Exploding geysers. Racing thrills. Old-time boardwalk excitement. A day inside Disney California Adventure offers plenty of variety. This abundance of fun and thrills spills over into the dining options as well. You’ll find a variety of food types that correspond to the many ethnic influences in California, from Chinese to Mexican and American and other foods influenced by Disney and Marvel movies. Our Frog Family thinks that food is one of the things this park does best. And with 10 Disney California Adventure quick-service restaurants offering the new Disneyland mobile ordering service, we have enjoyed getting our food even quicker by skipping the order line. Here's a look at our favorite Disney California Adventure quick-service restaurants. They'll give you a great taste of California's variety of flavors.
Best Disney California Adventure Quick-Service Restaurants
Drive into Cars Land
Flo’s V8 Café in Cars Land is designed after a roadside diner and features comfort food favorites such as Flo’s Famous Fried Chicken, Blue Plate Special with slow-cooked turkey, a club sandwich, a pot pie, burgers, a tuna sandwich and more. We recommend going at night when it is all lit up with neon lights. But Flo’s is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert. You can enjoy the shakes. Standard flavors are chocolate, strawberry and vanilla, although you can get all three in the secret menu Neapolitan shake or try a seasonal shake or pie. Shakes come topped with “road gravel!” If the line seems daunting, try the new Disneyland mobile ordering serviceas kind of a drive-thru option. We like the seating options. You can park yourself at a retro booth, fuel up next to a gas tank out front or chill out on the back patio as Radiator Springs Racers zoom by.
Also in Cars Land is the Cozy Cone Motel. There are a number of tasty eats to be found here (usually in some kind of cone-shaped food or wrapper or theme—ice cream cone or "popcone"), but our absolute favorite is the Bacon Mac ‘n’ Cheese Cone or the Chili Cone Queso—your choice of beef or vegetarian chili wrapped in an edible bread cone and topped with cheese and Fritos. It’s worth driving in and dealing with traffic (aka the “rush-hour” line) for this meal you can eat on the go. They sometimes have tasty special seasonal cones too!
Bounty of Choices at Pacific Wharf
When we are in the Pacific Wharf area, I always make a beeline for Pacific Wharf Café. I love its fresh sandwiches, salads or soup in a freshly baked bread bowl. That area is designed like a food court, with several California Adventure quick-service restaurants sure to please each picky eater in your family. While I order my food, Leap usually picks up some Asian rice bowls (with your choice of meat and sauce) for Lily and himself at Lucky Fortune Cookery, and Tad jumps for Mexican at Cocina Cucamonga. We all meet up to eat together. Afterward, we swing into Ghirardelli to satisfy our sweet tooth with a free sample of chocolate and to check out the chocolate and ice cream sundae selection. You can never have too much ice cream, but they had me at "free," so I try to steer the family on through with their free taste of chocolate and otherwise full bellies. You need to be hungry to eat one of those sundaes! If you choose to indulge, we recommend Land's End—Salted Caramel Brownie Sundae or Muir Woods, full of black cherry vanilla ice cream. #nom
Landing Yourself at Smokejumpers Grill
After you ride Soarin’ Around The World, you can land yourself at Smokejumper’s Grill. Now, the menu isn't too fancy with mainly cheeseburgers and chicken sandwiches, but they do offer a BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich and some Campfire Chili. The kids like the chicken skewer or grilled cheese. We love the self-serve toppings (lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and more) as a way to load upon some veggies. You can practically add a salad to your sandwich! That is a value any savvy mom who is trying to feed her family while staying on a budget can appreciate. Plus, I do like it when Tad and Lily eat their vegetables. If you like to save money like I do, I have more money-saving tips at Disneyland and California Adventureto share with you. Don’t forget dessert! You can get a s’more or shake, but our absolute favorite is the Cobbler Shake — a vanilla milkshake with a scoop of delicious seasonal cobbler. So yummy! Sometime we hop in just for the Cobbler Shake!
Studio Catering Co.
You’ve just exited Guardians of the Galaxy and your hunger is out of this world. What’s that in Hollywood Land? Is that a food truck? It is, and it’s serving up The Most Dangerous Tacos in the Galaxy (with barbacoa beef), Space Outpost Tacos and Obviously Nachos, because obviously any time is a good time for nachos. They have vegetarian options and usually some fun seasonal or festival offerings as well. Check them out.
Hot Dog, Hot Dog, Hot Diggity Dog!
Are you a hot dog or sausage connoisseur? Try a new twist on an old classic at Award Weiners — perhaps with a supporting cast of Filmstrip Fries and Funnel Cake Fries for dessert — on the streets of Hollywood Land after you enjoy in Frozen — Live at the Hyperion. Vegetarians may appreciate the Portobello Mushroom Philly.
Tad prefers his hotdog in the form of a deep-fried, juicy corn dog from the Corn Dog Castle. They also sell fried cheese on a stick if you want a meat-free option. Another money-saving option is to skip the chips or apple slices that come with it to shave a few dollars off the price. Angry Dogs is our go-to spot for simple hotdogs (with different degrees of temper toppings) on Pixar Pier, so we sometimes hop by for a quick bite. We just make sure we've ridden the Incredicoaster first ;)
Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta
Every family has that tadpole who only wants pizza or pasta, so it’s good to know that you can find these options cafeteria style at Disney California Adventure. I love that they have freshly tossed salads that you can customize if you need to, and they offer pasta dishes that will please an adult palate in addition to the tadpoles. It’s also a good place to stock up on kid-friendly healthy snacks like string cheese, fruit, Uncrustables and yogurt.
Paradise Garden Grill offers a changing menu, depending on the season. It completely reinvents the food it is serving during Holiday time (Mexican), Lunar New Year(Asian), and the Food & Wine Festival (various dishes). When there isn’t a reason to celebrate, the standard food is Mediterranean and very good. Perhaps that’s reason enough to celebrate! It includes grilled skewers with rice, cucumber salad, the sauce of your choice and pita bread. They also have a beef Gyro platter and a fresh Greek Salad. Check out the variety of musical entertainment while you eat. You can also enjoy a huge variety of tasty bites and beverages at the various Festival Booths along the parade route during those seasons as well. We love the adventurous variety of flavors we can get from the best California Adventure quick-service restaurants and festival booths!
Even though our favorite Disney California Adventure quick-service restaurants are not the only places we like to eat in the park, these are some of our most frequent stops. When we want to have a special occasion to celebrate or want a table-service restaurant, I make reservations a few weeks in advance through the Disney Dining Reservations system. We’re pretty sure, though, that your taste buds will be satisfied at any of these Disney California Adventure quick service restaurants!
What's your favorite California Adventure quick-service restaurant? Share in comments below, and don't forget to tell us your favorite dish and why you love it!