We had a great day eating and drinking our way around the 2021 EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival!
This year’s festival runs July 15th, 2021 through November 20th, 2021, and has a whopping 32 food booths. We spent our way getting our snack on at the 23 booths that opened today (the rest come later!) and we have some OPINIONS.
That’s right! We made it through EVERY. SINGLE. FESTIVAL MENU. available in EPCOT today and we’ll be back for the remaining nine when they open on October 1st. Now that we’ve tried everything we can though, we’re putting our festival expertise to use and bringing you the 2021 EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival BEST of the FEST!
We tried most of these items for the first time EVER at this year’s festival and they wowed us enough to make our list of bests!
Crispy Chicken on a Sriracha-glazed Donut at The Donut Box
It’s crunchy, it’s juicy, it’s sweet, it’s the Crispy Chicken on a Sriracha-glazed Donut from The Donut Box! WOW, this was one of the first things we tried at Food and Wine this year and we IMMEDIATELY knew it would land a spot on our best list.
The texture and flavor combo is an absolute dream. You’ve got the soft donut, the crispy chicken, the glaze, and the crunch from the slaw. Even as one of the more expensive eats ($8.50), we’ll be snagging this one again and again.
Candy Jar Donut at The Donut Box
ANOTHER Best of the Fest pick at The Donut Box was the Candy Jar Donut made with M&M’S, SNICKERS, and TWIX for $5. Can we wash down our savory donut with a sweet one? YOU BET WE CAN.
This one is just a CLASSIC sweet. It’s a beautiful donut with tons of candy heaped on top. Fair warning: This one gets SERIOUSLY melty in the sun. Guess you’ll just have to eat it FAST!
Braised Beef Poutine at Refreshment Port Hosted by Boursin Cheese
Ah poutine, have you ever failed us? Certainly not at Food and Wine this year! We gave the Braised Beef Poutine a try at Refreshment Port Hosted by Boursin Cheese today and decided it earned its spot with a HUGE portion and some hearty flavors.
We def enjoyed this combo of French Fries, Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs Cheese Sauce, Cheese Curds, and Gherkin Relish. This portion had a TON of cheese curds and a good amount of meat too. The relish gave it a nice crunch and added to the flavor profile nicely. AND there’s a garlic and herb cheese from Boursin that is oh-so-good. Snag it for $9.50!
Beer Flight at Hops and Barley
Alright beer drinkers, we’ve got a BEST you need to check out at the Hops and Barley booth this year. There are LOTS of great beers at Food and Wine but we were especially wowed by the Beer Flight at this booth.
You get all three beer options for $9.75 so get ready to try the 81Bay Brewing Co. Strawberry and Lime, the SweetWater Brewing Company Hazy IPA, and the Lord Hobo Brewing Boom Sauce DIPA. All three of these beers were delicious!
Chilaquiles con Chorizo at Mexico
The Mexico booth has staked its claim on the Best Booth of the Fest in years past, will it this year? You’ll have to read on to find out 😉. But we CAN tell you that it certainly had a Best of the Fest dish with the Chilaquiles con Chorizo for $7.
This dish is Crispy Corn Tortillas tossed in Salsa Verde and Monterey Jack Cheese topped with Crema Mexicana, Queso Cotija, Pickled Onions, and Ground Chorizo and oh wow is it good. It’s kind of like a Mexican lasagna and it has a REAL kick to it! We absolutely loved the Salsa Verde too.
Tuna Poke at Hawai’i
Don’t sleep on the Hawai’i booth! One of the improved items here this year is the Tuna Poke for $7. So yes, this item isn’t NEW new (Tuna Poke used to be a regular at this booth) but the accompaniments of Eel Sauce, Spicy Mayonnaise, and Crispy Shrimp Chips ARE new — and made it the first time Hawai’i’s Tuna Poke has made Best of the Fest!
If you’re not a seafood fan, this probably won’t make YOUR Best of the Fest, but we HAD to put it on here for those who DO like seafood! There’s a ton of flavor in this generous portion and don’t worry, it’s not too spicy either.
Roasted Porchetta at The Swanky Saucy Swine
Who knew pork could taste so good? The pork was oh-so-tender, the potatoes were boiled so well. They had that nice crisp outside and that soft inside. And the sauce added a subtle sweetness that brought it all together.
Crispy Pig Ear Salad at The Swanky Saucy Swine
Yes, really. We’re putting a Crispy Pig Ear Salad on our Best of the Fest list. No, we regret nothing. This dish was AMAZING. Did we think we’d be saying that about Crispy Pig Ear Salad with Fire Roasted Tomatillo Sauce, Pickled Red Onions, Queso Fresco, Roasted Corn Salsa, and Avocado Cream? No, we did not.
BUT, this $5.25 dish was one of our favorite things we ate ALL DAY. The pig ear kind of tastes like salty, crispy bacon, and the various flavors in the dish marry SO WELL. We’ll be getting this one again and again.
