/ Monday, June 2nd, 2014

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TOPIC: With more than 350 places to dine at Walt Disney World, there are choices for every palate and budget, with some of the best options being at counter service locations. You don’t need to invest a lot of time or money to have a great dining experience, so this week, we share our Top Ten Quick Service Restaurants in Walt Disney World. Hopefully we’ll introduce you to some new options you might not have thought of before. You may want to grab a snack before you start listening, as I think you’ll be hungry by the time we’re through!

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Sit back, relax, and enjoy this week’s episode of the WDW Radio show. Thanks for listening! Be sure to tune in next week!

– Lou Mongello
LouMongello.com

QUESTION for YOU from this week’s show: What is YOUR favorite quick service restaurant in Walt Disney World? Why? Leave your reply in the Comments below

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32 Responses to "Show # 364 – Top Ten Quick Service Restaurants in Walt Disney World"

  1. Stacey says:

    We love the Harbor inn just across from the Haunted Mansion …. Great place to have a good meal and great view from the upstairs dinning room!

  2. Nick says:

    This past November I was luckily enough to get to stay at the new Grand Floridian Villas and Gasparilla Island Grill is one of the best quick service locations. It is open 24/7 so you can go right in the morning and get a quick breakfast. Take your danish and coffee and step outside right by the marina or take a walk over by Narcoossee’s or the beach; take in the sights and sounds of the Magic Kingdom and resorts. When I was there in November it was quiet, very serene, all you heard was the commotion of the water. Then after the 2AM magic hours at the Magic Kingdom you can step right off the launch boat and get a late late night snack for your walk back to your room.

    An honorable mention would be the Artist’s Palette at Saratoga Springs for one reason the lobster club sandwich. I’m sure this can be found at other locations but this sandwich is awesome. It’s on the pricier side for a sandwich but you are getting real, big chunks of lobster in there so it is well worth it.

  3. Rob says:

    “My God man, how could you possibly not mention Columbia Harbor House”!! This is our family’s all-time favorite CS meal. :)

    Thanks for all the great work Lou,

    The Archers

  4. Marilea says:

    For the incredible theming and absolutely delicious braised pork, my vote goes to Be Our Guest. Tangerine Cafe is a close second.

  5. Darryl says:

    Lou, This is Darryl McCormick from Louisville and friend of the show. We agree with you so much. We always go to the Earl of Sandwich on get away day. It is fantastic.

  6. My top 3:

    Wolfgang Puck Express Marketplace
    Mara
    Be Our Guest for the amazing braised pork

  7. Ken says:

    We just went to MK and AK last month and had the best food experience of our lives.

    Did Columbia Harbor House (like Stacey and Rob said above) great quality fish and chips.
    The kid menu could be better, but for a seafood place, not much you can do.

    We adored the Sleepy Hollow inn! The spicy chicken waffle taco was AMAZING!

    Flametree was EXCELLENT! Get there before they open and you can just smell the BBQ goodness seeping through the cracks – and then right when they open the windows you get blasted with that smell – BEST EVER!

    Finally, (I know it isn’t quick service, but I have to express my love for this place), is Shutters at the Caribbean Beach Resort.

    Don’t ever do another food list! I’M SO HUNGRY NOW!

  8. Chris says:

    Hey Lou, I am slowly catching up on all the old shows as I drive about 8 hours each weekend which includes going through Chicago during rush hour and you keep me sane lol. My favorite counter service location is the tangierine Café because of the feel of the place especially at night the atmosphere is amazing. The place I could eat all 3 meals at though would be Sunshine Seasons in the Land you are absolutely right this place is amazing, and it is perfect for a “quick” break from a day at the parks. We normally end our days at the parks in Epcot because of the nighttime atmosphere of walking through World Showcase at night.

    Thanks again for your show and have a great week.

  9. Kari says:

    I just love that Starbucks is at WDW!! It makes me so happy!

  10. Sarah Jane says:

    I love Columbia Harbour House. I’m a vegetarian and absolutely CRAVE the Lighthouse Sandwich all year long. But there’s even more to love about CHH. The upstairs seating area (WITH bathrooms) lets you get away from the chaos of the park for a while. It’s cool, it’s cozy and I can eat something other than a salad!

