Best Restaurants in Disneyland California – Disneyland’s Best Signature, Fine Dining Restaurants

Themepark food has a universally bad reputation and on the whole, this is pretty justified. Those seeking fine cuisine are not usually well served in a themepark environment. Disney however has always been on to try and book this trend and offers a huge range of dining options in its theme park resorts. From the cheap and cheerful fried comfort food you expect, to some really quality high-end restaurants, establishments that could really hold their own without the captive themepark audience.

It is these restaurants we take a look at here. These are Disneyland’s Best Signature, Fine Dining Restaurants. The places you go for that slap-up celebratory meal, to make your visit that bit more special. Disneyland California has a range of fine-dining restaurants available, from in-park-themed dining to the highest-end hotel eateries. We take you through the Best Restaurants in Disneyland California.

Best Restaurants in Disneyland California

The Napa Rose

  • Price Range: Starters $13-22 – Entrees $40-$45 – Desserts – $9-$12
  • Prix Fixe Vintner Menu: $125 – Wine Pairing $55
  • Style: Californian
  • Location: Grand Californian Hotel
  • Menu
  • Notes: Dinner Only
Napa Rose Dining  Room

The Napa Rose has been Diseyland’s premiere eatery since opening in 2001 and has been awarded several prestigious decorations for its innovative and exciting cuisine. It is also not that expensive considering the level of cookery, menu items are pretty reasonable.

This is arguably the finest Restaurant Disney has ever opened, and Chef Andrew Sutton runs the restaurant like a proper fine dining establishment. Fresh ingredients, bags of flavor, and a lot of talent.

The menu currently seems a little lackluster. Post Covid there seems to have been a cull in the variety offered. The Quality is still there, but there is just also less going on. We recommend opting for the prix fixe Vintner Menu, which offers a selection of 4 courses of seasonal dishes for a fixed price. This can also be accompanied by a curated Wine Pairing, which pairs a fantastic wine with each dish. This is definitely the better value, but it normally does include some Seafood dishes and these are not for everyone.

The current menu is very slimmed down if you are choosing Al-A-Carte with only 4 Entree options. But it is still the finest option anywhere in Disneyland.

The restaurant itself is seriously stunning. It utilizes an Open Kitchen Concept so you can see the chefs preparing the meals and witness the heat and fire of a pro kitchen in action. The Dining room is wonderfully decked out, with plush linens, fancy table decorations, and high-end tableware. The Ceilings are high and the style is rustic Californian with lashings of rich wood and warm lighting. It is a stunning place to visit, and feels anything but “Disney”.

The experience starts from the moment you enter the stunning Grand California Lobby, With its towering ceilings and roaring fires. As you enter the Napa Rose, you will be serenaded by munitions before relaxing in the lounge while your table is prepared. It’s just a really civilized and serene experience, a far cry from the madness of the parks.

Really if you are looking to push the boat out and have a really special meal the Napa Rose is the only choice. And for real foodies, it’s the only restaurant that properly fits the fine dining tag, it has a dress code and despite the focus on Grand Californian Wine Country Theming, the focus is always on the food.

There is also the option of dining in the Napa Rose Lounge. This is a little more casual with raring fireplaces and a relaxed bar vibe. Here you can indulge in cocktails and fine spirits, and grab a dessert or Smaller plate. You don’t need to have a full meal like inside the main dining room.

The fact that Napa is not inside the park means you can visit on days when you do not have a park ticket, so you are not wasting precious park hours, a full experience here will take upwards of two hours and you are immersed in the culinary experience. Or if you are in Disneys California Adventure, you can access the restaurant directly from the park via the hotel’s Park Side entrance.

Catal Restaraunt

  • Price Range: Starters $10-$19 – Entrees $26-$53 – Desserts – $11-$12
  • Style: Modern Elegance
  • Location: Downtown Disney
  • Menu
  • Notes: Dinner and Brunch
Catal Restraunt

It is a bit difficult to put your finger on what exactly the Catal Restaurant is supposed to be. Disney Dining is, like most things at Disneyland, heavily themed but the Catal does not really have such an obvious style. It is primarily a restaurant.

We suppose this is a good thing as the focus is on the food, not some gimmicky theming. And the food is Americanized Mederterain. So European-style cuisine with an American twist. So you can find Pizza, Pasta, and Paella, but all tweaked for the American palate and using American ingredients. You can also find some American classics such as a steakhouse Burger and Mac and Cheese on the menu too.

It’s a really interesting concept and one that is fairly unique. The Menu is also pretty well-priced considering the high-end nature and fine-dining experience. Only the Fillet Migon really stands out as a wallet buster, and honestly, there are better options. We really love the Paella, it’s not something readily available in America, and comes as a big portion and can easily be split.

We don’t consider the Catal to be as high-end as the Napa Rose, but the prices reflect this as do the ambiance and table settings. It is more of a fancy restaurant, rather than a fine-dining establishment. But it’s well worth checking out.

