Best Table Service Restaurants in the Disneyland Resort

We’re counting down some of our all-time favorite spots to dine when we visit Disneyland!

Best Disneyland Table Service Restaurants

And while snacking abounds and counter service can be delicious, today we are turning our attention to our favorite table service spots.

While Disney’s original park may not offer the same number of dining locations as Walt Disney World, there are certainly some places that you won’t want to miss. And we love them for all different reasons. Some are sentimental favorites, while others offer fantastic food.

Head out with us as we tour our Top 6 Table Service Spots in Disneyland Resort!

Steakhouse 55

Our first stop takes us to a spot steeped in Disneyland history — Steakhouse 55 at Disneyland Hotel.

Dark, cool interiors are replete with luxury and plenty of nods to the past. Named for the year that Disneyland opened, of course, Steakhouse 55 channels a bygone era with the glamour of Old Hollywood. Close your eyes, and you can easily imagine power lunches by the entertainment elite taking place at the next table.

Inside the Cool and Serene Steakhouse 55

Inside the Cool and Serene Steakhouse 55

There’s more here than just posh surroundings, however. The food is incredible, too. For dinner, expertly prepared Steaks and classic steakhouse Sides are the draw. And don’t forget the famous 24-layer Chocolate Cake!

No time for an epic meal, but still want to experience this awesome place? Stop in for Drinks and delicious Pub Grub in the Lounge.

Bone-In Ribeye Steakhouse 55

Bone-In Ribeye Steakhouse 55

But don’t forget breakfast! If you’re after a quiet start to your morning, you can’t go wrong with specialities like Eggs Benedict or New York Steak and Eggs.

Napa Rose

When I’m up for a culinary experience with a modern, California vibe, I head to Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.

The Craftsman style and open floor plan gives the restaurant a warm, welcoming feel. It never feels too intimidating or hoity-toity, even though you are dining in one of Southern California’s most celebrated eateries.

Begin your evening in [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: A Look Back at 1957 Park Eats

Fire up the flux capacitor and hop in the Delorean because we’re going back in time.  I know, that’s Universal Studios talk, but Doc Brown is the only guy I know that can make this happen…

1957 Guide to Disneyland

1957 Guide to Disneyland

It’s 1957 at Disneyland. The park has only been open for two years, but Walt’s got lots of places for us to eat! Let’s take a little tour of our options starting with good ‘ol Main Street USA.

The Carnation Ice Cream Parlor (currently known as Gibson Girl) was the perfect spot for a cool treat.  Further down the road you could stop at the Carnation Plaza Gardens for some quick service food. Does anyone remember the frozen malts they sold with the wooden spoons? I DO!

There was also the Refreshment Corner sponsored by Coca Cola, The Maxwell Coffee House Shop, The Puffin Bake Shop, and the Red Wagon Inn, which is said to have been Walt’s favorite park eatery and later became the Plaza Inn.

Another option was a cafeteria style restaurant called the Pavilion.  Check out the photos below, I’m absolutely loving the popcorn cart and its cute little cowpoke customers!

Vintage Main Street USA

Main Street USA

Take a right off of Main Street USA and you’ll stumble into Tomorrowland.  Here, you can hit the Space Bar, an automat type restaurant as well as the Yacht Club (self service) and the Dairy Bar, which was an exhibit sponsored by the American Dairy Association.

Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland

After Tomorrowland, we’ll head over to Fantasyland.  Here you can eat at the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship (YES PLEASE!) or get some fresh grape juice from the Welch’s Stand.

Vintage FantasylandIn 1957, Frontierland was the place to really get your grub on; it had the most dining options of all the lands in the park.  The Chicken Plantation Restaurant served up a fried chicken dinner for just $1.70.  Meals could be enjoyed on the patio of a plantation style home along the Rivers of America.  The Plantation House closed in 1962 to make room for New Orleans Square.

Not in the mood for fried chicken? Head over to the Golden Horseshoe for dinner and a show.  Or visit the birth place of the [Read more…]

Top 7 Must-Try Disneyland Frozen Treats

Summer is right around the corner!!

