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Is there any remotely decent food inside Disneyland or CA Adventure? If not, Downtown Disney or even Anahem. Must be school age kid and grandparent friendly.

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  1. You'll have better luck posting this on the L.A. board. They cover Orange County there, too. However, since your post is here, I'd vote for The Blue Bayou by Pirates of the Caribbean. Get the Monte Cristo sandwich! Nice setting and fine for all ages. Most of the places in Downtown Disney are just okay. I've eaten at House of Blues and Rainforest Cafe. Both are fine for families.

    1. Rainforest Cafe in downtown Disney is great for kids and the food is pretty good. Nothing that will blow you away but lots of selections and something for everyone.

      1. We ate at a Creole restaurant in Downtown Disney (not House of Blues) and it was good. The best was the double chocolate bread pudding, though. Decadent and yummy!

        The food at La Brea Bakery was good, too (especially the butternut squash soup).

        If you want to try The Blue Bayou, head there as soon as you get in the park and make reservations.

        I think any place in the vicinity of Disneyland is going to be kid-friendly - how can you not be?

        1 Reply
        1. re: leanneabe

          The place you are thinking of is Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney. We ate there over a very crowded Thanksgiving weekend. Four adults and one child. The wait time was minimum, unlike most of the other restaurants during that weekend. There was entertainment (a jazz band). The food was okay, although one adult in our group commented on the fact that the ravioli was $5 each.

        2. There is this place by Pirates of Carribean that is a cafeteria style place where you pick up your food and pay at the end. It might be Blue Bayou, it might not be. They have chicken nuggets for children and clam chowder for grandparents. There is also a little stand right by there that only sells clam chowder and gumbos.

          2 Replies
          1. re: WHills

            No, Blue Bayou is a sit-down restaurant. But if you can make reservations first thing as you get in, preferably in the morning (reservations fill up fast there, as leanneabe says), Blue Bayou is very nice, atmospheric (it's part of the Pirates ride) and the food IS pretty good.

            1. re: WHills

              It's not the Blue Bayou, but that Clam Chowder is the best thing at Disneyland, and it comes in a great bread bowl.

            2. Definitely try to get into the Blue Bayou if you haven't been there before. If you are staying at a Disney hotel, they can get you a reservation. If not, go straight there when the park opens and get on the list. The ONLY thing to order is the Monte Cristo.

              The Bengal BBQ skewers in Adventureland are pretty good, and there is a La Brea Bakery in Downtown Disney that isn't too bad for a quick breakfast or sandwich. The Patina Group runs a few of the restaurants in Downtown Disney - di Uva or something like that, and I think they are ok. I'd avoid the Brennan's kitchen or Rainforest Cafe, unless your kids will love it.

              If the park is insanely crowded - I find that you can usually get a table at the Hungry Bear place - it's sort of pleasant overlooking the water. The burgers and the bbq chicken salad aren't anything special, but they aren't terrible either.

              We've also been to the Napa Rose in the Grand Californian and it's pretty good, but definitely fine dining. If your kids will like it you might also want to look into one of the character breakfasts at one of the hotels.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Alice Q

                Uva Bar or Catal are the two Patina restaurants, Uva is outdoors, no reservations, and fairly reasonable. I wouldn't say either restaurant of those two are especially kid friendly.

                The restaurant situation around Blue Bayou has changed a bit. The Monte Cristo is now also featured at Cafe Orleans which has become a full service restaurant. BTW, do NOT wait until the morning you arrive to get a Blue Bayou reservation. Call the Disney Dining line, 714-781-DINE. I think you can do this 30-60 days ahead.

                Other restaurants I like inside the Disney park are Rancho del Zocalo, although they keep cutting down the menu, and the Plaza Inn , the Broasted Chicken dinner is perfect for sharing.

                Inside the Grand California is the Storyteller Cafe. Sometimes there is a buffet and sometimes a menu. Still Disney pricing but much less expensive than Napa Rose.

                Inside Calfornia Adventure, Wine Country Trattoria is nice for a more casual place.

                Disney portions tend to be enormous, definitely consider sharing.

                1. re: mlgb

                  Catal is fairly kid-friendly, with a wonderful kids' menu, stroller parking, etc., although it is more for restaurant-trained kids than for feral toddlers.

                  Inside the park, Plaza Inn is somewhat better than you would think it would be - I think it arose in the '50s as an answer to Mrs. Knott's - and both the fried chicken and pot roast are quite acceptable.

                  1. re: condiment

                    Have to say I was really unimpressed w/ Catal last time I was there.

                    Pricier and fancier, I much prefer Napa Rose.

                    1. re: Emme

                      love napa rose...its one of my favorite place even against anywhere outside of disney.

                      1. re: Emme

                        Love Napa Rose too, but I don't think the OP had anything of this scale in mind...esp w/grandparents w/kid in tow.

                2. I second Jazz Kitchen and Bengal Barbeque. I had some breaded pork chops with a side of fettucine alfredo at Jazz with was fantastic. Fresh lemon all over the top... yum and I think you can get beignets there also. For a quick lunch Bengal all the way. Get the spicy beef skewers, worth the long line.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Oh Robin

                    My sister also loves the Bengal asparagus. : )

                  2. Well, they aren't exactly good for you, but the hand-dipped corn dogs are justifiably famous. Look for the corn dog stand in California Adventure. They are freshly made and pretty darn disgustingly good. IMO.

                    1. I didn't think that the food at Blue Bayou is that wonderful, and not really that great of an option unless you have time to kill or your feet's killing you and it's hot out.

