he most magical place on earth has a reputation for the dreams it makes come true — through its characters, its immersive lands and stunning parades. We forget that all of that magic tends to make us really hungry. Like … really hungry. Hidden throughout the theme park’s many lands are places to chow down, for every price budget. We put together a Disneyland Foodie Guide to get you to the most mouth-watering worthy spots scattered throughout the park that are just as magical as Sleeping Beauty’s castle.
1. Market House AKA Starbucks
Don’t try to trick yourself. You’re not a kid anymore. And most likely, you probably have one or two small gremlins hanging off you that are high off of all that magical air. So, you are definitely going to need a pick me up. Disneyland has cleverly disguised their Starbucks franchises to fit into the scenery. Formerly a breakfast joint that was known as the Market House, Disneyland has renovated it to be a good ol’ Starbucks waiting with open arms (actually, incredibly long lines, but what’s the difference really?) for you, equipped with all the quad-shot glory that you’re gonna need to power through all the people equally as hyped to get on the Matterhorn. We recommend spotting all of the coffee-serving joints throughout the park so that you never lose that caffeine buzz. You’re gonna need it.
2. Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe
Located off Main Street, this cheery place is a staple for any Disneyland regular. Cherry lemonade, mouth-watering pastries and some pretty nice sandwiches, this place is a sweet stop for lunch or a mid-afternoon snack. It is also so adorable; you’ll want to buy all of the souvenir cups and Mickey-shaped cookies that you can fit in your Chewbacca backpack that you bought in Tomorrowland.
3. Refreshment Corner
Snugly situated in the corner of Main Street, Refreshment Corner is home to the highly coveted mac and cheese hot dog. People come far and wide to try a bite of this dog, sandwiched between a Disney-approved bun, topped with creamy mac and cheese, and sprinkled with bacon bits. This hot dog is probably the most exciting thing on the menu, but they also have chili scooped into bread bowls and soft pretzels — all accompanied by ragtime piano music. We can’t help but tap our toes as we gobble down our goodies.
4. Litte Red Wagon
Every Disneyland fanatic will know of this iconic red trolley cart parked at the end of Main Street. Dueling out corn dogs left and right, this corn dog stand has stood the test of time. We still hear people, who aren’t even that big of fans of Disneyland, talk about how they crave the corndogs from that “one red hot dog cart” before Tomorrowland. Leave it to Disney to make even something as simple as a corn dog become a magical event.
5. Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor
Even more iconic than the Little Red Wagon corn dog cart, Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor is usually a must-stop for those on Main Street. Exuding with the ambiance of an old-timey sundae shop, Gibson Girl just serves Dryer’s ice cream in a few simple flavors. There’s nothing too extra about this joint, except the atmosphere and the memories make this ice cream taste five times better than a typical ice cream cone. Go for mint piled high in a waffle cone dipped in chocolate and rainbow sprinkles or split a sundae with your loved ones. Our favorite? The Chocolate Chip Cookie Hot Fudge Sundae, which is precisely how it sounds. Two scoops of creamy vanilla ice cream get sandwiched between two freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, topped with layers of gooey hot fudge, piled high with whipped cream, and then lovingly decorated with a cherry on top. Seating is hard to find here, so if you see a table, snag it!
6. The Bengal Barbecue
A must stop for the skewer connoisseur, this joint located across from Jungle Cruise and Tarzan’s Treehouse is great for a quick bite. From bacon wrapped asparagus to an all veggie option, these jungle skewers pack a serious punch of flavor. Go for Hot ‘N Spicy or Polynesian and pair them with some Tiger Tails (aka breadsticks) and you’ll be satiated enough to outlast the line for Indiana Jones.
New Orleans Square
7. French Market Restuarant
There’s nothing quite like New Orleans grub. And sure, you can find a variety of restaurants that serve po-boys and andouille sausage stews, but what about that famous New Orleans atmosphere that gets your blood pumpin’? The beauty of this stop is that Disneyland has perfected New Orleans Square to capture the heart of New Orleans, tricking your senses into believing you’re actually eating red beans and rice in the Big Easy. You can even take a cemetery tour after … at the Haunted Mansion.
