There are many (many!) places to eat at Disney Springs, which is the huge dining, shopping, and entertainment center at Walt Disney World. So many, in fact, you would have a difficult time perusing them all, checking out menus, and trying to decide where you and your gang might want to have your meal. That's why we've done the perusing for you and narrowed the choices down to what we consider to be the 10 best restaurants.
The first five listed below are table-service establishments at Disney Springs. You could make reservations (which is highly recommended) at any of these eateries. The remaining five restaurants are counter-service and do not accept reservations.
There didn't used to be so many dining choices. For many years, the area was known as Downtown Disney. Dating back to the mid-1970s, it was first known as Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village, then Walt Disney World Village, and later was dubbed Disney Village Marketplace. After a major expansion that nearly doubled the size of the complex as well as the number of shops and restaurants, the resort renamed it Disney Springs in 2015.
There are a ton more places to dine throughout the rest of Disney World, including the theme parks, hotels, and the Boardwalk area. If you are seeking restaurant picks at locations other than Disney Springs, head to our choices for the resort’s 11 best table-service restaurants as well as its 11 best counter-service eateries. All of them, including the choices listed here for Disney Springs, were made with the expert assistance of Lyn Dowling, a long-time reporter covering Walt Disney World and a current “Florida Today” restaurant reviewer.
Florida native, Chef Art Smith serves homestyle Florida dishes at his restaurant including Church Lady Deviled Eggs, Shrimp & Grits, and probably the region’s best fried chicken, according to Dowling. The comfort food is not for the diet-conscious, but there are healthful options including salads, sides and grilled proteins. There are plenty of moonshine choices (with some available on tap!). For dessert, there is a decadent Shine Cake that soaks a butter cake in moonshine syrup.
Irish fare is featured here, including traditional favorites, such as Fish & Chips and Shepherd’s Pie (prepared with a unique flair), as well as some singular choices like Scallop Forest, an appetizer that could easily serve as an entree. The upbeat pub ambiance includes live singing and dancing. As you might expect, there is a generous selection of Irish brews available along with some specialty cocktails.
The restaurant's expansive dining room is as dramatic as its Asian fusion food, which includes Chinese, Japanese, and Korean dishes. Peking duck, dim sum, and sushi are all available as are intriguing options such as Portobello Mushroom Fries and Morimoto Poke Salad with tuna, salmon, apples, and pears. Dowling says that the Tonkotsu Ramen is the best in Orlando. Morimoto Asia is one of many Disney Springs restaurants operated by the Patina Restaurant Group, including other picks on this list, Enzo’s Hideaway and Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante.
Spain is known for tapas, small-plate dishes that are meant to be shared. Jaleo, which specializes in Spanish food, has a menu full of small-plate delights such as serrano ham, shrimp with garlic, and tortilla de patatas, a delicious omelette prepared with potatoes that is one of the country’s most popular items. The mastermind behind the restaurant is noted chef and humanitarian, Jose Andrés. If you have a gang of eight or more, consider getting Paella y Arroces. The famous dish, which originated in Valencia, incorporates many ingredients and is prepared with Bomba rice. Jaleo features a different paella each day.
The famous California-based celebrity chef has long had an outpost at Disney’s dining, shopping, and entertainment complex. The pizzas are still wonderful as are old favorites such as Chinois Chicken Salad. For an entree, Dowling recommends the chicken schnitzel, which is prepared with marinated tomatoes, dill cucumbers, fingerling potatoes, and mache. To top off your meal, consider ordering Crème Brûlee or Chocolate Lava Cake, two desserts that Puck’s has been serving long before they became ubiquitous.
It is cleverly themed as a Jazz-era speakeasy, but Enzo’s Hideaway is actually located in a former access tunnel for Downtown Disney. Italian fare includes Eggplant Parmesan, Roasted Chicken Saltimbocca, and Nonna's Pasta for Two, which mixes penne, braised short ribs, sausage, and meatballs in tomato sauce with Béchamel. The cocktails are delightful, and you’ll want to save room for the specialty sundaes.
There are more hearty dishes to try upstairs from Enzo’s Hideaway at Maria and Enzo’s Ristorante, which is a more traditional Italian restaurant. Pasta, which is made fresh on the premises, is featured in entrees such as Three Cheese Ravioli and Chicken Parmigiana. The Salmone (available for brunch), which is served with roasted vegetables and fingerling potatoes, is especially good. Dowling says that the lunch specials at Maria and Enzo’s can’t be beaten for price, quality, and quantity.
We really like everything about Jaleo, including the counter-service eatery it runs adjacent to the main restaurant. You can order a variety of bocadillos, or sandwiches served on crusty bread, such as Pollo Frito (chicken, piparra peppers, alioli, brava sauce, sherry dressing) and Serrano y Manchego (serrano ham, manchego cheese, tomato fresco). If you have an insane appetite (or a couple of buddies to share your sandwich), you might want to try the Pepito Ternera. The 16-inch sandwich is packed with flat iron steak, caramelized onion, cheese, mayonnaise and roasted green peppers on to-die-for bread.
Of course Disney Springs had to jump in on the craft burger and shake craze. D-Luxe Burger is run by Disney (the “D” in “D-Luxe”). The fresh-ground, cooked-to-order burgers include the El Diablo (with chorizo, fried banana peppers, and chipotle mayonnaise) and a Classic Cheeseburger (which is reasonably priced at $9.99). To wash down the burgers, D-Luxe offers a Strawberry Shortcake Gelato Shake and a S'mores Gelato Shake.
Another adjunct to a table-service restaurant on our list, Morimoto Asia Street Food offers small tastes of classic dishes such as egg rolls, chicken ramen, pork ribs, and California roll. A more adventurous item is Takoyaki, octopus fritters served with nori, pickled ginger, and Okonomi sauce. Heed Dowling’s advice and order the bao if it is available on the day you visit.
If it's hearty, messy barbecue you're craving, The Polite Pig will do the trick. The Southern Pig sandwich slathers tangy mustard BBQ sauce and mayonnaise on pulled pork and fennel-apple slaw, while the USDA Prime Brisket sandwich piles on pimento cheese, pickled jalapeños, and crispy onions. Other smoked dishes include baby back ribs, cedar plank salmon, and a half chicken. The Polite Pig offers a surprising number of salads, such as a BBQ Cobb Salad with a Chopped Pork option and The Southerner, which combines baby kale with radish, avocado, and blue cheese topped with pecan granola and bacon-sorghum vinaigrette. Don't forget the bourbon (of which there is an impressive variety).
That’s Chicken Guy, as in Food Network star and chef-dude, Guy Fieri. Dowling says the fried chicken served here is crispy and not oily in the least. She also recommends that you peruse the (loooong) list of sauces before you order. The cashier and the customers in line behind you will appreciate your forethought. The chicken comes in tenders, skewers, sandwiches, and salads.