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Epcot’s San Angel Unveils New Tastes and Atmosphere

Inside Mexico’s pyramid in Epcot, the twilight ambiance never ceases to amaze me. After trying to take in all of the Imagineered details, two indoor culinary choices beckon guests to stay a little longer: La Cava del Tequila and the San Angel Inn.

Now, it’s not a huge secret that San Angel Inn has long been a point of contention among Disney fans — some love it; some hate it. Apparently Disney World and restaurant owners San Angel Inn, LLC, are ready to make a few changes to sway the naysayers. Recently, San Angel has added some casual elegant touches!

The round tables have been replaced with long tables, which have been covered in white tablecloths. Guests will sit in new chairs while admiring the new flatware and china inspired by Mexico City’s original San Angel Inn. Check out a great pic of the new set-up here.

Newly Updated San Angel Inn in Epcot

Richard Debler, president of San Angel Inn, LLC, plans to add vintage photos showcasing Mexico City’s San Angel Inn and its history. Interestingly, Richard’s family has owned the busy restaurant for decades. In photos, diners may see the original establishment circa 1692 and some of the famous diners it has hosted.

Of the new San Angel Inn, Epcot Executive Chef Jens Dahlmann stated “The cuisine is more traditional and celebrates the original San Angel Inn”, while the atmosphere is “Romantic, relaxing, sophisticated but not stuffy.”

For your sipping pleasure, order a flight of tequilas or a signature margarita. The blood orange or wild passion fruit concoctions are delicious. With the gueridon tequila service a fancy wheeled trolley delivers the tequila tableside!

San Angel Inn Blood Orange Margarita -- no salt by request

When scanning the new menu, diners will notice appetizers including tlacoyos de chilorio and savory corn cakes topped with refried beans, pork, queso fresco, sour cream and green tomatillo sauce. Other items that will tempt you include tacos de filete which is a grilled tenderloin on a soft flour tortilla with chipotle pepper sauce, scallions and avocados.

Tlacoyos de Chilorio

Once you get past the enticing appetizers, the new entrees will make your mouth water! Try the classic ensalada Cesar (Caesar Salad, a Mexico original) or the pan-seared tilapia with huitlacoche (Mexican corn truffle). Options such as the carne asada a la Tampiqueña – grilled tenderloin with cheese enchilada, black refried beans, red bell pepper, onion, Mexican rice and guacamole will deliver savory flavors. Or choose the mahi mahi a la veracruzana – a grilled fillet of mahi mahi with capers, olives, bell peppers, Spanish onions and tomatoes over poblano rice. These entrees were created with authentic flavors!

Mahi Mahi a la Veracruzana

Save room for dessert! The sweets are new and you’ll want to at least share the crepas de cajeta – warm crepes with caramel sauce and topped with toasted almonds. Sweetness!

Make your reservation by calling 407-WDW-DINE for your lunch or dinner meal!

Read our recent review of San Angel Inn!

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Photo Source: Scott Sanders

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23 Comments

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Not sure I’m liking that new table set up. Seems rather cafeteria-like. Maybe it’s just that photo.

  2. Marc B says:

    A much needed overhaul. I’ve always loved eating here, other than almost too dark the ambiance is great there. In recent years the food has been whats lacking. I’ve always loved the pollo a las rajas for years. But they’ve shrunk it, changed it slightly, and I haven’t had one yet that didn’t have a bone dry chicken hiding under there.

    The mahi looks awesome, it may be what I try when we go next week!

  3. Michelle B. says:

    I agree Elizabeth. It looks more like a banquet hall setting, than a place to relax and enjoy a Mexican meal

  4. Shayne says:

    The new menu choices sound enticing — and I count myself among the naysayers about San Angel Inn.

    But the seating doesn’t seem appealing to me at all. Especially in that lovely, romantic atmosphere, I don’t want to feel like I’m sharing my meal with 30 other folks. This reminds me of the set up at the Spirit of Aloha, which is fine for that show and venue, but doesn’t seem like it works in this situation.