We also love the Location, overlooking downtown Disney makes for a really special place to enjoy a meal. Perfect, first-night dining location.

There is also the Uva Bar, offering an outdoor experience where you can just grab a cocktail and a light bite for a more relaxed affair.

Carthay Circle

  • Price Range: Starters $14-22 – Entrees $34-$75 – Desserts – $15
  • Style: Hollywood Glamour
  • Location: Disney California Adventure – Hollywood Boulevard
  • Menu
  • Notes: Dinner Only
Carthay Circle Restaurant

The Carthay Circle is situated in the Disney California Adventure Park so if you want to dine here you are going to need a valid park ticket and park reservation for the day of your visit.

The Restaurant takes diners back to the Golden age of Hollywood, and into the Carthay Circle Theater. This no demolished theater was the center of the universe for the Golden age and hosted countless Hollywood Premieres including the first-ever showing of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, something of a pivotal moment in Movie history!

This faithful replica takes pride of place on Hollywood Boulevard(the original was on San Vicente Blvd but let’s not split hairs), and the restaurant is situated on the second floor overlooking the park’s main thoroughfare, although there are very limited views from inside. The dining room is stunningly fitted out with rich wooden paneling, velvet cushioning, and ornate corniced ceilings with decadent light fittings. It really is fit for the Hollywood royalty of yesteryear.

The one downside of operating inside the park is they can’t really enforce a dress code. So this elegant sophistication is a bit trampled on by the hordes of themepark visitors decked out in Mickey T-shirts and Ears, disheveled after a day hitting the parks. We feel the dining room deserves better, but we are not going to traipse all the way back to our hotel to get changed for dinner inside a themepark, so we do not expect others to either, it’s just a bit odd to be sat in such a regal atmosphere, looking so disheveled!

The food is also a throwback to the golden age and this is no bad thing. The Restaurant is under the supervision of Andrew Sutton, of Napa Rose Fame, and has put together a timeless menu of modernized classics. The Pork Chop is legendary and when available the 20oz New York Strip steak is a monster.

It simply would not be the Golden Age of Hollywood without a stellar cocktail menu and the Carthay Circle offers the best drinks experience in Disney. There are no Pre-Mix monstrosities here, just proper old-school mixology!

Like All of Disney’s Signature restaurants, the Carthey Circle also offers a Lounge option where you can get a similar but more relaxed experience.

Blue Bayou

  • Price Range: Starters $8-18 – Entrees $36-$56 – Desserts – $8-$16
  • Style: Themed Deep South Riverside Dining- Creole/Cajan
  • Location: Disneyland Park
  • Menu
  • Notes: Heavily themed
Blue Bayou Disneyland CA

First of all, Blue Bayou does not really belong on this list as it is not a true Fine-Dining experience. However, due to the lack of options and the fact the Price Point puts it in direct competition to the Restaurants that do fit that category, we thought we would mention it here too.

The Blue Bayou is a heavily themed Diign experience that sits inside the Pirates of the Caraeban Ride. Offering a perpetual Deep south evening, complete with starlit skies, chirping frogs and crickets, faintly glowing Bayou swampland, and the occasional boatload of tourists on their way to meet the Pirates. It’s a fantastic setting and one of our favorite places to eat. The food however is not really fit for a Fine Dining Restaurant list!

The Cusine is meant to be Creole/Cajon and has some interesting offerings in that style, the Jamabalaya and Monte Cristo Sandwich really stand out but are hardly fine dining. Other Entrees hit $56+ for an average steak with a few carrots, the culinary experience is definitely below par.

We highly recommend it as an overall package, we just love the Big Easy vibes and colonial architecture, but on a slightly culinary sense you can do far better, especially when you consider price wise the Napa Rose and the Blue Bayou are about the same cost!

Steakhouse 55 – Perminately Closed?

When the Pandemic struck, the whole Disney resort closed down for an unprecedented 13 months. When the doors finally re-opened, not everything opened at the same time. Many attractions and restaurants opened in a slow and staged manner and even 2 years on, not all previous attractions and venues have returned. As we write this Feb 2023, the latest reopening, the world-famous and iconic Disney Parades have only just had their first showing since the pandemic, and there are still certain elements of the park that are yet to return to normal.

Unfortunately, it seems some of the closures and changes are to remain permanent. And Steakhouse 55 may well be one of those. Its doors have remained shut, its pages removed from the Disney Website, and the ominous tag placed on its Google listing of Perminately Closed.

However, the venue remains in the Disneyland Hotel and work has not begun on transforming it into something else. Disney remains tight-lipped, simply stating they are exploring other options for the venue. It certainly leaves very few dining options at the hotel and really there needs to be something put in its place, but there is still hope that something is just the old Steakhouse 55.

Have Your Say

What are your favorite Fine Dining restaurants in Disneyland California? Where do you head for that ultimate treat dinner? Have you tried one of the above and been disappointed? Or is there somewhere else that you think really deserves a mention? Let us know in the comments below, and if you have any questions just fire away.

You May Also Like

Leave a Comment