Plaza Inn is a Disneyland restaurant that serves a character breakfast in the morning and becomes a quick service location for lunch and dinner. Located at the end of Main Street, Plaza Inn offers American comfort food in a Victorian setting. This review will cover lunch and dinner at Plaza Inn and will include photos along with our thoughts on restaurant’s value, atmosphere and food.
Disneyland is lauded for its charm and restaurants like this are part of the reason why. While Walt Disney World rules in sheer number of counter-service food options, Disneyland generally conquers in quality and making guests feel welcome. A portion of that ‘hospitality’ has to do with the use of real dishes and silverware instead of serving food on paper plates. It’s a minute detail, but something that makes Disneyland special. Of course, a plate can’t enhance the taste of food but it can enhance the quality of someone’s experience. Plaza Inn succeeds in that aspect as well as having really nice indoor and outdoor seating.
Plaza Inn’s outdoor seating is on a patio that curves around the restaurant. If looking out at the park from the patio, the far left views the end of Main Street and the far right has views into first few steps of Tomorrowland. Naturally, this means that the middle (and, to a lesser degree, the sides) of the patio has some stunning views of Sleeping Beauty Castle. There is also plenty of shade on the patio so it’s beautiful on a warm day and not insufferable on a hot day.
The inside of the Plaza Inn competes with the classic views of the outside with beautiful and elegant decor. This restaurant, originally called the Red Wagon Inn, has been serving guests ever since Disneyland’s opening day. Plaza Inn feels like a step back in time, not only because of its theme but because of its place in Disneyland history. The décor and Victorian theme add charm. With stained glass windows, elegant tables and chairs, and a helpful serving staff (more on that later), eating inside at the Plaza Inn welcomes guests into a different and simpler era.
Theming can only take a place so far though, especially when it comes to a restaurant. Ultimately, food is what makes a good restaurant. Fortunately for Plaza Inn, I think they serve food that matches the charming atmosphere inside.
For lunch and dinner, Plaza Inn offers a pretty interesting variety of comfort food, pasta and salads (you can see a menu here). The restaurant is best known for their fried chicken and rightfully so. A Fried Chicken Plate comes with three pieces of fried chicken, a biscuit, mashed potatoes and gravy and green beans. The fried chicken is easily the star, lightly breaded and incredibly juicy. It’s some of the best fried chicken I’ve ever had due to the excellent flavor and lack of grease. While I usually prefer legs over any other piece of chicken, like the others better here.
The side options are pretty solid, although not nearly as good as the fried chicken. The green beans are fresh and not over-seasoned and the mashed potatoes and gravy are a perfect addition to the comfort food. With the sides, the meal is certainly shareable although I wouldn’t want to share the fried chicken.
We’ve also tried the Pot Roast at Plaza Inn, which comes with the same sides. The meat is tender and the gravy compliments the meal well. Melissa actually prefers this to the Fried Chicken which is one of the biggest conflicts of our marriage. Don’t get me wrong, the Pot Roast is a good option if you don’t like Fried Chicken but not an incredible counter-service meal.
Recently, Disneyland has added Chipotle-Pineapple Glazed Salmon to the menu. This is a Salmon filet topped with a Kiwi-Mango Relish served with Rice Pilaf and seasonal Vegetables, While I don’t think it quite measures up to the fried chicken, this is a quality, and healthier, alternative. I liked the relish, as it played more like a salsa and gave the Salmon a nice citrus flavor. The fish itself was good and cooked well albeit nothing special. As you can tell in the photo, I opted for mashed potatoes over the Rice Pilaf. At $18.49 this isn’t an amazing value or anything but it is a good and healthy option for a Disneyland counter-service meal.
We had several great experiences with the staff at Plaza Inn. Getting our food was extremely easy and our table was cleared and taken care of without us moving a muscle. The man clearing tables was cheerful, eager to talk with guests. Towards the end of our meal, he pulled out a harmonica and played a few songs. He also led the group in singing Happy Birthday to two guests that were celebrating there. Bringing those guests a piece of cake with a candle. This was just another example of the detail and charm that Disneyland, and specifically Plaza Inn, offers. While those moments haven’t happened every time we’ve gone to Plaza Inn, we’ve always had a pleasant experience.
As far as value, the chicken entrée is $18.49 and the Pot Roast $18.99. That’s fairly expensive for a counter-service meal but the quality is there. Is it worth it? Probably. Before we went on this trip I had a fried chicken meal at a sit-down restaurant near my home. The price was $16 for four pieces of fried chicken and included a salad. I’d say that’s about what most places would charge for a similar meal, if not a little more. The meal at Plaza Inn was much better than most other fried chicken entrees and served equal or more food than most places. So, with that in mind I’d say it was a decent value. Not the best in the parks but a fine option.
Plaza Inn is one of my favorite counter-service options at Disneyland Resort. Melissa doesn’t enjoy it as much as I do and that’s understandable. The restaurant isn’t very versatile and if you aren’t in the mood for comfort food then it’s not the way to go. Having said that, Plaza Inn is incredibly good at what they do, offering really good, filling meals in a charming setting
Overall Rating – 9/10
Have you eaten at the Plaza Inn? Let us know your thoughts in the comments! Planning a trip to Disneyland Resort? Check out our Disneyland Trip Planning Guide to help you out. If you enjoy what you are reading here on Wandering in Disney please share this post with your friends and like our social media pages. You can also subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email. All of those links are on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!
Categories: Restaurant Reviews