  5. Heather says:

    I agree that the new seating is not any better! I was hoping for a few less tables…..Reminds me of Cracker Barrel ~only much closer together. Still, the atmosphere is fun! Hope the service will be too!

  6. Cait Lynn says:

    Loved dining here, looking forward to trying the new menu!

  7. Ben says:

    Not sure what to think about the new table set-up (especially with a toddler). However, it looks like there are still the smaller tables by the water, so we’ll continue to make an early ADR and request one of those tables. I like the idea of integrating the history of the original San Angel Inn, though. And I’m certainly looking forward to trying some of the new menu items. We really love San Angel Inn and have been known to eat there multiple times in the same trip. Definitely one of our favorites, so rather than hope for drastic new changes, I’m more hoping that they didn’t change too much!

  8. Karen says:

    Yikes! Well, I am glad they made some menu changes but I am weary of these tables. We have dinner ressies for our trip in Oct. I don’t like the longer tables because it seems as though we will have to sit with other parties?

  9. Connie says:

    I had the appetizer when I went 2 weeks ago and it was delicious! They had the new set up of the tables and it wasn’t too bad, just a little close. Unfortunately, the service was HORRIBLE! We had reservations and still had to wait almost 40 minutes,we were called to be seated 3 times and after each time we were told our table wasn’t ready and it was a mistake. Our waitress was missing an unhelpful most of the night. This has always been a place we stop to eat during a Disney visit but will definetly be a hard sell after our last expexperience. Hope other have better luck!

  10. AJ says:

    Elizabeth, Michelle, Shayne, and Heather — Yeah; I’m not a big fan of dining with other parties, so if this is a smooshed together “everyone dines next to each other even when you don’t know each other” thing, this might be a tough one for me…

    Marc B — Sigh; Pollo a las Rajas. Yum. Hope that stays on the menu, honestly. Maybe dry chicken, but the sauce is just amazing!

    Cait Lynn — Let us know when you have a review!

    Ben — I DO like the idea of connecting the history of the two restaurants and bringing more of the original San Angel Inn in Mexico to this location. Great point!

    Karen — My sentiments exactly; though it does look like there are separated tables. Be sure to request one of these!

    Connie — Yikes! Great review on the app, but if the service isn’t there, it really can ruin the night!

  11. Frank says:

    Can anyone tell me which restaurants in Epcot are run privately and which are under control of Epcot. At times I will see Epcot Executive Chef, Chef Jens Dahlmann.. of Flying Fish and CA Grill fame… great chef ..I could go on and on about how good a chef he is..anyway, at times I will see him around Epcot.. Always wonder what is under his control and what is not…
    Can anyone enlighten me.
    Thanks.
    Frank

  12. Lizz says:

    HATE the new tables… I loved the old ones! I do no like the idea of having to share a table with other guests… I like my personal space!

    New menu items look great, though.

  13. Karen says:

    Hopefully someone will report back soon on the table situation. I fear I am going to feel like a bull in a china shop at those tables. haha.

  14. CFL says:

    Frank — As far as Epcot table service restaurants go Akershus, Biergarten, Coral Reef, The Garden Grill, Le Cellier, and Rose & Crown are not owned or otherwise managed by outside, third-parties. That information is about a year old, but I have not read anything indicating any of those have changed within the last year. However, that does not necessarily confirm those locations are “under (the) control” of any one person, even if the person has an executive chef title.

    I have to agree with everyone’s “reservations” (no pun intended) about the new seating arrangement. It looks like you may be able to pick up an additional 16-18 settings this way, and it may help with communication between bussing and hosting, (i.e. knowing when the table is ready and getting parties to their tables more quickly)… it doesn’t do much to help the “intimate dining experience” that is still being advertised on the official Disney site page for the San Angel. They may have to change that to “family fun casual dining experience”.

