Last week, I went over the Top 5 Counter Service Restaurants at Walt Disney World. This week, I’m going to tackle the Top 5 Table Service Restaurants at Walt Disney World. However, I’m making one qualifier to this list. Signature dining experiences are not eligible for this lists because they would dominate the list crowding out some deserving restaurants. All of the restaurants, on today’s list, cost only one table service credit per person (if you are on the Disney Dining Plan). As with all lists, it’s opinion-based and this list reflects that. It’s based on restaurants that I have eaten at in my many visits to Walt Disney World. Your list may be different because I know I haven’t eaten at every restaurant so I know I’ve missed some places. Now, let’s eat!
5) Be Our Guest
The first restaurant to make my list is also the newest restaurant to the Magic Kingdom. I have been lucky enough to eat both lunch and dinner at Be Our Guest. I think the restaurant is better as a table service restaurant as opposed to a counter service restaurant. It’s a good counter service restaurant and just missed my list. It’s only problem as a counter service is the long wait to get in. I’m not waiting around an hour for a counter service meal.
As a table service restaurant, that problem goes away. The food is wonderful. The theming is amazing and takes guests away to France and the Beast’s castle. There is something on the menu for everybody: steak, chicken, pork, fish, and even ratatouille. As seen in the picture, you need to save room for dessert. The desserts are outstanding and really cap off the meal. I recommend Strawberry Cream Cheese Cupcake.
4) Chef Mickey’s
Chef Mickey is the only character meal to make the list. It is my daughter’s favorite restaurant at Walt Disney World and she would be upset with me if it didn’t make the list. It’s located in my favorite resort at Disney World…The Contemporary. So with the right seating, I can sit and watch the monorail go by while eating my dinner. We’ve only eaten dinner here. We’re not big breakfast people so we skip a sit-down breakfast for more time in the parks.
It’s the only buffet on the list and it is one of the better buffets in Disney World. It has plenty of food for the adults to choose from while providing the children comfort foods like pasta, pizza, and chicken nuggets. You have to work to leave Chef Mickey’s hungry. You can also load up on desserts if nothing appeals to you for dinner.
3) Chefs de France
I move over to EPCOT for the next entry onto my list….Chefs de France. My family has eaten here twice both for dinner. One time, my wife and I ate here as part of the Candlelight Processional Dinner Package and the other time we ate here as a family so my daughter could experience a French restaurant like her mom experiences when she travels to France for work.
Like Be Our Guest, the Imagineers have done an excellent job of taking the guests back to France with the theming of this restaurant. The menu is filled with a variety of French specialities and even has a prix fixe menu where you can choose an appetizer, a main course, and a dessert. This prix fixe menu is available for those on the dining plan and is a good way to get an appetizer since those aren’t available on the dining plan when ordered by themselves. Also like at Be Our Guest, Chefs de France has great desserts. I recommend the Mousse au Chocolate while my wife recommends the Creme Brulee. Chefs de France is open for both lunch and dinner.
2) 50’s Prime Time Cafe
If you are looking for traditional American comfort foods, then 50’s Prime Time Cafe is the place for you. This is a fun throw-back restaurant when the wait staff expects you behave and act like a mom or dad from the 50’s when serving you. They will jokingly not take your dessert order if you are not a member of the “clean plate club.”
Outside of that, the food is well prepared and guests are given ample portions. This is not a place to go if you are looking for a “healthy” option. The food, here, is stick to your ribs food: fried chicken, meat loaf, pot roast, and lasagna. When my family ate here, I got the fried chicken and it was the best fried chicken that I’ve ever had. My wife got the sampler with pot roast, meat loaf and fried chicken. She gave her piece of fried chicken.
The desserts are good but not outstanding like at Be Our Guest and Chefs de France but they will certainly cap off a meal if you still have room. 50’s Prime Time Cafe is open for lunch and dinner but the menu is exactly the same for both meals.
1) Via Napoli
This is my favorite table service restaurant in all of Walt Disney World. It is located in the Italy Pavilion at EPCOT and provides a great alternative to Tutto Italia. I’ve eaten at both Via Napoli and Tutto Italia and I would choose Via Napoli over Tutto Italia every time. The food at Via Napoli is “lighter” than at Tutto Italia. You get a good-sized meal at Via Napoli but when you are finished you don’t feel like you are carrying it around with you for the rest of day.
The restaurant is well-themed and has the feel of an open-air Italian restaurant. In my two visits, I’ve got one of the pizzas and the veal parmigiana. The pizza is the best in all of Walt Disney World. It is thin-crust and the crust is very crisp. I don’t like a chewy pizza crust and this crust was nowhere near chewy. I got it topped with prosciutto because it is a topping that you don’t see available very often. The prosciutto came sliced very thin and really added to the pizza. I got the veal parmigiana because I want to try something different and my wife want to try the pizza. We were both pleased with our selection.
The desserts at Via Napoli are good as well. On one of the visits, I was lucky enough to have two desserts because I was celebrating my birthday so I got their birthday dessert and my dessert selection from the dining plan.
It will be interesting to see how this restaurant fares when the new Trattoria al Forno opens on the Boardwalk in December.
The lunch and dinner menu at Via Napoli is the same for both meals.
So, that’s my list of the Top 5 Table Service Restaurants at Walt Disney World excluding the signature dining restaurants. What’s your top 5? I’m interested in hearing other people’s lists. Maybe there will be something that you enjoy which I may enjoy as well. Let me know your lists.
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