Top 10 Best Counter Service Restaurants at Disney World Parks

Alicia Stella Feature Articles

Walt Disney World offers some of the best theme park food in the world. With so many dining options it can be overwhelming deciding where to eat. Here’s our list of the top ten quick service restaurants at the Disney World parks (plus some honorable mentions too.) These are dining establishments where you get your food from a window or counter and take it back to your table. Only locations within the four theme parks are included in this list. Hotels and Disney Springs dining options may get their own lists in the future.

We’re judging these based on several criteria including overall guest satisfaction, value, food quality, and uniqueness of offerings. These might not always be the best fit for you and your family depending on your tastes and dislikes, so be sure to read the descriptions for each restaurant to see what makes them special and what types of food they offer. Also, it might be useful to check your park map or the My Disney Experience mobile app to be sure they’re open during your visit before making any concrete plans. Enough with the introduction, let’s get on to the list!

10. Backlot Express

Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Echo Lake

This may be our only selection from Hollywood Studios, but it features unique food options you can’t get anywhere else on property and a fun dining space filled with interesting props, including some actually used in movies. Located right next door to Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, this is your destination for Star Wars themed foods, (at least until Star Wars Land opens,) including the Royal Guard Burger, (pictured below,) featuring a full third pound of Angus beef topped with barbecue brisket and jack cheese on a black pumpernickel bun. Other interesting options include Chicken and Vader Waffles served with maple syrup, Galactic Grilled Chicken Salad with crisp wontons, black bean relish and avocado, and a delicious Caprese Sandwich as your vegetarian offering. While there may be many counter service options in Hollywood Studios offering burgers and nuggets, this location offers the most interesting variations. Plus, you can end your meal with one of several Star Wars themed cupcakes! (Photos Disney)

Price Range: $9.49-$13.49 | Dining Plan Accepted

Royal Guard Burger

Fried Chicken and Vader Waffles

Star Wars Cupcakes

9. Yak & Yeti Local Food Cafes

Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Asia

Also known as Anandapur Local Foods Cafes, this outside window service restaurant offers Asian style meals that are great when you’re on the go. Located just outside of the popular table service restaurant Yak & Yeti, this outdoor version offers some smaller (and more affordable) versions of foods you can order inside. With lots of outdoor and covered seating behind the cafe this is a nice place to eat on a clear day. Plus, you can people-watch everyone getting off of Kali River Rapids soaking wet. Asian inspired dishes like Honey Chicken and Teriyaki Beef headline the menu, but you can also order American dishes with an Asian twist like Asian Chicken Sandwich, Kobe Beef Cheeseburgers and hot dogs, and Ginger Chicken Salad. There’s a Roasted Vegetable Couscous Wrap for vegetarians as well. Order some fried rice and egg rolls on the side to complete your meal. In case the kids aren’t interested in Asian style fare, there’s Chicken Strips, Burgers and PB&J for them. This is a great place to sample some (somewhat) exotic foods, without breaking the bank. (Photos Disney/Yelp)

Price Range: $9.99-$14.99 | Dining Plan Accepted

Honey Chicken (Photo Yelp)

Teriyaki Beef Bowl (Photo Yelp)

8. Tangierine Café

Epcot – World Showcase

This is a wonderful place to sample authentic Mediterranean foods, located in the Morocco Pavilion, on the France side. Not only are all of the main dishes here of extremely high quality, but the side dishes are surprisingly good as well. Most of the meals include Hummus, Tabouleh, Tangierine Couscous Salad or Marinated Olives and they are all absolutely delicious. The Shawarma Chicken and Lamb Platter is a guest favorite (although I prefer just the lamb platter alone as I feel the chicken doesn’t begin to compare to the lamb’s amazing flavor.) Other offerings include Mediterranean Falafel Wrap, Chicken or Lamb Wrap, Vegetarian Platter and a Moroccan Kefta Sandwich, which is a Mediterranean style meatball sandwich. Chicken tenders and hamburgers are available for kids. There’s some seating inside but I prefer to sit outside and people-watch along World Showcase Promenade. A dessert case is also available featuring native treats including several varieties of baklava. (Photos The Morocco Pavilion)

Price Range: $12.99-$17.99 | Dining Plan Accepted

Shawarma Chicken and Lamb Platter

Mediterranean Falafel Wrap

Vegetarian Platter

7. Columbia Harbour House

Magic Kingdom – Liberty Square

One of the most beautifully themed quick service restaurants at Disney World, made to feel like a revolutionary era inn, the Columbia Harbour House offers a good mix of both healthy and indulgent New England favorites. Don’t be alarmed if the place looks packed when you visit, they handle the long lines quickly and there’s usually lots of seating upstairs (and it is much quieter upstairs as well.) Healthier options include Grilled Salmon with Couscous, Anchors Aweigh Sandwich (tuna on multigrain bread,) and vegetarian options like Broccoli Peppercorn Salad and the Lighthouse Sandwich (hummus on toasted multigrain bread.) Some of the New England favorites include a classic style Lobster Roll, Fried Fish Plate, Fried Shrimp Plate, Shrimp Macaroni & Cheese, and even Chicken Pot Pie. Chicken Nuggets are also available for the picky eaters in your bunch not willing to indulge in the many seafood dishes available. Most meals are served with Coleslaw and your choice of Corn Cobbette, Apple Slices, or French Fries. Your meal wouldn’t be complete without a bowl of New England Clam Chowder and a dessert cobbler to finish it all off. (Photos Disney)

