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Review: Raglan Road at Downtown Disney Orlando

In the mood for comfort food with a twist? Then we have just the lunch review for you today — Raglan Road at Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney!

Even though there’s no live entertainment during the day, stopping by the Irish pub for a bite of lunch is a great idea if you really want to take in the beautiful decor and have a truly relaxing meal.

If you’d like to see more about our most recent visit, read on.

Atmosphere

When we say that Raglan Road is an Irish pub, we mean it. Like, parts-of-it-were-brought-from-Ireland authentic. There’s more than just fancy Disney Imagineering going on here.

Raglan Road -- Outside

Raglan Road — Outside

Once you enter through the front doors, the hostess podium is forward and to your left. Head out the left-hand door just before it, and you’ll be seated on the outdoor patio, which boasts its own bar and often, its own entertainment.

Entrance Foyer

Entrance Foyer

To your right is a charming gift shop that stocks a host of Raglan Road-themed products. You’ll also find goods from Ireland, all manner of merch bearing the logo of Guinness beer. There’s beautiful jewelry, pantry items, cookbooks, and more. It’s a wonderful spot to browse.

Gift Shop

Gift Shop

The Master Chef here at Raglan is Kevin Dundon, and you’ll find his cookbooks — including the brand new one — at the gift shop. On my last visit, Chef Dundon was in town and came out to chat with my family! So fun! What an honor. :-)

Kevin Dundon's in the House!

Kevin Dundon’s in the House!

Bar seating in this pub is extensive. With two bars, your chances of finding an empty seat are decent at night (and great during the day). And the bar is fully part of the pub — there’s no separate bar area — so you can enjoy the entertainment from tables or bars, whichever you prefer.

The bars themselves are 130 years old, and were brought to the US from Ireland!

Oneof the Two Bars

One of the Two Bars

Other materials were either salvaged in Ireland, or were crafted there. The sense of antiquity is enhanced by plenty of rich, dark wood and brass trim.

One of the Two Bars

Bar Number Two

And this is a pub! So you can expect a wide range of beer, whiskey, and other spirits available for your enjoyment. Lots of the beer options are available on tap, but selections change up regularly, so be sure to ask about the current options.

Draught Beers

Draught Beers

The dancing podium stands in the center of the circular dining space, and solo dances by different members of the Irish step dancing troupe are performed here to live music. You can also catch dance performances on the stage in front of the fireplace, which has been enlarged since I took this photo.

Leaded glass above lets in plenty of light, and tints it in rosy, cool colors during the day.

Dancing Podium and Live Music Stage at Raglan Road

Dancing Podium and Live Music Stage at Raglan Road

The cupola soars, letting in even more light. The high ceilings, bare wood, and tile floors also ensure that Raglan Road can get kind of loud when there’s a full house and the band is playing.

Stained Glass Trimmed Cupola

Stained Glass Trimmed Cupola

If you prefer it, there are two areas of seating off of the main dining room, which feature lower ceilings, and are a bit quieter.

The Music Room flanks one of the bars. No music actually takes place here, but it’s charming nevertheless.

Music Room Seating

Music Room Seating

Music Room Seating

Mixed Seating in the Music Room

The Raglan Room is past Bar Number Two, and features all table seating. It feels like a parlour or a private dining area. In fact, special events are often held here.

Raglan Road Seating

The Other Room

This table for two features wing chairs in front of a fireplace — perfect for a cozy tête-à-tête.

Fireplace Seating

Fireplace Seating

Other snug alcoves feature beautiful booths. Snug is the right word — it’s a bit tricky to get into these spots. But once you’re seated, it’s quite comfortable.

Booth Table in a Cozy Alcove

Booth Table in a Cozy Alcove

We visited during the lunch hour on a weekday, so the band wasn’t playing, and the dancers didn’t take the stage. If you visit during evening hours or for The Rollicking Raglan Sunday Brunch, you’ll get a chance to catch the acts. And you totally should, because they’re awesome.

