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Downtown Disney Din Tai Fung Review

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Din Tai Fung is a restaurant located in Downtown Disney, which is a part of Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. The Din Tai Fung chain is famous for their selection of Taiwanese food and their specialty, xiao long bao, which are soup dumplings. Din Tai Fung’s arrival to Disneyland was announced to much fanfare. But does this location live up to the hype and standard set by the chain’s previous restaurants? Keep reading to find out.

Downtown Disney’s Din Tai Fung is located in the space formally occupied by the AMC movie theater complex and the resort’s original Earl of Sandwich location. This is a completely new build. An interesting fact is that this is Din Tai Fung’s first stand-alone location in the US. The rest are located in various upscale malls and shopping plazas. The aesthetic of the building is a contemporary take on a traditional Chinese pavilion rooftop structure.

Din Tai Fung is a world famous chain that was founded in 1958 and now has over 170 locations in Taiwan and 14 other countries. This new location is part of Downtown Disney’s latest revitalization which includes multiple new restaurants and an expanded footprint.

I want to jump right into the food, specifically Din Tai Fung’s signature Xiao Long Bao (which translates to “little basket bun”). They’re famous for having exactly 18 folds. As with the other locations, they’re rich, flavorful and heavenly. If you’re unfamiliar, Xiao Long Bao have thin skin, are filled with tender pork and a broth. They’re also available with chicken filling, but the whole reason you are going to Din Tai Fung will be for the pork version. Xiao Long Bao is bite-sized and each order come with 10 dumplings, so you’ll want at least two orders, even if you have a party of two. They’re that good. The downside is the price. An order of 10 costs $18.50. I’ll share my thoughts on the cost of Din Tai Fung at the end of this post.

Each table has a helpful chart which teaches newcomers how to eat Xiao Long Bao. Here are the aforementioned chicken Xiao Long Bao. They’re good too!

My personal favorite item on the menu is the Shrimp & Kurobuta Pork Spicy Wontons ($17) served in Din Tai Fung’s signature sauce. These are to die for. The kind of entree I dream about when I’m at home eating yet another peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Here’s Chicken & Mushroom Steamed Buns, which come in an order of two for $10. These buns were delightfully fluffy and I’m sure will be one of the crowd pleasers on the menu. These also are available with Kurobuta Pork or vegan fillings.

Here’s a look at the inside of the Chicken & Mushroom Steamed Buns.

The Noodles with Diced Beef & Szechuan Peppers ($15.50) is yet another must have item on the menu. They’re made with Din Tai Fung’s house-made thin egg noodles and topped with diced tomatoes, beancurd, edamame and cilantro.

A second noodle order was required for my group. I ate with my friends Tom and Sarah and after many visits together to other Din Tai Fung locations we realized Tom and I cannot share food. We’re like two ravenous monkeys battling of the carcass of a zebra. Monkeys eat zebras, right? Anyway we also got the Noodles with Minced Kurobuta Pork. They’re also made with Din Tai Fung’s house-made thin egg noodles and topped with diced tomatoes, beancurd, edamame and cilantro. I don’t have a preference with the beef or pork so pick whichever you’re in the mood for.

We also ordered the Fried Rice . The rice includes either chicken, shrimp, shredded kurobuta pork, fried pork chop, or vegetable & mushroom. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy Din Tai Fung’s fried rice, but this isn’t want you’re coming to the restaurant for. I would personally save my stomach space and money for the other dumplings and buns on the menu.

If you take one peace of advise away from this post, let it be this: GET THE CHOCOLATE & MOCHI XIAO LONG BAO FOR DESSERT. Seriously, do not leave without trying these. You get 5 or $11.50 and you’ll be thinking about them for the rest of your trip to Disneyland. Look at that gooey chocolaty goodness.

I’m hopeless boba addict so any visit to Din Tai Fung for me has to include one of the boba drinks. This one is my favorite, the Sea Salt Green Tea with boba ($7.50). The subtle bitterness of the green paired with sweet boba and sea salt foam is incredible.

Before I wrap this up here’s a look at one of the dining areas.

Be sure to check out the expo kitchen to see the chefs preparing the restaurants signature items.

A circular bar is located at the entrance of the restaurant after you enter. Above it you’ll find a suspended, beaded installation, which looks great.

Overall I consider Din Tai Fung to be the best restaurant in all of Disneyland Resort, and it’s not even close. But there is the issue of cost. Is Din Tai Fung Worth it? The prices are obviously high, and you can easily find many cheaper dim sum and soup dumpling places in the Los Angeles and Orange County area, such as Mama Lu’s Dumpling House, Kang Kang Food Court, 18 Folds, and many others. Everyone in LA has their favorite soup dumpling place. With all that said, when you’re at Disneyland Resort you’re essentially in a bubble and you unfortunately should expect to pay higher prices. Personally I would rather spend a little bit more money to dine at Din Tai Fung instead of one of the other subpar restaurants in Downtown Disney.

Which items are you looking forward to trying? Have you tried Din Tai Fung before? What’s your favorite item? Share your thoughts in the comments below?

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Guy Selga Jr.

Disneyland writer for TouringPlans.com and co-author of the Unofficial Guide to Disneyland. Also a Disneyland local and appreciator of Disney theme park history. Twitter and Instagram: @guyselga

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