Calling all thrill seekers! We know lunch is probably the last thing on your mind before you hop aboard some gravity-defying coaster, but spending a day hitting the rides can definitely work up an appetite. Why settle for lackluster theme park standards like greasy chicken legs and over boiled hot dogs when parks across the country offer not only your adrenaline fix, but delicious eats to boot?
Find award-winning food at Knoebel’s Amusement Resort in Elysburg, Pennsylvania. The park has received Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Award for Best Food for the past 13 years. Or if you’re looking for a hearty meal after a long day of riding the rides (and waiting in lines), chow down on fried chicken, homemade biscuits, and boysenberry pie at Ms. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant at Knott’s Berry Farm — a classic since 1934.
If a more grown-up meal is what you had in mind, use your connections to get invited to Club 33 at Disneyland. With a chef trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. and seasonal menu offerings, you can expect a fine dining experience that is anything but childlike. Plus, take note; it’s the only place in the park where alcohol is served. And at Universal Studios Hollywood, make sure to eat at The International Café. Not only was it the 2010 recipient of the prestigious Santé Award, but it’s also the only restaurant located within a theme park to garner the prize. And if that’s not enough to impress you, their Executive Chef also won 2010 Chef of the Year by Chef Magazine.
So who says all amusement park food has to be trite and stomach-ache-inducing? After all, it’s the roller coasters that should be making you hurl, not the food. So forget the cotton candy and skip the cheese fries. We’ve rounded up ten theme park eats so delicious, they make admission prices more than worth it.