San Diego

These Are the Best Places to Eat at Disneyland Right Now

Here are the best ways to eat and drink now at Disneyland, California Adventure, and beyond.

Courtesy of Disneyland Resort
Courtesy of Disneyland Resort
Courtesy of Disneyland Resort

Just when you thought last month’s days of decadent food and drink were drawing to a close, think again-at Disney, those fabulous eats and drinks only continue.

Because as it turns out, dining is a big part of the park’s experience-and we’ve come a long way since a turkey leg and a Dole Whip alone comprised a balanced meal in the Happiest Place on Earth. Indeed, in the past few years eating at Disneyland has become a thirsty subculture within the larger Disney fandom, with hundreds of Instagram accounts and hashtags devoted to what people are eating right now in the parks. Some of that social media hype (and the FOMO it creates) led team Disney to add perks like mobile ordering and to-go options for certain restaurants, but don’t worry-there’s still plenty of chances for the popcorn, leisurely character breakfasts and Mickey-ears ice cream of yore.

From fancy funnel cakes to Tiki-inspired tipples, here are the best ways to eat and drink now at Disneyland, California Adventure and beyond.

Courtesy of Disneyland Resort
Courtesy of Disneyland Resort
Courtesy of Disneyland Resort

The best places to eat in Disneyland

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: Most Star Wars fans will queue up for the Millennium Falcon or to make their own lightsaber, but the food options here are just as notable. At Docking Bay 7, order Endorian Fried Chicken Tip Yip and the Felucian Kefta and Hummus Garden Spread; grab a pork wrap and Sour Sarlacc (limeade with raspberry and spicy mango) from Ronto Roasters; then grab an adult beverage at Oga’s Cantina (the Tarkenian Night Flower melds gin, elderflower liqueur, and huckleberry).

Last year’s arrival of Avengers Campus brought with it Pym Test Kitchen (and plenty of Pym-centric salads and sandwiches) along with two Shawarma Palace carts and Terran Treats, a favorite for churros.Harbour Galley: In front of New Orleans Square’s Haunted Mansion and overlooking Tom Sawyer Island is a quaint little “dockside” shack that serves an outrageously good lobster roll with house-made potato chips. Pair it up with a Gold Port Galley passionfruit lemonade ringed with mango and pineapple sugar.

Courtesy of Disneyland Resort
Courtesy of Disneyland Resort
Courtesy of Disneyland Resort

Little Red Wagon Corn Dogs: There are several places to get corn dogs between the two parks, but the Little Red Wagon on Main Street is a must-visit-especially considering the accompanying signature dips. Pro tip: post-purchase, snag a table (and a moment of quiet) behind the truck.

Disneyland Resort
Disneyland Resort
Disneyland Resort

Tropical Hideaway: Everyone heads to the Enchanted Tiki Room near the entrance to Adventureland to have a famous Dole Whip-do this, then skedaddle around the corner to Tropical Hideaway for more. Here, expect fully loaded Dole Whips in different flavors (and extra toppings). But the real treats are the fluffy bao buns-try the Loco Moco, with spiced ham, ground beef, egg and mushroom gravy.Plaza Inn: Visit the Plaza Inn (across from the iconic Walt and Mickey statue) for a character breakfast, where you can order Mickey-shaped waffles as (act cool) the real deal walks over to your table. The restaurant also serves lunch and dinner-if you go, definitely spring for the fried chicken, which is perfectly crisp on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. It’s served with biscuits, mashed potatoes and green beans, making it one of the heartiest meals in the park.The Golden Horseshoe: Here, the plant-based chili cheese fries are crowd pleasers, as are the chicken tenders. Fun fact: the building is an original Disneyland Resort building from 1955 and it was one of Walt’s favorite places in the park.

HarshLight/Flickr
HarshLight/Flickr
HarshLight/Flickr

Blue Bayou Restaurant: This is the restaurant where you see people dining when you first set sail on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. It’s famous for this vantage point and for reservations filling up fast, which means you’ll need to make yours before you arrive at the park. If you score a table, order the Monte Cristo, which is a decadent riff on the American classic that functions as batter-dipped French toast stuffed with ham, turkey and Swiss cheese. If a booking is hard to come by, order the sandwich to-go at Caf√© New Orleans.Bengal Barbecue: Across from the Indiana Jones ride, pick up a skewer here with your choice of chicken, vegetables or beef. Get a bacon-wrapped asparagus, too (just because). If it’s an extra hot day, grab a crisp, cold pickle from an icy bin at Tropical Imports next door.
 

