Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival is an annual celebration of food & drink from around the world. Over the years, the festival has grown to epic proportions. Disney takes their time to create delicious dishes, select great drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), host world class entertainment for the Eat to the Beat series, and present seminars & demonstrations from top chefs. Megan, Loyalty Vacation Homes’ marketing & reservations manager, recently made a trip to the Food & Wine Festival and has a few recommendations for Must Try Dishes for your trip!
1. Australia’s Lamb Chop. If you love lamb, or if you’ve never tried lamb, this is an absolute must. Forget the lamb meatball at the New Zealand booth and walk across the way to Australia (literally, they are right across from one another between the entrance to World Showcase & the Mexico pavilion). The lamb meatball from New Zealand is good…but not great. And the bread thing it’s served on is dry and flavorless, doing nothing to enhance the flavor of the meatball. The lamb chop, however, is grilled & topped with flavorful mint pesto and crispy potato bits.
2. Liquid Nitro chocolate truffle. I almost missed both “Chew Lab” and “Sustainable Chew” booths, as they’re not in World Showcase. Instead they’re between Club Cool and Captain EO. Anyway, don’t skip these booths! But especially don’t skip the chocolate almond truffle at Chew Lab. They drop a big scoop of chocolate into liquid nitrogen for a minute, then pull it out and drizzle warm whiskey caramel on top. It is one of the tastiest desserts at Food & Wine Fest this year!!
3. Grilled Beef Skewer. Stop by the Patagonia booth for the grilled beef skewer served with chimichurri sauce and boniato puree for a real meaty treat. The meat is tender and the sauce really adds to the overall flavor.
4. Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup and Chicken Sausage with creamy polenta. Canada’s booth is so good that it deserves two mentions here. Both the cheese soup and chicken sausage can’t be skipped. Seriously. The chicken sausage is on the spicy side, but the creamy polenta and Minus 8 onion jam really evens out the flavor with a hint of sweetness.
Other notable picks include all of France’s booth menu offerings, the bratwurst in pretzel roll from the Germany booth, both of the sweet waffle offerings from Belgium, chicken gyro from Greece, Teriyaki gyoza bun from Japan, Ricotta & zucchini ravioli from Sustainable Chew, and the cheese fondue from Cheese Studio. Disney really does a great job with these tapas style offerings, and honestly I have yet to have anything that wasn’t delicious (minus that bread thing the lamb meatball from New Zealand is served on).
As far as drinks, I get a little frustrated paying $6 for a mini serving of wine or beer, so keep in mind that every pavilion has a selection of beer & wine (or cocktails) from that country anyway. The servings you get from the booths for Food & Wine Festival offer smaller servings, and do allow you to try wines and beers from those specific countries. Each booth has a suggested pairing for a dish plus drink, and their recommendations are always spot on.
If you love food & drinks, this is definitely a festival not to miss. They really do a wonderful job! Pro tip: go on a week day during the day to avoid the long lines that weekends have!