Whelp, it’s time to re-visit one of our favorite topics around here: Best Disney World Counter Service Restaurants!
We polled our readers back in 2009 for their favorites, and things are looking slightly different these days…
We recently asked our Disney Food Blog Facebook Fans via the Disney Food Blog Facebook page for the best counter service restaurants inside the theme parks at Walt Disney World. Let’s find out where everyone is eating…
Best Magic Kingdom Counter Service Restaurants
Winner: Columbia Harbour House
In a quiet corner of the Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square, the Columbia Harbour House sets the scene for traditional Americana in a colonial village — and steals our Best Magic Kingdom Counter Service title away from Pecos Bill’s this year!
The decor of the restaurant emphasizes a nautical theme with plank flooring and hurricane lamps. Downstairs, seating is divided into small dining rooms giving the space a colonial charm.
Here’s a Favorite DFB Tip: The upstairs seating area is usually the quietest and offers some tables with quaint views. Brick hearths add even more “warmth” to the dark-wooded rooms.
Serving popular soups (awesome clam chowder!), salads, and sandwiches such as the Lighthouse (hummus with tomato and broccoli slaw) and Anchors Aweigh (white tuna with lettuce and tomato) served on toasted multigrain bread; and recently adding a Lobster Roll and Grilled Salmon to the menu, Columbia Harbour House offers selections beyond the usual chicken nugget fare. (Although, there are those too!)
Best Epcot Counter Service Restaurants
Winner: Sunshine Seasons
Soarin’ isn’t the only main attraction in The Land pavilion! According to our readers, Sunshine Seasons gets a lot of traffic too.
With five food stations including a wood-fired grill shop and fun Asian options, this quick-service location is a gem due to the variety of selections on the menu.
The oak-grilled rotisserie chicken, slow-roasted pork chop, and Mongolian beef dishes all get great reviews. For lighter meals, sandwiches and salads are available as well as some great grab-and-go vegetarian options.
And for your sweet cravings — the Strawberry Shortcake will impress.
Best Disney’s Hollywood Studios Counter Service Restaurants
Winner: Backlot Express
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated since the original publishing date, when Starring Rolls Cafe was the original winner of the poll. As that spot has since closed, Backlot Express now takes the top spot at Hollywood Studios.
It also offers eats that reflect the future of the park. With several food items themed to Star Wars, as we await the upcoming Star Wars Land coming in 2019, Backlot Express serves up some fun and unique spins on the typical counter service fare.
Dark Side Chicken and Waffles, anyone?
Best Animal Kingdom Counter Service Restaurants
Winner: Flame Tree Barbecue
The runaway winner — Flame Tree Barbecue — was the most recommended counter-service restaurant in all of Walt Disney World by our readers.
The house-smoked entrees have our taste buds salivating at the first wondrous smells of barbecue wafting from this grill. The meat — seasoned with a special Flame Tree barbecue rub — is hot off the grill. Choose from St. Louis Ribs, Chicken, and pork with baked beans and/or cole slaw sides.
Outdoor seating is secluded underneath the jungle of trees and covered pavilions. DFB Tip:Some seating near the water’s edge overlooks Discovery River with an earth-shattering view of Expedition Everest.
Thanks to everyone for sharing their favorite Walt Disney World theme park quick service locations! Stop by and read the rest of our Best Disney World Restaurants series for more reader favorites!
What’s YOUR favorite counter-service spot while on a Disney vacation? Let us know in the comments section below.
Ready for All of Our Best Tips?
We’ve got TONS of Disney World Dining Tips in our big, bold 2017 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining, Second Edition!
With more than 650 pages, the 2017 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining, Second Edition is full of tips and planning tools developed by Disney World experts over 20+ years of visits. We’ve done the research for you, so you’ll know just which spots will uniquely suit your family’s needs!
With mini-reviews of every single restaurant, bar, lounge, kiosk and more; an entire chapter on the best snacks in Disney World; full Disney Dining Plan analysis; and a full chapter on discounts and deals; you’ll have everything you need to plan your best vacation yet. Click here to get your copy of the 2017 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining, Second Edition E-book — and use code SAVE2017 for a 20% discount for a limited time!