8 Best Quick Service Restaurants in Epcot’s World Showcase
When you’re hungry at Epcot, you’re in the best place imaginable. You can walk a few hundred feet in any direction and wind up with a world-class meal featuring the finest in international cuisine. Whether you prefer Chinese, Italian, French, or Mexican food, it’s all on the menu at the World Showcase.
As MickeyBlog continues our rankings of the various food options at Walt Disney World’s theme parks, we enter the most incendiary of debates. What’s the best of the best at Epcot? The diversity of opinion here is dramatic, so please keep that in mind. So, here is one man’s (sure to be controversial) ranking of the best Quick Service meals at Epcot’s World Showcase.
8) La Cantina de San Angel
Out of all the Quick Service restaurants listed here, this one at the Mexico Pavilion is the most divisive. It’s currently one of the lowest ranked eateries in all of Walt Disney World according to Trip Advisor, yet it also has passionate support in some circles. I have friends who eat here on virtually every trip, which I find a bit crazy given the plethora of phenomenal choices.
What’s the appeal? Well, it’s Mexican food that you can eat while sitting by the water. Many of the seats overlook World Showcase Lagoon, although those tables are also the ones in greatest demand throughout the day. Even during off-hours for meals, you’ll have to scramble to get seats with a great water view. It’s totally worth the effort, though, and the food is fine, just nothing special. It earns a spot on the list for its location more than its cuisine.
7) Lotus Blossom Café
This place is another example of somewhere I like for the ambience more than the food. As far as Chinese meals go, you can do better. Nine Dragons Restaurant costs a lot more since it’s a Table Service restaurant. You’ll eat clearly superior Chinese food there, though.
At Lotus Blossom Café, the cuisine is that American kind of Chinese food, the sort that people post YouTube videos about wherein Chinese people eat it and make faces. So, nothing here is authentic in any sense of the word, but the egg rolls, chicken fried rice, and pot stickers taste like you’d expect. The other positive is that the food here is pretty cheap.
6) Liberty Inn
Let me be blunt. Few people would list this restaurant as one of their favorites. I’m in the minority, and I want you to keep that in mind when you’re deciding your meals. I have a soft spot for this place for two reasons. The first is that I’m more finicky than your cat.
I have only a handful of foods in my rotation, and I can find many of them at Liberty Inn. After humoring my family by eating Italian, French, and Japanese food for a week, I covet a cheeseburger the way that you covet your favorite pop singer.
The second is that this place often has a NY Strip Steak on the menu, making it the only Quick Service restaurant at Walt Disney World (as far as I know) with steak on the menu. It’s $13.49 as I type this, which is cheaper than you’d pay at your local Chili’s. More importantly from my perspective, it costs only one Quick Service entitlement on the Disney Dining Plan, making it basically the cheapest steak I’ll ever eat in my life. I’m not saying that the food is otherworldly, but it serves my purposes quite effectively. Should you travel with finicky eaters, you should keep that in mind.
5) Yorkshire County Fish Shop
All the countries of the world wind up with various stereotypes about their cultures. For example, Australians throw shrimp on the barbie, French servers are snooty, and all the English eat are tea and crumpets and fish and chips. A lot of those representations may be grotesque exaggerations, but I still love eating fish and chips when I’m at the England Pavilion. Okay, I don’t…fish is nasty! My wife does, though, and that’s good enough for me.
Anytime we don’t have enough freedom to sit down at Rose & Crown, she grabs fish and chips to go at the adjoining Quick Service counter. This place has a tiny menu – seriously, it’s JUST fish and chips for the entrée – and that’s why I don’t rank it higher. The one item it serves is sublime, though. It’s a perfect solution on those days when you’re staying at BoardWalk Inn or Beach Club. Grab the fish on your way out of the park and eat at your hotel!
4) Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe
The top five restaurants listed here all serve divine cuisine. What’s impressive and oh so Disney about each one is that they all honor the theme of their pavilions. Each menu is authentic and not at all stereotypical, at least for the top four. Sorry, fish and chips fans!
Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe is the restaurant that’s least often pronounced correctly at Walt Disney World. It’s also the one with the slightest menu out of today’s selections. I love it anyway. Here, they serve the sweetest treats from Norway. You can eat sweet pretzels, decadent pastries topped with sprinkles and cream, and sweet flatbreads. You should have sensed the theme. Our friends in Norway love sweets, and this eatery embodies their passion for sugary snacks. All the food is decadent, and the only reason why it’s not in the top three is that it’s short on entrees. It’s more of a snack place than a meal place.
3) Katsura Grill
Teppan Edo hogs all the glory due to its perfect meal service, one that satisfies an overwhelming majority of guests. You shouldn’t overlook the convenience and deliciousness of Katsura Grill, though. For whatever reason, many Japanese flavors travel well.
At this restaurant, you can grab a plate full of wonderful such as shrimp and rice. You’ll fill your belly in a matter of moments. It’s more filling than the quick bites the Norwegian bakery, too. Some of the dishes like sushi are ones you don’t have to eat at the restaurant, either. You can take them with you as you travel to your next Epcot destination. The only thing that’s missing is the Bento Box. Plus, the soups here are delicious. I suspect Katsura Grill would have a much stronger reputation if it didn’t stand in the shadow of Teppan Edo, one of the best overall restaurants at Walt Disney World.
2) Les Halles Boulangerie and Patisserie
What do the French know about cooking, right? They’re barely even viewed as masters of the craft. Okay, sarcasm aside, this restaurant is a bit controversial as a choice, at least this high on the list. It’s primarily known as a place for sweets, decadent French pastries that are guaranteed to make you salivate. It still deserves high placement for its sandwiches, though. Nobody loves cheese like the French, and the various sandwiches for sale here generally employ cheese in some capacity. The pairings are perfect, as you’d expect from the French. While the perception of this place is as a bakery, the reality is that it offers eight different entrees, a huge amount for a Quick Service place at the World Showcase. So, it’s a place with tasty foods and a deep menu. It’s just not…
1) Tangierine Café
Everyone remembers the infamous post-credits scene from The Avengers when the victorious but exhausted heroes try shawarma for the first time. It’s a hilarious capper to a phenomenal movie; it’s also relatable because so many of us have felt curious about delicacies such as these but never tried them.
At the Morocco Pavilion, you’ll eat foods with Middle Eastern flair that are also remarkably filling. The platters in particular are hearty. And the Saffron Chicken is so good that it has the equivalent of Table Service menu pricing. Disney does that because they know guests will pay.
The perception of Tangierine Café is that it’s the most exotic Quick Service restaurant at Epcot. I also deem it the best. While the food is too spicy for some, if your stomach can handle it, this is definitely the place to go when you want to grab a quick bite in the World Showcase.
PS: The real answer to the best Quick Service meal at the World Showcase is whichever festival food kiosk looks and smells the best that day. Since those aren’t daily options, however, I couldn’t include them. That Korean BBQ, tho…
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