Centertown Market Review
Centertown Market is the food court inside the Old Port Royale lobby area of Caribbean Beach Resort at Walt Disney World. This WDW dining review features food photos, thoughts on the counter service restaurant’s menu, our experiences here, and how this quick service eatery compares to its predecessor.
In terms of background and money-saving info, Centertown Market participates in the Disney Dining Plan as a 1-credit counter service restaurant, but does not accept the Tables in Wonderland card for a 20% discount. With mostly-inexpensive entrees (at least, by Walt Disney World standards), it’s not a particularly good use of Dining Plan credits–but is a solid option paying out of pocket.
Before we start with our review, I want to share that reader feedback on Centertown Market has been overwhelmingly negative. Not that we’ve heard a ton of scathing reviews, but out of the dozen or so that readers have shared in the comments sections of various posts, probably 75% of them have been negative. None have been overwhelmingly positive.
Normally, I discount crowd-sourced reviews, as you never know the background of the reviewers, their expectations, or what they ordered. However, our readers are obviously brilliant, so I’m willing to give your perspectives a bit of credence (except those of you who love the cuisine at Tony’s Town Square).
Our experiences with Centertown Market have been 75% positive, so I thought that was worth putting out there–I don’t want to be raving about a place that everyone else seems to dislike.
Another thing we’ve heard repeatedly about Centertown Market is that the menu is very limited. With over 20 entrees, this is demonstrably false. Trying to “explain away” both complaints, I’ve developed a theory: most guests are only considering a narrow subset of the menu, limiting themselves to the worst part by virtue of personal preference or what sounds safest.
Taking a step back, Centertown Market has three broad categories of food: vegan/vegetarian, ambitious island cuisine, and traditional theme park fare. Some people have zero interest in the first two categories, and that’s fine. However, this becomes a problem when it comes to ordering, because the former two categories are (arguably) overrepresented and the latter is underrepresented.
It also doesn’t help that several options from that last category–anything pizza–have a high likelihood of being terrible. Although we haven’t had them, we’re also going to assume the two regular burgers aren’t good, because a long history with Walt Disney World burgers has taught us that this is a reliable truth. It’s also possible that the same goes for the pasta. The end result here is a limited menu of food that is approachable and delicious.
In terms of atmosphere and theme, Centertown Market is very similar to its predecessor, Old Port Royale Food Court. The previous incarnation had different ordering bays meant to resemble an open air outdoor market in the Caribbean.
Our review of that remarked that it was “pretty cool, save for the fact that it looks like this is a market you’d encounter if you stepped into Doc Brown’s DeLorean and dialed in 1988.”
The open air market look has been carried over into the new location, albeit without quite the same charm and character. It looks fresher and more modern, but it’s also not convincing as a lived-in or themed place.
It just seems to pay face to the notion of a marketplace, rather than actually playing the part.
Given that our old review was tepid on the theme and our new review is likewise, you could say there’s no winning with us. That might be fair, but I think it’d be even more fair to say that Disney overcorrected. It’s becoming increasingly rare to see new immersively-themed spaces in Walt Disney World hotels, so we assume this approach was intentional.
Centertown Market’s seating area is pretty basic, although it pops with color and there’s some tiering to the area, texture via the shutters, and nice views outside. (Better yet, there’s an outdoor seating area, which we prefer.) One thing that befuddles me is the lack of overhead breeze fans. These were present in the old seating area, and are such a nice, on-theme touch. At least the mural behind the drink station is cool.
Turning to the food, we’ll start with by far the worst of the things we’ve had thus far: the Jerk Chicken & Pineapple Pizza.
This is the second Walt Disney World “deep-dish” (air quotes) pizza we’ve had recently, and after an abysmal experience with the one at Sunshine Seasons, I’m not sure why we rolled the dice on this. It makes the frozen “Almost Pizza” served at places like PizzeRizzo seem gourmet by comparison.
To add insult to injury, the bread stick was an absolute abomination, somehow worse than the pizza itself.
That same visit, Sarah ordered the ‘Cheese Steak’ Griddled Seitan: “Seitan Cheese, Pickle Chip, Vegan Mayonnaise, Peppers and Onions and Pickle Relish melted between French Bread.”
As far as vegan dishes go, this was solid. I had the Brisket Sandwich at Electric Umbrella a few days prior (a new guilty pleasure) and it was nowhere near that good, but it was tasty, with the peppers and onions giving it a bit of punch. My only complaint is in terms of texture–it was just a tad on the slimy side, but I think that’s par for the course with seitan. It was still a good, filling dish that we’d recommend if you’re vegan.