Disneyland Resort
Disneyland Resort
Disneyland Resort

The best places to eat in Disney California Adventure

Lamplight Lounge: If you only have time for one place to enjoy a sit-down meal, make it the Lamplight Lounge, one of the newest restaurants in the park. Looking as swish as a boutique hotel with caramel leather chairs, exposed brick walls and a tiled bar overlooking Pixar Pier, the restaurant subtly incorporates famous characters from Pixar movies. The lobster nachos and potato skins might just be the best things in the entire park. Unlike Disneyland, where you can only drink in Oga’s Cantina, California Adventure allows adults to cut loose in multiple locations, including this one.

J Etzel/Flickr
J Etzel/Flickr
J Etzel/Flickr

Pacific Wharf: If you’re feeling indecisive, head to Pacific Wharf, an outdoor food court in the center of the park and a great place to stop before Pixar Pier. The most Instagrammable dishes are the Mickey-shaped bread bowls from Pacific Wharf Caf√©, but other satisfying options include the pork wonton nachos or spicy Szechuan chicken from the Lucky Fortune Cookery, the QuesaBirria Tacos or Tacos Dorados de Papa from Cocina Cucamonga and finally, sweets from Ghiradell’s Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop.

Disneyland Resort
Disneyland Resort
Disneyland Resort

Carthay Circle Restaurant: Another sit-down spot to visit for lunch or dinner, Carthay Circle Restaurant is best known for its fried biscuits stuffed with white cheddar, bacon and jalapeno. Both the restaurant and the lounge offer an impressive cocktail menu too, offering hints of 1920s halcyon Hollywood.

Studio Catering Co: Seeking comfort fare in Hollywood Land? This food truck has you covered with a medley of baked potatoes, available at Hollywood Lounge or via mobile order.

Courtesy of Disneyland Resort
Courtesy of Disneyland Resort
Courtesy of Disneyland Resort

The best places to eat at the hotels

At the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, get a taste of wine country and elevated California fare at Napa Rose, or visit Hearthstone Lounge, which recently launched a menu with options like chorizo poutine or steak frites. Close out the night with a stop at GCH Craftman for bite-sized snacks like nachos, skewers, or wings alongside a slew of specialty cocktails (think ginger juleps or tamarind margaritas).

At the Disneyland Hotel, check out the Polynesian-inspired Tangaroa Terrace, which offers breakfast orders like the Loco Moco Burrito or thick and fluffy Japanese pancakes, along with hearty lunch and dinner options like pork tonkatsu ramen or the Hawaiian cheeseburger.

Courtesy of Disneyland Resort
Courtesy of Disneyland Resort
Courtesy of Disneyland Resort

A quick hit list of must-have desserts

Sweet treats are pretty much what food-lovers come for at Disneyland. Here are our favorites:

At Disneyland: Along with the aforementioned Dole Whip, the must-eat treats are centered around Main Street and include the likes of Mickey-shaped beignets at the Mint Julep Bar, specialty sweets in the Jolly Holiday Bakery, plus the toffee churros and any other candy/cupcake/caramel apple that catches your eye at Candy Palace. For something a little extra, head to the Hungry Bear Restaurant in Frontierland, where seasonal funnel cakes are front and center.

At Disney California Adventure: The sweetest spots are Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream on Buena Vista Street (near the Starbucks), the Sorcerer Mickey milkshake from Schmoozies! near Hollywood Land and the Pixar Pier Frosty Parfait from the Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats at the edge of Pixar Pier.

At Downtown Disney: The retail and dining promenade just outside the parks has some memorable draws, too, including Sprinkles Cupcake, Salt & Straw ice cream, together with over-the-top concoctions from the CrazyShake milkshake window at Black Tap Craft Burgers and Shakes.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Nicole Schnitzler is a contributor for Thrillist.

San Diego

How to Celebrate Women’s History Month in San Diego

Check out female-led dance programs, pop up markets, beer dinners, and more events this March.

