Carolyn Menyes/The Daily Meal
Disneyland has no shortage of places to grab a bite to eat, and we’re not just talking about all of the theme park’s famous Mickey-shaped snacks. There are more than 45 dining options at Disneyland, including snack carts, quick service (where you order at the counter and take your food to your own table on a tray) options and table-service establishments. And some restaurants — like Blue Bayou, Cafe Orleans and Carnation Cafe — can be hard to nab a table at unless you book them when reservations open up 60 days in advance. If you’re not a seasoned pro, it can be hard to know the best places for you and your family to eat. So, to help you plan your culinary tour of Disneyland Park, we’ve tracked down the 20 best sit-down restaurants and ranked them.
Over the course of a few whirlwind trips to Disneyland, we ate at every single establishment the Happiest Place on Earth has to offer, sampling signature dishes and fan-favorite items. We then judged the restaurants on, first and foremost, the quality and taste of the food. We also took the atmosphere and theme of the restaurant, value and overall experience into consideration.
For the purposes of this list, we ate during lunch and dinner hours and judged based on those menus. Thus, experiences like the ever-popular character breakfast at Plaza Inn or the breakfast options in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge were not considered. We also did not include stands and eateries that are primarily snack spots. As much as we love beignets at the Mint Julep Bar, a turkey leg from one of the many carts throughout the park or a slice of pizza from Daisy’s Diner in Toontown, we focused on the places where you can sit down and have a meal. And these are the 20 best options, ranked.
Sometimes all you want is a classic cheeseburger, chicken tenders and fries. At Disneyland, that means you’ll be eating at the Galactic Grill, located on a patio in Tomorrowland with lovely views of Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, the Matterhorn and Autopia. The food here is serviceable and better than your typical theme park fare. The burgers (especially the rotating selection of seasonal burgers) are cooked well, and this outpost also has seasonal coffees and drinks that are worth seeking out. With every menu item coming in at under $15, Galactic Grill is a solid option for families with picky eaters who enjoy people watching.
Previously known as Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port, this quick-service location was re-themed to the adorable green aliens from Toy Story in 2019. The food is Italian-inspired with pizzas, pastas and salads at different stations and, like Galactic Grill, is a fine option for families on a budget with picky eaters. You can get a large cheese pizza that will easily feed four for $40. The interior is bright blue with posters advertising intergalactic destinations full of the green aliens and cheesy food puns. The desserts, such as seasonal macarons and parfaits, are the (perfectly Instagrammable) stars
The Golden Horseshoe has been a staple in Disneyland’s Frontierland since 1955. Today, this quick-service location serves fried foods and snacks like chicken wings, fish and chips and potato skins. The savory foods are all right; the wings are big and juicy but the sauce lacks any zip. The real reason to come to The Golden Horseshoe is the ice cream. Big scoops of ice cream are drizzled with caramel sauce, chocolate sauce and other sugary confections. The second reason to come to the Golden Horseshoe is for entertainment. Though there have been various performers here over the years, today, dueling pianos take the stage playing songs inspired by the Old West. Settle in and enjoy the show.
Stage Door Cafe shares a kitchen with The Golden Horseshoe, so you are going to find the same chicken tenders and fish and chips here that you’ll get next door. Notably, Stage Door Cafe has a Chicken Fried Steak Sandwich with chile mayonnaise that actually has a good heat to it. The funnel cakes (best topped with strawberries and whipped cream or whatever seasonal sweets they have) are among the better desserts you’ll find at Disneyland.
What could be a better fit for the all-American Main Street, U.S.A. than a hot dog joint? At Disneyland, you can grab a hot dog, chili cheese dog or mac and cheese dog at Refreshment Corner. These frankfurters are plump and juicy, but if you like your hot dog with a snappy skin (like some of the best hot dogs in America have), you won’t get that here. These dogs are salty, enormous and satisfying, though. The cream cheese-filled pretzels are also a great snack to grab and eat on the go. (Tip: get the jalapeño cheese pretzel.) This spot has ample outdoor seating on Main Street, which makes for some prime people and parade watching.
