When we talk “Quick Service” with respect to Walt Disney World, we’re really just taking a tag from the Walt Disney World Dining Plan for a tier of meal credit that’s offered. But, in short, Disney Quick Service locations are a sort of fast food – typically (but with some exceptions) ordered at a counter and carried or brought to your table.
One of the best kept secrets at Walt Disney World is that some of the best food on property can be gotten from these “fast food” type locations. Often associated with just chicken nuggets and burgers (not that there’s anything wrong with those!) you can get SO much more from counter service spots at Disney. And knowing this can do so, so much to take the stress off when you otherwise think that you somehow need to know where you’re going to eat here 6 months in advance. (We’ve talked elsewhere about other reasons that that’s not true – like just how easy it can be to get a great ADR reservation at the last minute.)
Believe me when I say that this list was tough to narrow down. I could have gone on much longer.
10. Morimoto Asia Street Food: Disney Springs
I love the fact that Morimoto Asia Street Food exists as an option at Disney Springs. It’s a wonderful way to have a great meal with absolutely no pre-planning or major time commitment. You’ll find some of the best stuff on the Morimoto menu here – from ramen to sushi to their amazing ribs. You order them at the counter and can enjoy them outdoors in the dedicated seating area.
9. Gasparilla Island Grill: Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
This place isn’t just special because it’s set in the lovely Grand Floridian – or because you can find food here 24 hours a day. From sandwiches to pizza to burgers to the divine blackened fish reuben – it’s all here in a setting that’s refreshingly fresh, clean, and simple.
8. The Mara: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (Jambo House)
Named for a river that flows through Kenya and Tanzania, The Mara serves exotic eats like African stew and chicken along with more traditional American favorites like burgers and flatbreads. It’s a wonderful place to stop and breathe. Absolutely do not miss the African Potjie.
Oh…and you can get Zebra Domes here too!!
7. Sunshine Seasons: Future World, Epcot
Sunshine Seasons is, if nothing else, a crowd pleaser. Found on the lowest level of the Land pavilion, by Soarin’ and Living with the Land, it’s just a large space full of a myriad of options, from kid-friendly meals to sandwiches to fish tacos to salads to sweets. Nothing here is mind blowingly different – but the food is good and there are enough options to satisfy everyone in the family in one place. I’m a huge fan of the seared tuna salad and fish tacos.
6. Be Our Guest: New Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom
Be Our Guest is unique on this list in that it is a bit of a table service restaurant, even during breakfast and lunch, that merely qualifies as Quick Service under the Disney Dining Plan. That said, while a reservation can still be difficult to score, taking advantage of the Quick Service dining plan option for breakfast or lunch here is a wonderful way to get away from the chaos of the Magic Kingdom and see the gorgeous space that is this restaurant.
- Magic Kingdom Honorable Mentions: Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Cafe and Sleepy Hollow
5. Katsura Grill: Japan Pavilion, Epcot’s World Showcase
I’ve spoken before about my love for Japan and its cuisine. And Katsura Grill earns a place on this list as much for its cuisine as for its gorgeous location. Removed from the chaos of World Showcase, Katsura Grill is an out of the way spot, elevated amongst vegetation and koi ponds. There’s no better place on property to enjoy a bowl of soup or a sushi roll.
4. Geyser Point Bar & Grill: Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
There are spots on this list that are all about the food…and there are spots on this list that are all about the location. Don’t get me wrong. Geyser Point is loaded with wonderful food and drink options. But what really puts Geyser Point on this list is its gorgeous lakeside location at Wilderness Lodge. Whether you’re under cover in the main space or at one of the tables by the water, this is without question one of my favorite places in the world to decompress, take a deep breath, and just enjoy my surroundings – perhaps with a frosé in hand.
3. Tangierine Café: Morocco Pavilion, Epcot’s World Showcase
Before my #2 or #1 on this list even existed, Morocco’s Tangierine Café had my heart. The hidden tables behind the restaurant are one of my favorite escapes on property – and the schawarma and vegetarian platters are the stuff of dreams. Without question my favorite quick service location in Epcot – and in all honesty it probably beats out any table service location there, too.
2. The Polite Pig: Disney Springs
You’ve already heart plenty about my love for The Polite Pig. The food and drinks are brilliant, the decor is lovely, and the service is unparalleled. It is without question my favorite place to grab a meal and a drink at Disney Springs. The platters are wonderful – as are the side, sandwiches, salads, and sweets.
1. Satu’li Canteen: Animal Kingdom, Pandora
Hands down my favorite quick service in all of Walt Disney World – from the pods to the sweets to the green beer to the ungodly delicious customized bowls. I’m partial to the wood-grilled chicken on red and sweet potato hash with creamy herb sauce. And it doesn’t hurt that any meal is eaten here with the backdrop of Pandora – not to mention the incredible theming of Satu’li Canteen itself.
- Honorable Animal Kingdom Mentions: Flame Tree Barbecue & Harambe Market