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11 of the Best Dining Experiences at Disney World

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We’ve found some of the best dining experiences in Disney World and thought we’d share them. Offering more than great food, these incredible restaurants are an experience in and of themselves, transporting you to new locations with a different flair.

You’ll find a variety of dining choices across the four theme parks to meet a range of food preferences. Some are better than others, so keep reading for our top picks.

Best Place to Eat in Disney World: Table Service Restaurants

Animal Kingdom’s Asia Is Home to One of the Best Dining Experiences at Disney World

Interior of Yak and Yeti Restaurant, one of the best places to eat in Disney World
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At Animal Kingdom, Tiffin’s might have the fame and recognition, but Yak and Yeti Restaurant isn’t letting that stand in its way when it comes to serving up mammoth-sized proportions in a lively Napalese-themed eatery. Stepping through the doors surrounded by Asian artifacts, it’s easy to imagine that you’ve just disembarked from a week-long journey through the mountains, lived through the yeti encounter on the famed Expedition Everest, and are now enjoying a well-earned meal. If that doesn’t count as one of the best dining experiences at Disney World, I don’t know what would.

We were fortunate enough to be seated on the upstairs veranda with open air access overlooking the main waterway through the park. We found the ambiance just right and the food well worth the cost of a table service meal at Disney.

The menu features a number of Asian-inspired meals. The lo mein chicken is hearty enough for two, and the seared tuna appetizer is worthy of a family coming off a seven-day trek. We found the wait staff more than attentive for our needs and were happy to add Yak and Yeti to our list of the best places to eat in Disney World.

If you decide to try it for yourself, keep in mind that there are two Yak and Yeti named eateries at Animal Kingdom. Yak and Yeti café offers Asian inspired short order food and used to be one of the few places where you could grab breakfast in the park. To enjoy the Pan Asian culinary delights and Napalese ambiance, look for Yak and Yeti Restaurant.

What Our Reviewers Said About Yak & Yeti

Yak and Yeti Restaurant receives the following rankings as one of the best dining experiences at Disney World parks, according to our testers.

Value for cost:   4.5 stars (meals are costly but portions are large, making them easily shareable)
Ambiance:  5 stars
Attentiveness of wait staff:  4 stars
Quality/tastiness of food:4.5 stars

A Trip to Germany Reveals One of the Best Dining Experiences at Disney World EPCOT

It's always Oktoberfest at Biergarten, one of the best places to eat at Disney World
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EPCOT park, as home to the world showcase, offers some of the tastiest and most unique fare in all of Disney World. And serving up some of the best culinary delights is the Biergarten Restaurant, located in the Germany pavilion.

For years, we avoided this restaurant thinking German cuisine wouldn’t be to our liking. Several visits ago, we broke protocol and stopped for lunch. We were astounded by the breadth of the buffet selections and by how much our party of six enjoyed the meal.

Biergarten hosts guests buffet style at communal tables serving 8, and serves up some of the best German dishes for the asking, including traditional German sausages, schnitzel and other native side dishes. The restaurant also offers a fair selection of German beers for the adventurous to try.

Taking a meal at Biergarten is like stepping into Oktoberfest, with performances by a lively polka-inspired band with shows occurring regularly. Since this is one of the few restaurants in EPCOT that offers entertainment, it is well worth a visit if you’re taking a trip to Disney World this year.

What Our Reviewers Said About Biergarten

Biergarten receives the following rankings as one of the best dining experiences at Disney World, according to our testers.

Value for cost:   3.5 stars
Ambiance:  4 stars (When the band is performing it can be quite loud)
Attentiveness of wait staff:  5 stars
Quality/tastiness of food:5 stars

Take a Visit to the Beast’s Castle

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If your family is home to some hardcore Belle fans or you just want to see the inside of the Beast’s magnificent castle, one of the best places to eat in Disney World right now  is in the Magic Kingdom. We’re talking about Be Our Guest, a restaurant that remains one of the most difficult advanced dining reservations to book.

Upon entering the castle, you might find the menu a little unorthodox for a theme park, but even Disney foodies will enjoy the taste and quality of the meal. We had the Center-cut Filet Mignon which was tender and perfectly cooked, accompanied by a smattering of roasted vegetables and mashed potatoes.

