Wrapping up our series of posts on our favorite WDW restaurants, we will dive into our reasoning for listing each choice in either the top for its food experience or for the experience of the restaurant’s environment
Kyle’s food Vs experience of environment:
Sanaa- This could be an experience too. However, I put it on the food side since you are not guaranteed an animal view from your table but the food is incredible no matter where you sit. Among my favorites are the lamb shank, bread service, grilled trio of meats, the lamb sliders (these go on and off the menu so always ask) and the charcuterie.
La Hacienda- Similar to Sanaa, timing and a certain location could turn this into an experience with an Illuminations view. However, the food is excellent. I highly recommend the La Hacienda, the Orange Mango Fire Margarita (yes, it is spicy made with Tabasco sauce) and the churritos even though they are on the kids dessert menu.
Jiko- If you have read our blogs before you might have seen the full review but I you haven’t, the quick version is that this restaurant has some of the best food on property. It’s cooked to perfection. From meats to seafood it has it all and a good drink menu, I just wish the African beers were more along the lines of a stout instead of a light beer.
O’Hana breakfast- I am a simple man, I like meat and potatoes for my meals and O’Hana doesn’t disappoint there. Although it does have Mickey, Pluto and Stitch walking around, I was there for the food. It had fruit, sausage, eggs and home fries. Not a long list of menu items but a good comfort meal. My wife really enjoyed the pineapple bread served before the meal. We also ordered the POG juice. It’s similar to Jungle Juice found at Boma, Tusker House or Animal Kingdom Concierge level but has pineapple instead of passion fruit juice.
50’s Prime Time Cafe- Although this restaurant has some good food choices it’s all about the atmosphere. As the name states, you travel back to the 50’s and see relics from our grandparents and great grandparents house. Remember when manners were in style for everyone, well don’t forget them here or your “cousin” serving you will remind you.
Liberty Tree Tavern- overall the food is nothing to rave about. If you are a history nerd like me the set up to this place is great. You are taken back to colonial America complete with tools of the day found inside along with period architecture and design.
Chef Mickey’s- Although there are plenty of food options here let’s face it, you are here to see the fab five. The food is average but when you have a chance to meet Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald and Goofy with no line that is an experience.
Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto- Although this is a bar it does serve food (it’s a stretch to call it a restaurant but worth a trip). The experience here is unlike any on Disney property. It takes the tacky Tiki Bar and makes it a worthwhile stop. The effects when you order certain drinks are great. We got an Uh Oha. When the drink is delivered the Tiki Gods come out with thunder and lightning with a special appearance by Uh Oha who previously occupied the Tiki Room Under New Management in Adventureland. The drink comes out on fire and to appease the Gods a sacrifice must be made and the drink is the victim. Children are allowed here and become “Outstanding” Guest at 7:55 pm, because they need to be outstanding in the hall by 8pm (their joke not mine). If you ever have a chance stop in.
Starting with our favorite food based restaurants we will quickly run through:
Le Celier – still our favorite meal on property..only restaurant that I will go to the big ticket filet. Kids steaks and inexpensive cheese soups are also a plus. Unibroue flight (better served on a board) is top notch. Only downside is the crowded table atmosphere from being an in-park eatery.
Yachtsmen Steakhouse – probably an even better steak selection that our first choice with various cuts, great wines, breads, etc. Again kids steak is a solid choice for our crew. Environment is very clean and comfortable..although odd when catching too much of a pool view.
Citricos – this quickly became a family favorite, with a nice mix of meats, fish, pasta, etc. Food was excellent in preparation with a good amount of bread options for the kids while we waited. Beer choices were solid. As for the environment ..very nice yet lacks a Disney theme..
Via Napoli – on the list as it has never let our extended family groups down. More than a dozen of us can share three pies ..which seems efficient for Disney sit-down restaurant in Epcot (although not efficient for a pizza place) usually leading to us ordering a fourth pizza to have in our Villa over the week.
Go for the atmosphere and the experience:
Teppan Edo – possibly reverse of Via Napoli where everyone is paying adult prices..this hibachi experience is the only one our family does every year. Why? well no other hibachi restaurant we have seen allows you to climb the steps of a Japanese temple with a tremendous balcony view after dinner. Yet the enjoyed experience of this environment by the entire large group is always there.
California Grill – while the menu constantly changes…the environment of this 14th floor restaurant with the view above the Magic Kingdom cannot be matched. Additional option to head outside for some of the best photo ops. Often we remember everything about our trip to the California Grill..except what we actually ordered.
Whispering Canyon – “Anyone have some ketchup?”…while we rarely partake in the game..the atmosphere is a fun experience e while eating off skillets. Kids love the bottomless milkshakes..and enjoyed the wooden pony rides.
Kona Cafe – is it possible that Tambu lounge is not the bar for ohana..but Kona is actually the sit down restaurant easiest to enjoy a lapu lapu or backscratcha? Just being upstairs in the Polynesian Lobby makes this place both comfortable and enjoyable to sit and dine with the whole family.
Honorable mention: The Garden Grill….I mean it spins around an actual Epcot (moving) attraction.
Hope you could follow our reasoning…and enjoyed our takes. Please reply back on Twitter or Facebook if you agree or disagree with any.