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Best Table Service Restaurants in the Disneyland Resort

We’re counting down some of our all-time favorite spots to dine when we visit Disneyland!

Best Disneyland Table Service Restaurants

And while snacking abounds and counter service can be delicious, today we are turning our attention to our favorite table service spots.

While Disney’s original park may not offer the same number of dining locations as Walt Disney World, there are certainly some places that you won’t want to miss. And we love them for all different reasons. Some are sentimental favorites, while others offer fantastic food.

Head out with us as we tour our Top 6 Table Service Spots in Disneyland Resort!

Steakhouse 55

Our first stop takes us to a spot steeped in Disneyland history — Steakhouse 55 at Disneyland Hotel.

Dark, cool interiors are replete with luxury and plenty of nods to the past. Named for the year that Disneyland opened, of course, Steakhouse 55 channels a bygone era with the glamour of Old Hollywood. Close your eyes, and you can easily imagine power lunches by the entertainment elite taking place at the next table.

Inside the Cool and Serene Steakhouse 55

Inside the Cool and Serene Steakhouse 55

There’s more here than just posh surroundings, however. The food is incredible, too. For dinner, expertly prepared Steaks and classic steakhouse Sides are the draw. And don’t forget the famous 24-layer Chocolate Cake!

No time for an epic meal, but still want to experience this awesome place? Stop in for Drinks and delicious Pub Grub in the Lounge.

Bone-In Ribeye Steakhouse 55

Bone-In Ribeye Steakhouse 55

But don’t forget breakfast! If you’re after a quiet start to your morning, you can’t go wrong with specialities like Eggs Benedict or New York Steak and Eggs.

Napa Rose

When I’m up for a culinary experience with a modern, California vibe, I head to Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.

The Craftsman style and open floor plan gives the restaurant a warm, welcoming feel. It never feels too intimidating or hoity-toity, even though you are dining in one of Southern California’s most celebrated eateries.

Begin your evening in Napa Rose’s beautiful Lounge, or sip wine on the Patio. I dream of this spot quite often. :-)

Napa Rose Outdoor Lounge Area

Napa Rose Outdoor Lounge Area

Chef Andrew Sutton has created a wonderland of flavors with an ever changing, seasonal menu, which celebrates the bounty of California’s agriculture tradition. And while you can’t go wrong with a seat anywhere in the lavish dining room, spring for the Chef’s Counter if you have the chance.

Napa Rose Show Kitchen from the Chef's Counter

Napa Rose Show Kitchen from the Chef’s Counter

With this option, you choose from the menu, a prix-fixe, four-course, wine tasting experience — or based upon your tastes, Chef Sutton creates a customized dinner just for you. On our visits, nobody’s had the same exact meal so we got the chance to sample dozens of different dishes!

Roasted Pigeon -- A Second Course During Our Chef's Counter Experience

Roasted Pigeon — A Second Course During Our Chef’s Counter Experience

How’s that for amazing?

Cafe Orleans

But there’s no need to break the bank with every table service meal in Disneyland. In fact, my favorite place to visit for lunch or dinner is the not-too-pricey Cafe Orleans.

Located in New Orleans Square in Disneyland, I love to sit outside and take in the view of the Rivers of America from here.

Outdoor Patio

But — the FOOD! Because Cafe Orleans is one of the places you can get — well, just about two of the best things I’ve ever eaten.

Yep; this is the home of those extraordinary Pommes Frites. (Do yourself a favor and get two sides of sauce from the get-go.)

Cafe Orleans Pommes Frites

Cafe Orleans Pommes Frites

And no trip of mine to Disneyland is ever, ever complete without at least one Monte Cristo Sandwich. Gorgeous, right?

Disneyland's Famous Monte Cristo

Disneyland’s Famous Monte Cristo

Choose the traditional version, or the Three-Cheese Monte Cristo. They’re equally incredible.

Blue Bayou

Before you leave New Orleans Square, you’ll want to check out Blue Bayou as well.

For me, it’s all about the atmosphere at this classic Disneyland spot. Because you actually eat within the Pirates of the Caribbean Ride!

Well, I mean, Captain Jack isn’t going to walk up to you. But you will see unsuspecting guests cruise along below you, their fate in peril… . (Ooh. Foreshadowing.)

Blue Bayou Atmosphere

Blue Bayou Atmosphere

As for the food, it’s pricey, and it’s not always my favorite. But there are bright spots on the menu. I can never pass up their New Orleans Signature Gumbo! They’ve also got a monte cristo on their menu, but it’ll cost you more than it will at Cafe Orleans. Just FYI.

