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Review: Pollo Campero at Downtown Disney Orlando

We’ve got a review of a slightly under-the-radar spot in Disney World’s Downtown Disney today!

So far, you’ve heard about both breakfast, lunch and fun beverage options at Pollo Campero, but I haven’t ever posted my own personal review! It’s about time, don’t you think?

Join me for a visit to the Latin-inspired chicken restaurant that provides an interesting change of pace for Downtown Disney Guests!

Atmosphere

Located in what used to be the cavernous McDonald’s at the end of Downtown Disney’s Marketplace, counter-service location Pollo Campero shares space with two other foodstops: Bodie’s All-American (formerly Fresh A-Peel) and Babycakes NYC. On this visit, we were in the mood for chicken, so Pollo Campero it was.

Outside Pollo Campero

Once inside, you’ll approach the restaurant like most other counter service stops. Choose your food at the counter, and then proceed to a central bank of registers that’s shared with Bodie’s All-American.

Ordering Area

The general set up here is a bit “food-courtish,” but it does flow nicely and I’ve never had a pedestrian jam traffic problem.

Next it’s time to go grab a table in the vast, well-lit seating area. There’s also some very nice outside seating if you’re hitting Orlando on one of those warm Winter days.

Menu and Options

The really great thing about this set up is that you can see all of the food before you order, which makes for a well-informed decision making process.

Menu Boards and Food Set Up

The menu — as the name of the restaurant implies — centers around chicken. Guests can choose a “Create Your Meal” option, and pick from Grilled or Fried Chicken, or Fried Chicken Strips.

I love that they have grilled chicken available here. If you’re watching what you eat, this is a decent stand-in for other counter-service meals!

Citrus Grilled Chicken

Also available in some locations are chicken bowls, burritos, and chicken sandwiches.

Signature Fried Chicken

As for side dishes, it’s kind of nice to have lots of alternatives to fries available.

Side Dishes

Speaking of fries…they’re clearly a popular item here, judging from the vast quantity standing by!

French Fries

One unique item that seems to be pretty popular are the Campero Beans. Described as “slow cooked pinto beans simmered with smoked bacon, chorizo, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and jalapeƱos and our unique seasoning,” I was fairly sure we’d be trying these today. I mean, chorizo, guys. Come on.

Campero Beans

Another interesting feature of Pollo Campero is the Beverage Bar. While you have your standard Coca-Cola fountain drink options, the restaurant also serves up some interesting Latin American soft drinks, like Horchata.

Beverage Bar

The freshly prepared salsas are a great touch as well. These will add a little zip to chicken and side dishes nicely.

Fresh Salsa Options

There’s also an assortment of chips and desserts in the grab n’ go section, located in the middle of the ordering area.

Grab n' Go Pop Chips

Grab n' Go Desserts and Fruit

Grab n' Go Flan -- Up Close

Create Your Meal

When it came time to order, we went with — surprise — chicken! My friend chose the Signature Fried Chicken with Fries.

Create Your Meal -- Signature Fried Chicken and Fries

The fried chicken here is not your typical, heavily breaded, corn-flakey fast food variety. The crust is very thin and crisp. The chicken is juicy, tender, and delicious. I would definitely recommend it!

Signature Fried Chicken -- Up Close

For our other option, we went for the Chicken Strips and the Campero Beans.

Create Your Own Meal -- Chicken Strips and Campero Beans

The chicken strips were pretty standard, although good. The dipping sauce tasted like a combination of ketchup and mayo combo. It complemented the chicken nicely.

Dipping Sauce

The Campero Beans were fantastic, though!

Full of flavor and served with rice, these could easily be a meal by themselves. They tasted as though they had been slow cooked, with well-developed flavors.

Campero Beans -- Individual Portion

We skipped the dessert and specialty drinks on this visit. But there’s always next time!

Overall

So, here’s the deal with Pollo Campero: it’s very good, and has some unique options that you’re just not going to find often at other Disney World counter service restaurants. But, as good as it is, it’s competing with some seriously awesome quick service spots in Downtown Disney. Wolfgang Puck Express? Earl of Sandwich? Ghirardelli? (OK, so that’s just ice cream, but I can make a meal out of it.) Those are hard to top.

