Kelly Stilwell lives just 90 minutes from Walt Disney World and has visited the parks many times over the years with her family. As Kelly writes about her love for culinary travel, we asked what her favorite stops were in Epcot, the Park known for the around-the-world food experience.
My picks of the best Epcot restaurants are a mix of sit-down traditional experiences as well as kiosks within the World Showcase. Epcot is known for food, with many visitors going to this park solely for the purpose of eating their way around the world. I’ve yet to do all the countries in one day. It can be done, but why would you? Take a couple of days and explore, taking your time to savor it all.
Best Epcot Restaurants
If you make a right when entering the Epcot World Showcase, the first country you’ll run into is Canada. Unfortunately, if you didn’t make a reservation for Le Cellier, you may think there is no other chance to try Canadian food. It’s not that obvious unless you stop to look at the menu, but The Refreshment Port has poutine, in the Signature variety as well as Traditional. The Signature Variety is covered in Canadian cheddar and bacon sauce with cheese curds. The Traditional, which I prefer, is covered in beef gravy and cheese curds. It’s pretty amazing!
The United Kingdom
As you make your way around, your next stop is the United Kingdom, where you’ll see the Rose & Crown Pub and Dining Room, as well as the Yorkshire County Fish Shop. If you’re visiting Orlando in the summer heat, use the app to make a reservation at the Rose & Crown or stop by before lunch or dinner time and ask for a table inside. Outside seating doesn’t offer a break from the heat, and if your choice is to sit down, you might as well get a reprieve from the Florida sun. During the cooler months, the outside seating is lovely, and finding a table is usually fairly easy.
If you’re a fan of traditional English or Scottish food, you’ll have several dishes to choose from at the Rose & Crown. The Yorkshire County Fish Shop has only a few choices, with Fish & Chips being the most popular thing on the menu. Personally, if I’m craving this kind of food, I’ll head to Raglan Road in Disney Springs, but there is one item on the menu that I’ll add to this list of favorites: Spongecake!
Spongecake is often served as birthday cake in the UK, and it’s so much better than the birthday cake we stick candles in for birthdays here in the US. The slightly sweet spongecake sandwiches just the right amount of strawberry jam and buttercream.
Staying on the path as you leave the UK will take you over a bridge, (TIP: It’s a great photo opp spot!) and eventually into France. There is so much great food in this area that it’s really tough to make a decision on what to try first. If you’re on the eat-dessert-first team, this is the place to go for it. Try the ice cream at L’Artisan des Glaces. Macarons are one of their most popular treats, and you can even get a macaron ice cream sandwich!
There is a lot to eat in France, but one spot you shouldn’t miss is Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie. Here you’ll find pastries like eclairs and the strawberry tart below. The desserts and entrees are perfectly sized for sharing. There is nothing on the menu that isn’t delicious! Try the Tartine Aux Fromages; tomato sauce and a mix of cheeses on country bread. It’s France’s version of pizza, and so much different than the Italian version! The quiche is also heavenly.
My family loves Morroco, and we’ve eaten at Restaurant Marrakesh more times than I can count. We usually get a platter of appetizers to share, accompanied by a refreshing Jasmina Salad. The Beef Brewat and Chicken Bastilla are both incredible and truly authentic.
You can save a few dollars by eating at Tangierene Cafe, as the menu is very similar and equally delicious. There is often entertainment outside, too. However, if you’re visiting in the heat of summer, inside is the place to go.
Sushi lovers will definitely want to visit Tokyo Dining. For those who like the hibachi experience, Teppan Edo is a lot of fun, as well. We usually opt for quick service in Japan at Kabuki Cafe, as my kids always get Kakigori. The shaved ice dessert with optional sweet milk topping is delightful and refreshing. Though Kakigori is available in different flavors, my girls always choose Rainbow, and always get the extra topping. I have to admit I love it, too.
Honestly, we usually skip the US pavilion, just because we feel like we’ve eaten everything there. Unless the Food & Wine Festival is happening, the menu basically offers comfort food like hot dogs, funnel cakes, turkey legs, and apple pie. If you do opt for the turkey leg, you’d better be hungry or plan to share!
