On my last weekend trip to Walt Disney World, I decided on the out-of-the-way Olivia’s Cafe at Disney’s Old Key West Resort as our dinner destination prior to attending Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in the Magic Kingdom.
My family was looking for a place to relax and fill up on a good meal, and somewhere that we could get a last minute Advance Dining Reservation.
While this resort exudes comfort and a family-friendly atmosphere for Disney Vacation Club (DVC) members, we found the service equally welcoming for non-guests of the hotel. Since we had our own vehicle, transportation to the restaurant was simple. (And our teen son, who traveled from a theme park, had no trouble taking a bus there. He even got there early!) We used our MagicBand to show our reservation at the entrance gate and then proceeded to a parking area very close to the restaurant.
Nautical elements evoke a seaside atmosphere at the entrance to Olivia’s.
The lighting and ocean colors give a sense of calm.
The floral arrangements and plants give some color to the tropical-themed resort.
If you arrive early, peruse the menu. While this place is a hidden gem, it’s often quite busy!
Inside the very small waiting area (actually just a hallway between the restaurant, restrooms, and the Conch Flats General Store), you’ll find your first glimpse of Disney Vacation Club member photographs.
Plus, a reminder of the restaurant’s hours!
If you like to dine al fresco, patio seating is also available.
Inside the wide-open dining room, a nautical theme made the place seem cozy.
The light and airy color scheme and many windows give off a casual beach atmosphere. I love the two different colors of napkins for the table setting!
Knickknacks, lighting, and ceiling fans further the intimate setting. Yes, this feels like island life!
Olivia’s specialties include seafood and home-style eats with Florida Keys accents. There’s even Key Lime!
The hubs ordered the Key West Sunset Ale and thought it was a really good beer (Thanks to Reader Sarah for pointing out that this beverage is a red not a pale ale!!). Cheers!
While my dining companions enjoyed the bread — Pineapple Coconut, it wasn’t my favorite. I did appreciate the softness of the inner bread and the crunchy exterior.
We skipped appetizers and dessert for this meal as we were anxious to get to the Party; and of course, we had to leave stomach space for the specialty treats.
So, we got down to business. My son and I ordered the Southernmost Buttermilk Chicken and my husband had the New York Strip.
The chicken was just the way that I like it – boneless, moist, and fork tender.
But the buttermilk gravy was THE STAR of the show. Oh, my goodness. Both of us agreed that we could have had a soup bowl full of it. It was perfect over the chicken and mashed potatoes. And there was plenty of it. No skimping on gravy here! By the way, those mashed potatoes were creamy and would have been delicious on their own.
And you know how sometimes the vegetables can just be a huge disappointment? Well, not this time. These were cooked perfectly! So perfect that the teen even commented on how good they were. Whoa, now those are some good veggies. 😉
On to the New York Strip. My husband thought this entree was delicious. He said it was cooked correctly and was tender, and juicy.
And he really enjoyed the the ragout of mushrooms, tomatoes, and onion. Apparently, this made the dish a real stand-out!
As steaks go at Walt Disney World, the husband said it wasn’t the best he’s ever had but definitely on his list of dishes to have again. (By the way, the top steak he’s ever had was at Narcoossee’s, followed by the steak at California Grill. Of course, those are pricier, too!)
Yes, that Banana Bread Pudding Sundae was calling my name, but alas, I had to save room for the Party sweets. Next time, I’m not going to be so sensible!
Go ahead and make your way to Olivia’s Cafe! While the food is not signature gourmet, the home-cooked flavors are still worthy of your time. And there is always a daily special that might surprise you.
This is the place to unwind after a long day in the parks, before a late night in the parks, or just when you need some good ol’ vacation down time. It’s also great for breakfast!
What’s your favorite dish at Olivia’s Cafe? Have you ventured to this restaurant? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!