If the portions appear small at first glance, each meal, including appetizer and dessert, offered plenty of substance to quench our appetites. However, most families joining us for the hour were more interested in the regular appearances of the very regal and accommodating host than in the food itself. Beast makes periodic turns around the various rooms of his castle.

Center cut filet mignon served at be our guest, one of the best places to eat at Disney World
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The Beast was certainly at his solicitous best during his regularly scheduled walk-throughs. He made a point of waving to all of his guests and taking the time to offer a courtly bow to those young belles eagerly seeking his attention.

Offering great food and a gracious host, the only drawback to Be Our Guest is the price tag. Lunch for a party of 4 can easily set you back more than a couple hundred dollars, but if you’re looking to splurge while on vacation, we have one more little tidbit that might tip the scales in favor of the Beast. A stop at Be Our Guest is the only chance you’ll have to try the gray stuff and see that it really is delicious.

What Our Reviewers Said About Be Our Guest

Be Our Guest receives the following rankings as one of the best dining experiences at Disney World, according to our testers.

Value for cost:   2.5 stars (This is easily one of the most expensive restaurants at Disney World)
Ambiance:  4 stars (main dining room is quite loud)
Attentiveness of wait staff:  5 stars
Quality/tastiness of food:5 stars

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Leaving Earth to Find the Best Dining Experiences at Disney World

Inside EPCOT"s Space 220 Restaurant, one of the best dining experiences at Disney World, looking out on the curve of the earth.
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Normally, you don’t have to go far to find unique or fanciful dining experiences at Disney World, but EPCOT park has always been a little different. From the cultural shores of distant lands to local farm fresh goodness, restaurants within the park have a healthy obsession with serving up the unusual. In 2020, they took that mission to space, and now liftoff daily to a space station miles above the ground.

You’ll board your space lift at a fitting location-next to the Mission Space ride. Once you’re onboard, you’ll rapidly rise the distance into space, watching as the earth disappears below your feet and the space station comes into view above your head.

Once your lift locks into place and the doors open, you’re onboard. Large windows display the curve of the earth below against the black emptiness of space.

As you dine on familiar earthbound fare, you’ll notice that space is actually quite active. Shuttle craft circle your location regularly and astronauts are always at work, keeping the space station in safe working repair. If you keep your eyes open, you might even see an astrodog.

Space 220 serves some interesting options, but tasters reported mixed reviews. Chicken, steak and calamari received high marks while other dishes didn’t rank as high.

What Our Reviewers Said About Space 220

Overall, our tasters gave Space 220 the following marks, while still recommending it as one of the best dining experiences at Disney World.

Value for cost:   3.25 stars
Ambiance:  5 stars
Attentiveness of wait staff:  4.25 stars
Quality/tastiness of food:3.5 stars

Say Aloha to the Polynesian Islands: O’hana Restaurant Lunch and Dinner

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If space is a little too far to travel for lunch or dinner, the Polynesian Village Resort Hotel offers an extraordinary dining experience a little closer to home. Say Aloha to O’hana, a word that means family in central Pacific communities, and that’s just how you’ll be treated at this all-you-care to eat, family style buffet.

Casual crooners seranade guests with a string of Hawaiian favorites, while attentive hosts servce courses from Signature O’hana bread topped with honey butter to the restaurant’s sought after bread pudding, served a la mode with homemade caramel sauce. In between, dishes of wood-fired meat are served, accompanied by pork fired dumplints, ‘Ohana Noodles, and stir-fry vegetables. It’s a feast for the senses and the soul as you let the island vibes wash away your cares. The restaurant also offers a nice view of Cinderella’s castle, a real boon if you happen to be dining when one of the nightly fireworks shows is displaying.

What Our Reviewers Said About Space 220

Overall, our tasters gave O’hana the following marks, out of 5 possible stars, while recommending it as one of the best dining experiences at Disney World.

Value for cost:  3.5 stars
Ambiance:  4.25 stars
Attentiveness of wait staff:  3.5 stars – one taster who was an allergy sufferer was served an unsafe dish from wait staff who insisted it was free of her particular allergen. This is the only reason for the low score and thankfully an isolated incident in our experience. Disney usually does a tremendous job of handling allergies.
Quality/tastiness of food:4.85 stars

Best Places to Eat in Disney World: Counter Service Restaurants

While Disney table service restaurants offer some of the best dining experiences at Disney World, with immersive theming and delightful elements, some of Disney’s quicker food options also double down on the experience factor. Here are our picks for best counter service dining experiences found at Disney World.

