Disney Springs Table Service Restaurant Rankings
Disney Springs is now the top place to go for a great meal at Walt Disney World, and this post ranks of its best table service restaurant options. The dining scene at Disney Springs is exceptional and varied, with something for everyone at a range of price points. (Last updated July 30, 2019.)
It’s also continuing to grow. Disney Springs has opened several new restaurants in each of the last few years, including a couple of additions in 2019. The biggest of these is Jaleo, which we’ve now added to this list. There are a couple more on tap for 2020, but for the most part, the redevelopment and expansion of Disney Springs is now slowing down.
While we still miss Pleasure Island and the Downtown Disney ‘scene’ of about a decade ago, the quality of the restaurants in Disney Springs have improved by an order of magnitude over 5 years ago. In fact, we totally skipped Downtown Disney on every trip for several years after Pleasure Island closed, but now Disney Springs is one of our favorite dining destinations at Walt Disney World. What a difference 5 years makes!
As one of our friends has put it, Disney Springs is “where you’ll be saying yum and wow every 5 seconds.” (Stacy from ‘Must Do Disney‘ counts as a friend, right? I mean, I feel like we’ve watched her on loop enough that she counts.) Seriously, though, Disney Springs has really been rejuvenated in terms of dining. Beyond the exceptional dining scene, there’s a lot to do at Disney Springs. For more advice about visiting this shopping and entertainment district, refer to our Disney Springs Tips & Tricks post.
This list strives to rank the Disney Springs restaurants, accounting for food quality, atmosphere/theme, and value for money. The difficulty with this list of the best Disney Springs restaurants is that there are few apples to apples comparisons. Every restaurant on this list except for Planet Hollywood Observatory has compelling offerings. In fact, (almost) all of the Disney Springs restaurants are so different from one another that those considering one of them are not going to find the others to be a suitable alternative.
With that said, we are still going to rank them, and you can mentally filter out the options here that are not going to appeal to your party. Each highlighted name below will open the full review–including food photos–for that Disney Springs restaurant in a new tab…
16. Planet Hollywood Observatory – With foods toeing that undesirable line between “barely suitable for human consumption” and “heart-attack inducing,” Planet Hollywood Observatory is one of the worst restaurants at Walt Disney World. The comfort style food, fun menu, and introduction of a menu by celebrity “chef” Guy Fieri should have helped.
Alas, nothing could save this disaster of a restaurant. A visit to Flavortown is less enjoyable than a visit to the doctor and, ironically, the former might get you sent to the latter. It’s still better than Planet Hollywood used to be, but that is such a ridiculously low bar that it barely merits mentioning. With so many good alternatives at Disney Springs, it should be criminal that Planet Hollywood Observatory uses the name cachet of a famous chef to lure unsuspecting prey into this tourist trap.
15. Paddlefish – We’ve now dined at Paddlefish twice, once for a special event and another time specifically for the $70+ New England Seafood Boil. Both times, I’ve left incredibly underwhelmed with Paddlefish. For such an expensive restaurant, it seems bland and forgettable–and that’s true of both the menu and the design.
The ambiance is ‘generic upscale blah’, and the food we’ve sampled has not been impressive. It’s not bad, but for a seafood restaurant with fine dining price points, Paddlefish has left a ton to be desired. I’m not sure if/when we will go back to try more for a full review. At this point, it’s incredibly difficult for us to justify spending that much money given the wealth of exceptional (and cheaper) options at Disney Springs.
14. Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar – I hate to put this in “last” place, especially since it’s one of the best themed bars at Walt Disney World. It’s also a tough ranking since the menu has changed since our last visit, which could nullify some of our concerns.
With that said, Jock Lindsey’s is a late night spot we recommend after you’ve already filled up (on both food and drink) as our service here has been so abysmal and the items so inconsistent that actually expecting a substantive dining experience here may lead to frustrating results.
13. T-REX Cafe – Who would’ve expected the sister restaurant to the infamous Rainforest Cafe to be tolerable–let alone good? Certainly not me. While I am admittedly biased towards dinosaurs, I fully expected this to be a cut rate “themed” restaurant with a few dinos with limited range of motion and some other haphazard decor.
