Review: San Angel Inn in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion

Today, we are heading into the pyramid once again for dinner at one of Epcot’s most atmospheric restaurants — San Angel Inn Restaurante.

We have had a myriad of experiences here, ranging from very, very bad to excellent. In the past, San Angel Inn has suffered from a Disney restaurant’s biggest drawback — inconsistency.

We haven’t visited the original Mexico table service restaurant since the pavilion’s latest spot, La Hacienda de San Angel, opened on the waterfront. But we continue to love to drop by La Cava del Tequila and Cantina de San Angel, Mexico’s counter service option, so we thought it was time to give San Angel Inn a try once more.

Besides, they had undergone some changes since our last meal, and we wanted to see them for ourselves.


Walking through Epcot anytime of the day is a treat, but it’s especially beautiful at night. And that’s when we decided to visit Mexico for dinner one evening on a recent trip.

You’ll find San Angel Inn by heading into the Aztec Temple, which serves as the centerpiece for Mexico.

Pyramid -- Up Close

Aztec Pyramid in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion

And inside the pyramid, it’s always nighttime. As you make your way toward the back of the building, you come into an open courtyard setting, which feels like the town square of a quaint Mexican Village. In the distance, you’ll spot another Aztec Temple that looks very like the one you just entered. Beyond that, there’s also an active volcano. It’s really quite pretty, and sets the mood for the entire area, which also houses shopping, as well as La Cava del Tequila and the Three Caballeros Attraction.

In fact, boats of riders make their way along the quiet river below the restaurant — very similar to Blue Bayou in Disneyland.

View of the Aztec Pyramid

View of the Aztec Pyramid Inside

Among the other village building facades that border the square is the entrance to San Angel Inn, through this archway.

San Angel Restaurant Entrance

San Angel Restaurant Entrance

Step through the archway, and the floorplan for the restaurant opens up before you. It’s actually a fairly small space. But tables are placed very close together. This was a new detail of the recent renovation and restaurant updates, and I’ve gotta say — it’s not my favorite aspect of dining here. I’m uncomfortable in a restaurant whenever I feel like I can reach out and touch the person at the table next to me.

Seating Area and Restaurant Scenery

Seating Area and Restaurant Scenery

This table for two, near the rail that overlooks the Three Caballeros attraction, does offer a bit more intimacy. We always recommend requesting a waterside table here!

Aztec Pyramid, Volcano, and Intimate Seating

Aztec Pyramid, Volcano, and Intimate Seating

The layout of the restaurant is quite nice. The floor is actually comprised of varying levels, which lend some interest to the space. I took this photo near the railing, looking back up into the courtyard.

Lower Patio Seating Area

Lower Patio Seating Area

Although tables are uncomfortably close together, they are [Read more…]

Dining in Disneyland: NEW! Viva Navidad Snack Cart at Disney California Adventure

This year Disney California Adventure is featuring a brand new holiday festival called  Viva Navidad.  It showcases Latino holiday traditions with music, food, and fun!

Viva Navidad!

The colorful celebration has taken over the Paradise Garden area of Disney California Adventure and has some really fabulous food offerings now through January 6, 2014.

I recently visited the new snack cart, which is located just to the left of Goofy’s Sky School.

Viva Navidad Snack Cart

Here you can find a handful of authentic Mexican treats that make for a perfect snack while watching the Viva Navidad Street Party.  The menu features three traditional snacks as well as Abuelita Hot Chocolate, assorted Coca Cola Beverages and some specialty cotton candy.

Viva Navidad Snack Cart Menu

My absolute favorite item were the Bunuelos with Cajeta. I was lucky enough to try these delicious little crisps [Read more…]

Review: Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe

Riding side-saddle between Adventureland and Frontierland, Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe — often shortened to “Pecos Bill’s” is the place to sit for a spell (and chow down) with your posse!

From burgers to taco salads, there’s a little something for everyone here, which makes it a guest-favorite for counter-service in the Magic Kingdom!


Because guests can see the restaurant from Adventureland and Frontierland, Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe looks like an old West saloon from the outside in Frontierland but has a more Caribbean appearance on the Adventureland side.

Pecos Bill Sign on Adventureland Side

Sign from Frontierland Side

Inside, you’ll find dark woods and decor you’d expect in booming mining towns of the West. If you keep moving toward the Adventureland side of the restaurant, though, you’ll run into slightly more Caribbean decor — cobblestones, blooming flowers, and warmer stone walls. This runs opens into Tortuga Tavern next door!

But back to the old West, if you take a peek at the walls, you’ll find the story behind Pecos Bill’s (every Disney destination has a story!).

Story of Pecos Bill - click image for larger version

And, of course, we can’t forget the Code of the West!! We highlighted this and another fun Disney sign on the blog last week!

Code of the West

And outdoor seating section wraps around two sides of the restaurant, offering an option to eat al fresco. Here’s a great tip: the seating section located [Read more…]

Disney Food for Families: Condiments Make the World Go Round

Disney Food for Families columnist Erin Foster knows what’s important for her family when it comes to Disney counter-service…

It’s a rare child that doesn’t feel passionate about condiments. Here are a few of the examples you might have heard from your kids… “I won’t let any type of sauce touch my food.” Or,“I’ll eat anything, as long as it’s covered in ketchup.” “Hot sauce is heavenly.” “Relish looks like alien slime.” “Plastic cheese makes everything better.” “Salsa, not ketchup.” “Mustard, not salsa.” “French fries are fine, but only if dipped in maple syrup.”

Yep, condiments are the weird and wonderful place where kiddie crazy food idiosyncrasies come out to play. Luckily, Disney has the condiment basics covered at most places.

You guys know AJ can't live without her plastic cheese

At any of the counter service restaurants where burger/dog/nugget staples are served, you’ll find traditional accompaniments like ketchup and mustard. And while they may not be out on the table, you can ask for these items at nearly all of the table service restaurants on property. But if you keep your eyes open, you’ll find many more options available.

So, if your child, or you, will ONLY eat food covered in soy sauce (hey, it happens), I’ll tell you where you’ll be able to get your fix.

Topping Bars

A few Disney counter service restaurants, such as Cosmic Ray’s and Tortuga Tavern in the Magic Kingdom, offer what Disney calls a “toppings bar.” This is code for a salad-bar-like spread of fresh fixin’ add-ons.

Tortuga Tavern toppings

Once you get your burger (at Cosmic Ray’s) or taco salad (at Tortuga Tavern), you can head over to the toppings bar to get unlimited embellishments to enhance your entree. The toppings typically include items like [Read more…]