After eating my way around the new and returning snacks & desserts from the Food Studios at the 2024 EPCOT International Festival of the Arts, I’m bringing you this ‘best of’ list for Walt Disney World’s top festival of the year. This post shares our favorites, compiling a list of what we consider the must-eat items at Artful EPCOT.
I’ve already reviewed about three-quarters of the food booths individually, but honestly, I’m starting to run out of stem and doubt I’m going to get the rest done in the near future. So my thought was to provide a helpful all-in-one-spot resource here; a single post with quick-hitting recommendations about where to eat and what to order during the 2024 EPCOT Festival of the Arts. To that end, let’s start with a ranking of my 5 favorite booths, which I think are worth your attention–anything on these menus could (arguably) be worth buying:
Craftsman’s Courtyard (Near the Odyssey)
The Artist’s Table (American Adventure)
Cuisine Classique (Near Test Track)
Tangierine Café: Flavors of the Medina (Morocco)
L’Art de la Cuisine Française (France)
Next, the specific dishes we’d highly recommend. This includes both value for money when paying out of pocket and also best uses of snack credits on the 2024 Disney Dining Plan…
Before we go any further, we want to reiterate something we’ve been saying about the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts for years: buying food is not even remotely essential to enjoying the event. Although the lines for Food Studios get very long, food is not the “heart” of the 2024 EPCOT International Festival of the Arts.
To be sure, the culinary arts do play a role, but an optional one. While we highly recommend grazing around the Food Studios as opposed to a counter service lunch and dinner, it’s not imperative. Anyway, let’s start with the best-of Epcot Festival of the Arts food list…
Duck and Dumplings, Artist’s Table – There are a couple of dishes on this list with which I’d be satisfied if served as an appetizer at a Signature Restaurant (albeit via a non-paper plate presentation). This is one of them.
The smoked duck breast is flavorful cut of meat, with just the right balance of leanness and fattiness. It’s expertly prepared in a way you’d never expect of a high-capacity food booth, and is melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Then there are the dense ricotta dumplings, baby vegetables, and duck jus, all of which bring together this symphony of flavors in harmonious fashion. It’s a good use of a Disney Dining Plan credit, but I have no regrets paying out of pocket for this, either.
Hummingbird Cake, Artist’s Table – The 2024 EPCOT Festival of the Arts is weak when it comes to desserts. Your options are basically: sugar, sugar, and more sugar…plus artificial colors and flavors. The Hummingbird Cake is no stranger to sugar, but at least it’s on the lowest level of that.
The pecan cake is moist with a nice spiced quality, along a hint of banana. Don’t worry, sugar fans, as the cream cheese icing and caramel sauce deliver that teeth-tingling quality that everyone loves. Seriously, though, it’s a pretty good dessert. Probably not one that would make the list at a more dessert-heavy event, but still quite good.
Wild Mushroom Risotto, Gourmet Landscapes – This is an elevated dish that’s far more ambitious than you’d expect, with perfect preparation and a nuanced flavor profile. This is probably the best dish at any version of the Canada booth, and that includes the Le Cellier filet mignon served during Food & Wine.
The truffle shavings and zinfandel reduction elevate this above a ‘simple’ mushroom risotto and make this a truly phenomenal dish. It’s pricey at almost $10, but I think it’s worth it given the caliber of the cuisine. Plate this up differently and it could be served at Le Cellier or Topolino’s Terrace for double the price (or more). It’s an absolute no-brainer buy with a Disney Dining Plan snack credit.
Cast Iron-Roasted P.E.I. Mussels, Cuisine Classique – These P.E.I. mussels are served with sautéed tomatoes, garlic, and fresh herbs. These far exceed expectations in terms of flavor and preparation. The portion size was also sizable, justifying the above-average price. The mussels were fantastic, having none of the ‘heat lamp hallmarks’ that sometimes plague festival food.
Beyond that, our mussels were hearty, high-quality, and had an exceptional flavor. The tomatoes, garlic, and herbs were delicious but didn’t overwhelm (a lot of ours were in the bottom of the bowl, under the mussels–making them easier to pair with the garlic bread). Highly recommended.
Beef Wellington, Cuisine Classique – Let’s start with the pastry itself, which is crisp on the outside and doughy once you get closer to the beef inside. That tender cut of beef is perfectly seasoned and prepared, and tastes fantastic. I only wish there were more of it!
