Where’s the best spot to linger over a meal and enjoy a spectacular view at Walt Disney World Resort? Here are our Top 11 dining rooms – we didn’t include favorite lounges like Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar or Dockside Margaritas, instead places for a multi-course meal.
And while we love the faux snow falling out the windows at Be Our Guest Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom and the pyramids behind San Angel Inn in Mexico at Epcot, we’re going au naturel with one exception.
Here, in no particular order:
- California Grill. High atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort, this is our favorite bird’s eye view of the Magic Kingdom and a distant Epcot from the 15th floor. From pristine sushi to our favorite Florida crispy rock shrimp salad and the World’s best chocolate dessert, the menu always satisfies. And now there’s a new Sunday brunch for daytime views. Dinner nightly.
- Narcoossee’s. On the waterfront at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, you get a glimpse of Cinderella Castle and perfect view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks. Dining here is casual with a stellar wine list and fresh seafood, from Florida grouper to Maine lobster. Sunday brunch too. Dinner nightly.
- Sanaa. Lunch is your best bet as you can look out the oversized windows onto the 46-acre savanna at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge at Kidani Village and see all sorts of wildlife – giraffes, zebras and more. We love to start with the warm hand-tossed naan with chutneys, and the tandoori shrimp and chicken are regulars’ favorites. Lunch and dinner daily.
- Artist Point. Enter through the soaring, log-framed lobby to this dining room that is inspired by the historic national park lodges, with grandiose murals and a beautiful view out the tall windows to Silver Creek Falls and Bay Lake. Boutique Pacific Northwest wines and cedar-plank wild salmon keep regulars coming back.
- The BOATHOUSE: Great Food, Waterfront Dining, Dream Boats. It’s all about the water at this new Disney Springs restaurant, and The BOATHOUSE takes full advantage. You can even purchase a voyage in a fully-restored vintage Amphicar that drives on land and floats on the water. We’re fans of the lobster roll and fresh oysters, but the filet mignon gets high marks, too. Lunch and dinner daily.
- Wolfgang Puck Grand Café. A longtime favorite that goes all the way back to Downtown Disney West Side, this Disney Springs restaurant has a breezy patio where we usually order sushi, the famous Chinois Chicken Salad or a simple Margherita pizza. Lunch and dinner daily.
- La Hacienda de San Angel. The window seats guarantee front-row viewing for the nightly IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth fireworks, light and laser show. The music is piped in to the pretty restaurant where you can sip a tequila flight with empanadas, gorditas, tacos, carnitas – all the classics. Dinner nightly.
- Monsieur Paul. Tucked away upstairs in the France pavilion at Epcot, peek out the pretty curtains for a view of the lagoon and IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. The sauces are sublime, the wine list well-curated. And it’s the only place outside of Lyon, France, where you can try Paul Bocuse’s famous Soup Aux Truffles, V.G.E. Dinner nightly.
- Coral Reef Restaurant. This is our only inside view, but c’mon – it features an insider view into the awesome, underwater world of The Seas with Nemo & Friends with 4,000 sea creatures languidly trolling the waters. It’s a fabulous place to decompress after a busy day at Epcot, sip a glass of wine or a cocktail and enjoy the lobster soup that’s been on the menu since day one. For entrees, we love seared mahi-mahi, rainbow trout or a grilled New York strip steak. Lunch and dinner daily.
- Spice Road Table. Jutting out over World Showcase Lagoon in the Morocco pavilion at Epcot, this is as close as you can get to IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. We love the plates of deliciously seasoned Moroccan specialties: mussels tagine, spicy garlic shrimp, lamb sliders, coriander-crusted rack of lamb. The mint tea is a refreshing change, but there’s also a full bar. Lunch and dinner daily.
- Tokyo Dining. The room feels serene and windows look out over World Showcase Lagoon in this upstairs restaurant in the Japan pavilion at Epcot. Three female sushi chefs turn out beautiful nigiri and sashimi. At lunch we recommend the bento box; at dinner, we love the Jumbo Ebi, panko-crusted shrimp cooked to perfection. Lunch and dinner daily.
Which restaurant would be first on your list? Tell us in the comments section below!