Dining in Disneyland: Caramel Apple Funnel Cake and Mango Habanero Lime Iced Tea at Hungry Bear

Tucked back in the corner of Critter Country, The Hungry Bear Restaurant is often overlooked.  This quiet counter service restaurant is rarely crowded, has plenty of shaded seating with a gorgeous view of the Rivers of America, AND the food here is great too! Another bonus?  They’re currently serving up the most delicious item at the Disneyland Resort.

Hungry Bear Order Kiosks

Hungry Bear Order Kiosks

The Caramel Apple Funnel Cake is making its grand debut this year for Halloween Time — and I need it to go away soon because otherwise I will be way too tempted to eat one on each and every visit to Disneyland.

Caramel Apple Funnel Cake from Hungry Bear

Caramel Apple Funnel Cake from Hungry Bear

Made fresh to order, a Caramel Apple Funnel Cake will set you back [Read more…]

Top 10 Disneyland Fast Food Joints

Most of the time when I visit Disney, I indulge in a mix of meals. I may book a table service advance dining reservation for one part of the day, and leave the rest to chance — looking to discover new things at the parks’ kiosks and counter service spots.

Top 10 Disneyland Fast Food Restaurants

Today, I’m counting down my favorite places in Disneyland Resort to grab a quick meal!

Disneyland is second to none (yep — even compared to Disney World) at putting together truly outstanding counter service, quick service, and fast food meals. And the one consistent theme that you’ll find in Disneyland counter service spots — a lot of the time, the food and venues feel like table service quality (right down to real plates!)

Let’s get started!

Plaza Inn

The Plaza Inn is legendary for its beautiful atmosphere. Located where Main Street and Tomorrowland intersect, this charming spot has been open forever — and it’s been pleasing guests in search of a good meal all the while.

Even Walt was a fan!

Walt Disney enjoying a cup of coffee at Plaza Inn in 1966

Walt Disney enjoying a cup of coffee at Plaza Inn in 1966

A character meal table service location for breakfast, it morphs into a counter service buffet (sans characters) for lunch and dinnertime.

The Roast Beef and Pasta dishes here are both good choices. But ask most Disneyland food fans what the must-have dish here is, and you’ll get a resounding response: the Fried Chicken! The huge — and I mean HUGE — platter comes with three pieces of Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, a Vegetable, and a Biscuit. I shared this with a friend the last time I got it, and we still couldn’t finish!

Plaza Inn Fried Chicken

Plaza Inn Fried Chicken

Incidentally, you should try and save room for dessert, too. (I know…I know.) When strawberries are in season, I’d definitely recommend the luscious Strawberry Shortcake!

Strawberry Shortcake at Plaza Inn in Disneyland

Strawberry Shortcake

But the Carrot Cake is pretty awesome, too.

Flo’s V-8 Cafe

Dining at Flo’s V-8 Cafe within Cars Land at Disney California Adventure is an immersive experience. As with the rest of the spots in this newest Disneyland Resort section, you feel like you’ve wandered right into the animation!

But step inside the enormous restaurant, and you see all kinds of kitschy fun, inspired by the roadside diners that once peppered legendary Route 66.

Flo's V-8 Cafe

Flo’s V-8 Cafe

The name of the game at Flo’s is the kind of comfort food that you’d expect to find in such spots, with spit-fired meats dominating the dinner menu. There’s also an inventive vegetarian option here — the Veggie Tater Bake!

But it’s Flo’s breakfast that we love love LOVE the most!

For a super sweet start to your day, you’ve gotta try the Brioche French Toast with Salted Caramel Sauce and Bananas. (Dessert for breakfast? you ask? Well, yeah; pretty much! But…bananas!!!)

Brioche French Toast with  Salted Caramel Sauce and Bananas

Brioche French Toast with Salted Caramel Sauce and Bananas

Or, try the option that serves up a delicious Mexican food-inspired twist — the Chicken Tamale Breakfast with Scrambled Eggs and Salsa Verde.

Chicken Tamale Breakfast with Scrambled Eggs and Salsa Verde

Chicken Tamale Breakfast with Scrambled Eggs and Salsa Verde

And be sure to stop back by later in the day for dessert — Flo’s Signature Apple-Cheddar Pie-O-Rama is spectacular!

Apple Pie at Flo's

Pie at Flo’s

Rancho del Zocalo

The beautifully themed Rancho del Zocalo, located in Disneyland Park’s Frontierland, is a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach!

