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Monday Top 10: The best quick-service restaurants at the Disneyland Resort

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Published: August 25, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Two weeks ago, we featured the Top 10 quick-service restaurants at the Walt Disney World Resort. As promised, this week we're turning to the west coast and honoring the top counter-service eateries at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. These include not just long-time popular places to eat at the original Disneyland Park, but also some of the hot new restaurants at Disney California Adventure. As an added bonus for repeat visitors, many Disneyland restaurants shake up their menus with seasonal and holiday specials that are as much an attraction for locals as the seasonal decorations, lights, and parades.

10. Rancho del Zocalo
Disneyland

Rancho del Zocalo

The successor to the original Casa de Fritos (renown as the birthplace of Doritos), Frontierland's Mexican restaurant wins extra points from fans for its holiday tamales.

9. Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe
Disneyland

Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe

Enjoy a salad, sandwich, or quiche along with Jolly Holiday's selection of sweet treats, including the Matterhorn Macaroon.

8. River Belle Terrace
Disneyland

River Belle Terrace

The carved turkey and roast beef might get you in the door, but it's getting to eat on the porch overlooking the Rivers of America and Tom Sawyer Island that keeps many fans coming back to this Frontierland favorite.

7. Pacific Wharf Cafe
Disney California Adventure

Pacific Wharf Cafe

Sure, there are other places you can get soup or stew in a bread bowl at the Disneyland Resort, but they always seem to taste best when you get them here, right next to the park's Boudin Bakery.

6. Flo's V8 Cafe
Disney California Adventure

Flo's V8 Cafe

Disney recreated a Route 66 roadside, comfort-food diner for Cars Land, featuring carved-meat dinners and a selection of pies for dessert. And as is custom at the Disneyland Resort, most counter-service meals in the parks here are served on real plates with metal utensils, unlike the ubiquitous paper and plastic at Walt Disney World.

5. Harbour Galley
Disneyland

Harbour Galley

The loaded baked potatoes have helped propel this quick-service window, across from the Haunted Mansion, into the top half of our list.

4. French Market Restaurant
Disneyland

French Market Restaurant

Don't have a reservation for the Blue Bayou or Cafe Orleans? Just walk into the French Market and choose from a selection of Cajun and Creole-inspired entrees and salads, then maybe enjoy one of the live bands that sometime play out in the dining area.

3. Paradise Garden Grill
Disney California Adventure

Paradise Garden Grill

Mix and match to create a skewer combination at this popular new eatery on the boardwalk in California Adventure...

2. Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta
Disney California Adventure

Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta

...Or go next door and choose from the selection of flatbread pizzas, salads and pasta.

1. Plaza Inn
Disneyland

Plaza Inn

We're all about the fried chicken dinner at Disneyland's Plaza Inn. Try to get a table in the lovely Victorian "greenhouse" room at the end of the restaurant to enjoy your chicken (or maybe one of the seasonal specials that often show up on the menu) at one of the few remaining Disney restaurants that Walt himself once enjoyed.

Readers' Opinions

From Rob McCullough on August 25, 2014 at 11:58 AM
Plaza Inn is fantastic. The Fried Chicken is top notch and the restaurant is lovely.
From 70.199.245.165 on August 25, 2014 at 12:02 PM
Glad to see the Paradise Garden Grill made the cut, though I must admit I'm surprised to see it described as "popular." When we ate there, staffers were walking around with picture menus trying to drum up business. It took us 20 minutes or so to eat, and we didn't see another customer (which is insane, because the food was ridiculously good).
From Robert Niles on August 25, 2014 at 1:27 PM
I probably should have been more clear on the Paradise Garden bit. The seating area is popular -- it seems as though I'm always walking around with my tray, trying to find a table. (Mariachi bands usually play at mealtimes.) But, yeah, the wait at the counter to order and get my food is always brief. I'd highly recommend, still.
From 74.62.206.129 on August 25, 2014 at 2:52 PM
1, 2, and 10 are also nice because they have self-service free refills on drinks. :)

One other thing to note - 10/Rancho del Zocalo is the only one on the list (and the only in-park quick service excluding Starbucks) to have brewed iced tea, and they have free refills on it. :)

From 208.102.72.82 on August 25, 2014 at 4:37 PM
Paradise Garden Grill gets bonus points for being part of the thoroughly awesome Viva Navidad! holiday celebration. The special menu items are quite tasty and unique and the street party is probably one of the best productions Disney has put on in a long time.
From 172.249.195.241 on August 26, 2014 at 5:14 AM
Bengal BBQ wasn't included. It's by far the most affordable, and possibly healthiest place to eat in the whole resort. The veggie skewers with huge chunks of squash and potato are amazing, as are the $3ish meat skewers. You can eat well as a family of four at this place for well under $30.
From Jeff Hilger on August 26, 2014 at 5:18 AM
What about Bengal BBQ? Probably the most affordable and healthiest place to eat in either park. The veggie BBQ skewers have huge chunks of squash and potatoes. The chicken and beef skewers are delicious and cost less than $4 each. Plus they have both breadsticks (which aren't a highlight) as well as Mickey pretzels. You can eat well with a family of four for under $30. This place is at the top of my list.

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