Disney California Adventure is themed around the best the great State of California has to offer. From the rugged Mountains to the desolate desert, The Glitz of Hollywood to the old-time charm of the Pacific waterfronts. The Park celebrates the State. The Dining scene in the Park does the same and brings the very best of California’s Cuisine right into the park. Find out where all the Best Places To Eat At Disney California Adventure are and get the very best dining experience in the park with our Disney California Adventure Dining Guide
Disney California Adventure Dining Guide
In this guide, we focus solely on the Disney California Adventure Dining options. If you are in the park for the day this is where to find all the best restaurants of different types throughout the park. Dining at Disneyland resort goes well beyond just the DCA park and there are many dining options throughout the park, Hotels, and at Downtown Disney. We have a host of guides covering everything you need to know about Disneyland California Dining!
With that out of the way let’s take a look at the BEST dining locations actually inside Disney California Adventure:
Best Signature Dining in Disney California Adventure
PRICE: Ala Carte $34 – $54 for an Entree, Starters, and Desserts $14-$18 and Kids meals are $10-$15
While the Carthay Circle may be the only Fine Dining establishment inside the Parks, and as such is the only choice for this honor we would not include it unless it was a great choice as well. And for a blow-out meal or celebration dining then the Carthay Circle is hard to beat.
The Decor is spectacular, the building is a painstakingly accurate recreation of the late Carthay Circle theater in Hollywood. A focal point of the Golden years of Hollywood and much loved before its decline and eventual demise. Here it is lovingly recreated forever and inside you will find the stunningly appointed restaurant. The High painted ceilings are not quite the Sistine Chapel but are still stunningly designed and painted, Large candlelit chandeliers rise above the dark wood tables accented with grey cushions giving a vintage vibe that takes you back to the glitz and glamour of the era.
The food is modern American fine dining. This enables the restaurant to pick and choose from the best cuisines from around the world due to the huge melting pot of cultures the states have become. The Fire Cracker Duck Wings or Bao Buns with Crispy Shrimp are fantastic starters. For Entrees, steaks are the order of the day but for us the Pork Chop was outstanding.
Dessert is not our favorite course here and we prefer to finish with another cocktail, the restaurant is the perfect place for a post-prohibition tipple such as an old-fashioned, Manhattan, or a Martini. The Lounge downstairs is a great option for those wanting to dabble but not drop a couple of $ 100s on a single meal. Here you can have cocktails and some simpler bar food for much less.
Overall the restaurant could easily stand alone as a fine dining establishment in any city in the world the service, while on occasion a little slow, is top-notch and the food is maybe a touch overpriced but then the same can be said of any downtown eatery. We should say like any good restaurant the menu frequently changes to reflect the season and availability of produce!
Other great options:
If you are not convinced the only other Fine Dining at Disneyland is out of the park in one of the hotels or downtown Disney read more here. Best Signature Restaurants in Disneyland Resort California
Best Unique or Themed Dining in Disney California Adventure
PRICE: Share Bites $12 – $21 Cocktails $10.50-$16.00 Kids Meals (Downstairs only) $8-$10
The Lamplight Lounge takes its name from the Desk lamps used in Luxo Jr, one of the early Pixar shorts, and is a tribute to all things Pixar Animation. The theming of the lounge means it is filled with artwork, sketches, mementos, and toys from the many Pixar animations. It is a great place to be, a sort of hipster-converted factory filled with animation memorabilia.
The food is also pretty good. The menu is pretty small and consists mainly of sharing plates, But with Crispy Piggy Wings, Tuna Poke, and Lobster Nachos they are pretty awesome dishes, so grab a few to share.
Drinks are of the mad and wacky variety with bubbling cocktails (the Sequel), Frozen Ocean Cocktails(Open Ocean with a Splash), and the incredible, but non-alcoholic Infinity Fizz! They are all really good fun and fairly decent tasting if a little on the artificial and sweet side of things.
Overall we love the lounge. Pixar is one of our favorite arms of Disney and it’s great to experience a full Pixar-themed area and the Lounge offers a really relaxed yet fun place to take some time out from the madness. It is not a place for a romantic sit-down meal but a place to grab some cool drinks and some really tasty bites to eat!
