Best Epcot Sit Down Table Service Restaurants Disney World

by josh on May 28, 2010

Oh, boy.  There are a lot of choices at Epcot – 17 sit-down restaurants to be exact.  That’s eleven more than at Magic Kingdom, twelve more than at Hollywood Studios, and fourteen more than at the Animal Kingdom. Several of the best or otherwise most popular restaurants in all of Walt Disney World are found at Epcot.  At first it may seem difficult to decide which restaurant to choose.  Unfortunately, you’ll probably have to select which restaurants you want to eat at well before you even think about leaving for Disney World.  The days of walking up to a restaurant and getting a table with a minimal wait are long gone, in part due to the popular Disney Dining Plans. Fortunately, with changes that make it difficult for guests to double- or triple-book restaurants for the same meal, reservations for many restaurants are available the day before or even the day-of.  The following analysis should make it easier to hone in on which restaurants sound like they would be the most ideal for your group.

Be sure to read over the full reviews for more information on any of the restaurants listed.  You can either click here for the full list in alphabetical order or click the individual highlighted links throughout this post.

We’ll skip the “Most Unique Menu” category for Epcot.  Every one of Epcot’s restaurants features interesting and unique food, save for perhaps Garden Grill and Coral Reef.

Best “Value” AKA Most Expensive Meal on the Dining Plan

Add around $3 to each table service meal for the non-alcoholic beverage. When “dinner” is in parentheses, it means that the restaurant offers a different, more expensive menu at dinner.

1. Chefs de France (Dinner) (Average Entrée Cost $25, Average Dessert Cost $9, Most Expensive Entrée Cost $35, Most Expensive Dessert Cost $9, Most Expensive Entrée + Dessert $44)

2. Via Napoli (Average Entrée Cost $23.91, Average Dessert Cost $10, Most Expensive Entrée Cost $30, Most Expensive Dessert Cost $14, Most Expensive Entrée + Dessert + Beverage $44)

3. Tutto Italia Ristorante (Dinner) (Average Entrée Cost $24.77, Average Dessert Cost $11, Most Expensive Entrée Cost $30, Most Expensive Dessert Cost $13, Most Expensive Entrée + Dessert $43)

4. Coral Reef (Average Entrée Cost $25.88, Average Dessert Cost $8, Most Expensive Entrée Cost $33, Most Expensive Dessert Cost $9, Most Expensive Entrée + Dessert  $42)

5. San Angel Inn (Dinner) (Average Entrée Cost $25.17, Average Dessert Cost $7.75, Most Expensive Entrée Cost $28.50, Most Expensive Dessert Cost $8, Most Expensive Entrée + Dessert + $41.75)

6. Teppan Edo (Average Entrée Cost $27.75, Average Dessert Cost $6.28, Most Expensive Entrée Cost $32, Most Expensive Dessert Cost $7, Most Expensive Entrée + Dessert $39)

7. Tokyo Dining (Average Entrée Cost $27.35, Average Dessert Cost $6.33, Most Expensive Entrée Cost $32, Most Expensive Dessert Cost $7, Most Expensive Entrée + Dessert $39)

8. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (Breakfast: $38 for adults, $23 for kids 3-9; Lunch: $39 for adults, $23 for kids 3-9Dinner: $39 for adults, $23 for kids 3-9)

9. Garden Grill ($39 for adults, $20 for kids ages 3-9)

10. Spice Road Table(Average Entrée Cost $27, Average Dessert Cost $7, Most Expensive Entrée Cost $30, Most Expensive Dessert Cost $7, Most Expensive Entrée + Dessert $38.49)

11. Rose and Crown Dining Room (Average Entrée Cost $21.77, Average Dessert Cost $6.25, Most Expensive Entrée Cost $32, Most Expensive Dessert Cost $6.49, Most Expensive Entrée + Dessert$38.49)

12. Biergarten (Lunch: $26 for adults, $14 for kids 3-9; Dinner: $38 for adults, $20 for children)

13. La Hacienda de San Angel (Average Entrée Cost $27.22, Average Dessert Cost $7.18, Most Expensive Entrée Cost $29.50, Most Expensive Dessert Cost $8, Most Expensive Entrée + Dessert $37.50)

14. Restaurant Marrakesh (Dinner) (Average Entrée Cost $27.11, Average Dessert Cost $8, Most Expensive Entrée Cost $29, Most Expensive Dessert Cost $8, Most Expensive Entrée + Dessert $37) This only includes the items that do not have an upcharge. There is an extra fee for the “royal feast” and the “sampler platters.”