Check out these clips of Creel and the Raglan Road Dancers to see what all the fuss is about. :-)

Raglan Road Dancers Perform as Creel Plays in the Background

Raglan Road Dancers Perform as Creel Plays in the Background

We sampled some brand new dishes — new to us, that is — on our recent lunch visit, and I can’t wait to share them with you!

Eats

We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating right here — a meal, or even a drink, at Raglan Road can often be a full sensory experience. These are dishes that you’ve likely heard of before. But Master Chef Kevin Dundon and his kitchen staff like to bring innovation to traditional foods by marrying original twists with familiar flavors.

A peek at the back of the menu tells you a little bit more about the food, staff, and the restaurant’s commitment to quality ingredients. You also get an idea of what all Raglan Road has to offer, from entertainment, to the Rollicking Raglan Brunch and Host the Roast options each Sunday. (Both are fantastic.)

Restaurant Information on the Back of the Menu

Restaurant Information on the Back of the Menu

Now, on to the eats! The first thing that you’ll notice about this menu is that it’s very fun to read.

Appetizers appear at the top of the menu (natch). On the left, I love that they divide options into two categories: “It’s All For Me” and “It’s All For Sharing.” Salads appear in the middle, and Sandwiches (Sangers) are to the right. So many good choices.

Lunch Menu -- Starters -- Click to Enlarge

Lunch Menu — Starters — Click to Enlarge

Below that, you’ll see a list of Entrees and available Sides. Take some time exploring this menu. It’s really interesting.

Lunch Menu -- Entrees and Sides -- Click to Enlarge

Lunch Menu — Entrees and Sides — Click to Enlarge

My husband decided to start with a Pint of Guinness. Because we’re at Raglan. How could we resist?

A Pint of Guinness. Because When in Rome...

A Pint of Guinness. Because When in Rome…

Meals always start here with Raglan Road’s Brown Irish Soda Bread, which is served with a dipping sauce of Guinness Glaze and Olive Oil. This stuff is completely addictive. It’s one of the few places that I could totally make lunch JUST of that bread basket. It’s that good. (True confession. It’s the glaze — Guinness reduced with Sugar — that’s so incredible.)

Irish Soda Bread with Olive Oil and Guinness Reduction

Irish Soda Bread with Olive Oil and Guinness Reduction

I normally can’t resist ordering soup when I’m here, because they’re always outstanding. The Wild Forest Mushroom Chowder is one of the best things I have ever eaten. (Read my review here.)

But today, it was a smooth, rich, and creamy Potato Soup that was equal parts comfort and warmth.

Potato Soup

Soul Soup — Potato

We had a large group dining, so it gave us a chance to try a wide range of dishes that we hadn’t seen before. But we started with a must-have — Fish and Chips.

This is a great version of classic pub fare. The beer-battered fish fillets are cooked perfectly, and the chips are thick and tender.

Fish and Chips

Fish and Chips

Served with house-made Tartar Sauce and a wedge of Lemon, you can also request Malt Vinegar, of course.

Fish and Chips -- Up Close

Fish and Chips — Up Close

But we also wanted to try something you guys ask me about all the time — the Gluten Free Fish and Chips! I’ve heard so many folks say that they actually like the Gluten Free version better than the regular!

Well, the chips are exactly the same, so we asked to have a side of Garlic Parmesan Truffle Oil Skinny Chips in their place.

Gluten Free Fish and Chips

Gluten Free Fish and Chips

While I enjoy chips, this American Girl also enjoys a side of fries too. And it was fun to have a couple of different styles to share. The skinny chips are dressed up with kinds of flavor, which makes them delicious enough on their own.

Skinny Chips with Truffle and Parmesan Raglan Road

Skinny Chips with Truffle and Parmesan Raglan Road

Here’s a close up comparing the traditional fish with the version featuring a gluten free batter — the gluten free is on the right. I thought flavor-wise, they compared favorably. You can see that the batter on the gluten free fish is a little darker and crispier, but I didn’t think it impacted the taste. Both were flavorful, and not at all greasy.