Top 7 Disney Frozen Treats

And when the mercury climbs, there’s no better way to cool off at Disney than with one of their top-notch frozen treats!

But how do you choose just one??? Well, let’s be honest. We don’t. We choose, you know, seven.

Today, we’re taking a look at a few of our favorites, all in the name of helping you decide! Aren’t we nice like that? I don’t know about you, but I’m already feeling refreshed!

Hand-Dipped Ice Cream Bars at Clarabelle’s

One of my favorite frozen treat genres is the ice cream bar. After all, there are several foods with sticks on this list!

But one of the best, hands down, is the Make Your Own Ice Cream Bar at Clarabelle’s in Disney California Adventure.

Choose your Bar — Vanilla, Chocolate, or Mixed Berry Sorbet. And then choose your Dip from Milk or Dark Chocolate. After that, play with toppings by adding one, or all of them! And you walk out with the ice cream bar of your dreams.

Hand Dipped Ice Cream Bar -- You Create It!

Hand Dipped Ice Cream Bar — You Create It!

The only way they could improve on the concept is by offering [Read more…]

Review: Wetzel’s Pretzels in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney

I can’t believe it! I have never done a review of Wetzel’s Pretzels! How is that even possible??

Actually, we all know the answer to that. I mean, there’s just so much good food to be enjoyed that it’s hard to fit it all in. Still, Wetzel’s Pretzels deserves its due. And so today, we’re visiting their location in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney District to take a closer look at some of their irresistible specialties.

Outside

Outside

Wetzel’s Pretzels in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney District

Their sign out front pretty much says it all. It’s the trifecta of snack foods — fresh pretzels, lemonade, and hot dogs — emphasis on fresh.

Because when you step into Wetzel’s, you will most likely be treated to their form of entertainment — watching fresh dough morph into pretzels right before your eyes. (Well. With a little help from their pretzel pros.)

Pretzel Dough

Pretzel Dough

We were even treated to a front row show of employees putting together those famous Wetzel Dogs! It’s really cool to witness firsthand that the items you enjoy here are prepared right on the premises.

Pretzel Dough and Hot Dogs

Pretzel Dough and Hot Dogs

Signs around the store gave us ample suggestions about what we should enjoy during our visit. I love their generous use of jalapenos here! Reminds me of one of my favorite Disney pretzel treats, the [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: Steakhouse 55 Lounge at The Disneyland Hotel

I can easily say that Steakhouse 55 is one of my top 3 favorite Disney Resort restaurants.

steakhouse55 Logo

We eat there several times a year, and we always wait for our table in their lounge.  Because we’re such fans of Steakhouse 55, we’ve never ordered anything but drinks in the lounge; we’re always on our way to a fabulous meal in the restaurant!

Well, we recently decided to give the lounge a try and I’m so glad that we did.  Let’s be honest though, we only ate there because it was a last minute decision.  The Earl of Sandwich line was too long and there were no walk ins being accepted for Steakhouse 55… But it was great!

Atmosphere

The atmosphere of the lounge complements the decor inside of Steakhouse 55.  Classic and dark, but also inviting, the room is located at the entrance to the restaurant.  In addition to a full bar with seating, there are options to sit at small tables, couches, and some gorgeous high back chairs as well.  The decor includes lush velvet drapery and pillows in deep purple.

Steakhouse 55 Lounge Seating

Steakhouse 55 Lounge Seating

Looking to catch a game? No need to hit ESPN Zone, there’s a TV here too!

Full Bar with Seating AND a TV

Full Bar with Seating AND a TV

More Seating

More Seating

Eats

The menu is not very big, but I did think that the choices were fabulous for a lounge.  Options include Salads, Flatbreads, Bar Bites, and three different “Between Bread” choices.

Steakhouse 55 Lounge Menu Book

Steakhouse 55 Lounge Menu Book

Steakhouse 55 Lounge Menu

Steakhouse 55 Lounge Menu

AND what would be a meal without the fabulous Steakhouse 55 hot out of the oven Sourdough Bread??? Although not on the menu, [Read more…]

News and Review: Handmade Chocolate Fudge Easter Eggs Back in Disneyland!

