We are big fans of Epcot around here, just like you are. It may not be the original Disney World Park, but it holds a charm that few other spots in the Disney universe can. After all, walking around there feels like you’ve stepped into the dreams of Walt Disney himself. It didn’t start life as the Experimental Prototype City Of Tomorrow for nothing!
The park has evolved a bit through the years, but we’re still enchanted by its dual personalities: Future World, celebrating technology and the promise of what’s to come; and World Showcase, which encourages visitors to embrace cultures from around the globe in order to learn from them.
While there’s so much to do and see, tops on our list are the eats! Today, we’re sharing with you our favorite Epcot Restaurants — the ones we don’t want you to miss.
Via Napoli is a rare Disney restaurant in my book, and there are two reasons why. First, I eat there nearly every time I visit Walt Disney World, whether I tell you guys about it or not. 😉 And two, the food is pretty much always good.
There’s no disputing, in my opinion, that Via Napoli is your top destination for good pizza in Disney World. But there is so much more than that here!
To begin, they have some terrific beverages. And while inventive cocktails and exclusive craft beers number among them, you should try the completely refreshing (and non-alcoholic) Acqua Fresca at least once…especially if you’re visiting on a hot day!
You can’t go wrong with pizzas at Via Napoli. The crust is prepared with imported flour and water similar to what you’ll find in Southern Italy. The pies are fired hot and fast, and arrive to your table still steaming from the ovens.
But don’t overlook Via Napoli’s pasta dishes, either. Whether you’re going for tomato-based sauces or something decadent and creamy, we’ve had some real winners.
And save room for dessert. I’ve had some delicious options, but the Zeppole wins my vote for the best, hands down!
But then, how could you possibly go wrong with what amounts to an Italian doughnut? 🙂
Garden Grill Restaurant
What’s not to love about Garden Grill Restaurant in The Land Pavilion?
This place has everything! It rotates (yes — it, like, physically rotates in a circle), so you see an ever-changing landscape — courtesy of Living with the Land, one of the attractions that shares real estate with the restaurant.
And the food, which is served family-style and is all you care to enjoy, is really, really good. These days, they are serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and frankly, I can’t decide which I like the best. Here are a few pics. You decide!
So it spins…and the food is guuuuuuud.
Surely, that’s enough, right? Nope! On top of all that, there are characters! Enjoy interaction with Chip n’ Dale, Farmer Mickey, and Pluto while you dine.
And because of the round structure of the restaurant, character interaction always feels even more special in some way, like you’re the only guest there. Plus the circular architecture makes it easy for Mickey and Pluto to sneak up on you and play peek-a-boo! SUPER FREAKING FUN for the toddler set. If you haven’t had the chance to dine at Garden Grill, be sure to book your advance dining reservation on your next visit!
But you aren’t out of luck if you prefer counter service to table service. Because you’ll find plenty to love at Sunshine Seasons.
Located in The Land Pavilion (yep — just an escalator ride away from Garden Grill — that building has more than its fair share of good Disney food karma), this is counter service food that tastes more like table service quality. They serve breakfast (a little-known fact), lunch, and dinner here, so there’s always something delicious to try. They also have some interesting Grab and Go selections — including some super yummo cupcakes, which change up seasonally.
For our next choice, we’re headed back to World Showcase — and right back to the Italy Pavilion, in fact — to hang out at Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar.
I mean look at that. How many theme parks that you’ve been to have a cozy wine bar where you can sit on couches next to a fireplace?!?
Ever since this uber cozy spot opened, I have been a fan. Featuring small plates and fantastic Italian wines, a respite at Tutto Gusto is like a tour of Italy. Via food. Which we all know if the best way to see a country. 🙂
To explore like a native, check out their Wine Flights. It’s a great way to learn more about the various regions where wine is produced.
But there’s a full bar as well. While you can enjoy just about anything you can dream up, I suggest you explore some of their special cocktails, especially those using liquors and liqueurs from Italy.
But the drinks are only half the story here, because there’s also some seriously great food. The Panini aren’t what we normally get here in the US. But the “small bread sandwiches” feature really interesting combos, like Fontina with Artichoke or Salametto — or both!
Other small plates feature Pasta, like Ravioli de Ricotta.
This rich dish packs a ton of flavor.
Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie
There’s a lot to love about Epcot’s France Pavilion. You’ll find wonderful ice cream treats to enjoy at L’Artisan des Glaces. And taking in lunch or dinner at Les Chefs de France is always high on my list. But whatever time of day it is, I can always find a reason to visit Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie!
Seriously — are you looking for a French-inspired breakfast? Pastries and baked goods are prepared authentically and fresh right in Les Halles’ own kitchens and ovens.
My favorites are the Frangipane Triangles. With flaky pastry and a rich almond filling center, it makes for a great start to my day. I know — they look totally boring. There’s no chocolate! No cream! But ERMEHGERD they are SOOOOO good. And this is coming from a cupcake and frosting devotee.
