It’s time to stop at Tony’s Town Square for lunch with a view!
This classic Disney restaurant, located on Main Street USA in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, is a favorite of Disney fans.
While it may not be on the culinary cutting edge, there’s something truly magical about stepping into one of your favorite movie restaurants!
It had been a while since I’d stopped into Tony’s. Frankly, the menu of classic Italian dishes doesn’t really ever change much.
Still, we here at Disney Food Blog believe that we need to bring you the most up to date info on Disney eateries, so you can make those advance dining reservations with confidence.
With that in mind, I decided it was time for another visit.
With a name like Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, where would you expect it to be located? If you guessed Town Square, then you get a gold star. 🙂
Yep — you’ll find Tony’s pretty much as soon as you walk into Magic Kingdom. Pass the Town Square Theater, where you can meet and greet with some of your favorite Disney characters, and you’ll see Tony’s on the right as you head toward Cinderella Castle.
Tony’s underwent a bit of a refresh a few years back. Don’t worry; they did nothing to the classic feel of the place. They just brightened up fabrics, paint, carpets, and such.
And if you’re a fan of the film that inspired Tony’s — Disney’s Lady and the Tramp — then be sure to catch a few minutes of it playing while you wait!
Once you’re called to your table, you’ll be seated in one of three spots — the main dining room, the sunroom, or the patio. (Of course, you can make a request for any of the three.) And that means you’ll pass the centerpiece of the restaurant — this beautiful Lady and the Tramp water fountain!
The turn of the century (last century, that is) ambiance continues into the dining room. Glossy wood trim frames the ceiling and booths and pictures from the film adorn the walls. Is your favorite scene captured here?
Here’s a wonderful detail that I learned thanks to one of my favorite Disney bloggers, SamLand’s Disney Adventures <– go read it for some great detail. See the picture of Lady and Tramp on the window? When you look at it from just the right angle, Lady appears to be in the Hatbox that serves as a sign for Le Chapeau across Main Street. Remember that Lady pops up from the hatbox in the film? And there’s a Walt and Lillian Disney tie-in here that’s just wonderful; but you have to read Sam’s blog to find out what it is!
So cool, and the perfect reminder to keep your eyes open for details at Disney, because they’re everywhere. Nothing is left to chance.
But I mentioned there were a couple of other seating areas at Tony’s. And the sunroom is a great one. To begin, it’s simply gorgeous. The conservatory feel and glass ceiling remind me of Crystal Palace just up the street.
And look at these beautiful windows! It’s a pleasure to spend time looking at all of the craftsmanship that went into this corner of the park.
This area appears to be a patio that was walled in, or maybe it was always a conservatory. Regardless, I love all of the light and the feeling of being inside and outside simultaneously.
If you want real outdoor seating — you know, the kind without a/c — then request a table on the patio. While it can be warm here, shade and ceiling fans make it quite nice at certain times of the year.
Besides, what could be better people watching than the first moments of someone’s visit to Magic Kingdom? I especially love sitting here during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party when I can watch all of the kiddos come in so proud of their halloween costumes and excited for a fun night of ghoulies and ghosties!
But even better: if you time your visit just right, you’ll have primo seating for a Magic Kingdom Parade! And here’s a TIP to accomplish that: When you’re planning your meal time, try to determine which direction the parade will be coming from so that you’re seated around 30 minutes to an hour before the parade passes by Tony’s. If the parade begins in Frontierland, you’ll have longer to wait than if the parade begins on Main Street. Just let them know at the podium when you check in that you’d like to be seated on the patio. And with a little luck, they’ll be able to make it happen!
As I mentioned, the menu doesn’t change much at Tony’s. But really, would you want it to? I mean, how could you possibly reconcile some new fangled culinary trend with the charm and Lady and Tramp sharing a plate of Spaghetti and Meatballs?
They have freshened things up just a tiny bit, though. I enjoyed the complimentary Bread, which consists of Focaccia that comes with seasoned Olive Oil for dipping. (Note that I was dining alone on this visit, so the bread portion was very small.)