Roasted Lamb Chop at Australia
Here’s one that surprised us: The Roasted Lamb Chop in Australia! This dish is served with Sweet Potato Purée, Bush Berry Pea Salad, and Pistachio-Pomegranate Gremolata for $8.25 and we were big fans.
In fact, we’d go as far as to say that even folks that don’t LOVE lamb might like this eat. It’s a sizeable portion and it has some really developed flavors. The pomegranate especially helped it to stand out!
Fried Falafel Pita at Tangierine Cafe: Flavor of Medina
The falafel was like giant buttery hushpuppies (but a little bit healthier 😂) and the Tahini sauce made it SO MUCH BETTER than it already was. We’re talking creamy, crunchy, and all-around amazing.
Strawberry Rose Mimosa at France
Though France didn’t bring the house down with its eats this year, we did LOVE the drinks. The wines were all amazing, but we ESPECIALLY loved the Strawberry Rose Mimosa for $8.50.
This drink is a tasty combination of Pol Remy Sparkling Wine, Orange Juice, and Monin Strawberry Rose. It walks the line between sophisticated and refreshing PERFECTLY and each sip leaves you wanting to take another.
These items are BACK and as TASTY as ever, once again landing a spot on our Best of the Fest list!
Schinkennudeln at Germany
We were pumped to see that the Germany booth brought back one of our absolute favorite dishes (and you should be too!). The Schinkennudeln is a tried and true favorite, even if it isn’t much of a looker.
This sizeable portion of Pasta Gratin is LOADED with Ham, Onions, and Cheese for just $4.50. It’s SO densely rich and cheesy (so much so that we consider it shareable) and an absolute MUST HAVE if you’re a cheese fiend (like we are). Bonus! It’s an item on Emile’s Fromage Montage!
The Corned Beef Corner Route at Flavors from Fire
This next one is certainly one of our all-time favorites. The Corned Beef Corner Route has been around for a while, and honestly, what’s not to love? Looking at this dish is enough to know it’s a contender for Best of the Fest.
What does it? Probably all that CHEEEEEEEESE. But this $5.50 portion of Smoked Corned Beef with Crispy Potatoes, Cheese Curds, Pickled Onions, and Beer-Cheese Fondue is delicious all around.
Mimosas at Shimmering Sips Hosted By CORKCICLE
Another group of items that’s back and as good as ever are the Mimosas at Shimmering Sips Hosted By CORKCICLE. This spot is honestly kind of an underrated HIT and all of their mimosas are both gorgeous AND delicious. Did you know their Tropical Mimosa is made with Passion Fruit, Orange, and Guava juices? It’s a literal POG Mimosa!
If you’ve got a group though, we recommend giving ALL of the Mimosasa a try! They’re $6.25 each and every one is loaded with tasty flavors. Try the Key Lime Mimosa with Key Lime Sparkling Wine and Cranberry Juice or the Blood Orange Mimosa with Sparkling Wine and Blood Orange Juice — or just get the Mimosa Flight for $13 and try them all!
Freshly Baked Carrot Cake at Hops and Barley
Next up, we’ve got a returning sweet treat that continues to win our hearts over and over again. Head on over to Hops and Barley to try the delicious and delectable Freshly Baked Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing. Oooooh yeah.
This $4.25 sweet is served warm so that that icing just melts down the sides. It is SO good with freshly grated carrot and perfectly balanced spices. Keep in mind, you might end up a little sticky so grab plenty of napkins!
Kalua Pork Slider at Hawai’i
For $5.75, you’ll get one of these absolutely DELISH little sandwiches with Sweet-and-Sour DOLE Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise. The flavors marry perfectly into a sweet and spicy combination that keeps us coming back for more and more.
Canadian Cheddar Cheese and Bacon Soup at Canada
And our final returning option is over at the Canada booth with the Canadian Cheddar Cheese and Bacon Soup for $5.75. This soup might just be our true love, at least that’s how we usually feel about the Cheddar Cheese Soup at Le Cellier in the Canada Pavilion.
This is a VERY popular dish that has become a staple of the Food and Wine Festival (and it crops up at other festivals too). We would dunk almost anything into this cheesy vat and that pretzel roll is certainly a strong contender.
Griddled Cheese at Greece
The cheese itself is super creamy and when you add the sweetness of the honey and the saltiness and complexity of the pistachios, you’re in for a bite to savor. This eat kind of makes us feel like Remy when he eats the cheese and strawberry together in Ratatouille.
BEST Booth of the FEST
Alright, now that we’ve gone through ALL of the worthy items, it’s time to take things a step further. We’re revealing our picks for BEST of the booths at the fest. If you’re only visiting a few booths, we say these should be the ones!