For a light lunch or dinner, you can’t go wrong with one of Les Halles’ sandwiches. Enjoying a Jambon Beurre always reminds me of my broke college student days in Switzerland when I had to eat at train stations. Wait a minute. That doesn’t sound right. Let me put that into context by saying that the ham, cheese, and butter sandwiches served at Swiss gas stations and train stations are THE BEST!!!!!!
But one of my favorite things to do is to grab a Cheese Plate and a Baguette and people watch from a bench or a spot by the fountain.
And don’t forget — Les Halles is a great place to stop for a drink. That includes mimosas that are on the menu starting at 9AM!!! Yep — Les Halles is not only the ONLY place you can eat in World Showcase before 11AM without a reservation…it also serves ALCOHOL at 9AM. I’m just gonna put that right there.
Coffee or hot chocolate, beer or wine…you’ll find great options at this counter service cafe any time of the day.
La Hacienda de San Angel
La Hacienda de San Angel hasn’t always impressed me. My visits to the restaurant, which is the Mexico Pavilion’s newest place to dine, have been evenly split between great and not so much. But this is definitely a place where I consider the big picture when it comes to formulating an opinion. What do I mean by that? Mostly, I consider La Hacienda’s location to be a great big part of its charm.
Open only for dinner, La Hacienda de San Angel occupies primo real estate right on Epcot’s World Showcase Lagoon. That makes this a beautiful location for taking in Illuminations.
But that’s jut the outside view (which is pretty awesome, fireworks or no). Inside the restaurant is nearly as beautiful as the view, with Mexican artwork and punched tin lights. The terraced seating and round booths facing the windows takes full advantage of the views.
But what about the food? While pricey, I’ve had some real standouts here. Don’t skip the handcrafted margaritas, which are on par with those you’ll find at La Cava del Tequila across the way. And if they’re serving Crema de Elote, or Creamed Corn Soup, do yourself a favor…
…And order two bowls.
Le Cellier Steakhouse
There is NO WAY I can discuss my favorite Epcot restaurants and not talk about Le Cellier Steakhouse.
Some feel that Le Cellier is overrated. While I love it, I must admit that I was disappointed when this signature restaurant in the Canada Pavilion started serving its more expensive (and 2 Disney Dining Plan Credit) dinner menu for the midday meal too. But even there, we’ve seen a bright side. What previously had been a nearly impossible advance dining reservation to score is now a lot easier to come by.
Le Cellier is aptly named. They have done a great job with themeing, and actually using the windowless space to their advantage.
It really lends to the cozy feel of the place. Whether it’s 40 or 90 degrees outside, it still manages to feel like you’re in Canada, and not Florida, in the snug dining room.
But even more remarkable is the consistently great food and service I’ve experienced here.
The one caveat? The dining room really is small. If you’re like me and enjoy your space while dining, ask for a table that’s not a banquette along the walls so you don’t feel like you’re eating at a communal table.
Rose and Crown Pub
Our last stop in Epcot takes us over to the UK Pavilion, as we drop into Rose and Crown Pub and Restaurant.
While Rose and Crown offers good food, I think a big part of what makes it special to me is nostalgia. I’ve been coming to this pub on the UK Pavilion’s High Street since the days that I visited Disney World as a child with my family. And really, nothing has changed. You’ll find the same homey atmosphere and solid comfort food that was the hallmark of the spot then.
But the nostalgia isn’t just about those visits when I was a kid. When I began visiting Disney on my own as an adult, I came to know the pub as well as the restaurant. After all, having a drink and a bite at the Rose and Crown’s beautiful bar is a Disney rite of passage. And if you have the pleasure of visiting with Carl the Bartender while there — then so much the better!
Now, if they would just bring back that English Bulldog…
La Cava del Tequila
Ok…so it’s not so much a restaurant as a bar. But — it has tables and chairs. And some food. And about the best drinks that you can get anywhere in the Disney Universe. And this is my list, so I’m totally including it. 🙂
Seriously — I would be remiss as both an Epcot Lover and a Disney Food Blogger if I didn’t tell you to make room on your itinerary and in your tummy for La Cava del Tequila. Located inside the Mexico Pavilion’s Pyramid, this tiny spot has been practically standing room only since it opened a few years ago. One sip of their artisan margaritas, and you’ll understand why.
These aren’t your neighborhood Tex-Mex chain ressie drinks. Featuring premium spirits (no joke — I follow on instagram the guys who choose the alcohol for this place and their feeds are pretty much constantly filled with agave fields they’re visiting to select the best possible stuff), freshly prepared juices, and all kinds of interesting flavor combos, it’s one of the best places I can think of to send you for a quiet and cool break. My drink du jour these days is the Tamarind Margarita — a perfect sweet and tangy balance of flavors.
And they do pour ’em strong here, so do yourself a favor and try a few of their small bites.
I love their Trio Combo for a variety of flavors! The white queso — when it’s on the menu — is to die for.
So, there you have it!! These are the places you can’t miss in Epcot! I’d love to hear about your favorites, too!
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Now let’s hear from you! What are your favorite Epcot Restaurants? Leave a comment and share your personal list with us!