We’ve had a BLAST eating our way around the 2020 Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays!
This year’s festival runs from November 27th through December 31st and it looks a little bit different from years past. With the global health crisis, some adjustments have had to be made, but we still got to eat the FOOD! There are more than 15 Holiday Kitchens this year and we ate and drank our way through every. single. menu.
Well, you know what that means. When we’ve eaten and drank EVERYTHING that a festival has to offer, it is our not-so-solemn duty to bring YOU our picks for the very best. So, without further ado, let’s jump into the 2020 EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays BEST of the FEST!
Giant Tostada de Chorizo at Las Posadas Holiday Kitchen
First on our list (although it’s not in any particular order — that would be way too hard!) is the Giant Tostada de Chorizo for $9.25. The Giant Tostada made our list last year, and we’re not too surprised that this new one has won its way into our hearts. It’s Chorizo served on a Giant Tostada with Chipotle Black Bean Purée, Salsa Verde, Queso Cotija, Crema Mexicana, and Pickled Onion. YUM.
This eat is SO good. All of the flavors marry perfectly and it’s a BIG portion. Would we venture to say we like this year’s chorizo version better? We just might!
Pumpkin Spice Margarita at Las Posadas Holiday Kitchen
We’ve got a margarita on the list with the Pumpkin Spice Margarita and when you read the list of ingredients, you won’t be too surprised it made it. This drink is a combo of Tomba Blanco Tequila, Ojo de Tigre Mezcal, Nixta Corn Liqueur, Pumpkin Spice Purée, and Lime-Agave Juice with a Cinnamon-Sugar Rim. Wowza.
Now, we wouldn’t NECESSARILY call this drink a marg since it’s kind of a far cry, but we would say it’s heavenly. You can really taste the cinnamon and nutmeg and those flavors mix well with the smokiness of the Mezcal. You can give it a sip for $12.50.
New Year Celebration Soba at Shi Wasu Holiday Kitchen
Next on our list is the New Year Celebration Soba for $7. As you might imagine, this combo of Buckwheat Soba Noodles in Hot Dashi Soup with Shrimp Tempura, Fish Cake, and Chopped Green Onion is one of the more unique dishes at the fest.
But, OMG is it good. You do have to be open to more unorthodox flavors but if you’re into seafood or Asian cuisine, you GOTTA give this one a try!
Cheese Fondue in a Bread Bowl at Bavaria Holiday Kitchen
No surprise here but liquid cheese in a container made of bread has made our best of the fest list…as usual. Just like it has at past festivals, the Cheese Fondue in a Bread Bowl with Steamed Baby Vegetables and Marble Potatoes for $8.25 has won our hearts!
Those veggies and potatoes are perfect for dipping and honestly, we have to stop ourselves from sticking a paper straw in the bowl. There’s a reason this has been a favorite for years! It’s cheese and bread…how can you go wrong?
Pork Schnitzel with Mushroom Sauce at Bavaria Holiday Kitchen
A returning favorite from last year is the Pork Schnitzel with Mushroom Sauce, Spätzle, and Braised Red Cabbage for $6.25. It’s got a yummy mushroom sauce which is a common theme with some of our festival favorites from years past AND it’s a super-filling little bite.
We are BIG suckers for spaetzle so this dish has definitely roped us in with this one. All the flavors and textures create a DELICIOUS combination in this delightfully savory dish!
Curry Chicken Rice Bowl at Shanghai Holiday Kitchen
Next up, we have the Curry Chicken Rice Bowl from Shanghai Holiday Kitchen in the China Pavilion. This one is a SOLID portion for the $8 price tag and it doesn’t hurt that the curry flavors taste SO good on the chicken and rice.
Plus, if you like spicy, this bowl has some real kick to it with a ton of pepper in that delicious sauce.
Slow-roasted Turkey at American Holiday Table
Of course, we have to give a nod to an absolute classic. Seriously, can you go wrong with Slow-roasted Turkey with Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, and Cranberry Sauce?
This dish makes our list for being an outright holiday staple. It’s nice that you can have so many favorites in one dish, especially if you’re traveling and weren’t able to have it for the holiday. You can pick it up for $5.75.
