We often hear from readers who want to know if DFB’s favorites of yore have still got IT.
San Angel Inn Restaurante
You know what we mean: do they still have the mojo that keeps guests coming back year after year. For some restaurants at Walt Disney World, it’s killer food and a seasonal, ever-changing menu that draws in a crowd. For others, it’s an atmosphere that can’t be beat — like ‘Ohana‘s warm family feel or Sanaa‘s animal friends right outside the window.
For Beaches & Cream, it’s a sense of nostalgia paired with comforting eats that have been consistently good since the soda shop opened its doors almost thirty years ago. (Let’s just table that thirty years ago bit because there’s no way we’re that old…)
Beaches & Cream is tucked in between the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts on an outdoor walkway adjacent to Stormalong Bay — the fabulous pool shared by the resorts. That means Beaches and Cream is in the Epcot Resort Area (and just a stone’s throw from the International Gateway that serves as an entrance to Epcot’s World Showcase). This convenient location means that even guests not staying at the Resorts will make the short trip to this casual table service location for a bite to eat.
But you (and I!) wanted to know: does Beaches & Cream still have IT?
From the colorful sign over the entrance to Beaches & Cream to the pastels and patterns inside the restaurant, this spot has seaside soda shop written all over it. And we love that throwback feeling. The tin ceilings, heavy turquoise moldings, and big glass pendant lights help us feel like we’ve gone back in time.
Seating at Beaches & Cream is limited — which accounts for the almost-necessity of making an ADR nowadays. The restaurant is very popular, and the supply of available seats just can’t keep up with the demand. Seating (when you’ve scored some!) is mostly at tables with retro padded chairs. There’s also seating at the bar — the ice cream bar, that is! This is a fun place to sit if you want to have a front row view of the dessert action!
Along the mirrored wall are a few booths, which can accommodate up to six (if you’re willing to bump elbows the whole time). Colorful beach balls and sconces in the shape of ice cream cones contribute to the beachy vibe.
At the booths, diners find retro details like a table-top juke box, a tall straw dispenser, and squirt bottles of mustard and ketchup.
If you want to check out a full-sized, full-neon jukebox, there’s one of those, too. (Just tell the kids it’s a tween-sized iPod.)
So what kind of throwback eats can we find in this colorful joint?
Beaches & Cream features a small menu of appealing, Grandma-approved entrees like a Patty Melt, Tuna Salad, and a Turkey Club. There’s also a decent Veggie Burger on the menu for those who prefer it. The Angus Beef Burger is a big hit with diners.
You’ll also find Today’s Specials (which are actually everyday’s specials), which include Sock Hop Fries — the restaurant’s version of poutine. We love the Sock Hop Fries, with their gravy and cheddar cheese — so much so that we included it on our Poutine Crawl!
Of course, no trip to Beaches & Cream is complete without a good, long look at the Ice Cream Menu, which includes Shakes & Sodas, Sundaes on the Beach, and Desserts.
On this visit I dug back into those Cheese and Bacon Fries. (Yeah, you saw that comin’…) These golden thick-cut fries are topped with Cheese Sauce, Crispy Bacon, Red Onions, and Garlic Peppercorn Ranch Dressing.
These are as amazing as they sound, with the right balance of creamy, crunchy, and crisp toppings. Definitely get a plate of these (but prepare to share because who can resist?).
The Grilled Cheese and Tomato Bisque is one of my favorites — and by favorites I mean anywhere on Walt Disney World property. There’s something about this grilled cheese and its accompanying soup that I can not resist.
The cheese is crazy gooey, and the bisque is a great, savory soup that’s a step above traditional tomato.
New to me on this visit was Country-Fried Steak. This down-home meal might be a bit heavy for a hot summer day in the World, but we bet if you chase it down with a sundae, you’ll manage. 😉
There is literally a waterfall of White Gravy to accompany that crunchy fried steak, and you can’t go wrong with the fries (dunked in the gravy — yum!).
And surprisingly, this steak was tender! Look, it’s no Wagyu Beef from Morimoto, but that’s not what you’re after at Beaches & Cream anyway. This is a hearty piece of meat cooked well in a tasty crust. Win! I was super impressed.
And since I was in the World with my preschooler, I got to supplement my grilled cheese with more cheese — Kids’ Mac and Cheese. This was great — creamy, cheesy, and a decent portion for a child (or a picky adult who needs stomach space for ice cream…).
Any meal at Beaches & Cream comes with a side of condiments. Helpful and convenient.
But who cares about relish when there’s ice cream to be eaten?! Say hello to José — No Way José. And yes, that’s Hot Fudge and Peanut Butter Sauce cascading down the side of his massive sundae bowl.
The base of this sundae is Chocolate and Vanilla Ice Cream. It’s topped with copious sauces (hallelujah!), Whipped Cream, Chocolate and Peanut Butter Morsels, Peanuts, and a Cherry. José never disappoints. Ever. He’s always there for you, overfilling his sundae bowl and just generally being amazing. We love No Way José.
We also love the new-ish Snickers Sundae here. It consists of three scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream and a torrential amount of Hot Fudge and Marshmallow toppings, as well as Snickers pieces (naturally!), chopped Peanuts, Whipped Cream, and a Cherry.
Did we mention there’s a lot of sauce on there? Hot. Fudge. Waterfall. Yeeeeesssss.
You can’t go wrong with any of the sundaes or shakes at Beaches & Cream. And who can forget The Kitchen Sink?! This massive concoction is a combo of multiple ice cream flavors, a bunch of toppings, and a can of whipped cream. (There are three versions: original, Neopolitan, and Chocolate Lovers!)
Wanna see The Kitchen Sink in all of her glory? Check out our DFB Video where we take a long, hungry look at this ice cream insanity!
Nosh or Not?
Roll in with the tide to Beaches & Cream if:
- You crave an old-fashioned soda shop experience.
- A meal just isn’t a meal without a massive ice cream sundae at the end.
- You want consistent eats in a casual atmosphere that’s Epcot-adjacent.
Build your sand castle elsewhere if:
- Soda shop style grub isn’t your thing.
- You prefer one of the more upscale table service restaurants in the Epcot resort area.
- You want the option to select more creative (and potentially healthier) dishes.
- You don’t have a reservation and aren’t prepared to wait a while.
Yup, Beaches & Cream has still got IT, and I’m so glad. There’s something about simple food done well that is comforting — whether it’s upscale dining or something more casual, like Beaches & Cream. And it doesn’t hurt that their ice cream game is on point, either!
Are you a Beaches and Cream fan? Share your thoughts on this perennial favorite in the comments below!