Walt Disney World has hundreds of table service restaurants, and this list covers the 10 best. We’ve dined at all of the top dining spots in the parks, resorts, Disney Springs, and nearby third-party hotels in Orlando, Florida, and these are our favorites. We’ve had so many good dinners that it’s difficult to narrow down this list of the best table service restaurants at Walt Disney World. (Last updated September 1, 2019.)
With the exception of the #1 restaurant, all restaurants listed participate in the Disney Dining Plan. Most of them are Signature Restaurants, meaning they cost two-credit table service restaurants on the Disney Dining Plan. (Really, if you’re planning on dining at these restaurants, the Deluxe Disney Dining Plan–or paying out of pocket–is the way to go.) Eight also accept the Tables in Wonderland card for a 20% discount. We update this list regularly based on recent meals we’ve had at Walt Disney World, and a few restaurants seem to come and go every year…
Despite eating way too many meals per year at Walt Disney World, keeping this list updated is still a constant battle. In 2019 alone, several new restaurants have opened, each of which arguably deserve a spot on the list. This includes Takumi Tei in Epcot’s Japan pavilion, Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood, and Jaleo by José Andrés. Later this year, Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera and Space 220 Restaurant in Epcot will debut, each of which could also merit inclusion.
We’re always hesitant to add new restaurants to the list because quality and menus often change after the initial ‘test and adjust’ period. However, at least a couple of those restaurants will likely earn spots on this list when we update again in December 2019, so stay tuned for that if you’re planning a 2020 Walt Disney World vacation.
Additionally, we intend upon dining more at Four Seasons Orlando, Waldorf Astoria, Swan & Dolphin, and other high profile Orlando, Florida restaurants that are technically on Walt Disney World property. We’ve already done several meals at these hotels, but plan to revisit them and potentially open up the list to those fine dining options, as well.
It’s worth noting that this list emphasizes cuisine over theme. Many Walt Disney World fan-favorite restaurants, including some that we love, have been “snubbed” from this list. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t great options, especially for families. This includes Boma, Garden Grill, Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’, Tusker House, Biergarten, Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, Cinderella’s Royal Table, ‘Ohana, Raglan Road, and Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen.
Below is a brief synopsis why each restaurant makes the Top 10 list of Walt Disney World table service restaurants. Click the restaurant name for our full review of each restaurant. Okay, let’s take a look at which Walt Disney World restaurants made the cut…
T10. Hollywood Brown Derby – The first two restaurants are “compromise picks” that make the list in large part because we want each Walt Disney World theme park to be represented. We prefer dining at the resort hotels and Disney Springs, but the reality is that most tourists are going to eat 75% or more of their lunches and dinners in the parks. As such, we want to present some realistic options…that we also happen to love, even if they might not be deserving of a spot in a strictly-objective top 10 best restaurants at Walt Disney World list.
In any case, Hollywood Brown Derby is one of the most well-rounded restaurants at Walt Disney World and is the best in-park dining option at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It has sophisticated ambiance, a well-executed theme that gives it that touch of Disney and old Hollywood charm.
Hollywood Brown Derby can be either a very expensive restaurant, or a relatively inexpensive restaurant depending upon whether you do lunch or dinner, and what you order. For a relatively low price, you can have one of the most iconic meals at Walt Disney World by ordering the Famous Cobb Salad and the Grapefruit Cake (both pictured above).
The Cobb Salad at the Brown Derby is colossal and contains a kitchen sink of awesome ingredients. Beaches & Cream really ought to consider adding it to the menu there and calling it the “Kitchen Sink Salad.” The Grapefruit Cake is the Brown Derby’s second most famed dish, and is quite unique. Even if you don’t follow this strategy to make the Brown Derby more reasonably priced, it’s still an excellent restaurant worthy of being included on this list.
Depending upon who you ask, Be Our Guest Restaurant is either overrated or the best thing ever. We place it somewhere in between. Be Our Guest Restaurant’s dinner menu is very good, although quality and preparation can be wildly inconsistent (we’ve always had good luck). While you won’t find anything particularly inventive at Be Our Guest Restaurant, you will find some high-quality appetizers and entrees that are quite tasty.