Pastrami on Rye at L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen
This next one is for you deli fans! L’Chaim! typically has some tasty options and it has brought a returning winner this year. For one, there’s the Pastrami on Rye with House-made Pickles and Deli Mustard for $5.
This is a pretty hearty little sammich and that combo of classic flavors goes a loooooong way to making this one a favorite. Plus, do you see that hefty serving of meat?! Yes, please. Gimme more.
Frozen Coffee with Tap 357 Whisky at Yukon Holiday Kitchen
If you’re looking for a yummy sip, look no further than Yukon Holiday Kitchen. This booth is serving up a returning favorite in the form of Frozen Coffee with Tap 357 Whisky for $11.
This drink is the perfect mix of coffee flavors and sweet flavors. Add that kick of whisky and you’ll be drooling thinking about it for the rest of the day! The serving size isn’t too big, which is actually nice at this year’s festival since you can’t walk and sip!
Dinde Forestière, Pommes Dauphines at Le Marche De Noel Holiday Kitchen
No surprise here, but the France booth is bringing us some festival favorites ONCE AGAIN. This year, we’re totally loving the new turkey dish, Dinde Forestière, Pommes Dauphines, a plate of Turkey with Bacon, Mushrooms, and Onions in a Mustard Cream Sauce with Puffed Potatoes for $6.95.
The turkey in this dish was delicious and moist with an EXCELLENT sauce. Plus, you wouldn’t believe the texture of those potatoes. They are like a little firework potato explosion in your mouth. Can someone say amazing?
Blackened Bass at Festival Favorites
Festival Favorites had one winner for us, which makes sense considering it’s made up of “festival favorites” from years past. The dish we picked as a best is the Blackened Bass, originally from the Seasonal Southern Delights booth all the way back in 2016. It was a favorite then too!
This dish comes with White Cheddar Grits and Okra with Tomato and Onion Stew — the last time we saw this dish it featured catfish instead of bass. Technically this is a returning favorite, but it’s been SO long since we’ve seen it! Seafood lovers should consider this $7 dish.
Grilled Lamb Kefta Kebab at Sapphire Holiday Kitchen
Next up, Grilled Lamb Kefta Kebab and Grapes, complete with Euro Cucumber, Red Pepper, Pickled Pearl Onions, and Harissa-Cilantro Dressing for $9 at the Sapphire Holiday Kitchen.
The Kefta tends to be a favorite of ours, and this year was no exception. Once again, Disney delivered a solid, delicious, flavorful dish. There’s a nice ratio of meat and dressing! It’s also a decent size portion of food to fill you up!
Sfenj at Sapphire Holiday Kitchen
We’ve got two words for you: Warm. Beignets. YES! Another returning Best of the Fest item is the Sfenj for $6. This treat might sound like a mystery but it’s really just Warm Beignets with Cream, Cinnamon-Sugar, and Chocolate Sauce.
And good golly gosh are these things yummy. But really, does delicious fried dough ever get old? We don’t think so.
Italian Margarita at Tuscany Holiday Kitchen
Typically when you think margarita, you might expect us to be heading over to the Mexico Pavilion but this isn’t necessarily the case during Festival of the Holidays! Over near Italy, you can find an Italian Margarita for $11 and it is the perfect combo of tart and sweet.
So what’s in an Italian Margarita, you ask? Why Limoncello and Tequila of course! Careful, this sip is a STRONG one.
Rillette de Saumon at Le Marche De Noel Holiday Kitchen
As usual, the France Pavilion’s booth is here to please on more fronts than one. One of the returning favorites from last year is the Rillette de Saumon, a Salmon Spread with House-made Bread for $5.75. That might sound kinda simple but boy, are you in for a treat.
This dish was new last year and we totally fell in love with the smoky salmon and puffy, flaky bread. Add some freshly chopped dill and you’ve got a dish that just might be to die for!
Frozen Hot Chocolate Martini at Le Marche De Noel Holiday Kitchen
The France Pavilion is no stranger to iconic frozen cocktails, and this returning fave from Festival of the Holidays past is no exception. Did someone say Frozen Hot Chocolate Martini for $10.75? Yes, yes we did.
Frozen hot chocolate may be an oxymoron but that doesn’t stop this combo of Grey Goose Vanilla, Vodka, and Chocolate Milk from being an absolute showstopper every time we have it. And we must say, it’s pretty Insta-worthy too!
