Chefs de France Review
Les Chefs de France is a table service restaurant in Epcot’s France pavilion at Walt Disney World. This WDW dining review covers the lunch dinner menu at Chefs de France, with food photos, thoughts on cuisine, and whether this World Showcase cafe is worth the money. (Updated September 26, 2020.)
As part of Walt Disney World’s phased reopening, both table service restaurants in the France pavilion are currently closed. With that said, we have good news as DisneyWorld.com has updated the operating calendar for Chefs de France, which is scheduled to reopen for lunch and dinner on October 8, 2020.
We’re excited to see Chefs de France returning, especially with attendance and crowds starting to pick up at EPCOT. Here’s what you need to know about the reopening of Chefs de France, plus our full review and photos of the restaurant…
Advance Dining Reservations have now reopened for Chefs de France! Given the reduced restaurant capacity due to physical distancing and so many locations still being closed, ADRs have become somewhat competitive. Chefs de France is always popular, and we expect that to remain true.
As such, we highly recommend making a reservation ASAP while availability is still fairly abundant. Our strong recommendation would be eating as late as possible–ADRs are available up until park closing. Dine late and enjoy the slow stroll out of World Showcase after sunset when EPCOT is closed. It’s a great way to extend your day in the park!
Second, when Chefs de France initially reopens, its menu will be scaled back. This has happened at dining locations around Walt Disney World during the start of the phased reopening. Here’s a look at what’s currently listed:
During normal times, Chefs de France participates in the temporarily-suspended Disney Dining Plan as a one credit table service meal. If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, it is an exceptional pick for dinner because of several pricey entrees, making it one of the top restaurants for maximizing your bang for buck on the Dining Plan.
In terms of other discounts, Chefs de France accepts the Tables in Wonderland card for a 20% discount. In the past, Chefs de France has also offered 10% off for Disney Vacation Club members and Annual Passholders (with certain restrictions), but it’s unclear whether that will be the case upon reopening.
How do you say “meh” in French? Well, my French is a bit rusty, but I’m thinking it’s something along the lines of les chefs de france. We’ve been to Chefs de France a couple of times in recent years, and both times the experience was roughly the same. Overpriced, so-so food and pleasant ambiance together culminating in a restaurant that is passable, and sort of French. It’s not that Chefs de France is a bad restaurant. It’s really not.
It’s just an ‘okay’ experience, not one of the elite World Showcase restaurants (certainly not on par with the superlative Monsieur Paul located above it on the pavilion’s second floor). You might walk away having had a pretty decent meal, but it’s probably nothing that will knock your socks off, and it’s not the kind of highly authentic experience that will make you ‘lose yourself’ in the theming of the World Showcase.
In terms of ambiance, we’ve found that there are two sides to this coin. On the one hand, Chefs de France does feel a lot like a Parisian cafe with an airy design, textures, and rich woods all in a fairly unassuming but nice-looking design. On the other hand, it’s oversized, has no patio seating, and is always obnoxiously loud.
Now, Disney can’t do anything about that last one, but it’s still a characteristic of the restaurant. As a result of all of this, the restaurant feels loosely French, but doesn’t fully evoke its namesake country like other restaurants in the World Showcase. Maybe it would be better at an off-hour?
As for the food, it’s not bad. I don’t think it’s great, either. The meal starts with a crusted baguette. Baguettes are a type of bread that I really enjoy, but I find awkward to eat with others.
There’s no simple way to divide them up, and I don’t exactly want my table mates touching my food, nor do I want to touch theirs. That’s just a personal thing and not all that relevant. This baguette was pretty good.
On our last visit, I started with the Lobster Bisque soup. It had large chunks of lobster, and the flavor was rich and creamy with just the right amount of buttery flavor.
This was definitely the highlight of my meal.
One of our friends who joined us for dinner ordered the Salade NiÃ§oise, which is salad with Ahi tuna, tomato, green beans, bell peppers, potatoes hard boiled eggs, olives, anchovies, vinaigrette. He seemed to really like this, and the greens and tuna both looked fresh, and as if it were a well put together mix. I’d consider this as an appetizer next time (or even a light main course).
In the past, we’ve done the Plateau de fromages de France (Cheese Board), and it was excellent. I love cheeses, and this was a solid mix. The price was a bit difficult to swallow, but overall the breads and various cheeses made for a tasty appetizer to share.
So far, so good, right? For her entree, Sarah ordered the Bouillabaisse de fruits de mer, which is a seafood platter consisting of seared scallops, shrimp and mahi-mahi served in a saffron broth with fennel and potatoes.
