San Angel Inn Review

Special thanks today to Chip over at Chip & Co. for this great guest review of San Angel Inn in Epcot’s Mexico pavilion! Also, thanks to Annabel Freeman for contributing the fantastic food photos!

A lot of people overlook San Angel Inn in Epcot’s World Showcase, and I have to ask myself “why?” San Angel Inn Authentic Mexican Cuisine has something for everyone, and if you give me a few moments I will show you some of the nuances that make it a restaurant you will not want to pass by on your walk around the World Showcase.

San Angel Inn Entryway

San Angel Inn Entryway

First off, let me talk about the ambiance:
When you walk into the marketplace you are greeted by what I feel is one of the most breathtaking views in Epcot. A beautiful wishing fountain greets you as you walk down the ramp. You hear the buzz of the people in the marketplace checking out the different wares for sale. The soft glow of the lights makes you feel like you have stepped back in time to Central Mexico. The view of the Aztec Pyramid in the background rises high over the marketplace, and upon walking into the restaurant the bold and beautiful colors of the tables are scattered before you. A gentle glow of the lamps on the table adds a sense of romance to this breath taking view.

San Angel Inn Pyramid and Dining Room

San Angel Inn Pyramid and Dining Room

You can hear the sounds of the newly updated Grand Fiesta Ride with Donald Duck in the background, which reminds you that you are not in Mexico, but still at Disney World. For some, this might be a bad thing; but for me, I want to remember I am at one of the greatest places on Earth: Walt Disney World!

Bring on the grub:
I recommend ordering the ceviche with any flavor of Frozen Margarita as an appetizer. If you don’t like seafood, the nachos are great, too. The Margarita is a lifesaver after a long day of trekking around the park. If you are there with a special someone be sure to mix those drinks up so you can sample one of each. You won’t be disappointed.

Tortilla Chips and Salsa are served to every table

Tortilla Chips and Salsa are served to every table

All the entrées are fantastic; I have yet to have anything I didn’t like. A fair warning though: the food here is different from the typical “American-ized” (I hope that’s a word) Mexican food you have back home. My first time eating here I was expecting just a traditional meal that I would have at my local restaurant (which is very good I might add –- shout out to La Hacienda), but I was caught off guard by the flavors and spices used at the San Angel Inn!

Combination Plato -- Enchilada, Burrito, Steak

Combination Plato -- Enchilada, Burrito, Steak

Be daring and try something new is what I always say when on vacation. (Insert cheesy sarcastic comment here!) What my family and I always do is order different items so we can sample more than one dish. Everything on the menu is full of flavor and just blows your taste buds out of the water.

Polly a las Rajas -- Grilled Chicken with Peppers, Onions, and Cheese

Polly a las Rajas -- Grilled Chicken with Peppers, Onions, and Cheese

If you have a child like we do, the childrens’ menu will not disappoint. It is by no means chicken fingers (where is that part on a chicken by the way?) or hamburgers. Your kids will be able to sample some good, authentic, Mexican cuisine.

On to dessert, all I can say is WOW! I could eat the items on the desert menu everyday for the rest of my life. (Of course I would probably weigh 800 pounds if I did.) I have never had Flan before I came to San Angel Inn, and though I have tried it since, none can compare to the texture, smell, and melt in your mouth goodness of the Flan they serve there.

You have heard the good; now on to the bad and the ugly:
For 2010, Disney has dropped the San Angel Inn from its Disney Dining Plan. This makes me quite upset! My family and I absolutely love eating here, but now are going to have to either pay money out of pocket or maybe try to pop in for a drink and dessert. If any Disney Execs are reading this, maybe they could do Chip a favor and add this wonderful restaurant back!

Editor’s Note: See comments below for good discussion on this topic; some restaurants may sign up for the plan later than others. Our fingers are crossed!

Wrap it up already:
OK…OK… Overall, the San Angel Inn dining experience is one of my personal favorites at Disney World. Between the romantic ambiance and the scrumptious food I can think of no better place to take my family. It is good for a romantic couple’s meal (try to get seated near the water) or for a fun family experience. The service there is second to none.

So next time you are on your trek around the World Showcase, stop by Mexico, have a delicious meal at San Angel Inn, and think of me… OK maybe not… Enjoy!