Turkey Poutine at Refreshment Port
Pop quiz! How do we at DFB feel about poutine? If you said we’re absolutely in love and consider every bite a delightful gift to our mouths, you’d be right! That’s why, as it has before, the Turkey Poutine from Refreshment Port is making our list.
We’re talking French Fries with Turkey Gravy, Cranberry Relish, and Crispy Onions all piled high to our delight. You can try it for yourself for $7.50!
Best BOOTH of the FEST
Now that we’ve seen our favorite items, it’s time for us to give you our pick for the best BOOTH of the fest. Or, should we say “BOOTHS?” That’s right! We’ve got a tie this year!
The Mexico Pavilion booth (this time, Las Posadas Holiday Kitchen) tends to be a KILLER option at any festival. The menu this year is a slam dunk across the board, and we can’t WAIT to keep eating there for the rest of the fest.
That Giant Tostada is delicious, but you’ve also got the Dulce de Leche Churros and several tasty cocktails to round out a fully fabulous menu. This was an easy choice for one of our best booths overall.
The Mexico booth is tied with the France booth! If you’ve been following along with our Best of the Fest lists, you know that these two nearly ALWAYS win best overall, and this festival is no different.
Le Marche De Noel has a great mix of returning classics that have made our Best of the Fest lists in years past, as well as a delicious new dish that we can’t recommend highly enough. IMO, no fest is complete without a stop at the France booth.
Runners-up for Best Booth of the Fest
Now, there is one booth that gave both of our winners a run for their money — and it’s a NEW one this year! What a way to burst onto the scene! The Hawaii booth, Mele Kalikimaka, had some SERIOUS favorites and made its way right to our top three.
The Kālua Pork is something we’ve had on sliders in the past, but we loved it served with Okinawa purple sweet potatoes and mango salad. AND, the Haupia, which is a Hawaiian coconut pudding with candied Macadamia nuts and coconut, was a delicious dessert that was different from the cookies and chocolatey dishes served at other booths.
Best of the Fest for Kids
Warm Brown Sugar-stuffed Pretzel at Refreshment Outpost
Kiddos are going to WIG OUT at this one. This Refreshment Outpost dessert is giving us serious sweet tooth vibes! You might want to sit down before you read what we’re about to say: Warm Brown Sugar-stuffed Pretzel with Soft-serve Ice Cream and Chocolate Sauce.
This $8.25 treat is a total favorite and with GOOD REASON. Plus, do you know a kid who would pass on a sweet pretzel covered in ice cream?
Then there’s the Cookie Stroll which is back again after it debuted last year! Basically, you buy 5 cookies from the different Holiday Kitchens, and when you’ve collected 5 stamps you can head to the Holiday Sweets & Treats Holiday Kitchen to snag your FREE Peppermint Minnie Cookie.
Kids will LOVE the game aspect of this activity and the free cookie at the end, so it’s a great option for the fam! Plus, you can split the cookies so they don’t get to be too much. Some of our favorite cookies this year were the Chocolate Crinkle and the Linzer Cookie!
You KNOW we’re crowning our “Most Instagrammable” treat again for this festival! We’ve been doing this since Festival of the Arts brought us Glitter Beer and we don’t intend to stop now. Our Instagram winner is always the dish that brings us the best presentation or “wow” factor, even if they may not taste that great in their own right.
Mickey Chocolate Tart at Holiday Hearth
This year, the treat ACTUALLY tastes good! It’s the Chocolate Mickey Tart from Holiday Hearth for $4.50. This booth had a lot of really cute treats like the Gingerbread Milkshake, Salted Caramel Spaceship Earth Cookie, and the Red Velvet Mini Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Icing; but it’s the surprise dish — that wasn’t even on the official menu — that wins out.
The Mickey-shaped tart has a great texture and is very rich and chocolatey (if we had a Best for Chocolate lovers category this would win), plus it’s adorable with all those holiday sprinkles and a little Santa hat!
Thanks for tagging along on our tour through EPCOT’s most wonderful time of the year! We’ve had a BLAST and we must say, we’re very full. Maybe we should go lay down. Don’t forget we’ll be right here throughout the festival for all of the tips and planning needs you might have!
What makes YOUR Best of the Fest list? Tell us in the comments!