Don't Miss These Top 10 Dishes at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

October 15, 2015, 10:15 AM · The 20th annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is off to a bang. I went opening weekend and it was packed. I waited more than 30 minutes in the Brazil line alone. (Fastpasses, please?) Hopefully, the lines have simmered down, but trying to visit all 30 food booths is still a daunting task. So here’s my list of the top 10 dishes you MUST try while at the festival.

Brazil’s Crispy Pork Belly

Runner Up: Brazil’s Crispy Pork Belly ($5.50) - The reason the Brazil line is so long is for the crispy pork belly. On top of a succulent piece of pork belly is a mix of fresh avocado, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro. Underneath is black beans. It’s a great dish, but the only reason why I made it a runner up is because I have had better elsewhere.

Poland’s Kielbasa and Potato Pierogi

10. Poland’s Kielbasa and Potato Pierogi ($5.50) – This was such a popular dish at prior Festivals that it’s served year round at Food Truck Park in Disney Springs. The Polish Kielbasa sausage has a lot of flavor and served with caramelized onions and sour cream. The potato pierogis (similar to a dumpling) were soft and the pure potato mix inside tastes fresh. I advise you to get this early in the day because they tend to skimp on the Kielbasa pieces (went from 7 to 2 pieces!).

Cheese Studio’s Trio of Artisan Cheeses

9. Cheese Studio’s Trio of Artisan Cheeses ($5.00) – What list is complete without cheese? Left to right: there’s the Karst cave aged cheese served with honey, La Bonne Vie goat cheese with Craisin (dried cranberry) bread, and Rogue Creamery blue cheese with a berry-port compote. All are great cheeses alone, but the pairings really enhance the taste. My favorite was the Karst cheese. The same cheese trio is also served at the wine studio.

Australia’s Grilled Lamb Chop

8. Australia’s Grilled Lamb Chop ($6.75) – One of my personal favorites that I just cannot miss when I’m at the Festival. The grilled lamb chop is served with mint pesto and potato crunchies (broken potato chips). When you put all three together, it’s just amazing. Generally the lamb chop is cooked medium rare to medium. The great thing is you can watch the chefs prepare the lamb chops right in front of you.

Patagonia’s Beef Empanada

7. Patagonia’s Beef Empanada ($4.75) – Originally at the Argentina food booth a few years back, the empanada returns again this year at the booth that brings both Chilean and Argentinian style cooking, Patagonia. Inside is a moist beef mix that has spices and very little chopped onion and pepper. It’s a little bit spicy, but absolutely delicious. Last year’s seemed to have more fillers in the beef mix, but this year has more beef in a nice dough shell.

Farm Fresh’s Loaded Mac ‘N’ Cheese

6. Farm Fresh’s Loaded Mac ‘N’ Cheese ($4.25) – Macaroni cheese with bacon is great. Macaroni and cheese with Nueske’s pepper bacon is even greater. According to Nueske’s website, the bacon is smoked for 24 hours on Applewood chips. Last year at the Farm Fresh, they had the pepper bacon hash with sweet corn, potato, hollandaise, and pickled jalepeno peppers for $4.00. For an additional $0.25, adding creamy macaroni and cheese is a major improvement. A must have dish if you’re a fan of either bacon or mac ‘n’ cheese.

France’s Croissant aux Escargot

5. France’s Croissant aux Escargot ($5.50) – Yes, escargot are snails, but they are very tasty and should at least be tried once. And this is absolutely the dish to try them. Escargot alone are a tad chewy and rather tasteless, but when you add garlic, oil, and parsley to the mix, they are scrumptious. That mix is put inside one of the flakiest, most buttery, toasted Croissants I ever tasted. Délicieux!

Hawaii’s Tuna Poke

4. Hawaii’s Tuna Poke ($4.75) –The best fish dish at the Festival. The fresh raw tuna mix is spicy and served on top of seaweed salad. Nori strings (seaweed) garnishes on top to make it a truly eye appealing dish. It’s light and very refreshing. The seaweed salad is simply the best. Here’s to you Gabriel.

Mexico’s Chilaquiles de Pollo

3. Mexico’s Chilaquiles de Pollo ($5.00) – I was really surprised about this new dish. From the title and description, it didn’t seem all that appealing especially compared to the already amazing shrimp tacos, but I had to try it. It’s seasoned chicken amidst corn chips, queso fresco (sweet crumbly Mexican cheese), sour cream, and cilantro. It’s like if you left your chicken nachos out to become soggy and then toasted it. I could have the Chilaquiles as a meal alone.

