Shopping around Disney Springs can build up quite the appetite (and credit card debt, but we won’t talk about that).
If you’re looking for somewhere to eat during your store-hopping frenzy, perhaps you should give one of the Disney Springs food trucks a try? Want unique mac and cheese options? There’s a food truck for that. Want zany hot dog choices? They’ve got that too. But what we’re returning to today is the quick-service destination for those who’re craving Mexican-inspired options — the 4 Rivers Cantina Barbacoa Food Truck.
The Disney Springs food trucks are popular dining destinations for several reasons.
First off, let’s talk cost. We’re not saying these food items are super cheap, but compared to normal Disney dining prices, they’re pretty darn affordable.
Also, the food trucks provide speedy service. If you still need to hit up more stores around Springs and you don’t want to invest an hour eating at a table service restaurant, the food trucks have solid grab-and-go options.
Last but not least, they’re tasty! They may be little, but their flavors are fierce.
We’ve eaten at 4 Rivers Cantina Barbacoa in the past and absolutely loved it. Last year, the food truck was forced to close its car doors twice as it continued to modify its health and safety measures for guests and cast members.
But 4 Rivers returned with vengeance, providing us with NEW MENU ITEMS. We were thrilled to retry some of our old favorites (and one of the newer options, too)! Let’s check it out!
When you look up the 4 Rivers location on the Disney Springs website, it’ll provide you with the info for Exposition Park — the food truck central hub on the West Side of Disney Springs (right across from Disney’s Candy Cauldron and Superhero Headquarters).
However, the food trucks don’t always stay in one place. 4 Rivers has been seen parked around the Marketplace section of Disney Springs before (close to the Basin store). So if you don’t find it in the main food truck hub on your visit, don’t panic! It might have just relocated for the day. (You can always ask a Cast Member in the area if they happen to know where the food trucks took of to that day!)
The truck itself is a stylish, fire-truck red with blue, orange, and green flourishes. We love the cute little lime slices hidden within the simplistic design, as well as the friendly-looking skull mascot.
The seating arrangement is pretty standard: just your average tables and chairs. So if you’re looking for a place to stop for a minute, eat your food, and people-watch (guilty as charged!), this is the area for you. Plus, some evenings you’ll be able to hear live music nearby — which gives bonus points to the overall ambiance, for sure.
For such a small location, there sure are a nice variety of options to choose from here.
Although 4 Rivers is famous for their barbacoa-styled meats, they have a variety of vegetarian options, too. (Vegan options, however, don’t seem to be available at this time.)
There’s only one item on the Kids’ Menu — the cheese quesadilla for $5.99. It’s a basic choice, but a safe one for picky eaters.
The drink choices are pretty basic, as well: water, Coke products, and a few beer options.
But the dessert option sounds DELISH — A Margarita Bar with lime mousse, graham cracker crust, white chocolate, and flake salt — all for $6.49. YUM.
For any of your entrees, you get to pick the filling. (Think like Chipotle or any other “build your own” style Mexican joint, but way fresher and yummier.)
We decided to try three of the main food items: The Taco Cone (cause DUH!), The Birria Quesadilla, and the Burrito Bowl. We also ordered a side of queso fresco because…well…it’s queso. Of course, we’ve gotta have some melty cheese!
The Taco Cone is an old favorite of the 4 Rivers food truck.
It comes with your choice of filling (protein or plant-based), shredded lettuce, guac, sour cream, pico de gallo, queso (queso!!!!!!), cilantro, jalapeno, and a lime wedge all served in a big, crispy tortilla cone for $11.99.
We decided to fill our cone with the brisket barbacoa — and we were NOT disappointed. The meat had this smoky, melt-in-your-mouth flavor that wasn’t too spicy (unless we were eating it with the jalapeños, of course). A squeeze from the lime gave the cone a zang-y freshness, adding to the overall taste. (P.S., can we just say we LOVE when spots like this serve fresh jalepeños over the pickled jarred variety. So much fresh spicy flavor!)
The cone itself tasted like a standard taco salad shell, but it was still crispy and had a nice flavor. We’d like to give the Taco Cone points for its portability, but it’s really not an item you can easily walk around eating without making a mess. If you order one of these, ask for an extra bowl or plate — just in case the filling starts to escape once the structural integrity of the cone inevitably breaks down.
This one is really interesting — all the components taste great. BUT, don’t expect a little in each bite like you would in a taco or burrito. This seriously benefits from a fork or spoon to help get a little bit of each component in a bite. Otherwise you might chomp down on a mouthful of only sour cream and tortilla cone! Because of its unique blend of flavors (unique in a GOOD way, that is), we’d def have this again (and again…and again…). It’s substantial and unique and, honestly, just tastes really great!