Photo by Bianca Quirino Photography l Courtesy of Simplemente Chingona
Photo by Bianca Quirino Photography l Courtesy of Simplemente Chingona
Photo by Bianca Quirino Photography l Courtesy of Simplemente Chingona

Women have played a huge part shaping San Diego into the city it is today. In celebration of Women’s History Month, there are a variety of events across the city that commemorate women’s contributions to our community and culture. Home to the Women’s Museum of California, which hosts events throughout the year, be sure to check out all the ways to support and honor women this month. From art exhibits to dance performances, pop-up markets and yoga, check out the best events to celebrate Women’s History Month in San Diego:

Photo courtesy of The San Diego Museum of Art
Photo courtesy of The San Diego Museum of Art
Photo courtesy of The San Diego Museum of Art

Discover works from overlooked women artists

Ongoing through November 7, 2023
Balboa Park
The San Diego Museum of Art currently has 20 modern and contemporary works of art on display from women who unjustly didn’t receive the same amount of fame as their male contemporaries. The museum’s Modern Women exhibit is your chance to see work from artists like Elaine de Kooning and Lee Krasner, who were overshadowed by artist husbands Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock but whose work has long deserved its own moment in the spotlight. The collection showcases pieces that range from acrylic paintings to photography, inviting us into an untapped artistic sphere.
Cost: $20

Practice Sun Salutations while supporting a good cause

Saturday, March 4, 10 am to 11 am
Pacific Beach
Make a difference in the lives of teen girls of colour while taking a yoga class at Kate Sessions Park. Organized by local nonprofit One Love Movement, all donations for the event go towards college scholarships for girls of the DETOUR F.A.N.C.Y. Expo & Leadership Academy, a mentorship program that promotes equity and inclusion in higher education for girls of colour. All while enjoying stunning views of Mission Bay.
Cost: Donation-based

Photo by Bianca Quirino Photography l Courtesy of Simplemente Chingona
Photo by Bianca Quirino Photography l Courtesy of Simplemente Chingona
Photo by Bianca Quirino Photography l Courtesy of Simplemente Chingona

Shop local women-owned businesses

Sunday, March 5, 1 pm to 5 pm
Middletown
What better way to celebrate the women in your community than by supporting their local businesses? The Women’s History Month Market, located in the FEMX Quarters venue, is a pop up market you don’t want to miss. The market will feature over 35 vendors from women artisans and you’ll find uniquely crafted sunglasses, jewellery, clothing, and more. The family-friendly (and pet-friendly) event will also include food and music.
Cost: Free

Drink beer crafted by female brewers on International Women’s Day

Wednesday, March 8, 6:30 pm to 10:00 pm
Escondido
Women were the original brewers of ale, after all, so it only makes sense to honour our past and present beer connoisseurs with dinner and brews. Located at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, Stone International Women’s Day Beer Dinner features three courses, each paired with a tasty beer specially brewed by a team of women at Stone Brewery. The event is part of a larger global celebration for International Women’s Day, where brewers all over the world brew a speciality beer that supports The Pink Boots Society, a non profit that empowers women and non-binary people in the beer industry through scholarships and education. Grab your tickets while you can! 21+
Cost: $50-$70

Attend an exhibition celebrating female and non-binary artists

Saturday, March 11, 5:00 pm
Barrio Logan
Head over to the entertainment and community venue Corazon del Barrio and show your support to female and non-binary artists, whose art and music will be featured in the Diosa Art Show. Around 40 artists are on the bill at this all-ages event.
Cost: Free

Drink some pints for the pups

Saturday, March 11, 12 pm to 4 pm
Carmel Mountain
If you need another excuse to down some brews, Second Chance Beer Company is hosting its first ever Ladies & Pups Market for Women’s History Month. The brewery, which holds various events throughout the year, donates a percentage of its sales to animal rescue organizations in California and Arizona. The dog-friendly market will include pop ups from women-owned businesses such as Bold Bouquet, Wet Nose Pottery, and No, You Sit! Treats. For the occasion, Second Chance will serve Fistful of Gummies – Berry Edition, a rendition of their fruited sour beer created in collaboration with Pink Boots Society, an organization that supports women and non-binary individuals in the beer industry.
Cost: Free

