Walt Disney World has plenty of well-known restaurants that you can fight to get a reservation to, but for every coveted spot at a restaurant like La Cellier, there are plenty of other options at restaurants that are just as unique, but easily overlooked. If you’re looking for something new and different to try on your next visit, consider some of these options that you may have passed right by.

1. The Biergarten, Germany, Epcot

Often overlooked in favor of other wildly popular World Showcase restaurants, like Le Cellier in Canada or the Rose and Crown in the United Kingdom, the Biergarten offers an excellent selection of authentic German food on a seemingly never-ending buffet at a reasonable price (for World Showcase). Settle in to communal tables in a cozy indoor setting surrounded by facades that resemble a quaint Bavarian village.

While you eat, you’ll enjoy a floor show featuring German band members who play traditional German music, including 12 foot long wooden horns and some very small bells at a very fast speed. You can even get up and polka on the dance floor if you’re in the mood. Anyone who knows how to enjoy a good Oktoberfest celebration will appreciate the never-ending festivities at this boisterous buffet.

2. Tortuga Tavern, Adventureland, Magic Kingdom

This small establishment isn’t always open and when it is open tends to be available for lunch only. Located across from Pirates of the Caribbean, this is a delicious option for Mexican favorites. Make sure to stroll by and see if it’s operating while you’re in the park if you’re in the mood for something a little different. Tacos, burritos and nachos are featured, along with a generous toppings bar that lets you customize your meal.

Thanks to the toppings bar, Tortuga Tavern is a great choice for filling up on a budget. Pile your tacos or burritos high with extras to get the most out of every dollar. Tortuga Tavern is a counter service restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating.

3. The Hollywood Brown Derby, Hollywood Blvd, Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Disney’s Hollywood Studios offers several high-concept restaurants that many people have heard of, like the 50’s Prime Time Café and the Sci-Fi Drive In. Lesser known is a little gem located just off of the Hollywood Blvd and near the entrance to the Great Movie Ride. The Hollywood Brown Derby is a recreation of the famous Brown Derby actually located in Hollywood, California. As the Brown Derby was the original creator of the Cobb Salad, Disney’s version also offers the classic dish, along with a wide selection of other mouthwatering delights.

This restaurant also offers some spectacular special dining options. With the Fantasmic dining package, you’ll enjoy an entrée, beverage, and dessert as well as a VIP seat after dinner for Fantasmic. The special Dine with an Imagineer experience gives you the chance to indulge in a delicious four course lunch in the Bamboo Room of the Hollywood Brown Derby with a Disney Imagineer at your table to sate your curiosity as the meal sates your hunger.

4. Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano, Streets of America, Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Another high-concept establishment, though far lesser known than some of its neighbors, Mama Melrose’s offers wonderful Italian food in a themed restaurant with plenty of fun little details to see. The story goes that Mama Melrose was a hopeful starlet in early Hollywood whose career never fully took off. During auditions, she would cook for her fellow hopefuls, and when her acting career failed, she opened her now-famous restaurant.

Her successful and famous friends have turned up over the years to partake in some of her fabulous cuisine and to leave a piece of memorabilia or two. Though this is an entertaining tale, it’s not what Mama Melrose’s was first designed for.  The original plan for the restaurant was for it to be Muppet owned and operated.



Since 1990, our family has always concluded our visits to WDW with lunch at the Brown Derby. It is a tradition we never miss. Several years ago, I asked if they ever gave out recipes of their specialties. Our waiter presented us with derby-shaped recipe cards for the Cobb Salad and Grapefruit Cake!! If you want an elegant taste of old Hollywood (in a tee shirt and shorts, no less!) the Brown a derby is an excellent choice!

I can understand why Nine Dragons is overlooked, both DH and I thought it was overpriced and over rated...never again. However, I can't understand why Mama's I considered overlooked since it is nigh impossible to get in...lol I really wish Tortuga was open more often though... I think The Wave should be on this list. Such a wonderful venue and rarely busy. Just MHO...☺

In reply to by Diane Mullen (not verified)

We will never eat at th e Nine Dragons again. Unless you're from a tiny town that doesn't offer good Chinese food skip it. Our local take out was 10x better. What about the Columbia Restaurant? That place is a staple for us.

Good to see Mama Melrose made this list. On our last Disney World trip we decided to try it out and ended up saying this was our favorite place when it came down to quality of the food. It's now on our list of do-not-miss places to eat.

Your list named some of our all time favorites! The Biergarten, The Brown Derby and Tortuga Tavern. We eat there almost every trip!

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