The Mushroom duxelles with red wine demi-glace really drive this dish home, delivering one of the absolute best savory snacks at the 2024 EPCOT International Festival of the Arts. It could use a bit more in the way of accompaniments to justify the high price tag (and small-ish portion size of the meat), but we’re still big fans of this dish. Highly recommended, especially if using a snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan.
Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese, Pop Eats – There are two versions of this sandwich, and the classic grilled cheese is the more popular of the two. Pictured above is the version of this dish that we recommend–the fancier ‘Southern’ version with pimento cheese, bacon, and fried green tomato.
The pimento cheese and fried green tomato work fantastically together and are the stars of the show. The bacon is a nice enhancement that does not overpower (it’s diced chunks, rather than thick-cut pieces). This isn’t to cast aspersions on the OG grilled cheese, but it’s honestly something you could make just as well at home. This more ambitious twist is worth seeking out when dining out.
There there’s the tomato soup in the Warhol-inspired can. This is rich and creamy, perfect by itself or with a sandwich dipped into it. While we’d highly recommend this fancy/adult grilled cheese and tomato soup, we do question whether it’s worth the wait. This is a good value when paying out of pocket, but not a particularly good use of a snack credit on the 2024 Disney Dining Plan.
Grilled Pork Belly, Craftsman’s Courtyard – The meat here occupies the sweet spot between pork belly and pork loin, which is very much a good thing. As a result, you get a hearty portion that is tender and flavorful without being overly fatty. I could eat this meat all day, all by itself.
Fortunately, you don’t have to; the grilled pork belly is plated on a thick piece of grilled sourdough and topped with salsa verde, broccoli rabe, pickled peppers, and a gigantic glob of fresh raclette cheese. It packs a powerful punch of flavors, and is at once heavy and decadent while also being nuanced and interesting.
This is one of my absolute favorite dishes at the 2024 EPCOT Festival of the Arts. We highly recommend both dishes at Craftsman’s Courtyard whether you’re paying out of pocket or using the Disney Dining Plan. They’re about middle of the road (~$7 dishes) either way; we think these items are fairly priced.
Grilled Marinated Skirt Steak Sandwich, Craftsman’s Courtyard – Another top tier dish, but it’s important to note that this is a sandwich. We’ve added that to the title above–it’s not mentioned in the name on the menu for some odd reason.
This skirt steak is grilled right outside the Craftsman’s Courtyard booth, with the smoke and scents beckoning meat lovers from all over EPCOT. Thankfully, the taste matches the smell, with the meat here being fantastic. Whatever worries you might have about a sandwich being needed to mask low-quality meat, banish them. (That applies to both dishes here.)
The toppings–caramelized onions and mushrooms, blue cheese fondue, and arugula–all do admirably in further enhancing the flavors, and the grilled French roll has just the right amount of crunch and chewiness. This is another favorite of the festival for me, and a dish I highly recommend.
Rainbow Cake, Figment’s Inspiration Station – This cake is quite sugary, but unlike everything else in the Odyssey’s Figment “booth,” at least it tastes delicious. I couldn’t tell you what flavors, exactly, are present here–so “it tastes like a rainbow” will have to do. And like a rainbow, it’s moist and delightful, with just the right amount of density. Eating this while gazing around at all of the cool Figment decor and nods to Journey Into Imagination just puts a smile on my face.
The Rainbow Cake is good and it’s a fun dessert that will give you the requisite sugar rush while also leaving you satisfied. It’s reasonably high quality–reminding me a lot of a wedding cake. The colors and presentation are the proverbial icing on the literal cake, taking this tasty dessert and also making it photogenic.
Like all other desserts, the Rainbow Cake is not a good use of a snack credit on the 2024 Disney Dining Plan. It’s fine out of pocket.
That covers it for the Best Snacks of the 2024 EPCOT International Festival of the Arts! As we said at the top, you’re not missing much if you skip the Food Studios entirely. It’s a nice enhancement and the foods are definitely nicely done, but you can rack up a costly tab pretty quickly, and the event stands well on its own, minus food. You’ll also want to read our full Guide to the 2024 EPCOT International Festival of the Arts Guide before you go to get an idea of what to do, strategy for the festival, and much more.
Do you have any favorite dishes or desserts from the 2024 Epcot International Festival of the Arts? Anything you’re excited to try? Any questions we can help you answer? Agree or disagree with our snack selections from this Walt Disney World event? Hearing feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!