When Spice Road Table opened its doors in the Morocco Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase way back in 2014, we loved the small plates concept and the stellar location.
But while Spice Road Table has a lot going for it, it’s remained a little less of a crowd favorite than, say, Via Napoli or Rose and Crown. This is probably owing to its slightly more unusual cuisine, which includes dishes that highlight the flavors of the Mediterranean.
The thing is, those dishes are actually really promising! Stand-outs from the Small Plates menu include Fried Calamari and Spicy Garlic Shrimp — two seafood dishes that are really stand-outs for their flavor and execution.
And this is one location where vegetarians (or those who like to incorporate non-meat dishes into their diets!) can get some unique eats (read: not salads!). There are no fewer than four vegetable dishes on the small plates menu, which means there are actual decisions to be made and veggies to be shared!
Join me as we journey on the Spice Road!
As far as locations go, Spice Road Table is some seriously valuable real estate in Epcot’s World Showcase.
The restaurant perches on the edge of World Showcase Lagoon, and you can bet the designers made the most of it! There’s a large outdoor dining space that’s anchored from below by a pavered patio and from above by intricately cut metal lanterns that cast moody shadows on the spaces around them at night.
Indoor seating offers plenty of window views — big, bright windows with views of the lagoon. This is some prime IllumiNations seating if you can get it!
Spice Road Table also has a beautiful bar — a space with bright blue walls, gorgeous light fixtures, and thoughtful Moroccan details everywhere!
The dining space features more details, all carefully selected to contribute to the story of this restaurant’s inspiration: the Spice Road! Diners will see artifacts from all along the Spice Road, including echoes of Europe, Asia, and North Africa.
Large, semi-circle booths provide just about the coziest seating of any Walt Disney World table service restaurant. And check out that sort of batik fabric hung over the booth.
Above the dining room are these alcoves, which are packed with items like ceramic tagines, carved boxes, and other unique decor elements.
All this detail combines to create a special place — a place built over time and on the backs of adventurers.
But this begs the question: what are those adventurers eating? 😉
Spice Road Table plays with a variety of flavors from countries visited by travelers on the Spice Road, and those flavors make their way onto all parts of the restaurant’s menu.
The drink menu features aperitifs, beer, cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages. Signature Cocktails reflect Tangier, Spain, Cyprus, and Morocco proper.
The Mediterranean Small Plates are really the focus of Spice Road Table (although you’ll see that there are many enticing entrees, too), so this part of the menu requires special attention. 😉
Mediterranean Specialty Entrees include several options from land and sea, including Coriander Crusted Rack of Lamb and Yellow Fin Tuna.
I went with a few different items so I could take full advantage of the eats. Looking at the dishes as a group, one sees a brown-on-brown kind of color palate with small pops of color. But the flavors are, thankfully, more dynamic than they may appear.
This is a place where sharing several small plates really works because each is distinctive (and large enough to share). So I picked out a few of these!
Hummus Fries are a big hit at Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival, where the portion is smaller and comes with tzatziki sauce. At Spice Road Table, Hummus Fries are thick, fried to a deep brown color, and full of flavor from spices like cumin and cilantro. The sauce is preserved lemon aioli. The dish reminisces about hummus rather than directly replicating it.
My only issue with this is the cilantro. I’m not a fan, so if you’re not either, be forewarned.
Since I love “fried things with spicy aioli,” I had to try the Corkscrew Shrimp. The Fried Calamari at Spice Road Table is awesome (and really, aren’t most things better when they’re deep fried?), so I had high expectations for the shrimp. And it was terrific! The crunchy breading was perfectly cooked — and not at all greasy.
The Baked Brie is a fun option for small plates because it’s so rich that it’s really designed for sharing. This wheel of brie is covered in orange marmalade and sliced almonds, all of which taste fantastic with the rosemary croutons (toasted slices of rosemary bread).
The sole entree we chose for this meal is Mix Grill Skewers. These are chicken and beef kebabs marinated in a salty, herbaceous marinade. The meats are served with rosemary potatoes, French green beans, and slivered almonds. It’s served with an herb dip that marries well with the meats. Somewhat-picky eaters might be able to get on board with this one if they don’t mind the abundant herbs. 🙂 Your picky eater kids will still love the french fried potatoes.
With so many tasty options on the menu here, it’s hard to find something that isn’t awesome. (Although the cold Rice-Stuffed Grape Leaves still aren’t really MY jam.)
Nosh or Not?
Explore the Spice Road if:
- You enjoy sampling lots of small plates and sharing bites with family and friends.
- The richly-flavored options at Spice Road interest you.
- You’re looking for a less-popular place to watch IllumiNations!
Take another route if:
- Sharing small plates isn’t something you do.
- You or your crew prefer food that’s more straightforward and that would better please picky eaters.
- You don’t care to watch IllumiNations (what?!) — there are rides to be ridden!
I’ve mentioned IllumiNations a few times, and that’s with good reason: this is a great vantage point from which to enjoy the beloved show. And even though we’ve had consistently great food at Spice Road Table, it hasn’t achieved the rabid popularity of other restaurants with a view of World Showcase Lagoon. So if you are looking to enjoy dinner with a show, this might be a good option for you!
But even if you’re not trying to capitalize on the expansive views, Spice Road Table is totally worth a try. The food is fantastic, and it’s fun to try a little of this and a little of that. If you embrace the small plates concept and share with family and friends, you’ll be engaging in something very much like the Spice Road itself: connecting with other people over one of the world’s great facilitators: food.
Take a food tour of Morocco in this DFB Guide YouTube video!
Have you tried Spice Road Table? Tell us why or why not in the comments below!