Top 10 non character sit down restaurants?

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reviews' started by strine56, Mar 22, 2018.

  1. strine56

    strine56 Earning My Ears

    May 31, 2011
    What are your top 10 non characters sit down restaurants at Disneyworld?
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
  2. Jeremy Nolen

    Jeremy Nolen Earning My Ears

    Dec 4, 2017
    I guess it depends on if you mean top in terms of food quality, or top in terms of dining experience.

    There are some WDW venues that manage to combine high quality food and high quality experience:

    1) California Grill @ the Contemporary - classy modern venue and great food; eat here in the evening and watch the firework show as a bonus.
    2) Ohana @ the Polynesian - I love the Polynesian and this restaurant in particular, very cool old-school Disney experience
    3) Brown Derby @ DHS - fantastic food, and I appreciate the reproduction of the Hollywood golden age icon.
    4) Artist's Point @ Wilderness Lodge - beautiful restaurant and great food
    5) Teppan Edo / Tokyo Dining @ EPCOT - slightly less impressive in terms of experience, but excellent food and service

    I like the following places for the experience but the food is nothing special (or even, in some cases, kinda lame)
    1) Sci-Fi Drive-in @ DHS - we always grab a snack and a milkshake here as watching old B movie trailers is a lot of fun. Food is not great (but was actually better than I expected this last visit?)
    2) San Angel Inn @ EPCOT - the food here is mediocre and the service hit-and-miss (we actually were OK with both on our last visit) but eating in the artificial nighttime in the shadow of a Mexican pyramid is pretty great!
    3) Skipper's Trading Co @ MK - I really wanted to like this place, and the theming is top notch (check out the books in the 'library') but the food was mediocre verging on inedible and incredibly overpriced
    4) Be Our Guest @ MK - similar to the above entry - great theming and location but the food quality has fallen off a cliff since they opened. I don't count it as 'character dining' since we usually have lunch here vs. dinner. It's technically QS but if you online order they bring it right to your table, so kind of a weird middle zone.

    Obviously there are a TON of restaurants at WDW (once you count resorts and Disney Springs) and we've probably tried about half of them over the course of our several trips. We've rarely had a bad experience, but only a few really stand out as 'great' experiences, either - especially when you take into consideration the high premium prices involved.
    jenniferma likes this.
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  4. richkaryn

    richkaryn I work to pay for my Disney addiction.

    Feb 1, 2013
    Via Napoli
    Coral Reef
    Rose & Crown
    Kona Cafe breakfast (have also done dinner and it was totally different experience--horrible food and service)
    Sci-Fi (more for atmosphere, though I used to love their pasta with chicken before they went changing it and adding stuff I won't eat to it and made it spicy)

    we've eaten at more non-character meals (but also several character meals) in the past but those were all one and done or we had a really bad experience, and one of our favorite

    Now that DS is 10, we are doing less character meals and also rotating off a few old favorites so we can try some new things this next trip.
  5. Jenrausch84

    Jenrausch84 Earning My Ears

    May 29, 2018
    My husband and I love the Biergarten in Epcot. It's in his contract to go when we visit WDW.

    'Ohana was incredible the last time we were there, probably my favorite.

    Beaches n Cream it was a great cheap meal. My son loved it. The burger was fantastic and the ice cream sundae was outstanding.

    Be our guest we loved when we visited. The atmosphere was incredible and as a Beauty and the Beast fan it was just amazing to be in the castle. The food was good too, not sure how I feel about it that they're changing the menu.

    Those have probably made it to the top 5. We've eaten at several different places but I like to be blown away by the food there.
    wolf29 likes this.
  6. FroZone the Pirate

    FroZone the Pirate Earning My Ears

    Jun 28, 2015
    Top Ten… I'll base these on past visits with my wife and on solo trips - when I've been in Orlando and WDW for work.

    1. Flying Fish - Boardwalk - loved it before the refurb and the old menu/chef - still love it today
    2. Ohana - Polynesian - this is our traditional first-night dinner - we are questioning including Ohana for our Christmas visit due to the numerous negative reviews.
    3. Morimoto Asia - Disney Springs - had dinner here last year by myself - loved it
    4. Tokyo Dining - EPCOT - eaten here several times - loved it each time
    5. California Grill - Contemporary - I love it - my wife not so much - she thinks it's overrated
    6. Kona - Polynesian - I've only had breakfast here - many times - love it
    7. Jiko - Animal Kingdom Lodge - I've only had dinner here once - but I left impressed
    8. Via Napoli - EPCOT - had many dinners here - always had great food - and a great experience.
    9. Narcoossee's - Grand Floridian - great place to celebrate - my parent's fav
    10. Sci-Fi Dine-In - DHS - big fun experience - food ok

    ^^^ my list above was pre being diagnosed a type 2 diabetic last year. For my family trip to WDW for Christmas this year we're changing things up. I eat low carb and my wife is keto. No more tonga toast, no more pizza, no more sushi rice.
  7. Haygar2

    Haygar2 DIS Veteran

    Jun 30, 2013
    Top ten for me (based on today)

