Most Romantic Disney World Restaurants

Romantic Disney World Restaurants


Although Walt Disney World is best known for family-friendly character dining options like Chef Mickey’s, Cinderella’s Royal Table, and Crystal Palace, Walt Disney World actually has a lot of great romantic fine-dining options. Here are our top 5 most romantic restaurants at Walt Disney World. With the exception of the #1 restaurant on the list, all participate in the Disney Dining Plan as two-credit Signature Restaurants (in Le Cellier’s case, only Signature for dinner). All of them also accept the Tables in Wonderland card for a 20% discount.

Below is a brief synopsis why each restaurant is a great pick for your next romantic meal at Walt Disney World. Click the restaurant name for our full review of each restaurant:

5. Le Cellier – The ambiance at Le Cellier is great, with night mood lighting and a fun feel to the restaurant. The design of the restaurant is a nice cross between standard Disney theming and elegance. It’s not exactly what you’d see outside of the parks in Orlando, but it doesn’t just look like a simple Moose Lodge. (As much as it may surprise some Americans, not every building in Canada is a log cabin with taxidermy lining the walls.) Add to that servers who are always pleasant and very knowledgeable about the menus.

Romantic Disney World Restaurants

The menu is great (although slightly overrated, I think) with all of the dining options you’d except of a fine dining steakhouse. The pretzel bread and cheddar soup are downright addictive, the NY strip steak and filet are excellent, and the Maple Créme Brulée and Mount Blanc Semifreddo are the perfect ways to conclude any meal. The drink list is also good for a Walt Disney World restaurant, especially for beer drinkers, as it serves Unibroue beers. About the only thing that leaves a bit to be desired is the seating; sometimes the tables are a little too close together.

Alternatives: Le Cellier is often busy, and since it’s a two credit restaurant, you may not be able to, or want to book a meal here. If you’re unable to get a reservation here, two great Epcot alternatives are Via Napoli (review) and Coral Reef (review). Neither are quite as romantic in ambiance since they often have more families at them, but Coral Reef offers dim aquarium lighting and a great seafood menu, and Via Napoli offers the best pizza at Walt Disney World with great appetizers in a fairly sophisticated-looking setting.

4. Jiko – The Cooking Place – The ambiance in Jiko, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, is impeccable with appropriate lighting and properly spaced tables for a Signature Walt Disney World restaurant. In our full review I compare Jiko’s ambiance to The Lion King, but it’s really much more complex than that. The color palette of the restaurant changes to mimic an African sunset as the night progresses. The service is also excellent, with servers who are knowledgeable about the menu and the extensive drink list.

Romantic Disney World Restaurants

If you’re an adventurous eater, you can have that here. You can also get something more conventional. There are great flatbread starters as well as less-conventional choices. The entree menu has plenty of choices, but my favorite by far (off-menu now) is the filet with mac & cheese. Other great choices include the Grilled-marinated Lamb Loin and Braised Beef Short Rib. Dessert choices are equally varied.

Romantic Disney World Restaurants

Alternatives: Sanaa (review) is the definitive romantic alternative to Jiko. In fact, it almost made this list, but I thought two romantic restaurants at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge might be a bit excessive. The menu is a bit more adventurous, but there are “normal” items like steak. Request a window table at sunset for a great view of the safari.

3. California Grill – California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is a sentimental favorite for us. It’s the first place we went, after checking into our room, on our first “serious” trip together to Walt Disney World. We were so excited for the meal that we even dressed up for it! Our personal sentiment aside, California Grill offers the perfect ambiance. Sophisticated decor with a view from the top of the world, a window table here is almost a must. Make ADRs for about an hour before Wishes! and be willing to wait for a window table.

As far as the menu goes, it’s the only reason California Grill is #3 instead of #2. It isn’t quite perfect. The sushi is great and the flatbreads are decent, but many of the entrees are a bit overpriced for what they are. Our favorite is the Oak-fired Filet of Beef, which is expensive, but very good. Generally, California Grill entrees are great, but for the prices, they should always be exquisite. Desserts and cocktails here are also great, so only the occasional misstep on entrees prevents Cali Grill from attaining greatness.

