Feeling hangry on your trip around World Showcase and need to refuel fast? Wanting to try some of Epcot’s many restaurants but don’t have time for a full, sit-down meal? If you are short on time, energy, and patience but with a lot of things on your to-do list, your best bet is one of the many Epcot quick service restaurants. Let’s dig into all the tasty options available, along with which ones we think you won’t want to miss.
Walt Disney World Quick Service Restaurants 101
In general, restaurants at Disney World are divided into two broad categories: table service and quick service. As you’ve probably gathered from the name, Disney quick service restaurants – also known as “counter service” or “fast casual” – are Disney’s version of fast food. Typically, you wait in line to place your order with a cast member, pick it up yourself at the counter or window, then either take it to-go or hope that you can find a place to sit inside the restaurant or somewhere nearby.
Many quick service restaurants at Disney World even allow you to skip the line by mobile ordering on the Walt Disney World app. With the advent of COVID-19, this is an especially great tool for those who are social distancing, as well as for people who are simply looking to spend more time out having fun in the parks.
Now, while all this sounds simple enough, quick service is the broadest dining category at Disney World, and Disney is extremely liberal (AKA confusing) when it comes to labeling outlets as quick service options. In the case of Epcot, everything from a walk-up cart that serves only alcoholic beverages and has no seating to speak of to a sizeable restaurant with an extensive menu and tons of seating is considered a quick service restaurant.
That’s a massive difference, and the reason why we like to break the category up into quick service restaurants (our definition, not Disney’s) and what we consider drink and snack kiosks or stands.
In our opinion, the determining factor is what is on the menu. While some Disney World quick service options offer only snacks, desserts, or drinks, we think that for an outlet to be considered a quick service restaurant, it must serve at least one entrée option – or, at the very least, some more substantial snacks that could serve as a meal in a pinch.
Quick Service in Epcot
Epcot is a dream for foodies. World Showcase alone is home to no less than 10 kinds of cuisine, along with the popular tradition of eating and drinking around the world. Over in Future World, meanwhile, guests can nosh on meals made with ingredients grown right at The Land Pavilion. Add in food-filled events like the Food & Wine Festival, Flower & Garden Festival, and Festival of the Arts and you’ve got one delicious dilemma: narrowing down where and what you’d like to eat while you’re there.
While there are some incredible table service restaurants at Epcot, depending on your schedule for the day or your budget, taking time for a full-service meal may not be in the cards. In that case, quick service restaurants are a great option.
Which Quick Service Restaurants Serve Alcohol in Epcot?
Unlike at quick service restaurants in Magic Kingdom, boozy drinks can be found at kiosks and restaurants across Epcot – quick service restaurants included. In fact, this food lover’s theme park is home to a couple of the best bars at Disney World. So, whether you’re drinking your way around World Showcase or simply in the mood for a midday pick-me-up or a nightcap with a side of fireworks, you won’t have to look too far to get your fix.
Allergy-Friendly & Gluten-Free Dining at Epcot Counter Service Restaurants
If you’re used to living with a food allergy, chances are that when you travel, you often find yourself wondering whether rogue gluten particles will leave you in bed (or the bathroom) with an upset stomach instead of enjoying your vacation. Luckily, if there’s one thing that Disney World does well – you know, aside from character meet-and-greets, rides, and resorts – it’s making mealtime as fuss-free as possible for guests of all dietary needs.
On the whole, Walt Disney World restaurants are extremely accommodating when it comes to food allergies and other dietary restrictions, and the same can be said for quick service restaurants at Epcot. That being said, while guests at table service restaurants can enjoy chef-guided tours of the buffet line or special off-menu, there isn’t as much freedom when eating gluten-free at a quick service location.
In contrast with eating at a table service restaurant at Disney, most menu options in quick service locations at Disney for those with Celiac disease or other food allergies are done almost exclusively through substitution or omission. Many restaurants, though not all, will also have a specially designated fryer specifically for guests with gluten sensitivities, so be sure to double check when placing your order.