Best Character Dining Disneyland in Disney California Adventure
There is no Character dining inside Disney California Adventure. Your options for Character Dining are limited to Hotels and the Plaza Inn inside Disneyland Park. You can find more info on these in our Disneyland Dining Guide, Our Resort Dining Guide, and our Best Character Dining at Disneyland Guide.
Best Table Service Dining Disneyland in Disney California Adventure
PRICE: Ala Carte $18 – $38 for an Entree, Starters, and Desserts $7-$12 and Kids meals are $10-$12
A sort of Double themed restaurant, based around a Napa Valley Winery Terrace, which itself feels themed around a Tuscan chateau, you really could be in Northern California or Italy, instead, you are in downtown Anaheim, but with an extensive wine list and fantastic Italian cuisine, you are still in for a treat.
The Trattoria feels like a little slice of adult escapism. For an hour or two you can escape the Disney madness and relax on the terrace with a glass or four of wine and sample some grown-up Italian cuisine. Wine comes as part of a tasting flight of 4 wines from either Italy or California.
Despite being a very grown-up restaurant it also works very well for kids. The kid’s meals are simply pasta, or pizza so even the fussiest of kids can find something to eat! The food is not the BEST Italian food we have had and the service is not always the best in the resort but really Table Service dining is somewhat limited in the park.
Other great options:
For a similar experience without the high costs try the Sonoma Terrace for Wine by the Glass and light snacks, the Mendocino Terrace for an extensive Wine list, Or try the Alfresco Tasting Terrace where you can grab a full bottle of Disney Wine.
Best Quick Service Restaurants Disneyland in Disney California Adventure
PRICE: $9.99- $11.49
One of Our favorite places and things to eat in all of the United States is fresh Clam Chowder in a Boudin Bakery Bread Bowl down at the Pacific Wharf in San Francisco! At the newly opened Aunt Cass Cafe, you can sample the very same Boudin Bakery Soup Bowls in Disney’s recreation of the San Fransokyo.
For only £12.49 you get a really hearty meal, a large loaf of bread filled with chowder, seasoned with a hint of white miso, just how Aunt Cass would make it! Or you can go full-on American classic and get one of the Macaroni Cheese Bowls, either one makes for the most filling and best value meals in the park all in the newly opened San Franokyo! You can even get a Baymax or Mickey-shaped Sourdough bread.
The Sourdough is baked fresh on-site in the onsite Bourdin Bakery so it’s always fresh and delicious. Be sure to check out the tour of the bakery if the sourdough bread story interests you.
Other Great Options
Flo’s V8 Cafe
Classic American Comfort food with a new Spin $14.99 and under
A brilliantly themed Cars Cafe in the style of a vintage Route 66 diner. The food is less than spectacular, classic American but prices are cheap and the kids will love the theming. Located in one of our favorite places in the Parks Radiator Springs, you really can feel like Lightning McQueen and fill your tank at Flo’s classic Route 66-inspired diner.
Enjoy Flos Famous Fried Chicken or Ramones Slow and Lo Club Sandwich and if you have the room: finish off with a classic diner milkshake. Cars fans will love the theming which is why it deserves a mention on our best places to eat at Disney California Adventure.
Best Food Carts and Snacks Disneyland in Disney California Adventure
PRICE: Less than $15
Prepare for a Chocolate and Sugar overload! We love the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop for their huge outlandish and divine desserts! While not the healthiest choice you could easily skip a meal and simply indulge in one of Ghirardelli’s Sumptuous sundaes, Splits, Shakes, or other dessert treats.
This is really one not to be missed so if you are running out of room in another restaurant then skip dessert and head here to share one of Ghirardelli’s famous Sundaes!
Other Great Options:
Cosy Cone Motel
This is a super cute dining spot. Taken from the Cars Film, the cozy cone motel is a series of Teepee-style buildings, made from giant oversized road cones. While it would be cool to be able to stay at the Motel, this is not really feasible inside the DCA resort. Instead, each cone has been converted into food-cart-style outlets. Churros, Mac and Cheese Cones, and Frozen Cones are just some of the tasty delights available here…one of our favorite food stops in the park
Ok, not the best food stands in the park but we can’t say no to a Corndog so this is always a must-stop for us!
Angry Dogs are your fairly basic hotdogs spiced up a few notches. Served with Chilli Fries they are great for spice lovers and the slightly annoyed dog is a toned-down version for those who don’t. A perfect snack for strolling along the boardwalk!