Comparison of Regular and Gluten Free Battered Fish

Comparison of Regular and Gluten Free Battered Fish

Now — here’s a little DFB tip (this is the reason you guys read this blog, right?). Since Cookes of Dublin, the counter service spot around the side of Raglan Road, shares a kitchen with them, I couldn’t resist asking for a side of their Vintage Irish Cheddar and Bacon Dip. This is — and I’m not even exaggerating a little here — one of the BEST things I’ve tasted, ever. Anywhere.

Tangy, sharp Irish Cheddar Cheese and Bacon — how could it be any better? And you can dip anything in this stuff! Chips and fish are fantastic in it, but I’ve also dipped burgers into the cheesy goodness.

Vintage Irish Cheddar and Bacon Dip from Cookes of Dublin! Ah-MA-zing!!

Vintage Irish Cheddar and Bacon Dip from Cookes of Dublin! Ah-MA-zing!!

Next, we sampled Kevin’s Heavenly Ham. This is a classic Raglan dish! The menu describes it as a Loin of Bacon. But the presentation actually involved American versions of what we think of as country ham and bacon, sort of sandwiched together.

But hey — you will never hear complaints from me about bacon and ham combos. The flavors here were expectedly smoky and salty, but nicely flavored as well. It’s served on a bed of creamy Colcannon Potatoes.

We also really enjoyed the two sauces — a Raisin Cider Jus, which was beautiful with the ham, and Parsley Cream that married nicely with the potatoes.

Ham

Kevin’s Heavenly Ham

We also tried the Schnitzel Savvy. The breaded cutlet of meat here is also made with Ham, and is served with Smoked Bacon Baked Beans, and a Fried Egg on top. It was soooo good — with the ingredients sort of all stacked up, cutting into it meant a bite of all the flavors together, and it was heavenly! This would be an awesome option for brunch too, I’m thinking. The schnitzel is served with a side of Chips.

Schnitzel Savvy

Schnitzel Savvy

With entrees behind us, it was time to consider the Dessert Menu. In addition to some really delicious sounding sweet endings, coffees and teas here are thoughtfully chosen and prepared for best flavor. And who can resist a good Irish Coffee??

Desserts, Coffee, and Tea Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Desserts, Coffee, and Tea Menu — Click to Enlarge

In the end, we settled on a couple of desserts to share. First up was the Strawberry Apple Crumble. In the past, these have been the flavors of one of our favorite Raglan Road desserts, the Strawberry Apple Tart.

While this version, which is served in a Mason jar, is delicious, it really doesn’t hold a candle to the former version, which took the shape of a traditional, crumble-topped tart. I blame the shortcoming on there not being nearly enough crust! Plus, I’ve always found it hard to dig into a mason jar and get all of the tastes in one bite…haven’t you?

Strawberry Apple Crumble

Strawberry Apple Crumble

We also sampled the Fluffy Lemon Clouds once again. Could you love that name any more than you already do? Not likely.

This gorgeous little pie is comprised of a Pastry Shell filled with rich, tart Lemon Curd (!!!!!), topped with perfect teardrop-shaped Meringue Kisses. The meringue is gently caramelized to a golden brown.

Fluffy Lemon Clouds

Fluffy Lemon Clouds

This is completely incredible! Really, you already know that I consider lemon curd to be one of the world’s most perfect foods. But the combination of creamy meringue (it’s not dry at all!), lemon curd, and pastry is everything good about lemon pie.

Fluffy Lemon Clouds -- Cross Section

Fluffy Lemon Clouds — Cross Section

From beginning to end, this was another memorable and delicious meal at one of our favorite lunch spots.

Overall

And the track record remains: we still love Raglan Road. It is a fact that we just never seem to have a bad meal or experience at this pub. From food to service to entertainment, there is rarely a misstep when I visit here.

I will say that, if you’re after a time of entertainment in addition to delicious food, visit for dinner or brunch. That’s when the dancers take the stage, accompanied by fantastic, traditional Irish live music.

