Next in our “Better Know A…” series is a trip to Carthay Circle Lounge, the companion bar to the more well-known Carthay Circle restaurant at Disney California Adventure. While not exactly a “secret,” it’s often overlooked in favor of its big brother, making it a great place to grab a quick bite and/or a cocktail without a lot of fuss.
What is Carthay Circle Lounge?
Carthay Circle Lounge is a bar downstairs from and associated with Carthay Circle, Disney California Adventure’s flagship restaurant. While it serves the traditional role of being a restaurant lounge in that it is a spot to grab a drink while you’re waiting for your table upstairs, they also have a standalone menu and can work as a destination unto itself.
Where is Carthay Circle Lounge?
Carthay Circle Lounge is located in the Buena Vista Street section of Disney California Adventure, smack dab in the center of the park when you enter. It’s on the street level in the Carthay Circle Theater building, the large white building directly in front of you as you are entering the park. It will be on your right-hand side after you enter.
What You Need to Know About the Menu at Carthay Circle Lounge
The menu at Carthay Circle Lounge has an emphasis on small bites and snacks, but there’s certainly enough substantive food here to cobble together a meal. If you have a group, a good strategy is to get several smaller items and share, as you would tapas. In addition to the food, there is an extensive selection of classic and modern cocktails. They do have a kids’ menu as well.
What the Dining Experience is Like for Carthay Circle Lounge
It’s a lounge, and the environment is pretty casual, much more so than Carthay Circle upstairs. Servers are attentive, but also more than happy to give you some space, especially if you’re just having drinks. While, as noted above, they do have a kids’ menu, it tends to be frequented more by adults in my experience.
What are Some Items to Target at Carthay Circle Lounge?
The Vietnamese Twice-cooked Beef Tacos and Braised Waygu Beef Sliders are some of the better, more substantive dishes on the menu. I’ve also found it to be a great place to grab a more upscale treat while having a cocktail, like these ice cream macarons that were offered during the 60th Anniversary celebration. (P.S. Disney, if you’re listening, please bring these back).
What You Need to Know About Accessibility for Carthay Circle Lounge
Carthay Circle Lounge is fully accessible and should not present any unique challenges for visitors in wheelchairs or ECVs.
Does Weather Affect Carthay Circle Lounge?
Carthay Circle Lounge is completely indoors, and therefore unaffected by inclement weather (except perhaps making it busier as people look to get out of the rain).
What’s the Best Time of Day to Experience Carthay Circle Lounge?
As with any restaurant, the busiest times will be during regular meal times, so if you’re looking to avoid a wait, try to visit during off-times. With that said, because it’s a lounge, it’s more likely to be busy the later in the day it is.
Are you a fan of Carthay Circle Lounge? Do you go for food, drinks, or both? Let us know in the comments!