YES, a BRAND NEW booth shot STRAIGHT to the Best of the Fest position this year! In fact, it was kind of an easy decision this booth was so good. The Swanky Saucy Swine fully earned its place at the top with a robust menu full of flavor and perfect execution.
Everything at this booth had merit. Between the JAW-DROPPING Porchetta and Crispy Pig Ear Salad, the delicious Sticky Ribs and Pork Rinds, and the tasty mix of drinks; you’ll be sure to find us visiting The Swanky Saucy Swine in the future (and you should too!). Plus, it’s easily got the best name. 😉
Runners-Up for Best Booth of the Fest
Our first runner-up is a little bit less surprising than our winner. Mexico has been a consistently tasty booth since it was introduced and this year was no different. We certainly can’t fault it for CONSISTENTLY being one of our favorite booths!
This year, Mexico takes second place with a menu of NEW savory favorites, and a returning sweet one. Add Mexican Craft Beer, a Sangria, and TWO MARGARITAS and we’re happy campers.
Did you see this one coming? You probably did. The Donut Box is an AWESOME booth for anyone who loves donuts. Are there people who don’t like donuts?
With sweet and savory options (ok, maybe the savory ones still have some sweetness), we LOVED the variety of donuts on this menu. As a BONUS, two of the donuts will rotate throughout the festival, meaning we have PLENTY of opportunities to try new treats.
And there’s a little bit of a caveat on this next one. Rotunda Bistro lands in Best Booth of the Fest territory ONLY if you’re a seafood fan. If not, you might want to steer clear!
Though none of the items quite edged their way onto the best list (They’re each just a BIT too particular to appeal to everyone), they were all delicious in their own right (just maybe not everyone’s taste). Our favorite was the Wild Mushroom and Truffle Tart, but did you know you can get CAVIAR for less than $7 here too? Plus, the booth is in the AC!
Most Anticipated Booth of the Fest
We’ve got a new category this year! Though this booth didn’t QUITE wow us enough to land a “best” spot, it was certainly our MOST ANTICIPATED booth of the fest (or maybe ever!).
The Noodle Exchange
We’ve been waiting SO LONG for a noodle-focused booth and finally, Food and Wine delivered! The Noodle Exchange features HUGE portions of noodle soups and we couldn’t be happier we can now pay it a visit.
This booth is an especially great stop if you like pho or spicier dishes. Some of these eats had a real kick. Our favorite portion was the Shrimp and Coconut Curry Rice Noodles, but we’re still grinning that there’s a noodle booth in our lives at all!
Best of the Fest for Kids
Now let’s talk about the best option for kiddos!
Teriyaki Chicken Bun at Japan
This festival has a lot of complex flavors, so it can sometimes be hard to please the pickier palates of kiddos. Luckily, the Japan booth comes to the rescue with an eat that is juuuuust adventurous enough while still offering kid-friendly flavors and textures.
The Teriyaki Chicken Bun is a Steamed Bun filled with Chicken, Vegetables, and Teriyaki Sauce. If your kid likes Teriyaki, they’re probably going to enjoy this eat. Plus, it’s finger food! Snag it for $6.50.
Best Plant-Based Item of the Fest
We’ve got a winner for those who don’t eat meat too!
Spicy Githeri at Refreshment Outpost
The Spicy Githeri with White Beans, Pigeon Peas, Ben’s Original Quinoa & Ancient Grains Medley, and Kachumbari Slaw at Refreshment Outpost might not be the prettiest dish at the festival, but it was HANDS DOWN the most flavorful!
In fact, even if you’re not a plant-based guest, head on over to Refreshment Outpost when you’re looking for a kick. You’ll be surprised by the amazing way this dish comes together to produce a super cohesive bite. Snag it for $4.75.
It’s true, we tasted some SERIOUSLY amazing flavors today, but some of these eats and sips had some seriously good looks too. A few years back, we introduced the most Instagrammable item of the Fest to give some love to the PRETTIEST items with the best presentation or “wow” factor, even if they may not taste that great.
Pistachio Cake at Tangierine Cafe: Flavor of Medina
We’ve got GREAT news. Our Instagram winner isn’t JUST the most beautiful eat at the fest, but it’s ALSO delicious. In fact, the Pistachio Cake at Tangierine Cafe: Flavor of Medina would STILL be on our list even if it were ugly.
This $4.75 dessert made with Cinnamon Pastry Cream and Candied Walnuts is topped with a beautiful mosaic tile. Plus, the vibrant greens help it to look just as amazing as it tastes.
Phew! It just might be time for a food-fueled nap! We love us an EPCOT festival and EPCOT Food and Wine Festival did NOT let us down The best part? This festival is sticking around for a few more months so we’ll have plenty of chances to grab seconds (and thirds!) of all our favorites — plus even MORE new dishes when the remaining booths open on October 1st!
Which of these bests do YOU want to try? Tell us in the comments!