My husband and I recently spent a day at Epcot celebrating our anniversary. While there, we decided to taste a little something from each of the nations represented in the World Showcase. An “Eat Around the World” challenge, so to speak. It was a lot of fun, and we really enjoyed discussing which foods we liked best and which we liked the least. We followed a few simple rules for our self-assigned challenge.
Eat Around the World Rules
Rule One, choose one country-specific food item (no generic cookies or fries) to order from each nation and share it. (We had a slight breech of etiquette on this rule when we got to France, but more on that later.) Sharing meant that we could discuss what we thought of the item, and it kept us from eating too much.
Rule Two, go to counter service restaurants, kiosks, or food stands only. It just didn’t seem right to take up a reservation spot for just one item.
Rule Three, rate each food item on a scale of one to ten, with one being not quite so palate pleasing, and ten being the best thing to ever grace your taste buds.
Nachos in Mexico
Our digestive expedition started in Mexico at La Cantina de San Angel with an order of nachos. The nachos come with ground beef, beans, cheese, tomatoes, jalapeños, and sour cream. We ordered them with the tomatoes and jalapeños on the side -— my husband loves them, but I am not a fan.
I enjoyed the nachos, but we both found them to be a little heavy on the cheese (if food can be too heavy with ‘plastic cheese’) and not heavy enough on the meat and beans. They had just the right amount of spice, and the chips were crisp. The portion was perfect for a meal, but these nachos are a great shareable snack as well. My husband gave them a 4, and I gave them a 6.
Troll Horn in Norway
We moved on to Norway and stopped at the Kringla Bakeri Og Kafé. There were several items on the counter that looked good, and I could not decide between the Troll Horn and the Viking Mousse. I asked the cast member behind the counter which of the two she recommended, and she suggested the Troll Horn, which is filled which cloudberry cream.
The cloudberry cream was smooth and sweet, but not too sweet, and the pastry was tender but a little bland. The sugar crystals sprinkled on top added a nice sweetness and crunch, but overall the Troll Horn was just meh (how do you like that technical culinary term?). We both gave it a 4 on our grading scale — not horrible, but we won’t be rushing back to Norway to get one during our next trip.
Egg Roll in China
After a ride on Maelstrom (RIP), we headed to China. We stopped at Joy of Tea to place an egg roll order. An order of egg rolls actually includes two nice-sized pork and veggie egg rolls, which was a pleasant surprise considering how very delicious they were. (My husband had already snagged his and started munching when I took the picture which is why there is only one pictured.)
The egg roll wrapper was both tender and crunchy, and the filling was flavorful with seasoned pork and crisp veggies. There were packets of soy sauce (and other condiments) which just added another layer of fabulous flavor. We both gave the egg rolls an 8.5; we would definitely get them again and feel that they would be an excellent use of a snack credit if you are on the Disney Dining Plan since they are easily shared.
Bratwurst in Germany
We moved on from China to Germany for a stop at Sommerfest. To be honest, I had my heart set on wrapping my lips around a Nudel Gratin for days, but I was starting to get full and knew that such a dish would be both rich and heavy. So, I passed on the Nudel Gratin (which I now regret — I really should have persevered) while my husband ordered a bratwurst. He loves a brat, and this one did not disappoint.
The bratwurst comes on a very large crusty bun topped with loads of sauerkraut. He said the sauerkraut was alright and the bratwurst itself was delicious, but he felt that there was just too much bread. The bun was quite large and had a pretty tough and crusty consistency. He still enjoyed it and gave it a score of 6.
Gelato in Italy
After a quick shopping break in Germany, we headed to Italy, which had me a little worried because there is no counter service restaurant. But as we were walking into Italy, I spotted Gelati — a nice little gelato stand, so I stopped for a cup of chocolate gelato.
It was smooth, thick, creamy, quite tasty, and reminded me of a cold version of hot chocolate. It would definitely hit the spot on a hot summer day in Florida. My husband had a taste or two of it, but he is not much of a chocolate fan and didn’t like it as much as regular ice cream. I, on the other hand, much prefer the thicker consistency of gelato to its thinner American counterpart and gave it a 7.
Sweet Cream Cheese Pretzel in American Adventure
After Italy, it was time for a return to our homeland of America. Now during our last trip to Disney a few months ago, I fell in love with the Sweet Cream Cheese Pretzel at the Fife and Drum Tavern and knew I had to get my hands on another. My husband and I were shocked to find it missing from their menu, but the cast member sent us to the Block and Hans kiosk on the other side of the pavilion where they offer this sweet delicacy along with Mickey Shaped pretzels, Jalapeño Cheese Stuffed pretzels, and various drinks.
It was almost as good as I remembered, but I was feeling pretty full at this point, so I only ate about three bites. The pretzel itself is just the right amount of soft, bready inside and chewy outside, while the sweet cream cheese filling is smooth and just perfect. It is another great use of a snack credit and is easily shared by two people. We gave it a 7 and will probably be on the prowl for another cream cheese pretzel next time we are at Disney.
