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…]

Disney’s Best Grilled Cheese

It’s been grilled cheese weather for us out there, and I’m pretty sure it has been for many of you as well! So it’s time to put together our list of the Best Grilled Cheese in Disney Restaurants…and I can’t wait to hear your additions!

Best Grilled Cheese at Disney

Grilled Cheese — perfect for dipping!

You know we love cheese around here, and Disney has found lots of different ways to be creative with this particular recipe for success.

Let’s take a look at our favorites in Disney World and Disneyland!

Walt Disney World Grilled Cheese

Before we catch a flight to California, let’s see what’s happening, grilled-cheese-wise, at Walt Disney World!

Tomato Bisque and Grilled Cheese at Beaches and Cream

OK, I’ll admit that this sammich is currently my #1 at Walt Disney World! I tried it (belatedly) in October and couldn’t get enough!

When you’re down for the count and need some sustenance to get through your park touring, trust me and head over to Beaches and Cream at Disney’s Beach Club Resort for their take on a familiar favorite: Tomato Bisque and Grilled Cheese.

Six flavorful cheeses make up the blend on this amazing entry. And buddied up with sourdough bread and super creamy tomato bisque, this is comfort food perfection.

Tomato Bisque and Grilled Cheese Sandwich at Beaches and Cream

Grown-Up Grilled Cheese at Captain Cook’s

A cult favorite among Disney fans, Captain Cook’s at Disney’s Polynesian Resort has a must-try entry into the Grilled Cheese category: the Grown-Up Grilled Cheese.

What’s so adult about this one? Three cheeses — cheddar, Swiss, and Boursin (Boursin!) — melted together on a hearty sunflower bread give this one the perfect marriage of creamy and nutty. It’s lovely.

Grown-Up Grilled Cheese Sandwich at Captain Cook’s

Croque Monsieur at Be Our Guest Restaurant

Let’s head over to Disney World’s newest restaurant — Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland — for our third contender!

Be Our Guest features a table service format for dinner, but during lunch hours you’ll find a more casual line up, including this delicious Croque Monsieur. I’ll have my own [Read more…]

Disneyland Duel: Battle of the Monte Cristos

Many of you know that my very favorite meal in Disneyland is at Cafe Orleans, where I always order the Monte Cristo sandwich. Well, on a recent visit, I decided I needed to give its sister sandwich — the Three-Cheese Monte Cristo — a try as well!

Cafe Orleans Menu -- click for larger image

Let’s see how they fared…

Monte Cristo Sandwich

To make this indulgent creation, a savory combo of turkey, ham, and swiss cheese are battered and fried, dusted with powdered sugar, and served with a sweet-tart berry puree. Sounds simple enough, but the flavors are out of this world!

Monte Cristo Sandwich in Disneyland

The saltiness of the meats and cheese are tempered slightly with that sweet powdered sugar (not too much!). But when the whole thing is dipped into that berry puree, the tartness gives [Read more…]