Have a Snack with the Beast’s Nemesis

Proof that Gaston really does use antlers in all of his decorating at Gaston's Tavern, one of the best places to eat in Disney World.
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It’s hard to believe that a man who uses antlers in all of his decorating could have a flair for serving up tasty treats, but the dastardly Gaston is full of surprises. A stop at his tavern in the Magic Kingdom reveals some delightful eats, one of them unique within the Disney culinary realm.

La Fou’s brew, named for Gaston’s foolhardy sidekick, is a frozen, slush drink topped with marshmallow mango foam. At first thought, these tastes shouldn’t go together, and yet they do, providing a refreshingly cool way to take a break from the Florida heat.

LaFou's brew served at Gaston's tavern, one of the best places to eat in Disney World
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Gaston’s is also known for larger than life cinnamin rolls, the kind we used to buy and share from the Main Street Bakery. We do the same at Gaston’s. Divvying up one or two of these sweet treats is a great way to rest your weary feet and settle a score with your stomach at the same time.

You’ll also have the chance to view Gaston’s decorating taste in action and catch a glimpse of his fireside chair. One sight of this and you’ll believe he really is the size of a barge.

What Our Reviewers Said About Gaston’s Tavern

Gaston’s receives the following rankings as one of the best dining experiences at Disney World, according to our testers.

Value for cost:   4 stars
Ambiance:  5 stars (main dining room is quite loud)
Attentiveness of wait staff:  4 stars
Quality/tastiness of food:4.5 stars

Plan Your Disney World Vacation the Easy Way! Request a Quote Today

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Disney World vacation planners and travel agent. Fill out the form to the right for your free, no obligation quote or contact kathleen@mickeyworldtravel.com. You’ll never pay more booking your Disney vacation with a travel agent, but the planning help and service is invaluable.


Just Past Flight of Passage is Satu’li Canteen

Exterior of Sa'tuli Canteen, one of the best places to eat in Disney World
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While most guests entering Animal Kingdom make a fast and determined beeline toward the Flight of Passage ride, we’ve learned that the land of Avatar is also serving up some of the best food in the park at Sa’tuli Canteen.

Satu’li Canteen is a counter service restaurant featuring the art and culture of the Na’vi people. You’ll enjoy your meal inside a former RDA mess hall, amidst eclectic art adorning a sterile food service environment.

Interior theming of Sa'tuli Canteen, one of the best places to eat in Disney World
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While the theming may be spot on for the Na’vi, we prefer to enjoy our meals on the covered outdoor patio. There is always a quiet cool corner to hide away from the crowds and noise.

As Disney quick-service dining menus go, Sa’tuli Canteen is one of the more unique choices. Dishes here feature several meat options served over your selection of base. When the restaurant first opened, our favorite meal here was the sampler platter, providing a taste of each type of base, including red and sweet potato hash, noodles, rice and beans, and salad. These days, you’ll have to select your brand of protein from the available grilled beef, chicken or shrimp atop a single base option.   

To guide your choices, beef and chicken were most popular with our group over rice or noodles. During our last visit, the potato hash was undercooked though pleasantly flavored.

If you’re wondering what makes this one of the best dining experiences at Disney World, we rank it high for outdoor seating. When you’re escaping the winter chill, it’s nice to sit outside and soak up the warmer temps. We also appreciate the immersive theming and the chance to watch your food spinning on the rotisserie.

What Our Reviewers Said About Satu’li Canteen

Satu’li Canteen receives the following rankings as one of the best dining experiences at Disney World, according to our testers.

Value for cost:   4 stars
Ambiance:  3 stars
Attentiveness of wait staff:  5 stars (people even came to the table to refill our drinks)
Quality/tastiness of food:4.5 stars

Smoking up Barbecue in the Animal Kingdom Wilderness

Just around the corner from It’s a Bug’s Life inside the Animal Kingdom theme park, is the sprawling grounds of Flame Tree Barbecue. Flame Tree offers smoked meats and typical sides overlooking the Asian landscape and the rising majesty of Expedition Everest. What the food lacks in cohesion to its atmosphere is more than made up for by the taste.

The cost of a meal at Flame Tree is another definite advantage to eating here. Plating up a half a chicken with two sides isn’t much more expensive than eating at one of the local barbecue restaurants here at home in Connecticut.