It is so much more, and actually a fun place for dinosaur-loving kids (AND ADULTS. WE CAN LOVE DINOSAURS, TOO. THERE’S NOTHING “IMMATURE” ABOUT ADULT DINO-ENTHUSIASTS.) and their families. The food is basic American comfort food through and through, but it’s actually pretty good.
12. Enzo’s Hideaway – We visited Enzo’s Hideaway a few times during its opening week, albeit mostly for drinks, appetizers, and desserts. Our experiences were inconsistent, but I’m willing to chalk that up to the bar/restaurant still finding its footing–no penalty there, especially considering our great experience at Enzo’s other restaurant. One thing that we do highly recommend at Enzo’s Hideaway is the gelato sundaes–absolutely fantastic.
Our problem with Enzo’s Hideaway that causes it to rank where it does is not the food, but the theme. It feels like the design was changed halfway through the project (and given the troubles and delays with Patina’s project here, that probably isn’t far from the truth). The end result can charitably be described as a hodgepodge, and the repurposed quality feels too contrived and jarring with the cool prohibition/smuggling components. If you’re thinking of going here, we’d encourage you to step in solely for a drink or dessert first and see how you like the setting. From our perspective, the Edison and Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante (both of which are connected and share a kitchen) are much more compelling options.
11. Frontera Cocina – When we originally published this list, we complained that the decor is blandly ‘modern chic’ and the whole experience is totally forgettable. Thanks to improvements to the design (namely, the addition of a beautiful mural that is the centerpiece of the seating area), we’ve bumped it up a spot on this list.
Frontera Cocina still lacks the level of character that makes for a uniquely Walt Disney World offering. However, the main courses are fairly solid and make for a great option if you’re in the mood for Mexican cuisine. Frontera Cocina’s main selling point is its incredible desserts, which make it an ideal choice for a progressive dinner, or a sweet nightcap.
10. Splitsville – Not being big bowlers, we held off on going here for a while after its opening. After hearing from a friend* (*yeah, Stacy again) that “the menu is unexpected,” we finally decided to give it a try. We were impressed with both the retro-inspired atmosphere (including the glorious Vacation Kingdom of the World mural!) and the cuisine.
Like T-Rex, Splitsville is standard American cuisine, but there are some inventive options, too. It’s not nuanced fine dining like you might find elsewhere on this list, but the food tastes great and is fairly priced. Beyond that, the convivial atmosphere makes this a great place for larger parties looking to have a fun night outside the parks. It ranks so highly because it’s solid, approachable cuisine at relatively reasonable price points. It won’t necessarily wow you like other options on this list (even ones that rank lower), but it’s a reliable option and great for families.
9. Wine Bar George – Full disclosure: we aren’t wine connoisseurs. Because of this, a lot of what makes Wine Bar George (it’s right there in the first two words of the restaurant name!) appealing is probably lost on us, which causes this bar and restaurant’s ranking to suffer.
Nevertheless, we do enjoy some of the food here, which we found to be very good. On the other hand, the ambiance leaves a lot to be desired, as this is yet another Disney Springs restaurant that goes for the repurposed hipster warehouse look. Yawn.
8. Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante – Walt Disney World has a surplus of Italian restaurants, but problematically, Walt Disney World does not have a lot of great Italian restaurants. When judging the complete package, we’re inclined to rank newcomer Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante at or near the top of the heap.
The food here is good, with a focus on authenticity and high quality ingredients. However, prices are high and not every dish hits the mark. Nonetheless, most of the cuisine is very good. That, coupled with a wonderful theme and atmosphere modeled after an airport terminal during the golden age of aviation–a subdued theme that works surprisingly well–is enough to elevate Maria & Enzo’s. It shouldn’t be a top pick on your first visit to Walt Disney World, but after you’ve been to Disney Springs a few times, it’s a worthy restaurant to add to your rotation.
