Figuring out where to eat on your Disney World vacation can be confusing, especially if you don’t know about all your options!
Luckily, that’s where we come in — we’ve been to every single restaurant and snack stand in Disney World and we know which ones are worth your time. From the parks to resorts, we’re bringing you our complete guide to eating around Disney World — and it’s time to head to Disney’s Contemporary Resort!
We’re taking a look at every single restaurant at the Contemporary, and even mentioning our top eats at each one! This resort is closest to Magic Kingdom, and it’s easier to pop over during a quick park day than you might think — give these restaurants a try if you’re tired of regular park food or just want to take a break from the parks.
We do want to mention that restaurant menus can often change in Disney World, so make sure you double-check what might be available before your trip. And now, onto the good stuff!
California Grill is probably the most well-known restaurant and the Contemporary, boasting unforgettable views of Magic Kingdom and signature Pacific Coast cuisine. You’ll find the restaurant at the top of the hotel. In the past, it has been recognized by the Michelin Guide.
California Grill is currently presenting a new, special dining experience for a limited time in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort, but that will most likely change after the 50th anniversary celebrations end in March.
The 3-course prix fixe menu features favorites like the House-made Artisanal-style Duck À L’Orange Pizza — made with Duck Prosciutto and Confit, Pickled Shallots, Orange-Black Mission Fig Jam, Aged Blue Cheese, and Arugula.
We also love the Braised Beef Short Rib Wontons. They are spicy in the best way and come with SO. MUCH. FLAVOR. TBH, we could eat these daily. We especially loved the garlic chili oil.
In the past, California Grill has served brunch, and we’re excited to see what might happen when the 50th anniversary ends. Chances are we’ll see a new menu pop up — so stay tuned for updates.
See Our Latest Review of California Grill Here
PLEASE NOTE: Currently, Chef Mickey’s is serving an all-you-care-to-enjoy Family Feast, featuring a family-style dining experience. The restaurant’s traditional full Buffet service will return on March 1, 2023!
Join Mickey and the gang for a character meal at Chef Mickey’s! Located in the atrium of the Contemporary, you’ll be surrounded by bright colors, fun entertainment, plus Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto, and Goofy!
Serving breakfast and dinner, this long-standing character restaurant location is a favorite for kids and adults alike. The food is good (and getting better), the close-to-the-Magic-Kingdom location at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is good for a quick respite from the parks, and the celebration songs and parades are fun for everyone.
Breakfast favorites include Mickey Waffles, Biscuits and Gravy, and Smoked Bacon. And can we talk about that Potato-Cheese Casserole?! We could eat that stuff every single day.
At dinner, savor dishes like a trio of appetizer salads, Roasted Garlic Gratin Potatoes, and the incredible Prime Rib with Mushroom Ragoût and Roasted Onions. The Prime Rib, we’re happy to say, is downright impressive. The meat was wonderfully cooked and well-seasoned, and the mushroom gravy was an awesome complement to the dish.
The menu offerings may change when Chef Mickey’s returns to buffet-style service in March, so stay tuned for updates and a full review.
FULL Review of Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Our first quick-service spot on the list, Contempo Cafe is a great place to grab something on the go or to sit and savor. You’ll find classic quick service options such as flatbreads, salads, and hot and cold sandwiches, alongside some standouts like a terrific Pot Roast dish for dinner. The bakery case is where you’ll find some of the best desserts in Disney World!
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served here — so there’s plenty to choose from. Some breakfast favorites include Mickey Waffles, and for lunch you’ll find classics like Chicken Caesar Salad, a Spicy Chicken Sandwich, a burger, and more.
For dinner, we can’t get enough of the Beef Pot Roast. It’s been one of our favorites ever since we discovered it years ago! Rich Brown Gravy coats a substantial portion of Sunday-dinner-at-Grandma’s-good Pot Roast. It’s not always on the menu but it does pop up now and again — so grab it if you can.
Of course, we have to mention our love for the Contempo Cafe Peanut Butter Pie. Right now, it’s a special 50th anniversary edition that isn’t our favorite, but it’s made with a Vanilla Tart Shell filled with Custard and Peanut Butter filling, drizzled with Chocolate Ganache, and topped with Crispy Chocolate Pearls.
Contempo Cafe is a great spot no matter what time of day you stop by!
See Our Latest Review of Contempo Cafe Here
Looking for a quick spot to grab a cup of coffee on your way to Magic Kingdom? Contemporary Grounds is your answer! You’ll find coffee, pastries, and specialty coffee drinks. This quick service spot also offers options for Disney-inspired Latte Art! It’s also a pretty decent place for remote working if that’s something that interests you.
You’ll find Contemporary Grounds in the lobby of the resort. In the past, we’ve tried fun pastries like the GIANT Unicorn Donut, Lemon Pound Cake, and a Croissant Donut, but you can also get smoothies, brewed coffee, teas, and espresso drinks here too.
Keep this spot in mind the next time you need a little pick-me-up or sweet treat.
