DISNEYLAND! My heart skips a beat just thinking about stepping inside those magical gates and walking underneath that icon sign: "Here you leave Today and enter the world of Yesterday, Tomorrow, and Fantasy." ...... I just got chills. Disneyland is my home away from home. The lights, the characters, the music, the dancing, and of course, THE FOOD.
It's a well known fact that deliciously sweet smells are pumped into Main Street to lure visitors into the shops to taste their magical wares. It works! Disneyland rakes in tons and tons and TONS of money a year, and from looking at the prices of food sold in the parks, one can assume a large portion of that is from guests feeding themselves! And rightfully so! Some of the morsels sold in the park are DELICIOUS and definitely worth the money.
Now, everyone knows the standard foods that Disneyland is known for. That's not what this list is for! No, you will not be seeing Corndogs from the Little Red Wagon or Churros from the Churro Carts listed below. This post is all about letting YOU in on a few of my favorite foods in Disneyland that get overlooked way too often! Instead of spending your well earned money on being a "Basic Disneyland Eater", invest in a magical food experience! All ten of these foods listed are worth the trip to the Happiest Place on Earth. Because do adults go to the parks for the characters? Well... yes. But we also go BECAUSE FOOD, duh.
1. Pomegranate Piranha Lemonade from The Bengal Barbecue
Now I know what you're thinking; "She starts the list off with LEMONADE??" Hear me out. This is not regular lemonade. This is icy mango lemonade, served with addicting pomegranate "pearls" that burst in your mouth, releasing sweet complimentary flavor, all topped with a creamy foam. This is a perfect way to beat the heat in the hot California sun, and the tangy sweet zing of the lemonade is a light way to treat yourself to the "sweet life". I only just discovered this treat early 2016, but it has quickly become one of the Disney treats I crave
2. The Tostada Salad at Rancho del Zocale Restaurante
The one place you can get spicy tacos, burritos and enchiladas in the park is so often forgotten, there is almost NEVER a line for this place. That is in NO WAY a testament to the quality of meals to be had here. While everyone is in line for Dole Whips and churros a few yards away, you can quietly sneak into this tiled cafeteria-style restaurant and get your meal before they even get to the front of that churro line.
Served in a crispy tortilla bowl, this salad is NOT just a salad. It's HUGE; this is easily split between the husband and I, and we both leave the table feeling stuffed! Your choice of marinated beef or chicken is served on a bed of refried beans, lettuce, cheese, guacamole and sour cream. No dressing is needed; everything mixed together so well and the whole thing is super flavorful with a slight kick of spice. This is one of my all time favorite meals in the Park!
3. The Matterhorn Macaroon at Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe
The Jolly Holiday Bakery is the perfect spot for a delicious sandwich (Caprese Sandwich, much??) and the sweetest treats. Heads up, this won't be the last time you see this eaterie on this list! If you are a coconut lover, you need to snack on this tasty morsel of coconutty-vanilla-white chocolate goodness.
Formed to look like one of the most iconic Disneyland landmarks, this take on the Italian-Jewish treat (not to be confused with the French macarons that are becoming ever popular) is sold from open to close, so no worries about the Breakfast menu not mentioning the cookie. YOU MUST TRY THIS CHEWY TREAT!
4. Safari Skewers at The Bengal Barbecue
VEGGIES. MADE. THE. LIST. Don't riot, just yet! Have you tried this yet? I've been posting about these bacon wrapped asparagus skewers for years now! If you aren't an asparagus fan, or if you've never tried it, THIS is how you fall in love. The Flavor Fairies chop par-cooked asparagus, wrap each individual piece in bacon, then skewer them up and toss those babies on the grill. As you stand in line to order, you can see the Cast Members working a grill lodged in the center of a "tree trunk". Watching them cook your meal fresh is part of the fun!
The skewer is served with a slice or two of fresh lemon. This is NOT just for looks. Squeeze the fresh lemon over the skewer, and suddenly you have some of the best bites of veggies you'll ever eat.
5. The Raspberry Rose Mickey Macaron at The Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe
Oh, looky there. The Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe made the list again. This time, with the Disney-fied French Macaron; The Raspberry Rose Mickey Macaron, to be exact.
