Kringla Bakeri og Kafe is a bakery and counter service restaurant in Epcot’s Norway at Walt Disney World. It has a menu with entrees, drinks, and desserts, but the real draw here is the desserts. Kringla is arguably the best bakery in Epcot, with a variety of popular snacks. These desserts include School Bread, which has a cult following, and Lefse, which should have a cult following. Kringla participates in the Disney Dining Plan, with options for using counter service credits and snack credits.
In terms of location, Kringla is located in the village-front between the Stave Church and the Norway gift shops (and the Frozen Princess Meet & Greet), and across from Akershus. Unlike the newly-opened Les Halles in France, Kringla Bakeri og Kafe is small. Essentially, you’re in the front door, through the line, and out the other to the covered, outdoor seating area. It’s definitely not a place you’ll want to go for a snack or meal if you’re looking to escape the weather. It’s popular for guests on the Disney Dining Plan and guests paying out of pocket, thanks to a variety of snacks with a range of prices.
While it’s technically counter service, Kringla is better known as a bakery. This is not to say that the limited menu of meal items is bad (quite to the contrary), it’s just that the desserts cast a pretty long shadow. We generally only get dessert here, but that’s usually because we’ve already eaten somewhere else or are disregarding proper nutrition and are Snacking Around the World Showcase, but can’t resist a Kringla dessert. The “regular” food at Kringla actually makes it one of the better World Showcase counter service menus.
There are several good bakeries in the Epcot area (“area” is intentional here as BoardWalk Bakery rivals the best of them!), but Kringla is definitely our favorite. It’s right up there with Sunshine Seasons (which also has a solid selection of desserts) as the restaurant we visit most at Walt Disney World. We probably stop at Kringla once per trip, and 50% of the time, we get the exact same thing. Still, over time we’ve sampled just about everything on the menu.
The “mascot” of Kringla is a pretzel wearing a crown. I would have gone with a puffin wearing viking horns holding up a piece of School Bread at the edge of the Norwegian equivalent of Pride Rock a la Rafiki and Simba, but what do I know. A royal pretzel has its own kind of charm, too, I suppose.
Once you cross under the royal pretzel, you are exposed to the world of goodness that is Kringla Bakeri og Kafe. (Roughly translated, I believe it means “Krazy-Awesome Bakery…or Cafe.” Or something like that.) Let’s take a look at the menu of the bakery or cafe…
First up is that “50% of the time” pick: School Bread. If you haven’t heard of School Bread…greetings! Hopefully that rock you’ve been living under wasn’t too uncomfortable. 😉 School Bread is a deliciously doughy bun filled with custard and topped with toasted coconut shavings. It’s also less than $3. I’m pretty sure it’s called School Bread because if you pair it with a Carlsberg, you receive an honorary Ph.D. in Tastellence.
This is the Cloudberry Horn. On our most recent visit to Epcot, we noticed this had been renamed to the “Troll Horn.” There was no discernible difference between the two, so I assume it’s just the same thing with an attempt at a clever name. It’ll always be the Cloudberry Horn to me, and it’s my second (or perhaps third now that I’ve tried the Lefse…it’s a tough call) favorite dessert to the School Bread. The delicious berry cream and the slight crunch of the flaky pastry make for an excellent snack.
Next up is the Lefse. This has been on the menu for over a year now, but we just had the chance to try it. Sarah wasn’t nearly as impressed with this as I was, but I think this is the “Next Big Thing” at Walt Disney World. It’s sort of like a churro that actually tastes good (sorry, churro fans!), with potato bread wrapped around delicious cinnamon-sugar butter. The cinnamon-sugar butter is the star (so sweet and delicious), and as unhealthy as it might sound, I could eat the stuff by itself, but the potato bread balances out the flavor and gives the snack a soft, substantive aspect. (The butter to bread ratio is perfect on it.) Right now, it’s only $1.99, too. An under $2 snack is unheard of at Walt Disney World (I literally cannot think of any others).
The Berry Cream Puff (left) is another excellent choice. This is another excellent choice. It’s a nice, flaky pastry with a liberal helping of whipped cream and fresh berries in the middle. It’s huge and delicious.
This is the Viking Chocolate Mousse. Anywhere else, we’d consider this a solid dessert. At Kringla, it’s not something we’d order again. Given the size, we feel that you’re paying a premium for the horn-y presentation. The chocolate ganache is good, but it’s sort of a one-note dessert.
The Verdens Beste falls into the same category as the Viking Chocolate Mousse, although we definitely prefer it (and would probably order it again). The rum cake here is moist, and the custard make this a winner. As for the almond meringue…that depends upon your perspective.
These are just a handful of the many desserts we’ve tried during our visits to Kringla. The bakery has had a pretty constant menu over the years, with favorites like School Bread having been served for years, but other things have come and gone. If any of these items do disappear, you really still can’t go wrong.
In terms of food, the options on the limited menu are almost universally good. The only downside is that they’re pre-made sandwiches that are toasted once you order them. We’ve found that this can mean the bread is a bit hard after being toasted, or the meat and cheese are overcooked. Generally, this is not an issue, but we have had it happen to us more than once. Above is the Roast Beef Sandwich. It’s the least unique of the bunch, but it’s really good. The meat and jarlsberg cheese go great together.
The Norwegian Club is the winner of the menu, at least of what I’ve tried. It’s much like a regular club, but with a Norwegian twist thanks to the jarlsberg cheese and lingonberry mayo. Thanks to the mayonnaise, the sandwich has a slightly tart flavor, although this is pretty well balanced out by the ham. My preference would be for this to be on a different type of bread as I felt the multi-grain was a bit much, but I’m not much of a multi-grain fan.
Overall, Kringla Bakeri og Kafe is one of the top bakeries and counter service restaurants at Epcot. Although its menu reflects the fact that it’s a bakery first and cafe second, the sandwiches shouldn’t be dismissed too quickly. The bakery side is one of our favorites at Walt Disney World, and quite possibly the best in Epcot. In terms of ambiance, Kringla is very basic, but the seating area is pleasant and there are plenty of places to sit and eat your snacks around World Showcase, so it’s tough to be overly critical in that regard. We highly recommend Kringla for a snack spot, and also recommend it for a counter service option if on this side of World Showcase. Norway is certainly better than Mexico and China when it comes to counter service dining!
Overall Score: 9.5/10
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What do you think of Kringla Bakeri og Kafe? Do you have a favorite snack? Fan of School Bread or Lefse? If you have any questions or thoughts to share, please post them in the comments. We love hearing from readers!