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Walt Disney World Pot Roast Throw Down

What makes for a good pot roast is a very subjective set of criteria in my opinion. What passes for Best! Pot Roast! Ever! for some might just be meh for others.

Dearly departed Sunday Roast at Rose & Crown

So today we are entering this hallowed comfort food ground. We are throwing down the gauntlet to decide, once and for all, where to find the BEST Pot Roast in all of Disney World! See what you think, and be ready to tell us all about your favorite!

50s Prime Time Cafe

Who makes it better than Mom? We have to kick off this homage to pot roast with a trip to 50s Prime Time Cafe!

The atmosphere here is pure 1950s sitcom kitsch, and servers are your cousins, demanding that you behave like the nice young person you were raised to be. That means NO elbows on the tables, and you had BETTER know the color of that soap if you go to the bathroom.

50s Prime Time Sign

To be sure, Mom’s Old-Fashioned Pot Roast is a reader favorite. This one is slow-cooked until there’s no need for a knife, and served on a bed of fluffy mashed potatoes. Smothered in a rich gravy, the roast is topped with carrots, celery, and onions for some good nutrition. And you best eat all your veggies!

Mom's Old-Fashioned Pot Roast

A way cool thing about the pot roast at 50s Prime Time is that you can get it two ways — by itself, or as part of a Sampling of Mom’s Favorites, where it’s served alongside hearty helpings of fried chicken and meatloaf! It’s like the best family potluck ever.

A Sampling of Mom

Now that’s a plate of comfort food! Still — pssst, don’t tell Mom — this isn’t my favorite pot roast on property. There are a couple of others I’d rank a little higher…

Contempo Cafe

You wouldn’t think that a counter service spot called Contempo Cafe could have mention-worthy, slow-cooked braised beef. At least I didn’t. With its sleek, futuristic signage and touch screen kiosks, you might not expect to find it’s also a great stop on your quest for home-cooked goodness.

Contempo Cafe

But it so is. In fact, when I tried the Pot Roast Platter there recently, I was very pleasantly surprised (okay, shocked) to find that it was probably the greatest pot roast that I’d had at Disney. And that’s a big claim, besting some pretty stiff competition.

And it’s different too, which I love. Rather than being served with mashed potatoes or new potatoes roasted along with the meat, the veggies here — breaded potato wedges and baby carrots — were completely separate from the roast itself. And the beef itself was extremely tender, and smothered with a rich brown gravy. Pretty incredible.

Pot Roast Platter at the Contempo Cafe

And to think that all of this yum is available as a walk-up meal may be the biggest draw of all. It’s tasty, the price is right, and the service is fast. You can’t beat it…

Liberty Tree Tavern

…Unless you happen to serve pot roast at one of my very favorite spots in the whole Disney universe.

That’s right, at the end of the day, it’s hard to go up against Liberty Tree Tavern when there’s a “Best of the Best” title on the line.

And Liberty Tree Tavern, with its early American themeing, is a fascinating place to roam. The food here tastes like what you’d expect to get in a New England tavern. The whole experience is charming.

Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom

But it’s the food that we’re here for. And while there are some delicious iterations of this braised dish all over Disney World, none comes closer to looking like the fabulous food of my childhood than the New England Pot Roast at this Magic Kingdom spot.

Rustic chunks of carrots, celery, and onion are braised to perfection in a Cabernet-mushroom sauce, before it’s served over a bed of mashed potatoes.

Liberty Tree Tavern Pot Roast

Though it used to come with a a tangled mess of onion straws on top as garnish (onion straws, you are missed), even without them it’s pretty darn good. And remember, if you’re after pot roast at Liberty Tree Tavern, be sure to make your advance dining reservation for lunch — the a la carte menu featuring this delicious dish is only available for the noonday meal.

Beaches and Cream

I’ll take my No Way Jose with a side of…braised beef?

That might not be what you’re thinking when you first walk into Disney World’s favorite soda fountain, Beaches and Cream, but you might soon change your tune.

