There are a ton of places to eat at the massive Disney World resort. When you visit the Mouse, you would probably want to have at least a couple of more leisurely meals at full-service restaurants. That's not what we will be reviewing here. (Although you can check out my listings for Disney World's best table-service restaurants). If you are like me (not rolling in the dough and not able to constantly indulge in full-course meals without packing on the pounds), it's likely that you would want to eat the majority of your meals at Disney World's casual, lower-priced eateries when you visit. For this article, let's scope out the ten best quick-service restaurants at the resort.
By quick-service, I am referring to restaurants at which guests walk up to a counter, choose their items, and cart their own food to a table. If that sounds like your typical fast-food joint, be assured that the ten restaurants listed here are a considerable step above McYuck. There are some creative, tasty, and reasonably priced eateries throughout the resort, and, thankfully, you probably wouldn't be asked, "Do you want fries with that?" when you order.
None of these restaurants accept advance reservations, and most visitors probably make a spur-of-the-moment decision to eat at them. (For table-service restaurants, you should plan ahead. Learn how to make Disney World dining reservations.) By perusing the best restaurants listed here, however, you'll be able to identify the places you'd like to grab a meal, help plan a rough itinerary, reduce your spur-of-the-moment stress, help ensure that you would be treating yourself and your park posse to some good food, and help make your overall visit that much more enjoyable and memorable.
Many of the quick-service restaurants are included on the Disney World free dining program. You won't find Mickey and the gang visiting the tables at any of these lower-priced eateries, but you can find out which table-service restaurants offer Disney World character dining. To satisfy your sweet tooth after you enjoy your quick-service meal, you can check out Disney World's best snacks and desserts.
The following ten dining spots have been selected by a fine group of knowledgeable travel writers who often visit Mickey's Florida hangout and know the dining scene well. They participated in a survey that I conducted in 2013. You can find out who was on the panel of judges by going to the Best Disney World Dining feature.
OK, on to the list of restaurants, starting with the number-ten pick, Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe.
Location: Norway pavilion, World Showcase, Epcot
Cost: Low (generally under $15 per adult)
Food: Norwegian cuisine, including baked goods
You could pop into Kringla just to drool over and order sweets from the bakery case, such as two signature items, a sweet pretzel with almonds or school bread (a yummy bun flavored with cardamom, filled with custard, and topped with toasted coconuts). The school bread is so intoxicating that one of the judges, A.J. from Disney Food Blog, chose it as one of the best dessert items in the entire resort.
But the "kafe" also offers sandwiches and salads, including a vegetable torte with roasted mushrooms, spinach, potatoes, and Jarlsberg cheese as well as a favorite of mine, a salmon and egg sandwich that features smoked salmon and hard-boiled egg slices on sourdough bread with a delicious cheese spread.
The line generally moves quickly at Kringla, and it has a nice atmosphere. The promenade in front of the cafe is a good spot to catch the nightly Illuminations show. Grab a treat as well as a beverage (a liquor-spiked Viking Coffee perhaps?) before or after the fireworks.
Next up: Sunshine Seasons