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Best Disney World Restaurants for Romance

Thanks to DisneyFoodBlog readers on facebook and twitter, we’ve narrowed down the top three “Best Restaurants in Disney World for Romance.” These were runaway winners, folks — no other restaurants received even close to the number of votes these did.

And I think they’re spot on, actually; though I’ll also mention some much-loved runners-up just in case these are booked when you call to reserve that special Anniversary or Honeymoon dinner.

#1 Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
There are several notable things about V&A’s: 1.) It’s the only AAA 5-diamond restaurant in Orlando (and one of only a handful in Florida), 2.) It’s the only Disney World restaurant where children (under age 10) are not welcome in the dining room, and 3.) Its chef’s table is the hottest ticket around (more on that later).

At Victoria and Albert’s, service is a prix fixe six-course meal including the freshest ingredients flown in from all over the world. Each table is constantly attended by two servers, and harp music gently fills the small, 65-person dining room.

tomato and cheese salad

Should you prefer something even more grand and exclusive, you can call six months in advance to book the Victoria and Albert’s Chef’s Table. Seated at an ornate table inside the kitchen, you and up to nine of your friends can indulge in a meal designed specifically for you.

Victoria and Alberts Chefs Table

Victoria and Alberts Chefs Table

Chef's Table Champagne Toast

One of many Chef's Table Desserts

#2 California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
California Grill is one of my very favorite restaurants in Disney World, and I have to say that it’s most romantic while the sun is setting behind the Grand Floridian Resort and the wide Florida sky turns every shade of purple, pink, and orange.

California Grill Sunset

California Grill Sunset

That said, many will disagree with me and say that it’s most romantic during the Wishes Fireworks at the Magic Kingdom, when the lights are dimmed and the music is piped into the dining room.

The View From Our Table Just Before Wishes Fireworks

The View From Our Table Just Before Wishes Fireworks

Either way, California Grill, sitting on the 15th Floor atop the Contemporary Resort, offers incredible views and truly delightful food. Sample one of the many flatbreads, the market-inspired soups, or the sushi that the restaurant’s known for. They’ve also recently added an Ostrich dish to the menu that I hear is quite good!

California Grill Bar

Some of our favorite dishes are the Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli appetizer, a California Grill favorite, which has been on the menu since the restaurant opened; the delicious Filet Mignon; and the famous Banana Creme Brulée. Recently we tried duck and bison dishes, which were incredible!

All Natural Duck Two Ways

#3 Jiko at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Jambo House
Folks, I have to say this is probably my personal vote for most romantic restaurant in Disney World. In fact, we love it so much that we decided to spend our Valentine’s Day here this past February!

Jiko is dark — very dark — and beautiful. Where other restaurants have fireworks and shows, Jiko has a simple wall in the back of the restaurant that slowly changes color throughout the night to mimic the African sunset.

Jiko Sunset Wall

Jiko Sunset Wall

There’s much more about the Jiko decor in a previous blog post, but let it suffice to say that the dark, glossy wood, and brilliant colors are quite sensual.

Jiko View

Jiko View

On to the food, Jiko’s chefs have long given Disney guests credit for wanting to experiment. The menu reflects African staple ingredients used in simple, but creative ways. The filet mignon is always a winner. Even if it doesn’t come with the mac and cheese, you can order it as a side dish.

Filet and Mac and Cheese at Jiko

Thanks again for all of your votes! If you don’t see your favorite in the top three, surely you’ll see it in the honorable mentions below. If you’d like to add your favorite, let me know by posting a comment on this blog. You can also contact me via email, facebook, and twitter (see the links at the beginning of this post!)

Honorable Mentions
Other restaurants that made the DisneyFoodBlog fan list for most romantic were:
Bistro de Paris at Epcot’s World Showcase
Le Cellier at Epcot’s World Showcase
San Angel Inn at Epcot’s World Showcase
Tutto Italia at Epcot’s World Showcase
Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort
Narcoossee’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
Todd English’s blue zoo at the Dolphin Resort
Garden View Lounge at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
Citricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
Les Chefs de France at Epcot’s World Showcase
Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Grand One Yacht, available for charter and private dining at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

Thanks again, everyone!

Check out the other “Best Disney World Restaurants” in our series!