For the best dining experience at Epcot, we recommend you do a little homework before you arrive. Simply fire up Walt Disney World’s mobile app or website, pull up the menus for whichever Epcot quick service restaurants you’re interested in, and scroll all the way to the bottom to look over the various allergy-friendly offerings.
By checking out the menus early, you will have an idea of the places you can eat and the things you’d like to try before ever setting foot in the park, saving you both time and stress once you’re on vacation. Then, once you’re in the park, just let the cast member know about your food allergy when placing your order to help keep cross-contamination at bay.
The Best of the Best Quick Service Epcot Restaurants
Disney Parks are known for their rides, shows, and character meet-and-greets. And while there are certainly some can’t-miss Epcot attractions, with a veritable World’s Fair on one side of the park where people make it their mission to try something from each of the World Showcase countries, the main event here is the food.
According to Disney, there are 31 different quick service restaurants available at Epcot. Of those, there are 8 that we love going back to again and again. While some offer huge menus with plenty of places to sit and eat, what others lack in meal options or seating, they more than make up for with atmosphere or authenticity.
Of course, with a world of cuisine options to choose from, not everything will be to everyone’s liking. While we like trying the park’s more unique and authentic offerings (who needs hot dogs and pizza when you can have ramen and perfectly flaky French pastries?), others may prefer more familiar flavors. If that’s the case, feel free to follow your tastebuds and make a beeline for whatever makes you happy instead.
Now, without any further ado, here are our top choices for guests hunting for a quick place to grab a bite while exploring Epcot.
Katsura Grill | Best Quick Service Seating Area
Climb Mount Fuji (or rather, scale the steps behind the towering pagoda to the left-hand side of the Japan Pavilion) to reach Katsura Grill, a quick service restaurant dishing up Japanese favorites including noodles, rice, sushi, and more. Tonkotsu Ramen is a classic choice, as is the Chicken Cutlet Curry. Or, for something more snack-y and portable, go for Okonomiyaki Fries topped with tonkatsu sauce and bonito flakes or the sticky sweet Yuzu Miso Wings.
Although there isn’t anything especially earth-shattering on the menu here (at least, nothing that you wouldn’t find at other casual Japanese restaurants in the U.S.), the real highlight here is the seating area. In addition to a few tables inside, there is also a lovely, shaded seating area here in the wooded Zen garden behind the restaurant. While it isn’t air conditioned, it does see less traffic, making it the perfect spot if you’re hoping for a peaceful meal away from the Epcot crowds.
Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe | Best Quick Service for Sweets and Snacks
Looking for something sweet or a quick snack as you eat your way around the world? Stop into Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe. This charming little bakery has a tempting selection of classic Norwegian treats including traditional Lefse spread with butter and sugar, the cream-filled Troll Horn, and the fan-favorite School Bread stuffed with thick custard and smothered in coconut flakes. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are also on offer here, including the Viking Coffee (both hot and frozen) spiked with Irish cream and coffee liqueur.
As this is a bakery, most of the menu items available here are eminently portable. However, if you would like to sit down while you enjoy your Scandinavian snacks, there is a small, open-air seating area just outside.
La Cantina de San Angel | Best Quick Service with a View
Fuel up on Mexican-inspired eats like the gooey Empanadas con Queso and flavorful Pollo Cascabel at La Cantina de San Angel. With plenty of covered outdoor seating, an assortment of kid-friendly options, and an adult-friendly drink menu, this quick service Epcot restaurant is incredibly popular.
While we like eating here any time of day, our favorite time to come (and everyone else’s too) is during the Epcot fireworks. With the restaurant’s seating area looking out over World Showcase Lagoon, if you time your day out right, you can turn your mealtime into dinner and a show. And really, what’s more magical than a front-row seat to Harmonious with a side of Churros (and Nutella for dipping), all washed down with a margarita or a Jarritos soda? If you are planning on watching the nightly fireworks from here, make sure to arrive very early so you can stake out a spot to sit.
Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie | Best Bakery
As anyone who has ever visited the City of Lights can attest, one of the little joys of strolling the streets of Paris is happening upon little patisseries baking croissants so delicious you’ll happily put your low-carb diet on hold for. Now, while Epcot’s Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie isn’t quite the same, it does recreate the feeling without having to book a plane ticket.
Nestled among the winding streets near the back of the France Pavilion, this quick service outlet bakes up quintessential French eats including Jambon Beurre (a sliced baguette smeared with Dijon mustard butter and sandwiched with ham and cheese), fluffy Mousse au Chocolat, and a classic Napoleon. Wash it all down with a refreshing Frosé. If you need a break from the Florida heat, this is an especially good choice, as it’s also one of the only quick service restaurants at Epcot that is air conditioned.
Regal Eagle Smokehouse | Best Quick Service for a Big Lunch or Fast Dinner
Eat your way across the United States at the Regal Eagle Smokehouse in The American Adventure Pavilion. One of the newest restaurants at Epcot, this quick service location serves up smoky dishes for all the meat-eaters out there. Here you’ll find dishes inspired by America’s regional barbecue styles including like the North Carolina Chopped Smoked Pork Butt Platter and Sliced Texas Beef Brisket Sandwich.
For all our vegetarian friends, don’t let all the carnivorous eats dissuade you – a plant-based BBQ Jackfruit Burger is also on offer. Add in kid-friendly items like Banana Pudding and Macaroni & Cheese and you’ve got an ideal place to grab a stick-to-your-ribs meal in World Showcase, all at budget-friendly quick service prices.
Sunshine Seasons | Best Quick Service for Families
Tuck into dishes inspired by and made from a cornucopia of fresh ingredients grown at The Land Pavilion at Sunshine Seasons. Neighboring Living With the Land and Soarin’, this quick service option is the only Future World restaurant to land on our list. Designed like a food court, you’ll find several different food counters here, each with a different specialty.
Sunshine Seasons dishes up an abundance of flavor-filled meals like Oak-grilled Salmon or Rotisserie Chicken. If your appetite can handle it, you won’t want to miss The Land Crusher. This monstrosity of a sandwich features pulled port and cheese mounded onto thick slabs of garlic Texas toast. If you’ve still got space, top it all off with some sweet Strawberry Shortcake.
With a huge amount of seating (all air-conditioned), an assortment of both wholesome or less-than-healthy options, plenty of kid-friendly dishes, and a grab-and-go cooler for those times when your stomach can’t wait anymore, Sunshine Seasons is a great option for Disney guests (and tastebuds) of all ages.
Tangierine Café | Best Quick Service for Atmosphere
Hoping for something light, fresh, and perhaps a little outside the ordinary on your World Showcase adventure? Stop into the Tangierine Café! Here you’ll find an array of tasty Mediterranean-inspired favorites, all served with a healthy helping of authentic atmosphere. We like coming here for the Harissa Rotisserie Chicken and Shawarma Platters (available with chicken, lamb, or a combination of the two). Or, if you’re the type of person who likes making a full meal out of sides, the Vegetarian Platter is excellent.
For some people, the restaurants in the Morocco Pavilion may feel like the most unfamiliar of the bunch. And honestly, that’s probably why it’s here on our list. When it comes to authenticity in World Showcase, Morocco wins by a mile, and we love any excuse to get lost in the dreaminess of it all. Even if you don’t have time for a full meal, we suggest you grab a drink, like an iced Moroccan Mint Tea or a Casablanca Coffee spiked with vanilla liqueur, and simply spend some time wandering through the medina maze.
Yorkshire County Fish Shop | Best Quick Service To-Go
Looking for some authentic eats but don’t have time to sit down for a long while? Then there’s no better place than the Yorkshire County Fish Shop at the UK Pavilion. Modeled after a quintessential British chippy, or fish-and-chip shop, this quick service restaurant specializes in – you guessed it – Fish and Chips.
