I recently started a series ranking the table-service and counter-service restaurants at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. We began in Disneyland and are now headed to the east coast, ranking Disney World’s table-service restaurant. This list does include signature restaurants (2-credits on the dining plan). As with the previous posts, I’ll be adding to this list as we go to more and more restaurants. We’ve already got quite a few ranked but are just over half way to all of them.
These restaurants include Disney World’s 4 parks, Disney Springs, and the numerous resorts scattered across property. Disney Springs ever-changing dining line-up has us only listing a few here. Along with that, there are some places that we’ve eaten that I won’t list because it’s been too long to give them a fair review/ranking.
Another caveat is that I’m leaving Victoria & Albert’s and the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue off the list. Victoria & Albert’s is so different (and better) that I can’t clump it in this list. Hoop-Dee-Doo is a dinner show, making it far different from anything else on the list.
The restaurants are ranked based off food, atmosphere, and value, among other things. If there are restaurants that you love that aren’t on our list then please let us know in the comments and we’ll try to get to them next time. Click on the restaurant name if you want to read the full review (a few don’t have a review). Let’s get to it!
42. Grand Floridian Cafe (Grand Floridian Resort) – I didn’t really want to rate this last. Some of my dislike for the restaurant may have come from too high of expectations. I have certainly had worse meals at Disney World than this, but the combinations of bland food, an underwhelming atmosphere and a limited menu all combine to make this last place for now. Your mileage may vary, I would recommend going for lunch and not dinner like we did.
41. La Hacienda de San Angel (Epcot) – It seems as if the better location a restaurant has in Epcot, the worse the food is. La Hacienda has prime location, sitting right on World Showcase’s Lagoon. The food misses the mark. The Mexican cuisine is no better than your local Azteca and the prices are certainly higher. There’s much better options in World Showcase.
40. Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater (Hollywood Studios) – It’s a cool environment and not a bad place to try if you really like American food. But the burgers were average, the food is incredibly heavy and the prices were pretty high for it essentially being a burger restaurant.
39. Coral Reef Restaurant (Epcot) – Eating at a restaurant that doubles as an aquarium is very cool. Unfortunately, the prices and food here don’t live up to the atmosphere. Skip the restaurant, go to the Seas Pavilion and then get better food elsewhere in Epcot.
38. Cinderella’s Royal Table (Magic Kingdom) – This restaurant narrowly escapes the bottom three solely because you get to eat inside of the iconic castle. The food is mediocre and the prices are extremely high. I’m happy we went once but I don’t think we’ll be going back anytime soon.
37. Tutto Italia Ristorante (Epcot) – I’ve had one very good meal here and the other times were very underwhelming. The prices are high and I’d give the food mixed reviews. I like the inside of the restaurant but prefer other places in the Italian Pavilion and throughout World Showcase.
36. Nine Dragons Restaurant (Epcot) – Nine Dragons doesn’t have great food, although there are a few solid items. What the restaurant does offer are counter-service prices in a decent atmosphere. This is one of the best table-service values at WDW if you’re paying out of pocket. There are many better dining options though.
35. Trail’s End Restaurant (Fort Wilderness) – One of the cheaper buffets at Disney World, so if that’s your thing go here. This place also earns points for being at Fort Wilderness and having good fried chicken. The food is pretty forgettable though. If you do end up here for brunch, get the Moonshine juice (non-alcoholic).We’ve moved this up over the last few revisions to the list thanks to the value offered.
34. Akershus Banquet Hall (Epcot) – My opinion on Akershus worsens over time and the restaurant continues to fall in our rankings. The food is somewhat interesting, especially compared to other character dining locations. If meeting the princesses is a priority then going here is a decent choice otherwise I’d recommend elsewhere.
33. Restaurant Marrakesh (Epcot) – This restaurant is beautiful and entertaining. Unfortunately, I didn’t love the food and thought it was lacking in flavor. I prefer the counter-service in the Morocco Pavilion, as far as food goes. I don’t think anyone would be disappointed in having a meal here though.
32. Yak & Yeti (Animal Kingdom) – We were excited for our meal at Yak & Yeti but came away underwhelmed. The food wasn’t much better than a chain restaurant, which isn’t surprising considering the restaurant is operated by Landry’s. Fortunately, Yak & Yeti is themed exceptionally and that almost makes it worth the trip by itself.
31. Teppan Edo (Epcot) – Teppan Edo has good food and the chefs are very entertaining. This isn’t very authentic for being in the Japan Pavilion, but it is fun and good. The prices are fairly high and there isn’t anything that makes this place stand out above the typical Teppanyaki restaurant.
30. Kona Cafe (Polynesian Village Resort) – We have only tried breakfast at Kona Cafe but came away happy with the meal but not blown away. Kona doesn’t offer much in the way of atmosphere but the value is strong and the food pretty good. The menu is interesting for all meals and Kona Cafe could rise up this list in due time.
