Dining at Downtown Disney
Downtown Disney is split into three areas, and for the most part the dining is found at either end, with few dining choices found in Pleasure Island in the middle.
Bongos Cuban Café
Owned by Gloria and Emilio Estefan, the food at this cool, chic café is Cuban inspired, with several other options based on popular Latin American and Caribbean recipes. This is a great choice as your starting point for a special night out on the town. The café welcomes families, but seems more like an adult's dining choice.
Cap'n Jack's Restaurant
Cap'n Jack's is primarily a seafood restaurant, but it has an extensive non-fish menu as well. It really tries to be an all-pleasing casual dining locale, and it is successful as a non-threatening place for families and adult-only groups at the same time. Try the chowder or any of the seafood choices.
Fulton's Crab House
Located between the Marketplace and Pleasure Island, diners here eat crab and other seafood on a permanently docked riverboat. The crab is good, and this is a popular place, though expensive for cafeteria-style seating. You might be able to get a more elegant experience elsewhere for the money, though the crab probably won't be this good.
House of Blues
The restaurant is basically just open for lunch and dinner, but the Sunday Gospel Brunch that the chain has become famous for combines a unique blend of dining and entertainment that you will find nowhere else in Walt Disney World. Lunch and dinner menus tend toward spicier foods, and the atmosphere is one that teens and adult will particularly enjoy, though guests of all ages are welcome.
Planet Hollywood seems to be more about the experience than the food. While the memorabilia on the walls is interesting, the wait to get in and the tab at the end of the meal make this chain restaurant one that might be avoided. Food is pretty standard chain fare, combining high-end burgers, sandwiches, pasta, and other entrées.
Portobello Yacht Club
The food is excellent, and the lakeside views make for a pleasant experience as you select from wood-oven-baked pizzas, pastas, and other Mediterranean selections. The food is great, though your bill will grow quickly if you don't watch yourself. Located next to Fulton's Crab House, between Pleasure Island and the Marketplace, this is one of the nicer, if somewhat expensive, dining options in Downtown Disney.
The second of two Rainforest Café's at Disney World (the other is at the Animal Kingdom Park), this is a great choice for lunch or dinner with kids. The atmosphere is vivid and captivating, and will keep kids busy for as long as you will be there. The food is good, too, with a wide selection of options, ranging from salads, to sandwiches, to other entrées.
Wolfgang Puck Café
The middle of the three Wolfgang Puck options (there is a quick-service Wolfgang Puck Express outside and a high end restaurant upstairs), this is an excellent option for diners at Downtown Disney. The prices are varied but reasonable, the selection is broad, and you get some world-class cuisine for standard chain prices. The atmosphere is fun but not comical, and is equally attractive for romantic dinners and family outings. The high-end restaurant upstairs is expensive, and probably one to go after only if you have a company expense account handy to absorb the pain.
Earl of Sandwich Restaurant—Fresh-made sandwiches for a quick lunch
Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop—Shakes and ice cream
McDonald’s—The comfortable familiarity of something from home
Missing Link Sausage Company—Hot dog stand with great Philly cheese steak sandwiches
Wetzel’s Pretzels—Pretzels and the basics of a burger/hot dog stand
Wolfgang Puck Express—Eclectic, fast lunch choices at two locations