Top Meals Under $20 in Disneyland

We can all use a few tips when it comes to planning vacations at Disney. And of course, we think the food is just about the most important part of the trip!

Budgeting for all of the special meals that you’d like to enjoy is a big concern. And it may seem impossible to cut corners and save a little here and there while still enjoying yourself. But with a little creative planning, you can find some wonderful meals at some of the coolest places, all for less than you might think.

Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle

Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle

Previously, we shared our Top Picks at Walt Disney World for Meals Under $20. Today, we’re back to celebrate some fantastic meals that you can enjoy at Disneyland for around $20 or less. This is by no means exhaustive — there are lots more where these came from. But for now, come with us and check out some of the great options we have to share!

Bengal Barbecue

Bengal Barbecue in Adventureland is practically an institution — the spot recently celebrated its 25th birthday!

While I’d characterize the various Skewers you can get at Bengal Barbecue as heavy snacks or small plates, the truth is you can make a meal of them if you get a few different items.

I love to start with the Banyan Beef Skewer. It’s the spiciest of the options here, and I love the peppery kick you get from the sauce.

Banyan Beef Hot and Spicy Skewer

Banyan Beef Hot and Spicy Skewer

I like to pair it with the Chieftain Chicken Skewer. This one features a sweet and sour Polynesian Sauce, which complements the smokiness of the grilled meat nicely.

Chieftain Chicken Skewer

Chieftain Chicken Skewer

Did someone say veggies? Of course, who can resist eating your Asparagus when it’s wrapped in Bacon? That’s the killer combo you’ll find with the Safari Skewers. If you prefer your veggies sans meat, give the Outback Vegetable Skewer a try.

Bacon-wrapped Asparagus Safari Skewer

Bacon-wrapped Asparagus Safari Skewer

And don’t forget the Tiger Tails! The grilled mini-loaves are a great compliment.

Tiger Tails

Tiger Tails

And these wonderfully soft rolls are good as a snack all by themselves.

Cafe Orleans

Anyone who has spent much time reading Disney Food Blog knows that I love Cafe Orleans.

It takes a little creativity, but you can enjoy DFB favorites here for under $20 if you choose carefully. Pair a couple of wonderful appetizers — a Cup of New Orleans Gumbo and plate of Pommes Frites — for a filling meal.

Gumbo

Gumbo

Cafe Orleans Pommes Frites

Cafe Orleans Pommes Frites

Or, if you prefer to skip the starters and go straight to the main event, you must try the Monte Cristo. This battered sandwich features Ham and Swiss Cheese, and is served with a Berry Puree for dipping.

Monte Cristo Sandwich at Cafe Orleans

Monte Cristo Sandwich at Cafe Orleans

Of course, you could also opt for the meatless Three-Cheese Monte Cristo. With a combination of Swiss, Mozzarella, and Brie Cheeses, this is a decadent treat.

Three-Cheese Monte Cristo at Disneyland's Cafe New Orleans

Three-Cheese Monte Cristo at Disneyland’s Cafe New Orleans

And it’s always hard for me to decide which one to get!

Rancho del Zocalo

Rancho del Zocalo is another spot that I love to visit whenever I get the chance. It’s as beautiful as just about any table service spot you’ll find.  But then, there’s the food!

All of the platters offer interesting dishes. The last time I visited, I tried the Carne Asada and Red Chile Enchilada Platter. And, as a bonus, it’s all served on real plates with real silverware, which I find to be such an improvement over paper ones.

Carne Asada & Red Chile Enchilada Platter

Carne Asada and Red Chile Enchilada Platter

It was so much food that I skipped dessert!

Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

What’s not to love about this Mary Poppins-inspired restaurant? While there are plenty of pastries to choose from, it’s also a great stop for a light lunch or dinner. And the Jolly Holiday Combo is one of my favorites.

The Grilled Cheese and Tomato Basil Soup are a must.

Jolly Holiday Combo

Jolly Holiday Combo

It’s a slice of childhood — perfect for a spot where you expect the Best Nanny Ever to pop up around every corner.