7. The Edison – If this were a ranking of the top bars at Disney Springs, the Edison would claim the #1 spot, besting staunch competition from places like Raglan Road and Jock Lindsay’s. It’s that unique, has solid drinks, is strong on theme, and the entertainment is superlative. When you set all of that aside and visit during midday hours solely for the food, the Edison still manages to score high marks.
The Edison is actually what has caused other American comfort food options like Splitsville to fall out of favor. Cuisine-wise, the Edison bests them with more inventive and ambitious takes on familiar favorites. We especially love the lamb burger and Electri-Fries. The Edison is also one of the few instances of Disney Springs’ typical repurposed style working very well and feeling organic. While the Edison is at its peak in the evening hours, you should have a good time and great meal no matter when you visit.
6. STK – If you read the original incarnation of this list, you might recall that I said we’d never drop the chunk of change necessary to dine at STK, an expensive steakhouse with Vegas-style ambiance that struck me as grating (what can I say, I’m a surly ole curmudgeon). Well, a lot has changed since STK opened. Namely, the menu now has specials (great small plates during Happy Hour and more) and vibe has been toned down considerably. In other words, things that are right in the wheelhouse of an old timer like me.
With those key differences, I had little excuse to continue refusing to visit. To my surprise, STK served up excellent food at reasonable prices and had a perfectly-fine ambiance. The food was high-quality and represented a great value, too. We’ve now had several meals at STK, and would happily return again. STK is clearly a restaurant headed in the right direction, and a choice that now feels at home in Walt Disney World. That’s something I never expected to say.
5. Jaleo – Arguably the biggest ‘celebrity chef’ addition to Disney Springs comes via Jaleo by Chef José Andrés. Jaleo is an renowned restaurant that’s regarded as one of the highlights of both the Washington, DC and Las Vegas dining scenes, and now, Walt Disney World.
Jaleo is unlike anything else at Walt Disney World, both in terms of cuisine and its vibrant and jovial setting. We had high expectations going in, and it mostly lives up to them…but falls a bit short on some dishes. While the food is largely delicious, some dishes are misses, and you have to order fairly strategically to avoid spending an excessive amount of money. It’s a good one and done option, but everything in our top 4 has more repeatability for us.
4. Homecomin’ – Southern down home cooking with a flair, Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ is a nice middle ground between comfort food and gourmet cuisine. Many menu options are southern favorites with ambitious twists, and (more importantly) the food is out of this world.
Outside of the Grand Floridian, this is probably the most authentic “Florida” cuisine you’ll find at Walt Disney World. Homecoming has some of the best fried chicken you’ll ever try, and other menu items are both high quality and delicious. The restaurant’s design is not the most ambitious, but it’s inviting and has a down-home charm that scores some points even if it’s objectively lackluster.
3. Morimoto Asia – If I could only use one word to describe Morimoto Asia, it would be “haute.” Now, if you’re from Los Angeles or New York, you might question whether I know what that word means (and what’s it to you if I don’t?!), but as far as Walt Disney World goes, this is about as close to haute, in both style and cuisine, as a restaurant gets.
The style at Morimoto Asia is trendy & chic, the menu is ambitious, and the atmosphere is hoppin’. On top of that, there are many menu items that are really good (and some price points are reasonable–even after like 8 price increases). For couples, this is a great spot for putting on your finest pair of bell-bottoms (or whatever the current trends are in haute couture) and having a fun date night.
2. Raglan Road – The OG of Disney Springs dining from back in the day when it was still Downtown Disney (so, only like a year ago, but it sure feels longer ago than that), Raglan Road has been neglected by many fans with so many great new options opening. We recently revisited Raglan Road at the behest of friends, and it was every bit as delicious and jovial of an atmosphere as we remembered.
There are some excellent menu options at Raglan Road, and the Bread & Butter Pudding is like an org–uhh…happy burst of excitement–in your mouth. (Seriously, top 5 Walt Disney World dessert). The atmosphere is like something straight out of World Showcase at Epcot, with a cultural authenticity that gives the restaurant added allure. All of this puts Raglan Road right up there as one of the best restaurants at Disney Springs.
