Dining at Disney can be an incredible experience. There are so many restaurants available to suit every guest and the food covers everything from quick service to fine dining. If you are a guest on the go or just need a quick food break during your day, the counter service restaurants are your best bet to fill you with delicious food and energize you for the rest of your time in the park. Since everyone has their own favorite place to dine, your list might look a lot different and could include any of the wonderful restaurants that aren’t mentioned here. So without any further ado, here is our list of the top 10 Disney World Counter Service Restaurants:
10. Columbia Harbor House
Starting our list is the Columbia Harbor House, nestled right in the heart of Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom. This restaurant has a huge seating capacity, yet still feels cozy, as the tables are spread out among a number of different nautical themed rooms on two stories. Fan favorites on the menu include the Lighthouse Sandwich (filled with hummus, tomato and a broccoli slaw) or the Lobster Roll with a side of creamy New England Clam Chowder.
Right beside the World Showcase Lagoon in Epcot is La Cantina de San Angel in the Mexico pavilion. A covered patio provides lots of space for you to sit and relax. For lunch or dinner, enjoy the Tacos de Barbacoa (seasoned beef in a homemade corn tortilla with traditional fixings) or the Pollo Cascabel (a grilled chicken dish) with a traditional Mexican soda or a Margarita to drink. For dessert, make sure to grab a Churro covered in caramel sauce or try the traditional fruit popsicles, the Paletas. If you are looking for a late dinner, the seating area is the perfect place to catch Illuminations: Reflections of Earth to end your day at Epcot
8. Satu’li Canteen
The newest counter service hot spot is in Animal Kingdom’s Pandora – The World of Avatar. After your journey down river on Na’vi River Journey and flying on a banshee on Avatar Flight of Passage, the next best place to stop is Satu’li Canteen for a bite. The theming is a long ago an RDA (Resources Development Administration) mess hall that has now been decked out with a colorful array of Na’vi (Pandora natives) art and cultural items. You’ll find a great menu for lunch and dinner. Create-Your-Own-Bowl by choosing one protein, one base, and one sauce. Two pod selections – vegetable curry pods or cheeseburger pods – are also delicious! Don’t forget to try their Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse and Chocolate Cake. Plus, Satu’li Canteen is the birthplace of the mobile ordering. Order and pay for your food from the MyDisneyExperience app and pick up your food when you arrive. It’s awesome!
Sticking around in Animal Kingdom, the Yak & Yeti Local Food Cafes is located in Asia and blends Asian and American cuisine to provide a wonderfully unique dining experience. If you have never tried the counter service at the Yak & Yeti, you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. The Korean Stir-fry Barbecue Chicken is a great place to start, or try the Teriyaki Beef Bowl, the Honey Chicken or the Roasted Vegetable Couscous Wrap. While you’re there, make sure to share some Pork Egg Rolls on the side and try the Pineapple Coconut Cake for dessert.
6. Fairfax Fare
Shifting over to Hollywood Studios, the Fairfax Fare counter service restaurant is great for a number of reasons. First, it’s located right on Sunset Boulevard which puts it close to the Rock N’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror as well as the Beauty and the Beast Stage Show. Secondly, there is also a large seating area beside the building with plenty of shade – a perfect place for families to rest while someone goes to place their order. Finally, the menu at FairFax Fare is filled with comfort food. Chicken, Spareribs, Barbecued Pork Sandwiches and Gourmet Hot Dogs are all available and are easy crowd-pleasers. FairFax Fare also has the famous Turkey Leg for those who are daring enough to try and finish one.
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5. Lotus Blossom Cafe
In the China pavilion at Epcot, the Lotus Blossom Cafe might be easy to miss at first glance, but it’s worth finding. Along with the beautiful theming of the restaurant and seating area, there is a variety of Chinese favorites to choose from, including Orange Chicken, Beef Rice Bowls or Shrimp Fried Rice. If you are looking to try something new, there are also Hong Kong Style Chicken or Vegetable Curry dishes served over rice. Try the Chicken Pot Stickers or the Pork & Vegetable Egg Rolls to accompany your lunch or dinner and top it all off with either the Caramel-Ginger or the Lychee Ice Cream for dessert.
While the Sunshine Seasons counter service restaurant has the feel of a food court, each station has some really great dishes to try which feature the food grown in The Land pavilion’s greenhouses. Sustainable, fresh and healthy food is offered in a variety of styles and you are sure to find something to enjoy. The Sunshine Seasons menu includes Spicy Fish Tacos, Sesame Crusted Tuna with Asian Vegetable Noodle Salad, Mongolian Beef with Vegetable Fried Rice, a Slow Roasted Pork Chop and an Oak-grilled Salmon. If those don’t sound delicious enough, there are a ton of other items to choose from as well. Don’t forget to stop by the dessert station, though it may be difficult to choose just one.
3. Tangierine Cafe
At the center of the Moroccan pavilion at Epcot, lies the Tangierine Cafe. The architecture around the restaurant is beautifully crafted and the seating areas feel peaceful and quiet. The Tangierine Cafe is famous for their Shawarma platters (either chicken or lamb or both) but also have a wonderful Mediterranean Falafel Wrap served with hummus and taziki sauce. Each meal comes with traditional sides which include the Tangierine Couscous Salad and the Lentil Salad. The true gem of the Tangierine Cafe is Baklava for dessert. Even if you don’t stop for lunch or dinner, the Baklava alone should bring you in – it’s incredibly delicious.
2. Casey’s Corner
Right on the Corner of Main Street USA, looking out to Cinderella’s Castle, is Casey’s Corner. This classic restaurant has all the joy of American Baseball packed into each one of its menu items. Classic Hot Dogs, Barbecue Slaw Dogs, Chili-Cheese Dogs and Polish Sausages make this spot a dream for those who love the American classics. If you’re not hungry enough for a full meal, consider sharing the Corn-Dog Nuggets – though be warned, they are addictive enough to warrant getting your own order. Snacks at the restaurant also include the classic Cotton Candy or Cracker Jacks if you’re looking for the true ballpark feel.
The top counter service restaurant at Disney World (on this list) is the Flame Tree Barbecue at Animal Kingdom. Their barbecue sauce is in such demand, that they have started selling it in bottles for you to take home and savor that flavor with your own barbecue. There are some great options to choose from on the menu, but the fan favorites (by-far) are the St. Louis Ribs, the Chicken and the Pulled Pork Sandwich. Some guests make a point of stopping at Flame Tree Barbecue multiple times in the same day to make sure they’ve had a chance to enjoy all of the dishes. While everyone might have a different favorite, it’s safe to say that the Flame Tree Barbecue is a memorable meal and one that will keep guests coming back time and time again.
Do you agree with our list? What order would you put the restaurants in? Tell us about your favorite counter service restaurant in the comments!