Guest Review: Dinner at Epcot’s Biergarten at the Germany Pavilion

A favorite place to dine at Walt Disney World is Epcot’s World Showcase.

With unique restaurants featuring tastes from around the globe, Epcot offers a smorgasbord of dining locations. Today, guest author Rebecca Elliott shares her dinner experience at the Biergarten located in the Germany pavilion. Prost!

Epcot is designed to replicate a permanent World’s Fair with pavilions dedicated to innovation and international culture.

Future World highlights technology while the World Showcase, on the other side of World Showcase Lagoon, celebrates international culture.

The Charming Biergarten Entry Way

The Charming Biergarten Entry Way

There are 11 pavilions in the World Showcase, each themed and dedicated to a specific country. The décor can be old fashioned and kitschy, but the cast members, many of whom travel from their home countries to work in the World Showcase, give it an air of authenticity.

The restaurants are by far the main attraction. Many pavilions have two or more restaurants that serve food inspired by their representative countries. I say “inspired” because the food is not necessarily authentic, but it has elements of authentic dishes and is served in a fun atmosphere with incredible theming.

Instead of dining at our usual spot (Chefs de France in the France pavilion), my family and I decided to try something completely new on our most recent visit. This is how we found ourselves at Biergarten in the Germany pavilion.

When You Step Into the Dining Room, You Are Transported to a Lively Oktoberfest Party

When You Step Into the Dining Room, You Are Transported to a Lively Oktoberfest Party

Atmosphere

Biergarten is located in the back of the Germany pavilion, which is the fourth pavilion in if you enter the World Showcase from Future World and start from the left. Disney’s original plan was to feature a boat ride here, similar to the one at the Norway pavilion, but these plans fell through. The main entrance of the boat ride is now the dining area for Biergarten.

The setting for Biergarten is a quaint Bavarian village celebrating Oktoberfest. You are seated in the town square at communal tables, ready to enjoy traditional German music and food. It is dusk (no matter what time of day you eat), and the atmosphere is celebratory.

Stage Area and Seating

Stage Area and Seating

We checked in with a cast member at the hostess desk outside the restaurant who reminded us that seating would be shared at communal tables and asked if we were okay with this. We said we were, and made our way to the waiting area.

When our buzzer went off a few minutes later, we were corralled with two other families by a sweet hostess wearing a dirndl who reminded us again that seating would be shared. This was the second time since we arrived that we were told we’d be seated with people we didn’t know at our table. My family and I were fine with this. It seemed to lend itself to the Oktoberfest atmosphere and offered a fun way to meet other Disney enthusiasts.

Seating Area and Old World Charm

Seating Area and Old World Charm

One of the families immediately had a problem when we were seated. They wanted to sit across from each other, but because of the odd numbers in the other families, it didn’t work out. My husband and I offered to break up our party, but they chose to go with the original setting and sulk instead. This bugged me, because we were told several times that we would be sharing a table. Why not go with the flow and join the fun?

A Traditional Oompa Band Performs

A Traditional Oompa Band Performs

The whole time we ate, we were entertained by a traditional oompah band. I’ve heard that the same family has been putting on this show for years. They were a delight, playing all the traditional German instruments, including the accordion and the alpenhorn. They even played “It’s a Small World” on the bells.

Playing “It’s a Small World” on the Bells

Playing “It’s a Small World” on the Bells

There is a dance floor in front of the stage, and the crowd is encouraged to sing and dance along. Children especially enjoyed this.

Dancing the Night Away

Dancing the Night Away

Eats

We were quickly greeted by our server, a German gentleman in lederhosen who took great delight in explaining the buffet and describing the foods we could expect there. Before letting us loose, he took our drink order. In true Oktoberfest tradition, guests were encouraged to order beer by the liter! Our tablemates did just that.

Liter of Beer at Biergarten

Liter of Beer at Biergarten

We all headed to the buffet, which was stocked with traditional German food and some not so traditional foods to accommodate the less adventurous. The buffet is two-sided, and the left and right lines are almost identical, so don’t be worried that you’re missing something on the other side.