    The tables are not “exactly” connecting though… what you’re seeing is a setting for four… then about two feet of walk space… a setting for two… then another two feet of walking space… then a setting for four… etc. They “can” be quickly pushed together for larger groups, and split apart for smaller groups… but it is still very close.

    Unfortunately, a bigger issue is the person behind you. The current picture shows the restaurant empty and the seats pushed in… once you’re sitting down at a comfortable distance from the table, and the person behind you is as well… the seat backs are then quite close together. If the patron behind you is not careful when getting up, you might end up getting a solid, surprising and jarring “good-bye thump” from their chair as they stand up. How this translates into “intimate”, I’ll never know.

    I guess the up-side is, with a decent zoom lens, I should now be able to shoot at least 10 plates of other people’s food right from the comfort of my own seat. Is that bad restaurant etiquette? If you can hear me right now and are going to order the Chocolate Blanco, could you let me know, I don’t have a good picture of that one yet. Hey buddy, two families down, are you going to finish those chips?

  15. Marianne says:

    I’ve always enjoyed San Angel Inn–good food, good atmosphere, good chance of a walk-up. Like everyone else, though, my first impression of this new layout is NOT good. I really don’t understand the thinking. With all the seats added to Mexico dining in the past year, I would have hoped any overhaul of San Angel Inn would have made it less crowded and even more romantic. Instead, it seems to have gone in the opposite direction. The new menu is tempting; maybe it looks better in person?

  16. Mark D. says:

    I am going to have to pile on about the seating. I don’t like it at all. The atmosphere was great before in this restaurant. It always seemed to be the service and sometimes the food that threw people off here.

  17. Connie says:

    The picture doesn’t show the seating well. Each party has a seperate table. They are close but there was enough room for me to hold hands with my 4 year old as we walked through the resturant. It really isn’t as intimate as the picture makes it seem!

  18. Shayne says:

    “I guess the up-side is, with a decent zoom lens, I should now be able to shoot at least 10 plates of other people’s food right from the comfort of my own seat. Is that bad restaurant etiquette? If you can hear me right now and are going to order the Chocolate Blanco, could you let me know, I don’t have a good picture of that one yet. Hey buddy, two families down, are you going to finish those chips?”

    ROFL! Good point — why stop at my own family’s plates now that I’ll have so many more that I can easily see from my seat?!?

  19. Rita says:

    Oh NO!!! I made reservations there and I will have to cancel. I am not liking the tables at all. * sigh * this bites.
    What were they thinking?!!!!

  20. Wendy Smith says:

    I have an ADR for here in Sept, and I was really looking forward to a romantic meal in the beautiful setting. I don’t like being close to strangers to eat either- especially sharing a table! Hopefully as the others have said this is not the case. Keep us posted! If anyone goes there soon let us know please. If the margaritas are good, it may still be salvageable! :)

  21. Lori says:

    New menu offerings look great but they completely ruined the atmosphere of San Angel with the new table set-up. Not only does it not mesh well with the backdrop of being outdoors near the river and volcano but the communal seating completely ruins any feel of a romantic dining experience which for me at least, had always been the draw of the restaurant. What a waste of time and money as the only improvement needed was a menu revamp and the elimination of a few tables to avoid crowding. They have solved the problem of being back to back with strangers by putting them in your lap instead. Not good!

  22. After reading the Disney Parks announcement about this I made a reservation for Geordon and myself during our Food & Wine Festival Trip. I know I’m going to need someplace to “escape” to at the end of the night when all the booths are getting crowded. This seems like it will ne a nice romantic way for us to end our evening.

  23. Lenore says:

    I remember when San Angel had a menu that was delicious and so well-priced that it was more affordable to go there for lunch than to a counter-service restaurant. I got a bit unhappy with the restaurant over the past few years as the food seemed to lose some quality while the prices got higher, so I am so excited to hear about the new touches that have been added! I can’t wait to try it out, hopefully during the Food & Wine Festival.

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