By now, everyone who has been to Disney or hoping to bring their family to Disney knows one thing with absolute surety… Disney World has AMAZING FOOD! Not only does Disney World have amazing treats and goodies inside the parks, but they also have some pretty darn incredible restaurants. In fact, they have so many wonderful restaurants it can be tricky to figure out where you might want to spend a little extra money and dine!
We get asked all the time by family and friends coming in town what are some of our favorite places to eat. The funny part about this is that when we came to Disney ourselves, we didn’t know that most of these places existed. We were actually kind of clueless and now that we are blessed enough to live here… we’ve been able to experience some of the amazing dining experiences that we think you guys might like!
Here are our top 7 sit down restaurants in Disney RIGHT NOW.
- Yak n Yeti (Animal Kingdom): This one takes first on our list because we stumbled upon it during our first trip to Disney when Linc was 3. We were starving and wanting a break to just sit and relax. I had sort of read about Yak n Yeti but couldn’t remember any of the details of the reviews. I couldn’t remember if it was just a pop in and hang out restaurant or whether it was fancy. We didn’t even have a reservation (which I do recommend) but we went on in anyway for an early lunch and boy am I glad we did! Yak n Yeti is a gorgeous sit down restaurant with pan-asian flavors and culture! The food is incredible and there is something for everyone to enjoy! Even our little picky 3 year old chowed down on his lunch and special drink! Hands down we think this is one of the best places to eat if you are enjoying Animal Kingdom.
- Jiko: The Cooking Place (Animal Kingdom Lodge): We stumbled upon Jiko one night on accident! Our friends happened to be staying at animal kingdom and we spent the day with them enjoying the pool! On our way out, Tuck and I thought it would be easier on Linc if we just fed him dinner at the resort than trying to get him home and whip something up. We actually thought we were heading to the dining service area Boma, but we happened to make the wrong turn and ended up in Animal Kingdom Lodge’s fancy dress code required restaurant (without a reservation). Jiko is a beautiful restaurant featuring African, Indian and Mediterranean Cuisine along side an open show kitchen and wood burning ovens! I have to say, we were a little nervous at first since Linc was exhausted and in the phase of “I just want chicken and hummus for dinner”. We were amazed at how delicious our meal was and even how wonderfully unique and delicious Linc’s pizza was! There was no pizza left on the plate. In fact, there was no food left on any plate. We ended up deciding to splurge and ordered appetizers, entrees and desserts! This is a great restaurant if you want to have a quiet fancy dinner where there is a bit of flavor for everyone!
- Sanaa (Animal Kingdom Lodge): This is a fantastic lunch spot for the whole family. We first tried Sanaa with friends of ours on a somewhat rainy day. The beauty of this restaurant is that you can spend some time hanging out and enjoying the animals at the Animal Kingdom lodge if you have some free time. There is a beautiful little place right outside where you can see the animals roaming around! We sat outside for a bit before the rain hit and enjoyed watching the Giraffes eat their lunch and counted the Zebras! After, we popped right in to Sanaa and enjoyed a delicious and diverse lunch. We started with an amazing bread and dip appetizer of different types of Naan bread and dips! Linc enjoyed pizza AND chicken and a special dessert where you could paint your own brownie. Tuck and I both had the burger and I will tell you, it’s the best burger I’ve ever had in my entire life. I still CRAVE that burger and the sauce on the bun! If you have some downtime or want to just relax and enjoy a nice long lunch, Tuck and I definitely feel like this is the place for you!
- The Wave (Contemporary Resort): Hands down friends this is our favorite place to eat for breakfast! We’ve been there on several occasions: before heading to the park with friends, for birthday breakfasts, Father’s day and we also took my parents here when they came to visit! The breakfast buffet at The Wave is AHHMAZING! I’am not a breakfast fan but anytime we have plans to eat at the Wave I can hardly contain myself. I’m like a kid of Christmas morning! They have all the breakfast favorites you can think of and of course it’s all you can eat. I’m talking about Key Lime Eggs Benedict, Sweet Potato silver dollar pancakes, Mickey waffles, Lox, mini Quiche, hashbrowns that you just can’t ignore and of course GRITS! The best grits I’ve ever eaten in my life and that’s saying something! It’s the perfect breakfast place before heading off to the Magic Kingdom if you want something a little more formal. When I say formal, I don’t mean dressing up. I just mean if you want somewhere to sit and pig out with your family without being bombarded or rushed! Oh my gosh you guys, now I want to go there this weekend for brunch!
- California Grill (Top of Contemporary Resort): We saved this one for last because it’s just incredibly special! There is no place on earth like the California Grill! You will absolutely need reservations and it is super fancy. This is a great place to celebrate an anniversary or birthday! It’s just a great place for special occasions. Located on the 15th floor of the Contemporary Resort, the entire side is nothing by windows overlooking the Magic Kingdom! The food is amazing whether you choose just appetizers or an entire main course. It’s fresh and seasonal and cooked to perfection. But the best part about the California Grill?!!! Try and go in the evening when the fireworks are going to go off. They dim the lights and set the scene by playing the magical music throughout the restaurant that is timed to Magic Kingdom fireworks. You truly get a front row sensational view that is unrivaled. I was like a little kid with my forehead pressed against the window pane as we watched the firework show during our dinner!
- T-Rex (Disney Springs): This is big time fun for dino lovers in the family! When you walk in you are transported to a time where dinosaurs ruled! It’s visually stunning and you get a show while you eat! By show I mean the dinosaurs come to life, the weather patterns change and the restaurant comes alive. We stepped in for lunch one day to take a break from the heat! Linc loves dinosaurs so we thought hey, win/win! We were super surprised when not only was it entertaining, it was delicious! We all ate every bit of food on our tremendous plates (the portions are very generous). After we went over to explore the Paleo Zone where you can get in and dig for dinosaur bones and pan for treasures. Linc was in heaven!
- Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar (Disney Springs): If you are an Indian Jones fan you better RUN to Disney Springs to check out the very incredible and true to the movie 1940’s Hangar Bar! They serve delicious drinks both alcoholic and non-alcoholic (I LOVE Teddy’s Tea). They have a small selection of appetizers that are delicious and leave you licking the plate! It’s the perfect place to hang out and grab a drink!
So far these are the restaurants we have visited and LOVED here at Disney and I mean LOVED! We still have many that we want to try: Paddlefish, Flying Fish, Beaches and Cream Soda Shop, and Sci-Fi Dine in Theater just to name a few! And guys… these are just the sit down restaurants! I can’t wait to share with you our favorite quick service restaurants and stop in treat shops! There is just too many for us to name!!
One thing is for certain, don’t just be prepared for magic when you visit Disney, be prepared for amazing meals and bring your appetite!
If you’ve visited here, what are some of your favorite restaurants?! Did we miss any that we should absolutely go and visit ASAP?!!!