Best Bar/Lounge in Disneyland in Disney California Adventure
We have pretty much already covered the best lounges and bars in the park with our other options. The Lamplight Lounge is easily our favorite along with the Carthey Circle Lounge. The Sonoma Terrace and the Mendocino Terrace are also really nice places to unwind.
The only other bar of note is the Hollywood Lounge. However, personally, we are not huge fans of the Lounge and do not frequent it often.
Disney California Adventure Dining Packages
There are several Dining Packages you can purchase in the park. These give you preferred seating along with a meal at one of the participating restaurants for one of DCA’s shows or nighttime spectaculars. There are three options to choose from covering Frozen Live and The World of Colour show.
The World of Colour Dining Package –
$50-74 per adult and $25 per child (ages 3 to 9)
- Carthay Circle Restaurant
- Wine Country Trattoria
- Storytellers Cafe
After reserving lunch or dinner at one of the above restaurants you will receive a voucher for premium reserved seating for the night-time spectacular later on in the evening. The menu is a Prix-Fixed menu, not the regular AlaCarte but the comparable quality you just won’t get the headline dishes on the menu.
The Premium seating right at the front gets you the best seat in the house for the nighttime spectacular.
The Storytellers Cafe is an all-you-can-eat buffet inside the Grand Californian Hotel so not actually in the park but very conveniently located.
The World of Color Dessert Party –
$84 per person (2 and under free)
- Paradise Gardens Park
Another option for the World of Color is the Dessert Party. Here you get premium seating at a table in Paradise Gardens Park. You will receive a plated selection of Dessert treats, fruit, and cheese along with bottomless beverages or one alcoholic drink per adult.
We booked The World of Colour Dessert Party on one of our trips, read more HERE
Remember you can join the virtual queue for The World of Colour and still get great seating or simply watch from Paradise Gardens Park without booking in the standing areas. Read how to get the best spot to watch the World of Color in our latest ARTICLE
The Opening of the Avengers Campus in 2020 has brought with it Avengers-themed eateries for Marvel fans to enjoy. There are no fine dining options here, with only Quick service and Food Carts. But if reasonably cheap, quick, and is any Avenger Fan’s dream place to eat!
Pym Test Kitchen
$14.99 and under per Adult. Lunch and breakfast Menus are available.
Based in an old lab facility, this quick-service food option is themed around Pym Particle Technology from the Ant-Man series. Items on the menu regularly change but don’t worry, there is no portion-shrinking tech going on here, All items ordered are of the usual size served in the Disney Parks. Food on offer here is mainly American style with some healthy and vegetarian options available, all in a unique dining experience, Don’t forget to try the ultimate CHOCSMASH bar- a chocolate bar of celestial proportions!
Pym Testing Lab
Alcoholic Drinks are available from $12- $39
If you still want to experience Pym Particle technology but aren’t hungry then the Pym Testing Lab has hero-worthy drinks for Guests to test brewed right in the Pym Testing Lab! However, with only 1 non-alcoholic beverage brewed in the lab, this is really only one for the over 21 Avenger Fans. But with a large selection of Avenger-themed cocktails and beers available, there is plenty to choose from for the over 21s. Where else can you get an oversized Ruler Fight Board with choices of beers or cocktails (Pint-Sized Pints Mini Flight)? Be warned that the exclusivity is expressed in the prices ($39 for Ruler Flight Board)!
No Avenger Campus would be complete without Ironman’s favorite food! The Shawarma Palace food truck offers the Avenger’s favorite snack, a yummy chicken wrap with garlic spread (Impossible plant-based falafel is also available) from its quick-service food truck. Seasonal variations are also available such as the Wakandan Pork Wrap but menu selections are subject to change. Here you can also pick up the iconic Mightly Thors Cola drinks vessel for $28. The shawarma is really tasty, full of flavor, and can be shared by 2 or one each if you are really hungry.
If you still have room for dessert after your Shawarma, then head over to Terran Treats’ quick-service food cart for uniquely flavored churro spirals.
Have Your Say
Where do you like to Dine in Disney Califonia Adventure? Have you got a particular favorite or have you tried any of the places on our list? Maybe you had a really bad experience and want to let us know. Whatever you have to say just fire away in the comments or if you have any questions again the comments section below is the place to go for an answer!