With so many dining options to try at Walt Disney World, it’s not every trip that I’m able to return to some classic Resort restaurants — particularly if I’m not staying at the Resort in question.
Grand Floridian Cafe
But on a recent visit, I had a meeting that was (thankfully!) at the Grand Floridian Cafe. Located off the lobby in the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa’s main building, the Grand Floridian Cafe offers lovely views of the rose garden and courtyard pool beyond. It’s nice and tranquil, but not at all stuffy. So if you want to check out the Grand Floridian with your entire crew (including kiddos), this is a great place to try it.
The Cafe menu serves up traditional American dishes with a few nods to seafood and Southern fare in celebration of the Sunshine State, and our most recent trip here was for dinner. But a great feature at the Grand Floridian Cafe is the brunch-style menu offering breakfast dishes (in addition to the lunch offerings) through 2:00 pm. Hence the “Pancakes and Burger” mashup we’re reviewing today!
And there’s another big boon for the Grand Floridian Cafe: since it’s on the Resort Monorail loop, it’s easily accessible from Magic Kingdom and a terrific get-away if you need a little break from the park.
Like every restaurant at the Grand Floridian, the Cafe is simple and elegant. You won’t find over-the-top, Disney-fied theming in terms of characters or bright colors. But you will feel as though you’ve gone back to the Victorian Era (minus all the stiff social constructs). Check in takes place at a desk with white columns and great trim details.
Right away you’ll notice the lattice-and-flowers carpeting, which carries throughout the restaurant. The wood trim also continues into the dining room, where floral wallpaper and tasteful seating await.
Simple place settings and a single flower in a vase are ready to greet you.
Another classic, lovely touch in an airy, peaceful setting. So settle in and relax as we peruse the menu!
Here’s a look at that breakfast-meets-lunch menu. It’s available through 2:00 pm when the Cafe closes for a few hours before reopening for dinner at 5:00 pm. The menu offers everything from the quintessential Mickey Waffle to Miso-Glazed Salmon. And if you can’t decide between breakfast and lunch, there are always items like the Bacon and Egg Salad to have a little of both.
There’s also an extensive beverage menu, with non-alcoholic mocktails, hot coffee and tea, wine, and specialty cocktails.
Let’s start out with one of those breakfast offerings, shall we? The Floridian Pancakes came highly recommended by some of my Disney food friends and readers, and I’ll tell you right from the get-go that they did not disappoint. Three huge Pancakes are topped with Roasted Pecans, Sun-dried Cranberries, and House-made Orange Butter, along with several Mandarin Orange Slices and Maple Syrup. You’ll also get your choice of Bacon or Sausage.
I’m not exaggerating when I say these are totally epic. The rich, heavy maple flavor was brightened nicely by the citrus, and the variation of textures with the pecans and cranberries added on top of the pancakes offered a unique touch. Plus: House-made Orange Butter ‘cuz FLORIDA. Yum!
But while we’re here, let’s dig into some lunch, too! I went with the Lobster Thermidor Burger. The Grand Floridian Cafe has always had some variation of a lobster-topped burger on the menu, from the Grand Floridian Burger to the Surf and Turf Burger. And — no joke — they’ve all been worth getting. But the current Lobster Thermidor Burger…
It’s a stunner. This is a seven ounce Artisanal Burger Patty with Lobster-Parmesan Thermidor Sauce. It comes on a Seared Brioche Bun and is served with the Cafe’s Signature Seasoned French Fries. The Parmesan Cracker on top adds some great texture and contrast as well. While the burger could’ve used a little more seasoning, it wasn’t overcooked, which is worth celebrating. But that SAUCE, tho…
WITH THE LOBSTER!! Now I know what I’m telling Santa I want for Christmas: a bowl of Lobster-Parmesan Thermidor Sauce and a spoon. DONE.
Oh, and P.S. You can get the Lobster Thermidor Burger during dinner, too!
While brunch-style offerings aren’t all-together uncommon in Disney Springs (at least on the weekends), I would love to see more of it in Disney Resort restaurants. That said, I’m sure glad it’s at least here at the Grand Floridian Cafe, where they are pulling it off very, very well.
Nosh or Not?
Hop over to the Grand Floridian Cafe if:
- You want to check out the Resort and think a peaceful meal sounds heavenly in the midst of your busy vacation.
- You are a connoisseur of pancakes or LOBSTER-TOPPED BURGERS…. or you just want to become one. (Because this is the place to do it!)
- You want to start or end your day near the Magic Kingdom but don’t favor the busier Polynesian and Contemporary dining options.
Skip the Grand Floridian Cafe if:
- You don’t want to add a Resort meal to your tight park-touring schedule.
- You prefer more immersive, high-energy theming.
- You don’t particularly want to try a LOBSTER-TOPPED BURGER.
Honestly, I was surprised by just how awesome this meal was. I’ve always enjoyed the Cafe, but never left feeling like I had to rush back to eat the meal again. This time? It was memorable and will definitely draw me right back.
Have you ever been pleasantly surprised by a meal you’ve had at a Disney World Resort? Tell us about it in the comments!