Some Traditional German Cold Salads Including Sausage Salad (left) and Herring Salad (right)

Some Traditional German Cold Salads Including Sausage Salad (left) and Herring Salad (right)

First up were the cold salads. There were several to choose from, with a variety of tastes and textures, from creamy and mild to crisp and tangy.

A Variety of Cold Salads Including Cabbage Salad, Bean Salad, Beet Salad, Chopped Tomato Salad and Cucumber Salad

A Variety of Cold Salads Including Cabbage Salad, Bean Salad, Beet Salad, Chopped Tomato Salad and Cucumber Salad

This is also where we found the rolls, including Biergarten’s famous pretzel rolls, which I swear I could eat by the basket full.

Yummy Rolls, Including Biergarten’s Famous Pretzel Rolls

Yummy Rolls, Including Biergarten’s Famous Pretzel Rolls

Next came the hot items. Many traditional German dishes were represented, including schnitzel, spaetzle, rouladen, and different sausages with sauerkraut. There were also items like roast chicken and green beans for those feeling less adventurous. They needn’t worry – nothing is spiced too strongly. There is a nice selection of sauces and chutneys if you feel your dish needs a little extra oomph.

Brown Gravy, Spaetzle and Green Beans

Brown Gravy, Spaetzle and Green Beans

Pork Schnitzel and Zesty Paprika Sauce

Pork Schnitzel and Zesty Paprika Sauce

Fresh Cod in Mustard Cream Sauce and Roast Chicken

Fresh Cod in Mustard Cream Sauce and Roast Chicken

Roasted Potatoes and German Sausages with Sauerkraut

Roasted Potatoes and German Sausages with Sauerkraut

Carving Station with Roast Pork and German Meatloaf

Carving Station with Roast Pork and German Meatloaf

Traditional Beef Rouladen

Traditional Beef Rouladen

Pot Roast Bavarian Style, Potato Dumplings, and Brussel Sprouts with Bacon Vinagrette

Pot Roast Bavarian Style, Potato Dumplings, and Brussel Sprouts with Bacon Vinagrette

Red Cabbage and Nudel Gratin

Red Cabbage and Nudel Gratin

Top Your Selections with a Variety of Chutneys and Sauces

Top Your Selections with a Variety of Chutneys and Sauces

Just when we thought we couldn’t eat another bite, we sampled some desserts. There were many to choose from, including some traditional German delights like apple strudel and linzer squares (both delicious). There were also shot glasses filled with Bavarian cream that could be topped with strawberry compote. My daughter loved those!

Traditional Apple Strudel

Traditional Apple Strudel

Mmmm.... Linzer Squares...

Mmmm…. Linzer Squares…

 

Overall

Biergarten is a festive restaurant with an abundant selection of German-inspired dishes. There is enough variety on the all-you-can-eat buffet for everyone to find something to enjoy. Our early reservation ensured the selections were well-stocked and the staff was friendly and attentive.

The only challenge was not having any control over who was seated at our table, and we ended up with a couple of duds. If you are looking for a quiet, romantic meal, or if the thought of sharing a meal with people you don’t know is not your cup of tea, Biergarten is not your best choice. If you like polka music and have a penchant for schnitzel and spaetzle, you’ll have a great time!

Rebecca Elliott writes and hosts the food blog Home Cooks Unite! She is a dedicated foodie and Disney enthusiast whose latest trip to the Magic Kingdom included some incredible dining experiences.

Has your family dined at Biergarten? Share your experiences in the comments below!

Comments

  1. Marcia says

    One of our favorites and a must do. If you go during the Christmas season, the special holiday show is a wonderful addition to the experience!

  2. Steve Brang says

    My family and I have dined at Biergarten in EPOC many times over the years and love the food and atmosphere. We have had the opportunity to meet some great people. My wife and daughter love the stage area, and take advantage of it to dance off the hearty food. Biergarten, is a family favorite and will be for many years.

  3. Gig says

    Great review! We have gone a few times at lunch – how do the selections differ at dinner? I agree with your take on the seating. DH and I are fine mixing it up with others or keeping to ourselves, depending on our tablemates. As long as everyone is having a good time, that’s what really matters!