15. Nine Dragons (Average Entrée Cost $18.87, Average Dessert Cost $5.33, Most Expensive Entrée Cost $27, Most Expensive Dessert Cost $7, Most Expensive Entrée + Dessert $34)

16. Le Cellier (Two Credits) (Average Entrée Cost $41.67, Average Dessert Cost $10.17, Most Expensive Entrée Cost $50, Most Expensive Dessert Cost $11, Most Expensive Entrée + Dessert $61 / 2 credits = $30.50)

17. Monsieur Paul (Two Credits) (Average Entrée Cost $41.60, Average Dessert Cost $12, Most Expensive Entrée Cost $44, Most Expensive Dessert Cost $13, Most Expensive Entrée + Dessert $57 / 2 credits = $28.50)

Many of Epcot’s restaurants are among the most expensive at Disney World and offer good values on the Dining Plan. Like most signatures, Le Cellier and Monsieur Paul are poor values with the cost split over two credits. When the $3 beverage charge is included, most traditional restaurants are also better values than the buffets, assuming your group tends to order the more expensive entrees.

Best Value Out of Pocket

  1. Via Napoli
  2. Biergarten (Lunch)
  3. Restaurant Marrakesh (Lunch)
  4. Rose & Crown Dining Room
  5. Monsieur Paul
  6. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
  7. Tokyo Dining
  8. Garden Grill
  9. Chefs de France
  10. San Angel Inn
  11. Coral Reef
  12. Tutto Italia
  13. Nine Dragons
  14. La Hacienda de San Angel
  15. Teppan Edo
  16. Le Cellier
  17. Spice Road Table

This list is a little more arbitrary than we would probably like and you could make a strong case that the order should be different based on your unique needs, but we’ll discuss each briefly and the full reviews offer a lot more detail.

While Via Napoli’s $40+ extra-large pizzas might seem expensive at first blush, a pie is plenty of food to feed four very hungry adults, bringing per-person costs down to around $12 per person, which isn’t much more than quick service. It’s also the best pizza on property, hands down. Biergarten for lunch is around $27 per person and includes all-you-care-to-eat, in addition to oompa band entertainment and a fun, energetic atmosphere. The food is very good with a nice variety and it includes beverage and dessert. Dinner pricing is closer to $40 for basically the same spread. Restaurant Marrakesh offers the same entrees as dinner for lunch with prices about $10 less per entree. Add the belly dancing entertainment and you have a modestly priced, very good lunch. Dinner is more expensive, but still a decent value. Monsieur Paul is a touch more expensive than most other restaurants, but you’re buying a ton of refinement and class. And the steak and other entrees are only $5 or $6 more expensive than dishes with lesser ingredients downstairs. Diners looking for the most opulent in-park experience should look no further.

Akershus is significantly less expensive than Cinderella’s Royal Table and includes a similar, though admittedly lesser, atmosphere than its Magic Kingdom cousin. It includes a plated entree and unlimited access to the cold bar, in addition to a picture with Belle in her yellow gown and four other Disney princesses tableside. Tokyo Dining is a more refined experience than sister restaurant Teppan Edo, offering very good sushi at prices comparable to off-site restaurants. Garden Grill is an all-you-care-to-enjoy character meal featuring Mickey and a restaurant that rotates above the Living with the Land attraction. The food is very good and the character interaction is top-notch.

Chefs de France comes in 9th, offering authentic French food and service in a busy and fun brasserie. Unfortunately, prices inch higher as quality has dropped in recent memory. It remains a good value with several less expensive quiche options, in addition to more expensive entrees attractive to Dining Plan users. San Angel Inn gets a big bump for its atmosphere along the water and at the base of the volcano inside the Mexico Pavilion. The menu is not all that expensive for unique regional fare and it includes great chips and salsa. Coral Reef’s food has improved and the aquarium views remain very popular at this restaurant that is surprisingly difficult to book. Service is typically excellent at Tutto Italia, which actually reopened after a refurbishment with lower pricing back in February 2013, but the atmosphere and menu aren’t particularly inspired. Much of the food is very good, but it can be difficult to justify a $26 plate of lasagna. Italia does serve a high quality product and is only a little behind most of the restaurants ahead of it in the rankings.