Prior to that, I ordered the Create-Your-Own Dinner Bowl, with choice of base, protein, and sauce. This is a lot like the raved-about bowls at Satu’li Canteen in Pandora at Animal Kingdom.
Protein options include rotisserie beef, pork shoulder, banana leaf-wrapped fish, jerk chicken thighs, or vegan chipotle seitan. Going for the healthy choice, I ordered the jerk chicken with rice and chimichurri. This was really good, and I’d put it on par with Satu’li Canteen, which is high praise.
If I were going all-out and not the ill-advised healthy living route, I would’ve preferred the pork shoulder with garlic ranch. The breakfast options sound even better, with home fries being one of the bases. For our next Riviera construction update, I’ll try to find a way to make it back for breakfast.
For our first visit to Centertown Market, Sarah ordered the Plant-based Spicy Jackfruit-Carnitas Burger: “Grilled Plant-based Burger topped Spicy Jackfruit, Barbecue Mushrooms, Cabbage Slaw and Chipotle Mayonnaise served with Plantain and Yuca Chips.”
If you’re like me, you scoff at the notion of this burger, dismissing it out of hand as something that cannot compare to a real burger. In which case, you’d be wrong (at least you’re in good company!) because this is one of the best things on the menu, and far superior to the standard Walt Disney World burgers.
Juicy, lightly spiced, and full of meaty flavor, this burger was good enough to trick me (it’s a Beyond Meat patty, for those curious). I could’ve done without the abundance of slaw, but everything else worked together flawlessly. It’s truly incredible the strides Walt Disney World’s vegetarian cuisine has made in only a few years–I remember when this stuff bordered on inedible, and now it’s among menu highlights.
Finally, the Caribbean Beef and Chorizo Blend Burger: “Grilled 6 oz Chorizo Burger topped with Crispy Pork, Provolone Cheese, a Pink Sauce and Crisp Potato Straws nested on Iceberg Lettuce and Tomato on a Brioche Bun served with a side of Onion, Pickle and Plantain and Yuca Chips.”
For the sake of taste-testing “research” I really wanted to order this to compare it to the one at Spyglass Grill, but in reality, they’re identical. This burger scores very high marks and rivals the best counter service burgers at Walt Disney World, including the highly-regarded D-Luxe Burger at Disney Springs.
It’s better than the If you’re ordering a burger at Jackfruit-Carnitas Burger, but not by nearly the margin you’d expect. If you’re ordering a burger, go for one of these two options.
Overall, Centertown Market can best be described as a mixed bag. I don’t think the overly negative comments we’ve read reflect the entire menu, but nor does our initial, overwhelmingly positive meal. Moreover, this seems like a food court destined for a significant menu change in the not-so-distant future. There’s a disproportionate emphasis on vegan/vegetarian fare, and most of the best items on the menu are options the average Walt Disney World guest will never order. Now, we’re all for people stepping outside their comfort zones and trying interesting food, but as a practical reality, a counter service restaurant at a Moderate Resort simply needs more options that are both safe and delicious. There are some great options at Centertown Market, but we’d like to see the more straightforward cuisine be improved upon, and that side of the menu expanded.
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If you have dined at Centertown Market, what was your experience? What specific entrees did you order, and what did you think of them? Did you eat here prior to the Old Port Royale re-imagining? Any other menu recommendations? Do you agree or disagree with our review? Any questions about Centertown Market? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
How far is the walk from the Skyliner station at CB to Centertown Market?
Am already planning for an early December 2020 visit to Disney and a stay at CBR. Really am disappointed that the buffet option at Centertown option is no more. Back to the drawing board.
We just returned from a 9 day stay at CBR and ate at Centertown multiple times. Our kids (9 and 12) are picky eaters and liked the kid menu. We often ate our lunch at Centertown when we came back to the resort midday to rest before heading out for the evening. My husband loved the Cuban sandwich and had it multiple times. I enjoyed the pulled pork at lunch and the beef stew over rice for dinner one evening. Very delicious.
Our departing flight wasn’t until the afternoon, but not long enough time to allow us to safely leave the resort for breakfast at DS and return in time to make it on ME. So, we had breakfast at Centertown. Another great meal.
We plan on staying at CBR again, and definitely recommend Centertown.
As a vegetarian I was THRILLED when this place opened! It’s my new go-to quick bite on property.