Beaches and Cream at Disney's Beach Club Resort

This beachy throwback to vacation spots from a less hectic era has always been one of our favorite restaurants for their incredible ice cream treats. Kitchen Sink, anyone? And many Disney fans will make a pilgrimage to Beaches and Cream just for their burgers. But if you’re looking for something off the beaten path, they also have a killer Pot Roast Sandwich.

The sandwich, served open-faced on sourdough with a big helping of mashed potatoes, is covered in a rich broth. And there are no fussy veggies to get in the way of your vacay food enjoyment. :-)

New Pot Roast Sandwich at Beaches and Cream

Served with a garnish of french-fried onions and a pickle spear made in house, this will keep you going all day long!

And Now, It’s Your Turn to Vote!

When you’re craving homestyle Pot Roast, where do you turn at Disney? What’s your favorite place to score this comforting, traditional dish? We want to know if you like your gravy thick, or if you prefer a jus, and whether the veggies should be part of the dish or separate.

Be sure to vote for your favorite Walt Disney World version of Pot Roast. Share your opinion in the comments section below!

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26 Comments

  1. Tiffany R says:

    I LOVE pot roast and thanks to your article, I have a couple of new places to try. I had no idea that Beaches and Cream or the Contempo cafe have pot roast on the menu. That being said, my mom and I think the pot roast at Port Orleans French Quarter is pretty good. As good as Liberty Tree Tavern? Heck no, but a good meal at our favorite resort usually the first night we arrive (we are from California, so by the time we arrive, it’s dinner time).

  2. prttynpnk says:

    Liberty Tree puts me in a glorious carnivore coma everytime!

  3. Jeff says:

    prttynpnk: That’s probably a healthier coma than I put myself into every time I’m at Disney (sugar).

  4. Katie says:

    The beaches and creme sandwich looks so good!!

  5. Charles B says:

    It’s a toss up between Liberty Tree and 50s Prime Time – I like them both. I’ve had the pot roast at a few of the resort restaurants. Boatwrights comes to mind, but I guess they don’t serve it anymore. I prefer the veggies, cooked and flavored with the meat.

    The best? My own, which I had for dinner just yesterday. :) Combine in slow cooker bone-in chuck roast, new potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms, a can roasted tomatoes, a 12oz amber ale, salt and seasonings to taste. Cook 8 hours. Leftovers tonight, what a shame!

  6. AJ says:

    Tiffany R — So glad you’ve got some new places to try! Thanks for the tip on Port Orleans — will have to go check it out!

    Prttynpnk — Ha ha! It puts me in an Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake coma!

    Katie — It DOES!

    Charles B — Awesome! Thanks for the new recipe to try!

  7. Louise Bloom says:

    Very delicious food! I’d really appreciate it if you would share the recipes. Great post!

  8. Alan says:

    I love pot roast but it is a meal that, to me, tastes best on a cold winter’s afternoon. I just never seem to be at WDW on those 2 to 3 cold winter days they have in Orlando. As tempted as I am, when it is on the menu, the 90 degree weather I run into on most of my visits scream out to eat something from a grill. I do think pot roast should be slow cooked with the veggies and potatoes ( ala Liberty Tree ) – not over a bed of mashed potatoes or pureed vegetables as is the trendy way to serve it.

  9. JJ says:

    I know traditional pot roast means beef but I would put the braised pork at Be Our Guest lunch counter service on the list. It’s outstanding. Easily the best counter service dish I’ve ever had on property.

  10. Stephanie D. says:

    Our family are huge pot roast fans. This update has our name on it. Heading to the World in July, gonna give the Pot Roast Sandwich at Beaches & Cream a go. Will let you know the verdict upon our return.

  11. Erin says:

    POFQ…it used to be amazing there, had it all the time. I just got back and had it once while I was there and it wasn’t the same :( Can’t wait to go back and try Beaches n Cream!!!

