Since 2013, Disney Springs (the marketplace formerly known as Downtown Disney) has undergone a massive overhaul—adding over 100 new tenants, expanded retail space, and multiple parking garages.
What began as a small shopping village in 1975 has transformed into a trendy meeting spot for those looking to enjoy a night out.
One of the most impressive improvements has been the dining options, so our Marketing Manager, Tatjana, and I teamed up with Miami-based content creator, Foody Fetish, to showcase some of our favorite Disney Springs food spots. This is just Part One of our food crawl… check out Part 2 as well.
On the Hunt for the Best Disney Springs Food
You might recognize Foody Fetish (aka Yanni) from his wildly popular Instagram account. His account focuses specifically on drool-worthy food videos and boasts a fanbase of over 3.5 million followers. He’s the real deal when it comes to food so we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with him.
Our Disney Springs Food Crawl with Yanni spanned 3 days and 12 dining locations, from walk-up kiosks to table-service and everything in between.
Let’s recap some of our favorites, in no particular order:
- Erin McKenna’s Bakery
- Disney Springs Food Trucks
- Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Co.
- Sprinkles Cupcakes
- 4Rivers Cantina Barbacoa Food Truck
- Morimoto Asia
Erin McKenna’s Bakery
Erin McKenna’s Bakery is a small counter-service bakery located in The Landing area of Disney Springs. It’s right across from the Havaianas sandal shop and next to the new Orange Bird mural. What makes this bakery so special is that everything inside is gluten-free AND vegan. This is a very popular spot for those with plant-based dietary preferences and food allergies.
We were invited into the kitchen area to watch the bakers decorate some of the treats, which was a really cool experience.
The texture of the donuts was a bit too dense for my liking but I’m still impressed that these are vegan.
They bake their cinnamon rolls in a muffin tin to help them hold their shape.
Tatjana and I both agree that the cinnamon rolls were our favorite. The texture was much softer than the donut, which was a pleasant surprise, and it had just the right amount of cinnamon.
The flavor, the texture—it all worked together to create the best cinnamon roll I’ve ever tasted, and it was gluten free! I still can’t believe it.
My mom used to make homemade whoopie pies when I was a kid so I have a pretty high standard. These chocolate beauties didn’t disappoint and were another favorite among the group. What’s even cooler is the cream inside is made with coconut cream so it’s non-dairy.
We asked the manager what their most popular item is and without hesitation, she said the Ice Lemon Teacake. After all the chocolatey treats we tried, this was a nice change of pace. The cake itself was a lemon cake with raspberries inside and it was tangy and delicious! I can totally see why it’s their most popular item.
Erin McKenna’s also has a wide selection of cupcakes with flavors like s’mores, brownie, mint chocolate, lemon raspberry, and more. If you have a food allergy or dietary preference, I highly recommend you stop by Erin McKenna’s Bakery. Even if you DON’T have a restrictive diet, I’d say it’s worth a try!
Disney Springs Food Trucks
You can find the Disney Springs Food Trucks on the West Side of Disney Springs right next to Starbucks. The area can fit up to three food trucks at a time but the number of trucks you’ll see on a given day can vary. Food truck options include Mac & Cheese, Cookie Dough and Everything Sweet, Springs Street Tacos, Fantasy Fare, and Hot Diggity Dogs.
The two that were available when we visited were the Mac & Cheese and Cookie Dough trucks.
The Mac & Cheese food truck is the home to a variety of over-the-top macaroni and cheese toppings like bacon cheeseburger, barbecue brisket, and chicken parmesan.
All of those toppings sound AMAZING, but we settled on Chicken Parmesan. Out of everything we tried at either of the food trucks, this was everyone’s favorite. Instead of cheddar, the cheese sauce is made with parmesan, which obviously pairs perfectly with the chicken tenders and marinara sauce on top.
I present to you: the perfect bite.
We then moved on to the Cookie Dough food truck, where you’ll find a handful of crazy cookie dough concoctions like dessert tacos, funnel cake, and sundaes.
This was where we encountered our first disappointment of the night.
I wanted to like the Cold Brew Cookie Dough Sundae so badly. I love cold brew coffee. I love cookie dough. I love funnel cakes. Putting them together sounds like the dessert of my dreams. But, sadly, it was not even close. Every bite had a weird burnt flavor that tasted nothing like cold brew.
