Downtown Disney is a great place to visit on your family vacation. This vibrant destination is perfect for all ages and provides a unique, magical experience without a hefty entrance fee.
As a matter of fact, there’s no entrance fee at all! Downtown Disney sits right outside Disneyland and has a large selection of fun shops (with all the Disney paraphernalia you could hope for) and great restaurants.
We’ve curated this list of the best places to eat in Downtown Disney so you can take advantage of the free parking and try one of these delectable dining options in between shopping spurts or for a nice sit-down dinner.
1| Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen
New Orleans Cajun Cuisine $$$
This authentic Southern Cajun home cookin’ was created by the brilliant restaurateur and Louisiana native, Ralph Brennan in 2001. Their catchy tagline “Jazz Never Tasted This Hot” really rings true: the restaurant is incredibly charming with its French-quarter architecture and it’s super flavorful dishes. It blends the two things that New Orleans is known for– Cajun food and Jazz music! Mr. Brennan even gives access to his delicious recipes.
Try: The Jambalaya pasta and the chocolate bread pudding. Also, try to catch the Sunday “N’awlins Brunch Fest” 10am-3pm.
2| Rainforest Cafe
All-American cuisine $$$
This restaurant is a feast for all of your senses. Not only do they have a great menu, but every so often–BOOM!– thunder and lightning– there’s a rain storm simulation! There’s also a great gift shop, full of tropical-themed toys where you’ll be sure to find the perfect souvenir.
Try: A fan favorite is the volcano brownie.
3| Catal Restaurant & Uva Bar
Mediterranean Cuisine, Tapas $$$
For the adventurous foodies out there, Catal offers a wide variety of scrumptious tapas (small plates and appetizers like those pictured below), grilled seafood, burgers and fresh salads. The unique setting, with a killer second story patio, makes for a very elegant atmosphere.
Try: Their seafood paella is a crowd favorite.
4| Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria
This Italian eatery has people coming back every time they visit Disneyland! Pizza is a specialty and it’s quite a spectacle to watch the chefs toss the dough in the air in front of the ovens.
Try: Aside from their wood fired pizzas, the beef short rib served over polenta and the calamari.
5| Earl of Sandwich
The line moves quickly and you can often get in and out in under 5 minutes. Fast food shouldn’t be so gourmet, but these sandwiches are spectacular! One happy customer piped up on Facebook:
“I’ve been salivating about Earl of Sandwich ever since I got back…without a doubt one of the best hot sandwiches I’ve ever had. They wrap them in gold paper like Willy Wonka himself made it”
Try: “Holiday Turkey” for that mid-July Thanksgiving food craving.
6| Haagen Dazs
Dessert, Ice Cream $$
Most of the year it’s as sunny as can be in SoCal, so you can’t go wrong with an ice cream cone full of the decadent Haagen-Dazs.
Try: They have a new artisan line of flavors to further delight your tastebuds, including Banana Rum Jam and Chocolate Caramelized Oat.
7| La Brea Bakery and Cafe
American, Bakery and Brunch $$
Fuel up for a day at Disneyland with a fresh-squeezed juice and a hearty brunch. Try their famous frittata or a beautiful spread of lox and bagels.
Try: For gluten-free folks, try the Greek, Caesar, or Nicoise salads.
8| ESPN Zone
American, Sports Bar $$
Whether you’re a sports lover or not, ESPN Zone is a vibrant, exciting place for a burger and a drink with a group of friends. You can also plan ahead and look up “tonight’s line-up” ahead of time.
Try: For groups, try the “Overtime Fries” or “Macho Nachos for Two.”