Each of the theme parks at Walt Disney World has a hook. Magic Kingdom has the most wonderful assortment of amusement attractions on the planet, Animal Kingdom brilliantly combines a day at the zoo with one of Disney’s hottest roller coasters, and Hollywood Studios…is to be determined. Theoretically, it’s a recreation of the glory days of the Hollywood film industry in Florida. In practice, it’s a park in flux, but the idea is sound.
That leaves Epcot, a hodgepodge of several high concepts from Walt Disney’s personal think tank, the most noteworthy of which is World Showcase. It’s the theme park that explores the concept of It’s a Small World on a meta level. Given the unmistakable link between Walt Disney and the 1964 World’s Fair, it’s unsurprising that the company would create their version of a permanent World’s Fair at a park. The serendipitous outcome of the construction was a foodie’s haven.
With 11 different pavilions at the World Showcase, many of the most popular and exotic cuisines across the globe are available in one location. Since it’s Disney, all of the foods available are authentic to the point that they entice chefs from foreign lands to pick up stakes and move to Orlando, Florida. There, they create the delicious meals from their homelands, making it one of the finest food hubs in the United States. There are dozens of options for the ultimate in cuisine here, so you probably won’t have time to visit them all during a single trip to Walt Disney World. Here are the eight restaurants you should prioritize since they’re the best of the best at World Showcase.
8. Liberty Inn
At some point while you’re eating at the World Showcase, you’ll want a quick bite that’s basic in nature. The American Pavilion offers one of the best options for this. Liberty Inn is a Quick Service restaurant that features American favorites like cheeseburgers, hot dogs, and chicken nuggets. It also serves as a nice compromise selection if one or two members of the party are hungrier. There’s a New York strip steak that is surprisingly tasty at a ridiculously low cost of $11.99. You’d be hard pressed to find that kind of value at home, much less at a tourist destination like Walt Disney World.
7. Teppan Edo
If you enjoy watching your food get cooked in front of you, you’ll rank this one even higher. Teppan Edo at the Japan Pavilion focuses on cuisine such as stir-fry, and it pluses your dining experience by adding some entertainment. The highly trained chefs perform cooking utensil gymnastics as they slice and dice your ingredients. Yes, you can see the same thing at your local Benihana, but the food there falls well short of Epcot standards. Teppan Edo is the finest choice for Japanese cuisine at all of Walt Disney World.
6. Lotus Blossom Café
While Nine Dragons has its fans, it also has a number of detractors as well. If you like Chinese food but don’t want to take a chance on an expensive table service meal you may not enjoy, consider this cheaper alternative. Lotus Blossom Café features covered outdoor seating, so it’s a great choice on a day with a nice breeze. The food is divine, especially the orange chicken, pot stickers, and ginger ice cream. You’ll have plenty of menu options, most of which cost less than $10.
5. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
If you want to enjoy a character meal while visiting World Showcase, there’s only one choice. The Akershus Royal Banquet Hall at Norway Pavilion calls its character experience the Princess Storybook meal, which tells you everything you need to know. It’s a table service buffet with a Scandinavian focus, so you’ll have ample samples of exquisite fish dishes. You’ll also enjoy meeting at least four Disney princesses during your meal. It’s a wonderful alternative to Cinderella’s Royal Table, both in terms of cost and popularity. You’ll have a much easier time eating at the Norway Pavilion than at the central hub of Magic Kingdom. Better yet, the food is unforgettably tasty.