Price Range: $9.49-$13.29 | Dining Plan Accepted

Fried Shrimp Plate

Anchors Aweigh Tuna Sandwich

Broccoli Peppercorn Salad

6. Sunshine Seasons

Epcot – Future World

Located on the first floor of the Land Pavilion in Future World, Sunshine Seasons is set up like a mall food court with four different areas, each with their own specialty. This is the perfect place to please every member of your family because it has something for everyone! Seating areas are sprinkled all over the first floor of the pavilion, including all the way over by the queue for the boat ride Living With the Land. The four areas include a Sandwich Shop that features Spicy Fish Tacos (my personal favorite,) Turkey and Monterey Jack on Ciabatta, Pressed Cuban Sandwich, and a Vegan Flatbread with grilled vegetables and hummus spread. The Asian Noodle Shop has dishes like Mongolian Beef, Spicy Shrimp Stir-Fry, Sweet-and-Sour Chicken, and even a vegan Korma with Gardein Meatless Chik’n. The Grill Shop offers Pork Loin, Oak-grilled Rotisserie Chicken, and Grilled Salmon. And the Salad and Soups Shop has a delicious Sesame Crusted Tuna with Asian Vegetable Noodle Salad, the healthy Power Salad, and a Caesar Salad with Oak-fired Chicken, plus interesting side options like Pumpkin Soup. Kids have their own section with interesting dishes like Turkey Meatloaf and Pizza Panini. Fresh baked desserts are also available to complete your meal including Crème Brûlée, Cheesecake, and a Carrot Cake Cupcake. In the morning you can grab some breakfast here including a Breakfast Platter and the guest favorite Breakfast Panini. (Photos Disney)

Price Range: $6.99-$13.99 | Dining Plan Accepted

Spicy Fish Tacos

Pork Loin

Breakfast Panini

5. Yorkshire County Fish Shop

Epcot – World Showcase

There’s usually a line for this fast-food window, located in the United Kingdom Pavilion in World Showcase connected to the Rose & Crown Pub, but it is well worth the wait! They only serve one entrée here, their famous Fish and Chips basket. It includes two crispy strips of fish and a side of chips (otherwise known as french fries on this side of the pond.) Of course malt vinegar and tarter sauce is available from the condiments station. Wash your meal down with one of several draught beers, including Bass and Harp Lager, available in an optional souvenir stein. For dessert you have a Victoria Sponge Cake, filled with jam and buttercream. After you get your food you can choose to sit at one of the many seating areas beside and behind the shop overlooking the lagoon. (Photos Disney/Yelp)

Price Range: $10.99 | Dining Plan Accepted

Fish and Chips (Photo Yelp)

Victoria Sponge Cake (Photo Yelp)

4. Flame Tree Barbecue

Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Discovery Island

You may smell the great food before you even see Flame Tree Barbecue, located just to the right of the Tree of Life in Discovery Island. And while it might not look like much from the front, there are lots of great areas to sit and enjoy your lunch or dinner behind the restaurant. Most areas are covered and wonderfully themed with colorful animal carvings and relaxing fountains. Seating along the water offer great views of Expedition Everest. Specialties include Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich, 1/2 Smoked Chicken, St. Louis Rib Dinner and combo dinners. If you’re really hungry you can get the Ribs, Chicken, and Pulled Pork Sampler for $19.99. Dinners include sides like their signature baked beans and delicious jalapeno cornbread. If you’re in the mood for a unique snack try the French Fries with Pulled Pork and Cheese. For kids there’s Hot Dog and Baked Chicken Drumstick meals. Wash your meal down with a Safari Amber, Animal Kingdom’s very own beer, or the Mandarin Orange Vodka Lemonade mixed drink. Mandarin Orange Lemonade is also available without the alcohol. (Photos Disney)

Price Range: $8.99-$19.99 | Dining Plan Accepted

Ribs and Chicken Combo

Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich

Watermelon Salad

3. Sleepy Hollow

Magic Kingdom – Liberty Square

Don’t let this little refreshments window fool you, Sleepy Hollow, on the edge of Liberty Square facing Cinderella Castle, offers some of the tastiest foods that you cannot get anywhere else! For snacks, you can pick up a Funnel Cake topped with strawberries and whipped cream, Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich with fresh baked cookies, or a Fresh Fruit Waffle Sandwich served with chocolate-hazelnut spread (a guest favorite for sure.) If you get here around lunchtime they also serve the Sweet and Spicy Chicken Waffle Sandwich, one of the main reasons this place is listed so high on our list of the best! Not only is the chicken waffle sandwich unique and delicious, but it’s portable too. Enjoy your snack or lunch in comfortable shaded seating overlooking the castle. This is also a great place to pick up a flavored Iced Coffee or Lemonade on the go. (Photos Disney)

