The Best Restaurants in Disney Springs
Here are the best places to eat at Disney Springs, the always-festive open-air dining, shopping and entertainment complex at the Walt Disney World Resort. Bonus: Disney Springs has free parking, no entry fee and plenty of live entertainment as you stroll around. Luckily, loads of the foods are hand-held and many spirited beverages are available to-go.
Photo By: Joe Brooks
Photo By: 4R Cantina Barbacoa
Photo By: Rey Lopez
Photo By: Jakob N. Layman
Photo By: Mike Gluckman
Photo By: Ralph Smith Studio
Photo By: Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group; Skyler June
Photo By: Patina Restaurant Group; Aaron Van Swearingen
Photo By: Geert Teuwen
Photo By: Courtesy of Walt Disney World
Photo By: AARON KATEN
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The Polite Pig
4 Rivers Cantina Barbacoa Food Truck
Jaleo by José Andrés
Ample Hills Creamery
You know those tales of Golden Age movie stars being discovered at Hollywood coffee shops? Ample Hills Creamery’s presence at Disney World is sort of like that. Founder Brian Smith was a monster-movie writer before opening his first scoop shop with his wife, Jackie Cuscuna, in Brooklyn in 2011. End of story, Disney’s CEO Bob Iger found and loved the ice cream, brought it to the Boardwalk resort, and now Ample Hills is opening a 700-square-foot second Orlando store. It offers a location-specific flavor at each shop along with cold and creamy Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, Snap Mallow Pop and The King of Mangoes in a cone or cup. Ice creams are made from dairy, sugar and eggs that are carefully sourced and pasteurized by Ample Hills, though vegan options are also plentiful, and mix-ins are made or baked from scratch.
Wine Bar George / The Basket
Trade in those mouse ears for a Malbec, the roller coasters for a Chenin Blanc. Wine Bar George offers 140+ pours by the ounce, glass and bottle, from pocket-friendly on-tap labels to the elusive stuff you’ve been yearning to taste for years. Yes, maybe even Chateau d’Yquem. No wonder why the World of Fine Wine said WBG has the world’s best micro wine list. Food is taken just as seriously at this chef-drive Napa-style wine bar. The Santa Carota short ribs, for example, start with meat from cattle who first graze leisurely amid the grassy lands of Bakersfield, California, then eat mostly carrots. It’s Chef Ron Rupert who prepares that beef with mashed red potatoes and caramelized vegetables. Even grab 'n' go is above par here: The Basket, located outside the front door, impresses with a sandwich of goat cheese, fig, arugula and ficelle, and box of chorizo, manchego, almonds and crackers.
Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill
House of Blues Restaurant & Bar
Vivoli il Gelato
Los Angeles’ Patina Group is practically taking over Disney Springs with highly themed upscale restaurants. Its by-the-slice Pizza Ponte restaurant is one spot that savvy locals seek out repeatedly. At the counter, guests choose from Sicilian-style square or thinner-crust triangular pizza, then down their hand-helds from barstools in the bright and simple dining room. Made-to-order sandwiches are on offer too, with Italian fillings like tomato, mozzarella and arugula. Italian desserts, specialty espresso drinks, and wine and beer round out the experience.
The Boathouse stands out for its serious devotion to all things fresh and finny or shelly - well, that and rides in the vintage "amphicars" (amphibious cars) waiting right outside. The raw bar has as many as 14 varieties of oysters at a time, ensuring the right amount of brine for any seafood fan. During stone crab season, the crew creates a dramatic-looking platter to order that turns heads of envious diners. Swordfish steak, coconut-fried shrimp and New England lobster rolls are among the from-the-sea options. For a finale, order the signature S’mores Baked Alaska for the table.
Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’
The palm trees may scream, but Florida is, indeed, a Southern state, so who better to craft signature Southern fare than Art Smith. The celebrity chef is a sixth-generation Floridian with ample respect for locally raised foods and a gift for modern twists. Weekend brunch at Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ best shows off his bounty. The farm-to-fork menu touts housemade sugar donuts with buttermilk-brined fried chicken, and enhances an egg platter with pimento cheese. Start with a blueberry mimosa or a Southern Mary with pecan-smoked bacon and fried green tomato. Lunch and dinner involve daring takes on Dixie too. That begins with high-class moonshine and progresses to chicken-and-dumpling soup, Church Lady deviled eggs and hummingbird cake. There’s even a back porch, which is the ideal dining spot.
Go to: Homecoming Kitchen