I know I’m not alone in considering the Grand Floridian Cafe to be a hidden gem among resort restaurants.
Grand Floridian Cafe
Located in one of Walt Disney World’s most beautiful hotels, the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, this moderately-priced table service restaurant is rarely so busy that you can’t score a walk-up table. That has held true for me at even the busiest times, such as spring break.
A while back we experienced a delightful dinner at Grand Floridian Cafe, and I had been anxious ever since that time to get back for breakfast.
On a recent trip, we finally had an opportunity to take in our morning meal there.
The atmosphere at the Grand Floridian Cafe is a little on the nondescript side. It’s not that it’s uncomfortable or unattractive; it’s just that bumped up against all the over-the-top themeing in many Disney spots, this one pales by comparison.
What you will find is a really beautiful, bright, cheerful spot that melds the Victorian with the Floridian perfectly.
At breakfast, you’ll find plenty of guests sitting back, sipping coffee, and reading the paper. It’s just screams “relaxed,” which may be exactly what you need during a busy Disney vacation.
It does feel a little on the dated side…but that kinda makes sense, since you’re supposed to feel like you’re surrounded by the 19th, not the 21st, century.
Mirrors give the space a larger feel, and the heavy marble and iron tables remind me a bit of the sunroom seating at Tony’s Town Square in Magic Kingdom. It’s a nice tie-in to the Main Street U.S.A. vintage feel.
There’s also mixed banquette and chair seating here, so everyone can have the seat they prefer.
The view through the windows onto the terrace and the marina beyond is particularly pretty, framed in lace curtains.
And seriously, the roses on the tables are pretty cool. It kind of feels like the fancy restaurant that your grandmother might have taken you to for luncheon when you were eleven. 🙂
But let’s talk food, shall we? Just like its other monorail counterparts — The Wave at the Contemporary Resort, and Kona Cafe at the Polynesian — the Grand Floridian Cafe serves a stellar breakfast. (Here are reviews of The Wave’s Breakfast and Kona Cafe’s breakfast, just in case you’re looking to compare!)
Start by checking out the interesting drink menu, which goes beyond the normal breakfast offerings. You can choose from all kinds of interesting juice-based drinks, or you can even have a frozen cappuccino. In addition, there are a few really delicious-sounding cocktails that sound worthy of a little splurge.
The entrees menu offers a nice variety of options, ranging from the expected to some completely original items. The Vanilla-Laced French Toast sounded like a great choice to stick a pin in for a future visit, as did Butler Steak and Eggs, served with Bearnaise.
Another point to mention for coffee lovers: you can get a French press pot here of the outstanding Grand Blend of Coffee to share!
My dining companion that morning decided to go for the Eggs Benedict. Here, it’s a completely classic treatment, with Poached Eggs and Canadian Bacon on an English Muffin.
There’s a nod to Floridian cuisine with the Hollandaise, however, which is prepared with the juice of key limes for an extra hint of floral tartness.
I thought the Au Gratin Tomato with Cheese and the Asparagus were really nice side dishes as well. They were a departure from the norm, and a fresh alternative to heavier breakfast potatoes or other sides.
We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try one of the Grand Floridian Cafe’s signature dishes — the Lobster Eggs Benedict. This dish, unlike its traditional counterpart, does depart from the customary.
Here, you have Poached Eggs and traditional Hollandaise, but they are served on a bed of Hash, which features the luxurious ingredients of Asparagus and Lobster. It was beautifully presented and delicious.
But I had to have something sweet alongside the savory options we chose. And it’s hard for me to say no to a Mickey Waffle!
The interesting thing here is that you can choose from a Mulitgrain version or the traditional Malted batter. We went for the latter, and ordered it with crisp Bacon.
The waffle was garnished with a sprinkle of Powdered Sugar. And it will come as no surprise to you that it was delicious. Because, as everyone knows, Mickey waffles are the best waffles in the whole wide world. 🙂 (Seriously, they taste better than other waffles, right?)
The Grand Floridian Cafe continues to be for us a solid, consistent choice for dining in Walt Disney World. As you well know, my chief complaint through the years has been the inability to find consistently good restaurants at Disney, but the Grand Floridian Cafe is a good bet. We have always enjoyed attentive service, and the food is routinely above average.
Add to these two factors that it’s almost always easy to obtain a table here, even by walking up to the podium, and you have a solid choice for dining. If you need a quiet escape from the excitement of the parks, or if you’re just looking to fill a hole in your advance dining reservation lineup, I recommend that you give this serene spot a try. I think you’ll be pleased.
Will you be having your Mickey waffles at Grand Floridian Cafe during your next Disney trip? Leave us a comment and share your thoughts and opinions!