the disney food blog Rotating Header Image

Review: Cookes of Dublin in Downtown Disney

Located in Downtown Disney beside Raglan Road and Hole in the Wall Bar you’ll find the unassuming, but awesome!!!, Cooke’s of Dublin.

Styled as a traditional fish and chips shop, the menu is a veritable treasure trove of goodies. And we’re not just talking bacon, cheese, fried stuff, and candy bars…we’re talking the epitome of bacon, cheese, fried stuff, and candy bars!!

(OK, I’m selling them seriously short, they ALSO have great salads and grilled wraps, so be sure to read on and give them their due even if you’re NOT a lover of cheese, bacon, fried stuff, and candy bars.)

Atmosphere

The decor of Cookes, both inside and out, is vintage and traditional. Except for the steamy Florida humidity, you really might think you’d stumbled into Dublin.

Cookes of Dublin Mirror Sign

Inside, this is a tiny, skinny little shop with very minimal seating (that’s code for “go to Cookes at an off time so that you get a seat).

The indoor seating consists of a few highboy tables and some mixed booth and chair seating. There are a few tables outside as well. The reason for this is pretty simple: Cookes considers itself a “take away” establishment. They don’t really expect you to hang around. ;-)

Seating

And if you want to know more about what Cookes is thinking, they make it plain with this philosophy hung on the wall. You know right up front that there might be a bit of a wait, but that it will most likely be worth it.

Philosophy

The ordering area is pretty typical of a take away spot. But I kind of love the green and white subway tiles and tile floor. Classy. ;-)

Ordering Area

So, we’ve shown you just about everything (like I said… it’s small), so let’s get to the good stuff!!!

Eats

While fish and chips might be what first comes to mind when you think of Cookes (and it should — it’s awesome), they also carry a large assortment of savory pies, salads, sandwiches, and sides. Unique desserts, too!

Be sure to click on the menu below and make the pic bigger so you can read about all the really interesting options here.

Cookes of Dublin Menu - Click to Enlarge

The kids’ menu features some grown-up dishes, which is nice. Shrimp, fish, and battered sausages bring the Cookes theme to the kiddos, too. But no worries — there are things here for the picky eaters.

Kid's Menu - Click to Enlarge

Since the drink station is DIY, we’re assuming you can also take advantage of free refills (I did). And they have enough options that you can make a pretty decent suicide mix.

Fountain Beverages

Fountain Drink Station

Condiments here are plentiful (my kinda place), including tartar sauce and ketchup for your fish and chips.

Condiments

You’ll also find a nice assortment of British bottled condiments, like malt vinegar and HP sauce, to dress up your goodies.

Additional Condiments - Gotta Have Malt Vinegar for Fish and Chips!

Now, let’s get down to what I ordered! This menu is like a big ol’ playground for me, so I had a really hard time deciding! And, as always when that happens, I tried to figure out what YOU guys would want to see.

My tunnel vision was immediately drawn to the “Sides, Chips, and Dips” on the menu, so I started there.

Wondering what they were, I ordered the Skinny Chips thinking that they’d be a “good for you” option. Turns out (duh, AJ) they’re just “skinny” french fries compared to the thicker cut chips that come standard with your entree.

Garlic and Parmesan Skinny Chips

But it was a lucky mistake, because these were outrageously good. When I was there, they came in this delicious Garlic and Parmesan version, but according to the Cookes website, they also come with Thyme and Rock Salt now as well. More goodness to look forward to!

And with extra chips, I certainly needed some dip, right? I couldn’t resist the Irish Vintage Cheese and Bacon Dip.

Irish Vintage Cheese and Bacon Dip

I loved this cheese and bacon dip so much that I actually shared it with you in an earlier post – and was inspired to create a whole new series of DFB Must Have eats because of it!

Irish Cheese and Bacon Dip with Skinny Chips and bacon...did we mention bacon?

Moving on to the actual entrees, I picked out a couple that I knew you’d want to see! (If you’re curious about the savory pies, be sure to read this guest review of dinner that included one!)

First up, The Original One & One – Fish and Chips is what Cookes is known for.

The Original One & One Fish and Chips

And they are amazing. Everything is so fresh, and served piping hot. The chips are that perfect texture. Not too crunchy, not too limp. They’ve got just enough oil left in them to make them soft and tender.

