The dining scene at Disneyland has seen many changes in recent years. DCA’s re-launch added some amazing options while Disneyland retooled its menus just slightly, and upgraded a few popular locations with more space and more options. Needless to say, the choices can leave the new or infrequent visitor scratching their heads.
Here are some “insider tips” to help all guests find the best Disneyland dining options:
Favorite spots for outdoor dining: The terrace at Wine Country Trattoria, the patio at Carthay Circle Restaurant and the back patio at Flo’s V-8 Cafe in Cars Land, all at Disney California Adventure Park; Carnation Cafe on Main Street, U.S.A., the front porch of Plaza Inn and River Belle Terrace (where we’re told Walt Disney used to have breakfast on Sunday mornings), all in Disneyland Park; the terrace at Napa Rose, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa; Uva Bar, Downtown Disney District.
Most romantic dinner spot: It’s a toss-up between Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa (above) and a corner table at Steakhouse 55 in the Disneyland Hotel.
Tops for families: Gather round the table for breakfast or dinner at Goofy’s Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel, where the Disney characters will have you dancing, or Blue Bayou Restaurant in Disneyland Park, with twinkling lights and a magical ambiance. Storytellers Cafe at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa spurs family conversation with beautiful wall murals that depict tall tales set in the Golden State’s early days.
Fill ‘er up: Favorite self-serve, buffet-style restaurants include breakfast at Plaza Inn, Disneyland Park; Goofy’s Kitchen (brunch and dinner), the Disneyland Hotel; breakfast at Disney’s PCH Grill, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel; and breakfast at Storytellers Cafe, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.
Best place to grab a quick sandwich: Cozy Cone Motel, Disney California Adventure Park; Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe and Hungry Bear in Disneyland Park; Earl of Sandwich or La Brea Bakery at Downtown Disney District.
Where is Mickey Mouse? Best place to find the Big Cheese is Surf’s Up! Breakfast with Mickey and Friends at Disney’s PCH Grill at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel.
Best steak dinner: Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel (the generous bone-in rib-eye is a hands-down favorite), or the grilled filet of Angus beef tenderloin at Napa Rose. (Editor: Catal Restaurant at Downtown Disney has always been my fav.)
Best cup of coffee: Starbucks at Market House on Main Street, U.S.A., in Disneyland Park, and at Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe at Disney California Adventure Park.
Best vegetarian: All table-service restaurants offer vegetarian choices, but for creations with the season’s freshest ingredients, guests may try Catal Restaurant and Uva Bar at Downtown Disney District, or Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.
How to order kosher meals: Kosher meals are available at most table-service restaurants at the Disneyland Resort. A 24-hour notice is required, and the meals are purchased from an outside vendor. Guests also may bring their own preferred kosher products.
Allergies, special diets: Chefs are happy to accommodate with advance notice by calling 714-781-DINE, or just ask for the chef when you arrive.
Grown-ups’ night out: For an evening without the kids, favorites include Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and Steakhouse 55, at the Disneyland Hotel.
Outstanding wine list: Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa offers a selection of 80 wines by the glass from an award-winning list of more than 450 international wines (80 percent Californian) and a 17,000-bottle cellar.
Best lounges: Steakhouse 55 or Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar, both at the Disneyland Hotel; Napa Rose or Hearthstone Lounge, both at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, and the lounge downstairs at Carthay Circle Restaurant, in Disney California Adventure Park.
Best Place to Take A Break: Grab some ice cream or a corn dog and sit on the Main Street porch. It was Walt’s favorite spot to watch the crowds go by.
Where do you like to go to eat, have a steak, enjoy a drink, or just watch the crowds go buy at Disneyland?