EPCOT is the epicurean heart of Walt Disney World. In fact, the best EPCOT restaurants can rank with some of the best spots in Orlando.
There’s something to be said for wandering the pavilions around the World Showcase Lagoon, browsing menus and sampling snacks.
You may find your favorite treats from the various quick-service restaurants or through one of the classic table service restaurants.
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What is the best food at EPCOT?
It’s like asking to pick the best star from the sky or flower in the field. Most of them are special in their own way.
With that being said, here are some of my personal suggestions of things you want to try if you’re looking for the best of the best food items at EPCOT:
1. Croque Glace
L’Aritisan des Glaces, France Pavilion
The ice cream artists certainly live up to their reputation. They take a homemade brioche bun, stuff it with a scoop of ice cream – I like vanilla – and your choice of sauce. Then, it’s pressed warm.
Is it practical? Non. Is it messy? Oui. Is it art? Bien sur.
2. Wood-fired Pizza
Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria, Italy Pavilion
This pizzeria offers authentic wood-fired pizza made with imported flour and water that is “identical to the water found in Naples.”
I don’t know if I buy the water thing, but the pizza is the real deal.
3. Loaded Burnt Ends Fries
Regal Eagle, American Adventure Pavilion
Do people outside of the South know about burnt ends? Do the 175,000 people who come from the UK to EPCOT each month know what they would get if they ordered this item?
If not, burnt ends are made from the point of a brisket, cooked slow and low. They are the barbecue equivalent of … nothing. In fact, I can’t think of an appropriate culinary comparison.
At the Regal Eagle, they serve them with seasoned French fries, macaroni and cheese and beer-battered onion rings. Personally, I’d rather they keep all that stuff and just let me order the burnt ends.
4. Osso Buco Con Mole Negro
San Angel Inn Restaurante, Mexico Pavilion
It’s nice to go beyond what might be viewed as stereotypical Latin American flavors. This dish at San Angel Inn is slow braised pork shank over rice with mole negro. It’s served with plantains and topped with crema Mexicana and cotija cheese.
Don’t forget to stop by La Cava del Tequila for a drink before or after your meal.
5. Pomegranate-Chili Crispy Cauliflower
Spice Road Table, Morocco Pavilion
This cauliflower dish is served with red pepper Aleppo sauce. It’s a spicy and crunchy delight.
6. Boeuf Bourguignon Linguini
Chefs De France, France Pavilion
There are several dazzling entrees at this classic French eatery, but it makes sense to me to go with some old-school, classically French dish.
The Ratatouille Sur Quinoa is fantastic but you can’t be more classically French than a good, old-fashioned Boeuf Bourguignon, which is braised beef in cabernet, baby onions, carrots and pasta.
Pro tip: Boeuf is one of the best words to pronounce and really lays on the French accent. Therefore, if you get a French waiter or waitress, you should try it. They’ll love it.
7. Stracciatella Gelato
Gelateria Toscana, Italy Pavilion
This perfect gelato has inconsistently sized bits of chocolate so that every bite is just a bit different.
Bellissimo. I know you’re impressed I just broke out the Italian right there.
8. North Carolina Chopped Smoked Pork Butt Platter
Regal Eagle Smokehouse, American Adventure Pavilion
Regal Eagle has barbecue from around the country.
Here, we’re celebrating North Carolina pork barbecue. However, they also have Memphis dry-rub ribs, Texas-style beef brisket and Kansas City smoked half chicken.
North Carolina sauce is thinner and vinegar-based versus other regions. South Carolina is traditionally a mustard-based sauce. However, across the mountains on the Tennessee side of the Smoky Mountains, the sauce is thicker and sweeter.
9. The Filet Mignon
Le Cellier Steakhouse, Canada Pavilion
By steakhouse standards, I’ve heard inconsistent reports about the steaks at this Canadian table service restaurant. But personally, I’ve always had a good experience.
Why am I recommending the filet? It’s known as the most tender cut, but not the most flavorful. Traditionally, the filet is a smaller cut, though not less expensive.
After you leave the restaurant, if you order the heavier Signature Poutine and French fries, you still have to walk around this massive park in the Florida heat.
You’ve got to exercise discretion whenever you can. Therefore, order the filet mignon and thank me later.
10. Taco Trio
La Cantina de San Angel, Mexico Pavilion
With the Taco Trio, you get one of each: chicken, shrimp and barbecued beef.
You can get a side order of chips and nacho cheese if want, but I’d go with fried plantains or guacamole.
11. Prix Fixe Menu
La Crêperie de Paris, France Pavilion
Crêpes are the order of the day. On the Prix Fixe, you get one savory galette and one dessert crepe. I say go with ham and cheese and then the hazelnut chocolate spread, but that’s me.
12. Ebi Sushi
Sushi Izakaya, Japan Pavilion
Look, I certainly didn’t inherit the most enlightened views on the culinary tradition of certain Asian cultures growing up. My grandparents were fine dining on mud bugs and such when our Cajun relatives came to town. But sushi? That was a non-starter.
So, I came a little late to the party, but now I am a full-blown convert. I understand that recommending the Ebi paints me as a novice, but truthfully, it’s just my favorite.
