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