    1. Raglan Road
    2. Flying Fish
    3. Yachtsman
    4. Kona breakfast (have not tried dinner)
    5. Yak & Yeti
    6. Sanaa (bread service alone)
    7. Grand Floridian Cafe (their steak is incredible)
    8. Via Napoli
    9. Cape May Cafe
    10. Hollywood Brown Derby (it's been 6 years and I believe that they have changed the menu

    I'm guessing that California Grill will make my list, but we won't be there until next August. LOL
  8. DisneyFansInNYC

    DisneyFansInNYC DIS Veteran

    May 28, 2012
    Boma breakfast
    Boma dinner
    Kona breakfast
    Via Napoli
    Brown Derby Chopped Salad - Yum!
    Yak and Yeti
    The Wave

    HDDR - it is a show but our family loves the food (not the healthiest) but delicious.
  9. mickey&minniealways

    mickey&minniealways DIS Veteran

    Feb 2, 2008
    Dying to try Raglan Road. Planning on our trip in December. We loved Cape May and Hollywood Brown Derby is one of the best meals and experiences we have had on property. The waitstaff can make or break a meal. Been years since we went to Kona or California Grill. My kids were very young. My oldest is 31 now so I don't feel I can comment.
  10. Haygar2

    Haygar2 DIS Veteran

    Jun 30, 2013
    Raglan Road had my favorite dish anywhere hands down. And the had taken it off of the menu before our first trip. I emailed them and asked if they would be bringing it back. She said no. I was seriously bummed. We made reservations based on that specific dish. And it was my 40th birthday. She told me that the chef would make it special for me. Not only did they make it special for me, they sat us right next to the stage. It was wonderful! My favorite experience to date. And now...they have it back on the menu. Hoping it stays there for our next August trip. If you get the chance to try the Gnocchi Sea Gnocchi Do...try it! Best meal ever1
  11. Monorail.Matt

    Monorail.Matt Earning My Ears

    Dec 18, 2018
    My top ten restaurants would be:
    1. Homecomin' - I eat here frequently and am always impressed. Love their takes on Southern comfort food, and the restaurants unabashed celebration of Florida.
    2. Liberty Tree Tavern - about the only place I will eat in MK (maybe Plaza or Skipper Co.). I love the colonial theming and the food (Lobster roll!) is the most consistent in the park.
    3. California Grill - Ate here for the first time in about ten years a week ago, yet it already deserves a top spot. Masterful dishes and an unbeatable view.
    4. Grand Floridian Cafe - A bit of a surprise, I ended up eating here when I couldn't get any reservations in MK a while back. It was excellent, with decent food and a relaxed atmosphere, especially for the price.
    5. Hollywood Brown Derby - The only decent place in Hollywood Studios. It feels like a real top-notch restaurant that could exist outside of a theme park, and the food is always delicious.
    6. The Wave - Not my favorite in recent years, but I have many great memories of meals here.
    7. the Turf Club - Also a sleeper hit, I tried it on a whim while staying at Saratoga and was thoroughly impressed.
    8. Citricos - Consistently good, but the service can be a bit snooty.
    9. Via Napoli - Not the most adventurous option in a theme park dedicated to experiencing new cultures, but it has top-notch Italian favorites.
    10. Jiko - I enjoy trying food that are out of the ordinary, and Jiko delivers. Try the bread course.
    need2travel likes this.
  12. OneinThree

    OneinThree DIS Veteran

    Dec 23, 2017
    Currently. . .

    1. Shula's
    2. Flying Fish
    3. Sanaa
    3. Jiko
    4. Citricos
    5. Il Mulino
    6. California Grill
    7. The Boathouse
    8. Marrakesh
    9. Yachtsman
    10. Tokyo Dining
    need2travel likes this.
  13. DaisyDuck001

    DaisyDuck001 DIS Veteran

    May 5, 2006
    1. Boma
    2. Skipper Canteen
    3. The Wave
    4. Sci Fi Dine In
    5. Rose & Crown
    6. Biergarten
    7. would include Artist Point, but haven't tried the new version quite yet
    8. Raglan Road
    9. Whispering Canyon
    10. Jiko
  14. 2xcited2sleep

    2xcited2sleep DIS Veteran

    Jan 5, 2008
    In no particular order:

    Flying Fish
    Hollywood Brown Derby
    California Grill (brunch)
    Via Napoli
    Yachtsman Steak House
    Raglan Road
    Chefs de France
  15. NickDubs34

    NickDubs34 Earning My Ears

    Nov 10, 2018
    As of today, my list would look something like this:

    Flying Fish
    Be Our Guest
    Kona (breakfast)

    Cali Grill used to top the list but had a poor experience there over the summer. Will give it another go at some point. Jiko wins for me because it’s the one high end place I can go and have had an excellent meal, service and atmosphere every single time. But to show you how much things can change, I really disliked Flying Fish the first time I went about 10 years ago. I tried it again in November and it was simply outstanding. Some of these (BoG, Sci-Fi) earn spots more for atmosphere than anything but I actually think the food has markedly improved at Sci-FI in recent years and I had a solid, if unspectacular steak at BoG before the menu switch.

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