Steakhouse 71 is a table-service restaurant in Walt Disney World’s Contemporary Resort. Residing on the bottom floor of the iconic hotel, the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Steakhouse 71 serves American food and does take part in the Disney Dining Plan (when applicable) as 1 credit. DVC, Annual Pass and Disney Visa discounts are also available. In this post, we’ll review the restaurant’s atmosphere, food and value.
Last September, Steakhouse 71 took the place of The Wave inside of the Contemporary Resort. While we’d heard decent things about The Wave (but never ate there) it certainly wasn’t the most popular spot throughout Disney World. Renaming the place and giving the menu a facelift was smart, especially with the 50th anniversary coming up. The 71 in the title is in reference to the opening year of Walt Disney World, as in 1971. Disneyland Resort did something very similar with Steakhouse 55 in the Disneyland Hotel.
Disney fans love theme and story in their different theme park and restaurant settings. It’s part of the reason blogs like this one exist. You know what theme park fans love just as much? Décor and art that celebrates theme parks. We’re kind of like sports fans who love a great new player but absolutely freak out when they show a clip from team history on the big screen. Disney is well aware of that, so theming a restaurant towards it makes a lot of sense.
There is some danger in going all in on nostalgia and not creating fresh ideas. That said, I think nostalgia fueled restaurant themes work much better than attractions or shows. Whether that’s Oga’s Cantina, which relies on fans love and understanding of Star Wars cantinas, or a more relaxed place like Steakhouse 71, being reminded of things you love is a pleasant way to have a meal.
Throughout Steakhouse 71, there are plenty of pieces of nostalgia. They come in the form of photographs and art work throughout the restaurant. The dining room is fairly large and open, although it’s pretty well filled with tables. Stylistically, the restaurant is fairly modern with hints of 70’s in the design. The ceiling is all wood panels, which add a little bit of elegance for dinner but otherwise it’s a pretty bright restaurant which fits the breakfast mood.
There was plenty of artwork but it didn’t hit you over the head. Historic photos of Disney World line the walkway down to the restaurant and there are some abstract art pieces celebrating Magic Kingdom attractions on the back wall of the restaurant. Otherwise, Steakhouse 71 uses blues and browns with pops of color. I like the atmosphere and the decor. While it’s not transportive, it does a nice job of balancing between nostalgia and sleek modern design.
On to the food, here’s a look at the menu. While this review will only cover breakfast, the restaurant does serve all three meals. Others have raved about the burger here and I’m looking forward to trying it in the future! Steakhouse 71 is supposedly inspired by foods that Walt Disney liked. While this is a copout that Disney uses far too often, it does lend itself to classic American diner offerings. I wouldn’t call the breakfast menu adventurous but it offers more options than many other table-service spots in WDW.
I ordered Walt’s Prime Rib Hash for my entrée. This consists of Seared Prime Rib, Fried Potatoes, Caramelized Onions & Peppers topped with a Fried Egg. Here’s a look at the dish under the Fried Egg.
This is a winner as the hearty hash had a few surprising flavors mixed in. The Prime Rib, which is on the dinner menu, was flavorful and tender. The Caramelized Onions and Peppers added a sweetness to the dish, which is needed to match the rich Fried Egg and meat. While not listed, there seemed to be an extra sauce or seasoning in the hash that gave it a little more zest and freshness. Oftentimes I think hashes can feel a bit too heavy but this one had enough depth to stay interesting throughout. I’d probably opt for something else on the menu next time, just for the sake of variety, but this was a good option. At $17, I think this is a decent value and you won’t leave hungry.
We also tried the Steakhouse 71 Seasonal Pancakes which come with a choice of Bacon, Pork Sausage or Chicken Sausage. On this day (it was Autumn), the seasonal pancakes were Pumpkin Pecan with Cream Cheese Icing on top. The pancakes themselves were a little more dense than usual but delicious nonetheless. The Pumpkin flavor wasn’t overpowering but still in there. I liked the icing and adding the syrup fully turned this into dessert for breakfast. To be clear, that is a good thing! The sausage was good but nothing special.
At $14, the Seasonal Pancakes are also a fairly good value. With any Disney World table-service meal it seems like you add in an extra 2-5 dollars on what it would cost in the real world. At Steakhouse 71, there was that slight increase but it was on the lower side relative to other restaurants. Especially if you are able to add in a discount, the restaurant is a good value for breakfast.
Overall, we came away very impressed with Steakhouse 71. The theme won’t blow anyone away but, if you’re a Disney fan, you’ll find some art and photos that you’ll want to hang in your house. The food here is comforting and made well, making it a fair value. I recommend breakfast here as it’s only a couple of dollars more than most counter-service spots and significantly better than the majority of them.
Overall Rating – 8.5/10
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Categories: Restaurant Reviews