Price Range: $6.49-$10.29 | Dining Plan Not Accepted (DDP Snacks Only)

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Waffle Sandwich

Fresh Fruit Waffle Sandwich

Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich

2. Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe

Epcot – World Showcase

Don’t overlook, or underestimate, this small unassuming bakery at the Norway Pavilion in World Showcase. The foods here pack a flavor punch and offer you the chance to try traditional Norwegian specialties. For lunch you can pick up a Norwegian Club or Ham and Apple Sandwich, a guest favorite with ham, apple, Jarlsberg and Muenster Cheese on toasted multigrain bread that just has to be tried to believe. You can also get authentic Norwegian treats including Sweet Pretzels (where the restaurant gets its name since Kringla means sweet pretzel,) Troll Horns filled with whipped cream, School Bread, a sweet bun filled with vanilla custard and topped with toasted coconut, and my personal favorite Lefse, a potato flatbread rolled up with sweet cinnamon butter inside. The Lefse is a great snack and also makes a quick, easy breakfast when paired with a coffee from Kringla. Another guest favorite is the Rice Cream, a traditional rice pudding topped with strawberry sauce. In recent years this bakery has also started offering desserts and cupcakes designed around Disney’s Frozen, that are sure to be a hit with the kids. Enjoy your meal or snack in covered outdoor seating behind the restaurant. Kringla Bakeri usually opens at 9AM each day, 2 hours before World Showcase, so you can grab a snack on your way to ride Frozen Ever After! (Photos Disney/Alicia Stella)

Price Range: $4.99-$8.49 | Dining Plan Accepted

Norwegian treats: sweet pretzels, lefse flatbread, pastry horns, school bread and more

Sweet Pretzel with Almonds

Norwegian Club

1. Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie

Epcot – World Showcase

Sandwiches served on freshly baked baguettes, soups and salads, delicious pastries and delectable treats await you at this classic-style French bakery and deli at the France Pavilion in World Showcase. Often crowded for lunch (and most of the day following,) Les Halles is usually quiet around breakfast time. They open at 9AM, 2 hours before most of World Showcase, so you can enjoy your Parisian treats without the crowd. Despite all the delicious-looking desserts, the best things here are probably the baguette sandwiches. Some of the popular sandwiches include Jambon Beurre with ham and cheese, Dijon mustard butter on a demi baguette, Brie aux Pommes with brie, apples and cranberries in multi grain bread, and Dinde B.L.T. with turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato and garlic aioli. There are a lot of delectable treats to choose from as well including Créme Brûlée (a guest favorite,) Napoleon puff pastry with cream (my personal favorite,) Éclairs, Macarons, and much more. Of course there’s Croissants, Chocolate Croissants, and other French pastries too. If you’re looking for an authentic French experience, pick up a Half Baguette for less than two bucks, to enjoy while you walk around the pavilion. (Photos Disney)

Price Range: $4.75-$9.50 | Dining Plan Accepted

Selection of French sweet treats, pastries and baked goods

Jambon Beurre

Brie aux Pommes

Honorable Mentions

Here’s some other guest favorites at the parks that didn’t make the cut, but just barely.

Casey’s Corner

Magic Kingdom – Main Street, U.S.A.

Hit it out of the park with American baseball favorites like foot long hot dogs, corn dog nuggets, French fries, cotton candy and Cracker Jacks. Try the Barbecue Slaw Dog (pictured) for a unique take on the hot dog.

La Cantina de San Angel

Epcot – World Showcase

Enjoy Mexican favorites along the World Showcase Lagoon including Tacos de Barbacoa (pictured,) Fish Tacos, Empanadas con Queso, Guacamole and Nachos, along with treats like churros.

Harambe Market

Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Africa

Choose from four unique locations offering African street foods. Spice-rubbed Karubi Ribs (pictured) from Chef Mwanga’s and chicken skewers from Kitamu Grill stand out.

Satu’li Canteen

Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Pandora

It opened after this list was written, but in a short time has proven itself as one of the best options at the parks featuring healthy and unique fare like the customizable Satu’li Bowls (pictured.)

That’s our list of the top ten (and a few extra) counter service locations at Walt Disney World theme parks. What about you? Do you agree with our picks, or are some of your favorites not on the list? Leave a comment below and let us know! Photos copyright Disney, unless otherwise specified.

If you’re looking to visit Walt Disney World be sure to request your free vacation quote from Destinations in Florida. These travel planning experts can help you plan your dream vacation with the best deals on theme park tickets and on-site hotels, and they can even help you reserve dining on your Disney trip. The best part is, their service is completely FREE when you book through them! They’re an Authorized Disney World travel planner, so they know how to get you set up with everything you need. Request your FREE quote now.

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