Learn More About Contemporary Grounds Here
Outer Rim is a casual lounge that offers guests views of the Monorail as it zips through the Contemporary Resort. It’s a great place to go for a pre-dinner drink or a relaxing evening right in the middle of all the action of the Contemporary Resort’s 4th Floor Grand Canyon Concourse. You’ll find this comfortable spot right by Chef Mickey’s and Contempo Cafe — two high-energy eateries.
Since this is a lounge, you can expect that it’s not a great place for kiddos since there’s not much other than soda and mocktails for them here. Their “standout” drinks like the Blue Glowtini, Pina CoLAVA, and Moscow Mule are bar staples across Disney World Resort, and you’ll find Outer Rim’s generic “Disney Bar Menu” in TONS of other places.
Though their menu is typically limited, Outer Rim is a reliable watering hole to stop by to cap off your long day at Disney World.
Check Out Our FULL Page on Outer Rim Here
The Sand Bar
Looking for somewhere to grab a drink and a snack poolside? The Sand Bar is the Contemporary Resort’s pool bar, serving options for a poolside meal in addition to tropical cocktails, beer, and wine. It’s a modern poolside counter located in the Contemporary Resort’s marina and pool area.
While the food menu is limited (you can grab a burger or hot dog here, or a snack like an ice cream treat), there is a full bar menu along with classic beachy cocktails like Mai Tais and Banana Cabanas up for grabs. There are also a few different Margaritas, and the classic poolside favorite: Piña CoLAVA.
Entrees include a 1/3 lb Angus Cheeseburger, Foot-Long All-Beef Hot Dog, and a Garden Salad. For easy snacking, grab some Nachos with Chili and Cheese, French Fries, or a classic Mickey Pretzel.
There’s nothing to write home about here, but you’ll leave full and satisfied (whether it’s from food or booze!).
See Our FULL Page on The Sand Bar Pool Bar Here
Oh, Steakhouse 71. You are quite possibly our favorite new restaurant in Disney World. We’d make the trek from Magic Kingdom just to eat here (especially since the table service spots in Magic Kingdom are notoriously… underwhelming). This restaurant is a new table-service dining option serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The “71” is a nod to the opening year of Walt Disney World and the restaurant itself opened on the 50th Anniversary of the Resort, October 1, 2021! It’s also accompanied by the Steakhouse 71 Lounge.
We’ve loved Walt’s Prime Rib Hash and Steakhouse 71 Seasonal Pancakes in the past for breakfast, and at lunch, you can find the incredible French Onion Soup featuring a rich beef broth, crouton, and Gratinée Cheese. Plus, we can’t get enough of the Steakhouse 71 Onion Rings!
This spot is also home to what might be the best burger on Disney World property…seriously. The Steakhouse 71 Stack Burger is made with a signature blend of beef, American cheese, lemon aïoli, red onion, and house-made pickles. It’s all served on a brioche bun. Also, while it is not listed on the menu, the burger patty is topped with a piece of pork belly.
Dinner is primarily steak-focused, and we’ve had stellar experiences with the Lump Crab Cakes and the 12-oz Roasted Prime Rib & Classic Yorkshire Pudding. And of course, don’t forget dessert! The Steakhouse 71 Chocolate Cake is made with le monde chocolate (a Disney exclusive chocolate partnership), and a milk chocolate filling.
Pro-Tip: Even if it’s not listed on the menu, we’ve been able to order the burger at dinner and a petite filet at lunch!
Check Out Our Dinner Review of Steakhouse 71 Here
Top of the World Lounge
Top of the World Lounge is an exclusive bar open to Disney Vacation Club members only, located at the top of Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary. Like the California Grill, it offers spectacular views of the Magic Kingdom. However, you should be warned… Top of the World was recently taken over by Disney Villains, and it is now known as Top of the World: A Villains Lair!
It’s open daily from 6PM to midnight, with seating available on a first-come, first-served basis. Disney Vacation Club Members with access to Membership Extras and who are staying in Disney World Resort hotels can enjoy this exclusive spot, and guests staying on Members’ reservations are also eligible!
You can find Villains-themed eats like The Empress Charcuterie Board, herb-roasted Unfortunate Souls Shrimp, Lair-Made Hummus, and Who’s Afraid of Pork Belly Sliders. We loved the Cosmic Power Flatbread. It’s topped with plant-based za’atar-spiced “beef,” caramelized onion spread, pickled onions, and “tzatziki.”
For drinks, try The Underworld. This drink is made with handcrafted traditional Spanish Opici, white sangria, peach puree, and blue curacao orange liqueur. Other favorites were The Lion’s Uncle and the Cursed Pirate!
Check Out Our Review of the NEW Villains-Theme Lounge Here
To learn more about every SINGLE restaurant in Disney World, the most unique dining experiences, and more, check out our DFB Guide to Disney World Dining! We’ve compiled all of our BEST tips and tricks from years of Disney World travel into one eBook that you can download to your tablet or smartphone and take with you! We’re offering our readers 25% off with code WDW2023.
Be sure to stay tuned to DFB for the latest Disney World dining news and more!
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What’s your favorite restaurant in Disney World? Let us know in the comments!
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