Located in Critter Country near one of the best Disney rides of all time, Splash Mountain, Hungry Bear Restaurant is a quick-service spot serving burgers, chicken sandwiches, fries and other family-friendly fare. The expansive, dark wood patio seems to have two modes: completely empty and the perfect place to relax or so crowded you can’t find a seat. It’s really a crapshoot. As for the food, the honey-spiced chicken sandwich actually has a peppery kick to it and is quite crispy. The loaded french fries or onion rings, topped with cheese sauce, bacon, scallions and cilantro lime crema, are a must-order.
Themed after “Beauty and the Beast” and located in Fantasyland near Casey Jr. Circus Train, Red Rose Taverne serves flatbreads, burgers, chicken sandwiches and fries. But this typical theme park fare is amplified with French-inspired twists. Beast's Forbidden Pastrami Burger, for instance, is topped with pastrami, Swiss-American cheese, a sliced pickle and spicy mustard. The waffle fries are transformed into slow-cooked beef poutine with beef so tender it practically melts in your mouth. You pay more for these items — the Beast-inspired burger is $16.49 whereas a standard cheeseburger at Disneyland is $11.79 at Galactic Grill — but they’re more interesting, and we appreciate that.
If you’re looking to join those who flock to the most Instagrammed place on Earth and take a snap of whatever latest and greatest sweet treat is on offer, chances are it’s going to be available at the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe on Main Street, U.S.A. A few classic baked goods, like the Matterhorn Macaroon and Raspberry Rose Mickey Macaron, are always available as well. The savory food lineup is led by the cult classic Jolly Holiday Combo, a magnificently melty toasted cheese sandwich with a comforting bowl of tomato basil soup. It’s simple yet satisfying.
The interior of River Belle Terrace, a table-service restaurant in Frontierland, may be light and airy, but the food will surely stick to your ribs. Hearty American fare like Southern fried game hen or beef short ribs with mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables are certainly a good deal at less than $30, but the cooking can be inconsistent. If you want a safe and scrumptious bet, we’re big fans of the skillet mac & cheese with pimento, manchego and provolone cheeses, fried onions and brisket. It has a sweet and savory barbecue flavor and tons of cheese while the fried onions add a much-needed crunch.
Bengal Barbecue, a quick-service spot in Adventureland, is wildly popular, so we recommend using mobile ordering to skip the lengthy lines. Skewers of chicken with sweet Polynesian sauce, beef with a spicy kick or grilled fresh veggies are perfectly cooked; the meats are juicy and the vegetables are nicely charred. Whether or not it actually is any healthier, the food certainly feels like a more health-conscious alternative to the soup-filled bread bowls, cheeseburgers and fried chicken you’ll find across the rest of Disneyland, and is a great way to fuel up before taking a rocky ride on the nearby Indiana Jones Adventure.
If you’re pulled away from another spin on Millenium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge by the alluring smell of roasting pork, don’t fight it. Ronto Roasters, one of the newest eateries at Disneyland, is also among the park’s best. The signature menu item, the Ronto Wrap, is a twist on a hot dog: grilled pork sausage wrapped in a pita and topped with roasted pork, peppercorn sauce and a crunchy, tamely tangy slaw. But if you don’t eat pork or meat, you are not missing out: Disneyland launched the plant-based Ronto-less Garden Wrap, and we’re obsessed. The plant-based sausage has a nice texture and spicing that reminded us a bit of falafel; the kimchi slaw and Gochujang spread also add a kick without being overwhelming.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly platter to split that also happens to taste insanely delicious, look no further than the Mexican food offered at Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante in Frontierland. It’s easy to get lost in this quick-service restaurant; three different stations serve various dishes and finding the right line can be stressful when it’s busy. The chaos is worth it, though. The various platters, taco trios and burritos here are served with refried beans and rice and are big enough to feed two for under $16. The carne asada & red chile enchilada platter and grilled half chicken are the standouts, with meat so tender you won’t believe you’re in a theme park just feet away from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
You can find corn dogs all over the Disneyland Resort, but the Little Red Wagon right off Main Street, U.S.A. deserves special mention. This cart doesn’t sell much: just hand-dipped corn dogs served with a bag of chips or a side of apple slices, dipping sauces and sodas. These corn dogs are massive and served piping hot with a frank that’s snappy and salty and a coating that’s fluffy and slightly sweet. These corn dogs are the perfect way to fuel an afternoon of running around the park when you want to eat on the go. But if you want to sit awhile, there are a few hidden tables around the corner.
