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Our Top 5 Favorite Restaurants!

Good Morning!

I figured we haven't had enough dining posts just yet! ;) So this week we are going to dive into our family's top 5 favorite restaurants in the Disneyland Resort! This list doesn't include snack carts or walk-up type restaurants (or else the Turkey Leg Stand would be included!!), and all restaurants have been judged based on both theming and food!

Let's start with number 5 on our list!

5. Alien Pizza Planet (Redd Rocket's Pizza Port)
I really like the food at this restaurant! This is a cafeteria-style dining experience that serves pizza, pasta, and salads! I know their food isn't the best quality that you can find at Disneyland, but I still really like their (large) pepperoni pizza slices, and Count Down Chicken Fusilli, which is Fusilli pasta, grilled chicken, Parmesan cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and a Parmesean-Pesto Cream Sauce to top it off! I haven't been able to go see the Pizza Planet overlay yet, but I do hold the unpopular opinion that "IT IS ABOUT TIME!" Most comments I have seen are that people really don't like the idea of a Pixar overlay in this location, and that it was cheaply done. I agree that the pictures look like a rushed overlay, but as a kid who grew up watching Toy Story, I have wanted them to rename it Pizza Planet for years. (What are your thoughts on the Toy Story overlay? Let us know in the comments below!) As far as theming goes at this location, it really has never struck me as anything super special, but it does have a cool space vibe. (And apparently I have never taken a picture of this place - I know what I need to do next time I'm there!)

4. The Hungry Bear Restaurant
This is seriously one of our favorite restaurants in the park (hence it being on this list...) The food here isn't really anything super special, but it is good! They serve all-american food including burgers, fries, onion rings, chicken sandwiches, salads, etc. I LOVE their onion rings! The thing I really love about the Hungry Bear is the location. You dine right on the edge of the Rivers of America! Make sure to sit up on the top deck and find a table right by the balcony - you will have some of the best views. You can watch as the canoes, the Sailing Ship Columbia and the Mark Twain sail by, and watch the dozens of ducks that hang out in the water hoping for a free handout from dining guests! This is a restaurant that is always super busy, but still somehow feels really secluded and back-woodsy. Definitely a must-try on your next trip!

Jack enjoying his lunch at the Hungry Bear Restaurant!
3. The Blue Bayou
Granted, the food at the Blue Bayou isn't the best - if this was a food-only review then this would be down at #5 (or lower) for sure. However, the Blue Bayou is a must at least once in your life just for the atmosphere! This is the restaurant that you pass in the beginning of your ride on Pirates of the Caribbean. The restaurant has been themed to look like you are in a fine dining setting at the back of a Louisiana mansion overlooking the water at night. (If you go, ask for a seat by the water - it is well worth any wait!) Above you are strung paper lanterns and you can hear the crickets and frogs of the Bayou serenading you as you eat while fireflies glow in the distant trees. Honestly they did such a good job of theming this place that we still go even though you pay for WAY more than the food is worth. If you sit out by the water you can watch the boats of Pirates of the Caribbean drifting past as well. The menu however, is a hit or miss. Sometimes we have gone and the food is actually pretty good, but there have been many times when we really just don't like anything we order. They are also always changing up the menu which makes it hard when you finally find something you like! Their appetizers, however, are really good - try the chicken gumbo! They also serve the ever popular Monte Cristo sandwich here, but I actually like the Monte Cristo's they make over at Cafe Orleans better. I used to just get an adult portion of the kids mac & cheese (leave it to me, the picky eater, to find a safe bet), but the last time we went they even changed the recipe up on that and I didn't love it. Still, this restaurant is worth it just for the atmosphere alone at least once. The beautiful atmosphere is the reason this has made it to the top 3.

Scott and I at the Blue Bayou a very long time ago! The kids menus here are actually pirate hats that can be taken home as souvenirs! 

2. Pacific Wharf Cafe
So this one really doesn't have much of a special "theme" - because it isn't necessary. The Pacific Wharf is reminiscent of the little restaurants that line a beach town or fill a fishing town, and you dine outside overlooking the Pixar Pier and the surrounding water. They did a really good job at theming this area like a fishing town, I must say. The Pacific Wharf area has several restaurants - my family loves the Lucky Fortune Cookery (Asian food), but I always hit the Pacific Wharf Cafe. The food here is delicious. I love the Cheese and Broccoli Soup in a Sourdough Bread Bowl (extremely filling, I never finish the bowl), and recently I tried the Turkey Pesto Club which was amazing. You really can't go wrong with soups and sandwiches! The amazing food quality is the reason that this location has made it to #2!

Lunch at the Pacific Wharf. Dad and Scott had gotten food from the Lucky Fortune Cookery & Mom and I were enjoying Cheese and Broccoli Soup in a Bread Bowl from the Pacific Wharf Cafe, while Jack had a ham sandwich from their kids menu!  

1. Plaza Inn
The Plaza Inn makes #1 because of the AMAZING food. This dining location doesn't really have anything as detailed as the Blue Bayou as far as theming goes, but it is a very elegant restaurant. They have designed the restaurant to make it look really fancy, including using nice upholstered chairs, decorative wall papers, elegant archways and glass mosaic ceilings! They also have a section that is more reminiscent of a little garden luncheon setting which is surrounded by windows and is a very pretty place to eat! As I said in last week's post about character dining, the breakfast here is wonderful. There is no shortage of food choices, and it is all really high quality. Lunch and dinner are no exception! They have courses like large cobb salads, fried chicken, Penne with Bolognese Sauce (a red sauce), Penne Pasta with Chicken Pesto Alfredo Sauce (my favorite), breadsticks, desserts, etc. I haven't had much here that I didn't like, and I always leave full! We love to eat here for dinner and here's why - if you come an hour or so before fireworks start, you can get your meal and go sit down near the shrubbery "fence" where you can still get a good view of the castle. Once you get your food and everything, you are down to 45 minutes or so before showtime. If you are dining when the fireworks start, they won't kick you out for the show! You get pretty decent front row seats to see the castle and fireworks, and you didn't even have to save a spot on the street for two hours. Go you! Given the wonderful food, the fine dining atmosphere, the fireworks show and of course the amazing Character Breakfast, the Plaza Inn has definitely made the #1 spot on our list of favorite restaurants!

This is from Minnie & Friends Character Breakfast 2016. Notice all of the fancy architecture and decor? That ceiling is a glass mosaic! This is the "garden luncheon" area, you can see the more fancy, carpeted area right behind it with a gorgeous chandelier hanging from the ceiling.
This is the Matterhorn during the "Mount Wannahockaloogie" portion of the firework show in 2016! We were sitting at a table close to the shrubbery fence and had a great view of both the castle and the Matterhorn.

What are your favorite restaurants in Disneyland? Leave us a comment below!

As always, if you have any tips, tricks, or questions (or ideas for future contests & scavenger hunts) that you would like to submit to our blog feel free to send us an email at! And don't forget to hit that blue follow button in the drop down menu at the top of the page!

-Lindsay Prout

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