Exploding geysers. Racing thrills. Heroic encounters. Old-time boardwalk excitement. A day inside Disney California Adventure Park 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 to American, and other foods influenced by Disney and Avengers movies. (Speaking of Avengers, hop on over to our Avengers Campus post. We are toadally excited about the fun and delicious new themed foods at the Pym Test Kitchen and Shawarma Palace carts.)
Our Frog Family thinks that food is one of the things this park does best. And with many quick-service California Adventure restaurants offering Disneyland Mobile Order service, we have enjoyed getting our food even quicker by skipping the order line. Keep in mind that food availability is still in flux at Disneyland Resort. Some items or menus have not yet returned, and we've done our best to note them. Some locations require you to mobile order, others only sometimes. It's best to be prepared to mobile order when available.
Best Quick-Service Restaurants at Disney California Adventure Park
Here's a look at our favorite Disney California Adventure quick-service restaurants by land. They'll give you a great taste of California's variety of flavors!
Drive into Cars Land
Flo’s V8 Café
Flo’s V8 Café in Cars Land is designed after a roadside diner and features comfort food favorites. During normal times, you can pull in to fuel up for breakfast with brioche french toast, chicken tamales, a traditional American breakfast and even "Cars" character waffles for the tadpoles. Breakfast has not returned during the pandemic, but Flo's still opens pretty early for people needing a fill up before lunch time. For lunch and dinner, try Flo’s Famous Fried Chicken, chicken fenders, a club sandwich, burgers, a salad and more. We recommend going at night when it is all lit up with neon lights.
You can also enjoy the shakes. Standard flavors are chocolate, strawberry and vanilla, although you can get all three in the secret menu Neapolitan shake, or even try a seasonal shake. Shakes come topped with “road gravel,” (aka chocolate cookie crumbles)! If the line seems daunting, try the new Disneyland Mobile Order service as 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.
Cozy Cone Motel
You'll also find the Cozy Cone Motel in Cars Land. 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 quick meals is the Bacon Mac ‘n’ Cheese Cone or the Chili Cone Queso 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! These cones rank highly among the best on-the-go Disneyland foods.
If you just need to top off your hunger, Cozy Cone is a great place to take a pit stop for some snacks. The tadpoles like the flavored popcorn, churros and soft-serve ice cream (toppings have not returned). The ice cream is one of the best Disneyland snacks and treats. It's so yummy and worth a stop when visiting Radiator Springs! You may have to mobile order at this location.
Check Out a Bounty of Choices at Pacific Wharf
Pacific Wharf Café and Food Court
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. Lily loves the secret menu mac 'n' cheese bread bowl.
While I order my food, Leap usually picks up some Asian food at Lucky Fortune Cookery, which recently updated its menu.
Tad jumps for Mexican at Cocina Cucamonga. May we recommend the QuesaBirria tacos? We all meet up to eat together. These three restaurants offer mobile order, which makes it even quicker and easier for us to divide up and come together with our favorite meals.Tad jumps for Mexican at Cocina Cucamonga. May we recommend the QuesaBirria tacos? We all meet up to eat together. These three restaurants offer mobile order, which makes it even quicker and easier for us to divide up and come together with our favorite meals.
After giving ourselves some time to digest, we swing into Ghirardelli to satisfy our sweet tooth with ice cream sundaes. You can never have too much ice cream! 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
If you are hungry, you might overlook the Sonoma Terrace, thinking that it only serves drinks. But this spot offers some quick bites, such as tasty sandwiches, pretzels and other seasonal eats. You might enjoy some seasonal cocktails, beer, hard cider or California wines to wash down your food. Look for special additions during festival and holidays.
Satisfy Heroic Appetites in Avengers Campus
Pym Test Kitchen
You can get breakfast, lunch or dinner at this food-based lab turned restaurant. Our Super Foodie Guide to Avengers Campus will give you all the yummy details. But the main concept is that this lab uses Pym Particles to grow and shrink foods. In the movies, Ant-Man and the Wasp use Pym Particles to grow and shrink just about anything, including themselves.
At breakfast, try the Calculated Breakfast, which is eggs two ways with potato bites and focaccia toast. The real star is the potato bites (tots). We also like the Ever-Expanding Cinna-Pym Toast with bacon and syrup.
For lunch and dinner we seem to keep going back to the Pym-ini sandwich and Not So Little Chicken Sandwich. The Pym-ini has salami, rosemary ham, provolone, sun-dried tomato spread on toasted focaccia with marinara dipping sauce and arugula salad. It's served by the slice ($14.49) or in a shareable family-sized format (serves six to eight people for $99.99 — it's eight slices, and they are pretty filling).
