At Disney California Adventure, food and snacks are some of the main attractions. Virtually every area of the park becomes better enhanced by the restaurant locations and carts that occupy them. Whether you are a California native or just visiting from out of state, you can appreciate the homage to all of the state’s beauty from the redwood forests to the seaside piers and wharves of the pacific. As you stop to eat throughout your day, consider the benefits of these California Adventure food locations\
The Best Table Service
For table service dining, there are a couple of options. But to me, the only one that stands out is Carthay Circle Restaurant. Carthay Circle is part of a section near the entrance to the park that is objectively appealing and it points toward the origins of the Walt Disney company in a way that so nicely compliments Main Street USA at the other park. The facade of Carthay Circle Restaurant is a replica of the theater that premiered Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The theater was owned by Fox which is now owned by Disney. So this is another one of those tributes that comes full circle for the company, like Oswald, which was purchased from Universal, little more than a decade ago.
But this isn’t about history, this is about food, and the food matches up to all the aesthetics and the gorgeous interior lined with old photographs of Walt and paintings inspired by his first feature animation. The meal is expensive but worth the splurge. You can also enjoy a scaled-down version at the Carthay Circle Lounge.
If you need a more casual option Lamplight Lounge is the other table service restaurant that is worth a stop. Try the lobster Nachos or the freshly made donuts with chocolate sauce! Lamplight now offers brunch and the chilaquiles and mimosa flight are great options!
The Best Quick Service
There really are no bad quick service options at Disney California Adventure. However, there are some clear winners. The best of all is Flo’s V-8 Cafe. It’s so unique in its setting and the story it tells. The food stands out as some of the best quick service at the Disneyland resort. Enjoy classic diner fare like a club sandwich or a Ka-cheeseburger. There are always good specials and the fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy will never disappoint.
Besides Flo’s, there are other tasty meals found all around the park. The soup in a sourdough bread bowl at Pacific Wharf Cafe is hearty and delicious. Chicken Sandwiches and Cheeseburgers are never hard to come by at Disney California Adventure.
But if you want to do it right, you have to head over to Smokejumpers Grill on the north side of Grizzly Peak. Try the crispy chicken sandwich and the mac and cheese!
Best Quick Bites and Snacks
During a Festival and Disney California Adventure, you have to stop at all the marketplace kiosks for a sampling of treats. Depending on the festival, you’ll find these temporary booths set up near the entrance of the park or in the Paradise Gardens area. Besides the seasonal offerings at these pop-up food stalls, there are a variety of other options you have to try while you’re exploring the park. Not all of the festival food is “worth it”, or “good”, but the adventure of it definitely counts toward the experience and it’s fun to be judgy about the things you don’t like.
Lamplight Lounge was mentioned above but I’d remiss if I didn’t get into the main reason you want to try that place. The Lobster Nachos are one of the best heavy snacks in the park. Crumbled losbter chunks over a mild cheese sauce and the best crispy chips is perfectly paired with one of their skinny agave margaritas!
Corn Dogs are hands down one of the best quick snacks at Disney California Adventure. Disneyland Resort has a number of places to go for great corn dogs and each one is different. Ever get the impression that all the restaurants have the same chicken, the same salads, the same hot dogs, etc? Well, the corn dogs are not only always different, but they are also always fantastic! And Corn Dog Castle at Disney California Adventure has one of my favorite places to go.
Churros are ubiquitous at the Disneyland Resort. They are also famously delicious. Who can resist a hot, crispy-on-the-outside, soft-and-fluffy-on-the-inside, mouth-watering, cinnamon sugar-bathed churro? It may be triggering for those with an allergy to gluten, but for those who have no such restrictions, you may not be able to stay away from this popular pastry.
If and when you do indulge in a churro at Disney California Adventure, there are many different carts you can approach. My favorites are Senior Buzz– a reference to Buzz’s Spanish mode discovered in Toy Story 3– and Terran Treats, which is the Marvel-themed home of the churro spiral.
Hand Scooped (Dipped) Ice Cream
Finally, I don’t believe any trip to a Disney park is complete without ice cream. Clarabelle’s Ice Cream on Buena Vista Street is a splendid throwback and one of the few options for hand-scooped ice cream on the property. Salt and Straw in Downtown Disney and Gibson Girl on Main Street USA are just about it.
Clarabelle’s is special because you can choose from a variety of ten flavors, but they are available as hand-dipped ice cream bars that include your choice of coating and toppings. There are also five specialty sundaes that come in souvenir bowls.
Other Disneyland Articles
DISCOUNT DISNEY TICKETS
My favorite Disney-approved re-seller, Get Away Today, offers the best Disney discount tickets around. In addition to great discount prices, their customer service is top-notch. They have an entire department dedicated to making sure every order has a wonderful experience and they are on-call to help you during your vacation if you need them.
Buying tickets from Get Away Today is easy and convenient since all their tickets are sent electronically. You can take their vouchers and head straight to the gate without waiting in ticket booth lines. They also offer layaway plans so you can pay off your vacation over time. Don’t forget to mention THIS BLISS LIFE for your discount!