                      I have to agree the corn dogs are the best. There's a writeup by elmomonster on chowhound a while back, I believe.

                      Next best are the smoked turkey drumstick - I think there are 2 stands - one near the Disney statue and the other one in between Tomorrowland and Fantasyland.

                      Lastly I like the chicken stick at Bengal, but it's outrageously priced for what you get, and an adult will need about 2 sticks to feel full, and there's no seating.

                      Most of the food in the New Orlean's area are edible, and they do have nice seating that faces the Rivers of America.

                      Getting outside the park at Downtown disney for lunch/dinner and going back in will take a little time. Not recommended if you are pressed for time or are easily tired.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: notmartha

                        There is also a Turkey Leg cart near Big Thunder Mountain in Frontierland (usually).

                        A newish DL addition to for grease fans are the chicken/fish/cheese sticks that can be bought at the Golden Horseshoe, very addictively bad for you.

                        1. re: mlgb

                          Thanks, will check it out tomorrow. I think my son will like the cheesestick if it's anything like hot dog on a stick's version.

                          1. re: notmartha

                            It's more of a crumbed coating than the deep fried batter, but still very greasy! They come with a choice of dipping sauce.

                      2. After finding out too late that Blue Bayou required reservations, we went over to the Mexican place (in Frontierland, I think) and had a perfectly acceptable meal in pleasant surroundings, and it wasn't stunningly expensive, either. I think we both had a taco plate of some sort, nice fresh-tasting tortillas and good meaty fillings. At that point, though, boiled sneakers would've been good with enough taco sauce...

                        I was so not impressed with the corn dogs. Big and meaty, yes...and with big gobs of uncooked batter floating between the blazing-hot weenie and the overcooked crust, and I'm STILL trying to figure out how they managed that one! But at least they're really expensive...

                        12 Replies
                        1. re: Will Owen

                          I thought Blue Bayou required reservations, but they take walk-ups.

                          I tried over a period of two days during Christmas to get reservations, but no luck. Once inside, I was advised by a castmember to walk on up and see if they'd take us in; sure enough, we waited no more than 5 minutes before being seated.

                          1. re: OCAnn

                            It probably depends on if they're full up or not.

                            1. re: OCAnn

                              Blue Bayou had cut back on the number of slots open for walk ups. However with the new more expensive BB menu and the option of Cafe Orleans, it may be a little easier to get a walk up seating.

                              1. re: mlgb

                                It's not... we've tried. Call Disney Dine (714-781-DINE) early in the morning or go to City Hall as soon as you arrive... but be prepared for lines.

                                If you can grab a house phone in one of the shops or something the number is 8232-DINE.

                                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                  Don't wait til you are there, call as soon as you know you are going. I think that number is 24 hours, although not positive.

                                  1. re: mlgb

                                    Interesting - for a restaurant where the food "isn't that great," everyone is talking about how to get in - ????
                                    It IS worth a first trip. Because the food IS good, and the atmosphere is great - inside Pirates of the Caribbean, Chinese lanterns, sound effects --
                                    N-uff said. : )

                                    1. re: aurora50

                                      The food is OK.
                                      The atmosphere is great!
                                      It's the kind if thing that should be done at least once.

                                      When confirming your reservation, ask for a waterside table.

                                      1. re: aurora50

                                        Parents would gladly eat mediocre food in exchange for the chance to sit in a dark, cool room for an hour!

                              2. re: Will Owen

                                Wow, we always make a stop at the corn dog cart or the one in CA and have never had one like that. I would have taken it back. There must have had the oil too high, but again, always take my friends kids there and have never had that happened. Give it one more try if you like corn dogs. I have an annual pass as do other friends and we sometimes just go to eat a corn dog.

                                1. re: Will Owen

                                  Last time I was there with a group of friends, 1 out of the 3 had partly uncooked batter as well.

                                  1. re: Mike13241

                                    sad to hear...would def take it back

                                  2. re: Will Owen

                                    Next time, return it to the place you got it from and ask for a replacement. Be polite but firm, and if the Cast Member can't help you, ask for the shift leader. Disney is nothing if not service-oriented.

                                  3. Almost everything in Downtown Disney is pretty good. D'land or CAA can be pricey; DTD seems less so.

                                    Another option would be to bring in your own food. I've met out-of-towners inside D'land and brought bahn mis (those Vietnamese sandwiches) for lunch. Next time, I think I'm bringing in carne asada burritos wrapped really well.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: OCAnn

                                      Depends on what you get and where you go. We had an event/get together at Catal and the food was way overpriced, portions small, food cold and completely overcooked. $26 for 5 little scallops and 4 little pieces of pasta. Scallops were like rubberbands - I had calamari that are more tender than these scallops.

                                      Disney food wasn't that great either, but at least it was a lot cheaper in comparison.

                                      My recommendation is to load up on breakfast outside the park, and then you just need 1 snack and 1 dinner option if you stay the entire day. We went to Jaegerhaus for breakfast most of the time before a visit to Disneyland - it's always delicious, plentiful and reasonably cheap when compared to IHOP, Coco's, etc.

                                    2. I second La Brea Bakery, also like the barbecue by Big Thunder Mountain - not sure of the name...

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: nancyhudson

                                        I think the BBQ by Big Thunder Mountain is gone - it was incorporated into the Rancho del Zocalo mexican restaurant (which is half mexican half bbq restaurant now). The meat is still the same, but the mexican food is better.

                                        1. re: kingkong5

                                          I'm not even sure there is any BBQ left in Rancho del Zocalo.

                                          I checked the allears.net website and it shows none.