1. The Boathouse – While the excitement of anything new brings with it a bit of hype (and “BEST EVA” proclamations), the one restaurant in Disney Springs with a reputation that has held steady post-opening is The Boathouse. At first, I wasn’t so keen on the ambiance. The motorboats on the walls reminded me a bit of a boat-themed Cracker Barrel, which seemed at odds with the Signature status.
Even the decor at the Boathouse has grown on me a lot; different rooms in the restaurant offer differing ambiance (the Dockside Bar being a particular favorite of mine). Then there’s the food, which is almost all excellent (they, too, have a top 5 Walt Disney World dessert with the Baked Alaska), and it’s easy to see why The Boathouse has already attracted a legion of dedicated fans in only a year.
Not Listed – As mentioned above, there are a few Disney Springs table service restaurants that aren’t listed. At this point, these are mostly older restaurants that are either currently being refurbished, about to be refurbished, or about to have their menus overhauled.
The above-mentioned restaurants include spots such as House of Blues, Bongos Cuban Cafe, and Rainforest Cafe (which we’ve actually done a few times, and just are not fans). Beyond those, there are also the restaurants that just have yet to open. We’ll add all of these Disney Springs dining options once they are ready!
Want more dining tips? Check out our 101 Delicious Walt Disney World Dining Tips. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
What is your favorite restaurant at Disney Springs? Least favorite restaurant? Do you agree or disagree with these rankings? How would you rank the Disney Springs restaurants at which you’ve dined? Share your thoughts or questions in the comments below!
Any thoughts on Paddlefish?
Just ate at Ragland Road last night. Our waiter was wonderful giving us just the right amount of attention. Pie of the day was chicken pot pie which was very good although I was disappointed that the topping was a flakey biscuit type crust and not pie like, but maybe flakey is more authentic to Irish cooking. ..I don’t know. Interestingly the chicken was mixed with mashed potatoes which was good – very filling. The salad that came with it I couldn’t eat…mostly arugula, a stewed type of tomatoes and very little dressing- very dry. My husband got fish and chips – our recommendation…don’t bother. Got the tail end of the fish, flat and mushy. When the plate was put in front of him we thought they forgot the fish…lol. The fries (chips) were ok nothing special and the cost for this and 3 beers- $67.00. Ouch but it is Disney!
This is awesome. Disney is a great place for the family and T-Rex cafe looks like a lot of fun!
Don’t worry about not reviewing STK, Tom. The food is undoubtedly delicious, but I have found it overpriced and that is coming from someone who semi-regularly eats at ridiculously expensive steak restaurants in London. The overall atmosphere in STK is pretentious and the dining room was far too dimly lit to enjoy conversation with someone sat next to you.
We have partaken of just about every food locale at Disney Springs that claims to have good hamburgers. Even the new D-Luxe Burger didn’t impress us. However we have discovered that the burgers at Splitsville are just about the best we have had on WDW property. We make it a point to visit Splitsville when we schedule a shopping day for the girls at Disney springs. If you really enjoy hamburgers we highly recommend you try them at Splitsville after you try all the others. You may be surprised at what you taste.
You must go to Paridiso37 and have the Cuban burger. I had it in October when I was there for a conference and made a point of taking my husband there the next month specifically to have it again. We live in Canada â¤
My husband and I LOVE Portobello. We’ve had some great experiences there…top notch food and really nice, relaxed atmosphere. Are we the only ones?
I have to agree with Jock Lindsey’s being last if only for the service. Went at the beginning of last December, it was very busy everywhere in Disney Springs. We hung around to snatch up a table, only to be ignored for over a half an hour. Others who had sat down after us had their orders taken already. If we hadn’t been meeting a friend we would have left. With so many other options in DS won’t be going back soon.
I’m disappointed to read that your experiences at Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar have been poor. My only visit there was in December of 2015 when I stopped in during a cool afternoon to check the place out and have a drink. The drink I had was very tasty and of course the theme there is excellent. Because the place wasn’t busy at all I experienced perfectly fine service, but maybe that has suffered as crowds have increased.