Thanks again Tom for the review of the various dishes at the new Centertown Market. Since I will be staying at CBR in the early Summer this review is particularly helpful. I’m not one to frequent Disney “food courts” as there are so many solid options like Disney Springs, but I’ve had some good experiences in the past at Coronado Springs and EPCOT. With that said, I am glad that you reviewed AND enjoyed some vegetarian options. If I know that I’m going to pig out that night on some seriously tasty meat, it wouldn’t hurt to “mix” in some vegetables as part of a somewhat healthier lifestyle. Because of your more than cursory review, I might take a stab at that veggie burger rather than go out of my way or face disappointment with the “standard” fare at these resorts. I certainly will not let the grub at the CBR food court influence any judgments I make about about my stay at this resort. Don’t get me wrong as it certainly is a big plus to have very good dining options at Disney World moderate resorts (Animal Kingdom Lodge comes to mind), but since other options do exist for the organized vacationer, I think the primary emphasis in a moderate resort should be on the quality of the rooms and their theme as well as the artful landscaping at many of these Disney resorts that create an ambience that is unrivaled by neighboring hotels outside Disney gates.
Spent a week her in December 19 thru 26th and did not eat one time at the Centertown. A few times I went to the Island Market was very disappointed in the selections I had to ask for Doritos that had not been restocked. The only thing my family and I did at Centertown was refill our refillable mugs. Nothing like the varieties they had at the All Star Music resort. On a positive note my husband and I did do the Caribbean Taco Trio from the Spyglass Grill and a strawberry daiquiri that was pretty good. Be careful if your there during a rainy /windy day those shades at the Spyglass Grill can get pretty nasty.
I plan on being at CBR over Easter weekend with my family and like the reviews of Centertown, there are some really bad (recent) reviews on TripAdvisor for the resort in general, especially the room conditions. I generally take the reviews of fellow travelers with the grain of salt but there are simply too many to ignore. Now I am concerned that we are walking into a situation where there is a better chance than not that we’re stuck with a bad room. What have been other folks’ experience with CBR lately? It seems the reviews by the “professionals” of the upgrades and the updates have been mostly positive. I got a good deal on our room so I am hesitant to change (water view for $225) but if I can do something to avoid any issues folks are seeing, I am all ears. Many thanks, this blog and its readers are so helpful!!!
Just there two weeks ago. No issues with room conditions besides our bathroom lock not working. We had adjoining rooms with my parents and their room was great! We were in preferred rooms in Martinique, my sister was in Jamaica and then moved to Martinique (water view), and had a broken lock on bathroom door and broken safe-both fixed right away. Bus service and food options were great- the only issue we had was spotty wifi.
What area of Martinique did you stay? We are staying there the end of March. We too are in a preferred room and requested Martinique. I am very picky and want a clean and nice room for the cost. Were you on the lower lever or on the upper level? Thanks for your response 🙂
Christy we were in building 24 on the upper level, very close to the pool and a short walk to the busses.
We have stayed at CBR well over 20 times in the past few years. I would not travel 4500 miles to stay at a resort that I did not think was not up to standard. We have never complained about anything, no need to. We always stay fo 2 weeks because of the flight. I am a fussy person and honestly I have never had a bad room. Yes I am worried this time about the food but there are plenty of other places to eat. Do not worry and enjoy it. Walk plenty and appreciate the greenery and flowers and the friendliness of staff and guests. ENJOY
Was there in late Nov., early Dec. For a NEW food court offering, It is Terrible!
If this is what’s in store moving forward, WDW is in trouble
The last time we were at CBR was May 2017. Centretent as we called it had just opened up. Speaking to the then food and beverage manager he assured us us that the buffet system would continue when the new Centretown would open. This is obviously not the case. In 2018 we went to old key west as we needed a separate bedroom, but on a tour of CBR was told everything would be as it was before. I have booked for May this year( my 75 th and our 55 th anniversary.). I am not looking forward to this new menu. Being British our tastes are very different but we manage very well. As long as there are toasters available and a shop to buy a loaf of bread (our breakfast) then we will be fine and have all our meals elsewhere. Riverside is one of our favourites. Please keep updates coming as we are too old now for last minute surprises.
We stayed at CBR in December. I wasn’t a fan of much of anything that Centertown had to offer. I like to try new and different things, but wasn’t intrigued by the menu at all. We dined for lunch on our arrival day out of necessity, nothing special. We found that the regular fare items were not so great despite being extremely hungry from not eating before our 6 AM flight. I also had breakfast (one of the “create your own bowls”) toward the end of our stay to use up a QS dining credit and it was definitely worse than the lunch. We opted to try Spyglass Grille one day and found it to be a little better. The fish tacos there were somewhat decent. When possible, we try to find a more interesting menu at restaurants in the parks.
I said the same in the earlier thread about the Old Port Royale makeover, but The Caribbean Taco Trio is another decent choice (Dinner only). Just keep the plaintain and yuca chips instead of substituting fries. As far as quality and diner satisfaction, that should improve as the menu settles over time and the staff continues to finds its footing.