Counter Service Restaurants

Table Service Restaurants

Food Carts

Bars or Lounges

Since the beginning, dining has been an integral component of Epcot's entertainment product. The importance of dining is reflected in the number of restaurants and their ability to serve consistently interesting and well-prepared meals. World Showcase has many more restaurants than attractions, and Epcot has added bars, tapas-style eateries, and full-service restaurants faster than any park in memory.

For the most part, Epcot's restaurants have always served decent food, though the World Showcase restaurants have occasionally been timid about delivering honest representations of their host nations' cuisine. That seems to be changing faster in some areas (Mexico) than others (Morocco), but we're hopeful that we see a trend. It's still true that the less adventuresome diner can find steak and potatoes on virtually every menu, but the same kitchens will serve up the real thing for anyone willing to ask.

Many Epcot restaurants are overpriced, most conspicuously Monsieur Paul (France) and Coral Reef Restaurant (The Seas). Combining attractive ambience and well-prepared food with good value are Via Napoli (Italy), Biergarten (Germany), and La Hacienda de San Angel (Mexico). Biergarten (along with Restaurant Marrakesh in Morocco) also features live entertainment.

While eating at Epcot can be a consummate hassle, an afternoon without Advance Reservations for dinner in World Showcase is like not having a date on the day of the prom. Each pavilion (except United States) has a beautifully seductive ethnic restaurant or two, offering the gastronomic delights of the world. To tour these exotic settings and not partake is almost beyond the limits of willpower. And while the fare in some World Showcase restaurants isn't always compelling, the overall experience is exhilarating. If you fail to dine in World Showcase, you'll miss one of Epcot's most delightful features.

Author's Favorite Counter-Service Restaurants

Unofficial Tip

If cost is an issue, make lunch your main meal. Entrees are similar to those on the dinner menu, but prices are significantly lower.

While eating at Epcot can be a consummate hassle, an afternoon without advance reservations for dinner in World Showcase is like not having a date on the day of the prom. Each pavilion has a beautifully seductive ethnic restaurant, offering the gastronomic delights of the world. To tour these exotic settings and not partake is almost beyond the limits of willpower. And although the fare in some World Showcase restaurants isn't always compelling, the overall experience is exhilarating. If you fail to dine in World Showcase, you'll miss one of Epcot's more delightful features.

If you want to sample the ethnic foods of World Showcase without eating in restaurants requiring advance reservations, we recommend these counter-service specialties:

Unofficial Guide readers have diverse opinions of Epcot's full-service restaurants. Concerning Coral Reef Restaurant in The Seas with Nemo & Friends:

Tried Coral Reef for the first time, despite reviews. Waited 40 minutes beyond our reserved time, and the food was mediocre and pricey. Next time I'll cook a burger next to my daughter's goldfish bowl.

We were surprised by how much everyone loved Coral Reef. We had great service, and the food was awesome. We had a booth directly in front of the tank and didn't even request it!

Restaurant Marrakesh likewise garnered mixed reviews:

Restaurant Marrakesh is overrated. It may be a walk on the wild side for someone from, say, Wichita, but I can find better and more exotic food at a dozen places in my neighborhood.

(For all you folks in Wichita who are wondering where this reader is from: Arlington, Virginia.) More comments from a Royal Oak, Michigan, woman:

We'd been to Morocco and wanted to see how the Disney version compared. Of course, they're not the same, but the food was excellent and the setting was nearly as exotic as the real thing. The big shock came when the bill arrived and there was a per-person charge for the musical entertainment and belly dancing. They played for maybe 30 minutes, and after the expensive meal, the music charge was off-putting. I had to laugh, though, because that unexpected charge made me feel like I really was back in Morocco.

Le Cellier is one of the most coveted reservations in Epcot:

Le Cellier is one of the hardest restaurants for which to get Advance Reservations. It wasn't available any of the 10 days of my trip, and I called more than 90 days in advance.
The filet mignon I got at Le Cellier may indeed have been the best steak I've ever had—and it had better have been for that price.

A couple of pointed comments about Nine Dragons in China:

The food was horrible, and the noise level was extremely high. I've had better Chinese at our local strip mall.

I think they should rename it Nine Tums.

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in the Norway Pavilion has become quite the favorite of character-dining enthusiasts:

I took my 4-year-old daughter and 4-year-old niece, who were of course obsessed with seeing the princesses. The girls got to see Belle, Ariel, Cinderella, Aurora, and Jasmine. Each princess came to the table one at a time, the food was great, the dessert was to die for, and the waitstaff was extremely friendly and outgoing. The princesses were really engaged with the girls, and the best thing was that Ariel saw my daughter outside while she was leaving the restaurant. Ariel swooped down and planted a kiss on her cheek—my daughter wouldn't wash her cheek for the rest of the day!

And, finally, about San Angel Inn:

Expensive, but where else can you drink Corona beer and dine under a moonlit sky at the base of a vaulted pyramid while boats drift by?

But a Bristol, Tennessee, reader complained of cramped conditions:

At San Angel Inn, the tables are so close together you could easily swipe food off a plate at the next table and they might never notice.