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Top 5 Must-Try NEW Restaurants in Walt Disney World for 2014

Happy New Year to all of our wonderful Disney Food Blog Readers out there!

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Whether you’re busy getting started with those resolutions, or recuperating from the big party last night, we thought we’d take a few minutes and discuss some fun new options that you’ve just gotta try in 2014!

True, there wasn’t nearly as much expansion in Disney Parks in 2013. It’s hard to measure up to New Fantasyland and Cars Land, after all! But there are still some fun new spots to check out.

So if you haven’t had the pleasure, allow me to introduce our picks for the Top 5 Must-Try New Walt Disney World Dining Spots for 2014!

L’Artisan des Glaces

Who knew that you could make Ice Cream even better? We were a little sad to hear that one of our favorite destinations for ice cream, Fountain View Cafe (hand made ice cream sandwiches!!!) would be converting to a Starbucks. But our blues faded away the very first time we stepped foot into L’Artisan des Glaces.

L'Artisan des Glaces Moved into the Former Boulangerie Patisserie Space

L’Artisan des Glaces Moved into the Former Boulangerie Patisserie Space

The tiny sorbet and ice cream parlour has tons of Old World charm — quite a feat since it opened, brand-new, in 2013! Occupying the space that was previously home to Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot’s France Pavilion, the shop gave us lots of reasons to venture off the beaten path in search of a refreshing treat. (Bakery fans, not to worry. The très popular bakery and pastry shop was rechristened Les Halles, and expanded to the back of the France Pavilion.)

Inside L'Artisan des Glaces

Inside L’Artisan des Glaces

On any given day, the scoop shop plays host to 16 varying flavors of ice cream and sorbet, made from scratch right here in the France Pavilion.

A scoop of the good stuff

A scoop of the good stuff

And the flavors aren’t your garden variety vanilla. They’re European-inspired flavors, with exotic names like Caramel Fleur de Sel, Coco-White Chocolate, and Profiterole. Okay and yes — there’s Vanilla, too. :-) They’re all made in house (I’ve actually seen the ice cream machines in the back!!), and the flavors absolutely pop.

L'Artisan des Glaces Ice Creams and Sorbets in Epcot's France

L’Artisan des Glaces Ice Creams and Sorbets in Epcot’s France

But that’s only part of the story. Because if you’re looking for something a little more interesting than just another scoop of ice cream (really, really incredible ice cream, mind you), then L’Artisan des Glaces is for you. They’re pushing the envelope with not one but THREE fun ice cream snacks that ensure I pop into the shop nearly every trip.

In the category of frosty drink treats with a grown-up twist, we have this gorgeous Ice Cream Martini. Ice Cream + Liquor for the win! (Read our review of the yummo drink/dessert hybrid here.)

Ice Cream Martini from L'Artisan des Glaces in Epcot's France Pavilion

Ice Cream Martini from L’Artisan des Glaces in Epcot’s France Pavilion

But that’s not all! It’s a well-established fact on DFB that I love and adore Ice Cream Sandwiches. And L’Artisan des Glaces has introduced two new versions!

First up, capitalizing on the hotter-than-hot macaron craze, they’ve introduced cute Chocolate Macaron Sandwiches. For the same price as a scoop, guests can have their chocolate ice cream in sammie form. These are off-the-charts delicious and well worth a try on your next visit.

Chocolate Macaron ice cream sandwich

Also available are Pressed Brioche Ice Cream Sandwiches. These babies start with a Freshly Baked Brioche that’s filled with Ice Cream and and accompanying Sauce. The whole thing is pressed into a panini-like creation that’s truly unique.

L'Artisan des Glaces Pressed Brioche Ice Cream Sandwich

L’Artisan des Glaces Pressed Brioche Ice Cream Sandwich

Pop over to our exclusive review to read all about them!

Food Truck Row at Downtown Disney

The Disney Powers That Be said it would come to pass. That soon, there would be a Food Truck Row situated in Downtown Disney. But we admit it…after the disappearance of the Hyperion Wharf concept, we took a “wait-and-see” approach to this exciting food news.