The delicious rose creme filling with fresh raspberries is sandwiched between two perfectly almond macaron cookies. Look at it, in all its magenta and gold glory! I saw this in the baked goods window one day a couple years ago, and was instantly taken by it! The fresh raspberries peeking out the sides, and HELLO I'm a sucker for some gold luster dusting... So I bought this baby along with my sandwich and was in heaven. I ended up stopping by the park the next day JUST to get another one... Yea. I'm that person.
6. The Funnel Cakes at The Hungry Bear
FUNNEL CAKES! Just like any good fair has, only WAY better because they have actually put some effort into them! The Hungry Bear offers Strawberry, Brownie and Churro flavored funnel cakes on the regular, with one additional flavor per season. My favorite, by far, is the Churro Funnel cake, pictured above. This one started out as just a seasonal flavor, but because of popularity, they brought it on as a new staple flavor!
7. The Cream Cheese Filled Pretzel at the Tomorrowland Pretzel Cart
There is nothing like a good and fluffy twist of delicious carbs that we call a Pretzel. Oh wait... there IS something better. The CREAM CHEESE FILLED Pretzel found in Tomorrowland. This is the ONLY cart that I know of that sells this pretzel. I know, because I may or may not have gone to each cart in the Park to ask... I'm just a thorough researcher. The cart can be found smack dab in the middle of the Star Tours gift shop, Space Mountain, Innoventions and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.
This delicious knot of fluff is piped full of sweetened cream cheese, and is completely worth the price. Who need's a churro?? There are PRETZELS to be had!
8. The Chocolate Croissant from the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe
Again, the Jolly Holiday is the Motherland to all things delicious and baked. Don't worry, you'll be happy I mentioned this one!
This flaky handheld treat is a tad messy (crumbs... little boogers), so either walk and eat with caution, or take a breather and relax under a bright yellow umbrella. It's full of warm, chocolatey goodness and really great for satisfying that sweet tooth. Share with a friend! Or don't. I wouldn't blame you.
9. The BLT Flatbread at The Village Haus
The Village Haus, located kitty-corner to Dumbo the Flying Elephant and across from Casey Jr's Circus Train rides, is a cute little spot in Fantasyland to grab a quick bite. You can pick from burgers, hot dogs and sandwiches, ORRRRRRR... The BLT Flatbread! Crisp flatbread is brushed with a garlic oil, then layered with lots of mozzarella, roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions, crisp bacon and topped with fresh shaved fennel. Can you say yum?? Hidden, no more! Stop by and say hello to your new friend! P.S.! In the Fall, they switch the BLT Flatbread out for a BUFFALO CHICKEN FLATBREAD! I haven't tried that one yet, but you can bet your Disney pins that it's on my list! I'll be sure to update you on the Yum!
10. The Cinnamon-Apple Baton from the Troubadour Tavern
Tucked away in the back of the park, is a little eatery called The Troubadour Tavern. This place is ridiculously easy to miss if you don't know it's there. On your way to Toontown, there is a little pathway that leads up to the Fantasyland Theater where you can watch a wonderfully colorful performance of Mickey's Magical Map (it's one of my favorite shows, guys. Four different princesses, some fun musical numbers, Stitch and King Louie all in one show? Yes please!). Just before you get to the amphitheater, there is a little food stand on the left. Selling things like bratwurst (yes.. bratwurst), stuffed potatoes, and pretzels and cheese, this stand is forgotten most of the time.
If you find yourself at Disneyland Friday, Saturday or Sunday between the hours of 12:00-6:30pm, you should definitely stop by and pick up a treat. The hours are a little funny, yes, but I'm just happy they are open some of the time. This gem disappeared from Disneyland for a while and reopened in 2013 with a smaller menu. Give this place more business so they'll keep it open a bit more!
I'll tell you all about the tasty morsel pictured above in a second, but in an effort to be completely honest with you, this Cinnamon-Apple Baton was not on my first draft of this list. There were two other items sold here that were on this list but were recently removed from the menu. When I went to go pick them up for this post, I was met with a very, very disappointing reply. BUT! It forced me to try out this new guy for the first time, and it did NOT disappoint!
The flaky pastry is served nice and toasty-warm, filled with sweet and tender apples and addictive cinnamon. This is basically hand-held apple pie with the crispy crust in every. Single. Bite. We should all know by now that I LOVE apple desserts, so of COURSE this is the perfect treat for me.
Do you have a favorite Disneyland treat? Let me know, and you might see it on a future list! :)