I love food (I think if I didn’t love food I wouldn’t be able to write for WDW Radio). However, there are some times when you are visiting the parks and you don’t have time to sit down for a table service meal. I just experienced a similar problem on my last trip to Walt Disney World. We only really had five full days in the parks. In addition to to this, my fiancé’ had never been to WDW, meaning my itinerary for her (yes, I’m that guy) was already quite full. Thus, we only scheduled two sit down meals and had to rely on quick service locations throughout the parks, making our choices of where to eat, quite important (As Daniel gets a little grumpy if his food isn’t satisfying).
I understand many people visiting the Asian Disney Parks could be facing the same situation we did on our WDW trip. Some of you may be trying to do all three resorts in a limited time, or you have an extended lay over, meaning you have a only a matter of hours to attend one of the resorts. Luckily, there are plenty of great quick service locations throughout the Asian Disney Parks. So today, I will bring you my Top 5 Quick Service Restaurants in the Asian Disney Parks.
Note: I am a vegetarian and I have a peanut allergy, so there are places that offer me more in terms of choice than others. I will say, I have taken into consideration that the majority of the people reading this list will not have my restrictions, so the list will reflect that. On that note: when it comes to my peanut allergy, I have never had a bad experience eating at any of the counter services in any of the Asian Disney Parks. Everybody has been incredibly helpful and understanding regardless of what their native language.
5. Starlight Diner – Hong Kong Disneyland
No laughing please. I know with all the great Asian food that is on offer in all of the Disney Parks, it might seem like a bit of a joke to include the Starlight Diner. But, I will try to justify my choice.
I like a lot of Asian food. But, I know not everyone does. Coming to the Asian Disney Parks can be a big step for people and while Hong Kong Disneyland is a great place to try new foods and push your culinary boundaries. It doesn’t have to be, and that style of food just isn’t the ‘thing’ for some people. Some people may be coming to the Asian Disney Parks and looking for comfort food.
That’s exactly what the Starlight Diner is. Starlight Diner sits in one side of Tomorrowland in Hong Kong Disneyland. In a similar vain to Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café in Magic Kingdom Park, the Starlight Diner offers up American fast food in a futuristic setting. The food is your standard fair (chicken nuggets, fried chicken, burgers), and they do offer a veggie burger for vegetarians who aren’t feeling that adventurous, too.
Starlight Café isn’t going to win any awards for its gourmet cuisine anytime soon, but what it does, it does well enough. It’s no thrills, no nonsense and offers up guests standard American fast food for those who are craving it. That’s why it makes it into this list.
Plus, I would say that out of all the places on this list, the Starlight Diner would be the best place to find something your younger children would be happy to eat.
4. Barbosa’s Bounty – Shanghai Disney Resort
If we were going on aesthetics alone, Barbosa’s Bounty would probably be at the top of this list. Sitting adjacent to the Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure attraction in Shanghai Disney Resort’s Pirate’s Cove, Barbosa’s Bounty is a dining location in a similar vain to Disneyland’s Blue Bayou Restaurant. However, instead of being a fine-dining table service, Barbosa’s Bounty is a quick service serving pirate meals such as chicken or ribs and vegetable skewers.
From my experience the food is good, but not great. It’s similar to American BBQ with a Chinese twist. Even though I wouldn’t call the food extortionate, it is probably one of the more expensive counter services at Shanghai Disney Resort, making the place reasonably empty throughout the day.
What really stands out about Barbosa’s Bounty, is the look of the place. The restaurant really does look like a pirate’s secret lair, with dimly lit rooms and dark colors. The main selling aspect of this eating establishment is the location of some of its dining rooms as some of its ‘exterior’ tables sit next to some of the POTC attraction, hence the comparison to the Blue Bayou. If eating with atmosphere is something you are looking for, look no further than Barbosa’s Bounty.
3. Hungry Bear Restaurant – Tokyo Disneyland
Now, Tokyo Disney Resort is probably the Asian Disney Resort that offers the least amount of choice for those of us that don’t eat meat or fish. That being said, if one of the few places that does offer vegetarian food is as good as the Hungry Bear Restaurant, then it’s OK in my book.
Situated next to the Country Bear Theatre the home of the Country Bear Jamboree, the Hungry Bear Restaurant is a counter service curry house offering up different types of curry to hungry patrons that have just visited the famous Country Bears or those passing by.
Directly connected to The Country Bear Theatre, the Hungry Bear Restaurant is an extension of that story. Decorated with bear paraphernalia and fitting into the atmosphere of Westernland, the theming of the Hungry Bear Restaurant really does compliment everything around it.
Furthermore, the curry is really good. I mean really good. The curry it serves comes in either mild or spicy, but in my opinion, even the spicy isn’t too spicy. The curry they serve is more Japanese style, with more sauce and little meat/vegetables, but the sauce is so good (so so good), that I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Also, to further my point from before, don’t let having any allergy deter you from this place, as the staff members will willingly come out with an electronic device that’ll highlight everything you are able (or not able) to eat, with whatever allergy you have.
Did I mention that the curry is great?
2. Mickey and Pals Market Café – Shanghai Disney Resort
I had been to Shanghai Disney Resort several times before I ventured into the Mickey and Pals Market Café. The exterior seemed cool, but there wasn’t much that appealed to me. One day, I decided to give the place a try, and wow, I was blown away.
At the end of Mickey Avenue, Mickey and Pals Market Café is exactly just that. Even though it is one big food building, it is set up into various other food locations (Tony’s, Daisy’s Diner) all beautifully themed and impressive to look at.
The food offered perfectly compliments this beautiful location. Not exactly adhering to the theme of the establishments, Mickey and Pals offers up a ton of different Asian dishes from Dim Sum to Chinese Mushrooms. Some of the dishes might appeal more to the adventurous eaters, but if you are looking to try something new, Mickey and Pals might be the place for you.
1. Explorer’s Club Restaurant – Hong Kong Disneyland
I’m not biased to all things Mystic Point, I promise. Honestly, this was a lot closer to call than I originally thought as I do really like Mickey and Pals Market Café. However, the kicker was when my parents and my brother both recently visited me in Hong Kong. In those trips we visited HKDL, and I took them to the Explorer’s Club Restaurant. All three of them said that not only was it the best quick service they had been to in HKDL, but quite possibly the best they have had at any Disney Park. I may agree (its close between this and Satu’li Canteen).
Located next to Mystic Manor, the Explorer’s Club Restaurant is a restaurant owned and operated by Henry Mystic (who even has maps of the restaurant in the queue for Mystic Manor). It offers up various dishes from all over Asia, from Korea to China to Indonesia. There is a plethora of exotic yet familiar dishes to be had. From curry to fried chicken to ribs, all with an Asian flare and all incredible to eat.
While you eat these foreign delicacies, you can admire the many artifacts that Henry has accumulated in rooms themed to look like various countries (China, India, Egypt, etc.)
Not only is the food exquisite (and it honestly is), the rooms are beautifully themed and tie everything together with a great story filled bow. If the food doesn’t keep you there for hours on end (and it will), the knick-knacks littered throughout the establishment, certainly will.
So there are my top 5 quick service restaurants in the Asian Disney Parks. Have you eaten at any of these places? Do you agree with me? Or is there somewhere I have forgotten?
(All photos are from the author’s personal collection.)
To learn more about Daniel and read his recent posts for WDW Radio, visit his author page by clicking the link on his name at the top of this post.