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

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…]

Review: Apple Fritters and Clam Chowder at Royal Street Veranda at Disneyland

We’re heading into Disneyland for a taste of the Big Easy. Let’s check out Royal Street Veranda!

Located in New Orleans Square, this spot is a great place to relax with a cup of coffee or a bite to eat before hopping aboard your Pirates of the Caribbean boat.

Walk Up Window for Ordering

Today, I’m enjoying a classic Disneyland meal — and sampling a unique dessert!

Atmosphere

The atmosphere of Royal Street Veranda is actually the atmosphere of New Orleans Square, since it’s really just a walk up window. That slice of Deep-South-Meets-Colonial-Port-Town is evident all around you.

The stone terrace that serves as the spot’s seating area bumps right up beside the line for Pirates of the Caribbean.

Seating -- Right Beside the Line for Pirates of the Caribbean

After a busy morning of fun, I was so ready to tuck into a light lunch. Join me!

Eats

Royal Street Veranda offers a very limited menu. Basically, there are a few drink options; three soups — clam chowder, steak gumbo, and vegetarian gumbo; and a trio of fritters.

May seem minimal, but it fits the bill nicely for this little stand. And you know how much we love unique, can’t-get-it-anywhere-else Disney menu items!

Royal Street Veranda Sign and Menu

This is also your destination for [Read more…]

Donuts! The New Interactive Dessert!

So, I find it fascinating that of the four new restaurants that recently opened in Walt Disney World (Sanaa, Kouzzina, T-Rex, and Paradiso 37), three of them have donuts on their dessert menus!

Donuts! With dipping sauces and everything! Interactive desserts are my favorite, and I have been called the “condiment queen.” So you can imagine how excited I am to have dip-able desserts, and the fact that they’re donuts makes them that much better. Let’s take a look at the three up-and-comers now:

Kouzzina's Loukoumades

Kouzzina's Loukoumades

Kouzzina’s Loukoumades
Kouzzina is Iron Chef Cat Cora’s signature restaurant in Walt Disney World, and the menu consists of many of her favorite traditional Greek recipes. One of these recipes is for her outstanding Loukoumades.

These “Freshly Made Greek Doughnuts drizzled with Warm Honey” come to the table with two delicious dipping sauces, including [Read more…]