14 Best Fine Dining Restaurants at Walt Disney World
Sometimes, you deserve a night on the town, right? When you’re on vacation, you especially want to treat yourself, and The Walt Disney Company is happy to oblige. They have several high-class establishments that serve some of the finest cuisines in town. Here are 14 of the best fine dining restaurants at Walt Disney World.
The BOATHOUSE at Disney Springs
When you’re in the mood for fine dining, Disney Springs is your best bet. Three of these listings are at the entertainment complex, and I could have, maybe should have mentioned others.
The BOATHOUSE is the place to go for seafood dishes, a healthy wine list, and one of the largest selections of entrees on the Disney campus. The restaurant proudly serves “Surf and Turf, Florida Style” that should appeal to anyone.
California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
The best reasons to eat at California Grill are simple. You’ll dine on some of the tastiest treats anywhere in Orlando. And the drinks here are equally divine, with one of the most robust wine lists imaginable.
Plus, you’ll get to see Magic Kingdom’s landmarks from more than 100 feet in the air, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows. This place is and always will be Disney royalty.
The Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Many of the places on this list are Signature Dining experiences, which is Disney’s way of signifying that a restaurant’s quality is impeccable. Even by those standards, The Hollywood Brown Derby stands apart due to two unique selling points.
One is that it recreates the Cobb salad made famous at the original Hollywood Brown Derby during the 1930s. The other is that you can Dine with an Imagineer here three times a week.
Until recently, it was the only restaurant to offer such a rare opportunity. These events sell out quickly but are well worth your time.
Le Cellier at the Canada Pavilion at Epcot
Canadians are far too polite to puff out their chests and brag about their culinary contributions. Their natural humility belies the excellence of their food and drinks, though.
At Le Cellier, you’ll discover the genius of Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup, admire the execution of their steaks, and marvel at the quality of their beers.
You may even sample the poutine, although you lose me on that one. If I wind up in The Bad Place, they’ll serve poutine at every meal.
But I’m told by a particular poutine admirer whom I married that the poutine at Le Cellier is some of the best in the world.
Monsieur Paul at the France Pavilion at Epcot
Every time I discuss the late Paul Bocuse, the namesake of this restaurant, I can’t help but mention the Bocuse d’Or. Bocuse literally invented the most prestigious cooking competition in the world, which tells you everything that you need to know about the quality of his cuisine.
While the legendary chef passed away in 2018, his recipes live on at Monsieur Paul, which is operated by his son, Jerome. Until Takumi-Tei opens later this summer, this restaurant is unquestionably the finest dining experience possible at Epcot’s World Showcase.
Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs
Speaking of iconic chefs, Masaharu Morimoto first earned his reputation as the executive chef at the world-famous Nobu. He would later become the most decorated Iron Chef ever on first the Japanese version of the show and then the American one that still airs on the Food Network.
A master of ramen and other peasant food, Chef Morimoto has elevated his dishes to the height of culinary flavor. You’ll feel like you’re sampling ambrosia when you dine here.
And Morimoto isn’t even the only reality chef champion involved. Former Top Chef winner Hung Hunyh is the current chef de cuisine. You’re eating a meal fit for champions at Chef Morimoto.
Narcoossee’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Citricos versus Narcoossee’s is the eternal question at the Grand Floridian, although you can’t go wrong at any of the restaurants onsite. I favor Narcoossee’s since I’m not a huge fan of seafood. If you are, reverse the suggestions!
At Narcoossee’s, you’ll have your choice of mouth-watering entrees such as exquisite pork and steak dishes. You should also try their signature mashed potatoes, which – and this is Galaxy Brain thinking – have bacon!
Shula’s at Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
I’m a carnivore and a steak lover in particular. Three of the remaining entries on this list cater to folks like me who love a good steak. Shula’s is the most famous franchise in Florida due to its founder, Don Shula.
The legendary NFL head coach started this restaurant chain after his retirement, and it’s become one of the most respected steakhouses on the planet. Even so, I think that the other two options below are slightly better for steak lovers.
STK Orlando at Disney Springs
Like Shula’s, STK is also a restaurant chain. Their Disney Springs location is generally regarded as the best one, although some might argue for Las Vegas. The steaks at STK Orlando are works of art, and that’s by design. It’s a trendy establishment that seeks status on the cutting edge of fine dining.
There’s even a DJ at the restaurant. When you’re in the mood for romance, it’s a wonderful choice since the environment is intentionally dark and atmospheric. And the Cowgirl Ribeye is a religious experience.
Tiffins at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Tiffins narrowly beats The BOATHOUSE as the “newest” fine dining restaurant on this list. What you can read into this statement is that Disney doesn’t open such establishments often. They want to allow each one to find its footing.
The struggle was real at Tiffins, which faced a tumultuous first year before settling into its current status as the clear cut choice for foodies at Animal Kingdom. The cuisine here varies between African, Asian, and Indian, although the best bite here IMO is the South African Chocolate Ganache.
Todd English’s bluezoo at Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
The Swan & Dolphin resorts are ones that Disney doesn’t own. As a means of competing with actual Disney restaurants, the hotel management team has emphasized fine dining. Shula’s gets most of the attention, but Todd English is a celebrity chef and a titan in the field, too.
As a trivia note, English is a former Iron Chef, too. He competed on the short-lived version hosted by William Shatner (yes, Captain Kirk) and held the coveted title of Iron Chef American.
bluezoo is his award-winning creation that focuses on international coastal cuisine. It’s a recent recipient of the AAA Four Diamond award, which tells you everything that you need to know about the meal you’ll eat here.
Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
The classiest joint in all of Orlando is undoubtedly Victoria & Albert’s. It sees bluezoo’s Four Diamond award and raises the bar even higher. Victoria & Albert’s is one of the few restaurants in North America to garner a Five Diamond award.
I almost feel guilty putting it on a list with other, lesser restaurants, because the reality of the situation is apparent. When you can afford to eat here, you eat here. It’s better than everywhere else.
The problem is the price. Dinner for two at Victoria & Albert’s will cost about as much as an iPad. I’m not even joking. Prices start at $235 per person, $385 when you want the wine pairing.
When you want to put on your Sunday best and have an unforgettable date, this is the place to go. Just understand that you’ll fear your credit card statement that month.
The Wave… of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
The cheapest place on this list is also one of my favorite stories. Some cast members have relayed to me stories about how royal parties and other ultra-wealthy people sometimes need a table for 20+. The Wave is a go-to selection for having that sort of last-minute availability while still delivering the type of meal worthy of a sultan.
The Wave is one of the best-kept secrets of Walt Disney World due to its location. Everyone is so focused on Chef Mickey’s on the fourth floor and California Grill on the top floor that this place kind of gets forgotten. And that’s tragic because the food here is actually reasonably priced relative to its quality.
This restaurant serves the only Table Service meal at Disney that I feel rivals the other high-class establishments listed here. When you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, it’s a terrific use of a single Table Service entitlement.
Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
The final selection here is my pick as the best steakhouse at Walt Disney World, a title which matters to me. I’m not saying that they serve the absolute best steak on the Disney campus, a topic for another day, but the food is consistently top-notch, which it has to be.
Disney uses this restaurant as a place where businesspeople meet to talk shop. Major League Baseball’s winter meetings are sometimes held at the hotel, which leads to some hilarious cast member stories about team GMs dumping their drinks over an insulting trade offer.
The Yachtsman Steakhouse is intended to be the elite steakhouse at Walt Disney World, an honor I believe the restaurant has earned.