Disney Food Disney World Parks & Resorts

Epcot’s Culinary Hidden Gems

 

World showcase

Walt Disney Worlds is a food lovers dream come true and Epcot is unquestionably the crowning jewel Disney dining. The World Showcase offers an unrivaled culinary experience bringing cuisines from all over the world together. It’s no surprise that these are some of the most popular restaurants at the resort. There are some treasured favorites here (Rose and Crown or Chefs du France anyone?) Some, however, just don’t seem to get the credit they are due. Read on to discover some of Epcot’s hidden gems.

Bellydancer

Marrakesh

I’ll admit it. When my husband suggested this one I looked at him like he had grown two heads. Morrocan food? No. I’d never had Moroccan food, but I was sure I wouldn’t like it. He insisted though so I reluctantly made our reservation here. I’m so glad I did. I was absolutely blown away. There was nothing not to like about this experience. The theming is so immersive here that you easily forget you’re in Florida. The archways, tile work, and mosaics feel extremely authentic. The atmosphere is exotic and romantic. You could easily have a romantic dinner here if you are looking for something a little off the beaten path. The food was incredibly good, too. I had a beef kebob that was absolutely amazing (and I’m a really picky eater). The entertainment was really fun too. There was a belly dancer and a DJ playing modern Moroccan music. All in all, it was an extremely fun experience. It definitely earns a top spot of my list for must-eats. The exotic food tends to cause people to shy away from this one, but if you like meat and rice you will find something to love here! Best part? It is a great restaurant for last minute reservations. You can even often score a table as a walk-up here!

Nine Dragons

Nine Dragons
Nine Dragons gets a bad wrap for being “just Chinese food”. I often hear people say “I can get Chinese takeout anywhere.” It’s true that we are inundated with Chinese food here in the U.S but that doesn’t mean Nine Dragons isn’t worth a visit. The restaurant itself is gorgeous. It is simple and understated but (as with much of Disney) the devil is in the details. Upon first glance, it looks like any sit down Chinese restaurant you’ve ever been in. Take a close look, though, at the wood all around too. Intricate carvings and details are everywhere. The colors are bright and cheerful and the lantern light fixtures give the place a serene feel, which if you’re anything like me, is a welcome respite from the hectic pace of a day at a Disney park. The menu will seem familiar, it isn’t unlike anything you’ve seen at your local Chinese restaurant. What makes it stand out to me though is the quality. The food is extremely well prepared. Nothing seemed too sweet or too salty which was a nice change of pace from your local take-out place. Reservations are easy to come by here too. I was able to snag a Candle Light Processional package reservation in October (to see Neil Patrick Harris no less) if that tells you anything!

Tokyo Dining

Tokyo Dining
The fact that Tokyo Dining is on this list makes me incredibly sad. I feel like this one should be all the rage and find itself seated on lists of the hardest reservations to score at Epcot. It’s that good. Sadly though, I think Tokyo Dining is often overlooked in favor of its insanely popular sister restaurant-Teppan Edo. Tokyo Dining isn’t a hibachi restaurant and lacks that fun “cook in front of you” element that Teppan Edo has. However, it doesn’t need it because what Tokyo Dining does, it does very, very well. So well in fact, that my husband was convinced it was a Signature (2 dining plan credit) restaurant. It isn’t, but it could be. Both the food and decor here focus on modern Japan. The menu is teeming with unique and authentic offerings that provide a modern twist on Japanese classics. The atmosphere is sleek and sophisticated, but not stuffy. We took our (then) 1 year old and did not feel at all out of place. As an added bonus the restaurant’s giant windows overlooking World Showcase Lagoon make it an excellent place to watch Illuminations from if you time your meal right.

Beirgarten

Biergarten
Ah, Biergarten. This one is hotly debated and tends to be a love it or hate it kind of place. You either love it for the German buffet, entertainment, and communal tables or you hate it for the German buffet, entertainment, and communal tables. I personally fall into the love it category and it doesn’t make any sense. As I stated above I’m a picky eater. I also tend to be shy and a bit reserved. All signs point to the fact that I should run from Biergarten screaming. There is just something about it, though, that I can’t quite put my finger on. I find the food to be fantastic. If you’re a little nervous about German food, let me suggest the Wienerschnitzel- who can’t get on board with fried pork? The communal tables? I love it. Maybe we have just gotten lucky but we always get seated with the most interesting people. The Oktoberfest atmosphere and the Bavarian village atmosphere make this highly themed location an immersive experience. The entertainment is fantastic. I’ll be the first to tell you I have never driven down the road bumping Oompa music from my speakers but here I can never resist Bavarian hop on the dance floor and Polka dance right along with the entertainers. I’m convinced there is something magical about Biergarten.

Lanterns

Spice Road Table
Did you know Spice Road Table existed? A surprising amount of people don’t given its prominent waterfront location. Right on the edge of the World Showcase Lagoon, this Mediterranean restaurant focuses on small plates and tapas that are perfect for sharing! The restaurant takes its cue from its namesake and offers flavors from all along The Spice Road. The garlic shrimp is absolutely divine here. Dishes including Lamb and beef feature prominently. Vegetarians will also find plenty to eat here as many dishes are completely meatless. While there is some indoor seating, the real gem here is the copious outdoor seating. I know what you’re thinking: “outdoor seating? In Florida?” But trust me. It is truly spectacular. The red pavered patio is gorgeous and the ornate metal lanterns hanging everywhere give it an exotic feeling that is truly unique. Did I mention the seating was covered? And right on the water? Go grab yourself a seat on Spice Road’s patio. You won’t be disappointed.

So tell us what you think. Did your favorite hidden gem at Epcot make the list?  Have you tried any of these? Tell us what you think about them.



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