4. Das Festhaus (Busch Gardens Williamsburg) - Germany
Having been raised on authentic German food, I’m something of a purist when it comes to cuisine from das mutterland. I admittedly have low patience for French-ified German bakeries and mediocre German restaurants. It is for this reason that Das Festhaus almost didn’t make this list, especially when compared to the surprisingly-authentic food at Epcot’s Biergarten. However, no exploration of World Showcase-like restaurants would be complete without visiting this pleasant mainstay at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.
Das Festhaus is consistently celebrated as the best place to eat in the park, offering not just a colorful German setting but also an entertaining show. The restaurant’s German offerings include bratwurst, knackwurst, German potato salad (yay for no mayo!), sauerkraut, and a delicious torte cake. For picky eaters, the rest of the menu offers more familiar fare like sandwiches, salads, pretzels, and pizza. Despite mixed reviews, the restaurant remains a beloved classic that many guests call a favorite. Overall, don’t expect Disney’s Biergarten when visiting Das Festhaus—you won’t find any sauerbraten, spaetzle, or schnitzel. However, Das Festhaus still puts forth a laudable effort and remains a must-visit if you’ll be in Busch Gardens Williamsburg.
5. Cocina Mexicana (Universal Studios Hollywood) - Mexico
While many theme parks have Mexican restaurants, the vast majority do a better job representing Taco Bell than they do proper Mexican food. While they still have a little ways to go, Universal Studios recently added a nice option to their counter service lineup with Cocina Mexicana.
While it is still too early to tell how this restaurant will pan out in the long term, Cocina Mexicana starts off in the right place with a menu including tasty chicken tinga tacos, roasted chicken with rice and beans, beef tacos, tres leches cake, and Buñuelos. You cannot get away with mediocre Mexican food in southern California, so Universal has every incentive to make this place shine among their counter service offerings. While we’re hopeful other theme parks will incorporate full Mexican restaurants similar to Disney’s Cantina de San Angel, this is at least a step in the right direction for Universal parks.
6. Dragon Fire Grill & Pub (Busch Gardens Tampa) – Italy, China, and Mexico
If you like international cuisine, you will definitely want to check out Busch Gardens Tampa’s Dragon Fire Grill & Pub. This eclectic market-style eatery is rated by many guests as the best place to eat in this beautiful park, and its food court layout means families can find something for everyone.
The World Showcase vibes come mostly from the restaurant’s broad offerings which include Italian flatbreads and pasta, southwestern fajitas and churros, and Asian classics like kung pao chicken, orange chicken tempura, noodles, and veggie stir fry. Similar to Das Festhaus, Dragon Fire offers a 50’s style live music show, adding to the ambience. While the food court style may make the pub sound a little all-over-the-place, guests consistently rate Dragon Fire as a park favorite.