Spread across World Showcase and Future World are 30 Global Marketplaces during the 2019 Epcot Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World. This post ranks the top 10 food booths at the event, giving you an idea of where you’ll want to spend your money, Disney Dining Plan snack credits, and–most importantly–your vacation time.
Thirty food booths. Let that number sink in. Assuming you wait in line 5 minutes at each Global Marketplace (a very conservative number in our experience–that’s the minimum wait with the maximum being around 20 minutes), you’re looking at spending 2.5 hours of your day at Epcot just standing in line. More realistically, you’re looking at 3 hours in line on a weekday, 4 hours in line on a weeknight, or 5 hours in line on a weekend.
Suffice to say, stopping at every single Global Marketplace is simply not feasible. Now, you could read our Booth Menus, Food Photos & Reviews: 2019 Epcot Food & Wine Festival post (which now have been fully updated with reviews and photos for all menus) to determine which Global Marketplaces to prioritize, but you run into the same problem. Ten minutes spent reading each review means you’ve dedicated 5 hours to research–and that’s not counting all of the times you fall asleep from boredom while reading this blog! As such, we’re going to make things easy on you with this post, highlight the best overall booths at the 2019 Epcot Food & Wine Festival…
Obviously, tastes vary. Even when it comes to dishes that are objectively well-prepared, some people will love them while others won’t. Beyond that, there’s the added wrinkle with the quality and portion size of Food & Wine Festival dishes differing from day to day and even hour to hour. Samples are produced quickly and in large quantities, and are not made to order. We’re trying to mitigate that by focusing on kitchens that have a solid track record of doing things the right way.
Anyway, let’s start with our best booths of the 2019 Epcot Food & Wine Festival list (links to full booth reviews open in new tabs)…
Cheese Studio – As I remarked in our full booth review, a duo of dishes at Cheese Studio are my new go-to cheap & fast pre-fireworks Epcot meal.
Wine & Dine Studio – That’s right: all three of the Culinary Corridor booths make the cut. Accordingly, we highly recommend staking out a prime, shaded location here (better yet, go right around sunset for a nice breeze coming off the nearby bodies of water) and grazing from each of the studios.
Even though we aren’t particularly wild about Wine & Dine Studio’s Artist Palette of Wine and Cheese, the other two dishes here impress, and the scallops are a good time to remind you (in case you haven’t read it in our individual reviews) of an important Epcot Food & Wine Festival Commandment: “leave the shrimp, take the salmon and scallops.” Read our full Wine & Dine Studio Review for more info & food photos.
Coastal Eats – Located in the Next Eats area, Coastal Eats is the best of that strong trio of booths located behind the soon-to-be-demolished Innoventions West building. Against all odds, all of the dishes at Coastal Eats wow.
Some are on the heavier front and are better enjoyed later in the event (read: when it’s not 90 degrees out), but we’ve had tremendous luck with Coastal Eats the last few years. At this point, we hesitate to even call it luck, but we still feel the need to call it that because scallops could be a total train-wreck if the preparation or freshness is a misfire. Read our full Coastal Eats Booth Review for more info & food photos.
Flavors from Fire – The best booth at Food & Wine for the third straight year.
Australia – We’ll level with you: our goal is to represent both Future World and World Showcase with an equal number of entries on this list. That might seem problematic given that Future World has far fewer booths. However, we’re not grading on a curve to ensure enough of those booths make the list. To the contrary, the World Showcase booths are the weaker ones, with less ambitious and inventive dishes. Just something to keep in mind as we cover these.
The Australia Global Marketplace is a winner solely by virtue of its flagship dish, which is one of the very best items at this year’s event–and a great use of a Disney Dining Plan snack credit. We could take or leave both the shrimp and dessert, but you may find both to be better than we did, in which case Australia could be one of the elite booths for you. Read our full Australia Booth Review for more info & food photos.
Africa – The next two booths are similar in style, which makes me tempted to lump them together (which would allow for inclusion of perennial favorite, France). However, I don’t think that’s entirely fair as there are clear distinctions between the two–and after all, we don’t lump multiple European booths together.
India – As we remarked in our booth review, the India Global Marketplace could basically be called ‘A Taste of Sanaa.’ The menu will be familiar to those who have dined at Sanaa, or offer a chance to sample a somewhat-similar menu for those who are intimidated by a full meal at Sanaa (or just haven’t found the time).
Hawaii – It’s really impressive that a single state can top culinary powerhouses like the country of France as one of the best booths of the fest, but that’s exactly the case with the Hawaii Global Marketplace.
This is another instance of “just order the entire menu.” If you must narrow things down, we’d go with the Teriyaki-glazed SPAM Hash for the savory and Passion Fruit Cheesecake for sweet. (But really, do you want to risk skipping that slider?!) Read our full Hawaii Booth Review for more info & food photos.
Islands of the Caribbean – This a booth that’s not nearly as lauded as others on this list. Yet, it’s all good and relatively unique to most tourists.
Here, the Jerk-spiced Chicken is the highlight, ranking as one of the best overall items. The grilled flavor and jerk-spice work wonders together, with the sweet flavors from the mango and plantain providing a playful contrast. The other items are likewise very good, making Islands of the Caribbean another instance of ordering “ONE OF EVERYTHING!” Read our full Islands of the Caribbean Booth Review for more info & food photos.
That wraps it up for our Best Food Booths of the 2019 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Even though this is far longer than a normal top 10 list when you count each item at the booths we recommended, it still leaves off several deserving choices at this year’s Food & Wine Festival. With that said, we’ll be back later this week for a look at the other side of things, with our ‘Worst of’ list, so stay tuned!
Do you have any favorites dishes from the 2019 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival? Favorite booths? Anything you’re excited to try? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!