  1. James (Disneynorth) says

    Ok… Breathe deeply…. San Angel Inn is no longer on the Dining Plan?!?!? Pardon my French but WTF?!?!?

    I had to pick my jaw off the floor when I read that. Has anyone confirmed this yet? I know that the initial list of restaurants for the new Dining Plan year usually doesn’t have all the restaurants listed, so I’m hoping this is the case with San Angel.

    I love San Angel. In the last 10 visits to WDW, I have eaten there all but one time. The only bad experience I have had there was during our last visit in May, which was the last day they were open before the renovations. The food was still great, but the service was lacking.

    On a side note, Lou Mongello recorded a live review of the restaurant. I believe the podcast was posted a couple of weeks ago. Check it out.

  2. says

    My only gripe with the San Angel involves their chips and salsa, which I’m pretty sure are plain old off-the-shelf Tostitos products. Aside from that, we love the food there–the Pollo a las Rajas is tough to pass up.

  3. James (Disneynorth) says

    Chip, if you notice most of the World Showcase restaurants are missing (Tutto Italia, Marakesh, Teppan Edo/Tokyo Dining, France, etc.). I saw the same thing happen last year.

    From what I’ve been told/read, since those restaurants are outside companies, they usually don’t sign on for the program until late in the year. If you look for the list again in late December/early January, all of the restaurants will show.

  4. James (Disneynorth) says

    Actually, same thing goes with Downtown Disney: all of them aren’t on the list yet.

  5. says

    James, Jerry, and Chip — Fingers crossed that they sign back up this year!

    Jeffk — This was a gripe of ours when we first visited as well. Living in the Southwest, we were surprised to see what appeared to be Tostitos at a Mexican cuisine restaurant!

  6. says

    Chip — Didn’t even think of the mass canceling/rescheduling of ADRs! That’s a lot of last-minute scrambling, to be sure… I wonder if Disney’s gotten complaints before about putting out a preliminary list with half the restaurants missing.

  7. says

    Well I called Disney and like James said they have till the end of the year to decide. They are suggesting that you check back with them Jan 1st if nothing has been posted.

    They said most times if they were in there last year they will be again the following year.

    So looks like I have some adr restructuring to do just before the trip…ugh

  8. James (Disneynorth) says

    Chip, luckily you are going in January, so you shouldn’t have any issues rescheduling (crossing my fingers for you).

  9. April says

    No dining plan, I cant eat there :( My daughter wanted to eat French when we were there last & before that at Akershuns. So I hadnt gotten to try it yet. I suppose I wont until its back on the plan.

  10. says

    I just got back from here 2 weeks ago. This was my first eat since it has changed. I was highly disappointed. I got the Polly a las Rajas (chicken dish pictured above). It was dry chick with barely any flavor, and the sauce was VERY bland. I was very excited to try out the new menu & see some changes – even though I usually liked eating there…I will not go back for awhile.
    San Angel Inn took a step in the wrong direction for me…..but I still lvoe the Pavilion as a whole…one of my Favs, most def. If I had 3 thumbs, they’d all be down…so here is 2 down.

  11. says

    April — From what Chip found out on the phone and what James is saying, it sounds like the restaurant will most likely make it back onto the plan by January. Fingers crossed, but I’d make the ADR just in case!

    Lou — Thanks for your thoughts! We’ve had inconsistency with this particular restaurant, so I’m not surprised to see a negative review follow a positive one.

  12. Chip says

    Man I hope the restaurant didn’t tank, might have to order an extra Margarita before the

  13. Ellen D says

    I’ve always liked SAI and have always compared it to dining in Mexico City and not Taco Bell. I do concur re: the chips though. What has me laughing is the reference to “Polly a las rajas.” Poor parrot! Didn’t eat its crackers? ;->

  14. says

    Chip: Ha ha! Extra margaritas are always welcome, no matter the food quality!

    Ellen: That’s a great point that you’ve compared it to Mexico City and not Taco Bell. I know that the outfit that runs SAI is directly out of Mexico City, so it’s good to hear you say that. (I’ve never had the chance to dine in Mexico, so I’ll take your word for it!)

  15. Michelle says

    I just wanted you to know I went to the link for the San Angel Inn and it’s back on the dining plan for 2010! Whew! I really loved the Plato Mexicano. I didn’t think I would like it but the steak was wonderful!


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