  4. Michael R says

    My family really enjoyed Biergarten. The food and atmosphere are amazing. Our server was funny and very good with our kids. Since this was a family reunion we had a party of 10 and did not have to share a table with others. I would recommend this place for any large groups as this would almost ensure a table to yourselves. My personal opinion is that if you do share the table with a few grumpys, it could sour the enjoyment of your meal.

  5. Brian says

    I too sat with a couple of duds. My first time going we were a party of 2. We sat with a couple, and a single woman who was traveling alone. The food was tasty, the conversation was polite, but interesting and overall, it was a fun experience. I went back on a trip the next year with my brother, and we were seated with a family of an older man, his two full grown sons, and a mother and her two daughters. ONe of the daughters refused to sit down and just stood there for a few minutes. It was incredibly awkward. After she was pursued to sit, she refused to eat and just sat there, sulking. The other daughter ate almost nothing, and just sat there, sulking as well. The food was just meh.

  6. Hannah says

    One of my favorites….by far. I can’t eat my moneys worth, overly expensive. However, I love this kind of food.

  7. says

    Brian, how awful! I’m surprsided the mother let that go on. As Hannah says, it’s way too expensive to not throw yourself into the experience and just enjoy it. And Disney tells you very clearly during the reservation process AND several times before you get to your table what the seating situation is. Plenty of time to back out. By the end of our meal, the disgruntled couple was singing German songs, so it turned out to be a win. I think the litre of beer helped!

  8. Essie says

    My friends and I went during the holidays. It was very enjoyable due to the really nice Christmas décor with gingerbread men everywhere, and the show was special, with traditional German and Christmas music. I would go again, but only at the holidays. I really think that it was the Christmas décor and music that I enjoyed the most.

  9. Kimberly says

    We have eaten here many times (even before it was a buffet). We prefer lunch over dinner as dinner is much more crowded and loud. I’m not looking for a quiet meal, but it is nice to be able to talk to your friends and family while you eat. The food is delicious (love the Bavarian cheesecake with vanilla sauce on top!). I prefer only eating here when we travel in large groups because every other time we end up with people who want to talk way too much or we don’t talk much because every one else is silent.

  10. Diane says

    Loved the review! Just came back from WDW and we ate here exactly 2 weeks ago. We loved it. We were seated on the upper tier at the railing with a family consisting of a grandparents, their daughter and 2 grandchildren. We didn’t have any problems but the kids, just like Brian’s experience, didn’t eat a thing even though there was plenty for children. We liked the food very much. The creamy herb salad dressing was delicious. I think it was dill. Loved the pretzel rolls! Wish I could have eaten more than one but I wanted to be able to eat plenty of schnitzel and bavarian pot roast or sauerbraten, not sure. The noodle gratin or mac & cheese was delicious! After 16 times to WDW, it was my first time there and I’d definitely go back!

  11. Sandra says

    Like many people, my husband resisted going to Biergarten because he didn’t want to be seated with others (both he and our son are on the autism spectrum so crowds and noise bother them). However, he lived in Germany as a kid and really wanted to try to food, so we went for lunch. He loved it! The folks we were seated next to greeted us politely but kept their conversation within their group. When we ended up standing at the buffet together, I found out they lived only 40 miles away from us in Virginia. IASW for sure! The food was very good, more home-style than restaurant, and even our extremely selective eater son found plenty to enjoy. We only do one or two TS meals per trip and Biergarten is not on the rotation this year, but those who go with a sense of fun and a hearty appetite will be rewarded–and don’t forget to try some apple strudel. Great with coffee to chase the beer.

  12. Ashley says

    We really enjoyed Biergarten 2 weeks ago when we ate here, though I must agree with many of you that it could have been even better with better table-mates. The family we were seated with made a big deal about the fact they were “100% German”, then proceeded to sit without speaking to us or each other the entire meal, the kids ate nothing, and they gave my husband and I the stink-eye when we ordered the beer flight (which was delicious). Beer…at a German restaurant…I kinda thought it was required :). But, after getting over our tablemate situation, we really enjoyed the food. The pretzel rolls dipped in beer cheese soup…yum! And my daughter (age 4) stuffed herself silly with sausages and apple strudel. My daughter and I also loved dancing with the band, and a few rounds of the Chicken Dance and some other polkas really made room for dessert! We would definately go back to Biergarten on a future trip!