Hops and Barley’s Lobster Roll

2. Hops and Barley’s Lobster Roll ($7.50) – A New England staple and a Festival favorite. The lobster roll is the tied with Canada’s Filet Mignon as being the most expensive food dish at all the outside food booths. It’s also filled with fresh lobstah! The roll, although on the smaller end, is freshly baked and soft to the bite. It has mayonnaise, celery, and chopped onion. Just full of flavor.

Chew Lab’s NY Strip

1. Chew Lab’s NY Strip ($6.25) – This dish tastes as impressive as it looks. The NY Strip is prepared sous-vide, meaning the steak is placed in air tight bags and boiled until it reaches the perfect temperature, to ensure even and juicy cooking. The steak will melt in your mouth. It comes with parsnip silk (the white potato like puree underneath), balsamic glaze, arugula foam on top. I believe it’s a dish worth keeping year round because it really stands out.

Replies (17)

October 15, 2015 at 10:28 AM · My taste buds are ready
October 15, 2015 at 11:32 AM · As always you have great recommendations! I have to say though I lovvveee the slider from America, probably better than the lobster roll (still an amazing food).

When are you doing the wine part ;)?

October 15, 2015 at 11:32 AM · Whoa, that looks amazing. You've made me regret not being able to attend this year.
October 15, 2015 at 11:37 AM · Yum! I am going in a few weeks and cannot wait to try these dishes! Thanks for getting me even more excited!!
October 15, 2015 at 11:40 AM · Thank you! We will be there on day the 19th. Can't wait to sample....
October 15, 2015 at 11:42 AM · I have found that when I happen across Epcot while food and wine is on I am completely overwhelmed by all of the options available. Combine the abundance of choices with the intimidating lines and I usually end up avoiding the whole situation thinking, "I can't be missing that much." Boy am I wrong! Thanks to this excellent review I now know exactly where I need to spend my time! Thank you for doing the leg work for us.
October 15, 2015 at 2:18 PM · Don't forget the Duck Breast in a steamed bun at China
October 15, 2015 at 3:04 PM · Great article as always, Jeff. What would you say is the average wait time in lines? Can I use a Disney gift card to pay?
October 15, 2015 at 3:28 PM · Finally! An article that provides price breakdown with taste value! I agree with some of the other comments that this event can be overwhelming, but to see your suggested eats really helps! I must say I can't wait to go back and try that lamb chop and lobster roll! Do you have any suggestions on wine/beer flights as I noticed a large variety for that as well? Thanks again, I always look forward to your reviews!
October 15, 2015 at 4:51 PM · Matt, yes you can use a gift card. They have small ones you can use that have a wrist band that they just scan so you can keep your hands free. I was there Monday afternoon, which was Columbus day, the lines weren't too bad, 5 to 10 minutes, but overall was pretty packed just walking around. Wednesday we went back around noon, it wasn't bad at all, we could walk up to most booths, maybe one or two people in front of you. I'm sure nights get busier though with people coming after work though.
We've only tried a few of these so far, we're going back in a few days to try the rest. We really like everything at the Brazil booth and my husband's favorite was the lamb meatball at New Zealand.
October 15, 2015 at 5:23 PM · Awesome review Jeff, those are my favorites as well for the most part! I always thought the Lobster Roll had too much mayo for the price but haven't tried it for awhile. This definitely made me want to go again!
October 15, 2015 at 6:19 PM · I had the new york strip a few days ago and it was easily the best new york strip I've ever had, it was that good. Highly recommended.
October 15, 2015 at 7:51 PM · Looks delicious. I have to say though, I've never heard of "potato crunches", it must be an idea they got from Outback Jack's, cause it's not Australian.
October 16, 2015 at 6:56 AM · Great review again, Jeff! I went the opening weekend as well, and the lines were rough. I wish I had a breakdown like this prior to going so I could focus on certain areas. And the pork belly really was incredible!
October 17, 2015 at 10:36 AM · Great article! I went opening weekend as well and the lines were long but when youre in good company, it doesnt seem that bad. I got probably 5 of the things on your list and I gotta say they were my favorites too. The south korea lettuce wrap was also one of my favorites. I definitely have to go back before the festival's over to try the other items on your list.
October 17, 2015 at 2:19 PM · Any great vegetarian dishes you came across?
October 18, 2015 at 8:12 PM · Jan, Greece's spanokopita is an excellent dish. Fresh spinach and cheese served in a really flaky pastry.

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