There are plenty of unique dining spots at Disney World.
But if you’re a fan of music, you might just find yourself dining at House of Blues in Disney Springs. Sure, it IS a chain restaurant, but it’s a chain restaurant with loads of atmosphere and live music in the evenings, and sometimes that’s all you want. So we revisited House of Blues for the first time in a while to see if the food is as rockin’ as the music.
Here’s the deal — when we’ve visited House of Blues in the past, we generally had mixed feelings about the food. Our last visit, though, did surprise us, so we went into this particular dining experience with higher expectations. So how did the restaurant fare? Let’s find out!
House of Blues is one of many Disney World restaurants that has seating both indoors…
Outdoors is the Front Porch Bar, which offers drinks and live entertainment in the evenings. You can expect live music from 4PM to close during the week, and from 12PM-4PM and 5PM to close on Saturdays and Sundays.
For this particular visit, we chose to sit indoors. You’ll find both booths, along with standard tables and chairs here.
You’ll also find seating around the bar.
What we really like here about the atmosphere is the vibe. You can’t beat live music in the evenings, but we also love seeing the relics of blues legends that line the ceilings in the main dining room. The paintings and sculptures in here are done by over 60 Delta-region artists (Delta-region meaning the Mississippi Delta).
We also love the different types of music-related art dispersed through the restaurant. There are a few different rooms here, so if you get a chance, take a walk around the restaurant to check out all the art!
As we were visiting during the day, we didn’t get to hear any live music, but we still enjoy the bluesy feeling when we’re here!
The theme here is inspired by soul food, so the menu reflects a lot of Louisiana favorites, barbecue, and specialty burgers. If you want to start your meal with a drink, there are a variety of Beers, Wines, Cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages. House of Blues also has daily drink specials on Mondays through Thursdays from open to 5PM.
When it comes to food, you’ve got a choice of things like BBQ Nachos, Gumbo, and Voodoo Shrimp for Appetizers. Entrees include Shrimp and Grits, New York Strip, and BBQ Classics. You can also get a variety of Salads, Sandwiches, Burgers, Sides, and Desserts.
Another thing that we like about this restaurant is we feel the prices are more than fair for what you get. Here’s a hot tip: depending on who’s playing in the concert hall, you can sometimes get a deal on tickets and food.
There’s also a fun Jazz Brunch on the weekends that offers things like Breakfast Burritos, NY Steak & Eggs, and Chicken ‘N’ Donuts! Brunch also overlaps with the normal lunch menu for a couple hours on the weekend, so you can have more choices to choose from!
We started off with a drink — the Havana Twist Mojito for $13. It’s made with Havana Club 3-year blanco rum, simple syrup, mint, raspberry, blackberry, and lime. Let’s just say this — this is a VERY boozy drink! Whew! The rum is a VERY forward flavor here.
We barely tasted the mint, but liked the tartness from the blackberry and raspberry and the hint of lime. We will say this — this tastes nothing like a traditional mint mojito, so if that’s what you’re wanting, this is not that.
For an Appetizer, we were craving some Gumbo. The Gumbo here is made with andouille sausage, chicken, onion, bell pepper, celery, and cajun rice and costs $8 for a bowl. Our reporter actually moved to Orlando from New Orleans and was happy to report that this is good gumbo!
For example, we looked at the color — dark brown gumbo means it’s made with a dark roux. It also has the holy trinity of green bell pepper, onions, and celery. The rice is cooked perfectly, plus there’s a lot of flavor with the large chunks of sausage and chicken (although we felt like it could’ve used more meat).
Like all good gumbo, there’s okra in there, too. YUM. HOWEVER, this does have some kick, so if you don’t like spicy (New Orleans spicy, not Disney spicy), you probably don’t want to order this.
Now it’s on to the entrees. We went with another New Orleans favorite, Jambalaya for $21. This is made with sautéed chicken, andouille sausage, onion, bell pepper, celery, and Cajun rice. You can also add Cajun shrimp for $7, which is exactly what we did. This is a very flavorful dish, and again, we were surprised at how authentic it tasted.
When we took our first bite, we really got the hearty meat flavors and the seasoning from the rice. It’s so satisfying and filling (and honestly, you get enough that it’s shareable). The shrimp was also cooked to perfection. But we’ll say this again — this is SPICY (you can literally see the spices on the shrimp), so keep that in mind if you don’t want a lot of heat in your food.
We also ordered the Shrimp Po’Boy for $18. This sandwich is made with fried cajun shrimp, French bread, seasoned mayo, lettuce, dill pickle chips, and tomato. You also get a side of fries. Okay, so we hate to be the bearer of bad news — but when it comes to Po’Boys, this one is not a fave. For starters, we felt it needed more mayo. Plus the bread was really dry.
At this point, we were honestly disappointed because everything else had been so good. But, this is a nice sandwich for people who don’t like things as spicy. The shrimp are hand-battered and well-cooked — we thought that was the best part of the sandwich. We would seriously just eat the shrimp and leave everything else on the plate.
We can’t end a good meal without dessert, so we ordered up the Key Lime Pie for $8. It’s made with coconut graham cracker crust, whipped cream, lime zest, and shaved coconut. We found it to be a lot lighter than other Key Lime Pies we’ve had in the past, which was nice after the super heavy meal we had! The graham cracker crust also wasn’t crumbly, so it wasn’t too messy to eat.
The pie filling had a perfect balance of sweetness and tartness without being TOO sour. This is a solid dessert choice if you like these flavors!
If we had any criticism about this pie, though, is that we think the serving size should be a little bigger. We want a hefty piece of pie, Disney!
Nosh or Not?
Check out House of Blues if:
- You’re looking for live music. The atmosphere here at night can’t be beat and what’s better than eating good food WHILE grooving to some fun tunes?
- You like strong drinks and spicy food — even the drinks we’ve had here in the past have packed a punch, and many of the food options are spicy!
- You want fair prices. We feel like you get your money’s worth here, regardless of what you order.
- You want a quieter dining experience. It can get lively here, especially at night, so if you want a quiet meal, you won’t find it here.
- You want to eat more unique food. This is a chain restaurant after all, and if you’re the kind of person who wants to eat more unique fare while on vacation, you’ll probably want to skip House of Blues.
- You’re averse to spicy food. Although there are probably dishes on the menu with less heat, almost everything we tried had a kick.
While there are plenty of other restaurants at Disney Springs to choose from, House of Blues is a nice spot if you want to grab some food and live entertainment at the same time. You can spend time hanging out on the front porch if you want to just chill in a spot that usually isn’t as crowded as other places in Disney Springs can be. And, it’s definitely a unique venue compared to other restaurants around it.
But, it still is a chain restaurant, meaning you can find it in other places around the United States. So, if you want to go somewhere that is more unique JUST to Disney Springs, that you can’t find anywhere else, we’d suggest another spot like Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, which has the distinctiveness of being different than your average restaurant, and a little more character specific to Disney World. If you still want live music, try out Raglan Road Irish Pub, which has live music and dancers to watch while you eat!
If you need a decent meal and everywhere else is busy, House of Blues will for sure get the job done. It’s a cool place if you’re into music history, or actually want to see live music. It’s not a bad restaurant — It brings some classic New Orleans flavor to Disney World that we didn’t expect, along with decent portion sizes at a fair price. But, we can’t say it’s one of the best spots in Disney Springs — there are just way too many awesome options that knock it down the list.
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Have you ever eaten at House of Blues? Let us know in the comments!