With all of the changes, expansions and new shops and restaurants coming to Disney Springs it has become a beautiful destination to visit and plan to spend some time. While I can shop with the best of them, I think my favorite thing to do at Disney Springs is eat. There are so many delicious new eateries along with old favorites it almost hard to narrow down the list to just 6 choices. I did my best and present to you the top 6 awesome places to eat at Disney Springs (some of which you can enjoy without a reservation).
Life is short so let’s start with dessert! Sprinkles bakery is an adorable little spot where you can find very unique and delicious cupcakes along with other treats (gluten free chocolate chip anyone?). Their cupcake flavors vary seasonally and different options are offered daily—so you may need to visit more than once on your trip. And the most endearing part about Sprinkles is the Cupcake ATM—an outside spot just like a bank ATM only this one dispenses cupcakes. We all need more of this in our lives. Honorable mention dessert only options go to the Ganachery, Ghirardelli and Amorette’s Patisserie (raise your hand for macaroons!)
5. Blaze Pizza
Blaze Pizza is similar to other quick service pizza restaurants throughout the country in that they have a build your own pizza model where you add all of the toppings you want for one price (imagine Subway for pizza). But they do a really great job of it and offer a lot of unusual ingredients so you can have a truly custom pizza. If you aren’t inspired they do have a list of signature pizzas from which you can choose. After selecting your toppings the pizza is “fast-fired” to get you served up fast with delicious hot cheesy pizza. This may be the perfect pairing with Sprinkles—quick pizza followed by dessert (or vice versa). And this option is also a little easier on your wallet (more money for the fantastic shops at Disney Springs).
4. D-Luxe Burger
Have a carnivorous craving for a monster burger? D-Luxe is the place for you. This is another “quick serve” restaurant where you place your order at the counter and it is delivered to your table. There is nice seating indoors with a great casual homey feel (I really love the atmosphere), or if the weather isn’t too hot you can go outside and enjoy the “Springs” for a view. When I say monster burger I mean it—both in size and flavor. In fact you may want to share one of these burgers with a friend so that you have room for one of their “artisanal gelato” shakes (yes, that says gelato shake and P.S. there are alcohol versions too). The menu is limited with 6 burger choices, but I don’t think you will be disappointed. There is a veggie option, a classic cheeseburger for the less adventurous, and even a chicken burger for the health conscious. But, the other three burgers set this place apart. I personally had the Southern Classic which is topped with a fried green tomato, pimento cheese & bacon. Yum. And I lived to tell about it. El Diablo is a spicy option with chorizo blended with the beef in the patty and the Barbecue Burger has gouda, bacon and barbecue sauce. Hand cut fries are served as the side with a variety of dipping sauces. Nothing fancy here but some awesome burgers!
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3. Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming
This table service restaurant pays tribute to Florida’s agricultural heritage and the flavors it produces. Native Floridian (and Oprah’s chef) Art Smith designed the menu to reflect delicious farm fresh options. The day I visited Art Smith himself was there—it says a lot for the chef to keep a personal eye on his restaurant. There are several specialties here with a Southern Flair. I highly recommend the pimento cheese hush puppies, some form of the friend chicken and Momma’s Mac & Cheese. And his homemade barbecue chips are delicious. On my next visit I have the Jasper Board of meats, cheeses & pickles on my wish list along with a slice of his signature Shine Cake (not for kids). But basically everything on his menu is appealing to me with the fresh ingredients used in creative combinations but all with an eye toward traditional Southern cooking. PS the atmosphere and décor in here is pretty fantastic too.
2. Morimoto Asia
Maybe the polar opposite of Homecoming in some ways, but much the same in others is Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s restaurant, Morimoto Asia. The very chic & modern décor of this eatery (located in the “Springs Bottling Company” building) complements well the dishes you will find inside. The menu features specialties from several Asian backgrounds all of which are fresh and well prepared. You will find a range of entrees from Orange Chicken to Sushi to Duck “Nasi Goreng.” Basically you can find something for almost everyone, including less adventurous eaters (2 steak plates are also available with only sweet garlic jus as a seasoning). There is a featured house sake as well. Pair this with an inventive line up of appetizers and soups and Morimoto Asia ranks very high on many lists for the best place to eat at Disney Springs. At lunch there is a separate menu including a fixed price lunch set that is a great value including soup, salad, dumpling, kimchi and a choice of a side and choice of an entrée.
1. The Boathouse
The Boathouse wins my vote for my #1 awesome restaurant in Disney Springs for the level of service and the freshly prepared menu. The interior of the restaurant has a nautical décor like you would anticipate at most seafood heavy establishments, but one of the coolest parts is the actual boat that is a table for lucky dining patrons. The outside seating is also lovely if the weather isn’t too hot, cold or rainy. The Boathouse features a great raw bar and local Florida seafood on the menu as well as daily specials. But if you have companions who do not care for seafood there is are great “landlubber” options including one of the best steaks on property according to many accounts. My regular menu favorites are the Cedar Plank Salmon and the Grilled Wild Pacific Shrimp & Grits, but I also pay close attention to the specials for the day because they often feature very fresh fish prepared in a fantastic way. If you have room they have some tempting desserts including Key Lime Pie in a Jar, but they are most famous for the gargantuan Boathouse Signature S’Mores Baked Alaska. You’ll definitely need to share that one around the table.
Now that my mouth is watering & my stomach is growling, tell us your favorite awesome restaurant at Disney Springs!