Downtown Disney Dining
Downtown Disney is loaded with exciting places to eat, whether you're looking for an expensive sit-down dinner, a light lunch, or a quick late-night snack. Many of the restaurants are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and most offer a special children's menu. However, restaurants with a club atmosphere (that offer full bars), such as House of Blues aren't necessarily suitable for young children in the evening.
Some of the restaurants at Downtown Disney could be considered theme-dining experiences, and consequently, you'll pay a premium to experience the atmosphere.
If you're a Disneyland Annual Pass Holder, you can save 10 percent when you dine at many of the participating restaurants in Down-town Disney.
Options for a quick snack at Downtown Disney include Haagen-Dazs ice cream, Jamba Juice fruit smoothies, and Wetzel's Pretzels.
To help you find a restaurant that fits your dining budget, the following symbols describe the price range of an average meal: appetizer, entrée, and dessert (but no alcoholic drinks).
Under $10 per person
Under $20 per person
Over $20 per person
Catal Restaurant & Uva Bar, $$$ and $$ (respectively)
You'll find two separate places to eat here, both sharing the same kitchen. The restaurant offers indoor seating and an outdoor patio that's a great place to watch the fireworks, while the bar offers outdoor seating on the ground level, allowing you to enjoy the ambiance of Downtown Disney and get in a little people-watching. The menu features Mediterranean dishes, as well as burgers and salads. Some of the house specialties include Greek chicken and lemon kabobs, North African steamed mussels, and Moroccan tuna skewers. A variety of vegetarian entrées are also available.
Compass Books & Café, $
This bookstore and coffee shop combination offers a selection of freshly brewed gourmet coffees and teas, plus an assortment of snacks. A limited amount of outdoor seating is available. While this is a great place for adults to take a breather and enjoy a cup of java, you won't find too many menu selections suitable for children.
ESPN Zone Restaurant, $$/$$$
The perfect dining experience for sports fans of all ages, this 35,000-square-foot complex includes a full-service restaurant and a state-of-the-art sports bar (adults only). The restaurant offers a family dining experience with main entrées including cedar plank salmon, grilled chops, and New York strip steak. As you enjoy your lunch or dinner, or watch your favorite college team play while you eat your weekend breakfast, you might catch a live broadcast from the television studio located in the main dining room.
House of Blues Restaurant, $$/$$$
Besides offering live musical entertainment at the House of Blues Stage, this establishment features a full-service restaurant. Since this is a popular, family-oriented restaurant, you'll probably want to make lunch or dinner reservations, or be prepared to wait for a table. A full menu including vegetarian dishes and a children's menu is served daily. House specialties include Memphis-style ribs, salmon with watercress-jicama salad, and pan-seared Voodoo shrimp. On Sundays, the House of Blues serves a Gospel Brunch buffet with a side order of inspiring musical performances.
La Brea Bakery Café, $/$$/$$$
A branch of a longtime Los Angeles favorite founded by chef Nancy Silverton, the La Brea Bakery Café is really two dining establishments in one. You can get a quick snack to enjoy while on the go or sitting outside, or head for the more formal dining area for indoor and outdoor seating and a full menu that includes freshly baked breads and pastries, gourmet coffee drinks, sandwiches, and full entrées. Roasted chicken with crushed potatoes and bitter greens is a specialty.
Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria, $$/$$$
Gourmet pizza made from the freshest available ingredients and baked in old-style wood-burning ovens is the mainstay at this family-oriented restaurant that serves lunch, dinner, and late-night snacks. Their menu also includes an assortment of Italian entrées.
Next door, you'll find Napolini, the restaurant's pizza-by-the-slice, quick-service option.
When the Disneyland Resort is crowded — during the peak vacation times, for example — make lunch or dinner reservations at any of the more formal or theme-oriented restaurants within Downtown Disney to avoid long waits. You can make dinner reservations at any Downtown Disney restaurants (except the Rainforest Café) by calling (714) 781-3463 up to sixty days in advance.
Rainforest Café, $$/$$$
This location of the popular chain of award-winning theme restaurants offers a theme-dining experience, complete with animals, lush trees, waterfalls, large saltwater fish tanks, and even an indoor lightning and rainstorm that starts the robotic elephants trumpeting and the gorillas beating their chests.
Rainforest Café is one of the most popular family-oriented dining destinations in Downtown Disney, in part because of its awesome atmosphere, but also because of its extensive menu, which boasts more than 100 items. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sandwiches, burgers, soups, salads, steaks, chicken dishes, and vegetarian dishes are available.
When it comes to dessert, the house specialty is the Volcano, a chocolate fudge brownie topped with vanilla ice cream and with so much caramel and hot fudge poured on top that it runs down the sides, making the whole confection look like an erupting volcano. This huge dessert is delicious and big enough for two (or more) people.
As with any theme-dining experience, be prepared to exit the dining room through a gift shop that offers a selection of toys and gifts, all with a rain forest and wildlife theme.
Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen, $$/$$$
Ralph Brennan's brings a little Bourbon Street atmosphere to Anaheim, and if you're a jazz music fan or enjoy fine Louisiana cuisine, this is the place to stop for lunch, dinner, or a late-night snack. Specialties here include Gumbo Ya-Ya, blackened chicken, and shrimp Creole, served while you enjoy live music.
In the morning, the Jazz Kitchen Express next door serves chicory coffee and beignets (New Orleans-style donuts drenched in powdered sugar), and all day long, you can pick up a quick bowl of gumbo or jambalaya and a little bread pudding for dessert.
Tortilla Jo's, $$/$$$
This casual Mexican restaurant belongs to the same parent group as nearby Catal. Menu items include the expected burritos and tacos, along with tortas (Mexican sandwiches) and main dishes such as Arroz con Pollo, Carne Machaca, Carnitas, and Chile Verde. The outdoor seating area overlooks Downtown Disney, and their drink menu includes over 100 kinds of tequila. The convenient taqueria offers authentic cinnamon-sugar churros (delicious Mexican-style doughnuts) and warm Mexican chocolate.