Review: Pacific Wharf Cafe in Disney California Adventure

During my recent visit to Disneyland, I decided it was time to check in once more with one of my favorite counter service spots, Pacific Wharf Cafe in Disney California Adventure.

The restaurant is located on Pacific Wharf (natch), and features a San Francisco signature item — Boudin Bakery’s famous Sourdough Bread – made in the bakery next door!

Pacific Wharf Cafe

Pacific Wharf Cafe

I really love the food here, and I’m especially partial to their hearty Soups served in Boudin Sourdough Bread Bowls.

On this visit, I figured it was time to introduce you to a few new flavors, though. So come with us as we explore some of Pacific Wharf’s other must-have menu items!

Atmosphere

If you’ve spent any time on Cannery Row in Monterey, then Pacific Wharf Cafe will look familiar to you in terms of style. The restaurant is actually owned and operated by San Fran’s Boudin Bakery, a landmark of the city, dating back to 1849.

If you’d like to know more about the bread making process or the history of Boudin Bakery, be sure to take The Bakery Tour, which you’ll find just next door. (Yep — that bread baking smell isn’t piped in! They really really really bake fresh bread for the parks here every day!!! SO GOOD!)

Wall Decor

Wall Decor

Inside, the counter service stop is fairly straightforward in design. Warm wood paneling covers the walls, and exposed duct work echoes the industrial feel of the space.

Two queues give way to ordering areas, where cast members take your order from the menu above and the pastry case in front of you.

Queue

Queue

Over the counter, boards display the small menu the old fashioned way (no LCD screens here), and focuses on items that include Boudin’s signature sourdough bread. Be sure to check out the enticing bread display between the identical menu boards.

Ordering Area

Ordering Area

On the day that I visited recently, the pastry case was a little underwhelming. But don’t hold that against them. There’s plenty of wonderful stuff here.

Pastry Case

Pastry Case

Once your order is assembled, you’ll pick it up from the area just to the side of the register.

Pick Up Area

Pick Up Area

There’s no seating inside Pacific Wharf Cafe, but you should be able to find a spot at the shared outdoor seating area just outside, or take a seat at the lovely waterside tables (there are about four of them) right next to the restaurant exit.

Outdoor Seating

Outdoor Seating

During this visit, there were some new items to try and some old favorites to enjoy. Let’s check ‘em out.

Eats

Pacific Wharf Cafe is one of several counter service stops in this part of Disney California Adventure. (Others include The Lucky Fortune Cookery and Cocina Cucomonga Mexican Grill.) As a result, you won’t find a huge menu. But that’s okay, because everything they do offer is delicious.

Options range from Soups and Salads served in Sourdough Bread Bowls, to Sandwiches. While they aren’t on the menu by name, there are also some delicious sweet options. There are some standard Kids’ Meals Offerings and a Toddler Meal option as well.

Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Menu — Click to Enlarge

I always like to check out the seasonal soup while I’m here, especially since one of my favorites, the Santa Rosa Corn Chowder, wasn’t an option during this visit.

Seasonal Soup Sign

Seasonal Soup Sign

We soon made our selections and headed outside to enjoy them.

Our Lunch! Turkey Pesto Club and Loaded Baked Potato Soup in a Sourdough Bread Bowl

Our Lunch! Turkey Pesto Club and Loaded Baked Potato Soup in a Sourdough Bread Bowl

First up — the Turkey Pesto Club Sandwich. The substantial sammie comes with a side of Lay’s Potato Chips.

Turkey Pesto Club

Turkey Pesto Club

This sandwich looks guuuuuuuuud. Sliced Turkey is topped with Bacon, Swiss Cheese, creamy Pesto Aioli, Lettuce, and Tomato, and it’s served on a Boudin Sourdough Baguette, baked fresh right on the premises.

You know how bread isn’t usually a big deal on a sandwich? Not so here. Every single component brought something to the party. It was delicious and fresh, and we’d definitely get it again.

Turkey Pesto Club -- Up Close

Turkey Pesto Club — Up Close

I chose to indulge in the seasonal soup, Loaded Baked Potato. (Um…of course I did!)

Loaded Baked Potato Soup in a Sourdough Bread Bowl

Loaded Baked Potato Soup in a Sourdough Bread Bowl

Cheesy, creamy, and rich, it was everything that I wanted it to be. And how great is it that I can eat the bowl too? ;-)

Loaded Baked Potato Soup -- Up Close

Loaded Baked Potato Soup — Up Close

I have a bonus for you, too! PWC happens to be home to an amazing Secret Menu Item — Macaroni and Cheese in a Sourdough Bread Bowl!

Yep! — that’s a TON of Cheesy Pasta, served in a bowl made of Bread. Because you NEED your energy.

Secret Disneyland Menu Item: Macaroni and Cheese in a Sourdough Bread Bowl!

Secret Disneyland Menu Item: Macaroni and Cheese in a Sourdough Bread Bowl!

Pacific Wharf also puts their bread game to good use in the dessert department with Bread Pudding. The flavors change with the seasons, so there’s always something new to look forward to. While we were there, I enjoyed a Caramel Apple version, with a little surprise tucked into the middle.

Seasonal Bread Pudding -- Apple and Cream Cheese Pudding

Seasonal Bread Pudding — Apple and Cream Cheese Pudding

I’ve tasted lots of the different bread puddings that PCW has offered. Sometimes they’re a little on the dry side, but overall, I always enjoy them.

This particular version had Apples mingled throughout the bread mixture which lent a great flavor and texture contrast. We didn’t find it to be dry at all.

I appreciated the Caramel and Whipped Cream too. You know how I feel about it: the more sauce, the better! Though I think next time I’ll ask for them to drizzle the sauce on top as well. They’ve done that in the past and I’ve enjoyed it even more.

Seasonal Bread Pudding -- Apple and Cream Cheese Pudding -- Up Close

Seasonal Bread Pudding — Apple and Cream Cheese Pudding — Up Close

But inside, you come to the real reason for the extra moist pudding — a Cheese Filling! At least I think that’s what it was?!? No idea, but no matter what it was, it was Le Sigh.

Seasonal Bread Pudding -- Apple and Cream Cheese Pudding -- Inside

Seasonal Bread Pudding — Apple and Cream Cheese Pudding — Inside

The sweet + rich + creamy cheese tanginess yielded prettymuch the perfect bread pudding.

Overall

You know that I am a huge fan of Disneyland food, and I think they do an especially terrific job with counter service options. And PWC is right up there with the best of them. Such a simple menu, but how can you go wrong with fresh-baked sourdough and amazing soups?!? Add in the killer bread pudding, and I’m sold.

If you find yourself in Disney California Adventure hungry, with no plans, head to Pacific Wharf Cafe to grab a quick lunch or dinner. I think you’ll be pleased.

Now, I’d love to hear your opinion! Is Pacific Wharf Cafe one of your favorite counter service stops when you’re in Disneyland? Leave a comment and let us know!

Comments

  1. Tammy says

    The clam chowder in the bread bowl at Pacific Wharf Cafe is my go to lunch at DCA every trip we make! That caramel apple bread pudding – I need to order that!

  2. Essie says

    Never been to the West Coast, but if I do, that turkey sandwich and dessert would be perfect!

  3. Cheryl J says

    I don’t know how I have missed the bread pudding over the years lol. We have loved San Franciscio’s Boudin’s sourdough bread for YEARS and go to Pacific Wharf Cafe every time we hit the parks. I had the broccoli cheese soup in a bread bowl the last time I was there and it was delicious! We always ask for some butter to go with that BOWL :)

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