Dining at Epcot
Food is a major attraction at Epcot, at least in the World Showcase. Make absolutely certain that when you visit this park, you schedule at least one meal here, as you will find the selection and quality pretty impressive. Also consider dining in a less traditional way, by simply sampling snack-sized bites from the open-air stands at several different counties (see "Snackapalooza" in Chapter 5, "Epcot: Bringing the World and the Future Together"). It gives you a chance to experience some new flavors, and could be less time-consuming and less expensive than a sit-down dinner at one of the national pavilions.
When was the last time you said to your family, "Hey, let's go eat Norwegian!"? Well, after eating here, you probably will. The character meals here are great, with a setting worthy of a princess in the castle-like interior, and hosted by many Disney movie heroines. The selection of cheeses, meats, and other smoked foods make for an experience and fulfilling meal, though it may not be what younger, finicky customers were expecting.
Buffet style dining with a live band makes for an Oktoberfest-style good time. This is great for families, and especially fun for an all-adult group looking to kick it up a notch. Try the fine selection of meats and classic German dishes for your best experience.
Bistro de Paris
This prix-fixe menu (one standard price for the meal, and you select from among three to four items for each course) is an elegant experience and a culinary masterpiece. With a second floor view of the firework and light shows, this could be a wonderful romantic experience, if you can afford it.
Le Cellier Steakhouse
Located in the Canada Pavilion, the wine-cellar atmosphere and excellent steak selections here make for a romantic setting. Not a great place for kids and a bit heavy for lunch, this restaurant offers a slightly less upscale (and less expensive) experience than Shula's in the nearby Dolphin Hotel.
Les Chefs de France
This restaurant is only a bit less expensive than the Bistro de Paris, but it reminds many of a classic Parisian café setting, complete with the fun of watching the people walking by outside. French classics here include the haute cuisine dishes you might expect, along with popular street choices such as Croque Monsieur (a ham and cheese sandwich, Parisian style) that are ideal for kids hesitant to trying new things. This is a great dinner selection for groups with kids who want to swing a bit more upscale.
Coral Reef Restaurant
You get top-notch seafood here, as well as a great show, courtesy of the gigantic aquarium that is the Living Seas Pavilion. Divers will occasionally swim by to entertain, as do sharks, grouper, rays, and other amazing tropical fish. The seafood is excellent, but the upscale and elegant setting may not be ideal for groups with smaller children, who can only be fascinated by the fish swimming by for so long.
The Garden Grill Restaurant
Located in the Land Pavilion, much of the food here is raised in the pavilion through hydroponics and other advanced agriculture technologies. Characters come around to the tables, and the food is country/American, featuring seafood, steaks, and some great produce.
You will feel like you are in Casablanca as belly dancers entertain in this intricately detailed restaurant. The lamb is excellent, and if you want to get a real feel for North African cuisine, make sure you opt for whatever sampler options they have on the menu. Ask for a table either close to the entertainment in the middle of the room or up on the highest tier in the back of the room, which also provides a great view. This is another great place to bring kids when you are looking for a somewhat upscale experience.
Nine Dragons Restaurant
The Chinese cuisine here tastes a great deal more authentic than the average delivery service back home, so consider it if you like Chinese and want to see what it is like when made right.
L' Originale Alfredo di Roma Ristorante
Traditional but authentic Italian fare is hidden away in this less-traveled restaurant located in the back of the Italy Pavilion. Try the Fettuccini Alfredo, or one of the other specialties of the house.
Rose & Crown Dining Room
This and Nine Dragons are the two table-service restaurants in the World Showcase that are easiest on your wallet. The food here is down to earth, featuring fish and chips and other traditional pub food.
San Angel Inn
Seated in a courtyard inside the Mexico Pavilion pyramid, with a view of a volcano and a village market, you can sample authentic Mexican food created by a famed Mexico City restaurateur. There is no artificial nacho cheese here, only classic molé sauces and a selection of seafood, beef, and pork-based entrées that are a true treat!
Teppanyaki Dining Room
Gather 'round a grill that serves as your table and be amazed as the knives and food fly around the room. There is nothing new here if you have been to a Benihana's back home, but it is a great social meal, and a great place to talk about the day's events.
Belly up to the sushi bar and satisfy that yen, complete with many traditional rolls and nigiri, as well as a few you may not have heard of before.
Boulangerie Patisserie—French pastries
La Cantina De San Angel—Tex-mex snacks, but a great afternoon break
Harry Ramsden—Fish and chips as good as you get in the Rose & Crown
Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe—Norwegian pastries
Liberty Inn—Burgers, chicken, and the other standards. Great for kids who don’t want to try new things.
Lotus Blossom Café—Egg rolls and some other take out standards
Sommerfest—Beer, pretzels, and sausages
Tangierine Café—The best counter service in Epcot; try the lamb shawarma
Yakitori House—Sushi, noodle bowls, and other Japanese treats
Electric Umbrella Restaurant Another standard fast-food restaurant
Sunshine Season Food Fair Food court with great variety and indoor seating