the disney food blog Rotating Header Image

Guest Review: Dinner at La Hacienda de San Angel in Epcot

Guest Author Katie Roth returns this week with a review of La Hacienda de San Angel in Epcot’s Mexico pavilion. Go ahead and grab a margarita!

La Hacienda de San Angel is special to both my husband and I for sentimental reasons, because this was one of the first restaurants we dined in for our honeymoon. While I wasn’t too impressed with this restaurant during that reservation, I was willing to give it another shot.

The views out of the windows are breathtaking, and if nothing else, I could get a great margarita.

Orange Mango Fire Margarita at Epcot's La Hacienda de San Angel

Atmosphere

La Hacienda is located directly across from the temple pyramid that is the focal point of the Mexican pavilion. The entryway can be somewhat hard to miss, especially if you are in the throngs of a major crowd with strollers!

Just look for the sign in the picture below. There is a hostess stand underneath the sign where check-in is required to gain access to the restaurant.

The check-in podium is underneath this sign!

We arrived at the restaurant over 30 minutes before our reservation time just to check in, and to our wonderful surprise they seated us early! We were directed to the foyer/lobby area that contains beautiful blue lanterns. Another hostess in the foyer directed us to our seats.

Lobby area.

The restaurant atmosphere is relaxed with an afternoon siesta feeling and is elegant without being stuffy. The decorations are subtle – at least much less subtle than stereotypical Mexican restaurants – with patterned ceilings, clean walls, star lanterns dangling from the ceiling, and wrought-iron accents.

Booth and Artwork

While it’s not as scenic as a volcano or Mayan river with a Mariachi band playing in the background (San Angel Inn) – it did set a pleasant atmosphere for a meal.

Dining Room at La Hacienda.

The wall of windows overlooks the lagoon and the rest of World Showcase. If you’re able to get a window seat during IllumiNations, it is a great place to watch the show!

A wall of windows provides a great IllumiNations Fireworks view

When we arrived at 5:30 PM, there were hardly any other diners there; but by 6:00 PM the restaurant was packed. After our meal, my husband said “They don’t need a volcano here! The food is the main attraction!” Needless to say, our meal this time around was OUTSTANDING!

Eats

I’m not a margarita person (tequila – bad experiences – won’t go there), but I made a promise to myself to be adventurous on this trip, so I went with a crazy sounding margarita: Mango Blueberry Basil.

Let me tell you what, this was one of the most delicious drinks I have ever had! It was full of unique flavors; the sweetness of the mango and blueberries was accented nicely by the fresh basil, but the chili salt rim really packed a punch of flavor that created a myriad of flavor combinations all in one sip. This is the kind of margarita that you sip and savor; not slurp down like a slushie machine margarita lunch special!

Mango Blueberry Basil Margarita.

I’ll admit, the margarita’s rim burned my tongue but fired me on to consume an unforgivable amount of the tasty complimentary chip service. Additionally, the sweetness of the margarita paired perfectly with our entire meal! I know a lot of people would baulk at the price of this margarita (~$13), but the cost is more than appropriate for the amount of labor and fresh ingredients that went into it.

Speaking of complimentary chip service… the chips were lukewarm, which was somewhat disappointing; but they were salted perfectly to make up for it. Two accompanying salsas were included; red and green. The red salsa was very hot and had a robust, smoky, chipotle flavor. The green salsa was milder and (to me) had a vinegary/citrusy taste. I thought it was delicious! Nothing Chi-Chi’s or Pace Picante about these!

Chips and Salsa!

For our main course, we wanted to try another 2-person platter like we did on our honeymoon; however, on this adventure we are trying to eat healthier so we opted for the seafood “Del Mar” platter instead of the chicken, steak, and chorizo loaded option.

I wasn’t sure what we were going to get – to be honest, I wasn’t expecting great things since the meat platter on the prior visit was somewhat dry and tough to eat. We were both shocked when this beauty came out!

The seafood "Del Mar" Platter is gorgeous!

A huge, sizzling skillet full of sautéed veggies, sweet corn, shrimp, and fish topped with fresh salsa, and scallops with accompanying bowls of rice and beans dominated the footprint of our entire 4-5 person table. And this was all just for the two of us! :-)

Seafood Platter for Two and Accompaniments.

You can literally see the freshness in the picture below! Look at that steam! Definitely poppin’ fresh.