But if you’re after an intimate conversation with friends, be sure to visit during lunch. I recently stopped by for a late night visit, looking to catch up with friends. We were seated right in front of the stage, and as amazing as the entertainment was, it made conversation impossible.

Still, a visit to Raglan Road is always a treat, and I’ll continue to recommend it as a must-do destination, especially if you love a pub atmosphere. It’s top notch.

Have you been to Raglan Road at Downtown Disney? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts!

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14 Comments

  1. Kate Blake says:

    This is my favorite restaurant in WDW!

    Lovey review and even better were the pictures!

  2. Bill says:

    Alas, the awesome happy hour has been replaced by a M-F, domestic only pseudo happy hour.

  3. Joni says:

    Love the soups here.
    The Tomato. the Potato, (colcannon not sure if it is spelled right) and the Beer cheese it Awesome.
    Mushroom is good but not my Fav.
    I am def. going to try the Vintage Irish Cheddar Bacon dip net. YUM

  4. Brooke says:

    One of my favorite spots in all of Disney! Thanks for the pics of some dishes I hadn’t seen. The GF Fish and Chips and the Schnitzel especially look amazing, and I have GOT to try that dip! We tend to get the same things over and over here (Dalkey Duo, Fish and Chips, Shepherd’s Pie, Bread Pudding) so it’s fun to see some different items.

  5. Dana says:

    We always make sure we eat here at least once, and the GF fish and chips is AMAZING! My husband has had it both regular and GF (I have to eat the GF because of a gluten allergy), and he says he actually likes the GF version better. And he loves the lemon cloud.

    I am bummed to see what they did with the apple and pear crumble, though. That’s always been the GF desert I opt for, and it doesn’t look nearly as good as it used to. I will probably try something else next time.

  6. Anne Campbell says:

    We were just there last week and had an amazing vegan dinner, believe it or not. My husband and I shared the Vroom Salad (quinoa), heirloom tomato salad, and a side of broccolini, and everything was delicious.

    There was a group of 200 (!) Wells Fargo employees having dinner that night after a conference, and although it was very loud, the service wasn’t impacted at all.

    This is definitely our favorite restaurant in Downtown Disney!

  7. Holly says:

    Is the entertainment available at lunch during the weekend? We went in December 2012 and Creel and the dancers were there during our lunch (I had the Prosciutto and chicken sanger which was to die for).

    Food and Service were awesome! We sat in the music room and while you don’t have a direct view of the band and dancers – you can hear them really well (it’s not as loud – as the main room). I can’t wait to go back on our next trip!

  8. Patty says:

    This is my favorite place in all of Disney! I would have such a dessert dilemma because I would love to try the Fluffy Lemon Clouds but I don’t know if I could order anything but the bread and butter pudding. I dream about that stuff! LOL

  9. Katie says:

    LOVE THE BREAD AND BUTTER PUDDING!! All of the appetizers are sooo good here, we tried the sandwiches and none of them were very good except for the hamburger. The signature items that we tried were very good, so I think we will all get something from there next time. Was not a huge fan of the skinny chips but the potatoes with cabbage and bacon were soo good. Can’t WAIT to go back there again!!!!!!

  10. Sassagoula Billy says:

    I am sold. Must-try place, despite years of walkin’ on by.

  11. Mark says:

    A terrific restaurant. When Kevin is in town he always goes out of his way to make everyone feel like an old friend. Check out his cooking demo lunch next month.

  12. nitabee says:

    I don’t know how you can go to Raglan Road without ordering the Dalkey Duo :) That’s totally one of my favorite things at WDW. I haven’t found an entree there that I’m in love with yet, though their burger was really good, and I kinda love their fries.

  13. Sarah C. says:

    The bread pudding is one of the best things I’ve EVER eaten. Got to go just for that :-) spectacular place!

  14. Alan says:

    If you like Chef Dundon’ s food, you may enjoy his cooking show on PBS, which is on the weekends here in NC. It’s a nice low key show, as serene the Irish countryside that goes with it.

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