Rancho del Zocalo is a Mexican food restaurant located in the Frontierland area of Disneyland in Anaheim, California. TouringPlans readers give this eatery an 87% thumbs up rating, which ranks it 30 out of 49 restaurants in Disneyland. Southern California is home to some of the best and most authentic Mexican food in the world, can this simple theme park restaurant come anywhere close to that pedigree? Keep reading to find out.
Food at Rancho del Zocalo is served buffeteria-style. You grab a tray and head to the stations where specific items are located. Once you have everything you need, you wait in a separate line at a cash register to pay. Most of the menu is served from two station on the right and center of the room, while specialty drinks and desserts are available at a counter at the far left of the room. Several bays of self-serve soda fountains are on the opposite wall.
Seating is all outdoors in a large patio. The majority of tables are covered so you probably wont have to eat your meal in direct sunlight. This area is especially pretty at night thanks to some nice lighting.
On to the food. The headliner entree most people go for is the burritos. Chicken ($12.49) or beef ($13.49) are your two protein options. They’re served wet (covered in chile sauce), and include rice, beans, and lettuce. You can also ask for extra salsa on top, which is what I did in the burrito pictured in this article. Rancho’s burritos have shrank considerably over the years (while going up in price, of course) but the serving size is still plentiful. Even those with the biggest appetites won’t leave this meal hungry.
What’s inside the burrito besides chicken or beef? It’s the same rice and beans you receive as a side. The burrito is decent, which is all I can hope for since it’s a hard dish to screw up. It’s nowhere near the quality (or price) of your favorite local hole-in-the-wall Mexican food spot, but it’s does the job.
Next up is the Tostada Salad with chicken ($12.49) or beef ($13.49). It’s a great salad with a generous portion of meat, but keep in mind if you’re trying to be healthy the deep fried shell probably has more calories than the rest of the menu combined. The tostada salad does make for quite a hearty meal. I was full for the entire day when I ate the entire thing. I’m a big fan of the included cilantro-lime vinaigrette dressing.
For $12.99 you can get the Red Chile Enchilada Platter, which includes three cheese enchiladas topped with red chile sauce, with rice and beans on the side. This uses the same ingredients as the burrito (minus the meat) so it tastes very similar.
The Trio of Street Tacos includes one beef taco, one chicken taco, and one cauliflower taco served in corn tortillas with tomatillo sauce, and garnished with onions and cilantro. I was shocked at how good the cauliflower taco was. While the tacos included in this entree are good, it’s hard to justify the price when compared to other entrees at Rancho.
At least they give you a decent portion in each taco.
Rancho del Zocalo usually has some sort of seasonal dessert. Currently they offer this flan which sits on a layer of chocolate cake. It’s heavenly and I will be thinking about it for a long time.
Overall Rancho del Zocalo has a decent menu that will fill your belly for an acceptable price. It’s a bit like Taco Bell; Americanized Mexican food where every entree uses the same four or five ingredients. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you’re from a state where authentic Mexican food isn’t as prevalent as Southern California you may find it to be the highlight of your Disneyland visit. For everyone else you’ll find nothing on the menu that is outright bad, but it probably won’t blow you away.
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Let me know your thoughts about Rancho del Zocalo and where it ranks with other Disneyland Resort dining options. Leave your thoughts in the comments.