= Cara's Favorite
German buffet in the Germany Pavillion. Lunch and dinner.
French cuisine at the France Pavillion. Lunch and dinner.
Seafood at the Living Seas Pavillion. Lunch and dinner.
American cuisine in the Land Pavillion served family style. Lunch and dinner prix fixe.
Mexican cuisine in the Mexico Pavillion. Lunch and dinner.
Steakhouse in the Canada Pavillion. Lunch and dinner.
Chinese cuisine in the China Pavillion. Lunch and dinner.
Pub Food in the United Kingdom Pavillion. Lunch and dinner.
South-of-the-border cuisine at the Mexico Pavillion in World Showcase. Lunch and dinner.
A romantic ambiance where it is perpetual nighttime alongside the inky Rio del Tiempo (River of Time) is an excellent recipe for one of Epcot®’s better dining choices. The historic atmosphere of the original San Angel in Mexico City scores bonus points for a more refined feel than some of the other Epcot restaurants. Start with a specialty margarita like blood orange or avocado, or better yet, one of the more classic varieties, but beware that all are quite sweet; if a tart margarita is more to your liking, ask for a dose of extra lime. Good starters are queso fundido, thick melted cheese spiked with chorizo and poblano peppers served with flour tortillas, or super tasty guacamole with housemade chips.
Entrees such as pollo a las rajas, creamy grilled chicken breast with poblano peppers topped with queso fresco fit the bill for those who crave rich flavors. Still, meat lovers might consider the tacos de rib eye with tender steak, poblano peppers, bacon, and cheese in corn tortillas. Seafood seekers will enjoy the Veracruzano fish, a savory combination of fresh fish topped with capers, olives, bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes. Or, if it’s a kick you’re seeking, then the piquant shrimp a la diabla with guajillo chili sauce served over poblano rice is the way to go. If you’re in luck, the fabulous Mariachi Cobre will be performing during your meal.
Space Station-themed restaurant in the Mission: SPACE pavilion. Lunch and dinner.
An out-of-this-world experience awaits you at Epcot’s newest restaurant, Space 220. Although the most difficult reservation to get at Walt Disney World, it’s worth the hassle to dine here at least once, given the first-rate food and the best atmosphere around. Not sure if I would return time after time, but I had to do it at least once, and so glad I did.
Your experience starts at check-in when you are given a boarding pass to the Space Elevator. Then begin your journey in a “stellar-vator”, transporting you 220 miles up over Epcot to the Centauri Space Station. Certainly a highlight of the experience, and after your meal, you get to return in the opposite direction. Prepare to be wowed as you enter the main dining room surrounded by the panorama of space. Keep an eye open for all kinds of things passing by during your meal, such as astronauts, meteoroids, and space ships in action.
Now on to the food. It’s a prix fixe meal at both lunch and dinner, with lunch being a bit less expensive with two courses instead of three (minus the dessert course at lunch). Space Lift-Offs (appetizers) include the favorite Blue Moon Cauliflower, tempura fried cauliflower with a housemade hot sauce dotted with blue cheese; it’s delicious and probably my favorite, but you can only eat so much of this vibrant dish, and I would love to see more blue cheese added. Another excellent choice is the Neptune Tartare of fresh yellowfin tuna topped with an avocado layer, surrounded by a yuzu ginger miso and soy sauce accompanied with sesame crackers. The Starry Calamari was disappointingly tough, the best part being the remoulade sauce and fried cherry peppers accompaniments.
The Star Course (entrée) has so many good choices it is a tough call. Lobster with mornay sauce is brought to the table on a sizzling cast-iron platter, and then melted garlic butter poured over the dish at the table—too bad the lobster was almost cold, especially when it comes with a $20 surcharge. Duck lovers will go bonkers over the X2 Duck with both roasted and confit duck, an unusual butternut squash flan served cold, and crispy brussels sprouts, with a juicy orange glaze to compliment the dish. Finally, the Slow Rotation Short Rib is perhaps the richest choice with a fall-apart braised short rib sitting atop somewhat disappointing creamy cheddar grits, sprinkled with crispy bacon and a nice au jus.
Because of how heavy the first two courses can be, the Super Nova Sweets were almost an afterthought. However, if you love super sugary, then the Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake is for you, delicious but quite overwhelming. Perhaps go for the Gelato and Sorbet, which is more soothing.
Cara’s Tip: Don’t’ worry if you don’t get a window seat. Views are great from almost every seat, and believe it or not, a window seat might even be too close.
Moroccan cuisine in the Morocco Pavillion. Lunch and dinner.
Sushi and sashimi in the Japan Pavillion. Lunch and dinner.
Japanese cuisine in the Japan Pavillion. Lunch and dinner.
Italian cuisine at the Italy Pavillion in World Showcase. Lunch and dinner.
With an obligatory charming maitre d’ and no less than three flirty waiters to serve you, this is one of the better restaurants in World Showcase. The décor is one of glittering chandeliers and walls of murals depicting ancient Rome, definitely a slightly formal, Old World ambiance. And from my place at a window table overlooking the piazza and its fountain, with Italian arias playing in the background, I could almost swear I was smack dab in the center of my much-loved Rome.
On the menu is a lovely Caprese salad, a mound of mozzarella di bufala paired with tomatoes and basil, then drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkled with sea salt. Or a Grand Antipasto platter served family style with an assortment of meats, cheeses, and peppers is a definite winner.
Pasta is Tutto Italia’s best asset, and I know that every Italian restaurant west of the Tiber claims their lasagna is fabulous, but here it’s the truth—superb with a meaty
ragu and a creamy béchamel.
A side of whatever vegetable is being served is always a good bet, my last taste being that of crisp-tender green beans glistening with fruity olive oil and sprinkled with ripe cherry tomatoes and fresh tarragon.
Italian cuisine in Italy Pavillion. Lunch and dinner.
You must plan a meal here if only to try the best pizza I’ve had in ages. More like a neighborhood trattoria, I almost prefer it to its next-door neighbor, Tutto Italia, although both have their assets. On beautiful days you might want to choose the outdoor patio. Still, it would be a shame to miss the entertaining hustle and bustle of the main dining room with its open kitchen, frescoed walls, and the massive faces of the three pizza ovens appropriately named Stromboli, Vesuvius, and Etna after Italy’s active volcanoes. There’s even a huge communal dining table perfect for those eating solo.
For starters, the mozzarella Caprese is a good choice with beautiful ripe tomatoes; however, I had to laugh when it arrived with only a single sprig of fresh basil!
When it comes to pizza it’s a tough decision, but I would go with the Carciofi Bianca, a white pizza (sans the tomato sauce) topped with freshly grilled chopped artichokes and sprinkled with heady truffle oil. Wood-fired, thin yet chewy, and cooked to smoky excellence, it’s topped with a tasty blend of fontina and mozzarella cheese and just a touch of garlic. This is the stuff dreams are made of!