We stopped to enjoy some time in America listening to the Voices of Liberty and taking in the American Adventure Show which is not to be missed, but I digress . . . we were on to Japan.
Shogun Teriyaki Combination at Katsura Grill
We stopped at the Katsura Grill for a Shogun Teriyaki Combination. I love chicken, and my husband loves beef, so this seemed to be the best of both worlds.
I hate to say it, but this was a disappointment to me. As far as appearance, it just didn’t look appetizing. The beef was not the slices of beef normally found in Japanese food; it was more like shaved beef from your local grocery store deli. There were also some pieces of chicken that seemed discolored and just not suitable to eat. The rice was decent, veggies were crisp, and the teriyaki sauce had a pretty good flavor, but I would not get this again. My husband gave it a 5, but I gave it a 3.
Cashew Baklava in Morocco
Morrocco was next, and this nation was the most difficult for us. We are not big Mediterranean food people. Falafel, shawarma, feta . . . it’s just not for us. But, I couldn’t pass it up completely, so we stopped by the bakery section of the Tangierine Café where among other treats, they were offering three different types of baklava: walnut, pistachio, and cashew. I asked the crew member behind the counter which of the three he recommended, and he answered cashew with no hesitation.
If you like baklava and cashews, you will enjoy this. The cashew flavor was subtle but tasty, and the pastry was flaky as expected. It wasn’t too sweet, but we didn’t finish it. My husband gave it a 1 (he really is not a baklava fan at all), but I gave it a 3. This is another one that I am glad I tasted, but I won’t be pining for it between Epcot visits.
As this point we took a little break from eating to ride the monorail, take in a couple more park rides, and then we headed back out for more food. This time we headed in the opposite direction and went to the United Kingdom. Sadly, we had to completely bypass Canada. The only restaurant there is Le Cellier, and I can’t imagine the Maleficent-esque glares we would have gotten from cast members and fellow patrons after ordering a bowl of Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup, sharing it, and then leaving. I am sure it would have been ridiculously tasty, but I just couldn’t justify taking up a coveted Advance Dining Reservation (ADR) spot there just for an appetizer.
Fish and Chips at Yorkshire County Fish Shop
Now, I am not a fish person. I literally NEVER order fish when we go out to eat unless you count shrimp. But this was absolutely phenomenal. The fish was fresh, flaky, and piping hot, and the batter was crisp and perfectly seasoned. The chips (or fries as we Americans normally call them) were delicious and plentiful. My husband gave it a 7, but I gave it a 9. This is the counter service meal dreams are made of — or at least my dreams until my next jaunt to the World Showcase.
Chocolate Mousse and Fruit Parfait in France
We finished up our time eating around the world in France at Boulangerie Patisserie les Halles which is one of only two places where we actually had to stand in a long line to order (the other being Sommerfest). Oh my, the choices behind that display glass all looked delicious. This is the one place where we strayed from our rule of ordering one item to share. As I mentioned earlier, I am a chocolate lover, but my husband is not. So I ordered the chocolate mousse, and he ordered the fruit parfait.
The mousse was light, fluffy, perfectly chocolate, and just as rich as I expected. The little white sprinkles on top had the consistency of Rice Krispies and added a nice crunch to the smooth, creamy mousse. I gave it a 7.
My husband found the parfait to be satisfying and gave it a 6. I asked him what was in it, and he said he wasn’t really sure if it was custard, cream, or just whipped cream, but it was good.
So there you have it, 10 out of 11 countries in one day. I would not advise this strategy to anyone on the dining plan as it might not be the best use of your credits, but we were able to do it for under $80 out of pocket not counting the occasional Diet Coke or bottle of water. This challenge is not for the gastrointestinally faint of heart, but it is a lot of fun especially if you have a partner in crime like I did. And I got to check a big item off of my Disney bucket list.
What snacks do you look forward to most around World Showcase? Share your favorites in the comments below!
Anita Theiss is a former elementary school teacher turned stay-at-home mom to her two Disney-loving children and wife to her Disney-tolerating husband. When she isn’t homeschooling her kids, she can usually be found day-dreaming about her next Disney vacation.
Don’t Miss Out on the Best Snacks in Epcot!
Epcot is a snack lovers dream! Where else can you find delicious dishes from all four corners of the world, all gathered in one spot for your snacking pleasure?
But with so many choices, deciding what to spend your dollars, calories, and snack credits on can become challenging.
And that is precisely why we came up with The DFB Guide to Epcot Snacks e-Book!
With over 290 pages of information and advice on over 200 delicious snacks, you can see at a glance all the best that Epcot has to offer. And with our convenient PDF format, there’s no waiting — download your copy right now and start planning!
We’ve updated our detailed snack guide to help you find the best eats (and treats!) in Walt Disney World’s Epcot. You’ll see some of your old favorites as well as some snacks that you might have missed. We’ve kept most of the snacks in the $1-5 range, but there are a few big spenders in there. (Yep, that turkey leg or frozen mojito is gonna cost you!)
Don’t forget — for easy access in the parks, put the guide on your smartphone or iPad!