  12. Dana says:

    Love the pot roast at Liberty Tree. They make theirs gluten free, which means I can actually eat it! Yum!

  13. Michelle says:

    Well, out of all of those selections, I have only ever had the pot roast at the 50′s Prime Time Cafe…and I still dream about it!!! I can’t wait to go back and order it again.

  14. Beth in MI says:

    I have always been partial to 50′s Prime Time Cafe but the Liberty Tree and Beaches and Cream look yummy. Sorry AJ. I have to have mashed or boiled potatoes, preferably mashed with gravy, with my pot roast.

  15. CraigInPA says:

    The only problem I see with the Liberty Tree Tavern’s pot roast is the fact that there is WAY too much of it on the plate. It’s so yummy you’ll want to eat every bit.

    But, if you do, you won’t have room to eat the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake, one of the best, if not THE best, desserts in all of WDW.

  16. Scott from Solon, OH says:

    While watching my elbows is a wonderfully fun blast from the 50s, my favorite spin on the pot roast is at the Liberty Tree! The massive chunks of beef and root vegetables served in the Colonial themed wood dining room, plussed to the ceiling with period style pieces is the perfect meal in the perfect setting for this meal. Toss in the costumed cast (yes….it’s tough to top the gum-cracking at Prime Time!) and the sounds of a marching band….well, it doesn’t get any better for me…..

  17. Joni says:

    Liberty Tree Tavern The BEST! I have eaten it for years. Wish now I would havae taken a photo of it every other year or so as it has gone thru a few transformations. Miss the Fried onion strings that use to top it. It is big enought to share (almost lol) and the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake ….It should come with a wheel barrow so you can be hauled out of there.

  18. lebeau says:

    It’s not a trip to Disney until I have had my pot roast at 50s PTC.

  19. Jym says:

    I think Liberty Tree does it better than anyone. The meat is less fat and their gravy has the most flavor. They always nail the consistency of the veg.

  20. JWJ says:

    Love, love, love Liberty Tree Tavern’s Pot Roast. It is my one must-do on every trip to WDW.
    50′s Prime Time is good, but not as good as LTT.
    On our last trip, Olivia’s at Old Key West had a Pot Roast Special that was soooooooooooooo close to LTT, but not quite.

  21. Kimberly says:

    I’ve always loved the German pot roast (Sauerbraten) at the Biergarten in Epcot’s Germany.

  22. Amy says:

    Just made my ADRs for December. Included is a traditional trip to Liberty tree for my FAVORITE pot roast. Not doing Prime Time this trip, but I once took a trip with a friend and our slogan for the trip ended up being: “Three pounds of Pot Roast followed by Star Tours is NOT a good idea.” We’ve recovered and have been back for more of both Pot Roast and Star Tours, but we spread them out a bit. :0) I’ll have to try Contempo one of these trip – good tip!

  23. Stephanie says:

    I’m so glad you included the pot roast from Contempo Cafe! That’s my favorite QS dinner, so good!

  24. James D. says:

    Oooooh! My favorite is definitely the pot roast at the Liberty Tree Tavern. I made special arrangements to have lunch there in 2011 (LTT was a traditional dinner spot for my family) just because AJ’s husband had given it such rave reviews over the years. I had to ask the waiter to take it away from me. Why? Because I COULD NOT STOP EATING IT EVEN THOUGH I WAS STUFFED TO THE POINT OF EXPLODING. I actually had to wait 20 minutes until I got my second wind and could handle the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake for my dessert. But things got worse.

    I started obsessing over the pot roast. I returned from my vacation and continued to crave it. I finally had to get the recipe and my wife made it for dinner. Ah! I love that pot roast!

  25. Sue S says:

    I have had the Beaches and Cream Pot Roast Sandwich. It’s awesome! I could not believe how good it was. And the pickle is delicious too.

  26. Dottie F says:

    Had the pot roast “sandwich” at Beaches & Cream in March and it is to die for..my daughters ordered something else and they were very jealous..can’t wait to devour it again in Nov

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