Best places for families to eat at Disneyland and California Adventure

Best places for families to eat at Disneyland and California Adventure

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Best places for families to eat at Disneyland and California Adventure

Credit: Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland

The Happiest Place on Earth can be as overwhelming as it is exhilarating.

What ride to hit first? What shops to blow your souvenir money on? And where to eat?

We’ve taken the guess work out of the last question.

Scott Craven, Azcentral.com’s Disneyland California Adventure reporter, knows his snacks. Here’s the short list on where families should eat at both theme parks.

DISNEYLAND

Breakfast

Carnation Café: Enjoy a relaxing meal at the end of Main Street while people rush to Space Mountain and Indiana Jones.

Credit: Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland

  • Order: The apple-granola pancakes topped with roasted cinnamon apples alongside hickory-smoked bacon or sausage.
  • For kids: The classic Mickey-shaped waffle, which comes with bacon or sausage.
  • Adult prices: $15-$35.

Lunch

  • Café Orleans: This New Orleans Square restaurant offers a cozy patio and distinctive menu.

Credit: Disney

  • Order: The French onion soup with a layer of Gruyere cheese. The Monte Cristo sandwich with ham, turkey and Swiss cheese, dusted with powdered sugar, with a side of the garlicky pommes frites.
  • For kids: The garlicky pommes frites.
  • Adult prices: $15-$35.

Dinner

Blue Bayou: Dine under a faux twilight sky amid the Pirates of the Caribbean. The muffled screams of passengers taking the ride’s first plunge only adds to the ambiance.

  • Order: The atmosphere, Craven writes, “simulates a beautiful evening in a garden behind a Southern mansion.” But food quality can be spotty. Stick with the consistently tasty seafood jambalaya or the Monte Cristo sandwich served with gumbo.
  • For kids: Mickey’s cheesy macaroni is a pleaser.
  • Adult prices: $35-$60.

CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE

Breakfast

Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café: This spot on Buena Vista Street is named for the Three Little Pigs. Just off the park entrance, it’s convenient for the first stop of the day.

  • Order: The spinach, feta and egg-white sandwich is guilt-free. But no one complains about the cinnamon roll with cream-cheese icing.
  • For kids: Try the Mickey sugar cookie. Why not? This is a vacation.
  • Adult prices: $5.50, add more for Starbucks drinks.

Lunch

Ariel’s Grotto: Dine with Disney royalty as the princesses mingle with diners, offering parents plenty of chances to take pictures.

  • Order: The honey-whiskey barbecue tri-tip will satisfy any royal subject.
  • For kids: Ursula’s Octo-Dog is served atop mac and cheese.
  • Adult prices: $35-$60.

WATCH: 5 Disney on-the-go snacks worth the calories

Dinner

Carthay Circle Restaurant: Signature California dishes served in an elegant setting on Buena Vista Street.

Credit: Disney

  • Order: The firecracker duck wings is a signature dish. Also, don’t miss the sesame- and ginger-crusted salmon.
  • For children:  Orecchiette pasta tossed with tomato sauce; or if your child of refined taste is so inclined, the salmon. Warning: You won’t find nuggets, burgers or pizza here.
  • Adult prices: $35-$60.

More places

Other restaurants worth trying include:

  • Flo’s V8 Café in Cars Land at California Adventure for the breakfast chicken tamale.
  • The Pacific Wharf Café at California Adventure for clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl.
  • Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante in Disneyland’s Frontierland for the tasty Mexican fare.
  • French Market Restaurant at Disneyland for the meatloaf.

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