I want to start off by admitting this is a dangerous article.
Anytime you designate something like a restaurants as “the best,” you are just offering up your opinion. There isn’t any scientific way to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that a certain restaurant beats out all others.
However, I’m not here to be scientific. I’m here to share some information and have a bit of fun in the process.
For the purpose of this article, I will focus on restaurants that offer the best food and best experience in each park. I could easily do a separate list of the best quick service restaurants in each park. In the same way, we could discuss the best restaurants for kids. Perhaps those can be topics for another day.
Today, it’s about fine (or at least “finer”) dining, a grown-up atmosphere, and the types of eats that foodies dream about. So without further ado – whatever “ado” is – here is my list of the best restaurants in each Walt Disney World theme park:
Magic Kingdom: Be Our Guest
This one seemed like a simple pick. Ever since Be Our Guest opened in late 2012 in the new Fantasyland section of the Magic Kingdom, it has been “the” place to eat. You will find out what I mean if you try to get a reservation.
For lunch, innovative touch screens allow you to select your food which is then delivered to your table by a server. For dinner, enjoy a full-service meal. For any trip to Be Our Guest, you will enjoy wonderful French-inspired food. Lunch offers favorites like Croque Monsieur, Vegetable Quiche, and Braised Pork Coq Au Vin Style. Dinner offers delicious items like Pan-seared Salmon on Leek Fondue, Sautéed Shrimp and Scallops, and Ratatouille. All meals are served on real plates with real silverware. As a super bonus, you will enjoy your meal in elegant surroundings that take on their theme from the Beauty and the Beast movie.
Epcot: Monsieur Paul
This may be my most controversial choice. Epcot has many excellent restaurants; it can be hard to pick just one that earns the title of “best”. But I was up for the challenge. My pick? Monsieur Paul in the France pavilion. The menu is French, the view is amazing, and the service is excellent. Oh yes, and the food is pretty darn good too. Ok, better than good – the food is excellent. It’s critically acclaimed. You can order a la carte or go with a four-course prix fix menu. Enjoy a wine pairing if you are so inclined. Try the Duck Breast, Filet Mignon, or – for those who are just a bit adventurous – Escargot.
Some could argue that Le Cellier in the Canada pavilion is the best at Epcot, but I’ll stick with Paul.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Hollywood Brown Derby
While the Studios has some interesting restaurant picks, such as the Sci-Fi Dine In Theater and the 50’s Prime Time Café, there isn’t much competition in the Studios for fine dining restaurants. The Hollywood Brown Derby walks away with this one.
There are plenty of special touches all around, from the white table cloths to the memorabilia and caricatures that line the walls. If you get a chance to visit this restaurant, be sure to take some time to wander around. Don’t feel self-conscious; everyone else there either will wander around or really wants to, too. Since this restaurants is modeled after the original in California, you can enjoy two special treats that were invented in the Brown Derby: the Cobb Salad and Grapefruit Cake.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Tusker House
The Tusker House in the Africa section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is easily overlooked but is quite good. The atmosphere is very unique – the seating areas are divided into a number of rooms and the tables and chairs look like they are custom made. There are plenty of African-themed elements throughout, from the safari departure schedules listed on the walls to African-inspired masks. The ceiling, draped in colorful fabrics, is both unique and beautiful. We haven’t even gotten to the food! The buffet includes a wide variety of unique dishes including Peri-Peri Marinated Salmon Filet, Tamarind Seafood Stew, Orzo Pasta, Coconut Sweet Potato Casserole, and Banana Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce. You can try a bit of this and that – you will be glad you did!
Some might argue that the Yak and Yeti Restaurants in the Asia section of Animal Kingdom is a contender for best restaurant for this park. That’s a fair point. This Asian Fusion sit-down restaurant offers flavors from many counties, including Japan, China, Thailand, and India. You can select from curries, soups, salads, stir-fries, and meats. It’s a strong contender.
What do you think is the best fine dining option inside a Disney World park?