However, if you find yourself at Downtown Disney in need of a meal…and it’s gotta be chicken, I would definitely give it a try. For fresh, interesting flavors at reasonable prices, Pollo Campero is a really good choice!

Is Pollo Campero a favorite spot for you? Leave a comment below!

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14 Comments

  1. Shayne says:

    We’ve never been to the Pollo Campero at DTD, but there is one around the corner from our house. I like that there is an option for “fast food” that is a bit healthier. The chicken is really good, and that green tomatillo salsa is awesome!

    It’s interesting to see the differences in the menu and restaurant set up vs. our local Pollo Campero.

  2. Ainsley says:

    That sauce looks a lot like Raising Cane’s sauce (a Louisiana based chain). I wonder if it taste like it, too?

  3. Tracy says:

    This is a great stop for families. You can get a whole citrus grilled chicken option with sides and tortillas. The fresh salsa bar is always a hit. The restrooms are cool and clean! For a hungry family to get filled up and a resonable price is a Disney find for sure!!!

  4. Pardilia says:

    I had the best drink ever at this place – it was a non-dairy smoothie with apple juice, blueberries, and honeydew. I know there was some other stuff in it, too, but it was seriously THE BEST drink I’d had in ages. (The food we had was yummy and the cupcake from Babycakes was delicious but – THE DRINK! Mmmm…..)

    If we spent more time in DtD when in WDW, I’d definitely make this place a must-do as it’s easy to get something for everyone without stressing – much like Sunshine Seasons.

  5. Dana says:

    We went in there before because we were going to Babycakes, but the chicken smelled delicious! We had already eaten dinner, so we were too full to try it. But it’s on our list for next time!

  6. Katie says:

    Their citrus grilled chicken is amazing!!!! The cupcakes from babycakes always look wierd when I see them, they look small and not worth the money. All and I will have to try Pollo Campero again when I go because I always go to Earl of Sandwich.

  7. Katie says:

    They are also the only place in WDW that has Takis, spicy mexican chips.

  8. Gwen says:

    We visited DTD a few times on our trip this past summer, and I regret not eating at Pollo Campero. We visited the building to go the BabyCakes a few times (and if you do end up going to Pollo, get something at BabyCakes for dessert! So good!) and they gave us a menu as we entered. It was only after we got back home that I took a look at the menu.

    They have healthy options, gluten-free options and they note that their chicken is hormone free.

    On our next trip, we’ll be having a lunch or dinner here :)

  9. Shayne says:

    Ainsley, the sauce is different from Cane’s sauce, but still very good.

  10. Jayne says:

    Those beans look really good and we are big fans of Pop Chips.

  11. Amanda says:

    We ate there back in the spring and loved it! It is quickly becoming very hard to decide which CS place to eat at in DTD! :) But that is a good thing! lol

  12. Essie says:

    You talked me into it! I love fried chicken, but rarely have it as it has to be good and not greasy. We need one more quick serve meal at DTD and I’m going by your review and choosing this spot for a fried chicken treat. Thanks for the report!

  13. Kenny says:

    I’m probably in the minority, but I think it’s grossly overpriced. Two small pieces of chicken and a side for about 8 bucks seems steep, especially considering what you can get for a couple more bucks at other places in DTD. Don’t get me wrong, the chicken tastes great. I just don’t think you you’re money’s worth there.

  14. Marcia Murphy says:

    We live in Florida but did a quick overnight escape for a birthday staying in the Bonnet Creek Village near Downtown Disney. We were “invited” in by a hostess but was hesitant as I really wanted sit down service. She suggested we sit at the bar area and the tender will serve us off a menu. Our meal was one of the highlights of the trip. The server Gaby was great. The food authentic latin. The desserts from Babycakes, excellent. And gluten/sugar free!
    This is one of those places that is not well know, but needs to be!

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