  11. Peter A says:

    Our favourite is the Kringla Bakeri og Kafe. We tend to be on the dining plan, and you can get a really great meal from there. The sandwiches are all good (I love the salmon), but my one regret is that we never tried the School bread. There’s always next time.
    Peter

  12. claire says:

    Hi Lou,
    Columbia Harbour House is definitely a “must-do” visit for us during our vacation, but so is Sunshine Seasons.
    As always you managed to hit all the venues that we love, although I must admit we have never been to the Katsura Grill… It’s not firmly on our planner for our upcoming trip. See you there!

  13. Ken Locke says:

    Lou, I LOVE the holiday sandwich from the Earl of Sandwich. It’s a must have whenever I can get by there in DTD. Pecos Bill’s is one of my favorites as well, but I haven’t come across anything that tops the Holiday Sandwich. Columbia House was very good too on my last visit.

    EPCOT has so many great options in The Land dining area. We just don’t get into that park as often.

    Keep up the great work. Enjoy the podcasts as well!

  14. Derek says:

    Just listened to this podcast on my commute this morning. I must say I had not heard of half of the options discussed, but I am only two months into my Annual Pass, so I intend to try most, if not all, of them.

    I was glad to hear you gave Contempo Cafe an honorable mention at the end. We did a staycation for our anniversary at Coronado Springs this past weekend and went to Contempo Cafe for dinner on Friday night and breakfast on Sunday morning. Prices are reasonable, food is good, and I am a monorail geek, so getting to see the monorail glide by during your meal and feel its gentle rumble in your seat was unbeatable. I have obviously always seen this as the monorail goes through on its way to MK, but I always thought you had to have a reservation at the Contemporary to stay there. Not the case. Childhood dream of getting to eat in the Contemporary in the shadow of the monorail… check!

    Also, the large Mickey waffle at Contempo Cafe definitely gets a mention for a great breakfast option. That plus turkey sausage AND bacon for just shy of $8 is not terrible. Will definitely be stopping in on return trips, or maybe even just for a meal.

    Been listening for just over a month. Love the podcast! Keep up the great work!

  15. Tony says:

    Ok, maybe I’m crazy… but this is a repeat episode, right??

    Show # 168 – May 2, 2010 – WDW News, Top Ten Counter Service Restaurants in Walt Disney World & more!

  16. Tom McGrew says:

    Another vote for the Earl of Sandwich. If I’m really hungry, I can eat the whole thing, or save one half for another time. Greatest value in WDW..

  17. Sherry says:

    Columbia Harbour House. Love the food and we always eat in the dining room upstairs!

  18. Tara says:

    Last time we were at WDW we went over to the Art of Animation resort to check it out and ended up eating lunch at Landscape of Flavors. They have the best veggie burger at WDW. They seemed to be freshly made, versus a mass produced frozen patty. I would go back just for that burger!

  19. ellise says:

    I LOOOOOOVEEEEE Earl of Sandwich. And the warm Tuna Melt is the best I’ve ever had. To this day I think about that sandwich, and I don’t even like tuna that much. This was the cheesiest, melty-est, and most delicious sandwich ever.

  20. Shawn says:

    You cannot beat lunch at Be Our Guest in the Magic Kingdom. The restaurant is beautiful and offers a variety of tasty options; I enjoyed a delicious turkey sandwich. The whole experience was awesome: ordering food on a touch screen, selecting our favorite room, having food delivered to our table via fancy cart, great food and free refills on soft drinks! This is not your father’s quick service meal. We will be back!

  21. Tom says:

    Am i missing the show notes? I can’t seem to find them? Are the top ten counter service restaurants that were on the podcast, anywhere on the website in text?

  22. Jonathan says:

    I know it’s not the biggest culinary experience but my favorite place that I literally go to every single time I’m at Magic Kingdom is Columbia Harbor House. I have so many memories there and sitting over the portal between Fantasyland and Liberty Square. During the fall when everything is set up for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party it’s just beautiful.