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

20 Comments

  1. Tim Sampson says:

    Great picks for top 3! Hard to argue with your choices, except I would have to with a top 4 and include Artist Point. :-)

    Thanks for another great post!

  2. tasty chomps says:

    Looks marvelous! I’ve got to try it out ! maybe this weekend…i think i will look into the california grill, the view looks stunningg

  3. Very interesting list. I would have said Le Cellier. Hubby and I ate there twice on our honeymoon. That was back before you actually needed ADRs to dine there. Of course in May when we were there with our kids it was a lot different. Love your blog and have been going back to check things out :)

  4. Bethabee says:

    Thanks for this list. I’m a recent WDW-enthusiast inductee … due to my husband having been a Disney fan for, oh, about 15 years before he met me. It’s one of the things he loves, so I’m just getting my toes wet and learning to love it too. Your blog is definitely helping me get there, since I’m into food and cooking (it’s a delicious art form).

    I totally agree with you on Jiko being very romantic. We ate there in May, 2009, and I have to say it’s now on my list of our top 5 romantic meals together. The food is adventurous and delicious, and the service was among the best I’ve had anywhere.

    We have reservations for California Grill in October, 2009, and now I can’t wait to go!

    Chef’s Table at Victoria and Albert’s is officially on the wish-list.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for the list. We’ve been to WDW many, many times but always with kids and never get a chance for a romantic dinner. I think Jiko may be on our to-do list on our next trip in January 2010! p.s. Love your blog!

  6. Victoria and Alberts is amazing! I got to eat there NYE1997 and have never forgotten it!!! My vote was for San Angel Inn at Epcot because I was proposed to there when I was 18. I didn’t end up marrying the boy but will always have fond memories!!!!!

  7. AJ says:

    @Tim: I know what you mean — Artist Point is so lovely, and the food is really interesting!

    @TastyChomps: You really should try Cali Grill sometime! Incredible food — I’d LOVE to see the pics you get there (as I’m a fan of your photography!)

    @TheAngelForever: I think Le Cellier is very romantic — especially in Winter for some reason! I think, for some reason, dark=romantic for me!

    @Bethabee: Thanks for your comment! Jiko really is incredible — especially if you can snag a table that’s not too close to anyone else. I just think I pay more attention to the food there…not sure why.

    @Jennifer: Thanks for the kudos! Orlando has lots of good babysitting services… ;-)

    @RoraBorieAlice: Your comment about the proposal was great! By the way, if you have any good photos of V&A’s, I’d love to see them! :-)

  8. allyn says:

    great picks. these are our 3 favorite restaurants at disney world!

  9. Great post.

    I like California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

  10. Dan says:

    Nothing tops V&A’s in this category. I really appreciated the sunset picture from the California Grill as it gives me a reason besides fireworks to check out this restaurant.

    My experience at the Coral Reef Restaurant in the Living Seas tops any of the other Epcot restaurants that were listed as honorable mentions. Like Jiko, the Coral Reef has a very classy dark color scheme. The food was above average in both taste and presentation. Of course the highlight is that one long wall of this restaurant is made up of a giant window looking what was the largest aquarium in the world from 1986-2005.

  11. AJ says:

    Allyn: So glad you like the post!

    Dan: Thank you for the review of Coral Reef! I keep hearing wonderful reviews of that restaurant; it needs to make it on my list soon! I had no idea it was the largest aquarium in the world for so long.

  12. Funny Girl says:

    Just thought you’d enjoy checking out my review on Victoria and Albert’s. My boyfriend and I went there for our 3 yr anniversary…and absolutely LOVED it!!! You can check it out here… http://funegrl262-notter-orlando.blogspot.com/2009/09/eat-drink-and-be-extremely-full.html …but you’ll have to scroll down about half way through the post!

    I too LOVE LOVE Disney’s dining experiences!!!! :o) (too bad I live in Chicago)

  13. AJ says:

    Thanks, Funny Girl! I’m looking forward to reading it!

  14. Dolores says:

    French Bistro, upstairs is my favorite for Romantic dining. It’s quiet and not a lot of people. If you ask to be seated at the window, with a late in the day reservation, you may see the fireworks from your table. Great dinner, nice ambiance…

  15. Kristen says:

    Missing a big one~il mulino

  16. Mary says:

    Great list! I’ve been complaining mightily to my husband lately about how cafeteria-like the high-end restaurants have gotten. Almost all of them are loud (clanking silverware!) and filled with children. And they rush you out the door — no romantic lingering. We used to love Narcoosee’s and the Flying Fish cafe, but both of them have gone downhill lately, in terms of atmosphere. These three are winners, though.

