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Review: Disneyland’s Cafe Orleans

All right, all. I have to come clean. After trying many of the Disneyland restaurants — including some of the hoity-toity ‘spensive ones — I have come to the conclusion that Cafe Orleans is my favorite restaurant in the Disneyland Resort.

Atmosphere
Cafe Orleans (known as Creole Cafe until 1972) started out as a counter-service restaurant, but was refurbished into a table-service restaurant in 2006. The decor of the restaurant includes its famous stained-glass, which accents rich color choices and dark-wood walls and tables.

Indoor Seating Area

Famous Stained Glass Details

Indoor Seating Area

Currently, the Princess and the Frog overlay (hopefully temporary) gives the place a bit of a haphazard feel. Half historical Disneyland restaurant, half Disney Store.

Princess and the Frog Highlights

Princess and the Frog Overlay with Walt's Espresso Machine

Chandelier with Mardi Gras Beads

While there is indoor and outdoor seating, the patio is clearly the place to be if you can get there! However, personally, I enjoyed sitting inside with ample air conditioning and a view of the espresso maker that’s been in the restaurant since Walt’s day.

Outdoor Patio

Outdoor Table

Eats
While the menu at Cafe Orleans is short, almost every item is worth trying (haven’t heard the greatest reports about the seafood herb crepe, but can’t comment firsthand) and many will win you over time and time again. Here’s the menu — just click to see a larger version.

Cafe Orleans Menu -- Click for Larger Size

We started out with the gumbo, which we’d had a Blue Bayou and absolutely loved! This thick, slightly spicy stew made with chicken, tasso ham, and Andouille sausage really hits the spot as an appetizer and fits the “New Orleans Square” theme nicely.

Gumbo

We also ordered as an appetizer the Pommes Frites, served with a spicy cajun remoulade and topped with Parmesan, garlic, and parsley. This is the drop-dead winner of the “favorite-thing-I-ate-in-Disneyland” awards. These are to die for. If you like french fries, you will never be able to turn these down. Hint — order TWO sauce servings. You’ll want/need them.

Pommes Frites

From there, it was on to the entrees. We ordered the famous Monte Cristo sandwich — sliced turkey, ham, and swiss in a light batter, fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar, and served with a berry puree — and the Chicken Gumbo Crepe, which was basically sauteed chicken, tasso ham, and Andouille sausage with spicy gumbo sauce.

The Monte Cristo has earned its excellent reputation, to be sure. This dish is like nothing else in Disneyland, and you’ll be craving it for days afterword. The combination of warm savory sandwich, crisp fried batter, sweet powdered sugar, and tart berry sauce will make every single taste bud happy.

Monte Cristo

Monte Cristo close up

The gumbo crepe was delicious as well. I could easily see us getting these dishes and splitting them over and over again, but there are a few other things on the menu I’d like to try!

Gumbo Crepe

Now, if you know me (and I know you do) you know we didn’t stop there. The dessert menu was calling our names! Click the photo below for a larger image.

Dessert Menu -- Click for Larger Image

The Mickey Beignets were a given. We knew before we even sat down that those would be an integral part of our dessert. So light and fluffy — like the best donut you’ve ever tasted — and then dipped in that beautiful Raspberry Coulis and Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise. Heaven.

Mickey Beignets

We also sampled the Banana Bread Pudding with caramel sauce and creme anglaise. This was fine, but nothing compared to ‘Ohana‘s Banana Bread Pudding! Next time we might end up with two orders of Mickey Beignets!

Bread Pudding

Overall
So, once we rolled ourselves out of there, we almost immediately wanted to go back! We couldn’t (and still can’t) get those pommes frites out of our heads, and the monte cristo is worth the hype!

While this spot isn’t the fanciest or the priciest, it does serve some delicious, quality-driven food. We definitely enjoyed our meal there, and I’m eager to hear your thoughts. Has Cafe Orleans made your must-do list, or did you have a less-than-stellar experience there? Let us know in the comments section below!

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18 Comments

  1. Kelly says:

    I think for us, Cafe Orleans was the biggest disappointment. The Pomme Frites were kind of cold. Thinking back, we probably should have sent them back, but we just ate them. They were OK. My boyfriend had the Monte Cristo, and we really should have split it. I had the Seafood Crepe and it was awful. The entire dish was just gray, and kind of gritty. Then we had the beignets. They were a winner! But how can you go wrong with fried dough??

    If we went back, I think we’d split a Monte Cristo and then get beignets.

