Hungry At The Happiest Place On Earth? Here’s The Best Food At Disneyland

It’s safe to say that many of us at Uproxx/Life have a soft spot in our hearts for Disneyland. It’s become increasingly acceptable to admit a continuing love for Walt’s park, even as an adult. What still hasn’t hit mainstream-acceptance is a love for theme park food. There’s a reason. Largely, theme park food is remembered as being at least a step or two below terrible. Historically, it’s bland, riskless, and mass-produced. At its best, it’s inoffensive, and in its sheer mediocrity, it often fails even at that.

That said…visit Disneyland Park recently? You’ll notice that restaurants are theming to their respective lands, offering options beyond the standard pizza, popcorn, and corn dogs. Cocktails are playful, meals have a point of view, ingredients are fresher, and the guests are noticing, some even devoting entire sites to cataloging and critiquing menu items as they appear.

If you’ve been burned by park food before, and still have a little trepidation when it comes to parsing the park’s menus, allow us to share the best food at Disneyland. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert; nostalgic blasts from the past or seasonal surprises, we’ve got you set for your next trip to the house of the Mouse.

Seasonal Fritters

Royal Street Veranda

Mickey waffles have long cornered the market on a traditional Disneyland breakfast, but Royal Street Veranda gives you a reason to break with (an admittedly adorable) tradition. These piping hot fritters, rolled in a glittering cinnamon-sugar coating, are served at the quick-service window in New Orleans Square. The flavors and dipping sauces change up to suit the seasons: banana fritters with creme anglaise and raspberry coulis, pumpkin fritters with vanilla sauce, cinnamon-sugar coated apple fritters with a chunky apple dip; whether you’re a seasonal pass holder or an occasional visitor, you owe it to yourself to give these delectable little doughnuts a try. Enjoy them beneath the wrought-iron balcony on the patio with a coffee and a view of the Rivers of America. While you won’t have to wait long for your order, you may very well decide to take your time, people-watch, and luxuriate in Disney’s fantastical take on the Big Easy.

Classic Eggs Benedict

Carnation Cafe

If you’re looking for a more substantial start to your morning, the eggs Benedict at Main Street’s iconic Carnation Cafe will do you right. The poached eggs are served on a toasted English muffin, with Canadian bacon, hollandaise sauce, and Oscar’s famous breakfast potatoes. Chef Oscar Martinez, who started working at the park in 1956, is Disneyland’s longest-tenured employee, and much beloved by guests. Visit his restaurant, and if you’re lucky, you might have a chance to take a photo with the man himself!

Bantha Blue Milk Bread

Galactic Grill

Has there ever been a Star Wars fan that didn’t want to try the blue milk first featured in Episode IV: A New Hope? Who wasn’t intrigued? Turns out, this intergalactic dairy product is incredibly versatile. Produced by banthas and utilized in the production of butter, yogurt, ice cream, and custard, it’s also a prime ingredient in Blue Milk Bread, a french toast dish found in Tomorrowland’s Galactic Grill. Sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with fresh fruit and bacon, it’s an out-of-this-world start to your day.

Dole Whip Float

Tiki Juice Bar

The Dole Whip Float is nothing new to the park, but one look at the long lines (frequently trailing beyond the Fastpass entrance to the Indiana Jones Adventure on a hot day), and you can easily see why this pineapple soft serve, drowned in a generous pour of pineapple juice, makes our list. Topped with a maraschino cherry and drink umbrella, its a refreshing pick-me-up that complements and enhances the Enchanted Tiki Room’s tropical lanai. Step inside the courtyard, order a drink, have a seat, and relax to gentle music, the tales of tiki gods, and the bubbling of fountains, while you wait for the show to begin.

Honey Bee Frozen Lemonade

Hungry Bear Restaurant

While it’s namesake is long gone (rest in peace, Country Bear Jamboree), the Hungry Bear remains an institution in Critter Country, and we hope it won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, not least of all because it remains an out-of-the-way spot often overlooked by guests during even the busiest days of the year. (Comparatively, anyway). If you’re looking for a place to post up and refresh yourself after a mad dash to Splash Mountain (this is the only reasonable explanation for skipping the Tiki Juice Bar), you’ve come to the right place. Frothy, slushy pink lemonade is topped with whipped cream and garnished with honey icicles, an unusual, land-appropriate thematic extra that reminds us of what Disney can be at its best.

Jolly Holiday Combo

Jolly Holiday Bakery

If you’re looking for a lunch that will fill you up without weighing you down, Jolly Holiday has you covered. A toasted cheese sandwich served with a cup of creamy tomato basil soup, it’s a nod to childhood nostalgia, which never feels out of place in the park.