But well inside the space of a year, we have not one but FOUR Food Trucks routinely parked at Downtown Disney! The custom vehicles showcase flavors that have been made famous in Disney Parks all over the globe.

The first truck to arrive was Superstar Catering Food Truck. Featuring a “Star Studded Menu”, this mobile culinary unit brings the flavors of Disney’s Hollywood Studios to the Downtown Disney Area.

Superstar Catering Food Truck

Superstar Catering Food Truck

The Lamb Meatball Sandwich, dripping with generous amounts of Tzatziki Sauce, was a favorite of ours from the get-go!

Lamb Meatball Flatbread Sandwich

Lamb Meatball Flatbread Sandwich

Meatballs are the name of the game in the Superstar Truck, with other selections including Turkey Sausage and Golden Raisin Meatballs. There’s even a Meatball Slider for the kiddos!

But next came the truck that I had been dreaming about. That’s right, Kids. With the debut of Namaste Cafe Food Truck, my beloved Butter Chicken has gone mobile!!!

Namaste Cafe Food Truck

Artwork on the Namaste Cafe Food Truck

Besides the fact that this truck is just gorgeous, the menu features “Tasty Explorations From Animal Kingdom”, and that includes Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge as well. The three menu items featured are all served with a combo of Rice and Naan, making them even more delicious! (And portable!!)

And since they feature Butter Chicken, one of my favorite dishes in the universe that I routinely get on my visits to Sanaa, you knew that’s what we would try during our first visit!

Butter Chicken from Namaste Cafe

Butter Chicken from Namaste Cafe

But as good as Butter Chicken is (and lemme tell you, it’s really, really good), the next truck was the one that fulfilled one of my most ardent Disney Dreams — food-speaking, anyway. For with the debut of Fantasy Fare Food Truck, finally, Disneyland Hand-Dipped Corn Dogs would come to Walt Disney World.

Fantasy Fare Food Truck Comes to Walt Disney World, and Fulfills Dreams in the Process!

Fantasy Fare Food Truck Comes to Walt Disney World, and Fulfills Dreams in the Process!

The official theme of the truck is to bring “Culinary Traditions From Disney Parks Around the Globe to Disney World.” And even though that Hong Kong Disneyland dish and the Be Our Guest featured item look tasty, we definitely recommend your first foray into Food Truck eats should include this Hand-Dipped Corn Dog!

Hand-dipped Corn Dogs Served with Freshly Made Potato Chips

Hand-dipped Corn Dogs Served with Freshly Made Potato Chips

Substantial and served alongside those amazing Freshly Made Potato Chips, it’s a hard combo to resist!

The final of the four trucks fulfills another Disney Food Fantasy — a year-round taste of the incredibly popular Epcot International Food and Wine Festival! If you wish that the Festival lasted for 12 months instead of seven weeks, you’ll want to check out the World Showcase of Flavors Food Truck first!

Even though each truck has a theme, they also each represent one of the four Walt Disney World Parks. And so, it’s perfect that World Showcase of Flavors plays foodie homage to Epcot.

Food Truck location by Bongos Cuban Cafe

Food Truck location by Bongos Cuban Cafe

One seriously fun aspect of this truck is that, in addition to Coca Cola Products and Dasani Water, it also offers Wines by the Glass. And the wines pair up perfectly with the menu items! Yessss! This is gonna be fun.

Wine Selection

Wines by the Glass!

We sampled an incredible Lobster Roll served with House-Made Chips on our first visit to this truck!

Lobster Roll and House-made Chips

Lobster Roll and House-made Chips

It will be huge fun to see what other dishes from the Food and Wine Festival pop up on the menu here!

Starbucks

Okay, okay. I know. You can get Starbucks practically anywhere on earth. (And there are rumors about one going in on the Space Station. I kid.) But, there’s still something special about consuming a drink that you’re passionate about in the shadow of your favorite landmarks on earth.