Fresh and steaming platter for two!

The zucchini, pepper, and veggie blend was buttery and (frankly) average. There was nothing spectacular about these vegetables other than they provided some fiber and color to the meal.

The corn was a completely different story. Ordinarily, I don’t eat corn, but this looked so tempting with the cheese and chili topping. The corn itself was incredibly sweet and – channeling Goldie Hawn a la Overboard “burst in your mouth at exactly the right time” – was in what tasted like a lime and garlic sauce. It was non-vegetable-acting-like-a-vegetable perfection!

The scallops were cooked perfectly, and while they didn’t have very much seasoning on them their texture made up for lack of flavor. The fish was a tender white fish (type unknown) and was topped with a very fresh salsa that was spicy, flaky, and not salty. My husband absolutely loved the fish! Which was why I maybe got ..hmm… 1/5 of it? You snooze you lose, I guess.

Scallops and fish.

The shrimp were very tender and in a colorful, savory sauce. These “tropical grubworms” sure did taste good! They were not at all rubbery or “off” tasting as most mass-produced shrimp entrees in chain/dive restaurants are.

Shrimp.

The rice was tender and flavorful. I’m still not sure as to the purpose of the peas other than looks… but the rice tasted wonderful! It was not dry at all; definitely an adequate sidekick to the meal.

Rice.

Oh boy, do I love me some beans! These particular beans were not too chunky and were packed full of flavor! They were wonderful! How wonderful you ask? Well, so wonderful that my husband used them as a topping for EVERYTHING!

Beans.

Ah – the crème de la crème — I discovered that ‘heaven in my mouth’ was a mixture of the corn, rice, and beans. It was amazing! I love seafood, but to be honest, I ditched everything on the platter and kept eating this.

Yes, I paid that much for rice and beans. ;-)

My corn, rice, and bean mixture!

Delicious beans, corns,and rice.

After we wolfed down the entire platter and had to unbutton the top button on our pants (or in my case, loosen the elastic ties on our running shorts), it was time to order dessert!

We chose to sample the Empanda de Manzana (caramel apple empanada with dulce de leche ice cream, caramel sauce, and fresh berries) and the Helado de Maiz (corn ice cream with candied popcorn and more of that chili pepper salt).

Okay – truth time – I thought the corn ice cream was weird; I felt like I was eating frozen creamed corn. There were chunky pieces of frozen corn in the ice cream. The ice cream itself wasn’t overly sweet, but was complemented well by the odd pairing of the chili salt that was sprinkled on top. I saw no point in having the popcorn on it. The textures didn’t mesh well with the chunky ice cream. My husband said it tasted like an upscale version of french fries dipped in a Frosty.

Corn Ice Cream.

The experience with the empanada was polar opposite of that of the corn ice cream. It was absolutely in-cred-ible!!! The ice cream was very rich and was ribboned with thick caramel.

The empanada had a tender, flaky, buttery pastry crust that was stuffed with fresh, sweet, caramel apple filling and then ribboned with more of that delectable caramel sauce on top. If I’m going to be honest, the caramel sauce tasted better than Werther’s!

Caramel apple empanada!

The fresh berries added just the right tartness to each bite. Everything was right about this dessert.

If I haven’t painted a clear enough picture of how amazing this was, let me try again: Remember that scene from Jurassic Park where they lowered the animal down to the velociraptors and how the harness looked when they pulled it back up? That’s pretty much what it looked like when we were eating this. ;-) (Editor’s Note: Love the voracious picture that’s now in my head!)

Overall

Overall, we were more than impressed with La Hacienda this go-around. It was definitely better than our prior visit, which could be due to the fact that it was not busy (hence no rushed chefs). The restaurant was still pretty new when we went the first time, so perhaps the chefs are in their rhythms now.

No matter, this meal was outstanding and we consider it one of the best of our trip. We can’t wait to come back! My only piece of advice is to be adventurous and explore all of the different flavors here!

Katie works full-time as an engineer in Ohio and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in mechanical engineering through Purdue University. Katie and her husband absolutely love everything Disney and try to work that special brand of magic into every aspect of their life including visiting Walt Disney World multiple times per year.

What are your favorite dishes at La Hacienda de San Angel? Chime in with your comments below!