  2. Sarah says:

    I’m looking forward for my first Cafe Orleans experience next month. I’m planning on going with the Pommes Frites and French Onion Soup. Although the Le Salade de Maison sounds darn tasty, too…

  3. Alan says:

    Beautiful pictures. I’ve never been to Disneyland, but this is the type of restaurant that tempts me to travel out there. Here is an example of a good quality restaurant with a simple menu that fits the decor and it’s location within the park. Someone cares about the product. It is the same quality discussion we have been having. Maybe your line near the top “espresso maker that’s been in the restaurant since Walt’s day” shows a legacy that is missing in a time of corporate bottom line dependence.

  4. AJ says:

    Kelly — NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! You’re breaking my heart!! Skip the seafood crepe and go whole hog on the Monte Cristo and beignets. And try the pommes frites again, for my sake :-)

    Sarah — Have so much fun! I wish I’d had enough stomach room for the Onion Soup!!

    Alan — I find that Disneyland has a different sort of food vibe when when it comes to “corporate dominance” than does Disney World. It’s almost like it’s an older brother — they’ve figured out what works and are sticking with it. That’s not to say there aren’t some things I’d change about Disneyland food, but the unique offerings in the restaurants and more laid-back feel make it a winner in my book.

  5. robin says:

    cafe orleans is the BEST! pommes frites were EXCELLENT! they were hot, crisp & garlicky! and as soon as we ordered them, they came out. fantastic service!

    ooooooooooooh, and that monte cristo! sooooooooooooo good & sooooooooo much better than the one i had at blue bayou.

    finally, we ordered their bread pudding. we got an end piece which ended up being real hard & stuff. we brought it to the attention of our server who promptly came back with another piece — much better!

  6. Katie says:

    I’ve never been to Disneyland, so I unfortunately can’t provide a very insightful comment. Although I can say I very much enjoyed reading your review. It sounds delicious, particularly that Monte Cristo…how unique and yummy! And that espresso maker…oh, that so makes me want to go to Disneyland. It seems to have so much more of a Walt vibe, like maybe he just walked away…

    I do have a question. We’re going to be staying at Port Orleans French Quarter on our trip to WDW in October, and one of the things I’ve been most looking forward to is the beignets. I’ve been to New Orleans and experienced the real thing at Cafe Du Monde, but my husband hasn’t had that opportunity, so he’s very excited to get a sample at Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory. The pictures I’ve seen of these beignets don’t look nearly as yummy as the ones at Cafe Orleans. I was wondering if you’ve experienced both, and if they are at all comparable?

    Thanks for another yummy post!

  7. Lura says:

    My fiance and I go to Disneyland ALL the time and one of our must do’s is always Cafe Orleans. We usually mix up the appetizers (I usually get a salad, while he LOVES the French Onion Soup). We usually split a Monte Cristo, otherwise it ends up being too much food. I’ve also had the “all cheese” version, which includes brie and is really just amazing. We tend to skip dessert after that because the Monte Cristo is a dessert within itself!

  8. Melissa says:

    We have been to Cafe Orleans serveral times it is always wonderful, my DH & I were there for our Anniversary and I had the Onion soup, I must always have this, and the “Blackened chicken ceasar salad” it was good but nothing spectacular, My DH had the “Ratatouille”, he had to try it because of the movie, and loved it! He also had the gumbo and it was excellent. I always must save room for the “Mixed berry crepes” they are my favorite, the server who seen we had our Anniversary badges, brought out a complimentary order with two Mickey Beignets they were great, but we were already so full we only ate one. Everything there is wonderful and the service is exceptional! the outside dining and people watching is great also we got to watch the “Marde Gras” perfomance, we will be back!

  9. Shayne says:

    I really want to try those pommes frites, but I harbor a couple of fears about Cafe Orleans: (1) not much on the menu that will appeal to the rest of my family, especially the kids, who are picky and (2) we have lots of really good Cajun/Creole food here in Houston and I fear that the California/Disney version will be disappointing.

    Maybe that makes me (1) a bad parent and (2) a snob, but just like I won’t eat Mexican food anywhere outside of Texas (and most especially at Disney World where San Angel Inn is among our worst Disney memories!), I am hesitant to try Cajun food so far removed from the Gulf coast.

    I SOOOOO wish this were a counter service location where I could pick up what I want and head elsewhere to please the rest of my family. I take it those fries aren’t available anywhere else?

  10. Lisa says:

    The “seafood” crepes were bad when we ate there. When I hear seafood, I expect shrimp, crab, scallops – that sort of thing. Instead, the seafood consisted of some sort of white fish. That was it. It wasn’t tasty at all – so I was really glad my husband and I had ordered the Pommes Frites (delicious) and that he had ordered the Monte Cristo, as it was more than large enough for me to eat as well.