She described this as being decently prepared, but lacking any complexity or richness in flavor. It was more or less bland and mild. It probably would have rated better if it weren’t a $30+ entree.
I ordered the Plat de cÃ´tes de boeuf au Cabernet, which is beef short ribs. I debated back and forth between this and the Duck Breast with Cherries, but I had the duck breast last time, and it was only okay-to-good, so I figured I’d give the beef short ribs a try.
I had heard people rave about the beef short ribs, so I figured why not? Unfortunately, there was just something amiss, and the flavor was lacking. Sure, they were tender, but they basically tasted like a mild pot roast. Again, not quite what was expected for a ~$30 entree.
For dessert, I opted for the Puff choux with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. This was pretty good. It had a variety of textures and contrasting tastes, and it wasn’t lacking in the flavor department.
It wasn’t the best dessert I’ve had at Walt Disney World, but I have no complaints.
Sarah got the assortment of fresh sorbets with madeleine. She called this her favorite part of the meal, being a delicious assortment with strong flavor. For what seemed (to me) like a simple dessert, she was really impressed with it.
Overall, Les Chefs de France will probably at least deliver you an okay, middle of the road meal, but if our experience is any indication, it won’t leave any sort of lasting impression. We’ve found it to be expensive with entree quality that doesn’t quite match the prices, and food slightly lacking in flavor. Even with all of this said, I’m not giving up on Les Chefs de France. I truly do not think it’s a bad restaurant, or even just a mediocre one.
Yes, we have had ‘meh’ experiences here, but I want to believe this place is good. We will be back here, probably in the near future and probably next time for lunch. I just refuse to believe this is only an okay restaurant. Every time I see photos of things I haven’t had here, I salivate. I still want to believe Les Chefs de France is a winner, and we just haven’t had the best of luck. Maybe I’m crazy, or maybe it really just is an okay restaurant. Not every restaurant can be amazing, some restaurants have to be just okay–that’s how things work. I just wish it weren’t a French restaurant that were only okay…
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Have you dined at Les Chefs de France? Did you find it bad, meh, or great? What did you order? What about the ambiance? Prefer other restaurants in World Showcase–or even within the France pavilion? Do you agree or disagree with our review? Any questions we can help you answer? 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!
We dined here last night. Overall it was a good experience (maybe because we were back in the parks for the the first time in a long time?). The highlight was my wife’s dish, the Ratatouille sur quinoa served on quinoa with kale. I had food envy! It was delicious and appears to be a updated version. My steak dinner was so-so. We had charcuterie as an appetizer and very nice Pinot. Our server was terrific. We skipped desert and picked up some of favorites goodies inside the France pavilion. It was our first time at les Chefs. I would go back for Ratatouille. They also had a chicken salad with romaine on the menu fo $29 – I was tempted to see what a $30 salad tasted like, but decided to pass since we will be on the salad diet when we get back home.
We ate there in August 2019. Theming and wait staff were spot on. Food was enjoyable. The menu a prix fixe is the only way to get a “free” dinner salad with the standard dining plan. (My request to substitute a dinner salad for a dessert has never worked.) However, this restaurant might win the award for most crowded in all of Disney! If they keep all the tables in place under the new phase three Florida COVID guidelines you will be dining practically on top of your neighbor. Disney, please remove some tables like you should have all along!
Thank you for the update. My daughter and I enjoy Chef’s de France. She is only 11 but she loves it and I love it because she will try new things there and eat every bite. We have an October trip planned and I was initially pretty disappointed to see that Chef’s de France might be closed. When I realized it would be open, I was so excited…..BUT, the menu is very limited. I understand the food cost factors that are driving the limited menus; however, the menu is limited too much for us. The lobster bisque is not on the menu and neither are the entrees we enjoy. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but we’re going to pass in October. We’ll wait until another trip when a full menu is in place. I have no doubt they will be busy and booked, and I’m happy for the staff that it’s reopening soon.
The reservations are up for when I looked in October 12th!
One thing didn’t mention…….I ate there with my two daughters, 24 and 28, and my niece, 27. The food was only so-so, but the 20 somethings were practically drooling over the waiters. One of my daughters took French in high school and loved conversing in her limited French with our waiter. So while the food was not very memorable, the experience was.
