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.
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 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.
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.
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.
And don’t forget the Tiger Tails! The grilled mini-loaves are a great compliment.
And these wonderfully soft rolls are good as a snack all by themselves.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!)
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.
The Spinach Salad with Chicken is a lighter alternative.
And with such a healthy meal, you can splurge a little extra on ice cream! 😀
This mammoth platter comes with three — THREE! — huge pieces of seriously amazing Fried Chicken, PLUS Green Beans, Mashes Potatoes and Gravy, and a Biscuit.
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.
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!
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.
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.)
But the Half-Pound Charbroiled Burger, topped with Cheddar Cheese, is also a good option.
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!
The Angus Hawaiian Burger is also a great choice.
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.
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?
Follow them up with a Trio of Beef Tenderloin Sliders for a filling combo.
The Horseradish-Caramelized Onion Aïoli that tops the tender beef adds the perfect balance of zip and sweetness.
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!
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!
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!
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!