French Market Restaurant

Appropriately, Disneyland offers a wonderful array of New Orleans-inspired dishes in the square named after this famous city. And some of my favorites are at French Market Restaurant.

While there are some delicious soups on offer here — served in Mickey-esque Bread Bowls, no less — I can never resist a good Jambalaya. And you shouldn’t either! This version is loaded with Chicken, Andouille Sausage, and Shrimp.

Jambalaya

Jambalaya

Simmered in a sauce that’s just spicy enough and served on a bed of Dirty Rice, it’s one of my favorite versions of the classic dish. (And look! Real plates again!)

Carnation Cafe

Carnation Cafe is a must for me whenever I’m in Disneyland, and that’s especially true for breakfast. But they also serve terrific lunch and dinner.

While dishes like Walt’s Chili and Meat Loaf are mainstays on the menu, a few other items won my votes for top dishes. You can make a decadent meal out of their delicious Fried Pickles and a crock of their famous Loaded Baked Potato Soup.

Fried Pickles and Dipping Sauce

Fried Pickles and Dipping Sauce

Baked Potato Soup

Baked Potato Soup

The Spinach Salad with Chicken is a lighter alternative.

Spinach Salad with Grilled Chicken

Spinach Salad with Grilled Chicken

And with such a healthy meal, you can splurge a little extra on ice cream! :-D

Plaza Inn

If you visit Plaza Inn for only one meal, then make sure it’s for lunch or dinner and order their famous Fried Chicken.

This mammoth platter comes with three — THREE! — huge pieces of seriously amazing Fried Chicken, PLUS Green Beans, Mashes Potatoes and Gravy, and a Biscuit.

Plaza Inn Fried Chicken

Plaza Inn Fried Chicken

My advice? Come really hungry, plan to share, or figure that this meal will fill you up for the rest of the day!

Breakfast at Steakhouse 55

If you’re like me, then you like to indulge in a leisurely, luxurious breakfast at least one morning during your vacation. And Steakhouse 55 is the perfect place to do it.

While you can’t go wrong with any of their breakfast options, you should live a little while you’re here and go for the New York Steak and Eggs.

New York Steak and Eggs

New York Steak and Eggs

Eggs cooked just the way you like them, savory Breakfast Potatoes, and a thick, juicy Steak. It’s a great way to tell your body, “Hey, you’re on vacation, buddy.” Aaaaaaaand then go back to your hotel room and take a nap.

Lunch at Storytellers Cafe

Storytellers Cafe at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel is a hidden treasure, and I enjoy the quiet atmosphere and a la carte offerings of lunch here best of all.

Whatever you order, be sure to start with their fantastic Corn Bread Muffins. They’re some of my favorites anywhere!

Corn Muffin -- Inside

Corn Muffin — Inside

Make a meal out of a soup and salad combo. Since the menu is market-inspired, the toppings might change from time to time, but they’re always delicious.

Mixed Greens Salad

Mixed Greens Salad

But their Charred Nebraska Corn Chowder seems to be a menu icon, and with good reason. This is an amazing bowl of soup! I can’t resist ordering it every time I visit. (Try it at home with our recipe.)

Charred Nebraska Corn Chowder

Charred Nebraska Corn Chowder

But the Half-Pound Charbroiled Burger, topped with Cheddar Cheese, is also a good option.

Half Pound Char-Broiled Burger -- Up Close

Half Pound Char-Broiled Burger

Another cool thing about this one — these days, you can get your choice of Beef, Turkey, or Veggie Burger.

Appetizers at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar

What’s that, you say? No trip to Disneyland is complete without a visit to Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar? I completely agree with you!

If you’d like to save a little green, mix up a pitcher of Kungaloosh! at home, and focus on the eats here.

For variety, try the Pu Pu Platter, which gives you a taste of some of Trader Sam’s most delicious pub grub. It’s a great way to enjoy lots of different flavors!

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

The Angus Hawaiian Burger is also a great choice.

Angus Hawaiian Burger

Angus Hawaiian Burger

It’s topped with Teriyaki Sauce, caramelized Pineapple, Havarti Cheese, and Bacon. So. Good!!