Shazam!!! After spending a lovely (literally — the weather was gorgeous) weekend in Disneyland, I’m pleased to report that I finally got to try one of the best seasonal Disney treats ever created! The Disneyland handmade Easter egg!!!!!

Easter Egg Box

Easter Egg Box

These quietly slipped back into the Candy Palace this year, and I was so SO excited to get my hands on one. Heather got to review them year before last, lucky duck!

Check out the vintage, I-got-this-at-my-local-hometown-candy-store box!

Easter Egg Box Side

Easter Egg Box Side

Of course, I snagged the best flavor ever: Peanut Butter Fudge. They also have Vanilla Nut and Chocolate Nut, which you can see reviewed here.

Easter Egg Ingredients

Easter Egg Ingredients

Of course, you might also choose yours based on the sugar confection decoration on top. Mine was a little duck in a bonnet (nope, not Donald, but the same colors!).

Disneyland Handmade Easter Egg

Disneyland Handmade Easter Egg

So, I hope when you get your egg you’ve got a free night available where you can just [Read more…]

Top 3 Restaurants for Kids in Disneyland

Visiting Disneyland can certainly make you feel like a kid again! But what about if you’re visiting with…you know…real, live, actual kids?

We talk a lot about good options for grown ups, but today, I thought we could hit up our very favorite spots in Disneyland for when you have some small fry with you (which, for many of us, is most of the time!). So let’s tick off the Top 3 Restaurants for Kids in Disneyland.

Grab your Mickey Ears, and let’s go!

Goofy’s Kitchen

If you have a small child in tow on your Disneyland trip, a character meal is practically a requirement.

After all, most kiddos love meeting larger than life characters. But kids and adults alike can agree that long lines in the hot sun don’t make for magical memories. So our first suggestion is that you book your advance dining reservation asap for Goofy’s Kitchen.

The Entrance to Goofy's Kitchen

The Entrance to Goofy’s Kitchen

Why? Because we think the food is better here than at many other character meals.

Located in Disneyland Hotel, choose from brunch or dinner character dining at this popular spot. And the characters are especially fun at Goofy’s. Because in addition to Goofy, you just never know you might drop by!

Of course, you can totally expect to see the man himself.

Chef Goofy at Goofy's Kitchen

Chef Goofy at Goofy’s Kitchen

But you might just see a prince or a princess as well! And MANY other friends!

Aladdin and Jasmine at Goofy's Kitchen

Aladdin and Jasmine at Goofy’s Kitchen

Parents will appreciate the terrific seating options here. Sure, there’s no monorail whizzing above your head like you’ll find at Chef Mickey’s. But there are tables located both inside the sunny dining room and outside on a shaded patio. Ahhhh…how I love California.

One Room of Goofy's Kitchen Restaurant

Goofy’s Kitchen Seating — Inside

Outdoor Seating at Goofy's! Love It!

Outdoor Seating at Goofy’s! Love It!

And even though the characters are fun and the atmosphere is adequate, the eats are [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland First Look: Starbucks Opens in Downtown Disney!

The walls are down and the doors are open! Disneyland’s Downtown Disney has just welcomed one of the most unique Starbucks stores in the nation.

Downtown Disney Welcomes Starbucks

Downtown Disney Welcomes Starbucks!

This LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certified store is beyond gorgeous.  First off, you may be wondering what LEED is; I myself had to look it up to get some more information.

LEED certification encourages “green” building, using sustainable products in the construction of the building.  It also requires Energy Star performance ratings on appliances, lighting, machinery, etc.

Welcome to Starbucks Anaheim

Hand Painted “Welcome to Starbucks Anaheim, California” Mural

This Starbucks has all that and more. Let’s take a look inside!

Atmosphere

Both the interior and exterior of the store are lined with upcycled box car wood.  It has been sanded and stained to a beautiful golden brown color. You can actually see the holes where the bolts originally held the box cars together.

Starbucks Panoramic View

Other design elements include hand painted murals and a tree stump that was cut into a bench for seating.  Starbucks wanted to bring in hand crafted elements that compliment their hand crafted beverages.

Up-cycled Box Car Wood with Hand Painted Murals

Up-cycled Box Car Wood with Hand Painted Murals

More Box Car Wood

More Box Car Wood with Mural

The focal centerpiece of the store is a 9 panel LCD screen that features original content from the areas of the world that Starbucks sources their coffee.

9 Panel LCD Screen Featuring "Water Color" Images of Coffee Resources

9 Panel LCD Screen Featuring “Water Color” Images of Coffee Resources Used by Starbucks

The images have been modified to look as though they are watercolors, and change every minute or so.  The only other Starbucks in the nation to features this same screen is in New York’s Times Square location.

All Content on the LCD Screen is Original to Starbucks.

All Content on the LCD Screen is Original to Starbucks

All Content on the LCD Screen is Original to Starbucks

When designing the store, Starbucks knew that its visitors would be in the area expecting some Disney magic.  Looking to impress guests and spread some of their own pixie dust,  elements were added to this new store that have yet to be introduced to any other Starbucks location.

The main feature is the interactive digital chalkboard.  I immediately noticed this when I walked in the doors.  It does two different things. First, it acts as a drawing board allowing guests to use their fingers to write messages, draw pictures or play a fun game of tic tac toe.

about a game of Tic Tac Toe?

How about a game of Tic Tac Toe?

Of course I couldn’t resist trying it out for myself…

Disney Food Blog Was Here!

Disney Food Blog Was Here!

Second, it creates its own pictures using images it “sees” in front of it.

Sure enough, I watched for a few minutes and I noticed that the man sitting near it was all of a sudden featured in a chalk type drawing right there on the board.  Very cool!

Hey Guy! Look, you're on the screen!

Hey Guy! Look, you’re on the screen!

By the way — it has a disclosure right there on the wall stating that they are using scenes and people in that area of the store to create the unique chalkboard drawings, so you’ve been warned that you might be part of the artwork.

Video Disclosure

Video Disclosure

Above the barista work space, Starbucks has added a light up map featuring locations where they source their coffee.

Light Up Coffee Sourcing Map

Light Up Coffee Sourcing Map

Seating

This particular Starbucks has very little indoor seating.  In fact the only seating is really a few small benches and the round stools that can be seen in front of the interactive screen.

Indoor Seating

Indoor Seating

Instead, the seating was designed to be a patio experience; “alfresco” is what I was told specifically. The patio was built around a large pre-existing tree.  Not wanting to uproot this long time resident, Starbucks made it the focal point of the patio.

The seating around it is very inviting.  In fact, if it weren’t for the World of Disney being right next door, you might easily forget that you were just steps away from the Main Gates.  I can definitely see this area being at full capacity most, if not all of the time.  It’s a great spot to take a break.

"Alfresco" Seating

“Alfresco” Seating

Another element unique to this store is the living wall towards the back of the patio.  The wall features 1000 native plants and acts as a backdrop to more patio seating.

Living Wall with Patio Seating

Living Wall with Patio Seating

 Menu

In addition to their regular beverage menu, this particular Starbucks location has a “Starbucks Reserve”  menu.  They have a special reserve coffee bar that serves up some rare and exotic coffee blends that can not be found at most Starbucks locations.  The Reserve menu changes on a regular basis.

The Starbucks Reserve Coffee Bar: Serving Up Unique & Exotic Blends

The Starbucks Reserve Coffee Bar: Serving Up Unique & Exotic Blends

You can also find the familiar refrigerated cases that serve up prepackaged foods, snacks, bottled water, juice, milk and more.

Starbucks Refrigerator Case

Starbucks Refrigerator Case

Pastries and and treats can be found as well.

Starbucks Pastries

Starbucks Pastries

 Merchandise

This location has the typical Starbucks branded gear available for purchase. You can buy coffee, water bottles, cups, mugs, etc.

Starbucks Branded Merchandise

Starbucks Branded Merchandise

They also have a location-specific Orange County mug.

Starbucks Orange County Mug

Starbucks Orange County Mug

I was hoping to see some Starbucks/Disney colab merchandise, but alas it was no where in sight.  I did ask if it was in the works and the answer was, “We aren’t ruling out the possibility.”  So, basically, don’t hold your breath!

Grinds to Go
Reserve coffees can be purchased to take home.

Starbucks Reserve Coffees Available to Take Home

Starbucks Reserve Coffees Available to Take Home

And…. If you need some additional energy to go, you can grab boxes of VIA, tea or coffee to take with you.

VIA, Teas & Coffee for Purchase

VIA, Teas & Coffee for Purchase

Overall

Overall, I think that Starbucks did a great job designing a location that fits right in at the Happiest Place on Earth. The design elements are modern and playful, a perfect Disney fit.  I also love that it provides a great little spot for fueling up before a long day in the parks.  It’s also the perfect retreat if you need a break…

Just a few hours in and already a super long line.

Customers Gladly Welcoming Starbucks to Downtown Disney Anaheim

Customers Gladly Welcoming Starbucks to Downtown Disney, Anaheim

Welcome to Downtown Disney, Starbucks!

Have you had a chance to visit the new Starbucks in Downtown Disney?  If so, did you have a favorite design element? Did you try the Reserve coffees or play with the digital chalkboard? Let us know in the comments below.

Heather Sievers is the Disney Food Blog’s Dining in Disneyland columnist. See more of her columns here!

Review: Breakfast at White Water Snacks in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa

We’re in Disneyland on this lovely Friday, and we’re heading to White Water Snacks for a quick tour and bite before venturing into the parks!

White Water Snacks

The counter-service and grab-and-go restaurant is located at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, and serves as a stop for a hearty, hot breakfast on the run.

But with lots of grab and go options, you’ll find all kinds of choices to fuel up for a fun day. Let’s head in for a look around.

Atmosphere

Enter White Water from the California sunshine, off of the hotel’s courtyard. The entrance is right off of the pool area, so watch for drippy kids and wet floors! ;-)

Entrance

Entrance

A menu at the entrance gives you some general information about what’s available here, and the hours during which you can order different meals. Handy!

Menu Board -- Click to Enlarge

Menu Board — Click to Enlarge

Once inside, you see the same wood and stone touches that are a familiar part of the rest of this hotel. The feeling here is slightly more rustic than Storyteller’s Cafe, however. It’s more like a posh camping outpost than a restaurant in a swanky lodge.

Seating White Water Snacks

Seating and Rustic Atmosphere

There is seating available both inside and outside. Both options are basic, but comfortable for a quick meal.

Seating and Atmosphere

More Seating

Outdoor Seating

Outdoor Seating

Be sure to keep an eye out for the famous Disneyland cats! Fun little furballs roam Disneyland’s grounds freely, and they often stop by Whitewater as it’s one of five official Disneyland feeding stations for the kitties (others can be found at Hungry Bear Restaurant in Disneyland and Taste Pilot’s Grill at DCA).

One of the famous Disneyland Cats

Back inside, you start to get a feel for your options, which range from hot, prepared entrees, to grab and go selections.

During our morning visit, we spied a small variety of [Read more…]

News!: Disney World and Disneyland to Offer Braille Menus at Select Locations Starting March 1st

Today we get to share with you one more way that Disney parks on  both coasts are becoming more user-friendly for all of us!

Both Disney World and Disneyland Resort are preparing to offer a new service for guests with visual disabilities. Starting March 1, 2014, guests may request Braille menus at select food locations across the Parks.

Kouzzina by Cat Cora Menu Cover

Kouzzina by Cat Cora Menu Cover

As always, guests may continue to request menu reading assistance from Cast Members at any location in order to interpret the menu if a Braille version is not yet available at their chosen location, or to meet the preference of the individual.

Cast Members at Flo's

Cast Members at Flo’s

Prior to visiting, more information for guests with visual disabilities ranging from restaurant and [Read more…]