There are so many wonderful restaurants at Walt Disney World. Some that are brand new and people are fighting to book 6 months out – and some that fly quietly under the radar while serving up some of the best food on property.
It's easy to miss The Wave. Located on the ground floor of Disney's Contemporary Resort, a park guest is only likely to happen past it running in or out on their way to or from the parks – not a likely time to stop and have a relaxed bite to eat.
But it's a local's hidden gem…and a spot that every park guest should know is just a hop across the street from Disney's Magic Kingdom.
I recently had the chance to visit with some dear friends and take down a large portion of the menu. Here's what we found.
- Lump Crab Cakes – Old Bay Remoulade, Corn Slaw, Salsa Verde
I'm from Maryland, so my standards are high. These are probably the best crab cakes I've had on property. Absolutely no complaints at all – they did my Baltimore-heart good.
- Rock Shrimp Taco – Beer-battered Rock Shrimp, Chipotle Aioli, Cabbage Slaw, Salsa Verde
These are delicious and filling. The rock shrimp are cooked perfectly and the slaw is light and fresh. You could easily eat only apps here and include this and would leave satisfied.
- Cauliflower Taco – (plant based / vegan option) Roasted Cauliflower, Cabbage Slaw, Salsa Verde
But THESE!!! What a surprise. I'd order these at every visit – and I'm far from vegan. The cauliflower is so tender and sweet. The slaw is crisp and fresh. The sauce is the kind of taste that you want in your mouth for the rest of the meal. They are so light and wonderful. The were a group favorite for sure – even among the die hard meat eaters.
- Steamed Bao Bun – Slow-roasted Pork Belly and spicy Asian Slaw
And the bao!!! Do not miss the bao. Again, probably the best on property – and that's saying something. I'd happily eat this every day. And they're also available after hours at the restaurant's bar!
- Signature Burger – Signature Blend of Beef, Applewood-smoked Bacon, Cheddar, Red Onion, House-made Pickles, Lettuce, and Tomato on a Brioche Bun
This is a perfect, classic burger. We joked at the table that it was like Plato's form of the burger. Just a straight, perfect version that's everything a solid burger should be. And those fries next to it? They put Chick-Fil-A's waffle fries to shame.
- Tika Masala (plant based / vegan option) – Jasmine Rice, Oven-roasted Cauliflower, Coconut, Yellow Curry
This was tasty but probably in all honesty my least favorite thing at the table. Not that it wasn't good – but it strays a bit from a classic Tika Masala. Still – if you're looking for a solid vegan entrée option, this probably won't disappoint you. And you *can* add meat to it if you like the look of it but want more protein.
- Reuben Sandwich – Swiss Cheese, Sauerkraut, Sunflower Seed Bread
This was FANTASTIC. Hands down the single best reuben I've gotten my tribe member hands on since moving to Florida. Thin slice toasted rye bread. A healthy serving of corned beef, swiss, and sauerkraut. Again, just a perfect version of a classic.
- Dashi Noodle Bowl – Sweet Chili Bean Curd, Stir-fried Vegetables, Udon Noodles, Dashi Broth
This was my absolute favorite of the entries. The broth had SO much flavor, the noodles were perfect, the veggies were crisp. And the tofu was fried to perfection. I can't say enough good things about this dish and honestly could go for it right about now.
- French Dip Sandwich – Shaved Roast Beef, Caramelized Onions, Swiss Cheese, Arugula, Lemon Caper Aïoli, Au Jus
Another classic done well. Great bread. Good meat. It probably came in behind the reuben and dashi for me but that's just my own personal preference.
- The Wave Cheese Board – with Seasonal Accompaniment
This was lovely. A wonderful way to start or finish the meal or a perfect nosh if you're only stopping in for drinks.
- Chocolate Flight – Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding, Brownie Crème Brûlée, German Chocolate Cake
This was a chocolate lover's dream. And anything with “Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding” in its description is fine by me.
- Seasonal Flight – Pineapple Cheesecake, Strawberry Mousse Cake, Florida Key Lime Tart
Another lovely option. I could eat a full sized serving of that pineapple cheesecake after every meal.
- Trio of Sorbet – Lemonade-Ice Tea Sorbet, Stone Fruit Sorbet, Blueberry-Banana Sorbet
But again a surprise – because this was my favorite!! The stone fruit was so good – but my #1 was the lemonade-ice tea flavor. An arnold palmer sorbet?!! How is this not a thing?? It was wonderful and the perfect thing after a huge meal.
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And as if all of this isn't enough – there's also a wonderful cocktail menu – and that AND the appetizers are both available late night at the restaurant's bar. So you can head there after you leave Magic Kingdom for a beverage and some bao….
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Have you ever been to The Wave at Disney's Contemporary Resort? If not, is it on your short list now??