GCH Craftsman Grill is a counter-service restaurant at Disneyland Resort’s Grand Californian Hotel. Formerly known as White Water Snacks, this restaurant sits right next to the Grand Californian pool. GCH Craftsman Grill offers American food, specializing in California cuisine. In this post we’ll review the GCH Craftsman Grill, including our thoughts on the value and photos of the restaurant.
For those that haven’t been to the Grand Californian Hotel, it is the most relaxing spot at Disneyland Resort. The hotel takes a note from California Adventure right next door and emulates the classic National Park lodges. Walking into the lobby is stunning and there is a serene feel to the entire hotel – a respite from the hustle and bustle of the parks.
That feeling stretches to GCH Craftsman Grill. If I’m being honest, part of the reason that peaceful feeling exists is due to the restaurant not being all that popular. While the GCH Crafstman Bar right outside can be busier, the inside of the restaurant seems to constantly have tables open and not much of a line to order.
The National Park Lodge architecture does continue into the restaurant but otherwise the theme and story is sparse. There are high, beautiful wood ceilings overhead with brickwork throughout the restaurant. GCH Craftsman Grill has a decent amount of seating but not a huge capacity. The other half of the restaurant has Coke Freestyle machines, pre-made food in coolers, a small bakery section and desserts.
Overall, this restaurant has a relaxing setting and is a really pleasant place to have a meal. There’s no story to tell here outside of the restaurant being an extension of the hotel itself. There are much better themed counter-service restaurants at Disneyland Resort than this one.
Where GCH Craftsman Grill sets itself apart is the food. Here’s a look at the menu. As you can see, the menu is ambitious. It also changes menu items out often, so if you see something I’ve reviewed that isn’t there when you go then that’s why! Unfortunately, the downside at GCH Grill is the price. Most items are at the top of the counter-service costs but most of what I’ve tried is table-service quality.
The GCH Grill burger has changed quite a bit over the years but it is consistently good. The current iteration is the Wagyu Gouda Burger consisting of American Wagyu Patty, Gouda, Grilled Red Onion, Lettuce, Tomato, and Preserved Lemon Aioli on a Brioche Bun. Currently, this is the best burger at Disneyland Resort. The patty is juicy and full of flavor. The Gouda is a nice pairing and lets the meat shine while the Lemon Aioli ties it all together. Sadly, it’s also one of the most expensive burgers at $24. You get what you pay for! The fries here are consistently good, as well.
Another new item on the menu is the Fish & Chips. I was excited to see this addition, as there isn’t much seafood at the resort. On the plate we have Beer-battered Cod and Seasoned Fries with Arugula Salad and Malted Vinegar Mayo. I thought the fish itself was very good – juicy, thick and flaky. The mayo was maybe a little too sweet for my liking but was everything else on the plate was very good. This was $20 and I would happily get it again.
We’ve also tried the Bulgogi Beef Skewers Rice Bowl. Along with the skewers, this is served with Kimchi Fried Rice, Cucumbers, Carrots, Green Onions and Furikake. The meat here was delicious, juicy and sweet. The Kimchi Fried Rice was an interesting option but not a complete standout. It’s a solid addition, as was the slaw on top of the skewers. Overall, I like the dish but there’s others I’d recommend over it considering the $20 price tag.
On our next visit, we ordered two other entrees that were just as high in quality. The Margherita Pizza was easily the best pizza I’ve had at Disneyland Resort, admittedly a low bar. As with our previous entrees, all of the ingredients were very fresh and wonderfully prepared. The crust was the star here, perfectly cooked. As you can see in the photo, we had a front row seat to a light saber battle along with the pizza.
We also went with the Beef Nachos, which were fantastic. Lamplight Lounge’s Lobster Nachos get all of the hype, and rightfully so, but these might be even better. Again, the ingredients are fresh and include Cheese Sauce, Guacamole, Pico de Gallo, Slivered Jalapeño Peppers, Crema, Queso Fresco, Green Onion, and Cilantro. Everything was balanced well and there was a generous portion of beef. I’d give a slight nod to the burger as my favorite entree here but the Beef Nachos aren’t far behind.
We’ve also had the Rice Bowl here. This consists of your choice of Chicken or Beef with Steamed White Rice, Vegetable Egg Roll, Cucumber, Green Onions, Hard-boiled Egg, Togarashi Spice, and Sriracha Aïoli. I went with the beef option and came away impressed. There was a little bit of spice involved in the dish but the quality of the meat and the overall flavor carried the dish. While I do prefer the other options more, this was slightly healthier and still tasty. At $16, this is a good option.
GCH Craftsman Grill is the best counter-service meal I’ve had at Disneyland. Scratch that, I think this might be the best counter-service food I’ve ever had at Disneyland or Disney World. We can’t wait to go back to the restaurant and try every option on the menu. While the environment isn’t anything interesting inside, there is plenty of seating throughout the restaurant and outside to enjoy the beautiful Grand Californian.
I love the counter-service options at Disneyland Resort but this tops all of them. The food is exceptional and the prices are in line with other counter-service places at Disneyland Resort, making it a good value. GCH Craftsman Grill is a quiet place to eat at Disneyland and a hidden gem at the resort. It’s a perfect place to take a quick break from California Adventure for lunch or dinner and we couldn’t recommend it enough
Overall Rating – 9.5/10
Have you been to GCH Craftsman Grill? Let us know your thoughts on the restaurant, along with any other questions you might have, in the comments below. Planning a trip to Disneyland? Check out our Planning Guide here. If you enjoy what you are reading here on Wandering in Disney please share this post with your friends, as well as 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