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Review: Breakfast at the Grand Floridian Cafe

I know I’m not alone in considering the Grand Floridian Cafe to be a hidden gem among resort restaurants.

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.

Atmosphere

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.

Sign at the Restaurant's Entrance

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.

Seating in the Main Dining Room

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.

Mixed Seating and Decor

The view through the windows onto the terrace and the marina beyond is particularly pretty, framed in lace curtains.

A Table with a View

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. :-)

Eats

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.

Drink Menu -- Click to Enlarge

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!

Breakfast Menu -- Click to Enlarge

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.

Eggs Benedict

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.

Lobster Eggs Benedict

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.

Mickey Waffle with 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?)

Overall

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!

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17 Comments

  1. nicola says:

    Got to say this looks so lovely. really quaint and pretty.

    I’m currently on my pre-Disney diet (38 days to go). So my lunch of a basic side salad doesn’t really compare to this! The lobster Eggs Benedict looks heavenly and I’d do anything to gobble down that Mickey waffle right now!

    THANKS!

  2. Brenda says:

    This is a great hidden gem!! My daughter and I always have breakfast here. If you get a chance, the Citrus Pancakes are a yummy treat-with pecans, cranberries and orange butter very tasty and surprisingly not oversweet. :)

  3. Wendy says:

    Unfortunately, the Grand Floridian Cafe is the one time I’ve had some pretty poor service while dining at WDW. Our waitress, Gloria, had a very sour attitude and was not very attentive. As is the case with experiences like this, I don’t have fond memories of of GFC, but I would really like to give it another go sometime. Especially for some vanilla-laced French toast!

  4. Alan says:

    I think that this hotel houses the best group of restaurants on the Disney property. The Cafe probably is the best deal as far as value for your dollars. Breakfast is great, as AJ writes about above, and it pays to read some of the older reviews to get a taste of the dinner menus. The hotel, the restaurants and all the other amenities are the most elegant at WDW and are worth a stay just for the luxurious atmosphere.

  5. Sherri Erwin says:

    My sentimental favorite. First visited GF Cafe on my honeymoon for lunch (23 years ago). Our waiter looked like Chevy Chase and was a joker. After lunch, we decided we were not that hungry but he talked us into sharing a slice of apple pie for dessert. Our “slice” was the whole pie, minus one slice, which we could not even finish let alone barely make a dent. But good times. We go back every trip, usually for breakfast or lunch.

  6. Dara says:

    My sister and I ate here for dinner in Aug. 2012. What a nice and relaxing place to go. We were celebrating her birthday and the waiter sang happy birthday and brought her a cupcake with a candle. It was funny because he was having trouble keeping the candle lite and he was standing behind her so I could see him but she couldn’t and she said to me do you smell a candle? About that time he presented her with the birthday cupcake! It was a good experience and good food. Will go there again. The vanilla French toast does sound good.

  7. Scott from Solon, OH says:

    The Lobster Eggs Benedict is probably my favorite breakfast entree on any Disney property. As a longtime Passholder and TIW foodie, I have tried a bundle. When you add in the light and elegance of the venue….it is Magical. On my last trip, I was seated next to a large, multi-generational Columbian family. Looking up from my rapidly vanishing breakfast, I spotted a couple of footman escorted horses and Cinderella’s carriage! I pointed(Disney style, of course) and said, “Mira!” The little ones looked, squealed with joy needing no translation, and ran for the door….followed almost closely by parents and grandparents….did I mention the breakfast was delicious!

  8. Galloping Gourmand says:

    The atmosphere may seem a little bland, but it’s almost exactly what the era dictates. The GF Cafe represents a victorian era resort hotel dining area. It’s casual, has brass, a large open area, and fancy though not expensive furniture. The only thing missing from the tables to get that resort feeling would be table and either padded chair backs or thinner lines in the wood.

    I’m not a decorater, I’m an eater. Haven’t had breakfast here.

  9. Essie says:

    This does look like a perfect spot for a relaxing treat to start a day. Going to the MK? You can get off of the Monorail and have a beautiful little breakfast in a lovely restaurant and relax before hitting the park. What a nice way to begin your day of adventure!

  10. Alan says:

    The Grand Floridian Café is our favorite place on property for breakfast. The maple vanilla French toast is the best French toast and all of the universe, known or otherwise. I wake up drooling from dreaming about it.

  11. James D. says:

    The french toast at the Grand Floridian Cafe is great! I’m not a big breakfast person (unless you count eating chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches for breakfast), but I absolutely would get up extra early again just to have that french toast!

  12. Tim says:

    I only been here to lunch and they had some sandwhich where they spread olive oil on both sides of bread and it just made the sandwich inedible. Just imagine pooring coke on a piece of bread, just soggy and disgusting. No one else in the cafe ate their sandwich either. It was prompty removed from the menu shortly after I ordered it.

  13. Frank Stefanec says:

    We love the GF Cafe. We go for lunch often. Our favorite is their Cobb Salad… IMHO, it is better than Brown Derby… just my opinion…. Great service, friendly, relaxing, GREAT food.
    Frank

  14. Ashley says:

    My aunt & I ate there on our trip last year. The vanilla-laced French toast was wonderful!

  15. Melissa says:

    It’s been a while since we’ve had breakfast at the Grand Floridian Café. I think I’ll have to make it a point to visit again on our next vacation. That tomato au gratin is the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in my feed all week!

  16. JoAnn says:

    I will be having breakfast here for the first time in November.

  17. Jenn says:

    My husband and I made a breakfast reservation here when we visited in Feb 2013, primarily because I had heard about the lobster eggs benedict. I LOVE poached eggs and hollandaise paired with pretty much any combination, but thought the lobster hash left a lot to be desired. I wouldn’t call myself a seafood snob, I pretty much always like any seafood, but I found the lobster to be a little on the fishy side and the hash overall too sweet. It really was a let down, especially for the $$. Other than that, the atmosphere was nice and quiet, service was good and the pace felt relaxed. It was a nice change from the pace of the parks.

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