The Main Street Bakery in Walt Disney World Becomes a Starbucks

The Main Street Bakery in Walt Disney World Becomes a Starbucks

Too dramatic? I don’t think so. Whether you love or hate Starbucks, the announcement that the Seattle-based coffee giant was finally forming an alliance with Disney was enormous news. It’s been hotly debated, with lovers of the green siren slightly edging out nay-sayers.

Disney and Starbucks -- A Match Made in Brand Heaven

Disney and Starbucks — A Match Made in Brand Heaven

But really, this was probably foreseeable. Disney, since its very earliest days, has always had strong corporate alliances. And if there are two more recognizable brands in the world, I’m not sure what they are.

Fountain View Cafe at Epcot, the Newest Walt Disney World Starbucks Location

Fountain View Cafe at Epcot, the Newest Walt Disney World Starbucks Location

For many, it will be a long time before the novelty of drinking their favorite coffee or tea beverage within the Disney Parks wears off. For these folks, Disney + Coffee = Ultimate Happy Place.

So whether you choose the Main Street Bakery in Magic Kingdom, or the Fountain View Cafe in Epcot (or both!), Disney is sure you’ll be spending your coffee dollars somewhere inside the gates more frequently now.

You'll Enjoy All of Your Seasonal Starbucks Favorites at Fountain View Cafe!

You’ll Enjoy All of Your Seasonal Starbucks Favorites at Fountain View Cafe!

And now, we look forward to finding out if we’ll be able to snag a Frappuccino in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios before the sun sets on 2014 . . .

(And psst. Don’t worry, Starbucks Addicts Fans. You can also get your fill of your favorite java if you visit Disneyland. The Market House in Disneyland Park and the Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical Cafe Starbucks locations have opened as well.)

Spice Road Table

We have been waiting for this one for a long time, indeed! Ever since we broke the news that a brand new restaurant would be coming to Epcot’s Morocco Pavilion, I’ve been waiting not-so-patiently for the reveal!

And it’s close at hand. Spice Road Table is set to open along Morocco’s waterfront any day now.

The New Sign for Spice Road Table!

The New Sign for Spice Road Table!

Billed as a Restaurant Featuring Small Plates, the menu will highlight regional flavors from the Mediterranean. The delicious possibilities are endless, I’m thinking! So far, we’re hearing about dishes like Harissa Chicken (a Food and Wine and Flower and Garden Festival favorite!), a Mediterranean omelet, Mussels and Jumbo Shrimp, with lots more in the works.

Harissa and Lamb Confit Chicken Drumettes with Chermoula and Cucumber Salad

Harissa and Lemon Chicken Drumettes with Chermoula and Cucumber Salad from Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival

In addition to the exotic menu, guests can enjoy Great Wines representing specific Mediterranean countries. I think the fun here will come from exploring more than one country at the same table. And if the success of Tutto Gusto and La Cava del Tequila is any indication, Spice Road Table will be another hot Epcot stop for sure!

The Brown Derby Lounge

Disney’s Hollywood Studios has never been much of a destination for sophisticated dining. The emphasis at the park has been super-themed restaurants like 50s Prime Time Cafe or Sci-Fi Dine-In for the most part. That’s not to say that there aren’t some fantastic options (hello, Starring Rolls Cupcakes!) But most of the time, you wouldn’t put it on par with other foodie destinations throughout the resort.

Until now. Because we could be seeing a hot carryover trend at DHS, with the arrival of the Brown Derby Lounge at the Hollywood Brown Derby.

Patio seating at Brown Derby Lounge

Patio seating at Brown Derby Lounge

The Hollywood Brown Derby has been an oasis of fine dining (well, finer, anyway) since the park opened. So if the culinary staff is going to try and introduce the concept of a Wine and Tapas Bar to this Park, it makes sense that this is a good place to do it.

Wine at Brown Derby Lounge

Wine at Brown Derby Lounge

Serving Specialty Cocktails, Wines by the Glass, and a Menu of Small Plates, you’ll find the Lounge located on the lower level and patio of the existing restaurant. It’s the perfect place to people watch.