More of a snack stand than anything, there is a small amount of seating available here behind the restaurant. However, even if you can’t find a place to sit, simply grab your boat of golden-fried deliciousness and find a place along the streets of the pavilion, in the English gardens, or overlooking World Showcase Lagoon. And be sure to bring along a pint of beer with you.
Epcot Quick Service Restaurants: The Best of the Rest
While not memorable enough to land on our list of the best quick service restaurants at Epcot, these next dining options are still pretty great. While their menus may be limited or filled with ordinary eats and the seating areas may be tiny or non-existent, these Epcot quick service restaurants are still worth a stop.
Choza de Margarita
Wanting a margarita that’s a cut above the rest but don’t have the time (or desire) to wait it out in the ridiculously long line inside at La Cava del Tequila? Not to worry, Choza de Margarita at the base of the Mesoamerican pyramid in the Mexico Pavilion is a respectable alternative. You’ll find a tempting assortment of concoctions here – both frozen and on the rocks – including the Smoky Pineapple, The Cucumber, and the party-in-a-glass flavors of the frozen Fiesta.
Of course, this list is all about food, so we’d be remiss to forget to mention some of the yummy dishes on offer here like the Empanada de Barbacoa or the Guacamole sprinkled with mango and pumpkin seeds. Or, for an authentic street food snack on the go, grab some Elote, or corn on the cob smothered with fixins like cotija cheese and chipotle aioli.
L’Artisan des Glaces
The best antidote for a hot day in Central Florida (aside from A/C, of course) is a frozen treat, and without a doubt, the best place for that in Epcot is L’Artisan des Glaces in the France Pavilion. This petite, adorable ice cream shop serves up scoop after scoop of indulgent, icy delights. While you could stick with a helping of the good stuff, like Cinnamon with Caramelized Apple and Crumble Crunch or Caramel Fleur de Sel, inside a crunchy waffle cone, we suggest you try one of the shop’s more creative options.
Sandwich the artisanal ice cream flavor of your choice between an iconic French treat for the Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich. The Croque Glacé is another tasty option that uses a similar concept – this time smooshing your ice cream inside a sweet brioche roll before toasting it to perfection. For an adult pick-me-up, try an Ice Cream Martini made with two scoops of your favorite and swirled with the alcohol of your choice.
Lotus Blossom Café
Fans of Chinese food may be wondering why the Lotus Blossom Café at the China Pavilion didn’t land higher on our list. Well, to be frank, it’s kind of basic. And by basic, we mean it’s basically the same kind of Americanized Chinese food you’d find at any other Chinese takeout place across America. So, if you’re looking for authenticity, this isn’t it.
That being said, while the food is pretty run-of-the-mill, it’s still quite satisfying. So, if you’re into Chicken Fried Rice and Pork & Vegetable Egg Rolls, or you have a craving for Orange Chicken and Pot Stickers, then don’t hesitate to come here.
Of all the Epcot quick service dining locations on our list, this next option landed there by the grace of poutine and a rotating menu of festival specialties. While this is definitely a snack stand with no seating to speak of, you can get a couple decent snacks here all year long, namely the Traditional Poutine. However, the best time to come here is when one of the Epcot festivals is happening, as the menu gets beefed up with an ever-changing assortment of festival-related delights.
Looking for a portable snack or a filling meal that’s just a little out of the ordinary while still feeling familiar to pickier eaters? Then Sommerfest in the Germany Pavilion might be for you. This tiny food kiosk tucked into the corner near Biergarten has a minimal menu and an equally small seating area. While a Jumbo Pretzel is also available, we like coming here for the Bratwurst crowned with sauerkraut, preferably served with a glass ofGerman beer or wine.
Well, that wraps up our guide to the best Epcot quick service restaurants. While there are some other options available, we think these are truly the best, and your safest bets for a dining experience that is as enjoyable as it is delicious. Are you an Epcot quick service dining connoisseur? Let us know all about your fast-food favorites in the comments below!