One of the best parts of Disneyland is the food…it all smells and tastes so delicious. There are two reasons for this. One Disneyland pipe smells throughout the park to make you hungry. And two, you will be exercising more than you realize so its easy to work up an appetite. We definitely have some favorite places to eat and here they are!
Blue Bayou Restaurant
(New Orleans Square)
Nothing quite beats the atmosphere of eating in Pirates of the Caribbean. Its pretty amazing. You can make reservations up to 60 days in advance, and if you want to go you WILL need to make reservations as soon as you can. I think this is more fun when you don’t have small toddlers. Its dark and our toddlers always got a little freaked out. The food is good, not amazing in my opinion but come on – your eating in a ride so its worth it!
Hungry Bear Restaurant
This is one of our favorites. The food is really good. We love the sweet potato fries. We also love the seating here. Its right on the water and has great shade. There are lots of ducks around and you can see the steamboat and train come by while you eat. Really the ambiance of this restaurant can only be beat by the Blue Bayou in my opinion.
Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante
As far as flavor goes, this is probably the best food in the park. A little southwest and Mexican mixed together. There are A LOT of options. They also have heaters so if you are there on a cold day find a seat under the heater and its a wonderful way to heat up.
Corn Dog Cart
(End of Main Street)
This will be the BEST corndog you have ever eaten! I don’t even like corndogs and I will wait to get my hands on one of these. Hand dipped and huge, they are worth the wait. This is a great parade meal. A couple of us will save seats for the parade while the other few run to grab corndogs to bring back for a picnic while we wait.
Do you like clam chowder? Because if so, you will love the chowder here served in a bread bowl! They also have a lobster roll that is amazing.
Here are some sweet treats around the park you don’t want to miss!
(Tiki Room – Adventureland)
Oh heavens! Nothing beats a Dole Whip float on a hot day! A Dole Whip Float is pineapple soft serve with pineapple juice. They are delicious!
(Carts throughout the whole park)
They are ridiculously expensive but sooooo good!
Mickey Shaped Beignets
(Mint Julep bar – New Orleans Square)
If you haven’t ever had a Beignet, you definitely should! They are similar to donuts but so much better. They are served with a vanilla bean creme anglaise and raspberry coulis. In the fall they have pumpkin flavored beignets too!
Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor
This is an old fashioned Ice Cream parlor that is both fun and yummy!
There you go, now you are prepared knowing some of the best places to eat. I think its important to keep food in mind when planning your day. You don’t want to end up on the opposite side of the park at lunchtime from the restaurant you want to eat at. For example I think the majority of the best food is on one side of the park. So we hit Fantasyland or Tomorrowland in the morning and then head over to the other side of the park around the time we are ready to eat. We once ate at the Tomorrowland Terrace thinking it was a good plan to eat our food during the Jedi Training Academy. Bad plan! It was just like a cafeteria hamburger. Not worth it. If you are going to spend a ton of money – you want to be eating something worthwhile!
And that is the bad part of all this delicious food – the price! It is expensive! You can bring food into the park so that helps. We usually eat a huge breakfast before coming. That way we can snack a little and not have to eat until 1:00-2:00 when the lunch crowds are thinner. The portions are huge so we usually eat a late lunch and then just snack and have a treat before we leave the park on an early close night like 8:00 or 9:00. But if we are planning on staying until 11:00 or midnight we definitely need to eat a second meal. If you want a good snack mix check out our Disneyland trail mix recipe. It helps tide us over between meals.
If you have a favorite place to eat or meal inside the Disneyland park please let us know in the comments. I’m always up for trying new things!
You can see the rest of our Disneyland series here:
Fantasyland Guide: Ride by Ride!
Frontierland & Critter Country – Ride by Ride!
Adventureland and New Orleans Square – Ride by Ride!
California Adventures and Cars Land
How could you forget Churros?! Gotta have one a day everyday on my sister’s & my annual DL trips!
I completely agree with this list! How did you hit on all my favorites? We use to live in LA and we’re annual pass holders and experienced the full gamut of the Disneyland restaurants. This list is just about perfect.
Thanks so much for the comment! Great minds think alike!! Hehe!
If you’re looking for a quick, inexpensive, and practical meal, that almost all kids will like, but has healthy options too, then go to Toontown. We’ll take the train to the fantasyland station. They have pizza and hot dogs that my kids like. I like the fresh chef’s salad, fresh fruit platter that’s cold and refreshing, and sometimes the roast turkey club sandwich. We order a couple of the fruit platters to share. Don’t sit in the normal seeting area. Instead sit on the large half circle benches near both sides of the entrance. They are shaded and in our experience never crowded…we go at off times too. The side with the fountain is nice because of the sound of the water and the kids like to hang out at it. It’s actually quite relaxing.
Awesome list, I know I did a lot of research for our last Disney trip so we could really enjoy ourselves without blowing our budget. Thank you so much for linking this up to The Creative Collection Link Party.
Lol, we hit 2 or 3 of those places every time we go! We live in the OC and used to have passes and could NEVER pass up the dole whip, perfect on a warm afternoon, and the hot dog cart on the way out. If we shared a corn dog between two people we could have them finished by the time we would get to the parking lot tram. One that you didn’t mention that we like for quick, somewhat healthy (fruit and veggie options) and less expensive lunch is the River Belle Terrace. If you get to the park early enough and the kids are hungry they serve the cutest Mickey Mouse pancakes in the morning that my children devour every time. Their pulled pork sandwich is yummy too and beans are addictive and crave-worthy. I worked at the park in college and you are right about them piping the smells. They pipe it everywhere!
Oh Lisa, YOU MUST go to cafe Orleans. Our favorite is to get a salad, Monte cristo sandwich, pomme frites, a mint julep (oh hey, free refills!), and the beignets to share. That will feed 2-3 people. So yummy. My family is in Disneyland this week and they are torturing me with all the delicious food pictures they are sending me. I’m making a Monte cristo knock off tonight for dinner to help ease the pain of not being there with them
We ate at the Holly Jolly Cafe last time we were there and it was pretty tasty. Healthier options there with some more sophisticated options. On Main street just as you’re heading to Adventureland. We also love funnel cakes over by the Golden Horseshoe. Deadly.
How I have never known they have funnel cakes!?! Going in a week and I’m going to scope them out!