Shula’s Steak House Review: A Best Kept Disney Secret?

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Located at Walt Disney World’s Dolphin Hotel and just outside of Epcot’s International Gateway, Shula’s Steak House is an old-school-style steakhouse named after Don Shula – the most successful coach in NFL history – and celebrates the 1972 Miami Dolphins’ “Perfect Season.”

Guests looking to enjoy this signature dining experience can expect high-quality steaks in a dim-lit dining room complete with Frank Sinatra tunes, dark woods and smooshy chairs, and framed photos of the Dolphins team.

What You Need to Know

Shula’s Steak House is only open for dinner and serves from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Guests can also make their dining reservations on Open Table or on the My Disney Experience app. However, if you’re already within that 60-day window, check out our handy TouringPlans Reservation Finder!

As Shula’s is a signature dining experience, guests are asked to adhere to a dress code. Jeans are permitted if in good condition, but tank tops, swimsuits and swimsuit cover-ups, hats, cut-offs, and t-shirts with offensive language or graphics are not.

Note: Shula’s Steak House does not accept MagicBands or Disney Gift Cards as a form of payment.

The Bar

The bar at Shula’s Steak House offers a more casual experience. Reservations are not required and the dress code is slightly more relaxed. Guests are free to order off of the lounge menu but be warned – the wine list is longer than some movie credits.

Dark Cherry Smoked Manhattan – $16.00

So the presentation made for a fun video and its beautiful scent lasted several minutes; and even though the drink itself wasn’t as fussy as its presentation, the whiskey tastes exactly like the kind of drink that belongs in a real steak house.

Blueberry Martini – $14.00

Sweet, light, and pretty!

The Experience

It’s been a while since our park reporter Chrissy, along with members of our team, have been to Shula’s. Fortunately, they were incredibly impressed with the quality of the fare and the service!
Upon being seated, they discovered a knife block on their table holding a variety of steak knives where diners could “choose their weapons” for the evening! It was a fun little detail that added to the special feel of the meal.
Also, as soon as they sat down, their server informed them about which desserts required advance notice, such as the Molten Chocolate Lava Cake, the Chocolate Soufflé, and the Apple Crisp. FYI: While the latter two aren’t on the My Disney Experience menu, they are on the website.

The Appetizers

Colossal Shrimp Cocktail – $20.00
This appetizer was simply four large shrimp with cocktail sauce, Rémoulade sauce, and mustard aioli. While good, it was the least favorite of the appetizers, even though all of Shula’s house-made sauces are exceptional.  Someone extremely gifted is back in the kitchen reducing and whisking, and it shows.
Maryland-style Crab Cake – $22.00
With just enough filling to hold the enormous lumps of crab together and not a smidge more, this crab cake is a tasty blend of crab and herbs. While lovely, this one came in third on their list of appetizers.
French Onion Soup – $14.00
Possibly the best appetizer in terms of value and taste, cheese snobs will love this excellent portion of Gruyere grilled to a perfect bubble. Under the protective cover of warm cheese is a soup that had obviously been reduced and simmered for ages.
The sweet, caramelized onions and hearty beef broth would be more than enough of a meal for most people. The serving was generous; and while we have video evidence of Len saying he doesn’t like French Onion Soup, we also have footage of him pulling a foot of cheese from the lip of the bowl, deciding that he does, in fact, like it after all.
Thick Cut Nueske’s Bacon – $19.00
Along with the soup, this was our team’s top pick for appetizers. As we never tire of bacon in any form, this was perfect, and the bourbon twist was a dream. With its sweet, deep flavor paired with a scrumptious pile of cheddar grits, this was a “wow” item.

The Entrees

10-oz Filet – $65.00
While perfectly cooked, it was a bit underwhelming in comparison to the star of the meal.
Coaches-cut Prime Rib – $51.00
While good, and maybe even great in any other setting, it just wasn’t even close to the main event. That said, the Yorkshire Pudding, horseradish cream, and au jus should be side items as we would get them every single time. Again, Shula’s Saucier deserves a raise!
Roasted Brick Chicken – $36.00
Yes, it was moist with a gorgeous, crispy exterior; but enough about the chicken already. We MUST discuss the Sherry Jus! Let’s just say this stunning sauce caused a bit of a ruckus at the table. Chrissy and the team are still regretting the fact they didn’t ask for a cup to-go.
Norwegian Salmon – $37.00
This salmon was so fresh and perfectly prepared. If someone in your party decides to forgo red meat, this is a win.
22-oz Cowboy Ribeye – $72.00
Alright, it’s time for the star of the show and the main event: the Cowboy Ribeye.
Seriously, this delicious piece of beef is a masterpiece! Len wisely asked the server which steak he recommends based on flavor alone and was told this was the one. It was easily a ten in terms of flavor. No wonder the other two steaks seemed muted by comparison!
Be warned that this picture doesn’t do this portion justice as 22-oz of steak is a whole lotta food! Again, this is more than shareable.