Photo courtesy of Women's Museum of California
Photo courtesy of Women’s Museum of California
Photo courtesy of Women’s Museum of California

Attend a ceremony at the Women’s Museum of California

Saturday, March 18, 11 am to 1 pm
Rolando
Perhaps San Diego’s largest Women’s History Month event, the San Diego County Women’s Hall of Fame recognizes local women for their achievements in the community. The annual event, which takes place at Joan B. Kroc Theatre, is a project of the Women’s Museum of California, a museum dedicated to educating the public about women’s contributions through history with exhibits, programs, and events. Over 100 women have been inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame since the program was founded in 2001, and this year’s class includes notable women like activist Norma Ch√°vez-Peterson and Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas. The event includes a VIP brunch followed by the Induction Ceremony. Be sure to purchase tickets early to secure your spot.
Cost: $20-$150

Join a community of local women and get inspired

Monday, March 20, 5 pm to 7:30 pm
Miramar
The Women’s Speaker Series at Alesmith Brewing Company is a monthly community gathering where local women come together to support one another in achieving professional and personal goals. The event includes a social hour followed by a selected speaker. For this month, the Women’s Speaker Series features career coach and small business owner Laura Bashore, who will share her insight on how you can advance your career or business. Make sure to reserve your spot before attending!
Cost: Free

Come hear about the roles San Diego women played during World War II

Tuesday, March 21, 1 pm to 3 pm
Mission Valley
In the early 20th century, many women were not allowed or expected to be the breadwinners for their households, but things suddenly changed with the United States’ entry into World War II. Here’s your chance to learn about the real experiences of women who lived through WWll and how they navigated through it all. Presented by Oasis San Diego, head over to Mission Valley Library to attend this in-person event.
Cost: Free

Photo by Carly Topazio l Courtesy of The Rosin Box Project
Photo by Carly Topazio l Courtesy of The Rosin Box Project
Photo by Carly Topazio l Courtesy of The Rosin Box Project

Attend a ballet program choreographed entirely by women

Thursday, March 23 ‚Äď Saturday, March 25 & Monday, March 27, 7:30 pm
Liberty Station
Experience not one but three world premiere ballet performances at The Rosin Box Project, a contemporary ballet company that works to redefine the concept of dance and how it’s experienced for both artists and audiences. To coincide with Women’s History Month, TRBP is kicking off its 2023 season with Empower, a female-led ballet program choreographed by TRBO Residents Lauren Flower, Bethany Green, and Carly Topazio. The program, which takes place at Light Box Theater, offers a fresh take on dance by pushing the boundaries of traditional ballet. Your ticket includes a post-show reception.
Cost: $45

Hear music by a little-known female early 20th-century composer

Friday, March 24, 6:30 pm to 7:45 pm
Balboa Park
While you may not be familiar with composer Alice Barnett Stevenson, she played an integral part in San Diego’s music scene during the early 1900s. Stevenson was an active member of various music organizations at the time, and she composed art songs for voice and piano and performed at schools all over the country. Her home became a hub for local recitals from visiting musicians, and was also where the San Diego Symphony was founded. This month, you can hear her compositions performed live for the first time in nearly 100 years at the San Diego History Center. Selected works by Stevenson will be performed by musical scholar Katina Mitchell and pianist Yewon Lee. Be sure to reserve tickets ahead of time.
Cost: $25-$40

Listen to Black San Diego women discuss important community issues

Saturday, March 25, 12 pm to 4 pm
Valencia Park
In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Friends of Malcolm X Library are hosting Ain’t I a Woman, an event featuring Black women who will be speaking about their professions and discussing the challenges faced within the workplace and the community while offering suggestions on how to further enhance and embrace equality. The event includes a Q&A panel discussion, door prizes, free raffles, as well as music, poetry, and dance. Seating is limited so be sure to reserve your spot early.
Cost: Free event. Lunch purchase is $15.

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Michelle Harris¬†is an Editorial Assistant at Thrillist. Over the years her writing has also appeared in¬†Atlas Obscura,¬†Mental Floss, and¬†Audubon Magazine. When she’s not busy typing, she enjoys hiking, road trips, and cooking vegan food.

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