Nine Dragons is cheap for Epcot with the lowest average entree cost on the list. Unfortunately, quality probably isn’t as high as your local favorite and you can expect to spend $5-$7 more per entree for the experience. On the plus side, it’s easy to secure reservations and the atmosphere is pleasant. Service is typically lackluster at La Hacienda, which serves a limited dinner-only menu of just five or six entrees that aren’t consistently executed well. While the lagoon view is hyped, only a handful have a truly good view for IllumiNations. Rounding out the bottom three is Teppan Edo. While food is grilled in front of diners and is among the most consistent you’ll find anywhere, pricing is about twice as high as similar experiences at chains like Benihana and portions are on the small side. It’s a favorite of many because of fond memories, but it’s no longer particularly unique.

Those searching for a superior steak should look at Shula’s at the Swan/Dolphin or Yachtsman Steakhouse at the Yacht Club, both relatively convenient to World Showcase when exiting through International Gateway in between the Canada and France Pavilions. Both do steaks better, though cocktails and beer are better at Le Cellier. Since turning into a signature restaurant with one expensive menu served all day, the restaurant’s popularity has declined significantly. Spice Road Table isn’t terrible by any means, but it doesn’t really do anything better than Marrakesh in the back of the Pavilion and it’s more expensive. The original tapas concept didn’t really catch on and it will be interesting to see if the restaurant improves and becomes more popular now that it offers the Dining Plan.

Best Atmosphere

All of Epcot’s restaurants feature an interesting atmosphere and it’s impossible to put them in order from first to last.  Nearly all of them would be ranked first at any of the other theme parks.  The two best restaurants in terms of atmosphere are probably the Coral Reef, with its aquarium, and San Angel Inn, with its tables overlooking the Three Caballeros water ride.  Suffice to say, you shouldn’t be disappointed with the setting of any restaurant you choose.

Best Tasting Food (With Score Out of 100)

  1. Monsieur Paul (95)
  2. Le Cellier (90)
  3. Tutto Italia (87)
  4. Via Napoli (86)
  5. Biergarten (85)
  6. Chefs de France (83)
  7. Tokyo Dining (82)
  8. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (79)
  9. La Hacienda de San Angel (77)
  10. Teppan Edo (76)
  11. Nine Dragons (72)
  12. San Angel Inn (70)
  13. Garden Grill (70)
  14. Coral Reef (70)
  15. Spice Road (70)

Rose & Crown Dining Room (65)

This is a difficult category because not every entrée at the top rated restaurants will be excellent and not all entrées in the bottom three restaurants are terrible. For example, the fish and chips, cottage pie, and fish and chips are very good, while many of the rotating selections are much less so. I’ve added scores out of 100 to better show the differences in quality between the restaurants.  As you can see, there isn’t that much of a difference between some of the restaurants, so don’t discount Biergarten just because it’s fifth on the list. You should be satisfied with the food at any of the restaurants in the top ten and even Nine Dragons is fairly decent. Garden Grill is good for a buffet, but I don’t think anyone would argue that it’s as good as many of the other options bite for bite.

Overall Best Sit Down Table Service Restaurant at Epcot

  1. Via Napoli
  2. Biergarten
  3. Monsieur Paul
  4. Restaurant Marrakesh
  5. Tutto Italia
  6. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
  7. Le Cellier
  8. Teppan Edo
  9. Tokyo Dining
  10. Garden Grill
  11. Chefs de France
  12. La Hacienda de San Angel
  13. San Angel Inn
  14. Rose & Crown Dining Room
  15. Nine Dragons
  16. Coral Reef
  17. Spice Road Table

 

Overall, Epcot offers the best dining choices at Disney World.  The chances of having a great meal are higher here than they are at any of Disney’s other resorts and theme parks. Even the lower rated restaurants at Epcot would be ranked above many of the top rated restaurants at the Magic Kingdom or Hollywood Studios.  It’s safe to say that any of the restaurants in the top ten would be ranked number one at either the Magic Kingdom or Hollywood Studios.  With a Park Hopper ticket, you may want to plan to hop over to Epcot for several of your meals, especially after a day at the Animal Kingdom or Hollywood Studios.  Since Animal Kingdom closes most days at around 6pm, there is an excellent opportunity to end the evening at Epcot.  If you’re having trouble deciding where to eat at Epcot, find solace in the fact that it’s hard to go wrong.  Also take into consideration that you may want to eat at restaurants with a variety of food.  If you have a few steak houses planned already then you may not want to eat at Le Cellier because you’ll just be eating another steak, even if it’s highly rated.  If you have several character meal buffets planned then Akershus may not be the best choice either.