29. Ale & Compass (Yacht Club) – While the restaurant lacks in atmosphere and theme, the menu makes up for it to a degree. I thoroughly enjoyed the Seafood Pot Pie. Melissa’s dish was much worse and that knocks Ale & Compass down a little bit. It is a strong value on the Dining Plan though.
28. San Angel Inn (Epcot) – Eating inside of the Mexican Pavilion, across from a boat ride and little volcano, makes for one of the best atmospheres in Disney World. I think the food here is decent too, albeit inconsistent. I liked the seafood dish I had and thought the prices were fairly reasonable.
27. Be Our Guest Restaurant (Magic Kingdom) – I definitely prefer lunch here. This is certainly one of the best atmospheres of any restaurant at Disney World. My praise basically ends there though. The food is good but not great and the prices are especially high now that the menu has changed to a prix-fixe dinner (and 2 credits on the Disney Dining Plan). I think most would enjoy dinner here but it’s not worth the headache of trying to get a reservation and doesn’t measure up to the hype.
26. Tusker House (Animal Kingdom) – Tusker House is a solid restaurant all the way around. The food is good for a buffet. Meeting Mickey and his friends in their safari outfits is great. The restaurant has a nice atmosphere and themed well. Tusker House isn’t exceptional in any area but it’s not bad in any area either.
25. Trattoria al Forno (Boardwalk Resort) – A very good option for a character breakfast, with interesting characters and fairly versatile menu. Trattoria also has an interesting dinner menu, serving mostly Italian fare. The prices aren’t bad, the location is great and the food is good. The environment is largely unthemed but looks nice.
24. Rose & Crown Dining Room (Epcot) – A restaurant that harkens back to a hole-in-the-wall pub in the UK. There are some delicious options here and the pub is fun. If you can land a spot on the patio when the weather isn’t overbearing then this is even higher on this list.
23. Frontera Cocina (Disney Springs) – Frontera Cocina serves the best Mexican food at Walt Disney World. The Carne Asada is excellent and the restaurant has a modern but tasteful design. Unfortunately, the best Mexican food at WDW prize isn’t a high bar. It’s good but not great and the same goes for the value.
22. Boatwright’s Dining Hall (Port Orleans Riverside) – Melissa and I were surprised at how much we enjoyed our meal at Boatwright’s. Both the Steak and Prime Rib were fantastic and other portions of the meal were great. The atmosphere in the actual restaurant is bland but Riverside is a beautiful resort to walk around after dinner.
21. Tokyo Dining (Epcot) – Much of what you think about this restaurant will come down to whether you like sushi. Of course, there are solid options outside of sushi and the restaurant offers value for both those on the Dining Plan or paying out of pocket. The atmosphere is nice, especially if you sit near a window.
20. Liberty Tree Tavern (Magic Kingdom) – A charming restaurant in Magic Kingdom’s best land that serves American comfort food. We really enjoyed the restaurant’s commitment to theme and both of our Lobster entrees were excellent. Liberty Tree Tavern doesn’t have the most ambitious menu and the value is better at The Plaza Restaurant but it is a surprisingly solid option.
19. Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen (Magic Kingdom) – Like the Jungle Cruise attraction it’s inspired by, Skipper Canteen is a boatload of fun. The menu is surprisingly diverse and the items we tried were all pretty good. The prices aren’t through the roof. More than anything, the atmosphere shines through and makes it my favorite table-service restaurant in Magic Kingdom.
18. The Plaza Restaurant (Magic Kingdom) – The Plaza offers one of the best values of any table-service restaurant for those paying out of pocket. No, the menu won’t blow anyone away and there are far more lavish experiences at Disney World. Having said that, The Plaza is quaint and a step back in time with well made food and excellent desserts.
17. Le Cellier (Epcot) – One of the most popular dining spots in WDW is now slightly overpriced and lacking in atmosphere. The steak is good, although not the best on property. What really stands out though are the Brussel Sprouts! There’s a good value meal to be had here if you pick some of the cheaper options.
16. Jaleo (Disney Springs) – Jaleo is an intriguing option because there isn’t anything quite like it at Disney World. The restaurant specializes in Spanish Cuisine and small plates. We enjoyed most everything we tried at Jaleo but the prices were extremely high and the atmosphere wasn’t our favorite.
15. Chefs de France (Epcot) – I didn’t enjoy my first meal here many years ago but we went again and I was impressed. The atmosphere is festive and bustling with energy. Try to get a seat by the window and enjoy the passersby strolling through World Showcase. There isn’t much value to be had (unless you are on the dining plan) but this is just a good restaurant. I recommend the short ribs.