    V&A is fabulous, of course, and it’s the quietest room for miles. That’s incredibly welcome. (My husband recently wrote about our V&A experience here: http://disneybluefairy.blogspot.com/2012/01/magical-moment-anniversary-to-remember.html?spref=fb Long story short, it was awfully fun to get dolled up and get on the monorail to the Magic Kingdom to vamp for PhotoPass photos after dinner!)

    We’ve been to California Grill many times, and I have mixed feelings about timing. It is certainly spectacular during fireworks, but it’s also a madhouse, mobbed with people who are lingering after dinner (or showing up early) so they can catch the fireworks. Most annoying if you’re there for a romantic dinner is the horde of restless children who are already bored out of their minds by an hour-long dinner and are hanging on a little for fireworks. I think I’ve had my last fireworks dining experience there. Next time I’m either going to try for sunset or go late (half an hour after fireworks, at least).

    Jiko is a great choice. It’s a beautiful setting, very romantic, and we love talking a long walk around the savannah after dinner. And the food is fantastic!

    I also want to mention the Wave at the California Grill. I haven’t eaten there, but I’ve been for drinks, and I liked the atmosphere very much — dim and intimate. Next time we’re at WDW we might eat there, then hop on the monorail and see the fireworks from the beach at the Polynesian.

    Keep up the great work on your blog! I’m a regular visitor.

  17. AJ says:

    Kristen – Good one!!

    Mary — Thank you so much for the reviews! Very good points on Cali Grill!

  18. Kate H says:

    Fabulous list.
    My husband and I ate at all 3 of these on our Honeymoon in 2007.

    V&A was simply amazing, even without being at the chef’s table. I had the wine pairing which was a real highlight, being a wine lover (my husband was driving so he had one tiny sip of each of mine just to try them; he made up for it by ordering the Kobe steak which I think was almost as much as the wine!)
    We sat in the nearby bar while we waited for our table (can’t remember the name of it unfortunately) and the guy next to us insisted upon buying us both a celebratory drink! How lovely.
    The menus with our names and the little gifts at the end were also a big hit! An awesome night I will remember forever (despite the wine consumed!!)

    Jiko was very atmospheric and had some lovely food (V&A was more to my taste for a really posh night out, but that was reflected in the price & Jiko’s was still absolutely superb) and the waiters were so lovely and funny; we got a card signed by all the staff – probably a very generic thing to do, but I still found it very touching.

    California grill I found slightly less romantic until the fireworks started, as it seemed fairly bright to me and quite full, but nevertheless an amazing experience that I will never forget.
    We had probably the best table there, but it was far too big for just the 2 of us. When the fireworks started a very young girl asked shyly if she could sit with us as her table was much further away and we were fine with that – to be honest, once the music started and the lights dimmed I wasn’t paying attention to much else anyway!
    Her father came over later to say thank you – even though the girl had already thanked us profusely.
    After the fireworks were done, the lighting seemed a bit dimmer, and the restaurant got a bit less busy, so the rest of our meal felt a lot more intimate.
    The staff members were astoundingly friendly and helpful; to the point that we asked to have our photo taken with them at the end of the evening because they were just that lovely!
    The Sushi was to die for, and the wine recommendations were spot on.
    We missed the sunset unfortunately as we had a fairly late reservation, but we did take photos of us while waiting for transport to get there, as the sunset was so amazing – I can only imagine how wonderful it was that many stories up!

    I’m trying 5 of the honourable mentions when we come for our 5th Anniversary this September! Yay.

    Sorry for the long and waffling comment!!

  19. Shari says:

    Love your site … I am a gastric-bypass foodie … so I focus on quality and not quantity. With about 60 multiple day visits under my belt, I have eaten just about everywhere and agree with your assesment.

    V&A’s Chef’s table was a treat for our honeymoon in 2002 … Jiko is phenomenal!!

  20. Thad says:

    I booked the candelight dinner package to take my wife out for a special night, and it more than delivered. We ate at La Hacienda de San Angel in Epcot. The food was amazing, the atmosphere incredible, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is searching for a great dining selection.

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