Gorgeous murals and lighting fixtures dominate the walls inside, while a beautiful patio covered with gauzy awnings wins our vote for best place to sit here.

Outdoor seating at Rancho del Zocalo

Outdoor seating at Rancho del Zocalo

Following the pattern of many Disneyland counter service spots, Rancho del Zocalo is counter service with the feel of a cafeteria. Guests order their main entree, and then visit stations to pick up extra courses, like salads and desserts.

The Mexican influenced menu is small, but the ingredients and preparation are always high quality, and a cut above what we think of as fast food. One of my favorite options here is the Soft Tacos Monterrey with Fajita Chicken. (You can also get them with beef.)

Soft Tacos Monterrey with Fajita Chicken

Soft Tacos Monterrey with Fajita Chicken

The addition of Peppers as well as Sour Cream and Guacamole on the side makes this a winner for me. I look forward to having it whenever I have a chance to visit Rancho del Zocalo!

Hungry Bear Restaurant

If you like eating in a treehouse, then I have just the Disneyland spot for you! Hungry Bear Restaurant in Disneyland’s Critter Country recently underwent some renovations and [Read more…]

2011 DFB Choice Award Winners!

It’s time to announce the winners of the second annual DFB Choice Awards!!

The awards are 100% based on Disney Food Blog reader choices. Nominations and final winners are selected by DFB readers who participate in the process. Everyone is welcome to participate! If your favorites didn’t win this year, be sure to nominate and vote for them next year! :-)

Thanks to those of you who took the time to nominate your favorites, and to vote for the winners!

Without further ado, here are this year’s DFB Choice Award winners!

[Read more…]

5 (New to Me) Disneyland Discoveries I Couldn’t Wait To Share

Well, I’m going to be honest with you. I’m looking through the thousands of pictures I took over my 6-day trip to Disneyland and I want to write about ALL of it RIGHT NOW!

The Hungry Bear Blueberry Pie is a Thing of Beauty

Since I obviously can’t do that, and I can’t bring all of you over to my living room to look through a slide show (we don’t have enough Doritos), I’ve decided to highlight five of my favorite discoveries here. I know that some of these are already near and dear to you lucky local Disneylanders, but they were new to me on this trip, and I loved ‘em.

Each of these will be showcased in detail in longer review posts coming up over the next few months, but I couldn’t wait to share some of my personal new favorites with you ASAP!

Red Velvet Roulade

Over at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen we found plenty of new favorites. From the beignets to the garlic cheese bread, almost everything we tried was a winner.

But I have to say we were very pleased that we switched our dessert order last minute to this Red Velvet Roulade. Moist, rich red velvet cake stuffed with incredibly creamy, tangy cream cheese frosting. The perfect ending to a great meal.

Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen Red Velvet Roulade

Plaza Inn Fried Chicken

I know — you’re shocked that I’ve never tried this before! I am, too! What an incredible piece of poultry this is.

A huge portion of golden brown fried chicken is supplemented by [Read more…]

Best Places to Eat Outside at Disney World and Disneyland

While the heat can sometimes be overbearing, there are plenty of months during the year when dining outside in Orlando and Anaheim can be quite pleasant!

View From Front Patio at Epcot's Rose and Crown Restaurant

Readers and Facebook Friends chimed in on the best places to eat OUTSIDE in Disney World and Disneyland via the Disney Food Blog’s Facebook page. The top votes went to Flame Tree Barbecue, Rose & Crown, and Casey’s Corner at Walt Disney World for their outdoor ambiance. The most suggested outdoor locations at Disneyland were Cafe Orleans, Carnation Cafe, and Hungry Bear!

Walt Disney World

It can get hot in Orlando, but throughout much of the year it can be lovely to dine outside! Here are the restaurants that took the top spots for outdoor dining in Disney World:

Flame Tree Barbecue
The Animal Kingdom’s attention to detail is exemplary, so it’s no surprise that Flame Tree Barbecue was the most mentioned outdoor locale!

The best seats are found near the water overlooking the Discovery River, where a water-side pavilion provides a shady respite. Despite the beauty of this location, Lori W., Heather W., and D.J. R. warned about the “aggressive birds” looking to partake of your counter-service meal.

Your View From the Flame Tree Barbecue

John G. remarked “No seating is better than [Read more…]