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

30 Comments

  1. Andrew says:

    Hello, great review! I have often looked at this menu and been drawn in by the platter’s. I’m a fan of the dining plan and usually book our package with it (with my wife). Do you know if the platter is available on the dining plan for two people? This is kind of an odd-ball question that I don’t expect many people to know the answer to so don’t worry if you don’t know. You have me sold on the food though! Thanks for your time.

  2. Zoe says:

    My family and I visit Disney every year and out of our 14 table service meals that we had including all the top rated ones like Ohana, Jiko etc this was our favourite restaurant. We love it every time.

  3. Amber says:

    We dined here on our anniversary back in Sept and loved the food! We had the La Hacienda which is similar to what you got but with meat – chicken, steak and chirizo (sp). The meats were cooked perfectly. But the star of the meal was the corn. Like you, we REALLY loved the corn. Wow, the flavor it had was incredible. We still talk about the corn!

  4. Donette says:

    We love this restaurant! My husband and I live in Tampa and will drive the hour over just to eat dinner there. We usually get the meat platter and it has always been cooked perfectly! Love that we can get in the restaurant without needing reservations months in advance too!!

  5. Michelle P says:

    Another corn lover here! Actually, La Hacienda has become our “kiss goodnight” on all Disney trips – it’s the meal for our last night at WDW. If you can score an Illuminations seating (pretty much any time after 7:45) you are in for a treat! The view is spectacular. They dim the lights inside and play the soundtrack. you can’t see the high fireworks unless you’re right at the table – but it’s such a unique and lovely view!

  6. Dana says:

    We’re eating here for the first time in October, and now I’m really excited! We mostly wanted to try it as an alternative to the Rose and Crown for an Illuminations seating (we have a 7:45 reservation), but the food looks really good!

  7. Jill D says:

    I’m a huge fan of Mexico, but not of cilantro. Can you get food without cilantro here? Or is it already mixed in? Thanks.

  8. Catherine says:

    Ok wow … We have never eaten here, but after this great review will HAVE to give it a try !! If just for that yummy looking corn and AMAZING dulche de leche dessert !! Thanks !!

  9. Cheryl D says:

    I ate there with a friend last October and we got the meat combo platter. We thought it was delicious! I don’t remember the corn being all that different, but I do remember loving the food! My friend got the corn ice cream, and I tasted it. We both thought it was weird, too. I hate creamed corn, so to me it was gross. I can’t believe it’s still on the menu! I went back by myself in June when I was there for a conference and had the chicken dish. It was also delicious. Too bad you can only get a combo plate if you have 2 people.

  10. Mary says:

    La Hacienda quickly skyrocketed to one of my favorite Disney restaurants and was the best meal we had that trip. Amazing food (I had the puerco en salsa de mole negro for dinner, the tamal de dulce for dessert, and a blood orange margarita) and the server was so friendly! And you are spot on about the beans…I so wish I had the recipe for those because they were incredibly delicious!!

  11. Av says:

    Jill D: As someone with food allergies, Disney will take out pretty much anything you don’t like. Cilantro shouldn’t be an issue if they could accommodate my 10 + food allergies on my recent trip!

  12. Alan says:

    A beautiful, bright and cheery dining room along with interesting looking food – Disney keeps moving forward with the food and beverage improvements. What a great time to be a WDW lover and a food fanatic too. I can’t wait to see what restaurants are coming up around the corner.

  13. Kay says:

    For all of you who love La Hacienda you might want to try the Maya Grill at Coronado Springs Resort. They are owned by the same company, we find both to be very good. There are differences in the food at each but are enough alike that I wouldn’t do both on the same trip.

  14. Ashley says:

    We frequent here for the Queso Fundito and the Taco Trio (and margaritas, of course.) It’s enough to fill you up without breaking the bank.

  15. Oh, wow! I’ve never been more than mildly interested in La Hacienda, but the seafood platter may just reel me in after all (see what I did there? Okay, okay, I’m leaving…).

  16. Tom says:

    Too bad this place no longer takes TIW or we would give it a shot, pretty strange given San Angel does.

  17. Joe says:

    Um, how ’bout a price? These reviews would be SO much better with prices….

