Dining in Disneyland: Celebrating Mardi Gras and Family Fun Weekends at The French Market

Celebrate Mardi Gras and Family Fun Weekends at French Market in Disneyland! Heather Sievers, our Dining in Disneyland columnist, has more!

Chip and Dale

With Disneyland’s Family Fun Weekends in full swing, it’s time for a Mardi Gras celebration.  Surprisingly, after years and years of being an annual passholder, I had never once been to The French Market.  When I eat in that area it’s usually for a Monte Cristo at Cafe Orleans.  Because of the special Mardi Gras menu, I decided to branch out and try [Read more…]

Review: Disneyland’s French Market

On a beautiful Southern California day, there’s no better way relax in the afternoon than to sit outside, listen to a jovial jazz trio, munch on some incredible eats, and “Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!” And that’s exactly what you can do if you choose to dine at Disneyland’s French Market.

Disneyland's French Market

Atmosphere
Nestled in the heart of New Orleans Square, French Market is what I like to refer to as “counter-service with style!” With an outdoor “courtyard” seating area capped on one end by the stage where jazz trios perform and on the other end by the Mint Julep Bar and delicious food served as artfully as entrees you’d get at any moderately-priced table-service restaurant, this place clearly doesn’t fit under the standard “counter-service” moniker.

Royal Street Bachelors

Mint Julep Bar

A staple in Disneyland since the opening of New Orleans Square in 1966, French Market these days works like a cafeteria inside. Guests wind their trays around the stations, past the old clock, and to the register by the doors. Entree options are limited, but offer quite a bit of freshly prepared food.

French Market Queue

French Market Clock

Once you’ve taken in all of the decor inside, it’s time to head out and dig in…

Eats
The French Market menu is more in-depth than most counter-service restaurants in Disney parks. There are some incredible choices, and we had to stand there and stare for a while before making our final decisions!

Menu -- Click for Larger Image

I finally settled on the baked four-cheese pasta and vegetable gratin (vegetarian!), with Cheddar, Gouda, Provolone, and Asiago; shiitake mushrooms; and cauliflower baked with pasta under a crumbly, buttery breadcrumb crust. This came with roasted vegetables and cheddar cornbread. My husband had the Roast Beef Royale with Cognac Peppercorn Jus, smashed potatoes, vegetables, and cheddar cornbread.

(See? I told you this isn’t your normal counter-service.)

Both entrees were HUGE and ab-so-lute-ly delicious. The creamy, decadence of the four-cheese pasta made me feel like I should have spent $40 for the meal at least. It was delectable and so rich that there was no way I could possibly have finished it. And while my husband is a roast beef fan in general, he pronounced this the best he’d had in quite some time.

I’ve got on my calendar a post titled “Disney World vs. Disneyland: Counter-Service,” which seems to be a no-brainer at this point. But wait until you SEE these entrees…

Four Chees Pasta and Vegetable Gratin with Vegetables and Cornbread

Roast Beef Royale with Smashed Potatoes, Vegetables, and Cheddar Cornbread

Can you believe — NO paper plates?

And the cornbread — throughout Disneyland — is just incredible. Disneyland cornbread has always gone down in history, and still does.

Cheddar Cornbread

And, of course, there are other options along the line as well, including some delicious desserts, fresh salads and fruit, and some healthy chicken-and-rice kids’ meals.

Fresh Fruit

Salads

Dixieland Cajun Chicken Salad Entree

Kids Meals

Desserts

Of course, we had to try the famous Disneyland non-alcoholic Mint Julep as well! I’ll admit: not my favorite thing in the world, but I don’t tend to like sweet OR minty drinks, so…

Mint Julep

Overall
Disneyland’s French Market is always one of the park’s most oft-recommended counter-service eateries, and it’s clear why it’s stayed at the top of so many lists. The absolutely incredible food coupled with the relaxed atmosphere of the outdoor seating and entertainment makes this spot an oasis in the park.

That said, I suggest that you don’t try to navigate this place during mealtimes on crowded days! A relaxing atmosphere can quickly become hectic when you’ve got hundreds of park guests eyeing your hard-won table! Of course, this is a standard suggestion in any theme park — eat at weird times and you’re all set!

What are your thoughts and/or menu suggestions from French Market? Do you think it deserves its great reputation? Let us know in the comments section below!

Disneyland’s Mint Julep Recipe

This post was promised in the Disney Food Blog July Newsletter, and I’m excited to finally be publishing it!

If you’ve ever been to Disneyland, you know all about the famous alcohol-free (natch!) Mint Julep that can be found at Blue Bayou, Cafe Orleans, and the French Market. This refreshing, mint-y, lime-y, ice-y treat is a love-it-or-hate-it kind of cult favorite, but no matter what, you’ve gotta at least try it!

Disneyland Mint Julep

Enjoy it on the Cafe Orleans patio along with some of those delicious Pommes Frites, or grab one at the Mint Julep Bar at the French Market — where you can also get some great sweet snacks — and sit back and relax while listening to the [Read more…]