The 14 Best Things To Eat At Disneyland

best disneyland food

Like any foodie living in SoCal, going to the Disneyland Resort is just as much a food adventure as it is a theme park outing. We’ve been going to Disneyland since we were kindergarteners, and having over 30 years of Disney experience (including half a dozen annual passes) under our belt, we have a growing list of favorite foods and restaurants to eat for every visit.

Below, you’ll find our go-to quick meals and sit-down restaurants throughout the Disneyland Resort. Use the following acronyms next to the names of locations:

  • DL (Disneyland)
  • DCA (Disney California Adventure)
  • DTD (Downtown Disney District)

1. Corn dogs at Little Red Wagon (DL) or Corn Dog Castle (DCA)

We’ve been getting the corn dogs from Disneyland and California Adventure for almost two decades, and they always hit the spot. You can get them at the Little Red Wagon in Disneyland (right next to the Plaza Inn) or Corn Dog Castle in California Adventure next to Goofy’s Flight School. 

My go-to is an original hand-dipped corn dog with a bag of chips, but if you want to venture out, there’s also the hotlink corn dog at Corn Dog Castle that features a spicy version of the original snack. These are great options for a quick meal that won’t break the bank because they’re huge and under $10. 

2. Mickey Mouse ice cream sandwiches (DL, DCA, DTD)

Mickey Mouse shaped ice cream sandwich

My favorite treat at the Disneyland Resort during the hot summer months is the Mickey ice cream sandwich, which are $5.75 each. These are sold at most ice cream carts throughout Disneyland and California Adventure, and you can tell they’re for sale by the Mickey sandwich emblem on the carts. 

They are made with chocolate wafers featuring Mickey’s smiling face with a cookies and cream center. One of the hallmark qualities of these ice cream sandwiches is that they often come rock-hard out of the cart due to the super cold freezers they’re kept in–and this is the perfect consistency during blazing hot Disney visits.

You can also buy them in-store now (I got them at my local Target); they’re smaller than the original but come in great when you’re craving something sweet and taste similar. 

3. Ice cream at Salt & Straw (DTD)

Salt & Straw storefront at Downtown Disney

One of the best spots to get ice cream in Disneyland Resort is Salt & Straw in the Downtown Disney District. This Portland-based ice cream shot to fame decades ago because of its high-quality ice cream. They have over a dozen flavors that are available year-round, but also another set of flavors that rotate monthly with more seasonal, creative, and sometimes wild flavors.

Salt & Straw now has 40 locations in 5 states. The Downtown Disney location is similar to other locations, and even though the lines are constant, they go by pretty fast. I always like to try their seasonal flavors and request one scoop in a cup and one of their homemade waffles on top–this prevents the ice cream from dripping all over the cone. 

4. Earl of Sandwich (DTD)

Holiday turkey sandwich, and roast beef sandwich

Earl of Sandwich is another great fast-dining option in the Downtown Disney District. It is located right outside the gates of both Disneyland and California Adventure, so you don’t need to walk too far. This popular spot used to be on the other end of Downtown but moved during renovations and became a fast-dining location. It also expanded to a sit-down section called Earl of Sandwich Tavern. 

The fast-dining location carries the original menu, including the Earl’s Club, The Original 1762®, the Chicken Chipotle Avocado sandwiches, tomato soup, salads, and wraps. My personal favorite is the Holiday Turkey with extra gravy and cranberry sauce on the side. The Tavern portion also serves bigger plates of burgers, spaghetti and meatballs, and more. Earl of Sandwich is typically $15 per adult, and Earl of Sandwich Tavern is about $35 per adult.

I had my first visit to Earl of Sandwich many years back in Las Vegas, so I am really happy there’s one close to me at Disneyland now.

5. Beignets at Mint Julep Bar (DL)

Mickey shaped beignets at Mint Julep Bar

While there are beignets sold at both Downtown Disney at Beignets Express and the Jazz Kitchen Coastal Grill and Patio, the Mickey-shaped beignets from the Mint Julep Bar inside the New Orleans Square region of Disneyland are top-tier. We paid about $5 for three beignets at Mint Julep Bar.

Not only are they cuter, they’re much lighter and crispier than the other options at the Disneyland Resort. However, if you prefer beignets similar to those you can eat at Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans, I recommend Beignets Express or Jazz Kitchen, which are thicker and fluffier. 