I think much like Donna I must have lucked out when we went back in December 2013. We ate there for our Candlelight Processional Package. I had the Lasagnes de légumes du soleil Á l’huile d’olive au thym (Vegetable Lasagna) which I thought was fantastic. My Mom had the Canard aux cerises (Duck Breast with Cherries) and my Dad had the Boeuf Bourguignon, linguine (Braised Beef). Both like their’s a lot. Mom said her chicken was great, not dry at all. For the appetizer we had the cheese plate, salad, and French Onion soup. For dessert we had Cygne au chocolat, Creme Brulee, and Tarte aux Pommes, all of which we loved. We had a 5pm reservation for dinner and they really didn’t have very many people there when we got there. We sat in the Observatory and loved the ambiance. I will say that about the time we left, 6:15(ish), they started filling up and it did start to get louder, not obnoxiously though.
I just stumbled upon this blog but I had a wondrous lunch here in Spring 2015. The restaurant was busy but not packed and we are at about 2pm. Our waiter was wonderful and as my whole table (besides me) speak fluent french, we had a great time talking with him in French about his homeland and story. I had a sand which with salmon and it was amazing. I’m a very pick eater but U loved it. The French onion soup was also great. But the star of literally my entire trip was the vanilla creme brÃ»lée I had. I still have dreams about it. It was creamy, rich, and worth every bite. Also the size was generous in my opinion. The portions and meal is also much more worth going at lunch since it is quite a bit cheaper. Right outside there was a show of men standing chairs on top of each other until it was 10 high and then balancing on it themselves. Quite neat. So I would try it again for lunch and see if your opinion changes!
I have dined at Chefs multiple times. Couldn’t agree with this review more, except for the baguettes. Just pick one up in the bag they serve it in and hold the protruding end with your hand and break while securing the bagged end. Bread is consistently good.
The boullabaise was lifeless. The shrimp were nice, the scallops nice. But the saffron broth? No saffron or way over-cooked. No flavor to speak of. Go to Marsailles. It’s cheaper lol.
Onion soup is ok but you’ll do better at home caramelizing a pot of onions in the oven for 2 hours. And you shouldn’t have to. You should be able to fork over some cash at Chefs.
Salmon was delicious. The big off pile of beans they serve it on okay. Where are the greens in this place?
escargot were top notch.
I really want to go to Monsieur Paul when I’m at Epcot with pople who know how to hold a fork and use a napkin. Meaning, that may never happen.
Thanks for the feedback on everything. Your last two lines made me laugh out loud–in fairness, I don’t think Monsieur Paul is all that refined. When it changed over from Bistro de Paris, I hear they pretty well dumbed it down, unfortunate as that may be…
Given what you say above, perhaps we just got lucky here. We arrived at Chefs de France quite unexpectedly on a rainy day in April this year. It was 2pm, we hadn’t eaten and it had started to pour. Chefs de France was right nearby and there were only a few tables occupied so it was an easy decision. Rain trickling down the conservatory windows, looking out onto the garden beds next door and a fresh,warm baguette, tasty French Onion soup and Croque Monsieur vastly improved our situation. We had a lovely long chat to some of the staff about their homeland and what it is like to grow up in France, (our kids were full of questions) and by the time we left, felt that we had experienced a tiny bit of Paris.
Maybe the trick was an off peak lunch visit? We certainly hadn’t researched this restaurant like others and so had no expectations either.
That’s interesting, and it certainly sounds like you had a great experience there. I have never seen it slow like that, but I’m sure it would improve the experience substantially, as would the great interactions with the servers. Thanks for sharing your experience!
Sounds like we were lucky. The whole park was slow because it was a rainy day, but when you travel all the way from Australia, you can’t let a few raindrops interfere! We paid for it the next day, the sun came out and the crowds were so large in the Magic Kingdom that they extended the operating hours. At least now we know what it might be like at a busier time of year…..
By the way, thanks so much for your blog. I read it all the time and have sent the link to my friends planning trips.
Chefs de France accepts the Tables in Wonderland card for LUNCH only. This change came about several months ago. Dinner is full priced for TIW card holders with NO 20% discount.
Lucky Disneyland Paris is filled with restaurants serving nothing but the finest French food.
(I think I managed to say that with a straight face!)
I’ve been there twice and agree with the ‘Meh’ sentiment. It’s okay, but there are much better options.
Son and I ate there this past August after several trips to WDW and never getting there. Well, mark it off the list and say we’ve been there. Ate early dinner. Did seem like a busy French bistro. Escargot was great. Everything else was ok. I had the chicken. A bit dry; chicken is much better at Flame tree @ Animal kingdom. Son had macaroni and cheese. He liked it. Service was quick, except our waiter seemed to forget about us. For the $100 tab, it wasn’t worth it, IMHO…. No Remy….