I would try it again based on my one time there, but would keep my critical hat on based on what you’ve shared here.
As a long time Disney Springs fanatic, I’m right on point with your list.
STK deserves a shot though.
I was concerned about the atmosphere as well, but the wife & I tried it on our recent trip & loved everything about it. (although it was certainly pricey)
Our concerns about the atmosphere weren’t necessary. We didn’t even realize the DJ was spinning tunes 10 feet away from us until we were leaving the restaurant. It was hardly the hipster palace we’d seen some make it out to be.
The BOATHOUSE was extremely meh for us. We went as a family of 5 with 3 kids in December 2015. It was extremely lackluster. BUT I chalked it up to a long day. We were there with kids. The experience would be better adults only, etc. With a dinner at well over $200 it should have been better. Giving it another shot – I went back September 2016 on an adults only trip. My meal alone (with drinks) was over $100 and AGAIN its was just meh. Steak was overcooked, bernaise had no flavor, drink was lukewarm and I have had better desserts at a froyo shop. I am bummed because I had such high hopes. The menu looks great! But I won’t be spending that kind of money again. My meal at Liberty Tree Tavern was less than a fourth of the cost and super yummy (hello pot roast and ooey gooey toffee cake!!)
Tom – believe it or not what you missed at “Splitsville” or maybe didn’t mention trying is the SUSHI . We wandered there in the rain a year ago and when I saw sushi on the menu and a real sushi bar and chef I was like “note to self – never eat sushi in a bowling alley” but it was presented beautifully and they had many different options so we tried it, and….best sushi I’ve ever had in Orlando. Ever.
I LOVE Raglan Road. I’m a little sad that I won’t have time to try The Boathouse on my upcoming Disney trip. I guess it’s just an excuse to keep going back. SO excited to try out Morimoto Asia though!
You must have read Josh from one of “other” websites on his review of STK. I agree with both of you. “STK is a place where you happen to eat a steak as opposed to a place where you go to eat steak”…. My family and friends ate at the Boathouse back in August, and it was an excellent meal. Both service and food were top notch, and we will go back there again on our next vacation. We still love Raglan Road too!
I believe STK is just a stylized abbreviation for steak….
Will someone please tell me what STK stands for? Now I’m curious…
Easily confused with STK the serial killer, which means Slasher Torturer Killer.
I remember when Chef Mickey’s used to be at what was called The Marketplace back in early 90’s. It was ruined when it moved to Contemporary and made a character buffet. Have reservations at Homecoming and looking forward to it even more after this review. Thanks!
“The OG of Disney Springs”…… Love it!! This list is pretty spot on from the places we’ve been lucky enough to try. Can’t wait to get to Homecoming, and maybe I’m a curmudgeon too, but I really can’t think of anything that sounds inviting about STK. I’d pick the Boathouse over that place every single time. Seriously though, great post!
Just flew back from a week in WDW today. Ate at T-REX for the first time and we were pleasantly surprised. My mojito was excellent, the bruschetta was fresh and loaded with flavor. My husband enjoyed his stuffed chicken breast and my meatloaf was really good. We would return for the fun atmosphere and the very good food! Our server was attentive. The four year old member of our family was a fan as well. 🙂
We spent an entire day at Disney Springs a couple of weeks ago and was quite surprised by the amount of changes since our last visit two years ago. Had we not been just about to board a Disney Cruise the next day I would’ve definitely visited one of these. We actually had reservations to Boathouse that I cancelled. Something to look forward to on our next visit!
Based on your earlier recommendation, we ate at Boathouse last visit and it was excellent. Oysters and the filet were on point. Where else can you get a great meal with almost fine dining service where you don’t feel bad bringing a 1 yr old. I will say, STK seems a bit out of place for Disney Springs (It’s a great primer for a night out in Vegas), but they do their meat right.
LOL. Good to see we have a mutual friend in common. Stacy is on continual loop when we visit.