The tiger prawn on the bed of rice with just the right amount of wasabi? It’s delicious.
13. Bangers and Mash
Rose & Crown, United Kingdom Pavilion
I’ve visited England more than any country outside the U.S., and I’ve always had an affinity for traditional English cuisine. Some of my favorite meals in the world include a good shepherd’s pie or a sticky toffee.
Ultimately, I’ve found as I’ve expanded to trying other cuisines that a good sausage and potato go a long way wherever you may roam.
14. Grilled Mahi Mahi
Coral Reef Restaurant, World Nature
Sometimes I wonder if this isn’t some sort of vegetarian social experiment. Let’s see how close we can get these people to living examples of the stuff they’re eating before they get comfortable.
The result? Nobody seems to mind munching on this delicious Mahi Mahi, which is served with street corn-style salad and cilantro-lime crema over garlic jasmine rice, while his cousin Gerald is over at the living coral reef just swimming his fishy tail off.
15. School Bread
Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe, Norway Pavillion
The Norway Pavilion is my least favorite dining – and drinking – destination in EPCOT. The Scandinavian flavors do not suit my personal palate.
However, for the School Bread, I will make an exception. It’s a sweet roll filled with custard and dipped in coconut. It’s not Croque Glace level good, but it’s a nice, sweet treat.
16. Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup
Le Cellier, Canada Pavilion
Should you trust Canadians? First, they load you up on soup made with cheddar cheese, beer and bacon, and then they serve you a large cut of red meat with a side of fries covered in cheese curd sauce.
And then, you are launched back out into the Florida heat with either an entire World Showcase Pavilion to march around or the other half of the EPCOT figure 8.
There should probably be a triage station in the Canada Pavilion with lots of air conditioning, comfy chairs and bunk beds where you can sleep off the itis before trying to walk more than a couple hundred feet.
17. Mediterranean Vegetable Sandwich
Sunshine Seasons, World Nature
It’s really the heart of the basic idea of EPCOT which was about science and learning and possibly more Eugenics than any of us like to admit.
At Sunshine Seasons, the menu is filled with items grown in the greenhouses of the Land Pavilion, which makes a plant-based option especially appropriate.
Frankly, not being a vegetarian myself, I was surprised at how much I liked this meatless sandwich. In particular, the roasted red pepper, red onion, tomato, arugula, hummus and balsamic vinaigrette on herbed focaccia makes for a very satisfying lunch option.
18. Fish and Chips
Yorkshire County Fish Shop, United Kingdom
Are these the same Fish and Chips on the menu at the Rose & Crown? Probably. I mean, it would make perfect sense not to have two fish-frying operations set up so close to one another.
However, if I’m ordering Fish and Chips, I’m doing it from the fish shop. That’s just how I roll.
19. Pork Egg Rolls and Chicken Potstickers
Lotus Blossom Cafe, China Pavilion
An egg roll is a great, light snack when working your way through EPCOT’s showcase. Speaking of egg rolls, you can also choose your own crunchy combo.
20. Bratwurst and Sauerkraut
Biergarten Restaurant, Germany Pavilion
This Biergarten has buffet-style dining, and that’s okay as long as traditional sausages and sauerkraut are on the buffet.
Although I will admit that $50 a head for sausages and schnitzel seems a tad high. Come hungry, I suppose, and get your money’s worth.
21. The Croque Monsieur
Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie, France Pavilion
This is not a traditional Croque Monsieur since it’s not an open-faced sandwich. It’s more of a traditional ham and cheese with two slices of bread but covered with cheese and baked.
I don’t know if I like this way better. But of course, it’s still really good.
What is the best time for dinner reservations at EPCOT?
This question could mean a couple of different things. For example, if you’re thinking about the most likely time to get a reservation, think outside the traditional dinner hours of 6 pm to 8 pm.
Be a little early or a little late.
If you mean from a tactical standpoint, I prefer later when I’ve pretty much done all the hiking, riding and adventuring I’m going to do.
But also keep in mind your strategy for how you’re leaving. For instance, if you drive, that walk back to the car park can be a doozy. However, the same can be said if you’re dining in the World Showcase but leaving via the Disney bus.
I would rather take the Skyliner to some random Disney hotel and ask them to let me stay there for the night than walk on a full stomach from France or Italy all the way back to the buses to go to the hotel where I’m supposed to be staying.
Do you need reservations in EPCOT?
For the most part, yes, especially for the higher-end dining experiences. I wouldn’t roll the dice. If you can’t get reservations where you want, I’d make them your backup choice and keep checking on the My Disney Experience app throughout the day.
We’ve had some good luck walking up on the spur of the moment, but if you really want to try a specific table service restaurant, I’d get reservations.
What about character dining?
You will want a dining reservation if you want to try one of EPCOT’s two-character dining options.
I’m on record saying that EPCOT is my least favorite character dining park and that Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is the lesser of the two in-park princess dining experiences. However, everyone is different. Do you like Akershus or Garden Grill? Great. Just make sure you get a reservation.
What is your favorite food at EPCOT? Do you agree with our list? If so, let us know in the comments!