The Birria Quesadilla was next. We were stoked to try this item because it’s BRAND NEW to us! It’s made with Beef Birria (basically mega tender braised beef) and melted Oaxaca cheese on a crispy griddled flour tortilla, served with rich beef jus and onion-cilantro salsa.
The beef was cooked well and had a subtle chili flavor without all the tongue-burning spice. Also, the cheese was mild. Usually, we like to taste the ultimate cheesy-ness of our quesadillas, but we appreciated how the Oaxaca cheese didn’t cover the flavors of the beef.
And the dipping sauce? Yes. Just…yes.
The cilantro and onion in the dipping sauce bring out the flavors of the meat that much more. The Birria Quesadilla is $11.75 and is a good option for those who want to try a more unique Mexican-inspired option on the property.
Lastly, we had to try the Burrito Bowl — another classic 4 Rivers option. Much like the cone, you can choose your main filling — plus you can choose whether you want it served over rice or lettuce. From there, the bowl is topped with black beans, salsa verde, guac, pico de gallo, sour cream, queso fresco, cilantro, jalapeno, and corn tortilla strips.
We chose the chicken filling based on a Cast Member’s recommendation; they said it had a little more heat and was more flavorful than the pork. So, of course, we had to give it a try!
Unfortunately, out of the three dishes, this one was our least favorite. Don’t get us wrong, it still had a great flavor. The chicken was spicy but not overwhelmingly so. And the added tortilla strips gave it a nice crunch. But it was boring — especially in comparison to the other two options we’d tried. This looked and tasted like your basic Chipotle bowl. Nothing wrong with it, but the other options were so unique. That being said, if you want a more basic Mexican dish, this is a safe option priced at $11.75.
Now… you didn’t think we’d forget to talk about the queso fresco, did you?
The queso isn’t listed as a side, but you can definitely ask for a cup of it for $3.99! The peppers in the queso provide some added heat that spice-lovers might be missing. We decided to pour it over our Burrito Bowl to make it more flavorful (and it worked)!
Truthfully? This is some of the best queso we’ve had on Disney property. We’re still drooling just thinking about it… . $3.99 IS steep for melty cheese sauce, especially compared to other spots where we can get it for just a buck or less, but it was a hefty serving and really flavorful.
Nosh or Not
Swing on by 4 Rivers Cantina Barbacoa if…
- You’re looking for something to eat quickly before returning to your day of shopping.
- You enjoy Mexican dishes without all the intense spices and heat.
- You want an affordable lunch or dinner option.
- You’re a Tex-Mex fan.
Keep on walking to the next quick service location if…
- You’re looking for a Kid’s Menu with more variety. It’s a cheese quesadilla only here, kiddos!
- You’re wanting more vegan-friendly options.
- You hate ANY kind of pepper/spice/heat. (Although the spice in each item we tried was very tame, there are still peppers, jalapenos, and added seasonings that could be too much for someone who doesn’t like any intense flavors.)
- The idea of getting you dinner from a food truck just isn’t what you had in mind. In that case, there are lots of affordable quick service spots in Springs as well as great sit-down meals.
4 Rivers really impressed us — again! The ingredients in each dish were fresh and plentiful, the produce was crisp, and each meat we tried was excellent. Plus, it’s one of the more affordable options in Disney Springs.
For those who don’t like overly spicy foods but still love Mexican-inspired flavors, this is a great option to consider (though, fair warning, the queso does have a slight kick to it). On the other hand, if you’re someone who craves that extra heat, we’d recommend trying a different option instead (or ask for more of those fresh jalepeños!); the food at La Cantina de San Angel over at EPCOT’s Mexican pavilion has a few (surprisingly!) noticeably hotter options than any of the items we tried at 4 Rivers, and might suit your spicy cravings better.
But even our least favorite item that we ordered — the Burrito Bowl — was still really good! And we have now welcomed the Birria Quesadilla with open arms into the 4 Rivers family. It’s a delicious addition to this barbacoa menu that we’d recommend trying if you’re looking for a unique quesadilla — or a unique food option period — on property.
The 4 Rivers Food Truck is open Monday through Wednesday from 5pm until 10pm, Thursday and Friday from 3pm until 10pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 12pm until 10pm.
(Btw — can we get a jar of that queso to go, pretty please?)
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Which Disney Springs food truck is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!