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What is the best theme park restaurant?

By Robert Niles
Published: June 18, 2008 at 8:31 AM
One of the four categories in this year's Theme Park Insider Awards is Best Theme Park Restaurant. This award is open to all table service restaurants located "inside the gates" of a theme or amusement park. The award will go to the restaurant with the highest average reader rating on ThemeParkInsider.com, above a minimum number of votes.

The leading contenders for this year's awards are (in alphabetical order):

  • The Hollywood Brown Derby
  • Le Cellier Steakhouse
  • Liberty Tree Tavern
  • Mythos Restaurant
  • Sharks Underwater Grill
  • Walt's

    If you have eaten within the past year at any of the above restaurants, please click on their links and submit a rating or review.

    And, for fun, let's see how readers are feeling about these top restaurants, in a head-to-head match-up:

    Campaign for your favorites in the comments.

    Readers' Opinions

    From Mark Hollamon on June 18, 2008 at 9:34 AM
    Mythos continues to change up the menu to keep things fresh, and they listen to the voice of the customer! That is why the Banana Gooey Cake is back on the menu.

    Although there are some closer seconds this year, by far Mythos is just a cut above the rest.

    From Anthony Murphy on June 18, 2008 at 9:44 AM
    All excellent resturants, but nothing can beat Canada's Cheddar Cheese Soup! When I was down there in May, I was told that its the new popular resturant.

    Mythos is great too, but why not go for someplace new now?

    Interested to see DLP's Walt on the ballot. Very suprisingly good as well!

    From Bradley Robertson on June 18, 2008 at 10:15 AM
    I can't vote for any of these because I haven't eaten at any of them. Closest I came was walking in to Mythos to see what the fuss was about. I had read varied reviews about the food and wanted to see if the atmosphere made up for it. Still don't understand what the big deal is but I guess I will have to break down at eat there, even though from what I remember their prices were outrageous compared to what you could find on City Walk.
    From Anthony J on June 18, 2008 at 10:28 AM
    Mythos probably has the lowest prices and best food out of all of these listed (although I've never had Walt's at DLP..).
    From Joshua Counsil on June 18, 2008 at 10:52 AM
    I'm very shocked at Mythos always being the top contender. Now, I have eaten there three times - once was excellent, and the other two times were pretty good, but not the best in the world.

    I wish the question was, "What is the best theme park resort restaurant?" There are so many great ones out there that topple these choices. I have heard excellent things about the Brown Derby, and this site seems to love Le Cellier (though critics and friends seem to put it down). Can't speak for the rest.

    Whaddya think, Robert - any chance of ever including the hotel restaurants?

    From James Rao on June 18, 2008 at 11:00 AM
    When I took my family to Universal/Disney in 2007, we all thought Mythos had the best food of all the themed, full service restaurants (including the WDW restaurants).

    (NOTE: we usually only do lunches at the "fancy" places cause it is a lot cheaper at lunch than at dinner. Dinner and counter service go hand in hand for me!)

    I do remember that Mythos was definitely less expensive than the Citywalk restaurants we patronized. Our meal at Mythos was about $20 less than NBA City and Hard Rock Cafe (both lunches), and at least $50 less than Margaritaville....not including alcohol. But Margaritaville was a dinner excursion, so that probably doesn't count.

    Anyway, if you go to lunch at Mythos, you have to try the Buffalo BBQ Fried Chicken Wrap, if it is still available. It was excellent! And don't forget the Sushi Dessert if you have kids!

    Oh, and Joshua, the Brown Derby is great...except you'll feel like you should be wearing a tux, not shorts, sandals, and a T-shirt!

    From Joshua Counsil on June 18, 2008 at 11:09 AM
    Oh, and Robert -

    Maybe at the theme park awards, we could acknowledge some of the people that make this site worth visiting.

    I was thinking, maybe as a vote of the week, or as a full tournament, we could vote for the best discussion thread? There are some really great topics and trip reports out there.

    I know there are a lot to go through over the last year, but maybe a minimum requirement, like 20 responses, would narrow it down.

    Any thoughts?

    From Mitchell Botwin on June 18, 2008 at 11:14 AM
    I decided to sort them instead of voting for just one

    Mythos Restaurant
    The Hollywood Brown Derby
    Le Cellier Steakhouse
    Liberty Tree Tavern

    I have not eaten in these two, so they are not part of the sort.
    Sharks Underwater Grill
    Walt's

    Is there a way to sort them so that each restaurant has a vote that based on points for finishing in Win Place or Show which should change the order for which comes in second?

    From Robert Niles on June 18, 2008 at 12:09 PM
    Borda voting; gotta love it!

    I have been toying with ways to do a Borda count vote on the site. Don't have time to put that together right now, though.

    From Larry Zimmerman on June 18, 2008 at 1:31 PM
    My family and I were quite pleasantly surprised by the excellent food and very attentive service we experienced at The Brown Derby during a recent lunchtime visit. Although it was pricy, the overall experience was (Buzz) Lightyears ahead of a typical theme park meal. The coconut shrimp appetizer knocked the kids' socks off, and the udon noodle bowl had them both screaming for more (!?) coconut-crusted fried tofu. The seared tuna was fresh and nicely coated in a savory mixture that held up well to the clearly fresh fish. And while my rock shrimp aglioli pasta was good, I should have tried the tuna myself. Desserts were also good; we split the mango fruit sorbet and a slice of the grapefruit cake. The sorbet won, but the cake came in a close second. The atmosphere reminded me of 40's Hollywood (isn't that the intent?) and I half expected Bogie and Baby to casually stroll down the stairs into the center pit for a crowd-watching table.

    We'll be back.

    From Danny Melillo on June 18, 2008 at 2:05 PM
    I love Mythos. Mythos pwns any restaurant in City Walk in food and price. The atmosphere is great. The dessert shooters are pure genius.
    From Gareth H on June 18, 2008 at 7:09 PM
    Mythos for me.
    Great prices, great food and great service.
    My Christmas day visit was the best, the food tasted perfect.
    Us Brits tend to celebrate Christmas the same way you lovely Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving, so it was really nice to go somewhere special.
    I was totally blown away at how cheap the prices were. 2 Entrees, 2 Deserts, 2 beers and 2 glasses of tipsy juice (Wine) for the wife cam eout at $46 after my AP Discounts, amazing, so a $20 was deserved.
    Can't wait to go back again soon.
    From Scottland Jacobson on June 19, 2008 at 6:35 AM
    It's Mythos again. Wonderful atmosphere. Amazing service. Delicious food. Great prices for what you get.

    The tortilla soup is just scrumptious!

    I took my very high-maintenance - must have valet/room service, etc. - friend there with her son. She LOVED it. That says it all...

    I ate there with her 10 year old son twice. The waiter accommodated all of his picky eating habits and he was happy as a clam.

    Mythos wins. Hands down.

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