Similar to Satu’li Canteen, there is always a quiet corner you can tuck into here and enjoy the sounds and sights of nature. Just be advised that some of those sites will be eager to join you. We are usually approached by several ducks, ibis and other birds scrounging for dropped scraps.

This is one of the reasons we’ve deemed this restaurant one of the best dining experiences at Disney World. Sure, you can walk through animal enclosures and even take an African safari at this park, but there’s nowhere else you can commune with the nature in quite the same way.

Begging birds are a common site at Flametree Barbecue, one of the best places to eat in Disney World.
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Flame Tree Barbecue receives the following rankings as one of the best dining experiences at Disney World, according to our testers.

Value for cost:   4 stars
Ambiance:  3 stars (Asian theming is a bit confusing for a barbecue restaurant, but the quiet, pleasant waterside atmosphere is soothing)
Attentiveness of wait staff:  2.75 stars
Quality/tastiness of food:4.5 stars

Restaurantosaurus and Cosmic Ray’s, Your Stop for Burgers and Such

Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe
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When nothing will do but a burger and fries, you’ll find more than a few options across the 4 theme parks. We’ve tried most of them, and since the change over of Pecos Bill to southwestern cuisine, have settled on two.

Cosmic Ray’s, located in Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland, is by far not one of the best places to eat at Disney World, but as burgers go, it has a few things going for it. One is the toppings bar. Toppings these days are limited to prepackaged tubs and items, but kids find the animatronic performance of the Alf-like Sonny Eclipse oddly mesmerizing.

With kids tucked into a steaming wrapper of comfort food and lulled into silence by Sonny’s antics, parents have a nice moment to kick back and relax. During our visit, that seemed to mean checking emails from work and catching up with friends via social media. You’ll be free to do whatever it takes to make a temporary escape from the endless walking, sites and sounds of a Disney World vacation.

As dining experiences go, it’s easy to miss out on what makes this restaurant special. All you have to do is sit in the wrong area. To revel in all the campy fun, be sure to sit in Sunny’s Lounge.

Though quite similar in menu, Restaurantosaurus at Animal Kingdom received higher marks from our test group. The burgers and fries, while appearing identical to those served at Cosmic Ray’s, seemed more palatable. Food was hotter and fries were fresher. The dino-themed ambiance, was also more agreeable though far less engaging for little ones.

Dino theming at Restaurantosaurus, one of the best places to eat in Disney World
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One standout menu item was the cobb salad. Ingredients offered just-picked freshness in an agreeably-sized package for the price.

If we’re evaluating experience, this one is a fun find. Ride the Dinosaur ride just across the way and then visit Restaurantosaurus to extend your adventure. You’ll find plenty of dinosaur memorabilia, making it easy to believe you’ve stepped into the paleontologists’ commisary for a bite to eat.

What Our Reviewers Said About Cosmic Ray’s and Restaurantosaurus

When it comes to evaluating food choices, Restaurantosaurus and Cosmic Ray’s received similar markings, but were considered some of the best places to eat in Disney World for grabbing a burger and fries.

COSMIC RAYS

Value for cost:   3.5 stars
Ambiance:  3.5 stars (Sonny Eclipse is mesmerizing for little ones but may seem loud to older adults)
Attentiveness of wait staff:  2.75 stars
Quality/tastiness of food:3.0 stars

RESTAURANTOSAURUS

Value for cost:   3.5 stars
Ambiance:  4.0 stars (main dining room is quite loud, so head to one of the side rooms)
Attentiveness of wait staff:  3.0 stars
Quality/tastiness of food:3.5 stars


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Mother daughter travel bloggers exploring the U.S.

We're Kat and Ali, a pair of mother-daughter travel bloggers exploring the U.S. We're sharing our experiences, tips and insights to help you more easily get out and explore the beautiful landscapes and places of this nation.

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Kathleen Hesketh

Kathleen is a travel agent with Mickey World Travel, a platinum level Authorized Disney vacation planner, where she helps people discover the magic of a Disney vacation and other travel destinations. She is also the chief author and editor for Seconds to Go - a travel blog where she shares experiences from traveling the U.S. with her daughters. Kathleen has been a professional writer for more than a decade, helping businesses craft compelling content to advance organizational goals.

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