A Guide to Disney California Adventure Dining

Cozy Cone Motel
Credit: Disney

Like other Disney Parks, Disney California Adventure has dining options that match the theme of surrounding attractions without missing a detail, giving Guests a delectable experience all-around. For foodies who love everything Disney, amazing restaurants and character dining await at this destination, located across the promenade from Disneyland in Anaheim.

Pixar Pal-a-Round Disney California Adventure
Credit: Disney

From tasty snacks and no-fuss meals to high-end dining, here’s your guide to dining inside Disney California Adventure Park.

Best Family Dining Options at Disney California Adventure

Whether you’re visiting Disneyland Park, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Florida, or Disney California Adventure, your top goal may be experiencing a vacation that’s full of magical memories, especially for your children. It’s why many families make dining an important part of their Disney traditions.

One memory that is sure to stick with the kids is meeting their favorite Disney character. Or even better: sharing a meal with them. Disney California Adventure used to offer character dining at the former Ariel’s Grotto (now Lamplight Lounge at Pixar Pier), but there are more opportunities to start your day with character interactions at the craftsman-style Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.

There are two great ways to start your day at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa!

Storytellers Cafe
Credit: Disney

Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast or the brunch buffet at the Storytellers Café, which is located inside the Grand Californian Hotel. Stop by for breakfast or brunch here and your kids will likely get a visit from Mickey Mouse himself!

Highlights from the breakfast menu include:

  • Mickey waffles 
  • Omelets
  • Charcuterie platters
  • Eggs Benedict

The brunch menu includes all of the breakfast items, but kicks it up a notch with:

  • Avocado toast on ciabatta
  • Biscuits and gravy
  • Cheese-filled crepes
  • Beignet bites
Napa Rose
Credit: Disney

Disney Princess Breakfast Adventures at Napa Rose, also inside the Grand Californian Hotel, caters to kids who have a Disney princess as their hero. What many don’t know is that it’s a foodie’s paradise, too. Starting at $125, your family will spend time with the princesses and take home a keepsake, as well as enjoy some of these highlights from the menu:

  • Lobster salad crostini
  • Granola parfait with mango, kiwi, and coconut
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Princess waffles
  • Perfect scrambled eggs, artisan turkey sausage, and roasted vegetables (for the adults)

Most Unique Disneyland Restaurants

Blue Bayou
Blue Bayou (Credit: Disney)

Maybe you’ve heard of a Disneyland restaurant located near the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction called the Blue Bayou. This unique establishment doesn’t just put you inside the ride, it’s also an attraction in and of itself.

At Disney California Adventure, the restaurants inside Radiator Springs —a jaw-droppingly accurate recreation of the fictional town in Pixar’s Cars — also create an immersive experience.

Cozy Cone Motel
Cozy Cone Motel (Credit: Disney)

One of the most unique eateries at Radiator Springs is the Cozy Cone Motel. Consisting of five life-sized, traffic cone-shaped structures, this dining pit stop serves all of its snacks in — you guessed it — cones. Don’t be surprised if you see a character from Cars driving up to one of the cones during your visit — that happens often. The menu pricing is modest and includes:

  • Ice cream cones
  • Popcorn served in a cone-shaped box
  • Chili Cone Queso
  • Bacon mac ‘n’ cheese
Pym Test Kitchen
Credit: Disney

Pym Test Kitchen is a superhero experience of tiny proportions located at Disney California Adventure’s Avengers Campus. Designed to make you feel like you’ve been shrunk down in size, this restaurant boasts oversized food and decor consisting of large soda cans and condiment bottles. The menu items include:

  • The Quantum Pretzel, a super-sized pretzel
  • The Not-So-Little Chicken Sandwich
  • The Impossible Spoonful, rigatoni and ditalini pasta with plant-based meatballs served in a giant spoon

Least Expensive Restaurants at Disney California Adventure

Pacific Wharf Cafe
Pacific Wharf Cafe (Credit: Disney)

Pacific Wharf Cafe typically flies under the radar compared to the flashier signage of other dining establishments around Disney California Adventure, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. For $14.99 per adult, you can have a comforting bowl of clam chowder, broccoli and cheese, or any other seasonal soup. That may sound nice, but it’s the sourdough bread bowl that really gives you a bang for your buck. No one will walk away hungry, and it’s truly delicious. You can even take a tour of the Boudin Bakery where the sourdough is prepared fresh daily.

Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill
Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill (Credit: Disney)

Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill is also located in the Pacific Wharf-themed area, which is a bit hidden from the main areas. Dining here means you’re sure to avoid the crowds and be able to relax with a margarita and some street tacos, along with a view of the Pixar Pal-A-Round Wheel. For around $14.99 per adult, you  can enjoy:

  • Torta de Papas Street Tacos
  • Asian-style Beef Barbacoa Street Tacos
  • Traditional and pineapple margaritas for adults 21 and over

Disney California Adventure’s Best Fine Dining Experiences

Carthay Circle Restaurant (Credit: Disney)

The Carthay Circle Restaurant is a fine dining experience set in a replica of the iconic Carthay Circle Theater. This exclusive dining experience offers exquisite cuisines that are locally sourced. The menu is curated by award-winning Chef Andrew Sutton and features entree items such as Yuzu Marinated Salmon and Ravioli filled with Braised Short Rib. Pricing begins at $35 per adult.

Napa Rose
Credit: Disney

Inside the Grand Californian Hotel, the Napa Rose also offers an exquisite fine-dining experience. While this restaurant’s on the pricier side at a minimum of $60 per adult, don’t let that deter you. The Napa Rose is also led by Sutton, an expert in creating dishes that pair with the finest wines from Napa Valley. Standout menu items include:

  • The Sustainable Catch of the Day
  • The Grilled Filet of Beef Tenderloin from “Creekstone Farms”
  • The “Smiling Tiger Salad”

Both of these fine dining restaurants have kids’ menus, too, if you’re traveling with children who may prefer a corn dog or fried chicken over fancier dishes.

Best Snacks at Disney California Adventure

Credit: Disney

Disneyland is famous for its Dole Whip and turkey legs, but what about Disney California Adventure Park? The two best snack options here are:

  1. Churros. If fried dough pastry wands coated in cinnamon and sugar are what you’re after, you can find churros in Hollywood Land and at the Cozy Cone Motel, the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, Señor Buzz Churros on Pixar Pier, and Willie’s Churros on Buena Vista Street.
  2. Ice Cream. Need to cool down on a hot day? You can grab some ice cream at Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats, Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream, and Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop.

Food plays a huge role in creating a memorable experience at the Disneyland Resort. Knowing where to find the right eateries and restaurants is also an important part of theme park survival. Whether it’s breakfast or brunch, lunch or dinner, or even if it’s just a quick snack, you can’t go wrong with any of the dining options mentioned here. There’s something to suit everyone’s dining cravings at Disney California Adventure.

About Jamie Sylvester

I'm a Disney nerd! A kid at heart who loves the magic and memories of Walt Disney World. I follow all things Disney and enjoy the vacations, day trips, weekend getaways, and geek out over the planning of such events. My goal is to experience as many Disney desserts and cocktails as possible! Married to another Disney nerd and blessed with a daughter and son, we thoroughly enjoy the magic at Disney and are here to help others experience the magic as well.