New Orleans Signature Gumbo

New Orleans Signature Gumbo

For the first time visitor to Disneyland, I’d say this is a dining experience that you’ll want to enjoy at least once. And don’t forget to request and wait for a table near the water. I’ve been seated near the kitchen and front door, and take it from me — the experience isn’t nearly as magical.

Trader Sam’s

But our list wouldn’t be complete without at least one super awesome watering hole, right? And for that, I take you back to Disneyland Hotel, for an adventurous stop by Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar.

Because HOW can you resist the words “Enchanted. Tiki. Bar.”??? Especially when they’re all  in one sentence?!

To sum up, this place is crazy fun. There is always something happening, and there’s so much to take in. Looking for an apt description? My friend nailed it when she said it is “the best of the Jungle Cruise, Adventurers Club, and Tiki Room rolled into a liquor license.” Exactly.

Trader Sam's

Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar

And the food and drinks are just as amazing as the atmosphere. It may be hard to settle on only a drink (or two) and an app (or two), but I’d heartily recommend the Uh Oa to drink.

Be prepared to share this humongous concoction of Light and Dark Rums; Orange, Passionfruit, Guava, and Grapefruit Juices; Falernum (a sweet, flavored syrup from the Caribbean); Cinnamon; and Freshly Squeezed Lime. Expect a show when it arrives! And those little “pots” of powder on the four corners? That’s YOUR audience participation!

Uh Oa!

Uh Oa!

And to soak up all that rum, don’t miss the Pu Pu Platter! The fried green beans are a crowd-pleaser.

pu pu platter -- tamarind glazed pork wings - asian wings - chinese long beans - green papaya slaw - sriracha aioli

Pu Pu Platter — Tamarind Glazed Pork Wings, Asian Wings, Chinese Long Beans, Green Papaya Slaw, Sriracha Aioli

Seating is limited and there may be a wait, but hang in there. It’s worth it!

Carthay Circle

We’ll wrap up our tour of favorite Disneyland table service restaurants with a return to elegance, via Carthay Circle Restaurant.

Although this restaurant is brand new — opened as part of the reimagining of Disney California Adventure in 2012 — it channels Old Hollywood Glamour convincingly.

That’s because the restaurant is modeled after the famed Carthay Circle Theatre, an old movie palace that figured prominently into Disney history. And it is a stunning recreation, both inside and out. Request to sit in the Main Dining Room or on the Patio for the most beautiful dining experience. Or see if you can score one of those swanky Private Dining Rooms!

The Main Dining Room

The Main Dining Room

Chef Andrew Sutton of Napa Rose helms the kitchen here, so there is promise, to be sure. While we’re still waiting for a truly fabulous meal here, I still think it’s work your time, even if the food can be a little underwhelming. Be sure to try the Fire Cracker Duck Wings, though. They were fantastic, and are many guests’ favorite part of their meal!

Fire Cracker duck Wings

Fire Cracker Duck Wings

And there you have it! Our favorite spots for table service dining throughout Disneyland. Whether you’re on the hunt for quiet and sophisticated, super-themed, or classic Disney, you can’t go wrong by giving these hotspots a try.

Now we’d love to hear from you! What are your can’t miss table service dining spots in Disneyland Resort? Leave a comment and weigh in with your thoughts!

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11 Comments

  1. Neil Roberts says:

    We had just a terrible experience at Carthay Circle. To start with, our waitress was totally inattentive throughout the night. We ordered the Fire Cracker Duck Wings and the “fried biscuit” appetizer they have. The biscuits (basically cheese wrapped in dough and fried) were piping hot and delicious. The duck wings came out mushy and room temperature. Based on a conversation our neighboring table had with their waiter (they had been waiting 25 minutes for their children’s pasta), food is held until all dishes are ready. So that’s my guess as to why the duck wings were the way they were. But we had never had them before, so we didn’t know if that’s how they were supposed to be or not.

    For our entree, we got the lamb porterhouse with lamb shoulder. We told our waitress we were planning to share it, and she should have warned us that we’d only be getting about 4 bites of meat. I knew the lamb powerhouse would be small, but the dish said it also had lamb shoulder, which I assumed would fill out the dish. The porterhouse was pretty good, but I think we only had one piece of the lamb shoulder.

    When we were ready to leave, our waitress was nowhere to be found. It was the worst experience we’ve had at any Disney property.

  2. Angelina says:

    Napa Rose and Carthay Circle are on my DLR bucket list…maybe for on a honeymoon :) (Keep in mind i’m not event engaged yet…lol) First things first right?