Romantic Disney World Restaurants

Alternatives: The Wave… of American Flavors (review) is another great option in Disney’s Contemporary Resort, with much cheaper prices and a pretty varied menu. We have been very pleased with The Wave and recommend it in an instant. The ambiance is not nearly as good, but it rarely is busy and makes a great alternative. Another great option, also on the monorail loop, is Kona Cafe (review). The NY strip steak there is a personal favorite, and this is one of my favorite restaurants at Walt Disney World, although it does not offer a very romantic ambiance with its “open air” seating that puts some patrons next to the hustle and bustle of the second-story lobby of the Great Ceremonial House at Disney’s Polynesian Resort.

2. Monsieur Paul – Formerly Bistro de Paris, Monsieur Paul is a substantial departure from most in-park dining. Located upstairs in Epcot’s France pavilion, it features an opulent dining area. The general ambiance of the restaurant give the place a really classy feel, and although most patrons don’t dress the part since it’s in Epcot, it could easily be a “dressed-up, date night” type restaurant for you, especially if you’re walking over from one of the Epcot area resorts. The romantic ambiance is second only to Victoria & Albert’s.

Romantic Disney World Restaurants

The Prix Fixe menu is great. The first course of Serrano Ham with celery root remoulade and green asparagus or the Butternut Squash soup with chestnuts and shrimp are both excellent choices. Of the main courses, everything pales in comparison to the the Grilled Beef Tenderloin with mushroom crust, mashed potato, and Bordelaise sauce, which is the best entree I’ve had at Walt Disney World at a “normal” restaurant. While it is a Signature Restaurant, it’s actually a reasonably priced (relatively speaking) option if paying out of pocket and ordering from the Prix Fixe menu.

Romantic Disney World Restaurants

Alternative: Since Bistro de Paris is another World Showcase restaurant, the alternatives are the same here as they are at Le Cellier (above). If you’re willing to walk a bit or take a Friendship Boat, head over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for dinner at Hollywood Brown Derby (review) if you can’t get into Bistro de Paris. Bistro isn’t normally too busy, so this generally shouldn’t be an issue.

1. Victoria & Albert’s – This is a no-brainer. Not only is Victoria & Albert’s, at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, the absolute best restaurant at Walt Disney World, but it’s also the most romantic. It’s the only AAA 5-Diamond restaurant in Walt Disney World (or central Florida, for that matter) and children under 10 aren’t welcome in the main dining room (which is a nice change of pain for a couple like us). The restaurant is quiet, well-appointed, and the service is exquisite. Yet somehow, it’s not stuffy or intimidating (we’re young, and we often receive condescending or “snooty” service at nice restaurants in Indianapolis–doesn’t happen at Victoria & Albert’s). If you’re a real foodie, you can also book the Chef’s Table for a unique, albeit less romantic, dining option.

Romantic Disney World Restaurants - Victoria & Albert's

Victoria & Albert’s offers a prix fixe six-course meal (we won’t fixate on each “best” menu item) consisting of gourmet and specialty fine dining options, along with other “premium” items that can be ordered for an additional charge. The one reservation most people have when considering Victoria & Albert’s is the price (fixed-price cost for the regular dining room is $125 per person; wine pairings are $60 per person). My advice, unequivocally, no matter what degree of splurging it may be, would be to find a special occasion to celebrate there, and go. I don’t say the ‘special occasion’ bit so you have a nice “in” to get a freebie, but rather because I think it provides a nice reason to be there, and something to “embrace” while you’re dining. The meal is absolutely amazing, as is the service; really, I can’t say enough good things about the experience. In terms of value, even at its high cost, I would rate Victoria & Albert’s very highly. In my mind, it’s one of the few restaurants that is not overpriced for the food and service it offers. That’s high praise for a meal that cost us over $300!

Alternatives: None.

Romantic Disney World Restaurants - Beaches & Cream

Wild-Card Bonus Sleeper Pick: Beaches & Cream – all of the romantic picks on this list are “nice” restaurants that are fairly expensive. Beaches & Cream is an out-of-left-field choice for a list like this in that it doesn’t fit that mold at all, but it’s actually quite romantic in a 50s, play the jukebox while having a soda and ice cream with your gal before heading to the drive-in or roller-rink, sort of way. It’s romantic in a different way. A fun, light-hearted way!

sarah-tom-bricker-grand-floridian-dressed-up

If you’re looking for more tips for doing Walt Disney World without kids, read our full Disney Honeymoon Tips & Tricks and Walt Disney World for Adults posts, which will give you a number of great ideas to make your “Disneymoon” or adults-only Disney vacation extra-special! For Walt Disney World trip planning tips and comprehensive advice, make sure to read our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide and related articles.

