucchini with a chickpea slaw for a similar effect.

A ronto wrap (sausage pita sandwich)in a cardboard boat on a grill rack as if lit by the light of a fire.
Ronto Wrap.
Disney Parks

Oga's Cantina

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Sure, the cocktails are sweet and colorful, but you’re inside an intergalactic cantina in Disney’s Star Wars-themed land drinking blue wine next to a robot DJ. Don’t turn back now.

A bar interior made to look like a “Star Wars” set with lots of tubes and colorful glowing bits.
Inside Oga’s Cantina.
David Roark

Columbia Harbour House

When you need an actual meal in the Magic Kingdom but simply don’t have the time, skip the sad burgers elsewhere and indulge in grilled salmon, fried shrimp, lobster rolls, and more unexpectedly tasty seafaring fare.

The Mickey Premium Bar

Once and forever a classic, the Mickey Bar is dessert perfection. It's indulgently sized, it stays frozen for longer than seems possible, and that dark chocolate casing's sweet bitterness is the exact right contrast to the creamy vanilla ice cream.

A hand holds a chocolate treat shaped like Mickey Mouse’s head in front of the Magic Castle.
Mickey Bar.
Bill Addison and Helen Rosner

Turkey Leg at Liberty Square Market

An icon of the parks since it was introduced in the early 1990s, the hulking turkey leg is a smoky sodium bomb that’s almost ham-like in its flavor. Not for the faint of heart. Find it here, at Prince Eric’s Village Market in the Magic Kingdom, or at Fife & Drum Tavern at Epcot.

A server hands a large turkey leg, wrapped in wax paper, toward the camera with a menu and snacks blurred in the background.
Turkey leg.
Helen Rosner and Bill Addison

Mickey Waffles

Small and large waffles shaped in Mickey’s likeness aren’t just a cult favorite, but an ideal pairing of fluff and crunch, done to confounding perfection every time. They’re mostly available at breakfast, making Sleepy Hollow’s version, topped with strawberries and whipped cream, a particularly indulgent way to start the day.

A group of Mickey Mouse-shaped waffles on the griddle.
Mickey waffles.
Walt Disney Company

Corn Dog Nuggets at Westward Ho

Imagine pigs in blankets except corn dogs. The perfect bite-sized snack.

Cheeseburger Egg Rolls

These deep-fried beef and cheese spring rolls are gimmicky, sure, but they make a divine midday snack. Find them at the cart near the entrance to Adventureland, likely at the end of a long line.

Two egg rolls in a cardboard boat with dipping sauce container.
Cheeseburger egg rolls.
Carlye Wisel

Dole Whip at Aloha Isle

Dole Whip is iconic for a reason. The pineapple soft serve is the perfect balance of sweet and tangy, and is even better as a float with pineapple juice.