8. Cafe Orleans
What can we say? Disney knows the way to a true foodie’s heart — and that’s through some good old-fashioned New Orleans cookin’. Different from the French Market, Cafe Orleans is more about sweet and savory treats that you crave while walking the French Quater. From Mickey-shaped beignets to their mouth-watering Monte Cristo, Cafe Orleans kicks up the sugar where French Market left off with the spice.
9. Royal Street Veranda
A cult classic, Royal Street Veranda’s usually long and windy line is for a good reason. Instead of reserving a table at the Blue Bayou, grab a bowl of their famous gumbo or clam chowder and sit in the shade while you chow down on their fantastic bread bowls. The food from Royal Street Veranda is the kind of fuel that will sit with you throughout the day and payoff when you see other people breaking out snacks in line for Pirates of the Caribbean.
10. Blue Bayou
For those wanting to dine at a more upscale establishment with one-of-a-kind views, this Lousiana style menu comes to you as you sit on a bank situated INSIDE the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Listen to the chirp of crickets and watch passengers float by as you dine on succulent citrus chicken, risotto, strip loin and seven layer chocolate cake. The prices are higher than the average Disney dining option and reservations are a MUST if you want an exclusive table at this fabulous, immersive restaurant experience.
11. Corn Dog Castle
If the lines at the Little Red Wagon are too long, never fear! Corn Dog Castle has got you covered. Besides just a classic corn dog, this walk-up establishment has a little more variety than the other corn dog options floating around the parks. From hotlink to cheddar, these dogs are hand dipped and made-to-order. Does it get much better than a freshly fried corn dog and soda when you’re at Disneyland? We think not.
12. Cozy Cone Motel
We don’t know about you, but eating mac and cheese out of a cone is on our bucket list. Cozy Cone Motel in Cars Land makes that possible. Velveeta-style mac and cheese is scooped into a cone made out of BREAD. Yeah, BREAD. Then it’s topped with bacon crumbles and served to you for you to devour. How can one walk past this place and not try it? We don’t quite have the answer to that yet. We just know that the Cozy Cone Motel has made all of our carb-loaded dreams come true.
13. Napa Rose
Often an oversight, Napa Rose is nestled inside of the Grand Californian Hotel but is still open to the public. The menu is full of fine-dining treats like veal sweetbreads, ember roasted root veggies or rosemary grilled petit filet mignon. Obviously meant for a special occasion, splitting an appetizer and ordering it paired with one of their fantastic craft cocktails (we suggest The Bitter Storm) is worth the extra splurge.
14. Carthay Circle Restaurant
It’s no secret that California Adventure specializes in more adult restaurants. Hello! You can get alcohol over here! No wonder it’s every parent’s favorite park. Equipped with faster rides and beer stands, DCA also has finer dining options such as Carthay Circle Restaurant. Stepping into this spot’s atmosphere will make you forget you are 50 feet away from a Ferris wheel. Art deco designs, vaulted ceilings and dim lighting transport you to a swanky speakeasy-style joint with a menu fit for the foodie’s taste buds. Try the Firecracker Duck wings or the Fried Biscuits that are loaded with white cheddar, bacon and jalapeno. It’s worth the wait.
15. Flo’s V8 Cafe
Another treasure in Cars Land, Flo’s has a menu full of home-style food that will gas up your engine in no time. Flo’s serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, making it a go-to stop at any time of the day. Go sweet with the Brioche French Toast that is smothered in caramel and bananas. Sweet not your thing? The roast beef and cheddar sandwich is served on a garlic chive bun topped with caramelized onions, hitting all of the savory notes. Add mashed potatoes or coleslaw, and you’ve got yourself a meal reminiscent of your grandma’s cooking.