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 to 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 many Disney California Adventure quick-service restaurants offering Disneyland mobile order 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 by land. 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
Flo’s V8 Café in Cars Land is designed after a roadside diner and features comfort food favorites. You can pull in to fuel up for breakfast with brioche french toast, chicken tamales, an American breakfast and even Cars character waffles for the tadpoles. For lunch and dinner, try Flo’s Famous Fried Chicken, the Blue Plate Special, a club sandwich, pot pie burgers, a Fin-tastic 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 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!” If the line seems daunting, try the new Disneyland mobile ordering service as 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.
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 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!
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. Tad jumps for Mexican at Cocina Cucamonga. We all meet up to eat together. 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 meatball sandwiches, pretzels and other seasonal eats. You might enjoy some seasonal cocktails, beer, hard cider or California wines to wash down your food.
Land Yourself in Grizzly Peak
After you ride Soarin’, 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 signature mac 'n' cheese with crispy pork belly 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) at the condiment station 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 Adventure to 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! Sometimes we hop in just for the Cobbler Shake! This location has mobile order and usually has great seasonal additions to the menu.
Hop into Hollywood Land
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 tacos and nachos, because obviously any time is a good time for nachos. You'll find plant-based options and usually some fun seasonal or festival offerings, as well. Check them out for a budget-friendly and quick meal.
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 after you enjoy Frozen — Live at the Hyperion. Vegetarians may appreciate the Plant-Based Philly Dog with mushrooms, grilled onions and peppers on a plant-based hot dog.
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.
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.
Paradise Garden Grill
We love the changeability of the Paradise Garden Grill, depending on the season. You might encounter a completely different menu, depending on when you visit. This spot completely reinvents the food it is serving during Halloween through 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! 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 variety of 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 during those seasons, as well. We love the adventurous array 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. 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 California Adventure quick-service restaurant? Share in comments below, and don't forget to tell us your favorite dish and why you love it!
Related: Best on-the-go Disneyland Foods