The French Market is a counter-service restaurant serving Cajun food in Disneyland’s New Orleans Square. They also have the Disneyland’s famous Mint Julep (non-alcoholic). The inside of the restaurant is just a counter with no seating, as all of the seating is outside in a courtyard. This review will cover our thoughts on French Market’s atmosphere, cuisine and value.
The entrance to the French Market courtyard is especially lovely if you come from the Rivers of America. Like most of Disneyland, once the lights come on around French Market everything feels a little bit more magical. Not to mention, it’s a little easier to eat spicier food once the day cools off.
The actual inside of the restaurant is more spacious than you might imagine, knowing that there is no seating inside of it. While it would seem that the restaurant could have two sides of the ordering counter open, I’ve never actually seen that happen. Usually just the right side of the restaurant is open. Guests walk alongside the counter and place their order for what they want. It’s nice to be able to walk alongside the food and see the options before ordering them.
After selecting choices, guests move to the cashier before heading outside to find seating. While the seating area isn’t huge, there are generally tables to be found. The whole seating area is quite charming, and often features live jazz music at night. It’s one of the more romantic settings in Disneyland, with darker mood lighting and an emphasis on the view of the river just a few feet away. This is one of the best counter-service atmospheres around simply because the restaurant resides in New Orleans Square.
As for the actual food, French Market specializes in Cajun cuisine. Here’s a look at the menu. My go to here is the Jambalaya. This dish consists of Creole-style Seafood, Chicken and Andouille Sausage Stew over Rice. I love Jambalaya as a dish and this one was good but not great. I wish there had been a little more seafood mixed in with the sausage and chicken. Also, the sauce was pretty thick and a little bit heavy on the tomato. With that being said, it was very good while having a small kick to it. It came along with the corn bread, which was moist and helped balance the dish. If you’ve never tried Jambalaya before, this is a safe place to try it as it is fairly mild. There is much better Jambalaya in the world, but this is a good option for a theme park. The price for the meal ($14.99) isn’t bad considering the amount of food received as well as it being a fairly unique option.
Another savory option we’ve tried is the Louisiana-style Buttered Shrimp Po’ Boy. The Buttered Shrimp is served with Lettuce, Tomatoes and Citrus-caper Mayonnaise served on a Rustic Roll with Seasoned Chips. I thought this was a good but not great option, definitely not measuring up to the Jambalaya. There’s a decent amount of Shrimp on the sandwich but I didn’t think it was a standout. At $13.99, the Po’ Boy is good but not great and I’d recommend other options over this one.
We’ve also tried the Louisiana Beef Stew which is served in a sourdough bread bowl. The stew includes Beef, Seasoned Carrots, Red Potatoes and Mushrooms. I enjoyed this soup, as it was thick and had a high ration of beef in it. If there was a knock on the dish it’s that it may have been a little too salty. Still, at $11.49, this is a decent value and plenty of good, hearty food.
Another soup offered is the Corn Chowder, also served in a sourdough bread bowl. I’m not as high on this one as I am the beef stew as I thought the flavor here was a little too sweet with the corn being overpowering and there wasn’t anything that made it stand out in my mind. That said, Melissa really enjoys it so to each their own here. It is also $11.49 and very filling.
Finally, there’s the Clam Chowder in a bread bowl that is absolutely delicious. The soup was creamy and had more clams in it than I anticipated. It was a rich soup and my favorite out of the three we’ve tried here. This will become a go to during the cooler months at Disneyland.
The Mint Julep was pretty good. In a weird way, this is one of those Disneyland rite of passage drinks. It was fun and I liked the initial taste but I did get a little bit tired of it by the end. I still guzzled it down to help with the spice of the jambalaya.
Overall, French Market has a wonderful ambiance to go along with solid food. The menu is far more interesting than most counter service spots although I don’t think the food is spectacular, rather just good. It’s a relaxing place to visit in the middle of a crowded area of the park. They also have live music here throughout the day. I enjoy French Market and it’s become one of my favorite Disneyland counter-service options.
Overall Rating – 8.5/10
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Categories: Restaurant Reviews