There are a lot of things that you need to know about Disneyland’s newest area, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, but the top thing is that the food is really, really good. The dishes here take the familiar (fried chicken, ribs, pot roast, falafel) and make them seem like they could be from a galaxy far, far away thanks to interesting presentations and flavor combinations. While options like the Smoked Kaadu Pork Ribs served with a blueberry corn muffin and cabbage slaw may confuse the palate, shockingly, it all works. The Endorian Fried Chicken Tip-Yip comes with a roasted vegetable mash and a bright green sauce that is satisfying for diners of all ages. The sounds, sights and smells of the outer rim planet of Batuu truly immerse you all across Galaxy's Edge and in this quick-service spot, so listen close and keep your eyes peeled: You never know what details you might pick up on.
Comforting soups served in a bread bowl are something of a Disneyland staple, and you’ll find few finer than the slow-roasted Louisiana beef stew at the French Market Restaurant in New Orleans Square. The melt-in-your-mouth beef is served in a thick broth and joined by carrots, mushrooms and potatoes. You’re going to literally want to tear the bowl apart to eat every last bite. Other menu highlights include the French Market Chicken and seafood, sausage and chicken jambalaya over rice. Like many Disneyland restaurants, you sit outside on a semi-covered patio, so there is prime seating to watch people dash from the Haunted Mansion to Pirates of the Caribbean. If you’re lucky, the atmosphere here is jazzed up even more with live musicians.
Seafood lovers, rejoice. Harbour Galley, a quick-service spot located right on the border of New Orleans Square and Critter Country, has everything you need at Disneyland. Creamy clam chowder and lobster with mac 'n' cheese are both loaded with shellfish and served in sourdough bread bowls. The lightly dressed lobster roll is small yet super-satisfying and one of Disneyland’s best kept secrets. This semi-secluded spot has an extended dock where you can grab a table, so it’s a great spot to just decompress after a long day of walking (and eating).
There are two items you cannot miss at Cafe Orleans. Start every order with pommes frites. These thin, super-crispy french fries are covered in garlic for days and ample amounts of parsley and parmesan. They’re so satisfying, you could eat an entire basket on your own. That, however, would be a mistake because you’d be missing out on a Disneyland classic: the Monte Cristo. The ham and cheese combination is salty and indulgent, but sweet berry jam and powdered sugar helps to balance things out. If you’re a vegetarian (or just don’t love ham), don’t worry — Cafe Orleans also offers a three-cheese version of this sandwich, which some say is better than the original.
If you want to live the history of Disneyland and eat like Walt Disney, head over to the Carnation Cafe on Main Street, U.S.A. This small and cozy restaurant serves up some of the theme park founder’s favorite foods like meatloaf, chicken-fried chicken and chili. Cast members told us this chili is, indeed, his recipe and cooked to his tastes. It tastes canned, tomatoey and beefy in all the best ways possible. You’d be 100% missing out if you don't start your meal with fried pickles. These spears are covered in panko and parmesan and while many fried pickle spears are soggy and sloppy, these are miraculously crisp.
The atmosphere at Blue Bayou is unlike any other at Disneyland. This restaurant is located inside the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction in New Orleans Square and you dine in twilight as riders coast by in their boats. You’re going to pay for this atmosphere, though: Dinner entrees range from $30 for vegetable pasta to $52 for surf and turf. The food is good, though, thankfully. Bone-in ribeye and herb-crusted rack of lamb are cooked exactly to the requested temperature and seasoned nicely, while appetizers such as calamari, seafood hush puppies and golden beet salad are satisfying yet light enough that you’ll have room for more.
Plaza Inn off Main Street, U.S.A. doesn’t need any more praise. Lines start to form before the restaurant officially turns over from the character breakfast to lunch service at noon. But it really is just that good. The fried chicken is perfectly cooked with a crispy exterior and juicy interior. While that gets most of the hype, don’t sleep on the pot roast. This seriously underrated entree has a wonderful peppery flavor and is as tender as can be. This dining experience is not one to be missed, so be prepared to wait in line to eat. And after you’re done eating your way through Disneyland, why not hop over to Orlando and eat at the best restaurants at the Magic Kingdom?
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