  11. Leslye says:

    Oh, my word — how did you eat so much food? A Monte Cristo is ALWAYS on our must do list. Sometimes must do several times! It is, without a doubt, the Best Thing I’ve ever eaten at Disneyland for every member of our family. We live in the Napa Valley and we have actually had several chefs here try to replicate this dish — no can do. There’s just something about the Monte Cristo at Disneyland that just can’t be beat.

    Can’t wait for our next Monte Cristo in 103 days! But, on the other hand, I guess I’ll have to wait until after our trip to WDW!

  12. Nate says:

    AJ, or anyone else: is the Monte Cristo served at Cafe Orleans the same one served at Blue Bayou? Do you need a reservation/ADR or was it pretty empty when you went in there (relative to park crowds, other restaurants, etc.)? Which Monte Cristo do you prefer (meat & cheese or all cheese)?

  13. dee says:

    I LOVE DISNEYLAND – really love the princess and the frog additions, that movie is too cute!!

  14. AJ says:

    Nate — The monte cristo is pretty much the same as the one served at Blue Bayou. I always like to have a reservation, but you probably don’t need one unless it’s prime meal time here :-) I didn’t try the all cheese version, but I loved the other one!!

  15. Meg says:

    Yum, I’ve tried the Monte Cristo, Pomme Frites, and am soon to try the beignets this weekend. I love Cafe Orleans! I’d say it’s my favorite restaurant as well, food-wise. I’m inclined to say that Blue Bayou’s atmosphere barely tops it, but they don’t have pomme frites like Orleans!

  16. Billy J says:

    What about the Creole Gumbo anyone!!

  17. Dave says:

    I visited D-Land last Thursday in the afternoon and needed to have some coffee and something to eat, since I had a late start. It was towards the end of lunch period that I opted for Café Orleans…I wanted coffee more than anything and did not want the usual Starbucks experience.

    I did not ask for the patio, but was directed to sit at an empty table through and by the patio’s exit gate, which was ideal and with literally no wait whatsoever. I was visiting the park alone.

    After looking at the menu, I opted to try something different, since I usually order the Monte Cristo (without ham). The last time I ordered the Monte Cristo, however, I had a bad experience with it and decided to try something different.

    The Chicken Gumbo Crepe got my attention, since it’s been a while since I’ve had a crepe (2007) and I thought this might be just the light meal I was craving for with my excellent coffee.

    Wrong. When the crepe was brought out, it didn’t look appealing at all. It came with the asparagus as shown in picture above, but also some broiled potatoes. It sort of looked “tired” and not fresh.

    I tried very hard to like this dish, but only about a few bites into it, I called the waiter over to take it away.

    I had every intent on paying for the dish, I had eaten my 3 asparagus spears and some of the potatoes. I told the waiter that I tried in vain to enjoy the crepe, but I could not.

    When he came back to ask if there was anything else I would like, I ordered more coffee and later told him that I thought I’d like to order a dessert, which at the time were two types of dessert crepes and the Mickey beignets. I said I’d pass on the crepes and to bring me the beignets.

    The beignets were PERFECT. I ate them all at the table, even after I asked the waiter for a box.

    Okay, here is my take on the crepes. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it sort of looked like those fake, plastic “vomit” joke toys. The gumbo sits on top of the crepe, so that adds to the appearance factor.

    So, presentation is a fail. More importantly, and in my estimation, the “delicate” crepe was anything but….the texture was very rubbery. I’m not a fan of gumbo, but the idea of a crepe with what I thought would be a fantastic tastebud experience was anything but. What type of batter are the crepes made from? I agree with a reviewer above that the dish looked “grey”..the crepe especially so.

    Well, my waiter (OH…fantastic, professional wait staff here, BTW), brought me the check and told me that the kitchen took the crepe off the check. I was very happy, and told the waiter that I was intent on paying, but he insisted. I’m a big guy and rarely, if ever, send anything back to the kitchen.

    My experience? Excellent, of course, and proved by the tip amount. I will continue to stop by here for my meals when I can afford, and play safe with the pomme frites and beignets. Love the coffee here….smooth. (Anyone know what coffee is served here?)

    Off topic question:
    Does anyone know if the Monte Cristo here is freshly battered? Reason I ask: Last time I ordered one here, it was problematic to have one made without ham, and substitute turkey in its place (not a problem at Blue Bayou, though, in my past experiences. Well, this was before the advent of the 3-cheese Monte Cristo).

  18. Frankie says:

    My family and I are huge Disney fans and usually plan a vacation at Disneyland every year. We have eaten at Cafe Orleans the past couple and absolutely love the Monte Cristo! My daughter and I learned from our first time ordering it, that we need to order just one, and share it! The staff is always friendly and helpful. We are coming again this June, and are already anticipating eating here again!!!

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