Lobster Roll

Harbour Galley

A quick-service location offering dockside dining, Harbour Galley is shockingly easy to overlook, given the waterfront view that accompanies it. You’ll have to drop a fair few doubloons at the counter to secure this treasure, which comes with in-house seasoned Cajun chips, but hey, no one said a pirate’s life was going to be easy.

Burrito Sonora

Rancho del Zocalo

Easily one of the best deals in the park, Rancho del Zocalo’s Burrito Sonora is served with refried beans and rice, and pairs well with the restaurant’s seriously addictive lime-flavored tortilla chips. After a solid day of touring the park, there’s no more welcome respite than a meal on the peaceful patio under the Rancho’s glowing glass star lanterns and bougainvillea vines. You’ll want to put up your feet here for hours, just soaking in the atmosphere, which is a good thing, because that’s about how long it will take you to have digested enough to start walking again.

Panko-crusted Chinese Long Beans

Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar

Stepping out of the park for a cocktail? Step into the Disneyland Hotel’s rightfully famous Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar, where the drinks are cold and Uh Oa’s fires burn hot. While the star attractions of this beloved and popular bar, are, of course, the drinks, the appetizers are bewitching in their own right. We’ve had the occasion to try more than a few of them, and trust us when we say, these crisp and lightly-spiced veggies, served with a Sriracha aioli, are popcorn-level addictive and will keep you coming back for more. Your first order will be for the whole table. Your second order will be for just yourself, and a curse upon anyone that dares try smuggling one from your plate.

Angus 1/3 lb Hawaiian Cheeseburger

Tangaroa Terrace

Need a more substantial meal than appetizers at Trader Sam’s? Need something to balance out those boozy beverages? You don’t have to look far; step outside and around the corner, and you’ll find yourself at Tangaroa Terrace, home of this sizable burger, which comes lavished with teriyaki sauce, caramelized pineapple, Havarti cheese, bacon, and the option of sweet potato fries, which are absolutely the right choice.

Darth By Chocolate

Galactic Grill

Dark chocolate ganache, chocolate sponge cake, and red velvet cake are layered in this deadly rich dessert. Did Han shoot first? Yes. And it was probably because Greedo was trying to take the last parfait.

Churro Funnel Cake

Hungry Bear Restaurant

You know when you’re asked to make a hard choice between two equally great things? Yeah? Well forget it, because at the Hungry Bear, that’s not one of your problems. The only difficulty you’ll have with the churro funnel cake is finishing off the massive plate of buttery, fried dough tossed in cinnamon and sugar, drizzled with caramel sauce, and crowned with a whipped cream Mickey. Baloo sang about the simple bear necessities of life, but if he’d dined at the Hungry Bear, he would probably make an exception for this magnificent dessert.

60th Anniversary Cupcake

Jolly Holiday Bakery

Disneyland has a history of celebrating special events in style, and the park’s 60th anniversary — their diamond celebration — is no exception. Case in point? The 60th Anniversary Cupcake, a magnificent strawberry-filled lemon cake confection dripping in white chocolate champagne mousse, sprinkled in silver and white chocolate pearls, and capped off by a white-chocolate diamond.

Flavor Of The Month Caramel Apple

Candy Palace

Every month, Disneyland’s Candy Palace and Candy Kitchen on Main Street produces crispy treats, marshmallow wands, sandwiches, and apples in themed flavor to fit the season. These treats are the very definition of hedonistic pleasure; they know no moderation, and scoff at simplicity. Glossed in candy coatings, filigreed with drizzles, rolled in chips, crumbs, and sprinkles, they’re Everest-sweets that demand to be conquered, and may very well require the help of a team. This is especially true of the themed caramel apples, which are roughly 1/3 the size of a human head, and probably three days worth of calories. Here the S’mores apple is dipped in layers of caramel and chocolate, then rolled in graham crackers and toasted mini marshmallows, and finished with a drizzle of chocolate.

Perhaps the best part of the treats offered by the Candy Kitchen? You can watch them being made onsite!

Raspberry Rose Mickey Macaron

Jolly Holiday Bakery

For a time it seemed as if French macarons were going to become the next quick-to-burn-out food trend. Remember the cupcake boom? The boba-tea insanity? The return and subsequent crash of the frozen yogurt bar? Fortunately, there remains a place for this classy little cream filled cookie, and in Disneyland, that’s the Mary Poppins’ themed Jolly Holiday Bakery, which, since it’s opening day in 2012, has continued to surpass expectations of park-goers (including the most outspoken defenders of the Blue Ribbon Bakery, Jolly Holiday’s 22-year-old predecessor). Rose-infused raspberry cream and fresh raspberries are sandwiched between two light-as-air, almond-based cookies, shaped like the eponymous mouse, and finished with a splash of gold. Practically perfect in every way.