Pacific Wharf Cafe

There are lots of places around Disneyland to indulge in Soup in a Sourdough Bread Bowl. But Pacific Wharf Cafe is one of my favorites.

Operated by Boudin Bakery, you know the bread that you get here is gonna be good. My favorite soup, when it’s available, is the Santa Rosa Corn Chowder. The addition of sweet and spicy red peppers really makes this something special, but if it’s not there when you are, find another great seasonal specialty.

Santa Rosa Corn Chowder in a Bread Bowl

Santa Rosa Corn Chowder in a Bread Bowl

While the soup and bread make for a hearty meal, the price tag will leave you room in your budget to add a dessert if you’re still hungry.

Alfresco Tasting Terrace

Normally when I visit Alfresco Tasting Terrace, it’s to indulge in a glass of wine. You’ll find many of the Disney Family of Wines represented here. But if it’s food you’re after, you’re in luck, because that have some delicious and interesting Bar Bites as well.

On a recent visit, I couldn’t resist ordering Aged Cheddar Risotto Bites. After all, how can you go wrong with cheese filled rice balls, deep-fried to a golden brown?

Aged Cheddar Risotto Bites

Aged Cheddar Risotto Bites

Follow them up with a Trio of Beef Tenderloin Sliders for a filling combo.

Trio of Beef Tenderloin Sliders

Trio of Beef Tenderloin Sliders

The Horseradish-Caramelized Onion Aïoli that tops the tender beef adds the perfect balance of zip and sweetness.

Cove Bar

Cove Bar has long been one of my favorite spots in Disneyland. And when I’m not ordering drinks from the super secret drink menu, I like to indulge in some of their appetizers. And if you visit, you absolutely MUST order the Lobster Nachos!

Lobster Nachos

Lobster Nachos

No. Seriously. You must. You’ll thank me. :-)

Corn Dog Castle

And last, but definitely not least, let’s head over to the Corn Dog Castle!

Corn Dog Castle

Corn Dog Castle

This is a mecca for so may Disneyland-lovers, as it not only serves the famous Disneyland corn dogs, but also the hot link corn dog and the cheese stick!

Cheese Stick Corn Dog

Cheese Stick Corn Dog

Disneyland Hand-Dipped Corn Dog

Disneyland Hand-Dipped Corn Dog

You really can’t beat this.

And that wraps up some of our favorite under $20 meals that you’ll find in Disneyland! I know, I know, we easily could have mentioned Hungry Bear, Harbour Galley, Stage Door, Paradise Garden Grill, Royal Street Veranda, and so many more, but then you’d be reading for hours! Whether you’re looking for a dish that celebrates the Resort’s heritage or you’re after something totally unique, there are tons of fun options for less than you might think.

Now it’s your turn! What’s your favorite under $20 meal in all of Disneyland? Leave a comment and share with us your picks!

Comments

  1. Hannah says

    Not all to my taste but most looks amazing. If I were to visit Disneyland, instead of Disney World, the first thing I would head for is the cheese stick. I used to get those at the mall but now can’t find them anywhere and live nowhere near a mall. Hawaiian burger would be up there, too.

  2. Larry says

    Love the Jambalaya at French Market. Good choice! It’s been my go to for about 30 years. And they will sub veggies for the rice if you ask nicely.

  3. Essie says

    There are too many good things to choose from! I’d have a hard time picking from the fried chicken Hawaiian Burger with Havarti cheese, Charbroiled burger, lobster nachos, and the angus sliders. Whew! too many good looking choices! Great report, too!

  4. Mimsy says

    My faves- The breakfast bowl at the Pacific Wharf Cafe. I get the bread sliced separately and it’s delicious. I always get the chicken skewer meal at The Paradise Garden Grill with all the sauces, fresh and healthy.

  5. Brielle says

    My favorite is the corn dog! It’s a must have every time I go to Disneyland. This was a great list of affordable options. Those lobster nachos from Cove Bar look wonderful! I’ve had some of the items on the list but not many. I need to go to Disneyland soon so I can try more items on this list!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *