Best Disneyland Restaurants for First Timers

Okay. So I tried to come up with the Top Three Disneyland Restaurants for First Timers. But there was no way I could limit my picks to just three. So then, I said, hey, let’s try for the Top Five.

Even still.

So in the end, I cut myself off at Eight. :-)

Disneyland's Matterhorn


There is so much good food in Disneyland. Really, it was super hard not to just give you a list of pretty much every restaurant there, and call it a day.

But if you must narrow it down, these are the restaurants that I love. These are the spots that I’d go to every single time if I could. (And mostly, I do.)

Heading to Disneyland, or just dreaming about a pilgrimage there? Check out my picks for the places you have to visit during your very first trip. Whether you’re looking for a meal or a snack, you can’t go wrong with putting these spots on your list.

Cafe Orleans

If I could only eat at one spot in Disneyland for the rest of my life, I’m fairly sure that spot would be Cafe Orleans. Located on New Orleans Square, it’s offers some of the beautiful patio seating that Disneyland is known for.

Outdoor Patio at Cafe Orleans

Outdoor Patio at Cafe Orleans

But I’m going to be honest — Cafe Orleans claims the distinction of offering not just one or two, but three of my favorite Disneyland dishes. (And that’s pretty much all I ever eat there.) First, when you visit here, I insist you order the Pommes Frites. Tossed with Garlic and Parmesan, they’re served with a Cajun Remoulade ramekin. I also insist you order TWO remoulades. At least. Per person.

Cafe Orleans Pommes Frites

Cafe Orleans Pommes Frites

While I love their gumbo here as well, it’s the Monte Cristo Sandwich that I can’t live without. Pockets of bread layered with Ham, Turkey, and Swiss Cheese are lightly battered and deep-fried. Served with Berry Puree for dipping, this is pretty much something everyone should eat at least once in life.

Disneyland's Famous Monte Cristo

Monte Cristo at Cafe Orleans

Not a meat-eater? There’s also an All-Cheese Version. No. Seriously. There is.

Behold. The Three-Cheese Monte Cristo. Did I mention the Double Creme Brie?

Three-Cheese Monte Cristo at Disneyland's Cafe New Orleans

Three-Cheese Monte Cristo at Disneyland’s Cafe New Orleans

But save room for dessert — because you can’t pass on the Mickey Beignets served with Dipping Sauces.

Mickey Beignets with Sauces

Mickey Beignets with Sauces

Have this meal just once, and you can say “I’ve been to Disneyland” properly as far as I’m concerned.

Blue Bayou

But Cafe Orleans has an older, slightly more posh sister — Blue Bayou. And while I usually skip it in favor of Cafe Orleans, if you’re visiting the ‘Land for the first time, you really need to experience this place.

Because more than anything, Blue Bayou is an experience; it’s as much an attraction as a restaurant.

Blue Bayou Atmosphere

Blue Bayou Atmosphere

Because the restaurant is fashioned to look like a verandah on a river’s edge. Look below you into the water, and you see travelers, en route to explore the mysteries of the Pirates of the Caribbean.

Honestly, the food is less important here to me than the “view.” I have enjoyed the New Orleans Signature Gumbo. And in this setting, it’s even better.

New Orleans Signature Gumbo

New Orleans Signature Gumbo

And yep, to be honest, I like to order the Monte Cristo here, too!

Le Special de  Monte Cristo Sandwich

Le Special de Monte Cristo Sandwich

It’s a little fancier (and more expensive), but just as delicious.

Napa Rose

Some of my Disneyland dining choices are obviously sentimental; either I love the restaurant, the food, or both. But it’s not like they’re the tip-top of the culinary pyramid or anything. But then, there’s Napa Rose.

I Love the Napa Rose Outdoor Lounge Area

Start Your Napa Rose Adventure With a Glass of Wine on the Outside Patio

Nestled inside Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, Napa Rose stands as a testament to fine California fusion cuisine, inspired by fresh farm-to-market ingredients.

Chef Sutton's Chili Base

Chef Sutton’s Chili Base — Even Base Ingredients are Created in House From Scratch

Chef Andrew Sutton is in charge here, and his menus make use of the freshest items. Prepare to be [Read more…]

Snack Series: Churro Bites at Disney California Adventure Cozy Cone Motel

I’m pretty sure that Disneyland is the Churro Capital of the World. So when the good folks there decided to build an awesome snack stand in the brand new Cars Land at Disney California Adventure, you better believe there were going to be some tasty takes on churros involved.

