"Constrained" favorite places at WDW

When I see all the places people are recommending in other threads, I’m left realizing that many of the suggestions just are not applicable to our preferences. So, I’m wondering about Dining suggestions that meet the following criteria:

  1. Not too fancy. Meaning we should be able to pronounce/understand the dinner menu. (This means, for example, V&A is complete off the table.)

  2. No sea food. Neither my wife nor I like sea food unless it comes in a box from the freezer and has a crispy battered coating…and even then, we eat it with ketchup! :slight_smile: (We have noticed that most sea food places will have a token turf dish, but that seems kind of pointless.)

  3. We aren’t terribly adventurous. While we like Mexican-inspired food and some Chinese, we’re not big on food veers much away from American food. And for me, there is something in most Mediterranean foods that my palate just doesn’t like.

With these criteria in mind, what places would you recommend either in or out of the parks?

Homecomin’ in DS. Good southern comfort food.

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My go-to place is Ragland Road. I don’t think you’d have any trouble with the food, and the entertainment there is great.


How big of a factor is cost? Or is it just “fancy” that’s to be avoided?

Le Cellier is a personal favorite - it’s not overly fancy, has good steaks and Poutine but isn’t cheap as a Signature. As a Canadian steakhouse it’s not far off typical american fare. The Biergarten buffet at Germany is another solid choice - some “exotic” German dishes to choose from, but a lot of meat and potato type options and since it’s a buffet you can pick the basics you want. Garden Grill may have the best food of the character meals, is served family style and would be another excellent choice. All of those are Epcot based, but are good choices…

Well, we PREFER cheaper, but I didn’t put that into the criteria because we do plan to have a nicer meal (or two) during our trip, and I didn’t want to eliminate those places as options. We are planning to budget an AVERAGE of perhaps $120/day for food…but some days will be cheaper, and others more expensive.

Beaches & Cream - fun old-fashioned soda shoppe, serving about what you’d expect, and all the ice cream choices you could imagine.

Trattoria al Forno - while the name is difficult to pronounce, I’m a big fan of their Italian-inspired menu. Pastas and more; it’s my go-to for the night before the marathon every January.

'Ohana is entirely understandable, and it’s a good all-you-wish-to-eat place that’s delightful atmosphere and delicious food. While they do have shrimp on the skewers, it’s easy to decline and stick with the beef and chicken (IMO, the chicken is the best of the skewered meats!).

I think these all satisfy your criteria, happy dining!

On the inexpensive ADR side, Sci-Fi is a great atmosphere - food isn’t top notch, but is reasonably priced and relatively normal fare. Also at HS, the 50’s Primetime Cafe gets high marks as American fare with a fun atmosphere thanks to the wait staff.

Thanks for the responses so far. I’ll investigate them.

I do know my wife mentioned wanting to do 'Ohana for breakfast one day, so I hadn’t really looked at the dinner menu for it.

Whispering Canyon at WL-wait staff make it fun, American food
Crystal Palace- Buffet but basic foods for the most part

I’m usually the first to chime in on dining questions, but as my eating preferences are virtually 180 degrees off on all three of you points, it might be challenging…

Liberty Tree Tavern lunch - Standard American fare a marked step up from QS, but not crazy expensive
BOG - Very average food served in a beautiful restaurant.
Brown Derby - American classics made somewhat upscale; less expensive than most "Signatures"
50s Prime Time - “Classic” American favorites served in kitschy 50s style kitchen settings.
Tusker House - Its a buffet with both (not very) “exotic” and traditional buffet selections. Only CM I’ll go to.
Le Cellier - Signature Canadian steakhouse. 2nd best restaurant in EP (Monsieur Paul gets #1)
Rose and Crown - Classic British pub-style food
Via Napoli - If you like pizza, it’s the best in WDW - and some of the best I’ve had anywhere.
Biergarten - My overall favorite EP TS, and one of my favorites in all of WDW. Huge buffet. Definitely meat and potatoes.
Raglan Road - Another WDW favorite. Huge menu and excellent food (beats out R&C on both counts). Plus entertainment.

FWIW, $120/day for 2 is a very modest budget. If you eat primarily QS and have very few apps, desserts, or alcoholic drinks you might make it work, but for comparison, I budget $100/day for me alone (and more if I’m doing signature dining).

But really, the best way to answer ALL of your questions/concerns is to look at the menus posted on line and decide what menus best suit your food and budget goals.


We usually budget about $100/day for food when we go to amusement parks (including WDW and Universal) for a family of 7. It can be done! But for this trip with just the two of us, we get more leeway.

To be clear, the budget covers the average for the whole trip, not JUST the days at Disney. So, for example, we have a two day drive down and a two day drive back. That’s four days where we budget $100, but will not likely spend more than $40 each of those days. So, if we budget $120/day then we have a surplus of $80 for four of those days, or an extra $320 to spread across the rest of the days. We’ll have 6 days in the parks. Much of our eating will end up being QS, but we figure one TS per day for 5 of those days. And we have budgeted separately the Dessert parties, so that isn’t really part of food budget for us.

Yes. But with SO MANY options, it has been so incredibly tedious to do that…plus, it gives us no sense of how GOOD the food/ambiance/experience might be for any given place just looking at menus.

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Sci Fi is a good burger joint, unique atmostphere…get the fries not the “salad” which does not have lettuce.
Ohana is a good meal with a great dessert if you like the churriscaria style (bring meat around to you)
Liberty Tree Tavern is a good traditional food meal and the ooey gooey toffee cake is awesome.
Teppan Edo was fabulous for our big group…all left full and happy.

Garden Grill was a pretty good breakfast (served family style)…cinnamon rolls awesome.
Chef Mickey breakfast great if you have kids.

Didn’t really care for Be Our Guest…food too “fancy”, not tasty, not “normal”. Dessert not tasty.
Crystal Palace is a pretty miserable buffet
Hollywood and Vine is just an ok buffet

For counter service:
MK recommend Pecos Bill.
AK recommend Flame Tree BBQ (mobile ordering makes line much shorter)
Epcot: snack around the world (karamel Kuche, cronut, etc)
HS: not a lot of great CS options; go with SciFi or 50s Prime. If you can swing it, star wars desert party great.

This is EXACTLY WHERE I AM in my planning. It’s so frustrating.

Well, with the aid of my wife, we made a tentative food budget plan for the (hopefully) 6 days we plan to be at Disney. As of right now, we will be $800 for those six days when factoring in the restaurant choices we’ll most likely go with. (Thanks for the input!)

That does put us slightly above our overall average goal of of $120/day, at $133/day…but after you add in the travel days’ food, it will actually come out to just UNDER $100/day average for the entire trip.

Now it is time for the hard part: The saving and waiting. :slight_smile:

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