The Sides

Here’s a list of Shula’s sides in order of the joy they brought to our team:
Creamed Spinach – $12.00
Enough for three and the most perfect example of a steak house side if there ever was one. Perfection.
Mashed Potatoes – $12.00
This dish makes our Thanksgiving sides look sad. We probably don’t want to know how much butter and heavy cream was required for this recipe; but even if we did, it’s worth it.
Caramelized Brussels Sprouts – $13.00
Veggies with bacon are still veggies; but even so, they were yummy.
Macaroni & Cheese – $13.00
Creamy and al dente, but we’d probably skip it for a second helping of the spinach or potatoes.

The Desserts

Once again, we’re listing the desserts in the order of which they brought us joy:
Molten Chocolate Lava Cake – $14.00
She’s small but mighty. Even though we don’t often (if ever?) advocate sharing desserts, you won’t be able to eat all of this by yourself. Rich, indulgent, and gorgeous, the Vanilla Creme Anglaise makes this one different and special.
Chocolate Souffle – $13.00
Much lighter than the molten cake, but also just as tasty and impressive!
Apple Crisp – $11.00
While this was so very good, it’s kinda like being the third-place finisher in a marathon. Yes, it’s exceptional, but it’s not the star.

Final Thoughts

So what’s better than fancy whiskey, rich, cheesy soup, a stellar steak, and chocolate?! Isn’t that the ideal steak house experience? It was for our team.
Granted, it’s definitely pricey; but since every dish (and side!) is more than enough for two, we suggest sharing to make those portions – and the bill – a bit more doable. After all, there’s no chance someone will be able to eat one appetizer, one entree, and one dessert without hauling out a bag of food.
Now, Shula’s Steak House isn’t for everyone, but if you’re looking for a special, slow-paced experience that feels like an event all by itself, this is the place.
Lastly, the wait staff was fantastic. Their kind server even boxed up extra bread as they had two people taking uneaten treats to two different houses. Basically, the service here is almost as important as its Sherry Jus, and that’s huge.
Have you ever dined at Shula’s Steak House? Is this restaurant on your vacation to-do list? Let us know in the comments!

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Savannah Sanders

Savannah has been visiting Disney World since she was a year old and has gone back almost every year since. In the real world, she teaches high school history and government and enjoys writing about all things Disney. Savannah can be reached on Twitter @DisneyParkSavvy.

8 thoughts on “Shula’s Steak House Review: A Best Kept Disney Secret?

  • January 31, 2022 at 2:38 pm
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    The not accepting Disney Gift Cards is kinda off-putting for me.
    I save for a vacation with pushing money into specific gift cards.
    Is there any other ‘card’ they don’t accept, like AmEx or AAA visa?

    Reply
    • January 31, 2022 at 2:51 pm
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      I’ve used both my AmEx and Visa cards there, Sam.

      Reply
  • January 31, 2022 at 9:24 pm
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    It might be interesting for you guys to bring someone with allergies to dinner with you. I have problems with both gluten and dairy, so many of the items you love in the review are automatically out for me. Even so, a great steak restaurant will be able to satisfy me and a great chef will figure out something creative so I don’t feel left out.

    Reply
  • February 1, 2022 at 10:42 am
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    “Be warned that this picture doesn’t do this portion justice as 22-oz of steak is a whole lotta food! Again, this is more than shareable.”

    Apparently you have never seen me eat ribeye.

    I usually turn my nose up at some of your fancy food reviews (mainly because I’m not sure I would know if fancy food actually tastes good or not) but that ribeye and prime rib looked great!

    Reply
  • February 1, 2022 at 10:49 am
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    I have not eaten at this location but I don’t patronize Shula’s for what your review raves about….their insistence on putting sauces on the food and plate. There are many of us that do not like the visual dress-up using sauces on our plates. Presentation for me is presenting me quality food not a pretty plate with yucky sauces. I ordered Asparagus for about $16 to have a brown nasty smelling vinaigrette sauce dribbled on it. Nothing on the menu about a sauce. My best friend had to send his whole dish back as he told the waiter no sauce but is came out with a mustard sauce on the plate running on all of his food. He hates mustard, LOL! Our steaks were no better than grocery store quality in the Shula’s in the Phoenix area casino years ago. Tasteless and tough for a $60 steak. Seems the sauce thing goes on but the meat must be better now, I believe food should stand alone. If they require a sauce to make them appetizing I’ll pass. I’m sure like this reviewer many enjoy sauces, but Shula’s need to disclose them on the menu and pay attention to the customers requests.
    We stopped at a BK on the way home for a burger! $180 with tip and go eat a burger after, LOL!
    Glad to see this location seems to have upped the game.

    Reply
  • February 2, 2022 at 12:40 am
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    One of the most disappointing meals I ever had was at Shulas. Bed cut of rib eye full of gristle, undercooked side dishes it was a disaster at premium prices. Never ever again.

    Reply
  • February 14, 2022 at 3:39 pm
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    Interesting on the bad reviews. I am a steak house fanatic and frequent Shula’s often in different markets and I must add that I have never been disappointed.

    Reply
  • March 1, 2022 at 4:35 pm
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    We had a very disappointing meal at Shulas at the Dolphin. The crab cakes served to us were not jumbo lump. The ribeye was mediocre. The service was 3 out of 5 star.

    Reply

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