Fish and Chips - Another View

The fish is firm but flaky, and very fresh. The batter’s top notch. I think you’ll enjoy this even if you aren’t a big fish fan.

Fish and Chips - Cross Section

The other thing that I simply had to check out was the Battered Burger! I’d heard about it and I really wanted to see what it looked like, so I figured you would, too. It sounded so decadent…

Battered Burger and Chips

And it was. Basically, this is a standard burger that’s dipped in batter and fried, then served as normal with some condiments and sauces.

I think I expected something a bit thicker and juicer, and the patty was a bit overdone for my liking, but I like the concept of this dish. I’d rank it a 6 out of 10 on flavor, but an 8 out of 10 on concept!

Battered Burger Cross Section

There were some really great things about the sandwich, though. The bun was amazing. Clearly fresh-baked, it was soft on the inside with a perfect crust outside.

And the garlic mayonnaise and flavorful tomato chutney – the same that you’ll find on Raglan Road’s cheeseburger – really elevate the sandwich.

Battered Burger Condiments

While I didn’t have dessert on this visit, there were some really fun options to choose from.

Dessert Chalkboard

Don’t the Cupcakes look interesting? I can’t wait to dig into one of them. If you’ve had the pleasure, weigh in below and let us know your opinion! Should we add them to the cupcake crawl?

Cupcakes - Pistachio, Raspberry, and Chocolate

This Strawberry Shortcake, which resembles a roulade, looked gorgeous, and it’s a pretty interesting take on a classic dessert. I wonder if it stands up to the stiff Strawberry Shortcake competition elsewhere in Disney World.

Strawberry Shortcake

And while the Strawberry Meringues looked fresh and are a traditional option, I’m not a big fan of meringue.

Strawberry Meringue - Served with Ice Cream

I probably would have chosen one of the other options, or the amazing Doh-Bar — a deep-fried candy bar that’s out of this world.

Doh-Bar Close-Up

As always, I left Cookes very full and very happy.

Overall

I think it’s official: I’ve crowned Cookes of Dublin one of my most favorite counter service stops in all of Disney World.

In fact, together with Earl of Sandwich and Wolfgang Puck Express, I’d confidently say that three of the top counter service spots can be found at Downtown Disney and NOT in the parks!

You can’t go wrong including a trip to Cookes in your plans, whether you’re paying as you go, or are using the Disney Dining Plan.

With incredible good value; fresh, quality food; and interesting menu items; Cookes is most certainly a winner, and we highly recommend it!

Are you a big fan of Cookes of Dublin? Leave us a comment and tell us your favorite dish!

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

16 Comments

  1. Amanda says:

    This is one of my favorite WDW counter service places, too! I love the chicken and mushroom pie!

  2. Aubrey says:

    skinny chips were a happy accident! I’m actually not a fan of thick. I wonder if I could get them to swap in skinny chips for the normal chips on an entree… Guess I will have to find out next time I’m down!

  3. JoAnn says:

    The skinny chips look good. The battered burger does sound interesting. Question – with all the fried food, do they use separate friers for each item? Nothing more disappointing (to me at least) is taking a bite of a french fry and having it taste like fish because they were fried in the same oil.

  4. Jeff from NJ says:

    We L-O-V-E Cookes (and Earl, too). I could not agree with you more, AJ. Both have risen to the top of our must-do list for every trip, and are far superior to most of the counter service places in the parks.

    The Cold Water Shrimp & Chips at Cookes is a favorite. It’s one of those dishes that flashes before your eyes months later, and you instantly say to someone, “Hey…you know what I could go for right now?”

    °o°

  5. Kate says:

    The HP steak sauce you see in the condiments picture goes great on the fries! Or at least they do when one has been “celebrating” for much of the evening. :) I look forward to going back and trying them again!

  6. Ami says:

    I can’t wait to try this place! I’ve pasted it over a few times, because I love WPE and ES. Thanks to your reviews though, I’m definitely giving it a shot come January. One question…if using the DDP, are the ice cream, cookie and fruit cup the only desert options? Trying to decide if we should pay out of pocket, as I really want that doh-bar and strawberry shortcake!

