Monday, May 27, 2024
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5 Hidden Gem Restaurants at Disney World

There are so many great restaurants at Disney World.  Many of them idolized on the internet making reservations stressful and hard to get.  But these few hidden gem restaurants at Disney either don’t require reservations OR are easy to obtain even last minute.  

  1. The Wave of American Flavors – Disney’s Contemporary ResortThe Wave of American Flavors restaurants at Disney World

Serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this is a location that is often missed.  Disney’s Contemporary Resort is home to the infamous Chef Mickey’s and California Grill and not much attention is paid to the Wave of American Flavors.  But locals know it’s a spot worth visiting time and time again!

The breakfast buffet is a must-eat restaurant at Disney World and the perfect spot to start your day before going to Magic Kingdom. It’s a 10-minute walk from Disney’s Contemporary Resort to Magic Kingdom.  Lunch and dinner are secondary to breakfast in my opinion but still good.  Don’t miss the “Seven Seas Lagoon for Two” aka“fishbowl”.  It should be on your list of must-try Instagram-able moments!  The Fish Bowl is only listed on the dinner menu but can be ordered any time of day.  I won’t pass any judgment if you order it breakfast!

lunch with a Seven Seas Lagoon for two at the Wave of American Flavors Restaurants at Disney World

  • Table Service: Reservations Required 
  • 1 table service credit per person on the dining plan
  • Breakfast buffet, lunch/dinner menu
  • My Favorites:  Breakfast: Gluten-Free Mickey Waffles  
  • Gluten-Free options available
  1. Three Bridges Bar & Grill – Villa Del Lago – Coronado Springs Resort Three Bridges at Villa del Lago Coronado Springs Restaurants at Disney World

This brand new table service location at Coronado Springs is open for dinner only and DOES NOT require a reservation. It is the greatest new hidden gem, and restaurants at Disney World worth visiting, in my opinion.  Three Bridges opened just weeks before the new Toledo restaurant located in the top of the Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs, and I feel like has taken a back seat to its counterpart. BUT this is one you shouldn’t miss! The outdoor dining atmosphere is stunning; located on the lake with views of the new tower and Mayan pool nearby.  The food is incredibly flavorful and different than most places I’ve tried at Disney.  Make sure you add the pitcher of Sangria to make for the perfect Disney date night.  pulled pork tacos at Villa Del Lago Restaurants at Disney World

  • Table Service: Reservations NOT available
  • Dinner only
  • 1 table service credit per person on the dining plan
  • My favorites:  Pulled Pork Tacos & Corn Salsa special – hopefully, to be added to the menu soon!
  • Gluten-Free options available
  1. The Polite Pig – Disney SpringsThe Polite Pig sign restaurants at Disney World

Stemmed from a local Orlando favorite, the Ravenous Pig, this Disney spin is one of my favorite spots to eat at Disney Springs!  And with so many great places to choose from that says a lot! As you desend the Lime Garage escalators the smell of southern BBQ (with a twist) fills your nose!  Make sure to let in pull you in and enjoy lunch or dinner at this local eatery. To top off the great flavors a fun open-air bar and both indoor and outdoor seating are available.  And did I mention there’s wine on tap? The Southern PIg Sandwich and crispy brussel sprouts at the Polite Pig

  • Quick Service with a twist.  Order in line and your meal is delivered to your table.
  • Lunch and Dinner
  • 1 quick service credit per person on the dining plan.  This is an incredible deal in both the amount of food you get and the price point of the restaurant.
  • My favorites:  Crispy Brussel Sprouts, The Southern Pig Sandwich
  • Gluten-free buns and other options available
  1. Teppan Edo – Epcot World Showcase – JapanTeppan Edo Sign

This is another of our favorite restaurants at Disney World and a reservation we can score fairly last minute.  This hibachi-style Japanese restaurant is located over the top of the Mitsukoshi Department store, the Japanese store filled with all sorts of fun Japanese goodies.  I could spend hours in here!  The food is traditional in hibachi offerings with a Disney twist of Mickey-shaped onions and steaming trains rather than high flying flames. Teppan Edo inside the restaurants at Disney WorldBirthday celebration at Teppan Edo

  • Table Service
  • Lunch and Dinner
  • 1 table service credit per person on the dining plan
  • My favorites:  Miso Soup, Asakusa (steak and shrimp combo)
  • Gluten-free options available including gluten-free soy sauce and your meal prepared first to eliminate cross-contamination.
  1. California Grill Lounge – Disney’s Contemporary Resort California Grill at Disneys Contemporary Resort

Now this one may come as a strange suggestion to you because California Grill is a popular restaurant at Disney World and reservation are hard to get.  But here’s the catch! Disney’s California Grill Lounge is open to all guests on a first come first serve basis, meaning it does NOT accept reservations!  So, if you’d really like to eat at California Grill and you can’t get a reservation here’s the plan. Arrive at the California Grill podium located on level two of Disney’s Contemporary resort around 4:45/5 pm when California Grill opens.  (Double-check the times on the day you’re visiting).  Let the Cast Member know that you’d like to dine in the lounge and as long as space is available you’ll be whisked upstairs to the 15th floor in the private dining room elevator. The full menu is available in the lounge and the seating is quite comfy. Many seats even have a great view of Seven Seas Lagoon and Magic Kingdom! If you’re interested in seeing the Magic Kingdom fireworks, “Happily Ever After” from the top, you are able to return to the 15th floor prior to the fireworks by showing your dinner receipt at the 2nd-floor podium.  Grilled Pork Tenderloin at California Grill

  • Table service: No reservations for the lounge
  • Brunch on Sundays, Dinner
  • 2 table service credits per person on the dining plan /Signature dining
  • My favorites:  Grilled Pork Tenderloin
  • Gluten-free options are available.

There are so many more great places I could share with you at Disney World.  Popular spots you may have already heard of and many more that aren’t as popular. Drop a line and let me know what your favorite places to eat at Disney World are.  I may need to go check them out if I haven’t already!

Happy Disney Dining!

Jamie Rumph
Jamie Rumph
Hi, I'm Jamie, traveling mama, entrepreneur, and travel advisor. I'm addicted to Disney, traveling and exploring the world with my family, and have a passion for helping families experience the magic of travel. My home is filled with love and chaos, 2 crazy girls, 2 large dogs, and the most spectacular architect and Disney Cast Member I call my husband. We live in Florida and spend our weekends playing at Orlando's many theme parks and visiting the beach. In 2015, after helping numerous families plan their vacations to various Disney Destinations, I started a blog to answer all of the many travel questions I received daily. In 2016, the blog grew into a travel agency, and Love of the Magic Vacations was born. With a team of nearly 20, we spend our days creating family vacations around the world. What started as a blog is now a full service, worldwide vacation destination planning service. I create custom itineraries for each of my clients that not only meets but exceeds expectations. There is no greater gift than making memories while sharing the world and its cultures with your kids.


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