Don’t you love Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Where else can you go for a dose of Old Hollywood glamour, a Star Wars fix, and a Disney Junior fun all in one place?
But in addition to all kinds of movie- and television-inspired fun, the park hosts some great food as well. Today, we’re taking a closer look at our Favorite DHS Restaurants. See if you agree with us!
50s Prime Time Cafe
One of my favorite spots to dine at DHS — or in all of Walt Disney World really — is 50s Prime Time Cafe.
This spot has it all. It’s super-themed, so when you step into the front door one of two things will come to mind:
- I am caught in a time warp, and my grandmother is going to bop into the room wearing a poodle skirt any minute.
- I’ve succeeded in stepping right into the Dick Van Dyke Show.
And truly, the themeing is so utterly awesome here, it’s enough to keep me coming back again and again. But then, the food! It’s just like your mom made! Or grandmother. Or Aunt Gladys. Whatever. My point is, it’s really good and comforting and, well, swell. You know? The bee’s knees.
But even with all of that, they layer on another little bit of greatness with the staff, who play their “cousin” parts to a “T”!
You had better keep your elbows off the table and finish those veggies, or you’ll be sorry. And don’t forget to memorize the color of the soap in the bathroom — they’ll want to have confirmation that you washed your hands!
Hollywood Brown Derby and The Brown Derby Lounge
Want to continue your time travels to the Golden Age of Hollywood? Then join me for a power lunch at the Hollywood Brown Derby.
Built as a replica of the Hollywood restaurant where movie types went to see and be seen, both the setting and the iconic caricatures covering the walls channel the original.
I can’t dine here without thinking of Lucy Ricardo gushing over Bill Holden!
Personally, I love to dine here in the evening, and their Charred Filet of Beef is usually excellent. The sides change up regularly, but the steak has been fantastic every time I’ve had it.
The restaurant has also added another fun dimension with the opening of The Brown Derby Lounge. This bar is the perfect place to enjoy wine by the glass or a cocktail as well as some delicious food options from their tapas-style menu.
I say don your glam sunglasses for your best people watching and head there right now!
There are also some great counter service options at Studios. My favorite is Backlot Express.
I could wander around this prop-shop-meets-fast-food-joint for quite some time. There is so much to see here that it’s hard to tear yourself away and order already!
But currently, the best reason to go there is to enjoy fun Star Wars-themed food! With so much happening to celebrate this beloved franchise, Backlot Express has debuted some great galactic eats.
Unfortunately, to make room for all of the Star Wars food, they aren’t offering fan favorites like the Grilled Vegetable Sandwich and the Spicy Buffalo Chicken Breast Nuggets anymore. Here’s hoping both of these DFB favorites return in the future.
Sci-Fi Dine-In Restaurant
Dinner and a Movie. It’s the Great American Date! But just for kicks, consider combining the two at Sci-Fi Dine-In Restaurant.
Okay…so you may not see the latest Avengers flick. But what you will see are some ridiculously hilarious B movie clips, plus old Disney footage.
And whether you choose to dine in a convertible car as you watch, or you opt for a picnic table in the back, there are some can’t-miss dishes I discovered here during my last visit! I would happily have that awesome Flame-Broiled New York Strip Steak again. Served with some yummy Mashed Potatoes, this is one of the best steaks I’ve had at Disney in terms of value and quality.
And don’t skip dessert! Because the Out-of-This-World Turtle Cheesecake is so worth every calorie and extra minute on the treadmill.
Hollywood and Vine Restaurant
So we’ve covered days gone by, Tinseltown during its heyday, and the best drive-in theater, ever — not to mention a stop in the prop shop.
But what if your party includes a hungry pre-schooler? Then be sure to book your table for Play ‘n Dine at Hollywood and Vine Restaurant. During breakfast and lunch, you can rub shoulders with all of your Disney Junior favorites. Kids can sing and dance while parents eat — so everyone is happy!
Disney Junior characters Doc McStuffins and Sophia the First make appearances here, along with Handy Manny!
The buffet is bountiful, and the theme is cafeteria to the stars, with a sleek, art deco feel. Be sure to save room for their dessert spread, which includes a Chocolate Fountain!
Or would you prefer your character dining experience with the Fab Five? Then you’ll want to check out Minnie’s Seasonal Dine for the dinner hour!
The theme changes up regularly for this character meal. During Christmas, we enjoyed Minnie’s Holiday Dine.
Look forward to other possible special themes this year, including a Celebration of Spring, a Summer Beach Party Blast, and a fun Halloween-themed Party!
Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano
Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano has survived with all of the expansion taking place in the park, so I can’t help but brag on it one more time.
You may be tempted to dismiss Mama’s as just another fast casual-type Italian restaurant. Don’t. Because on our last several visits here, we have had some truly outstanding food. And the service has been uniformly some of the best that I’ve experienced in the last few years.
Pastas like the Penne alla Vodka as well as the Chicken Parmigiana are very good, but if you visit Mama’s, I highly recommend that you get the Charred Strip Steak. Topped with Aged Balsamic-Shallot Butter and a Chianti Wine Reduction, this is one of the best steaks — and steak values — that I’ve had at Disney World in recent years.
And the side dish of Four-Cheese Macaroni with Pancetta is equally as brilliant.
That wraps up my list of favorite dining spots at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but now I’d love to hear from you!
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What are your must-have meals when you visit this park? Join in the conversation by leaving a comment with your suggestions below!