  7. Cynthia says:

    Gave Cookes a try because of the previous review. The mushroom and chicken pie was awesome, fries were great and couldn’t finish them because that meant no room for dessert. I was on the DDP and the only choices are the ice cream, cookie, and fruit. Enjoyed the ice cream on a warm Disney afternoon last week. Looking forward to working my way through the menu, and will pay out of pocket, so that I can try the strawberry shortcake!

  8. Gretchen says:

    We went to Cookes about three weeks ago, and being fans of fried food, loved it. We were on the DDP, but decided we just had to have the cheese and bacon dip with our chips. We told the woman at the counter we would pay for the dip out-of-pocket, and use two quick service meal credits; she then asked us if we would rather use a snack credit for the dip instead of paying cash. So between that little helpful tip, and the fact that the dip was a delicious addition to an already delicious meal, Cookes shot to just below WPE on our list of favorite Downtown Disney quick service restaurants.

    Also, we weren’t exactly thrilled with the dessert selections with the DDP, so we got some cookies, put them in our bag for snacks to have on the airplane (we were leaving two days later), and then went over to Ghirardelli for a sundae. Win-win.

  9. Galloping Gourmand says:

    I’ve walked past them three times because there was never anyone in there. I assumed it was a mark of quality. Now I know better.

  10. Patricia says:

    After AJ’s blog a few months ago about Cooke’s and the Irish Vintage Cheese and Bacon Dip, I knew I had to go and give it a try when we came down for Food and Wine earlier this month. I’m so very glad we did – it was wonderful – not too thick, more the consistency of fondue. And the garlic parmesan skinny fries were wonderful. Cooke’s is really a great option for counter service at Downtown Disney.

    Thanks, AJ, for sending me there!

  11. Maria says:

    I love this place! When I went back on 2010 it was a must for me to try, and I’m so glad. The fish and chips is amazing, back then though we were on the DDP and all go the Doh’Bar as our dessert, it’s s shame that it isn’t available anymore as a choice. I always want to try everything on the menu, the chicken strips were just as good as the fish, as were the onion rings which were HUGE. Next time I’m getting that cheese and bacon dip as well though!

  12. Alan says:

    This counter service restaurants keeps adding to and improving their menu. While most CS places make small tweaks and changes, the menu here is so much bigger than when it opened. Grab a table outside at the Hole in the Wall and have an outdoor meal if it’s not too hot.

  13. Astrogal says:

    We ate there for the first time on our first visit to Downtown Disney this April, and I was disappointed. Not at the taste of the food but at the portion sizes. It cost well over $30 for me, my husband, and our 6 year old to have dinner there and we were just expecting more for what we paid for. Usually portions at WDW are very generous. The food was good, just not enough of it for our liking (we are not obese lol). My husband got the fish and chips, daughter chicken strips and chips, and I got one of the meat pies. I thought the pie was awfully small and so were the fish and chips. I wouldn’t go back there again, not for a dinner anyway.

  14. Chrissy says:

    I have to agree with what Astrogal said in her comment. It just seemed like it wasn’t enough of food for my mom and myself to eat, and after a long day of traveling in May, we just wanted to sit down to a hearty meal. But that wasn’t to say that the food wasn’t delicious, because it so was. Being a diabetic I opted for the fruit cup as my dessert while my mom got a cookie (to take back to our room) and bought a doh-bar instead to eat there (I got to sneak a taste, and it was so good!).

    All in all, if you’re looking for a generous portion sized meal, go to Wolfgang Puck Express in the Marketplace (the bacon wrapped meatloaf and Cavatappi Chicken Alfredo are AMAZING, and so is the vanilla bean cheesecake) – I promise you won’t be sorry. ;) But if small portions are in favor, this Cookes is certainly the spot to get them.

  15. Arthur Harman says:

    Best Fish and chips outside of UK and pies are awesome. It is also on the Disney eating plan and personally I thought it the best food we could get on the plan.

  16. Michael says:

    Worst Fish I have ever had, if visiting this place I suggest you avoid the Fish. The chips are good and their pies are good. I visited in August and had the fish and it was awful then, and I just tried it again this evening thinking maybe it was a one off and it was still terrible. Shame on these people for serving such tripe, I have had better fish and long john silvers!
    Once again…Chips were good and so were their pies.

Leave a Reply

Current month ye@r day *