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Review: Disneyland’s Rancho del Zocalo

In an effort to finally finish out my reviews from my trip to Disneyland last year, you’ll see a few of my own Disneyland-related posts alongside Heather’s over the next few weeks/months! Today, we’re visiting Rancho del Zocalo in Disneyland Park!

This gorgeous counter-service restaurant is found in Disneyland Park’s Frontierland features Mexican favorites that rival anything you’d find in the table-service restaurants (as is often the case at Disneyland…).

Atmosphere
I was really struck by the intricate theming in the restaurant — it’s really quite beautiful! And the huge layout made it guest-friendly and easy to maneuver around.

Restaurant Theming

Flowers Growing Around the Restaurant

A Fountain Sits in an Opening Between Indoor Dining and Outside

Murals and Frescoes Decorate the Dining Areas

Outdoor and indoor seating is available to guests, but we prefer outdoor! It’s draped with awnings and surrounded by gorgeous flowers. Relaxing fountains trickle nearby. Even when it’s crowded, it feels a bit isolated and subdued.

Outdoor seating

Outdoor Seating

Indoors, you’ll find bright colors and fun themed decor!

Indoor Seating

Eats
Once you get into the heart of the restaurant and check out the menu, you’ll find that it isn’t actually all that extensive. But that doesn’t keep Rancho from getting high marks taste-wise. I guess the strategy is to do just a few things, but do them really well!

Menu Area

Menu Board close-up -- click for larger version

Special Menu Item

Special Menu Item

Cast Members in the Kitchen

As is customary in many Disneyland counter-service locations, guests order entrees and pick them up cafeteria-style, then head over to get salads, desserts, and drinks.

Salad and Dessert area

Drink Specials

Bottled Drinks

We ordered and shared the fajita chicken version of the Soft Tacos Monterrey — chicken and cheese in flour tortillas served with Mexican rice and refried beans. You can substitute sauteed veggies for the rice and/or beans, or you can make the whole entree veggie with fajita vegetables instead of beef or chicken.

This entree was fantastic! I loved the addition of the peppers (though, note that this is not listed in the ingredients on the menu). It’s just another of the many surprising outcomes in our experiences with Disneyland counter-service dining. The food is very high-quality, fresh, and inventive. Even though I had about three other meals scheduled on this particular day — and I live in Texas where I get some great Tex-Mex on a weekly basis — I was enamored of these soft tacos! Looking forward to my next visit!

Soft Tacos Monterrey with Fajita Chicken

For dessert, we had LOTS of choices:

Tres Leches Cake

Tropical Fruit

Flan

Chocolate Cake

But we decided against the sweet stuff and just headed on our way!

Overall
Rancho del Zocalo is another in the line of Disneyland counter-service restaurants that actually feels as though it easily hits our standards for table-service in food quality. And because the food is served on “real” plates with “real” silverware — and provided cafeteria style — it really does feel a bit more upscale than the standard fast-food counter-service locations.

Additionally, we thought the atmosphere here — even when it was quite busy — was charming. Sitting outside on a beautiful Southern California day in April is pretty intoxicating, though, so don’t take my word for it!

Your meal here will cost around $10 per entree and $5 per dessert.

Have you been to Rancho del Zocalo? What is your favorite menu item? Let us know in the comments section below!

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14 Comments

  1. Sarah91182 says:

    Matt and I ate there in September and we were impressed. I had the Carne Asada & Red Chile Enchilada Platter and he had the Soft Tacos Monterrey. The portions were pretty large, too. Okay, now I’m missing it!

  2. AJ says:

    Sarah — Yes! Portions are definitely large! I loved it there. :-)

  3. Lillian C. says:

    Oh, I love how this place looks at night. Yes, the servings are generous! I really like the tres leches cake here. It can be a little sweet for some people but it’s really neat to see this specialty Mexican dessert at Disneyland.

    TIP: If you’re looking for somewhere outdoors to eat with some warmth at night and during the winter, go here because they have outdoor heaters.

  4. Rhonda says:

    We eat here as often as possible. We do miss the BBQ they used to serve along-side the Mexican, but its still good. Also, we appreciate the plates and the real silverware.

  5. Nate says:

    Tres Leches Cake?!? I’m on a plane RIGHT NOW!

  6. Sara says:

    AJ – thank you so much for your reviews of the restaurants at DL!!! My husband and I are making the trip out there end of May (for our 4 year anniversary) and I am so glad to have your reviews to help me decide where to eat while we’re there, which is the MOST important thing! :)

  7. Heather Sievers says:

    I haven’t eaten there in FOREVER. Now, I need to go back!

  8. Heather Sievers says:

    @Rhonda – You can still get BBQ at Big Thunder Ranch, review coming SOON!

  9. Ericka says:

    I go quite often and I always try to secretly persuade the person(s) I’m with to eat here. :) As a Mexican, the food here is delish! Even my hard-to-please family enjoys the big portions & being able to cut up a HUGE burrito for a kinda-hungry group of three!

  10. vanessa says:

    TRES LECHES CAKE!! Ugh! Amazing! I’m from South Texas and so far, nothing in Disney has been up to par with Tex-Mex or authentic Mexican food. But this is worth a try when we go visit in Cali. =) Looks good that’s for sure!

  11. Jennifer says:

    This is actually one place that I always think about eating at and then never do, haha. I am really glad you posted a review cause it does sounds really good and I love the atmosphere of the location.

  12. sara says:

    Their menu is actually a little larger than the one above… There are two entree ordering areas and the one to the far left of the entrance has different options like citrus grilled chicken, cheese enchiladas and carne asada! Again, all of these items are in the $9-$12 range and really great quality for counter service food. We were out there last month and I’m already craving their sweet cinnamon dessert tortilla chips! Yum!

  13. Karla says:

    My family and I went to Disneyland yesterday and after reading the reviews on this restaurant decided to have dinner here. BIG MISTAKE! The food was terrible. So bland and no, not big portions. I had the 1/2 Chicken and there was almost no actual meat on it. It was fat. Disgusting. I will never be eating here again. So disappointed because it looked so nice. oh yeah, yes the lighting is romantic but if you need a flashlight to see what youre eating thats not a good thing. and not romantic.

  14. AJ says:

    Oh NO, Karla; I’m so sorry you had a bad time. Thanks for your review.

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