The Springs Candy Taco was much better. Tatjana wasn’t a fan of how sugary the cookie dough was, but it didn’t bother me. I would get this again but maybe just in a cup instead of the waffle cone.
Despite our disappointing dessert, I’m actually a big fan of the Disney Springs Food Trucks. When I’m looking for a quick snack, I always check the trucks. Plus, on select nights you can catch live music right in the seating area. It’s a great place to hang out with friends and enjoy the fresh air.
Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Co.
Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Co. can be found in numerous locations across Walt Disney World, but the main store at Disney Springs is located in The Landing right next to Erin McKenna’s Bakery. I’m a seasoned Joffrey’s customer and go quite often, so I can already tell you that I highly recommend it.
In addition to regular hot and iced coffee, Joffrey’s offers specialty lattes, teas, and donuts. If you’d rather brew at home, they also sell bags of their specialty roasted coffee beans.
One of the coolest offerings at Joffrey’s is their custom latte art. They have a special machine that can “print” custom artwork on top of your hot latte or nitro cold brew. They have a selection of pre-designed options to choose, or you can submit your own!
We thought it would be fun to print the WDW Magazine logo on top!
And of course, we had to have a little photoshoot with it with our very own Tatjana as the model.
We also sampled a couple of their specialty lattes: the Mission To S’mores Latte and the Round ‘Em Up Latte.
Outside of Disney Springs, the Mission To S’mores Latte can only be found at Magic Kingdom in Tomorrowland. This is actually my favorite thing to order at Joffrey’s and has been since it debuted a few years ago. It’s surprisingly not too sweet, despite being modeled after a very sugary treat. The flavor of the espresso really shines through.
The Round ‘Em Up Latte can also only be found at one location outside Disney Springs and that’s Disney’s Hollywood Studios near the entrance to Toy Story Land. Although I didn’t like this one as much as Mission To S’mores, this was still a really fun and delicious treat. Plus, you can really taste the cookie butter!
Sprinkles Cupcakes is hidden in Town Center, right across from Frontera Cocina. If you’ve ever watched any sort of baking competition show, you’ve probably heard of Sprinkles. Candace Nelson, the founder of Sprinkles Cupcakes, is a pastry chef and judge on shows like Cupcake Wars and Sugar Rush. The original Beverly Hills location, which opened in 2005, is credited as the world’s first cupcake bakery.
The very first Cupcake ATM opened in 2012, which introduced a new way of ordering cupcakes on-the-go.
Inside there is a window where you can watch the cupcake decorators at work.
Now on to the taste test! We ordered a small box of assorted cupcakes so we could try a few flavors. There’s a little patio area outside with plenty of seating and a beautiful view so we decided to eat outside.
Here’s a list of the cupcakes we tried:
- White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake: raspberry cake filled with raspberry compote, topped with raspberry white chocolate frosting.
- Sprinkle Cupcake: birthday cake topped with vanilla buttercream and nonpareil sprinkles
- Black & White Cupcake: Belgian dark chocolate cake topped with creamy vanilla frosting
- Cookie Cupcake: chocolate-chip studded yellow cake lined with a cookie crust, topped with brown sugar frosting and dusted with cookie crumbs
All four of these were fantastic. This was my first time visiting Sprinkles and I was blown away at how soft the texture of the cake was. I’m a frosting lover so of course I enjoyed the frosting, but I wasn’t expecting to love the cake part as much as I did. If I had to choose a favorite, I’d pick the Cookie Cupcake.
4Rivers Cantina Barbacoa Food Truck
The 4Rivers Cantina Barbacoa Food Truck is stationed in The Marketplace in between World of Disney and Basin. If you’re a Florida local, you probably associate 4Rivers with barbecue. This is the company’s first foray into Mexican cuisine, inspired by the founder’s culinary adventures in Mexico City.
This is where you will find the famous Taco Cone that took social media by storm when the truck first opened in 2018.
You can choose from a variety of different fillings like brisket barbacoa, chicken tinga, and tri-tip steak. We chose the barbacoa for our cone.
This is definitely something you need a fork for! The portion is huge and it’s easily shareable. We split it between four people and still had some left over.
