There’s nary a time when someone can pose that question anywhere in my near proximity, and receive anything but an exuberant, positive response. In other words, I pretty much have a bottomless pit for a stomach.
In order to pay homage to one of my favorite pastimes – stuffing my yap – at one of my favorite places on the planet – do you really have to ask? – Black Dog Runs Disney presents…
1. Yak and Yeti – $15-30
I’m embarrassed to say that after all the times the hubby and I have spent in Animal Kingdom, we never ate here before last November. After stumbling into the front door (literally – it was the day after the Wine and Dine and my quads were screaming obscenities at me), our server, who had a wonderful sense of humor as he thought it was hilarious to make me walk upstairs, proceeded to give us a visual tour of the restaurant. They have an amazing collection of Nepalese and Pan-Asian photos, furniture, and decor, and we were encouraged to walk around and check everything out. The food was no less amazing and I inhaled my lo mein like it was my last meal on earth. We got there right about noon and were able to walk right in, but I would strongly suggest ADR’s. Between the yummylicious food and the great service, i can see this place filling up quickly. If you like Asian, Chinese, or seafood, this is the place to be.
2. California Grill – $30-60
Located on the roof of the Contemporary resort, California Grill just reopened after a total rehab of both the restaurant and the menu. I haven’t made it back there since they reopened, but based on previous visits, the food is unbelievable, the wine list is nothing short of impressive, and the service is top-notch. The menu specializes in fresh, seasonal foods, and the menu is constantly changing to reflect the seasons. Considered a signature dining experience, diners are expected to dress accordingly. My suggestion to the ladies is don’t worry about your do. Once you step outside to view the fireworks from the Magic Kingdom, it’s going to be blown all over the place anyway. ADR’s are the only way to go for this gastronomic experience.
3. Via Napoli – $15-30
I can honestly say nothing compares to pizza made in Italy. That being said, Via Napoli, located in the Italy Pavilion in Epcot, does a pretty good job at replicating the heaven my taste buds discovered in Rome and Naples. Typically a noisy, fun-filled restaurant, I would recommend trying to get a table in the glassed-in room located to the right of the main entrance. It’s a little less crowded and chaotic. The Neapolitan thin crust pizza is out of this world and the menu also offers other southern Italy specialities like corn-crusted calamari, vegetable soup, and spinach lasagna. Heaven for the vegetarian in your life! ADR’s always a good idea, but we’ve never had to wait too long when we’ve made a last-minute decision to chow down here.
4. ESPN Club – $15 and under
Probably one of our favorite places to hang out on the Boardwalk, the ESPN Club is a sports-lovers dream. With almost 100 televisions, and one whomper of a big screen on the main video wall, this spot fills up quickly during major sporting events. With food items from Boo-Yah chili to burgers to salads, the menu offers something yummy for everyone. ADR’s are highly recommended as the place fills up fast on game days, but we’ve never had a problem being seated after a short wait on off days. Feel free to sport your favorite team’s jerseys and get ready to get loud!
5. Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant – $15-30
I was super excited when this place opened up at Downtown Disney and was not disappointed my first time there. A huge space with four – yes FOUR – full bars, an impressive menu, step-dancers and house bands, Raglan Road is a party in the making. With everything from shepherd’s pie to bangers and mash, it’s obvious to see the Irish don’t worry so much about cholesterol or calorie counts. You can even stuff your gullet full of premium roasts, sides, and desserts, every Sunday for their legendary Sunday Brunch from 11am-4pm. As usual ADR’s are recommended, but again, we’ve never had to wait too long after just walking up to the reservations desk. And with four full service bars to choose from, passing the time with some Bailey’s and great music makes the waiting go by so much easier!
As you can see, the hubs and I tend to love the places where we can just show up and hang out at the bar. Going for the “signature” experiences once in a while is always fun, but we tend to be more of the casual type. Add in some entertainment and great music, and we are good to go. Like everything in Disney, it’s all about what appeals to you.
Even with all the times I have visited the world of the Mouse, there are still a number of restaurants I’d like to try. If any of you have snarfed down at any of these, please feel free to share!
I hope I’ve been able to give you some yummy tips on some of my favorite gastronomic locations. With approximately 139 different places to stuff your own yap, you definitely have a few spots to choose from. Happy feasting!
Enjoy the ride.