6. Fried chicken at Plaza Inn 

fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans at Plaza Inn

One of the best deals for sit-down and quick-service restaurant meals at Disneyland is the Plaza Inn on Main Street. No matter how busy this place is, I never have to wait longer than 10 minutes to get inside or find a seat after getting my food. Since it’s cafeteria style, you pick up trays and get served food at stations. They have fried chicken, pot roast, pasta, and more. 

Hands down, the best thing to order here is the fried chicken dinner. The servings are large and can easily be split between two people. These dinner plates include a good helping of fried chicken (often three pieces) and sides of seasoned vegetables, mashed potatoes and gravy, and a biscuit. 

Plaza Inn is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For breakfast, you need to make reservations for character dining, and it has a prix fixe price of $46 per adult and $27 per child. Lunch and dinner are a la carte, and prices range from $15-$35 per adult, depending on your order. There’s plenty of seating available inside and outside.

7. Napa Rose

Napa Rose - seared scallop

Nestled in the craftsman-styled Grand Californian, Napa Rose is Disneyland Resort’s go-to fine dining restaurant. We’ve only been here once before (over a decade ago) and just sat at the bar because it was quite expensive for young adults. 

Napa Rose - cocktail

Napa Rose offers two experiences: Vintner’s table (their version of a seasonal tasting menu) and a la carte. If you partake in the Vintner’s table offering, you’ll be given the option to choose items for each of the four courses, and many of these items are not available on the regular a la carte menu. Currently, the Vintner’s table tasting is $150 per person. 

We did the a la carte option. This dinner is the most we’ve ever spent at Disneyland on a meal, and it was great! Whether or not it’s ‘worth it’ is another story, and it’s borderline. At $305 after tip for two people, we’ll let you decide. But it was for a decent but not overwhelming amount of food: four appetizers, one small/medium-sized main, one dessert, and two amazing cocktails.

Napa Rose - smiling tiger salad

We also had an amazing, friendly, and helpful waiter named Julio, who made this visit even better. My favorite dishes were smiling tiger salad, portabella mushroom “cappuccino,” and California Nantes carrot cake. Also, make sure to try a cocktail; they have such amazing bartenders there! 

Napa Rose - mushroom cappuccino

Reservations can be hard to come by since they open 60 days ahead at 6:00 a.m. PST, so it’s best to be awake and have the app or website ready. I managed to snag a table two days ahead because people dropped their reservations before the cancellation deadline (48 hours). With your reservation, you get 5 hours of free parking (valet or self-parking) at the Grand Californian Hotel.

8. Blue Bayou

If you’ve ever ridden Pirates of the Caribbean, you’ll be familiar with this riverside eatery you pass by when you first get on this ride. If you weren’t lucky enough to snag a reservation, be prepared for a long wait. The Blue Bayou is a popular and romantic spot many like to experience. It’s Louisiana-inspired food, so expect the menu to contain items like blackened shrimp, Creole-roasted chicken, and gumbo. There are also items like prime rib and the fish of the day.  

While the food options aren’t our favorite, it is a great spot to experience at least once because of its unique eating environment. When you first talk to the host, ask if you can sit at one of the tables next to the river to see all the action. 

9. Carthay Circle

sustainable fish ceviche appetizer

Carthay Circle features two options for dining: the Carthay Circle Restaurant and Carthay Circle Lounge – Alfresco Dining inside the building located on Buena Vista Street at Disney’s California Adventure Park. These dining options are inside (and outside) of the art deco-inspired building that resembles the nostalgic Carthay Circle Theater in Los Angeles. Some of the most famous Disney movies like “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” and “Fantasia” premiered at this theater. 

mussels and scallop appetizer

I highly recommend the cheddar Parker house rolls with the spicy Calabrian butter (however, they have regular butter, too), fresh sustainable ceviche, mussels and scallops, and their sweet potato gnocchi. Note that the menu changes every season and is full of organic and sustainable options for any diet. And let’s not forget their amazing cocktails! Unlike other cocktails that are too sweet throughout DCA, these are specially crafted and have a good balance of spirits and flavors. My favorite is the Pimm’s Punch

Parker house rolls w Calabrian chili butter

The Carthay Circle Lounge is available for lunch and dinner, and Carthay Circle Restaurant is available for dinner only, which starts around 4:30 p.m. I recommend getting a reservation at Carthay Circle Restaurant ahead of your Disney trip so you can dine upstairs if you want a more fine dining experience with more menu options. You can expect to spend about $60 per adult at these restaurants, and if you have a Magic Key pass, they also have discounts available. 