9. Sanaa – Sanaa scores a lot of points for offering a unique and excellent menu, and for better price points than the Signature restaurants on this list. Sanaa also has incredible ambiance, with views of animals grazing outside the restaurant. The out of the way location of Sanaa at Kidani Village means that Sanaa is rarely overly crowded, which adds to its intimacy and also means you will usually have an attentive server.
The menu at Sanaa is quite remarkable for a Walt Disney World restaurant, with a lot of options that might scare away the regular tourist who simply wants meat and potatoes. You can find options like that at Sanaa (don’t worry, there’s a “regular” steak), but the majority of the menu is a bit more adventurous. This excellent unique menu is what separates Sanaa from a lot of other Walt Disney World restaurants, and reasonable prices (especially at lunch) on many delicious menu items makes it one of the 10 best table service restaurants at Walt Disney World.
8. The Boathouse – In the last few years, Disney Springs has gone from a place only to be visited if you wanted to get some shopping done, or maybe dinner at Raglan Road, to an integral part of any Walt Disney World vacation. There are a number of reasons for this, but the main one is unquestionably dining.
Our list of the best table service restaurants at Disney Springs features 5 locations that arguably could’ve made this list. The best among these is The Boathouse, which offers fine dining and a fun atmosphere. While the theme may seem at odds with the Signature status, it works for the style of restaurant on the waterfront at Disney Springs. 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 couple of years.
7. Tiffins – A tribute to the explorations and travels that provided the genesis of Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, Tiffins simultaneously feels like dining in an art gallery, and eating at a high-end, low-key restaurant where globe-trotting Imagineers would themselves dine. Fortunately, it’s not a hodgepodge or scholar’s den of eccentricities, and instead is presented as a carefully-curated art gallery, with great attention to detail in the overall Tiffins dining experience.
The menu at Tiffins is delightful, with a variety of ambitious dishes that are adventurous and reflective of the restaurant’s overarching theme. Again, it’s all about attention to detail here, with everything from presentation to the confluence of flavors making Tiffins a winner. There are several approachable options here, but Tiffins is a great place to challenge your taste buds, step outside your comfort zone, and take a veritable adventure in dining.
6. Yachtsman Steakhouse – A carnivore’s paradise, Yachtsman Steakhouse is the place to go at Walt Disney World for glorious cuts of meat. This is apparent as soon as you walk in the entrance where you see…a butcher in a case booth making the “magic” happen. It also manages an upscale setting, with sophisticated design, rich woods, and a classy interior.
You really can’t go wrong with the cuts of meat here. Whether you get the Porterhouse for 2 (a steak that was, quite literally, bigger than my head) or exercise more “restraint” with the 8-oz Black Angus Filet Mignon, you’re in for a treat. Although Yachtsman Steakhouse has other menu items besides awesome cuts of meat, these are where the menu shines. The menu full of steakhouse classics makes it the most approachable Signature Restaurant at Walt Disney World, and something that even “meat and potatoes” kinds of guests will enjoy. Although we’re adventurous, we’re also avid carnivores, so Yachtsman Steakhouse scores very well.
5. Flying Fish – What Yachtsman Steakhouse is to steak, Flying Fish is to seafood. That is to say, it’s the place to go at Walt Disney World if you want some excellent seafood. Located on the BoardWalk, Flying Fish is the perfect adult’s night out, as you can enjoy the ambiance of the BoardWalk after a meal at the restaurant. The ambiance of Flying Fish is also great, with nice decor and an open kitchen and nice bar that add to the energy of the restaurant.
The Signature Flying Fish Cafe “Blue Crab Bisque” is a popular appetizer, but the “Tour of the Coast” is a good way to sample a variety of options. In terms of entrees, the filet is shockingly good, but we’d recommend sticking to seafood (go to #2 if you’re in the mood for a steak). Dessert rounds out the experience with a lot of interesting options. For a Signature seafood restaurant, prices are surprisingly fair, which also helps bump Flying Fish into the top 5.
4. California Grill – Once again in the upper echelon of Walt Disney World restaurants thanks to a reboot, California Grill offers incredible ambiance and undoubtedly the best views of any restaurant at Walt Disney World. Sophisticated decor with a view from the top of the world, a dinner at California Grill is the perfect way to spend an evening at Walt Disney World. When dining at California Grill, a window table is almost a must. Make ADRs for about an hour before the Magic Kingdom’s fireworks, and be willing to wait for a window table.
