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Where to eat? Lunch at Epcot's Les Halles Boulangerie and Patisserie

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Published: April 9, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Walt Disney World visitors for years have been cramming into Epcot's France pavilion to enjoy a variety of tempting sweets and bakery treats. So last year, Disney gave Epcot's counter-service eatery a new, larger home, expanding into the space adjacent the exit of the Impressions de France theater to create Les Halles Boulangerie and Patisserie.

Les Halles Boulangerie and Patisserie

As its name implies, Les Halles offers more than just pastries and sweets. (In France, a "patisserie" is a pastry shop and a "boulangerie" makes bread. Some foodies insist that no one can be an expert at both, but it's not like there's only one person back there running this eatery.)

Pastry case
Some of the many pastries at Les Halles.

We selected both sweet and savory items for a family lunch last month.

Family lunch
Our lunch for four, clockwise from top: A baguette ($2.95), Quiche Lorraine ($5.20), Chocolate Eclair ($4.25), Jambon Beurre (ham and cheese sandwich - $6.25), Creme Brulee ($3.75) and Lobster bisque ($4.90).

Coming from Southern California, Les Halles reminded me -- a lot -- of the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe at Disneyland. We enjoyed what tasted to me like the same Lobster bisque that I'd enjoyed at Jolly Holiday during the "One More Disney Day" event last year.

Epcot's bisque came without the breadstick (and seafood garnish) accompanying the Disneyland version, but cost $1.09 less. The ham and Gruyere quiche at Les Halles sported a flakier crust than the more biscuit-like crust on the Jolly Holiday version, but the Disneyland quiche offered larger chunks of ham and a side salad for its $7.19 price - $1.99 more than the Epcot quiche.

Quiche Lorraine
Quiche Lorraine ($5.20)

We ordered a full-sized baguette with our meal ($2.95) and were glad we did. We hadn't anticipated finishing the whole thing, but the chewy crust and warm interior paired so well with the tangy bisque that Laurie found herself dunking piece after piece.

Lobster bisque

Our kids split the delightful Jambon Beurre, a ham and cheese sandwich on a buttered baguette, while saving space for our desserts, a silky Creme Brulee with the requisite sugar crust that shattered upon first contact with a spoon, and a chocolate eclair that disappeared so quickly that I couldn't take proper note of it. No one claimed responsibility, though somehow everyone felt qualified to declare that it was delicious. Hmmmm….

Have you eaten at the new Les Halles Boulangerie and Patisserie? Please share your thoughts on our Les Halles Boulangerie and Patisserie review page and in the comments below.

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Readers' Opinions

From Robert Niles on April 9, 2013 at 9:55 PM
As much as we enjoyed the food at Les Halles, I should note that the theming inside the ordering area and adjacent seating area is a bit, well, thin. There are touches that suggest a French bistro here and there, but the overwhelming esthetic is of a modern cafeteria, in a somewhat dark setting.

It's "B" grade theming, like what we used to see from the pre-Potter Universal, and not the more immersive "A"-grade theming that we've grown accustomed to seeing from Disney. That carries to the presentation of the food, as well. (paper plates, plastic wraps, etc.) Disney World just doesn't see to be as well themed and presented in such things these days as Disneyland.

Anyone have thoughts on that?

From Mark Hollamon on April 10, 2013 at 4:21 AM
We love Les Halles! You are correct that it isn't rich with theming, but it is rich with food! The old Patisserie was a traditional stop for we locals when heading out to the park for a snack and fireworks in the evening. That won't change.

I love the fact Les Halles is open early, before the rest of the World Showcase wakes up, so one can get a croissant and cup of coffee in the early morning and watch the day unfold from the bridge area next to France. It's a beautiful way to start the day!

From Robert Niles on April 10, 2013 at 7:47 AM
I didn't know about the early open, Mark. Thank you for mentioning that. Good tip!
From 184.89.217.236 on April 10, 2013 at 11:32 AM
I love their chocolate chip cookies! Definitely my favorite dessert at WDW. :) And they're exactly the same as they were before they moved the restaurant.

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