The Not So Little Chicken Sandwich is a fried chicken breast with teriyaki and red chili sauces, pickled cabbage slaw on brioche with crispy potato bites. The chicken is delicious, but you'll want to grab a fork and knife to eat it! The sandwich is more of a gimmick than a real sandwich. The sauce has a little kick to it, but we did not find it too spicy.
If you are looking for a salad, get the Caesar Salad + Colossal Crouton. It's like a head of romaine and tasty. Vegetarian guests will enjoy the Impossible Spoonful — Rigatoni and ditalini pastas, plant-based meat-balls, tomato sauce, dairy-free Parmesan and micro basil.
Note the gigantic condiment bottles and soda cans. Speaking of soda, try the Pingo Doce green drink that's only available in Avengers Campus.
And there is the giant Quantum Pretzel. Weighing in at 453.8 grams, this Bavarian style pretzel with sauce is big enough to share.
After an epic battle, the Avengers go for some shawarma. Now you can too (maybe after watching the Avengers duke it out in a stunt show). There are two Shawarma Palace carts in Avengers Campus. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the morning, the plant-based Impossible Breakfast Sha-warm-up wrap comes with spiced maple syrup.
In the afternoon/evening there are two choices: New York’s Tastiest (chicken wrap with garlic sauce) and the plant-based Impossible Victory Falafel (hummus and crusted cauliflower). Both are delicious, but the coconut yogurt tahini dipping sauce for either is the bomb. This is a great snack or meal when you are on-the-go!
Land Yourself in Grizzly Peak
After you ride Soarin’, fly on over to Smokejumper’s Grill. Now, the menu isn't too fancy, with mainly cheeseburgers and chicken sandwiches, but they do offer some special items for festivals and holidays to keep it interesting. The kids like the chicken tenders and mac 'n' cheese. We used to love the self-serve toppings (lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and more) at the condiment station as a way to load upon some veggies, but this has not returned during the pandemic. We hope it does because 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 even more money-saving tips at Disneyland and California Adventure to share with you.
Don’t froget dessert! You can get a chocolate, vanilla or seasonal shake. It has not returned yet, but our absolute favorite is the Cobbler Shake — a vanilla milkshake with a scoop of delicious seasonal cobbler. So yummy! Sometimes we hop in just for the Cobbler Shake! This location offers mobile order, and at times that may be the only way to order.
Hop into Hollywood Land
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 Wieners. Add in a supporting cast of Filmstrip Fries and Funnel Cake Fries for dessert. You'll find this quick-service restaurant on the streets of Hollywood Land. Vegetarians may appreciate the Plant-Based Philly Dog with mushrooms, grilled onions and peppers on a plant-based hot dog. Be sure to check out seasonal offerings.
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 tasty nachos, because obviously any time is a good time for nachos. You'll find plant-based options, slushes and usually some fun seasonal or festival offerings, as well. Check them out for a quick snack.
Go Down by the Boardwalk at Pixar Pier and Paradise Gardens Park
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. ;)
Corn Dog Castle
Tad prefers his hot dog in the form of a deep-fried, juicy corn dog from Corn Dog Castle. If you want a meat-free choice, try the fried cheese on a stick. Another money-saving option is to skip the chips or apple slices that come with it to shave a few dollars off the price.
When you are on Pixar Pier and you need a little pick-me-up, get a box of chicken legs, a buttery ear of corn on the cob or a turkey leg to tide you over at Poultry Palace.
Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta (temporarily closed)
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.
Paradise Garden Grill
We love the variability of the Paradise Garden Grill, depending on the season. Chances are that you will encounter a completely different menu when you visit. This spot completely reinvents the food it is serving from Halloween through holiday time (Mexican) and again for Lunar New Year (Asian) and the Disney California Adventure 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! The Mediterranean menu 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.
No matter when you visit, be sure to also check out the musical entertainment while you eat. If you are visiting during a festival, you can also enjoy a huge variety of tasty bites and beverages at the various festival booths along the parade route. We love the adventurous array of flavors we can get from the best quick-service California Adventure restaurants and festival booths!
This is not what we'd call a full restaurant, but it is a quick place to mobile order a chorizo breakfast burrito or croissant in the morning. In the afternoon you can grab a citrus pollo asado burrito.
Even though our favorite quick-service California Adventure restaurants are not the only places we like to eat in the park, these are some of our most frequent stops. We have mostly focused on meal time food in this post; however, there are a few more spots we like to hop into to find our favorite Disneyland snacks. 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 quick-service California Adventure restaurant? Share in comments below, and don't froget to tell us your favorite dish and why you love it! Want to increase your food budget? Then save money with discount Disneyland Resort theme park tickets and get get hoppin' deals on Los Angeles and Anaheim hotel stays near Disneyland with Undercover Tourist.
Related: Best On-the-Go Disneyland Foods