Something that I find very fun on vacation (anywhere I go) is to try interesting, unique or local foods. At Walt Disney World there are a ton of unique food options to try for a meal or just for a snack. If you are visiting during one of Epcot’s seasonal festivals the options to sample different types of food are even greater. I’ve made a list of 10 of my favorite unique food finds at Walt Disney World:
10. Via Napoli Pizza
Yes, I know. Pizza is about the least unique food anywhere, but hear me out. The pizza at Via Napoli is special and it is certified “Vera Pizza Napolitana.” This means the ingredients all meet certain requirements: mozzarella comes straight from Italy, water from the United States, but close to the alkaline of the water in Naples, Italy, San Marzano tomatoes, and the dough is hand stretched as well. Each pizza is fired in one of the “volcanic” ovens at the front of the restaurant resulting in a very unique pizza experience.
9. Bison Burger, Geyser Point Bar & Grill
Burgers are standard fare for theme parks, but over at the Geyser Point Bar and Grill at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge you can move your burger up on the uniqueness scale by ordering their bison burger. Their Bison Cheeseburger is served with bacon, Tillamook Cheddar, onion straws, garlic aioli and Marionberry Barbecue sauce for a delicious combination of flavors. If you are the Magic Kingdom take the boat ride over to Wilderness Lodge to experience this unique burger.
8. Carrot Cake Cookie, Disney’s Hollywood Studios
I have been known to take these home with me at the end of my vacation. The Carrot Cake Cookie is two pieces of moist carrot cake surrounding a fat layer of cream cheese icing. In this cookie sandwich the icing to carrot cake is way out of proportion to the favor of the icing . . . and it is delicious because of it.
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7. The Whole Fish
Although a few restaurants serve this seasonally, I love the whole fried fish served at Tiffin’s in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It is sure to create a reaction when the large, head-on fish is delivered to your table “sitting up” on the plate. And this dish is very Instagram worthy. But it is also delicious. Tender, flaky and just the right amount of crispy crust on the outside. I highly recommend choosing this unusual presentation of a dish for your dinner.
6. Sanaa Bread Service
While this may not be unusual for many parts of the country, it is not something I can find in my neck of the woods. And for Walt Disney World dishes in general this one is a little outside the norm. At Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village, the restaurant Sanaa serves up flavors inspired by Indian and African dishes in a gorgeous setting right on the savanna. If you are there for lunch or dinner you have the option to order the bread service with just three of the accompaniments or upgrade to all nine. I recommend the upgrade. The Indian Bread Service includes 5 breads: Traditional Naan, Garlic-Ginger Naan, Spiced Naan, Onion Kucha and Paneer Paratha. The accompaniments range from mild like roasted red pepper hummus and mango chutney up to a hot spicy jalapeno-lime pickle. It is a fun starter to share around the table and sample some unique flavors.
This Canadian specialty is not something you find everywhere, but at Walt Disney World you have a few spots where you can sample this savory dish. Traditionally from Quebec, Poutine is French fries with cheese curds topped with a brown gravy, but Walt Disney World’s options are even more creative. In Epcot you can order Poutine at the Refreshment Port as you enter World Showcase. Or if you are dining at Le Cellier in Canada you have a selection of Poutine options on the menu including their signature Poutine with Canadian Cheddar Cheese, Truffles and Red Wine Reduction. Then over at Disney Springs the Daily Poutine is a kiosk specializing in nothing but Poutine. They serve the classic dish with cheese curds and brown gravy, but get creative with other options like Italian Poutine with Bolognese sauce and mozzarella or French Poutine with mushroom sauce and gruyere. No matter what you choose Poutine makes a delicious, filling & unusual snack.
4. Pongu (Pineapple) Lumpia, Pongu Pongu Animal Kingdom
As unique as the land of Pandora that surrounds it, the Pongu Lumpia found at the Pongu Pongu refreshment stand is a tasty sweet treat. Lumpia is a spring roll and for the Pandora version it is filled with cream cheese and diced pineapple. Yes please! It is fried in oil, rolled in sugar and served warm. And it is so very good.
3. Cobb Salad, Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
What makes the Cobb Salad unique is it’s origin and its ties to the original Brown Derby restaurant in Old Hollywood. As part of the theming of the Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, some of the menu items from the original are faithfully recreated—providing a delicious & authentic taste of Hollywood’s by-gone era. Legend has it that in 1937 Brown Derby Owner Robert Howard Cobb made a midnight snack by chopping up leftover ingredients and creating the salad which became a signature dish. Chopped salad greens like iceberg & romaine are combined with bacon, turkey breast, hard boiled eggs, avocado, blue cheese, chives and tomatoes all chopped and mixed together.
2. Cheeseburger Bao, Satu’li Canteen Disney’s Animal Kingdom
For our next unique dish we are going back to the most unusual land in Walt Disney World Parks, Pandora. The Satu’li Canteen serves up several tasty and unique dishes, but my choice for this article is the Cheeseburger Steamed Pods or Bao Buns. These are a very different take on a common theme park staple. The Bao Bun (or steamed pod) is filled with ground beef, ketchup, mustard, pickle and cheddar cheese. All of your typical cheeseburger ingredients just with a twist.
1. School Bread, Norway
In Epcot you will find many unique dishes and treats as you tour World Showcase and discover the cuisine of each country. (One of my family’s favorite ways to see the park). But I think my favorite treat there is the School Bread found in Norway. School Bread is not overly sweet, so it is a nice option on a warm day in the parks. It is a sweet bread like a roll with vanilla custard inside and topped with icing and toasted coconut. It is very good, and an authentic taste of Norway—and large enough to share if you are trying to taste your way around the world. One thing that I like about it is that it is a sweet treat that you can’t find in other places in Walt Disney World (like the cupcakes that seem to be around every corner).
Those are just a few of the unique food items that can be enjoyed at Walt Disney World—what is your favorite unusual food at Disney?