I loved how loaded with meat the Taco Cone was! I was expecting a lot of “fillers” to be in there, but they really stuffed that crispy shell with a hefty helping of meat.
We also tried the nachos, but this time we chose the chicken as our filling.
I personally liked the flavor of the chicken better than the barbacoa. The salsa verde on top elevated the flavor to the next level. It was tangy without being too spicy.
This is the final stop for part one of our Disney Springs Food Crawl, and it’s a big one!
Morimoto Asia is housed in the giant Springs Bottling Co. building located in The Landing, near Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ and Raglan Road. You can’t miss it!
- Unlike the other places we visited, this is a signature dining restaurant. It’s an experience that you might need to budget for, but it’s well worth it.
The interior of the restaurant is elegantly decorated with cascading chandeliers and delicate cherry blossoms. It is so large that it spans two floors. The main dining room is located on the first floor with additional seating upstairs. The second floor is home to a cocktail lounge for late-night dining and a private sushi bar.
Morimoto Asia was created by Chef Masaharu Morimoto, who you may recognize from Food Network’s Iron Chef America. The menu features Pan-Asian cuisine and showcases Chef Morimoto’s unique interpretation of Japanese, Chinese, and Korean food. Although Chef Morimoto isn’t physically there, he is present throughout the restaurant in many ways.
First we tried the Chinese Caesar Salad, which was prepared tableside inside a Chinese takeout box. Although it sounds boring, it was actually a refreshing start to the meal. The salad wasn’t topped with your typical caesar dressing, but with a roasted sesame dressing. And it ROCKED. I would buy an entire bottle of it if I could.
Next, we tried a few seafood items, including sushi and toro tartare.
Our favorite seafood dish was the Morimoto “Buri-Bop,” which was prepared tableside in a hot clay pot. “Buri-Bop” is Chef Morimoto’s take on the classic Korean dish called bibimbop, which means “mixed rice.” Bibimbop is traditionally topped with beef, but Chef Morimoto wanted to change things up so he replaced the beef with yellowtail.
This dish gets two thumbs up from us! The rice was an explosion of flavor and the yellowtail would instantly melt in your mouth.
During our meal, we also indulged in a couple of drinks. My favorite was the Sake Sangría, but I might be a little biased because sangría is one of my favorite drinks to begin with.
The Kung Pao Chicken Dumplings came next and—let me tell you—these are not for the faint of heart. I could only finish one because it was so spicy. Unfortunately for that reason, I was not a fan of these. But at least they look pretty in photos!
The Beef Lo Mein Noodles, on the other hand, were a group favorite. After much consideration, Tatjana and I both agreed that it was our favorite dish.
It’s incredibly difficult to pick a favorite dish from Morimoto Asia, but as a lover of noodles I’d have to go with the Beef Lo Mein Noodles. You just can’t go wrong with this classic dish.
We’re now entering beef-lover territory. Why we chose to order so much beef, I have no idea. But I’m not complaining, because it all was delicious and perfectly prepared.
If you thought the filet looked good, wait until you see what’s next. I’ll give you a hint: it’s more beef.
Japanese A5 Wagyu Beef is the highest quality Japanese beef available. The grading is determined by a number of factors including marbling, meat color, meat texture, and the quality of the fat. The cattle that the beef is derived from are fed a high-quality diet and live a life of luxury. This is what ensures that the meat is tender, rich, and juicy.
I’ve had wagyu beef before but nothing as high quality as this. They’re not kidding when they say it melts in your mouth!
It’s hard to follow up something as highly regarded as Japanese wagyu, but we couldn’t leave without getting some dessert.
It’s not every day you see churros on the menu at an Asian restaurant, so we had to give them a try. The outside was crispy, the inside was soft, and you can’t go wrong with a cup of Nutella. By the end of the day we were full beyond comprehension, but still managed to munch away on these churros!
Phew, we made it! We have finally reached the end of Part One. If you stuck around this long, I salute you. If you’re ready for more, check out 12 Disney Springs Food Spots You Need to Try: Part Two.
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Huge thank you to Erin McKenna’s Bakery, Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Co., 4Rivers Cantina Barbacoa, and Morimoto Asia for hosting us. While the food at these locations were provided to us free of change, our opinions are our own.