Deb's Delights
& Low-lights

Readers often ask what restaurants are my favorite at Walt Disney World -- here are my thoughts on *Dining Around the World* based on my recent experiences.

Remember as you read this, these are MY opinions based on my food likes and dislikes... you may have an entirely different opinion (and that's OK!).

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Incredible Servers

For me, much of the dining experience involves the server. These folks made my recent trip dining experience memorable! (See below for my All Trip Server Honor Roll)

 

  • Nassar - Jiko
  • Debbie - Kona Cafe
  • Magdalena - Fulton's

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Do Not Miss......

Chocolate Creme Brulee - Fulton's

Brown Derby's Cremini Mushroom and Chevre Cheese Ravioli appetizer

Mint Chocolate Milk Shake (all you can drink) - Whispering Canyon Cafe (ask for it, not on the menu)

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The Best.....


  • Fried Chicken- Prime Time Cafe - (yes, even better than Hoop-De-Doo's chicken)


  • Beef - I rate the best Filet Mignon tied between the Jiko and California Grill. Le Cellier and Yachtsman Steakhouse are a close second place! All of these are great places for beef, I don't think you can go wrong! I have not cared for the steaks at the Contemporary Steakhouse.

  • Hot Fudge Sundae - Ghirardelli Soda Fountain - Hands Down! 2nd place goes to Prime Time Cafe and Beaches and Cream!

  • Vegetarian - With Anette Grecchi is the Chef at Jiko (Animal Kingdom Lodge) add Jiko to the list of vegetarian extra friendly restaurants. Make sure you have vegetarian noted on your priority seating....if you have specific needs, call the restaurant 24 hours in advance, talk to either a chef or the manager. Once you arrive and are seated, ask to speak to a chef or manager. If you are dining at Boma, next to Jiko, ask for Chef TJ and let him know your needs.


  • Italian - Palio at the Swan - Looking for an "adult" dinner that's away from the crowds and excellent food, Palio is your place! It's pricey, but worth it! I have not been disappointed. Disney Vacation Club members receive discounts when they show their cards!

  • Themed Restaurants - Whispering Canyon Cafe (Wilderness Lodge) - My Dad calls this one the Flintstone meal :) followed closely by 50's Prime Time Cafe (MGM Studios). If you want just plain family fun and you're staying at a monorail resort, check out Ohana's at the Polynesian.

  • Character Experience - Chef Mickey's!


  • Character Breakfast Food - 'Ohana at the Polynesian and Crystal Palace at the Magic Kingdom

  • Wine Offerings - Jiko - Animal Kingdom Lodge - probably has the largest South African wine availability in the United States. If you are a wine lover, do not miss the South African Wines!!!

    California Grill!! Brown Derby, Artist Point and Yachtsman restaurants are distant seconds. (I'm not talking prices but variety and availability). What I really like about California Grill is how many different wines by the glass they offer!  For an evening nightcap, stop by Martha's Vineyard Lounge at the Beach Club.

  • Single Malt Scotch Selection - The Belleview Room at the Boardwalk!


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DEB'S FAVORITES......

  • Places for Breakfast - FRESH Mediterranean Market (Dolphin) Kona Cafe (Polynesian), Kusafiri Coffee Shop and Bakery (Animal Kingdom), Fountainview Cafe (Epcot), Boma (Animal Kingdom Lodge), Tubbi's Buffeteria (Dolphin).


  • Places for Lunch - Mama Melrose (MGM Studios), Tangierine Cafe (Morocco Epcot), Beaches and Cream (Beach Club), Plaza Restaurant (Magic Kingdom), Whispering Canyon Cafe (Wilderness Lodge), Wolfgang Pucks (Downtown Disney), Tusker House (Animal Kingdom)


  • Places for Dinner - Brown Derby and Prime Time Cafe (Disney-MGM Studios), Le Cellier (Canada - Epcot), California Grill (Contemporary), Artist Point (Wilderness Lodge), Flying Fish (Boardwalk), Jiko (Animal Kingdom Lodge), Palio (Swan).

  • Place to experience different culture/foods - Akershaus in Norway in Epcot and Marrekesh at Morocco in Epcot (Don't miss the Bellydancer!), Boma dinner at Animal Kingdom Lodge.

  • Snacks - Kaki Gori (Japan/Epcot), and Sweet Pretzel (Norway/Epcot).


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Best Kept Secrets

  • Olivia's at Old Key West

  • Breakfast - Boma at Animal Kingdom Lodge (although I don't think its much of a secret any longer).

  • Breakfast Pizza at Wolfgang Puck's Express in Downtown Disney - try the salmon or egg and bacon! YUMMMY~


  • Tubbi's Buffeteria in the Dolphin - reasonably priced decent food in a clean and relatively quiet atmosphere! Breakfast, lunch or dinner! Open 24 hours a day too!

  • Tangierine Cafe - Open air cafe in Epcot's Morocco. Totally enjoy the vegetarian platter and also the Chicken Shawarma! Consistently good food and generally NOT crowded! Get a table outside, rest your feet and watch the crowds go by. It's on my "must" list for lunch every trip!



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Places I have recently enjoyed and will return to

Old Key West's Olivia's for Dinner, Crystal Palace Breakfast, Ohana Breakfast, FRESH Mediterranean Market (Dolphin), Boma and Jiko (Animal Kingdom Lodge), Brown Derby (Disney-MGM Studios)....

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Deb's Dining Tips

Never have room for dessert? Order an Appetizer, salad and dessert instead! Or share an entree!

Always ask the server about substitutions if there is something on the menu you'd rather not have.

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Disappointments


Artist Palete - Saratoga Springs Lunch and Dinner

Grand Floridian Cafe
(over priced and indifferent servers), Cinderella's Castle Breakfast (the draw here are the characters NOT the food or service), and Chefs de France (Epcot).

Princess Storybook Breakfast - With a price of $19.99 for mediocre pre-plated food, it is way overpriced. A hot spot for the Princesses (and they are great with everyone) which is the only reason I would recommend you dine here.


No Plans to Return To....

Planet Hollywood (Downtown Disney), Alfredo's (Epcot), Nine Dragons (Epcot)....

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About Buffets

I am not a lunch/dinner buffet fan. About the only buffet you'll see me at outside of WDW is the occasional Sunday Brunch. I believe the Character meals at the resorts are much better than the ones in the parks.

 

Breakfast Buffets - If you are going to take the time to sit down and eat breakfast, I believe the majority of the breakfast buffets available at WDW will more than satisfy your needs -- especially if you love bacon and fresh squeezed Orange Juice! 

Dinner Buffets - - Lots of folks RAVE about the Dinner Buffets at WDW, but I am just not a fan. I have tried and tried again -- really I have, but I think the food is mediocre at best. I still enjoy Chef Mickey's for dinner -- but it has much more to do with the Characters and Servers and Dessert Bar, than the main food! Friends of mine continue to LOVE LOVE LOVE Cape May's Evening Buffet -- for this non-seafood lover it was again, mediocre. Liberty Tree Tavern's character dinner has plenty of good food and characters.

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Incredible Server Honor Roll

Nassar at Jiko

Jamal at Donald's Breakfastsarous

Oscar and Lionel at Yachtsman Steakhouse - Best seater I encountered has to be Mike at Yachtsman Steakhouse (thank you for connecting us with Lionel!)

Debbie and Debi at Kona Cafe Dinner! 

Auntie Elaine at the Prime Time Cafe!


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Last updated July 2004