And that is how the Churro Cone came to be at the Cozy Cone Motel!

Churro Cone at the Cozy Cone Motel

With its spot-on themeing and delicious food and drinks, we are already big fans of the Cozy Cone. I find that I have to make at least one stop here every trip just to take in the sights! I’m sure I’m going to spy Sally pulling around the corner one of these days. :-)

We’ve raved about all of the dishes here. Most recently, I really enjoyed the Breakfast Cone paired with a Pear of Dice Soda. But we are also big fans of the Chili Cone Queso and gourmet flavored popcorns that they serve, too!

On a recent visit, though, I learned something new! Many of the cones don’t open until 11AM…but the Churro Bites are available for BREAKFAST! :-) You’re welcome.

Menu -- Click to Enlarge

The bite-sized treats are rolled in cinnamon sugar (natch) and are served with a Cinnamon-Spiced Chocolate Sauce! Here they are, just as they were handed to me. And I have to say, [Read more…]

Guest Review: Cozy Cone Motel in Disney California Adventure

Today, we’re making a pit stop with Kent Walker at the brand new Cozy Cone Motel in Disney California Adventure for snacks!

When they were putting the plans together for Cars Land, someone must’ve asked, “So what are we going to do with the Cozy Cone?”

The Imagineers knew that it had to be a part of the new addition to Disney California Adventure, but in what form should the Cozy Cone Motel be accessible to guests? In true Imagineer fashion, someone came up with the perfect solution – snacks! Each cone could be its own concession stand selling a specialized kind of snack.

Very cool sign!


Walking down Route 66 into Cars Land is like dropping yourself into a computer at Pixar studios. Radiator Springs is just as you remember it from the Cars movies.

Walking past Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, you see Fillmore’s Taste-In on your right as you keep on going. After passing Sarge’s Surplus Hut on the right, you come across the courtyard for the Cozy Cone Motel on the other side of the street.

The front part of the property has a cool water fountain and a spot where you can meet Lightning McQueen or Mater at various points throughout the day.

Check out the flowers – they’re blooming tail lights!

Here’s our good friend Roger with his [Read more…]

Cars Land First Look: Food Photos and Reviews From Sally’s Cozy Cone Motel

After our fun look at Flo’s V-8 Cafe, I couldn’t wait to tell you all about Sally’s Cozy Cone Motel and the eats you can find there come June 15th at Disney California Adventure’s Cars Land!

We now have even more info than we did in our previous Cars Land Menu Post. Read through the menu below, then take a look at our tasting reviews!

Cozy Cone Motel Menu

Cone Number 1
Churro bites with cinnamon-chocolate sauce, cinnamon-spiced hot cocoa, and Ramone’s Pear of Dice Soda made with dessert pear syrup, mojito syrup and Sprite.

Cone Number 2
Soft-serve ice cream and “route” beer floats.

Cone Number 3
Savory bites all served in edible bread cones, such as a bacon-scrambled egg cone for breakfast, chicken verde or chili “cone” queso for lunch and dinner.

Specialty beverages are Fillmore’s Fuelin’ Groovy Ades, all-natural lemonade with [Read more…]

Cars Land Restaurants: What We Know So Far

As we get closer to the June 15, 2012 opening of the new Cars Land in Disney California Adventure, we wanted to take a look at what we know so far about the Radiator Springs’ restaurants.

Artist Rendering of Cars Land, copyright Disney

After all, we’ve come along way in gathering details about these venues since our earlier reports. And while we’re not holding our collective breath, we’re still crossing our fingers that someday we’ll see an announcement for a drive-in type restaurant similar to the Sci-Fi Dine-In at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World.

For now… let’s take a look at what we DO know is coming in just under two months.

Flo’s V8 Cafe

This is the hot-spot when traveling along historic Route 66! Resembling a giant air filter in Radiator Springs, Flo’s V8 Cafe will serve cuisine inspired by the Mom ‘n Pop Diners we all know and love. As a quick-service option for breakfast meals, lunch, and dinner, the cafe will also have an outdoor patio overlooking [Read more…]