It’s heeeeere… the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival has officially begun!!
And since the first day of the Festival is my favorite day of the year, I’m here, too, of course! The DFB Team has been hard at work tasting our way around every single Marketplace Booth to let you know the items you absolutely MUST EAT at the Festival this year!
Be sure to click over to our Marketplace Booth Page to see pictures of every single dish at the Festival. Just click through the links for each booth to see pictures of all your favorite dishes, along with every single new one from this year!
Then meet me right back here to check out our recommendations for the BEST of the FEST!
Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Mousse with a Caramel Drizzle at Chew Collective
Layers of thick peanut butter mousse and white chocolate mousse with some sugared peanuts on top make up this dessert at Chew Collective…and it’s my idea of perfection. Super rich and salty-sweet, you will not be disappointed.
It’s a small portion, but the sweetness will knock your socks off.
Grilled Beef Skewer with Romaine, Apricots, and Feta Cheese at Chew Collective
Plan on arriving hungry to Chew Collective — you’ll want to also get that peanut butter mousse we just talked about.
Seriously crazy good. Cooked perfectly, the skewer showcased medium/medium rare beef. I found the marinated flavor to be spot on. To be fair, Chef Dee Foundoukis was working the booth so I’m sure she had something to do with the outstanding taste. ;-D
What’s not to love about meat on a stick?!
Seared Scallop, Truffled Celery Root Purée, Brussels Sprouts, and Wild Mushrooms featuring Melissa’s Produce at Wine & Dine Studio
Seared lightly, this lush scallop dish featured at Wine & Dine Studio was fresh, earthy, and savory.
Our favorite of the surrounding ingredients was that Truffled Celery Root Purée — creamy and delicious!
Red Wine Chocolate Truffle at Chocolate Studio
Looking for a decadent little treat? Stop by the Chocolate Studio! This truffle is for my wine and chocolate lovers. The mousse-like texture adds to the indulgence. Give it a try — it’s only a bit over $2.
I noted a distinct wine flavor; if you don’t like red wine, this isn’t for you.
Frozen Mojito at Islands of the Caribbean
While this year’s returning mojito at Islands of the Caribbean is being served in a smaller glass, it’s still one of my standbys for cooling off during a hot festival day. Always good — it still has a super refreshing flavor.
Tart with just a hint of muddled mint, it’s a festival classic!
Sprecher Hard Orange Cream Soda Float at Desserts and Champagne
If you recall, the selections at Desserts & Champagne Booth haven’t exactly wowed me at past festivals. That all changed with last year’s Orange Blossom Brewery Toasted Coconut Porter Float with Caramel Ice Cream. Now there’s a new float that has won me over — the Sprecher Hard Orange Cream Soda Float. Super fun, right?
Served in a unique glass, this orange cream float is super fun for for the grown-ups. But don’t worry, kiddos — there are non-alcoholic floats available here as well! Try the grape fanta version!
Two Henrys Elderberry Hard Cider at Farm Fresh
Now, we’re not recommending that you bypass the mac ‘n cheese at Farm Fresh this year. We just think you should wash it down with Elderberry Hard Cider. This beverage is not too sweet and very refreshing.
Don’t pass this one up; you can thank me later. 😉
Strawberry Plum Wine Cooler with Takara Plum Wine at China
This one surprised me. A refreshing and fruity flavored cooler at China, we love the sweet-tart taste. Sooooo good! Muddled strawberries add to the decadence of this blend. (A tip from DFB: This one goes down super easy. ;D)
And it’s totally worth the wait in the super hot, no-shade-to-be-found line.
Korean-style BBQ Beef with Steamed Rice and Cucumber Kimchi at South Korea
Returning for the second year in a row to our Best of the Fest list, you’ll want to experience the deliciousness that is Korean-style BBQ Beef at the South Korea booth.
While a little bit on the salty side, this rich (due to the fatty texture of the short ribs) dish has a delicious, spicy flavor.
DFB can recommend both the vegan and regular versions.
Smoked Beef Brisket and Pimento Cheese Served on Griddled Garlic Toast at Hops & Barley
OK, some barbecue can be pretty mediocre — especially at Disney, but Hops & Barley gets bragging rights for a perfect brisket. This stick-to-your-ribs grub is SO good!
Super savory and perfect with the pimento cheese, you’ll love the great texture. Eat it as-is — make sure you get a bite of the buttery toast in the mix!!
But wait. There’s another comfort food that you shouldn’t miss at Hops & Barley. Read on…
Freshly Baked Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese Icing at Hops & Barley
Every carrot cake that I recommend must be finished with cream cheese icing. THIS super moist (so moist it’s almost a pudding) carrot cake has now become my favorite thing at the festival because, well, WARM cream cheese icing. And don’t forget to ask for extra icing like I did in the picture below! ;-D
Hops & Barley is the new Canada for me — not-to-be-missed!
Spicy Hummus Fries with Cucumber, Tomato, Onions and Tzatziki Sauce at Morocco
Morocco took our breath away with this one. We didn’t expect a healthy alternative to French fries to be a show-stopper. Yet, we couldn’t stop eating them!
Unique and crispy, the Spicy Hummus Fries reminded us of falafel.
We don’t think the sauce was Tzatziki since it was red (but you Tzatziki gurus feel free to correct us in the comments!). While sweet and spicy, it had a creaminess to it.
Frozen Daiquiri Ice Pop: Strawberry Puree with French Caribbean Rhum Clément at France
Boozy popsicles are still popular at France. Made with real strawberries, this frozen blend of strawberry puree and rum is extremely refreshing.
Adding some depth to this popsicle, the distinct alcohol flavor is definitely present. Nobody’s going to mistake this one for a kiddie treat.
Super fun for selfies, this unique treat doubles as a cocktail. Win-win!
Twinings Pumpkin Chai Tea and Caramel Shake at Ireland
You can get this one with or without caramel vodka… can’t decide? Try both versions made with Pumpkin Chai Tea at Ireland.
We know you’ll love the shake consistency that transforms this beverage into a decadent treat. Crushed vanilla wafers add to the fall-like fun.
This one was very creamy and thick with a prominent pumpkin flavor.
Frozen Szarlotka Apple Pie featuring Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka at Poland
Poland bills the Frozen Szarlotka Apple Pie as a beverage but we really think it’s more of a dessert. Either way, it’s fun and unique!
Great on these super hot, early fall days.
But We’re Not Finished Yet!
If you’re thinking, “Wait… what about my favorite dish from last year? I love the Loaded Mac ‘n’ Cheese at Farm Fresh. Is it gone?!?” Fret not! Remember that this is just our Best of the Fest for 2016. We’ve got pictures and pricing for every single item at the Festival, just like we do every year.
To see the full list — and pictures of EVERYTHING — be sure to click over to our Marketplace Booth page, where the provided links will take you to each booth’s individual page. That’s how you can see pictures of every single dish at this year’s Festival!
Want Even MORE Great Info About the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival?
Don’t worry… We’ll be back with MUCH more from the Festival in the coming weeks — from Seminars and Demonstrations to Special Events to Booth Reviews. In the meantime, you can check out all of the info below to prepare for YOUR visit to the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!