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Why Jaleo by José Andrés is a Can’t Miss Disney Restaurant

Signature dining opportunities are a fun way to try new food and splurge on a fun experience on a Walt Disney World vacation. If your adventures take you to Disney Springs West Side, we have culinary recommendations you need to check out at Jaleo. Here is Why Jaleo by José Andrés is a can’t-miss restaurant.

Chef José Andrés serves up Spanish cuisine in two Disney Springs locations for Guests to enjoy. The nearby Pepe quick-service dining location serves up bikinis, gazpacho, and sangria for Guests to snag between shops, but dining at Jaleo brings Guests into a more relaxing dining rhythm. Jaleo is open daily for lunch and dinner and has menu costs coming in from around $15-$35 per adult. 

Jaleo-Cooking

Credit: edibleOrlando.com

From tapas and cheeses to Spanish wine, seafood, and sangria, Jaleo impresses diners at Walt Disney World Resort. Since its inception in Washington D.C. in 1993, this restaurant has been surprising Guests with hospitality and flavor. The menu has staple sections like cured meats, cheeses, vegetables, Chef’s Tasting Menu, Soups and Salads, ¡BUEN PROVECHO!, Sandwiches, Jose’s Way, Seafood, Meats, Large Plates, and Dessert. Choose the perfect courses for you, or coordinate efforts with your dining pals when it comes time to order to taste even more of the menu. This food is truly outstanding, so you’ll want to taste as much of this authentic Spanish cuisine as possible!

Jaleo-Meat

Credit: Disney Daily Dime

If you are looking for a true dining experience and you are ready to splurge, you should consider the Chef’s Tasting Menu. Add the Spanish Sips wine tasting to your meal for $40 to enjoy an array of Spanish wines and other beverages to pair with the courses of your meal. If you want an even more unique tasting experience, consider the Sherry Tasting Menu. No idea about pairings? No problem! A sommelier-will select sherries to pair with your courses for $25.

Want the true Spanish dining experience? Why not try the Jaleo Experience? This $95 experience is a tasting menu of tapas of traditional Spanish cuisine and dishes that are unique to Jaleo. Tapas are traditional Spanish small plates of hot or cold foods that are served in small tasting sized portions. The great news is that an array of tapas makes for a delicious meal where you can try new dishes without the risk of ordering a huge portion of a dish you aren’t sure about. 

Credit: DisneyDining

The ¡BUEN PROVECHO! section of the menu allows Guests to order unique plates like an Unpasteurized sheep’s milk cheese plate, Spanish ham with a 36-month cured time, or Flauta bread brushed with tomato and extra virgin olive oil, topped with paletilla ibérica de bellota. An important note about this Spanish tapas menu is that the element of terroir is key. 

Many European countries believe in honoring the “terroir”, or the agricultural landscape, in their dishes. Terroir can be roughly translated to a “sense of place”. Basically, this means serving foods that were grown in the ideal region under the best growing condition is of pivotal importance. Honoring the terroir of a region means recognizing the unique aspects of menu items that go beyond the fact that the Spanish ham on this menu is delicious. Chef José Andrés shares the terroir of the dish with diners by sharing background and growing techniques. The Spanish ham on this menu is made from free-range, acorn-fed, black-footed ibérico pigs of Spain. Talk about getting a serving of food and culture, this is a great restaurant for learning about food, agriculture, and culture while you eat!

Related: The Best Outdoor Dining in Walt Disney World

Depending on the size of your dining party, you should consider ordering an assortment of meats and cheeses to share. The Selection of five Quesos for $28 lets you choose from options like Queso Manchego, Rey Silo Rojo, and Murcia al vino.

The Queso Manchego is a Manchego cheese paired with moscatel compressed apples, Rey Silo Rojo is an unpasteurized cow’s milk cheese paired with honey, rosemary, and almond shortbread and PX reduction moscatel compressed apples, and the Rey Silo Rojo is a semisoft goat cheese immersed in red wine paired with honey, rosemary, and pine nuts shortbread and PX reduction.

Jaleo-5-Quesos

Credit: Disney Daily Dime

From the meat menu, try options like Cured pork chorizo, Cured acorn-fed pork sausage, or a 24-month cured Serrano ham. If you want to taste several options, the Selection of ibérico Spanish cured meats includes all the meat menu offerings for $40. Add some vegetable plates to your Spanish feast for options like Endives with goat cheese, oranges, and almonds, a Spanish omelet with potatoes and onions, and Sautéed spinach with pine nuts, raisins, and apples. Even if these dishes are a bit outside your comfort zone, take the plunge and try something new. The flavors are perfectly paired and provide a true taste of Spain.

In the salad department, you must try the Sliced apple and fennel salad with robust Manchego cheese, crunchy walnuts, and a smooth sherry dressing. Gazpacho (a cold soup) is a Spanish staple, so why not taste the Beet gazpacho with goat cheese? If you want to taste something from the fryer menu but take a walk on the wild side, consider ordering the Andalusian-style fried squid with squid ink aioli. Searching out a more familiar option? The Traditional chicken fritters and fried potatoes with spicy tomato sauce and aioli always hit the spot.

Other honorable mentions from this menu include the mouthwatering Josper grilled rack of lamb with rosemary sauce and honey aioli on the large plates menu and the very, very famous tapa of shrimp sautéed with garlic on the seafood menu. 

When it’s time for dessert, choose from dishes like Arroz Con Leche, a traditional Spanish sweet rice dessert, Basque goat cheesecake served with seasonal sorbet, and Chocolate custard with caramelized bread, olive oil, and brioche ice cream. Any of these dishes or tastes of sorbet assortments served at Jaleo would make for a sweet ending to your meal.

This restaurant is delicious, and the menu is vast. The dishes highlighted here just scratch the surface of the tapas, large plates, seafood, and more that you’ll enjoy at Jaleo. Come hungry and ready for an experience, not just a meal. 

About Katie Chapman

Hey There! I am a Georgia native with a passion for writing, traveling, cooking, decorating, pugs and of course all things Disney. Growing up in South Georgia just a few hours from Walt Disney World made for a magical childhood. Some of my best memories were made on Main Street U.S.A. with my sister watching SpectroMagic nighttime parade or beside my grandparents, parents and extended family at Chef Mickey’s celebrating on a family vacation. Epcot was my favorite park from a young age and I credit it with my interest in and love for international travel. As a kid I loved meeting characters and watching films around World Showcase and could spend hours exploring each of the countries in Epcot. These days, my husband and I get away to explore a new country whenever we can and even incorporate trips to The Disney Store and Disney Parks around the world in our travels. One of our travel goals is to visit every Disney Park in the world. I love writing about Disney restaurants, park tips, Disney outfit inspiration and Disney history. Pocahontas is my favorite Disney Princess (90s kid here!) but Mr. Toad is my spirit animal. When I’m not at Disney I’m reading about park history, watching Disney documentaries and shopping vintage Disney merch for park outfits. I never pass up a reservation to Ohana, an empty seat on Living with the Land or a Violet Sake.