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Review: Disneyland’s French Market

On a beautiful Southern California day, there’s no better way relax in the afternoon than to sit outside, listen to a jovial jazz trio, munch on some incredible eats, and “Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!” And that’s exactly what you can do if you choose to dine at Disneyland’s French Market.

Disneyland's French Market

Atmosphere
Nestled in the heart of New Orleans Square, French Market is what I like to refer to as “counter-service with style!” With an outdoor “courtyard” seating area capped on one end by the stage where jazz trios perform and on the other end by the Mint Julep Bar and delicious food served as artfully as entrees you’d get at any moderately-priced table-service restaurant, this place clearly doesn’t fit under the standard “counter-service” moniker.

Royal Street Bachelors

Mint Julep Bar

A staple in Disneyland since the opening of New Orleans Square in 1966, French Market these days works like a cafeteria inside. Guests wind their trays around the stations, past the old clock, and to the register by the doors. Entree options are limited, but offer quite a bit of freshly prepared food.

French Market Queue

French Market Clock

Once you’ve taken in all of the decor inside, it’s time to head out and dig in…

Eats
The French Market menu is more in-depth than most counter-service restaurants in Disney parks. There are some incredible choices, and we had to stand there and stare for a while before making our final decisions!

Menu -- Click for Larger Image

I finally settled on the baked four-cheese pasta and vegetable gratin (vegetarian!), with Cheddar, Gouda, Provolone, and Asiago; shiitake mushrooms; and cauliflower baked with pasta under a crumbly, buttery breadcrumb crust. This came with roasted vegetables and cheddar cornbread. My husband had the Roast Beef Royale with Cognac Peppercorn Jus, smashed potatoes, vegetables, and cheddar cornbread.

(See? I told you this isn’t your normal counter-service.)

Both entrees were HUGE and ab-so-lute-ly delicious. The creamy, decadence of the four-cheese pasta made me feel like I should have spent $40 for the meal at least. It was delectable and so rich that there was no way I could possibly have finished it. And while my husband is a roast beef fan in general, he pronounced this the best he’d had in quite some time.

I’ve got on my calendar a post titled “Disney World vs. Disneyland: Counter-Service,” which seems to be a no-brainer at this point. But wait until you SEE these entrees…

Four Chees Pasta and Vegetable Gratin with Vegetables and Cornbread

Roast Beef Royale with Smashed Potatoes, Vegetables, and Cheddar Cornbread

Can you believe — NO paper plates?

And the cornbread — throughout Disneyland — is just incredible. Disneyland cornbread has always gone down in history, and still does.

Cheddar Cornbread

And, of course, there are other options along the line as well, including some delicious desserts, fresh salads and fruit, and some healthy chicken-and-rice kids’ meals.

Fresh Fruit

Salads

Dixieland Cajun Chicken Salad Entree

Kids Meals

Desserts

Of course, we had to try the famous Disneyland non-alcoholic Mint Julep as well! I’ll admit: not my favorite thing in the world, but I don’t tend to like sweet OR minty drinks, so…

Mint Julep

Overall
Disneyland’s French Market is always one of the park’s most oft-recommended counter-service eateries, and it’s clear why it’s stayed at the top of so many lists. The absolutely incredible food coupled with the relaxed atmosphere of the outdoor seating and entertainment makes this spot an oasis in the park.

That said, I suggest that you don’t try to navigate this place during mealtimes on crowded days! A relaxing atmosphere can quickly become hectic when you’ve got hundreds of park guests eyeing your hard-won table! Of course, this is a standard suggestion in any theme park — eat at weird times and you’re all set!

What are your thoughts and/or menu suggestions from French Market? Do you think it deserves its great reputation? Let us know in the comments section below!

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11 Comments

  1. Rob Crawford says:

    The Mint Julip window looks like the window at the REAL French Market in New Orleans where I bought a cafe’ o lait (horribly spelled) and beignets. Do they serve either of those at the Disneyland French Market?

  2. Rikki says:

    Wow…this place sounds amazing! If and when I get to Disneyland, I am so eating here!!!

    Wish we had places like this in WDW! That would be amazing!

  3. AJ says:

    Rob — I heard that the Mint Julep Bar just started serving the Mickey Beignets you can get at Cafe Orleans (instead of the fritters they used to sell). Not sure if this is true, though, as I haven’t been there since the rumored change! No mention of cafe au lait on the mint julep menu :-(

    Rikki — It is great! And there are several “high-end” counter service spots like this one! Delicious!

  4. Josh says:

    This place does sound pretty good, I must say. The Four Cheese pasta looks and sounds the best as well, and I’m glad that you got it.

    It looks like there signature side item there is the Cheddar Cornbread. Doesn’t sound too bad!

  5. Carolyn says:

    Oh, my mom will be so disappointed the fried chicken is no longer on the menu! We love to dine here, the outdoor seating is really great (it does get crowded so if you can have someone wait for a table while you grab the food, it does help) and when you get to hear the band play, that’s an added bonus. I’m looking forward to trying that cheese pasta dish – yum!!!

  6. Jenn says:

    Is it bad that this blog makes me want to visit Disneyland primarily for the food options? That menu does look fantastic and definitely puts the majority of the WDW counter-service restaurants to shame…

  7. Shayne says:

    Dang, AJ, you posted this a week too late! We were really at a loss about where to eat lunch in Disneyland, and I wish I had seen this place! We ended up grabbing a burger near Jedi Training Academy since we had just gotten our FPs for Space Mountain right before lunch.

    Oh well, just another reason we’ll have to return to Disneyland! :)

  8. robin says:

    of all my years of going to DL, i have NOT ONCE eaten at the french market. :( this will definitely be lunch or dinner when i’m out there next month. and i plan on getting the four cheese pasta — looks divine! thanks for your review, AJ! :)

  9. Lynnette says:

    Love French Market. Had the Dixieland Cajun Chicken Salad a couple weeks ago and it was delicious. Huge. And refreshing on a high 80′s temp day at the park. Came with dressing, but really didn’t even need it because the chicken part was perfect without it. Also, without the dressing, this salad is gluten/soy/wheat free. (was checking for a friend) Was yummy. Daughter had the Plantation Citrus Chicken and I’ve had this as well previously but I just didn’t want the hot vegis and mashed taters on this warm day! Very tasty though.

    And yes it is true that they are selling Mickey Beignets at the Mint Julep Bar, AJ. I have a picture of the new menu if you’d like to have it. Will twitpic it to you. Doubting me, boy I tell ya…

  10. Alan says:

    It must be time for me to visit Disneyland for the first time. The articles over the last month or so make me think the restaurants there have more variety than WDW. It might be that I am so use to the World’s eateries that I yearn for new experiences. But, all the reviews and great pictures lately are so enticing. Maybe it is also due to the fact that after almost fifty years, Disneyland is more than a park someone built, but now part of the history of the Anaheim area of greater L.A.

  11. Heather says:

    The menu looks great! I just have to say that in New Orleans the fish offered wouldn’t be salmon–It would be blackened redfish!

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