10. Oga’s Cantina

Oga's Cantina bar

Oga’s Cantina is a hot ticket reservation inside Disneyland’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge region, and for good reason: they serve some tasty alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages and snacks. This famous watering hole is just as an immersive experience as the rest of Galaxy’s Edge. As you enter, you’ll be met with a central bar surrounded by a team of friendly bartenders serving weary travelers, rogue bounty hunters, and smugglers alike. There’s even a robot DJ that plays hits throughout the night! 

Oga's Cantina Takodana Quencher, and beer

There’s a two-drink maximum and a 45-minute time limit per party, so it’s important to look at the menu beforehand. My favorite drink is the Takodana Quencher, made with rum, blue curaçao, orange, pineapple, and kiwi flavors. They also have snacks, like garlic pretzel knots with spicy cheese sauce if you’re hungry. 

This place is popular, and getting a reservation is quite challenging, but the good news is that an online waitlist is available on the day of. Note that there isn’t too much seating available, and it’s mostly standing bar tables unless you snag a reservation. I found that you can find reservations about two months ahead of time. Just be wary because you might bump into Kylo Ren while waiting in line to enter. 

11. Trader Sam’s

Trader Sam's two tiki drinks

While the days of walking up to Trader Sam’s on a weeknight and getting seated inside the bar without a reservation are long gone, I still make an effort to stop by whenever I can get on the waitlist. This place is for you if you are a tiki bar fan. Its design and lore are based on Disney’s Jungle Cruise ride, which includes exotic decor inspired by the Amazon Rainforest, Congo, Mystic Point (an original Disney magical site nestled in the forests of Papua New Guinea), and many more faraway places. 

Of course, you need to get tiki drinks, and my favorite ones are Piranha Pool, a blended coconut drink with pineapple and strawberry, and Tiki Tiki Tiki Rum, their version of the famous painkiller tiki drink. If you want to go in on the big kahuna, I’d recommend Uh-Oa! because it comes with a fiery experience. Most drinks have the option of buying a souvenir cup, too. If you’re hungry, try the Pu Pu Platter, which has different appetizers. 

This bar is located next to the pools of Disneyland Hotel, which is at the end of the Downtown Disney District. If you’re lucky to get a reservation, you may have a chance to sit inside the bar; however, for those who have walk-up or waitlist seats, you can only sit outside on the patio. All parties get a 90-minute limit regardless of their seating locations. 

12. Ballast Point Brewing Co.

Ballast Point Brewing Co. beer and fries

If you need a good pint of beer and some refreshments, head over to Downtown Disney and get seated at Ballast Point Brewing Co. This spot is next to Wetzel’s Pretzels and Black Tap Craft Burgers and Shakes. The entirety of the bar and restaurant are on the second floor, with bar, indoor, and patio seating available. 

Ballast Point - outdoor bar

The craft brewery from California serves up New American dishes for lunch and dinner, like smash burgers, poke bowls, and fish and chips. On the weekends, they also serve a special brunch menu with breakfast burritos and chilaquiles. It’s the perfect spot for a fast-casual meal; you can even bring the kids. Unfortunately, they don’t take reservations, so you may need to go on a waitlist during busy seasons. You can expect to spend about $40 per adult here. 

13. Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes

Black Tap - storefront

Taps is the restaurant you need when you have a serious sweet tooth craving or need a nice hearty burger. Located in Downtown Disney, this is a fast-style dining restaurant where you order food and then find a seat. You’ll find typical American fare at Black Tap, like burgers, wings, and Caesar salads

If you only want a dessert option, you can skip the line and head to their shakes-only window to order a massive shake. Be warned that these are some insane desserts; often, you’ll find a whole cake slice atop the frosty shakes. There are also some adult beverages available if you need a refreshment, like beer, cocktails, and wine–note these are for dine-in only. Also, if you’re a Magic Key Holder, you’ll be able to receive a 10% discount at this location.

14. Bengal Barbecue (not recommended)

Bengal Barbecue -  veggie and beef skewers

Very high price tag aside, these barbecue skewers were unfortunately dry. The chicken was dry, with a sauce that wasn’t too great. And the beef skewers were incredibly chewy. This was quite a disappointment for us!

Bengal Barbecue - pork skewer with rice and pickles

The pork skewer and veggie skewers were probably the better of the bunch, but still not worth the cost.

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