And with a menu created by the chefs of the Brown Derby, there are some seriously delicious-sounding options to try! I’m so excited that I’ll be able to have a Cocktail and a Cheese Plate, right in the middle of the Studios!!

Cheese Plate, featuring Champignon Brie, Midnight Moon Goat, and Flora Nelle Blue with Raisins on the vine, Pear Jelly, Spiced Pecans, and Crostini

Cheese Plate, featuring Champignon Brie, Midnight Moon Goat, and Flora Nelle Blue with Raisins on the vine, Pear Jelly, Spiced Pecans, and Crostini

And the Wagyu Beef Sliders look and sound fantastic! I can’t wait to try the Duck Confit Tacos on my first visit to this brand new hotspot! It may totally be worth the boat ride over from World Showcase. :-)

Wagyu Beef with Cognac-Mustard Aioli, Smoked Gouda Cheese, Bacon, and Avocado; and House-made Chorizo with Chipotle Mayo, Manchego Cheese, Pickles, and crispy Onions at the Brown Derby Lounge

Wagyu Beef with Cognac-Mustard Aioli, Smoked Gouda Cheese, Bacon, and Avocado; and House-made Chorizo with Chipotle Mayo, Manchego Cheese, Pickles, and crispy Onions at the Brown Derby Lounge

So there you have it — five new places that you and I must try during our visits to Walt Disney World in 2014! It promises to be an exciting year as we explore all of these fun new finds, and we look forward with anticipation to see what else they’ll come up as the year rolls on!

And now we want to hear from you! What restaurant are YOU most excited to sample in 2014 at Walt Disney World? Leave a comment and join in on the conversation!

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7 Comments

  1. Sandy says:

    Happy New Year! I’m most looking forward to trying L’Artisan des Glaces – I was *this* close to having a taste on my last trip, but I had to save room for the DFB snack attack party! ;) It was worth skipping at the time, but I’m really looking forward to trying the brioche sandwich in September!

  2. Um….yeah. So I can’t decide which of these things is the most exciting. You had me at pressed ice cream sandwich. But then–food trucks in DTD?!? With butter chicken!??! And…and…Disneyland corndogs in WDW?!? I went all kinds of out of my way to have a corn dog in DL when I was there a couple of months ago. Now I can have one in Florida! Hurray! Oh and adding a lounge to Brown Derby?!??? It’s only my favorite restaurant, and drinking is my other favorite thing! This is all fantastic. I need to plan a trip soon.

  3. Lucy says:

    My three picks are the food trucks with the lobster roll, The Brown Derby Lounge cheese trio and Roadside Table’s stuffed grape leaves. I can’t wait to try them!

  4. Janna says:

    Disney + Coffee = Ultimate Happy Place

    You just described it well for/of me!

    As for new places to try, I am looking forward to the Fantasy Fare food truck. Yum!

  5. Andrea91 says:

    The wife and I are taking her parents in February and the Spice Road Table and L’Artisan des Glaces are two of the main spots we will be heading. Along with the new restaurant at the Mexico pavilion my palate and stomach can hardly wait!!

  6. James D. says:

    I’ll be hitting up two of those — L’Artisan des Glaces and The Brown Derby Lounge — in a few weeks. I’m really looking forward to both. What I am not looking forward to is the Main Street Starbucks. They can call it the Main Street Bakery all they want, but the Main Street Bakery is gone. Much like Anakin Skywalker, it has been consumed by the Dark Side…

  7. Sandyy3 says:

    I ate at the new Brown Derby lounge and ordered the cheese plate sometime in early November. When the plate arrived I found I needed a magnifying glass to even find the cheese on the plate. Since there are other restaurants in Disney who offer these appetizers with more generous portions, I was severely disappointed. I spoke to the waitress and she seemed embarrassed but she couldn’t do anything about it except bring me more bread. You can even see from the pic on this page that even a mouse would find the portion paltry.

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