  13. Kathryn says

    My husband does not feel like he’s at WDW unless we have eaten at Biergarten so I always schedule it for the first night. The food is fine but the band and the atmosphere make this a winning experience for us. Like other commenters, we’ve had some table mates who weren’t a lot of fun but it was still worth coming. Some if our best table mates were families with special needs kids and a group of engineers who celebrated the geek stereotype as much as they celebrated different kinds if beer. We’ve learned to be open to the love because we’ve always found it somewhere at the Biergarten.

  14. Jennifer says

    On our first family trip to WDW, we ate at Biergarten the first night and made a second booking for later in the week. We all love it – even my very picky younger daughter, who only wants to pretzel rolls. She fills her plate with those, I insist on her adding one piece of chicken, and we all survive. We love the show, especially at Christmas!

    The only time we were sad at Biergarten was when we had a very late reservation. They stop doing the show at 9 pm, so you might want to doublecheck your reservation time if that’s important to you.

    The food is wonderful, the servers are friendly and beyond efficient, and the show is awesome. Even the bathrooms are fun!

  15. Lisa says

    The Biergarten is the traditional first and last night’s meal when we go to Disney! The food is delicious, and the atmosphere is great! We have also been known to cancel other plans mid-week and revisit, thanks to the Park Hopper passes. I’ve experienced both sides of the spectrum as far as table mates go. But even with the duds, they cannot detract from the festive fun! The food selection is abundant, and tastes like home cooking, not a buffet restaurant. Coming from a mostly German heritage, it’s definitely comfort food. Eating at Biergarten feels like eating with your family!

  16. laura carnein says

    i was there two weeks ago as well – the shared table was no problem as far as we (myself,my brother and my sister in law) tho there was not a lot of chatting between the groups – but we were bummed that there was NO bavarian pot roast (or sauerbraten) when we were there – my brother and i have first generation German parents and that is a fave of ours – and after reading this article am bummed that they did not have the linzer squares when i was there as that is a fave for me. not an every trip must do but definitely enjoyed it – Germany is one of my must do stops every trip!

  17. Lisa says

    Thanks for the wonderful review! We are eating at the Biergarten next week for the first time, and now I am looking forward to it more than ever! We are traveling with a party of 8, so the communal table issue won’t be one. The food sounds delicious- and I can’t wait to try the beer!

  18. Tonya DeGuilio says

    so happy to see this review. We have eaten at almost every other restaurant in Epcot and this is our first time at the Biergarten. Everything looks delicious and now I’m very excited that we chose to eat here.

  19. Courtney says

    My DH and I just dined at the Biergarten for the first time last Wednesday (Happy Birthday to EPCOT!) and it was so delicious! The cod with senf sauce was the best part, what a surprise (I thought I’d like the schnitzel the best). And the beet salad and the tomato salad tasted really fresh. And there was some dessert not labeled, it looked like a mini-muffin that tasted like lemon cake, that was so good I would have had two of them if I wasn’t as stuffed as Augustus Gloop. “Augustus, save some room for later!”

  20. Sandra says

    We went for lunch, which costs less than dinner, and noted that the dinner menu does seem to have two or three dishes not offered at lunch. Also they may rotate some dishes seasonally, so it is possible the pot roast or linzer squares are dinner only or seasonal. Still found plenty to like without the extra dishes (and cost).

  21. Angela from Ohio says

    When do the holiday meals start? Hopefully before thanksgiving . We have dined in Italy ( favorite), Moracco, And France before. It will be our first time in Germany on this upcoming trip. Thanks for the review

  22. CB says

    We are going close to Thanksgiving this year (2nd Disney trip, 1st Biergarten).. Is the full show put on at lunch also? I’ve heard (no, partial, yes)..

    Thanks

  23. Marcia Nordmann says

    Yes, the full show is on at lunch also and every meal is a holiday meal at this venue. Great choices, wonderful servers and an ambiance that makes you feel you’re in Germany! Enjoy!

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