Your next stop is Italy, which is another perfect opportunity to dine inside. We’ve had the charcuterie platter a few times at Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar, which is great for sharing. On our most recent visit, I wanted to experience the Tutto Italian Restaurant. The restaurant is larger than the neighboring Wine Cellar and has more light for taking photos.
We ordered the Fior di Latte Caprese appetizer and a glass of Prosecco. The fresh mozzarella, vine-ripe tomatoes, basil, and balsamic vinegar were perfectly proportioned and delicious. The restaurant serves a basket of bread and breadsticks to each table, as well, great for dipping the extra olive oil and balsamic on the plate!
Moving along to Germany, you must try the Bratwurst the country is so famous for! The Biergarten Restaurant has a huge menu including all your favorite German foods, but trust me, the Bratwurst is to die for.
And when in Germany, you’ve got to try a beer! I recommend the Schofferhofer Hefeweizen grapefruit beer. Think of a small amount of beer mixed with grapefruit soda. There’s nothing better on a hot day. And if you’re ready for dessert, pick up a bag of Werther’s Original Caramel Popcorn from the Karamell-Küche Shop on the corner. The Shofferhofer pairs so well with the caramel corn, too. Don’t judge until you’ve tried it!
This is another area where we opt for quick service, though the Nine Dragons Restaurant is hugely popular. If you haven’t tasted Bubble Milk Tea, this is your chance. This version is Peach flavored and comes with a large straw for sucking up those tapioca pearls. (If you love it, you’ve got to try the smoothie in Animal Kingdom’s Pandora!)
The Norwegian-themed pavilion is where you’ll find the Frozen Ever After ride. If you aren’t interested in Princess Character Dining, you’ll be happy to find quick service cart offering a few of the treats from Kringla Bakeri og Kafe, which is under refurbishment through the summer.
Not to worry, the cart has School Bread, the most popular dessert in the Norway pavilion.
School Bread is both sweet and savory, filled with a creamy pudding and topped with a little icing and toasted coconut. So good.
Finally, when you’ve been all the way around the world, you’ll end at Mexico. Here you’ll have the choice of La Hacienda de San Angel, an indoor restaurant with views of the World Showcase Lagoon, or its sister location, La Cantina de San Angel, which is counter service. We usually go for the counter service, often opting for the nachos and a beer.
On our last visit, we ordered the Taco Trio; three soft tacos featuring one each of the Barbarcoa (beef), Pescado (fish), and Pollo (chicken). Again, it’s a fairly large portion, perfect for sharing unless you’re really hungry. We’re usually stuffed by the time we arrive at this end of the World Showcase, but after thinking about our strategy, we might just make a left and begin in Mexico the next time we visit!
There is More Than Food at Epcot
Epcot does offer more than food, of course. For younger kids, Frozen Ever After is one of the top attractions in all of Disney World. The Land is a fascinating look at planet Earth and how we, as humans, have benefitted from it. During the Living with the Land boat ride, passengers learn about growing fruits and vegetables. In fact, if you eat fresh vegetables at Epcot, it was probably grown right there!
In The Seas, you can ride Soarin’, a remarkable ride that was hands-down my favorite ride on the planet up until Flight of Passage was introduced at Animal Kindom’s Pandora. My family also loves Mission Space, as well as Test Track, where you can zoom around the racetrack in a car you designed. You’ll also still find characters and shows at Epcot, just as you’ll find in the other Walt Disney World Parks.
Still, for me and many others, Epcot is mostly about the food. If you can get there when one of the three Festivals is going on, the food is kicked up a notch. The Food & Wine Festival is right around the corner starting on August 30 and running through November 12. The Festival of the Arts is only two years old, running from mid-January through Mid-February for the past two years. As of today, dates have not been announced for 2019. Finally, the Flower and Garden Festival, which celebrated 25 years this year, will be back in early 2019, with dates announced soon.
Have you eaten at Epcot? Share your favorites in the comments! Love this post? Pin it to Pinterest for later. Thanks for sharing!
Kelly Stilwell of Food, Fun & Faraway Places is an official Travelocity Gnational Gnomad. Gnational Gnomads is an exclusive group of high profile travel and lifestyle experts who offer tips and inspiration on behalf of Travelocity.
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