Friday, October 21, 2011

(Eating Around the World: Epcot's World Showcase)

If you're looking for a great place to find something to eat, Epcot is your place. Not only does Future World offer a wide array of counter service restaurants, food carts and a few table service eateries, but the World Showcase is a wonderland of food choices. For some, it can get a bit intimidating, and they are certainly not alone. I met a dear friend of mine on a recent Disney Cruise who expressed the same sentiments. We haven't known each other terribly long, but she has been one of the most supportive people in my quest to make this blog something special. JK, thank you for that :)
So per request, I'll spend the next couple of days reviewing some of Epcot's best table service restaurants. For today however, we'll snack our way around the World with some of the best cart and counter-service eats and drinks. Who says you have to have a sit-down meal? This is one of the most fun ways to enjoy your time in the World Showcase. Here we go!

Tapas @ La Cava del Tequila
Located inside Mexico's pavilion, La Cava del Tequila opened in 2009, and is a welcome addition. The bar has over 70 different types of authentic tequila, and serves a tapas-style menu. I recommend the guacamole and the margarita flight, which features fives samples of margaritas ranging from jalapeno to passion fruit. It may take a little longer than a grab-and-go cart in other places around the World Showcase, but a visit here is a must. Grab a drink and share a small appetizer, and you won't be too full to continue your journey! I insist that you try this place (I'm talking to you, JK&M!), you will love it.

Norway's School Bread, photo courtesy of the Disney Food Blog
When visiting Norway, be sure to stop into the Kringla Bakeri og Kafe. Don't be tempted by all of the other delectable looking treats; you're one and only mission here is to grab some School Bread. Sweet bread loaded with custard on the inside and a sweet icing covered with coconut on the outside, the multiple flavors create one delicious pastry. Unfortunately, the treats have shrunk over the years. Once the size of your head, they're now more like doughnuts. That's OK though, you'll save room for your food journey by sharing one!

Lotus Blossom's Orange Chicken, courtesy of Orlando Informer
The China pavilion has some excellent options for a hot meal. Visit the Lotus Blossom Cafe for the Orange Chicken. The orange sauce coating is sweet and thick, and the chicken is beautifully crispy on the outside. The accompanying rice is nice and sticky and pairs well with each bite of chicken. In my opinion, this is your best option. The Lotus Blossom Cafe does have many other affordable options as well, but be careful not to fill up too much!

Germany's pretzel, photo courtesy of Flickr
Germany actually offers a few good options. The first is to go to the Bier Stand and grab a Radeberger Pilsner or a shot of Jagermeister (super yummy for me, not so much for others). You can also grab a hand-twisted German pretzel here. Be forewarned though, these are not your typical soft pretzels. They are a bit harder and darker, both in color and taste. J is a pretzel officianado, and unfortunately was not terribly crazy about the Germany pavilion's pretzels. Still, I believe that it's all for the experience. If you find that your sweet tooth is acting up, be sure to visit the new Karamell-Kuche, sponsored by Werther's. I actually recently found out that Werther's filmed their new commercial in the Germany pavilion of Epcot. I just knew that the building in that commercial looked familiar! How cool. Moving on - with the opening of the Werther's shop came the unfortunate closing of Germany's other candy store, which is where I tried my very first Toblerone bar. Still, I can't imagine being disappointed with a serving of fresh caramel from the new shop. My top choice for Germany remains the shot of Jagermeister.

While the Italy pavilion does have a gelato stand, I much prefer a visit to La Bottega Italiana. Treat yourself to a box of Italian chocolates, and sample some Italian wine! They used to have a chocolate and wine sampling for $6.50, but with the many changes in Italy's pavilion, I'm not sure if it still exists. Be sure to ask though, because it's an inexpensive and rewarding way to spend your time there.

American Adventure's Funnel Cake & Beer, photo courtesy of the Mouse Record
The American Adventure
Yea, American food is pretty much old news for us. Still, if you want to make the complete journey, stop at the Funnel Cake Kiosk in the American Adventure Pavilion. You have the option to add ice cream, fruit (the apples are great), or a chocolate drizzle, but personally I prefer my funnel cake au naturel (with a generous dusting of powdered sugar, of course). And why not grab a serving of Sam Adams while you're at it?

Japan's Kaki Gori, too good for words!
This is an easy one. While in Japan, you get the Kaki Gori. Period. No questions asked. It's up to you to decide what flavor, but why not go for all three? Rainbow stripes of strawberry, melon and tangerine, I'm not sharing this one with anybody, regardless of how full I am! It's a nice light snack and does more for quenching your thirst than it does for filling your belly. Nom Nom.

The Morocco pavilion is actually a tough one for me as I have only eaten at their table-service restaurant, Restaurant Marrakesh. My blind suggestion would be to try one of the Shawarma Platters at the Tangierine Cafe, Morocco's counter-service eatery. I have heard amazing things about these, and plan to try one very soon. The platters come with your choice of chicken, lamb or both, accompanied by hummus, tabouleh, couscous salad and Moroccan bread. Sounds delish!

France's heavenly Napoleon pastry
Another no brainer, the only thing better than Japan's Kaki Gori is the French Napoleon from Boulangerie Patisserie. If you've read about my favorite snacks throughout Walt Disney World, you know that this is my top choice and big daddy dessert winner. Layers of crispy phyllo dough loaded with a creamy custard and dusted with powdered sugar, this dessert is heavenly. For information about one of France's table service restaurants, read my review of Bistro de Paris.

UK's Fish n' Chips, photo courtesy Flickr
United Kingdom
No visit to the UK is complete without a taste of Fish n' Chips. Make a stop at the Yorkshire County Fish Shop and grab a delectable serving of the good stuff. I may be biased because I love fried fish, but this is so good. It tends to be a bit more on the greasy side than others I have tried, but the batter is fresh and crispy, and the french fries are tasty too. Be sure to do it the UK way - malt vinegar! This is super filling, so use restraint! There is only one stop left - you can do it!

The jewel of the Canadian pavilion is without a doubt Le Cellier Steakhouse. Unfortunately, Canada does not offer many options in the world of snacks and quick meals. There used to be a wine cart that served the infamous Canadian Ice Wine, but for some reason I cannot find any information on it. If it's still there, certainly grab a glass. If not, the snack cart in Canada offers a Torontopolitan - Iceberg Vodka and Chambord mixed with cranberry and orange juices. My kind of drink! Enjoy your beverage while you wander through the peaceful replica of Victoria Gardens. are you feeling? Gut-busting-ly full? Drunk, perhaps? Probably. Let's maybe avoid Test Track for the time being, yes? And don't even think about going near Mission:Space. You can't convince me to ride that when I'm hungry and sober. If you planned your time just right, the perfect ending to this day would be to digest while taking in the spectacular view that is Illuminations. What a great finale to an adventurous day of food and drink. Enjoy!

Do you have another way to eat your way through the World Showcase? I'd love to hear about your adventures!

Happy Snacking!


  1. YAY, so helpful!! These are great tips that make my stomach growl :) I'll be printing this out and bringing it with me for our next trip 'around the world!' - JK

  2. Can't wait to hear all about your experience! Jealous!