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Your Thoughts…

What do you think about our picks? If you’ve dined at these restaurants, did you find them romantic? What are your top Walt Disney World romantic dining picks? Let us know in the comments!

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26 Responses to “Most Romantic Disney World Restaurants”

  1. Melissa says:

    I hope you guys get a chance to try Artist Point soon. Its ambiance is wonderful. I would say it’s nearly as romantic as Napa Rose in Disneyland.

    Have you been to any of the restaurants in the Swan and Dolphin? I think that Il Mulino and Todd English’s bluezoo might make my top five list of romantic Disney World restaurants as well.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      We have heard GREAT things about the Swalphin restaurants. We are trying to finish all of the top Disney restaurants before trying Il Mulino, bluezoo, and Shula’s, though.

      • James Norwood says:

        I proposed to my wife in the Artist Point. It is a great restaurant and we really enjoyed the Char-grilled Buffalo Striploin Steak. The waiter was a little annoying and didn’t serve us quite as well as what we are used to in a Disney restaurant but I didn’t want to ruin my big moment when I popped the question..

      • Tom Bricker says:

        Too bad about the service. The more I hear about Artist Point, the more I want to eat there. Thanks for the recommendation!

      • Ben says:

        If you like spicy food, and it’s still on the menu, you’ve gotta try the hot pot with pork belly and shrimp. It’s not super romantic, but you have to suck the heads out from the shrimp! The best part (and all the flavor) is in there!

        The berry cobbler is fantastic, too. And I don’t even like wild berries other than the straw variety!

  2. Justin M says:

    I also like Narcoossee’s at the Grand Floridian for a Romantic Spot, I would rate that bove Le Cellier because of the nicer ambiance.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Narcoossee’s was actually another deliberate omission (just like Sanaa). While I can justify having 2 of 5 restaurants in the same park, it’s tough to justify having 2 of 5 in the same hotel. Narcoossee’s actually holds a special place in our hearts, as it’s where we ate before I proposed to Sarah. I was so nervous, to be honest, that I don’t even remember the meal. We’re heading back this May for an early-anniversary dinner, so we’ll have a review for it then. You’re right, though, it’s an incredibly romantic restaurant. Perhaps I should have listed it and Citrico’s as alternatives to V&A’s. Hmmmmm…

      • Liv says:

        I love Narcoosee’s! V&A is so expensive and hard to get a reservation for. I’m sure it’s beautiful though.

        My only issue with Narcoosee was that there were a lot of children who were loud and didn’t have the best manners. It was confusing to me because it’s such a high end restaurant but Disney World is a family place so obviously there’d be kids, I was just surprised at how many kids there were! It’s such a small thing though because we love the restaurant so much that we are going back in January, I just want anyone reading this not to be as surprised as I was! lol

        Also, Le Cellier isn’t romantic IMO. The tables are too close to each other so you over hear people’s conversations. There was this really annoying couple next to us talking about politics and I’m thinking “hey, I just want to enjoy my dinner.” lol. It’s also pretty loud. Are there any restaurants that are not as loud? I’d imagine V&A probably isn’t as loud. Maybe one day I’ll get to enjoy it.

        I just want anyone reading this to know I am not complaining about noise because it is Disney and there are families and children and lots of people. It’s a happy atmosphere, I just don’t want anyone misled that they’ll have a quiet, romantic dinner because that’s really hard to find at Disney World. In my experience.

  3. GrumpyFan says:

    I would agree with all of your choices, with the exception of Beaches & Cream. That just doesn’t strike me as a romantic setting.

    Here’s a few others that should be considered:
    – Mama Melrose at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a favorite that’s kind of romantic (more so than B&C) and we’ve always had great service here.
    – Tony’s Town Square at Magic Kingdom can be romantic because of its location, but the food is not the greatest and the service seems to vary.
    – Cinderella’s Royal Table (Dinner) – is another favorite romantic spot for us, but tends to draw a lot of families, so it could burst the romance bubble.