California Grill is a Signature restaurant, serving California fusion cuisine. The menu is diverse, ranging from sushi to flatbreads to fine dining main stays. My personal favorite dish is the Oak-fired Filet of Beef, which is expensive, but very good. The Duck Two Ways is a more reasonably-priced option that likely won’t disappoint. The food at California Grill is inventive, but worth the money. Desserts and cocktails here are also excellent at California Grill, so only the occasional misstep on entrees prevents Cali Grill from attaining greatness.
3. Jiko – The Cooking Place – The ambiance in Jiko, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, is impeccable with appropriate lighting and properly spaced tables for a Signature Walt Disney World restaurant. The color palette of the restaurant changes to mimic an African sunset as the night progresses. The service is also excellent, with servers who are knowledgeable about the menu and the extensive drink list. Its prices are in line with other Signature restaurants, so it’s no gem from a value perspective, but the cuisine is worth the prices.
Menu-wise, Jiko is basically Sanaa on steroids. There are plenty of interesting choices that make the meal a veritable safari…for your taste buds! (Okay, that was corny, but I just had to…) There are great flatbread starters as well as less-conventional choices. The entree menu has plenty of choices, but my favorite by far (off-menu now) is the filet with mac & cheese. Other great choices include the Grilled-marinated Lamb Loin and Braised Beef Short Rib. Desserts are equally varied.
2. Monsieur Paul– Despite being the most sophisticated in-park restaurant at Walt Disney World, Monsieur Paul is still very approachable. It’s opulent and well-appointed without being intimidating or overly stuffy. The Art Nouveau design, details, and table settings make clear that Monsieur Paul is a fine dining restaurant, but wall photos of the late Chef Paul Bocuse with giant mice and a rat help to remind that this restaurant is indeed in a Walt Disney World theme park.
Cuisine at Monsieur Paul is a veritable Tour de France, with each dish offering tremendous nuance and variety. Presentation is meticulous and exquisite, flavors are bold and inventive, and service is attentive. With that said, Monsieur Paul won’t be for everyone. As noted, Monsieur Paul is fine dining, and the emphasis here is on quality over quantity. If you’re looking for one of the best meals you can have at Walt Disney World, look no further. If you’re looking for one of the biggest meals, look elsewhere.
1. Victoria & Albert’s – Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is the absolute best restaurant at Walt Disney World, and by a wide margin. It’s the only AAA 5-Diamond restaurant in the Orlando area and one of the top-rated restaurants in all of Florida. The restaurant is quiet and well-appointed, and the service is exquisite.
Victoria & Albert’s offers a prix fixe six-course meal (we won’t fixate on each “best” menu item) consisting of gourmet and specialty fine dining options, along with other “premium” items that can be ordered for an additional charge. If you’re a real foodie, you can also book the Chef’s Table for a unique, albeit less romantic, dining option. Given all of this, why would Victoria & Albert’s not be #1 on anyone’s list?
Price. The fixed-price cost for the regular dining room starts at $185 per person and with wine pairings and upgrades, the cost can easily eclipse $600 for a couple. That said, even the price can’t prevent Victoria & Albert’s from snagging the #1 slot here by a wide margin. This is because, for the type of restaurant it is, it’s pretty well priced, and because the food really is that good.
Everything about the restaurant is exquisite, making it far and away the best restaurant at Walt Disney World. It’s somewhere everyone who enjoys fine dining should eat at least once. In terms of value, even at its high cost, I would rate Victoria & Albert’s very highly. In my mind, it’s one of the few restaurants at Walt Disney World that would not be overpriced in the real world for the food and service it offers. That’s high praise for a meal that cost us over $300!
There you have it, our top 10 list of table service restaurants at Walt Disney World. You may notice that a lot of popular restaurants didn’t make this list. This includes a handful of Signature Restaurants, a high number of superlative Disney Springs options, and a few under-the-radar fan favorites. As we said above, it was difficult to narrow the list down to the 10 best table service restaurants at Walt Disney World…but we managed to do it!
Do you agree with our top 10 table service restaurants at Walt Disney World? Any restaurants that you’d add to the list? Any dining spots we list that you do not think are worthy of a spot? What are your favorite table service restaurants in Walt Disney World? Any questions? 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!