  3. Andrew says:

    I agree with most of your choices, and once would have agreed with Steakhouse 55 as well. However, the last time we went, while the food was still good, the atmosphere had gone downhill quite a bit.

    First, there was family of five or six next to us, with kids running around, and the dad in a running suit. There had apparently been a problem with their meal; one of the dishes had been brought out later than everything else or something. When the family was getting ready to leave, the wife reminded the husband to leave a tip, and he shouted, “I ain’t leaving $#!t!”

    At the table right next to ours–we were only separated by a partition that ran halfway between the tables, so we might as well have been seated at a four-top with another couple–the woman right next to me spent 10 minutes on her cell phone talking to her mother. Then she passed the phone to her husband. So we got to hear all the details of their vacation, and that was really annoying.

    Finally, as we were leaving, we saw them seating a party of young girls wearing short-shorts and belly shirts (if that’s what they’re called when they expose the belly; I’m so old). At that point, Steakhouse 55 came off our must-dine list. If I want to have an expensive dinner with a bunch of no-class tourists, I’ll stay at home in Las Vegas.

    We also had a disappointment at Blue Bayou. My wife and I both ordered the molten chocolate cake, only they forgot to heat mine. So I had to send it back and wait for a new one while my wife enjoyed hers.

    We also felt that Cafe Orleans had a dip in quality. My Monte Cristo sandwich tasted much greasier than usual, and it also had huge chunks of fried batter hanging off the side, instead of being as neatly, evenly and cleanly coated as it had in the past. And the amount of raspberry sauce for dipping seemed greatly reduced.

    Between these experiences and some other frustrations, both on this past trip and on our trip last year to WDW, my wife and I have decided to take a break from Disney vacations for a while. We used to go at least once a year, but with prices continuing to rise with no real increase in value and a decline–from what we can see–in service, we want to wait until our excitement about being at a Disney park exceeds the frustrations we know we’ll encounter.

    As for Carthay Circle, I commented on your earlier review about how we had to wait more than 20 minutes past our reservation time, even though we had arrived 20 minutes early, and how we were underwhelmed with the actual restaurant, so I won’t repeat all that here. We still love Napa Rose and Trader Sam’s without reservation, and would go back to Cafe Orleans and Blue Bayou despite the recent hiccups.

  4. Shayne says:

    I agree with your list. Even though it’s in Downtown Disney, we also love Naples. It’s our traditional first-night dinner when we visit DLR.

    I was interested in Andrew’s comments on the decline in atmosphere at Steakhouse 55. It is probably my very favorite restaurant at Disneyland, and I’ve always viewed it as a place where you should not be dressed as if you were still in the park. Similarlyt, I would dress more nicely for Yachstman Steakhouse at WDW than I would for Le Cellier because Le Cellier is actually in the park and, of course, you’re going to come as you are.

    On our last visit to Steakhouse, which was in September of last year, I was disappointed to walk in and find guests in shorts and t-shirts. We don’t wear ball gowns and tuxes or anything, but my husband and sons (ages 12 and 10) do wear collared shirts and slacks/khakis and I’ll wear a dress or nice pants and top. We enjoyed our meal anyway, but I really do wish they would enforce some minimal dress code.

  5. Shayne says:

    Ugh — so many typos in my prior comment. Sorry!

  6. Gator Chris says:

    What? No mention of Big Thunder BBQ? We love that place. The food is down home soul food. As long as it’s not hot out, this is THE place we have to visit on each trip.

  7. Essie says:

    I may never get to DLR so I really enjoy all of the articles about it. This one is no exception. While I’ll I don’t believe that I would care to try pigeon (we have them walking all over where I live!), the crispy fried green beans and the Monte Cristo sandwich look wonderful. Also, I would love to see a 24 layer chocolate cake sometime! :)

  8. Essie says:

    PS: I agree that it is right to dress up a little nicer for some restaurants. It’s a matter of manners and protocol and just makes the meal seem all that more special. ;-)

  9. Susan says:

    Great read, but I would DEFINITELY include the Big Thunder Ranch on my list! It’s so fun and festive – great food too!

  10. I also support adding Big Thunder Ranch to this list, as far as inside-the-park table service dining. We’ve had a great time each time we’ve gone, and their vegetable and tofu skewer is a really good option for vegetarian diners. Our only frustration is that we are never able to leave enough room in our tummies for dessert!

  11. Tina says:

    I absolutely LOVE Wine Country Trattoria. Could definitely add it to the list here. Delicious food, and some pretty nice wine selections. Service is always usually decent enough.

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