I decided to begin my meal with the Seasonal Soup. I had enjoyed Tony’s soup before, so I figured it was a safe bet. This time, they were serving Italian Wedding Soup. As you can see, it seemed to be prepared from scratch, with plenty of fresh veggies. I asked that they give me a serving that was heavy on the broth and light on the pasta, FYI.
During one of my previous visits, I also got the Zucchini Fries, and I was more than a little surprised at how much I liked them! While it’s probably not the healthiest veggie choice you can make, I definitely recommend them as a delicious and slightly better-for-you option.
Now, on to the main event! We always — and I mean, always — get Chicken Parmigiana when we visit Tony’s. It’s one of my husband’s favorite dishes, and he uses it as a benchmark for Italian restaurants.
Well, this time, I decided to branch out a bit and skip it! But I did stick to another dish we’d had before — Joe’s Artisanal Pizza. I don’t really know why it’s called “Pizza” when clearly, it looks just like the “Flatbreads” that you can get all over Disney. Maybe they want to stick with the folky, casual Italian feel of the place. Still, with Italian Sausage, Pepperoni, Roasted Peppers, Caramelized Onions and Fresh Basil, it’s a solid choice…especially if you’re dining with a picky eater. Who doesn’t love pizza (or flatbread)? Right?
Honestly, this one was truly delicious. The flavors were fantastic — nothing bland about this one. And I liked that there was plenty of cheese to go around. I’m a cheesy person, as you know!
But here’s where I departed from previous choices a bit. I had never had the New York Strip Steak at Tony’s. At least I don’t remember every getting it. (I know! Can you believe it?) Well, based upon how much I adore the steak at another Disney Italian spot (Yep, Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano), I decided to take a chance. Here, it’s topped with an Herb Butter, and it’s served with sides of Panzanella (Bread Salad) and Seasonal Vegetables. In my case, I enjoyed a healthy serving of Steamed Broccoli.
This steak was very good. I’ve heard raves from others about it, and while I wouldn’t trade my Mama Melrose steak for it, I would highly recommend it — even over some of the other pasta dishes — as a top-notch choice. The meat was cooked to order just right, and the bread salad was a unique side dish that you won’t find…well…anywhere else at Disney as far as I know.
Because that was a lot of food to enjoy (and I wanted a Dole Whip 😉 ) I skipped dessert. But if you find yourself with a Tony’s ADR and you’d like a recommendation, the Pistachio Crème Brûlée is a delicious classic. (Here’s a recipe to make it at home between visits.)
My favorite dessert here in recent years, though, has been the Tiramisu. And I don’t even like Tiramisu!!!!!! With layers of Espresso-Soaked Lady Fingers, Whipped Mascarpone, and Chocolate Shavings, this is a delicious version of a classic. It’s SO creamy, and you can really taste the flavors of high quality ingredients. You know that taste you get when you’re eating really REAL heavy cream? Yeah — that’s what’s happening here.
With a filling meal out of the way, it was time to head out for more Magic Kingdom fun.
Our thinking still stands. Look, if you’re an Italian food aficionado, or you live near a wildly famous “Little Italy” part of the world, Tony’s will disappoint you. But here’s the thing: I don’t think this is supposed to be gourmet Italian food. I don’t think that’s what it was in the film, I don’t think it’s been that in its history, and I don’t see a time where that is going to change. But it’s still good food — about the same level of quality as a mid-priced chain restaurant — and the fact that the restaurant is steeped in history means it’s worth a visit.
It’s a restaurant that takes us into a film and back to our childhood all at once. While I love the new additions to Magic Kingdom like Skipper Canteen and Be Our Guest Restaurant, the places that have been around forever are important, too. And the fact is, sometimes the history is part of the magic. Tony’s has its place.
Do you love Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, or consider it just a so-so choice? Leave a comment and let me know below!