  23. Sherri says:

    This is not really my favorite counter service restaurant, but I was pleasantly surprised by Pinocchio’s Village Hause during our last visit in April. We really enjoyed the flat bread pizza’s and me and my daughter could have shared one. We didn’t realize that until we had ordered. I have to say we have never eaten at Columbia Harbor House (I’m not sure why) but I definitely want to try that next time we go based on some of the post here.

  24. Chris B says:

    I listened to this podcast today with my kids as we drove around town. I agree with many of your choices. Others, I haven’t eaten at yet.

    My son was put out that you didn’t mention his favorite – Roaring Forks. I suggest it for two words – Magic Bars. We stayed there on our last visit. The staff was friendly, and there was always something we liked on the menu. At our first meal, we used our dessert credit to buy a Magic Bar and we’ve craved them ever since.

  25. Ellen Hildenbrand says:

    I agree with those who mentioned Columbia Harbor House and Wolfgang Puck Express….and I do love the steak and blue cheese salad at Contempo Cafe’. How about Min and Bill’s? I like their sandwiches!

  26. Preston says:

    Lou how could you let out Aloha Isle at the Magic Kingdom. The dole whip is one of my favorite sweet treats to get at the Kingdom.

  27. Jeff says:

    My favorite quick service is Wolfgang Puck Express. Be Our Guest is another great one for the food and atmosphere.

  28. John says:

    For theming, I have a tie with Columbia House (I love the nautical theme) or RestaurantOSaurus (just a fun theme).
    I love Columbia House for the ship building theme, the views, the variety of different rooms in which you can sit and as Stacey mentions, the view from the second floor is really great. We got a table by a window earlier this year and spent about 30 minutes just watching people walk by, and under, the restaurant.

    Restaurantosaurus is “just” burgers and such, but I really enjoy the theming, the music and the little aluminum trailer that makes up part of the seating. And it has a GREAT name.

    For food, though, Tangerine Cafe is #1 with a bullet. The shawarma is pretty good (inject some tonal inflection to make that sound like “incredibly tasty”) and I like the baklava and coffee in the back. I could eat there every day – I love the tahina sauce they use.

    Coffee – get the Kona coffee over at the Polynesian. It is worth the extra cost – if you like coffee and have never had Kona, ride the monorail over there and get a pot from the cafe. Well worth the time.

    Honorable mention is the cafe in the Contemporary. I don’t know the name, but it is just a nice experience to sit there, enjoy the hotel and architecture, watch the monorail come through and even get a peek at the artwork (Unicef?). Another nice experience.

    Thanks for the show, Lou. I’ll have to remember the Chinese pavilion tip for my next trip to Epcot!

  29. MarkSF says:

    Great show-always !
    Kringla-desserts in Epcot Norway!
    Tangerine in Morocco for lamb !
    Starbucks coffee looking out over Spaceship Earth and fountain!

  30. Arthur Allen says:

    When planning for my WDW trip two years ago, my first question was, what happened to the cafeterias? That’s the biggest change since I last went to a Disney park in 1985. On my last day at the park I was tying up loose ends going to attractions I missed. I went to Ellen’s Energy Adventure because it was closed at night earlier in the week. After that I was ready for lunch, but the nearby quick service place didn’t look very appetizing. I would have loved to have gone to Le Cellier, but that requires a reservation now, and I didn’t know until just then that I would be hungry at Epcot. The only thing left to do was take the bus back to Port Orleans Riverside and eat at their food court again. Not bad, but I could have had Le Cellier!

  31. SoarinSteven says:

    I’ve had every sandwich on the Earl menu. THE greatest restaurant on property.

  32. Jason says:

    Again, during the 14 hour drive from Cincinnati to WDW, we listened to 6 hours of your podcast. You suggested the Tangierine Café. We had lunch there. It was amazing. My friend has a gluten allergy and they took care of her. I got the chicken platter. It was very tasty. A manager came out to ensure my friend was getting all she could from the gluten free plate. He actually gave her more sauce for her chicken. Amazing. I will be visiting this place again. Thanks for suggesting it!

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