You’ll find poor reviews of every restaurant at Disney World, so don’t let one or two negative reviews change your mind about a restaurant.  There are people who seem to have a poor experience no matter where they go.  At the same time, one or two stellar reviews shouldn’t change your mind either.  Your best bet is to try the restaurant for yourself.  The great majority of people thoroughly enjoy their experiences at most of Disney’s restaurants, even the low rated ones.  Putting yourself in a position to have the best experience possible is all you can do.  You may have a poor meal at one of the top-rated restaurants.  It happens.  Don’t be mad at yourself for poor planning.  You did the best you could and it didn’t work out.  Next trip, you can try something else.  Have fun and enjoy your vacation.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

chris June 6, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Wow. This is really interesting. I can tellyou put a lot of work into it. I was just wondering about out of pocket values since I’ll be paying for one meal OOP in December. Thanks.

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Julie September 23, 2010 at 9:53 am

My husband and I loved Le Cellier when we went this past July and I’m bummed that I can’t get a reservation for when my brother and I go. While I loved the characters at the Garden Grill, the food was terrible. Go for the characters because I never see Chip and Dale out and about. You were right on about Nine Dragons although we still enjoyed it and Teppan Edo as well. We had major disappointment there because we were on an anniversary trip and got stuck with someone else’s snotty kids. The food was great though.

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jonapope March 28, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Wow this was a very interesting article. Thank you for providing so much information. My wife and I are wanting to go to Disneyworld, for what would be my first time, and were debating about which restaurants would be best! This information definitely helps!

Jonathan Pope

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Lorelae September 22, 2011 at 1:01 pm

I believe that Le Cellier is now two dining credits becoming less of a value if you are on the dining plan.

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Arlene Rankine February 18, 2012 at 3:32 pm

I was told that we could dine in Epcot without needing a pass if it was past 7:00pm. Is this possible or was I misinformed. Would appreciate an answer. Thank you Arlene

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Laura March 11, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Bristo de Paris no accepts the Dinning Plan. Two (2) TS credits for dinner.

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Aho August 1, 2012 at 2:42 pm

My family and I enjoyed Le Cellier. All of the apps. and entrees were delicious. We especially loved the mizzo-salmon; filet (cooked perfectly) with risotto (the second best I’ve ever had). It is expensive for dinner, but take advantage of the lunch prices. They serve a great burger and they accomodated my five year old with pasta and chicken in a white sauce.

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Todd October 30, 2013 at 9:54 am

I appreciate all the work you put into this highly informative article. Obviously it would be hard to imagine anyone having the exact same rankings, but good job by you.

The disagree the most with Via Napoli which I find beyond blah, La Hacienda above San Angel is a stretch to me, but to each his own ;)

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Todd October 30, 2013 at 9:55 am

or I disagree ;(

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Gina January 20, 2014 at 7:45 am

I have to disagree on the Restaurant Marrakesh ranking. Went there for my birthday a few years ago because we couldn’t get reservations anywhere else and was pleasantly surprised. The food was excellent, they had entertainment, I got serenaded and the “birthday” desert they presented to me while they sang was delicious. I’m only sorry I waited so long to try it.

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Ava February 12, 2014 at 8:50 pm

Thanks for your honest opinion and the large amount of work in writing about the EPCOT restaurants. Very valuable.

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billy April 3, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Family of 4 visited last week – this was a phenomenal information to have in mind- chef’s de france was absolute gorgeous and awesome – incredibly fabulous service and effort were seen to keep customers happy.

On the other hand, tutto italia ristotante was absolutely horrible- rude service, expensive food that’s so not worth your money. Keep away from them

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Jhenn June 23, 2014 at 9:37 am

Great job – I’m looking forward to perusing your restaurant recommendations as we approach out 180 day mark. We’re looking to try new restaurants this trip (our 3rd) while still hitting some of our old favorites.
One thing I did notice as I quickly scanned this post – Le Cellier. While we do love eating there, it is now 2 TS credits for dinner AND lunch! I know this post was written in 2010, but Le Cellier’s change in TS entitlements might be worth an update, or at least a footnote.

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