  4. froggy6615 says:

    I like the inclusion of beaches & cream. A picture of the 2 of you sharing a milkshake with 2 straws would have driven the point home. We also loved Il Molino. I think any restaurant can be romantic if you go with the right attitude and at the right time, just don’t go looking for a backseat at the sci-fi dine. ;)

  5. Amber says:

    My husband and I will be going to Narcoossee’s, the Brown Derby, and Bistro de Paris (among others) on our trip this year. We typically take my sister and a family friend (both 17) on the trip, but they can’t go this year. So we decided to hit up the “nice” restaurants as our couple splurge. After reading this, I think I’ll save the prettier dress I bought for Bistro. I don’t want to look like mess! Besides, I think it’s the dinner my husband is most looking forward to. He’s wanted to eat there for years now!

  6. Betsy says:

    Almost any restaurant can be romantic given the right circumstances! Usually all-you-can-eat establishments don’t ooze romance, however last December my husband and I had our most fun and romantic evening at ‘Ohana. It was dark outside, we had a very secluded, corner, window table, and the castle dream lights were visible from where we dined. Following dinner we took the boat to the Magic Kingdom to watch Holiday Wishes, and to close out our evening, we took a spin on the TTA before returning to our resort. Dream date? Most definitely!

    I think your picks are great, and a few are on my short list of places to celebrate my 30th birthday next year! Now to just pick one…

  7. Jennifer says:

    I have another “sleeper”. Last April my husband and I spent the weekend at WDW without the kids before I attended a conference for work. We walked up to The Plaza about 30 minutes before closing and were able to be seated immediately. They sat us in the small room that has the wall of windows facing the castle. We were given a table that had seating on a large booth for 1 person plus a chair. Both of us sat side by side at our little table with the most amazing view of Cinderella Castle. Yes, there were kids around (one was celebrating her 2nd birthday), but being able to sit next to my husband and stare out at the castle through the entire meal was really magical! Considering how inexpensive the food was made it even more of a bonus!

  8. Jen says:

    Love the list! For us Cinderella’s Castle was definitely the most romantic meal we’ve eaten at Disney World (and we’ve eaten at 2 of your top 5). The fireworks were going off outside and seeing the lights shoot across the walls inside was just gorgeous. At the time we were engaged and when Snow White came to our table she basically performed a little marriage ceremony for us. I like to say we got married by Snow White in Cinderella’s Castle on my birthday. Also our late reservation on a day the park closed at 10:00 allowed us to be the only ones in the park after it closed. To quote Rapunzel, “Best! Day! Ever!”

  9. Caleb says:

    I didn’t realize that the fillet with mac and cheese was off of the menu at Jiko now. We went during December because I remembered seeing the photo on the blog but were disappointed that we couldn’t find it.

  10. mitch says:

    We thought Bistro de Paris would be incredibly romantic for our anniversary last year. Well, it did have white tablecloths and it was “fancy” but in hindsight- Citricos has way better food and atmosphere and we’d probably just rather eat delicious shrimp and steak and O’Hana than have cold fish or 3 scallops for $100 at bistro (now “monsieur paul”)

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Interesting… we far, far preferred Bistro de Paris. Citricos is probably one of my least favorite Signature Restaurants. Could’ve been a bad meal, I guess?

  11. Laura says:

    Do you have an article about prix fixe at Disney? I thought there was only the one (V&A’s), but if there are more I want to give it a go!

  12. MrsM says:

    For us it’s the Coral Reef. We ate there on our honeymoon and it was amazing! It was dark and quite. We sat right by the fish tank, our waiter was great, and we felt like we could take our time. It’s now become the one place we have to eat on every trip.

  13. Don Livingston says:

    We went to Shula’s for a belated anniversary dinner and that was the best meal I’ve had on Disney property. Also the service was superb. It’s now in my top 3 Disney restaurants along with Flying Fish and Jiko. I’m surprised Le Cellier made this list. The tables are all on top of each other (especially if you are seated at the long booth along the wall). Service isn’t that great either. Victoria and Albert is still on the Bucket List.

  14. John M says:

    Tom, I would argue that unless you live near WDW and frequent it often, V&A’s is always a must do!

  15. Bill says:

    We haven’t tried M. Paul since it replaced Bistro but Bistro would have been #2 for us. Jiko’s at night is definitely in the top 5 as well as Artist Point at WL. Todd English Bluezoo is a great choice too. We’re trying Shula’s, Coral Reef & Kouzzina’s in June and California Grille in October so we’ll see if they bump any of the others out. It goes without saying that V&A is #1. Too bad they will no longer take TIW after July 31st.

  16. Jennifer says:

    Are there any romantic restaurants in Disneyland? We are headed there in August and we were thinking about making reservations at Carthay Circle Restaurant.

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