Much, much better value for lunch.
We ate here in 2013 and Remy was the best part of our meal, and now that he no longer appears, I’m sure we won’t be back. The tables are so close together that it is almost as if the parties beside you are actually sitting with you. When you have 3 little ones, this compounds the stress of trying to make them have good table manners. I had the mac n cheese (can’t remember the french name) and it was okay but bland. My husband had whatever steak option was there, and he said that the Coral Reef’s steak that he had had earlier that week was far better. My kids loved their chicken strips. I couldn’t believe how tiny the dessert was! I had the same cream puff pictured in the article, but mine only came with one, not two, and was swimming in chocolate sauce on a huge plate making the tininess of it amusing. I don’t think it was as big as a half dollar… but Remy and his handler were hilarious, and my kids talked about him all week!
Funny, we ate at both Coral Reef and Chefs de France in early December and found it to be much better than Coral Reef. At Chefs, I got a fillet. At Coral Reef, I had a nasty, fatty, gross New York Strip. Funny how that quality seems to vary so much from month to month. I thought Coral Reef was awful. I thought CdF was very good.
My husband and I had a similar experience to you and Sarah when we are here. We had a wonderful server, the restaurant was beautiful, but it was loud and neither of unseen remembers what we ordered. The only thing memorable to us was the delicious strong coffee we had after dinner. It doesn’t say much for the restaurant that the best course was the coffee service! Nothing was bad, it just wasn’t as memorable as fantastic as other foods we have eaten in the World Showcase or the rest of Walt Disney World. I’m going back here in February with a friend of mine. Hopefully it’s a more memorable experience this time! (She’s never been!)
I think this restaurant is only raved about by people who’ve never actually eaten in France. Once you have had the real thing, there is no going back.
I was a Chef in the restaurant. The food is horrible. Everything is made well in advance. And heated right before dinner service. The onion soup is water onions an a little beef base no were near a real onion soup.
All the reviews are close to the mark.
The service and ambiance is very good.
The food good particularly the desserts.
We chose the tart flambe to share which was a frozen version heated.
The steaks were good but the fruit de mer is to be avoided. Poorly cooked (I sent one back) and tiny portion.
if you haven’t had the French Onion Soup here, you’ve really never eaten here. By far the best French Onion Souo I’ve ever had before. The Mac and cheese dish and the ham and cheese sandwich are also fantastic. This is my favorite restaurant at WDW and I’ve been many times just to get the soup.
We have eaten there several times. While it wasn’t knock-your-socks-off-fantastic, we enjoyed it. I had the salmon the last time I was there, and it was delicious. You mentioned that they do not have patio seating. Back in the 80s, about half of the restaurant WAS patio seating. The idea was to replicate the sidewalk cafes of Paris. The whole glass-enclosed back room used to be outdoors. Since Florida has a lot of less than pleasant weather, there were often long waits for indoor tables while the outdoor tables remained unused. They responded by enclosing the entire restaurant. One thing I do miss about this place is Remy. A couple of years ago, a cast member would walk around with a covered platter, remove the cover, and surprise guests with a cute little audioanimatronic Remy! Alas, Remy is no longer a part of the experience.
Are you certain it no longer happens? I was there in May 2013, and we made lunch reservations for Chefs de France on our last day – Saturday – and Remy came around to our table. (That was actually my favorite part of the whole meal. The food was just… fine.) My friend who made the reservation for us said he’d read somewhere that Remy only shows up a couple times a week now. We were lucky it happened to be on our day.
My understanding is that Remy no longer appears. It’s too bad, because that was the highlight of our meal in December of 2012. I’d eaten at Chefs de France one time prior to that and had a very good meal, but this last time was just alright. Nothing to write home about. I can’t imagine myself eating there again anytime soon. Not when there are other places in Epcot that I haven’t eaten in yet and there are places there which I really love, including Restaurant Marrakesh right next door in Morocco.
We went last year basically to see remy. My kid loves that rat. That was the whole reason we tried to the place. I really liked my food while my husband didn’t love it. We would go back if remy was there but I am pretty sure he’s gone now =(
I can confirm Remy is no longer there. I had specifically chosen this restaurant on a trip in 2012 just to see Remy, however on my most recent trip (May 2014), I was told he is no longer appearing. Too bad really… perhaps it took too long to go from table to table.