14. The Hollywood Brown Derby (Hollywood Studios) – A very good restaurant for being in a theme park. While the looks of the restaurant won’t make your jaw drop, the food is delicious and service is top-notch. I think there’s some value for a signature restaurant and everything I’ve tried here is wonderful.
13. Sanaa (Animal Kingdom Lodge) – I don’t love Sanaa as much as some Disney bloggers but I do think it’s one of the best values on property. Watching the animals wander outside while eating good, moderately priced Indian food is an ideal way to spend an afternoon. I highly recommend the restaurant though I do think there are a few better. Get the bread service!
12. Via Napoli (Epcot) – The best pizza on property comes inside World Showcase’s Italian Pavilion. There’s plenty of options here, both safe and interesting. This is a perfect place to go and save a few bucks along the way by sharing a pizza. The inside of the restaurant is gorgeous. This is my favorite place to eat in World Showcase currently.
11. Narcoossee’s (Grand Floridian) – There isn’t much value here as you have to pay quite a bit to eat at this signature restaurant. But the seafood here is the best I’ve found on property. The location is tough to beat, sitting on Seven Seas Lagoon and is a short boat ride away from Magic Kingdom. The lobster here is one of my favorite meals in Disney World.
10. Morimoto Asia (Disney Springs) – The only negative here is that the restaurant is unthemed. Disregarding that, the food is outstanding, the decor is very modern and beautiful, and there is certainly value to be had. One of the most impressive meals I’ve had at Disney World.
9. The Boathouse (Disney Springs) – Disney World’s most diverse restaurant. The menu is large and offers a nice mix as far as price goes. Seafood and American food are the main options here and everything I tried was delicious. The inside of the restaurant isn’t great but sitting outside is lovely.
8. Ohana (Polynesian Resort) – My opinion of Ohana has worsened a little over time. The food is typically very good and unlimited. While the price is high, if you have a big appetite then you can make up for it. The atmosphere is wonderful, especially if you go around firework showtimes. I’ve always come away happy here and the first time I went was one of the best meals I’ve ever had.
7. Topolino’s Terrace (Riviera Resort) – Topolino’s offers excellent food in an elegant setting. Offering a mix of French, Italian and American food, the restaurant has some interesting variety and everything we tasted was delicious. We ultimately kept it out of the top five because the atmosphere is nice but there are more inviting places ahead of it on the list. Having said that, it’s an excellent meal and a contender for the top spot.
6. Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ (Disney Springs) – Another Disney Springs restaurant. While Homecomin’ doesn’t have the diverse menu that The Boathouse offers, they do have one of the best menu items in all of Walt Disney World – the Fried Chicken. A Floridian homestyle restaurant, Homecomin’ is relaxing and serves incredible food.
5. Storybook Dining at Artist Point (Wilderness Lodge) – I came into this meal somewhat disappointed that it took the place of the much more relaxed Artist Point. Instead this quickly became our favorite character dining location in Disney World. The food is ambitious and executed wonderfully, the atmosphere is still beautiful and the characters are diverse. There are thematic issues with the restaurant being in Wilderness Lodge but the meal is top notch and one of the best values on the Disney Dining Plan.
4. Boma – Flavors of Africa (Animal Kingdom Lodge) – An easy way to try out food that you may be a little afraid of is going to a buffet. Boma offers that opportunity and has such a wide assortment of food that it is almost overwhelming. Unlike other buffets, everything I’ve had here is fresh and delicious. Not to mention, eating here entails seeing the beautiful Animal Kingdom Lodge.
3. Flying Fish Restaurant (Boardwalk Resort) – A beautiful, upscale restaurant that serves excellent seafood and steak. Flying Fish is modern and trendy but offers an interesting take on the boardwalk theme. All of that is enjoyable but the star of the show is seafood, which is easily the best I’ve had at Disney World.
2. California Grill (Contemporary Resort) – While slightly overpriced, California Grill has an incredible atmosphere, delicious food, and one of the best views in Disney World. This is one of the restaurants in Disney World I’d describe as a rite of passage. The California Grill brunch is possibly the best meal in all of Walt Disney World and moves this up a notch or two just based off that meal.
1. Tiffins (Animal Kingdom) – One of my favorite restaurants in a theme park, Tiffins serves interesting food and mixes it with great design and theme. Exploring Imagineers travels, the decor is fascinating. The beef is some of the best in Disney World and the menu is inspired and interesting. Tiffins price isn’t too bad, especially if you get discounts, and the service is the best I’ve found in the parks.
Those are my rankings of Disney World table-service restaurants. I’m looking forward to adding to the list over the years. What would you add or change? Let us know in the comments! If you enjoy what you’re reading here on Wandering in Disney please subscribe to the blog and like our Facebook page. You can find both of those on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!