  18. Holly says:

    La Hacienda is my favorite restaurant in all of WDW–most authentic Mexican food I’ve had since I was in Mexico back in college! My bff & I always order the meat platter for 2 & we LOVE it! The corn is amazing, the steak is always tender & the topping for it is so yummy I’d happily eat it by itself, & the chicken is yummy, too :). I LOVE their queso fundido–best I’ve ever had outside Mexico :D. They even brought out the queso fundido without all the toppings for my boys as a main course this last trip, since they don’t have ground beef tacos ;). Love, love, love this restaurant :D

  19. Heather says:

    We’ve done La Hacienda during IllumiNations, I highly recommend it! I mostly wanted to say that “Over Board” is one of my favorite comedies. Fun to see it referenced in the review!

  20. Katie Roth says:

    Joe –
    When we go to Disney World, we always use the dining plan. That being said, the seafood platter required the ‘entree entitlement’ from two people. If I remember correctly, the dollar value was around $50…
    To be honest, I cannot remember the dollar amount of the desserts – only that they were included in the dining plan.
    The mango blueberry basil margarita was $13-$14.

    Hope this helps.

  21. Bill says:

    We’re dining there in September for the first time and I know now we won’t be disappointed. Nice review, thank you!

  22. Barry Moss says:

    La Hacienda has become one of our “must dos” on Disney vacations, precisely because of the Platter del Mar and the Orange Mango Fire Margarita. We did try the meat platter one time but we weren’t that impressed with it. The del Mar platter has never ceased to impress though, but we never have room for desert afterwards! :)

  23. Belinda says:

    My first visit to LaHacienda was in Oct 2011 and it has become a “must do” every trip thereafter! I have to admit that I became enamoured with the Fish Taco’s and classic Margarita and can’t bare to order anything else. But after reading this I might venture out – Great article!

  24. Sue says:

    I cannot WAIT to try La Hacienda!! That is a tantalizing review!

  25. Katie Roth says:

    Andrew – yes, the platter is available for two people on the dining plan! …and we are so thrilled that it is!!

    We might cancel our ADR for Be Our Guest to go back here… :)

  26. Jeff says:

    Cheryl D: Is that really true that you can only get the platter if you have two people? How could they possibly qualify that? It seems there would be a hundred ways around the rule.

  27. thg says:

    dammit
    I just had lunch and Im already hungry

  28. Kate says:

    I haven’t eaten here (my husband isn’t fond of Mexican food, sadly!) but I have to comment on the margaritas available in Mexico (the real ones, not the frozen ones available outside). They are expensive, but SO worth the cost. They are well-made, with good tequila-most folks with tequila stories had a bad encounter with low quality liquor- and very flavorful. Definitely worth the splurge!!

    Now if I can only convince my husband to *eat* in Mexico…… :)

  29. Denise says:

    We just returned from our fourth trip this year to Disney. The interior is absolutely gorgeous!! We watched illuminations from inside the restaurant ….that was the only nice thing about it. I love the showcase and the diversity of people…..but I would not recommend this place to anyone. My husband is a master chef and has a broad pallet — but really??? He knows what The chicken was dry, the corn was cold and my drink was not what I ordered. I’ve had better at my local mediocre, no cars in the parking lot, El Pollo Loco! The server was M.I.A. most of the time. My little one asked the server for cheese dip and he looked at him with disgust and raised his voice and said ” WE HAVE NO CHEESE DIP”!!! Of course being a protective mom, boiling by this point, I waited until dinner was over to talk to the manager about “el diablo server”. Being a very traveled family, if anyone I plan Disney trips for ask — I’m going to have to say avoid this place- please. Hopefully, the next trip to the showcase will be enjoyable! (Wine and Food Fest)

  30. John Nobles says:

    We arived at Epcot early as advised to us when reservations were made. As we passed LA Hacienda we checked the menu and anticipated a fullfilling dinner. Before passing by LA Hacienda we verified reservations and questioned the Concierge about what line that may generate and being first specifically asking if there was a need to be in line at open. We were told after the specific question that there was no need to wait in line and that we could spend the next 40 minutes walking and enjoying the other parts of the park. Upon returning their expectedly was a line and at that time being the time of our reservation, were told by the same Concierge that we would have to wait in the line that had generated in order to check in in with reservations. I expressed my frustration with both the Concierge and the Restaurant Manager and neither showed any care. I myself did not eat and others in our group were very dissatisfied with both the food and service. I will not return to LA Hacienda and likely not even to Epcot Park. Dissapointedey we left Epcot Park very unhappy with the whole experience.

Leave a Reply

Current month ye@r day *