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Old 02-10-2013, 07:37 PM   #1
bmalina
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what are the must see restaurants at disneyland

Hi all, getting ready to book our family's 1st trip to Disneyland. (Several trips to Disney world).

We'll likely be there 4 or 5 days. What the restaurants we should make sure not to miss.

Thanks!

Brian
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:40 PM   #2
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Who's in your group and what are the ages? If you have little girls who love princesses, Ariel's Grotto is a convenient (albeit expensive!) way to meet the princesses. We did that with our girls and could have just skipped the Princess Fantasy Faire Meet-and-Greet since we saw the same princesses at Ariel's Grotto.

Or are you asking about distinctive dining experiences beyond just meeting characters? Blue Bayou is on my list when my girls are older, as you get to eat while sitting inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. There are also some other treats I have on my "must try" list but many of those are counter service places.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:42 PM   #3
dragonflycurls
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Our must do's:
Woody's Roundup BBQ (YUM!!)
Minnie and Friend's Breakfast
Pacific Wharf for the breadbowl soup.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:46 PM   #4
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Blue Bayou used to be on our must eat list until prices now have become stupid crazy expensive.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:47 PM   #5
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You'll get lots of advice here, particularly without telling us anything about your budget, typical food styles, desire for in-park vs. outside, etc.

My biggest recommendations end up being for the fanciest, most expensive places. Napa Rose has been rated the best restuarant in all of Orange County by Zagat for several years. It is a superb dining experience.

The Carthay Circle Theater Restaurant has the potential to be that good as well, once they finally work out all the growing pains and new-opening wrinkles. It is easily the best in-park restaurant already, at both DL and WDW.

Steakhouse 55 at the DLH is a little-known gem. It's a truly top-notch restaurant that people just don't seem to know about.

Catal is the best restaurant in DD. I'm not a fan of Mediterranean fare in general, but there are always plenty of items on their menu that make me drool. Their location is ideal, and the service up to true fine dining standards.

After that, things get far more "squishy". The Blue Bayou is cool because it's unique to DL and offers a really neat ambiance. The food and service are just okay, but that's a tough reservation to get simply because of the atmosphere.

You didn't mention the ages and sexes of your party, but if you have any girls then Ariel's Grotto and their princess dining should be high on your list.

For counter-service, Flo's V-8 Cafe in Cars Land is both new and good. The combination area of Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta and the Garden Grill offers a variety of tasty food and a wonderful area to sit and enjoy it.

The Big Thunder Ranch BBQ in Frontierland has surprisingly good food and is family-style all-you-can-eat with some fun, family-friendly entertainment that reminds me of a tiny version of the Hoop-De-Doo.

I could keep going, but that's probably enough to get the ball rolling!
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:43 PM   #6
bmalina
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Thanks for the quick replies!

For the trip it will be my wife & I and our 10 yr old son. Blue bayou sounds like a must do.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:01 PM   #7
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A little more background, I anticipate the majority of our meals will be on Disneyland property.

I'd like to a couple of the places with the best ambiance, but expect several our meals will be counter service. My son isn't very adventurous when it comes to food.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:01 PM   #8
bmalina
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A little more background, I anticipate the majority of our meals will be on Disneyland property.

I'd like to include a couple of the places with the best ambiance, but expect several of our meals will be counter service. My son isn't very adventurous when it comes to food.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:16 PM   #9
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Please be aware that dining is NOT the same at DL as it is at WDW. DL does not have the variety of dining (table service) that WDW does.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmalina View Post
A little more background, I anticipate the majority of our meals will be on Disneyland property.

I'd like to include a couple of the places with the best ambiance, but expect several of our meals will be counter service. My son isn't very adventurous when it comes to food.
Most of our meals are counter service meals with only a couple table service, when we go for 5 or 6 days. There are so many good counter service places. This makes it easy to grab a bite when you are hungry. (As I'm researching WDW, I'm finding out it isn't so easy there)

A new must do for us is Flo's in DCA. The atmosphere and view is amazing! We also like the Hungry Bear in DL. It has lots of quiet tables by the river. The hamburgers are now much improved in quality and I also like the fried green tomato sandwhich. Another favorite is Whitewater Snacks just inside the GCH as you exit to it from the park. A quiet place to relax with lots of choices.

For table service we always do Cafe Orleans (but pickey eaters may not like it) and we also like Carthay Circle when we tried it for the first time last summer. We did the deal to get priority WOC tickets and thought it was well worth it.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonflycurls View Post
Our must do's:
Woody's Roundup BBQ (YUM!!)
Minnie and Friend's Breakfast
Pacific Wharf for the breadbowl soup.
Is the BBQ a character meal with Woody and Jessie? I thought it was just a BBQ meal. DS3 loves Toy Story, so if it's a character meal, we might want to try this one. We did Minnie's, Goofy's and Ariel's on our last trip and liked them all, for different reasons.

Last edited by Rubygoose; 02-11-2013 at 12:20 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubygoose View Post
Is the BBQ a character meal with Woody and Jessie? I thought it was just a BBQ meal. DS3 loves Toy Story, so if it's a character meal, we might want to try this one. We did Minnie's, Goofy's and Ariel's on our last trip and lived them all, for different reasons.
No. Its not Woody's Roundup. Just Big Thunder Mountain BBQ. I think there was a Toy Story related character meal there for awhile but not at this time.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:12 PM   #13
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Carnation Cafe is on Main Street and we enjoy it on every trip. I'm not an adventurous eater and my children are fairly conservative as well and we always find good (and filling) food here. The prices aren't ridiculous, either, in my opinion. Of course it helps that I drink water and not pop. It is a table service restaurant and a lovely break in the middle of the day. Plus you may have the pleasure of meeting Oscar, a Disney chef who is a true legend with fans of Disneyland.

I haven't tried it yet, but I've checked out the lunch menu at Jolly Holiday Bakery (Disneyland), and I'm looking forward to eating there on this trip. A grilled cheese and tomato soup sounds delicious to me! It is counter service and there are a LOT of good classic options and the reviews are pretty decent.

Flo's V-8 (California Adventure) has terrific reviews too and is another new restaurant I'm looking forward to trying.

Whitewater Snacks is inside the Grand Californian (you can access it from California Adventure) but is open to everyone and has great prices. We are staying at the GC on this trip, but we've eaten there on every trip without staying at the hotel. Great prices and good food. Definitely not a budget buster! You can eat there (inside or outside seating available--counter service) or take it with you.
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Last edited by DisSarahK; 02-10-2013 at 11:22 PM. Reason: Fixed restaurant name
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:15 PM   #14
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I haven't tried it yet, but I've checked out the lunch menu at Holly Jolly Bakery (Disneyland), and I'm looking forward to eating there on this trip. A grilled cheese and tomato soup sounds delicious to me! It is counter service and there are a LOT of good classic options and the reviews are pretty decent.
Just so the OP isn't confused, its the Jolly Holiday Bakery (a la Mary Poppins).

I'm hoping to try the Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup there next visit. Last time my kids didn't see anything they wanted on the menu when we went in.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:22 PM   #15
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Just so the OP isn't confused, its the Jolly Holiday Bakery (a la Mary Poppins).

I'm hoping to try the Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup there next visit. Last time my kids didn't see anything they wanted on the menu when we went in.
LOL! You're totally right. It has been a looong day. I'll fix my post. Thanks for the help!
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