What are the best restaurants at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando?
Yesterday, we brought you Theme Park Insider readers' collective opinion on the worst restaurants at the Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando
theme park resorts. Today, we look to the opposite end of the quality scale, and honor the restaurants you've selected to be among the Orlando theme parks' best.
Readers' choice as the best theme park restaurant in Orlando
According to our Theme Park Insider reader ratings, here are the top table-service and counter-service restaurants in the Orlando-area theme parks. (10 votes minimum)
Best table-service restaurants
- Lombard's Seafood Grille, Universal Studios Florida
- The Hollywood Brown Derby, Disney's Hollywood Studios
- Mythos Restaurant, Universal's Islands of Adventure
- Finnegan's Bar and Grill, Universal Studios Florida
- Teppan Edo, Epcot
Best counter-service restaurants
- Be Our Guest*, Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
- Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe, Epcot
- The Three Broomsticks, Universal's Islands of Adventure
- Krusty Burger, Universal Studios Florida
- Flame Tree Barbecue, Disney's Animal Kingdom
*We've got Be Our Guest listed as a counter service restaurant, since we've heard it serves more guests that way at lunch than as a table service restaurant at dinner, even though many readers are rating it on the basis of dinner. Either way, though, it's making these lists.
(Update: We also had Finnegan's on the counter service list by mistake, originally. That's corrected, which bumps Liberty Tree Tavern from the table-service top five, and promotes Flame Tree Barbecue to the counter-service list.)
If you've dined at any of these restaurants recently (past year or so), please follow those links above to submit your own rating, and a short review if you're a registered member of Theme Park Insider. (Member can submit reviews on any listed attraction, restaurant or hotel. You don't need to register to submit a rating, however.)
Of course, visitors to the Orlando theme parks have abundant options outside the parks, including many top-quality restaurants in the resorts' hotels and in the Downtown Disney and CityWalk marketplaces.
Our fans on Facebook recommended 'Ohana at Disney's Polynesian Resort, along with Victoria & Albert's at the Grand Floridian next door. In Downtown Disney, our Facebook fans liked Bongos, while Margaritaville and the NASCAR Cafe at CityWalk earned some shout-outs, too.
Over on Twitter, the California Grill atop Disney's Contemporary Resort earned the most mentions. That restaurant is reopening next Monday, September 9, with a new look and menu, and we'd love to hear some reviews from visitors. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with pictures and descriptions!
Our Twitter followers also recommended 'Ohana and the Kona Cafe at the Polynesian, as well as Jiko, Boma, and Sanaa at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, Trails End at Fort Wilderness, and Kouzzina at Disney's Boardwalk.
The new Simpsons area food is pretty good all the way around, but Mythos always has something great on the menu as they change it all the time.
I'm just thrilled to see how well the UO locations did on this. I have felt for years that while WDW gets tons of attention for its F&B, UO has offered constiantly high quality food that is fairly priced and served in well themed venues by well trained and friendly staff. Kudos Chef Jason and staff.
From a food standpoint alone, Le Cellier has my favorite food of the Orlando theme parks. Thematically, nothing beats Be Our Guest for me. If we expand to restaurants at resorts, Artists Point at Wilderness Lodge is one of my all time favorites.
Huh.... I'm thrilled that Lombard's topped the list (and that Mythos & Finnegan's made the top 5), but I'm a bit surprised. I've never had a bad experience there -- and last year's experience viewing Universal's anniversary cinema-spectacular thingy on the lagoon from their deck was wonderful -- but I'd never noticed it getting that much love from TPI readers. Guess I missed something. Regardless -- way to go, Universal!!
I know that the three broomsticks is incredibly well themed - and perhaps it's improved since we were there in 2011 but I found the food to be absolutely awful and was really surprised to see it on this list! Perhaps people rate it so high because of the ambiance :) Good list though - eat at a number of these places in Nov so I can rate them after that :)
I usually try and eat light when I go to parks, but of all the places I have had full meals, I enjoyed Via Napoli at Epcot. According to some relatives I went with, all of the ingredients are straight from Italy, which is a plus in my book. Likewise, I've always enjoyed Louie's at Universal for counter service. What can I say, I'm a pizza guy.
Maybe Lombard's and Hollywood Brown Derby have improved in quality the last two years. I would have said they were the two worst value for money places, over priced for sub-standard food. Next time I visit I might try them again.
That's a good list from my experience. I've eaten at 7 of those on the list. The nice thing about Universal's full service restaurants on this list, is the food is very good and the prices are much more reasonable than at WDW full service restaurants, and at Universal you don't really need to reserve more than a day ahead, if that.
I feel that this is really Universal skewed. Mythos, yes. The rest? Eh
Looking at those ratings I have to say from my experience they seem to have very little to do with the actual food and the comparative quality. I've eaten at both Mythos and Lombards, (more than once), and whilst both are on our 'must do' list if at Universal neither of them produces food that even approximates to the quality of, say, Jiko, Narcoosees, Artist Point, California Grill... To be honest I've eaten better at many of Disney's mid-range restaurants. Mythos is certainly better than many out there but I refuse to rate something as 'better' because it's cheaper or easier to get a reservation. For me it's about the food and the atmosphere.
Last time I went to Finnegans the floor was filthy, my food was forgotten so my party had theirs without me and when it arrived was covered in grease. Never again.
I must echo Rachelle Beaney's sentiment. The WWoHP is stunning and the theming of the Thee Broomsticks is great... The food is abysmal.
Now I don't know what to do! I always feel that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it and two of the 5 top table service restaurants are ones I would not think of trying again.
Sunshine Seasons? You've got to be kidding.
I have a favorite at each.
IMHO the best food we've had at WDW came from the Flying Fish Café. Close seconds were the California Grill and Jiko's.
Agree with Mythos, Flanigan's and Simpsons, (Cleatis waffle / chicken sandwich is incredible). Le Cellar is excellent also, but is next to impossible to get into unless you schedule months out. I don't do that. Surprised no one mentioned The Palm in the Hard Rock Hotel. Best steak I have ever eaten!
UOR. Best is Mythos followed by Lombard's. CityWalk's best and hidden treasure is Latin Café. I usually buy the Movie & Meal Deal ticket and have a nice early dinner then take in a movie; or vice-verse.
Sunshine Seasons is hit and miss, depending on what you get and what time of day. It's far from the worst or inedible trash. It's certainly not the best, though.
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