If you are visiting Epcot during the annual International Flower and Garden Festival (now – May 30), make sure you spend a meal sampling from the Outdoor Kitchens (food booths) that are spread out around the World Showcase.
Each of the 13 themed booths features farm- and garden-inspired food and beverages and are open every day during World Showcase hours (11 a.m. – park closing). The food items are a tasting size portion, so you probably need to make a few stops to fill up for a meal, and they are priced from $3-7. Each booth also offers a variety of non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, priced from $2.50-12.50, with the wines and beer flights being at the higher end. Also, tax is included in all the prices.
Tip: Use a Disney gift card at the food booths instead of having to pull out cash or a credit card each time. You can also purchase a themed Disney gift card at the festival that’s attached to a convenient wrist band.
The Outdoor Kitchens are set up similar to the food booths at Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival, but our family actually enjoys these more. Even though there are less booths, it’s not as crowded or crazy as Food and Wine. On an afternoon during opening weekend, we never waited more than 5 minutes in line (but that will change with peak spring break times coming up).
There are also quite a few toddler- and kid-friendly food options at the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, so the whole family can have a fun – and filling – day.
Toddler- and Kid-Friendly Foods
Frushi ($5.25) – Hanami Outdoor Kitchen, Japan
This is probably the most fun food for kids at the festival. Frushi is fresh seasonal fruit rolled with coconut rice and sprinkled with toasted coconut, served over raspberry sauce with a side of whipped cream. As you can see, they were very generous with the whipped cream.
I tried one, and they predominately taste like coconut rice (well, coconut rice doused in a ton of whipped cream in my bite). However, your child is still at least getting a little – and it was just a little – bit of fruit, so it is still a good option for a fun and healthy kids’ treat.
Tater Rater (how Tater rates the food): out of 5. This rating is primarily for the ton of whipped cream, which he cleaned off the plate (however, again, it is still a fun and healthier option – and something different for kids to try).
Mezze Lune Primavera ($6) – Primavera Kitchen Outdoor Kitchen, Italy
The Mezze Lune Primavera is egg pasta stuffed with Ricotta and spinach in a creamy sauce with spring vegetables (I saw peas and zucchini) and Pecorino.
This is definitely a more familiar option for kids or less adventurous eaters. I personally thought it was just okay, as the noodles and sauce were definitely nothing special, but Tater thought differently (and I was happy he was eating some vegetables!).
Tater Rater (how Tater rates the food): out of 5. Except for my couple bites, he ate the entire thing and even asked for “more noodles!” afterward.
Other Kid-Friendly Options
While we didn’t try any of these, they are other options we were considering for Tater:
- Pollo alla Parmigiana ($6) – Primavera Kitchen Outdoor Kitchen, Italy (Our table mates said it was their favorite dish of the day so far.)
- Chicken Fricassee ($4.50) – Bauernmarkt Outdoor Kitchen, Germany (served with asparagus, peas and rice pilaf)
- Vegetable Spring Roll ($4.50) – Lotus House Outdoor Kitchen, China
- Armer Ritter ($3.75) – Bauernmarkt Outdoor Kitchen, Germany (egg-battered toast with cherry compote and powdered sugar)
- Pineapple Soft-Serve ($4.50) – Pineapple Promenade Outdoor Kitchen, Showcase Plaza
To be able to try even more foods, we usually share.
Watermelon Salad ($3.75) – Urban Farm Eats Outdoor Kitchen, Showcase Plaza (near the walkway to Journey into Imagination)
This is my absolute favorite dish at the festival (and I am so not a salad person)! I crave it and need to get it each year. It’s chunks of watermelon, pickled onions, arugula, Feta cheese and balsamic reduction, and for some reason Disney always makes it taste better than I can at home. As a healthy, delicious option at a low price point, you may need to get two…
Tater Rater (how Tater rates the food): out of 5. As much as I didn’t want to share, Tater ate about half of the watermelon and even a couple bites of arugula.
Pear Cider-Brined Shredded Corned Beef ($5.25) – Cider House Outdoor Kitchen, United Kingdom
The Cider House Outdoor Kitchen is one of two new booths this year (the other is La Isla Fresca), so we needed to try something there. This dish is served with braised cabbage, pears and Branston dressing, and I would rank it as pretty good. It wasn’t our absolute favorite dish of the day, but it was still tasty, and the pear cider brine kept the corned beef juicy with a nice, subtle added flavor.
Tater Rater (how Tater rates the food): out of 5. He likes beef, cabbage and potatoes… there was no going wrong with this dish (and he kept asking for more beef).
Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Hash ($5.75) – The Smokehouse Outdoor Kitchen, American Adventure
This continues to be a festival favorite for our family, and all I can say is yum, yum, yum! This beef brisket and hash is served with white cheddar fondue and pickled jalapeño, and my only complaint is that it only had two slices of jalapeño (and that we should have gotten a second). Tater missed out on this because he was napping, but it is definitely a dish we will get again on future trips.
(Note: there is a huge smoker right next to this Outdoor Kitchen, and while we were there, you could see a whole pig cooking. Just a heads up if you or your kids would find that interesting or disturbing.)
Warm Chocolate Cake ($3.75) – The Smokehouse Outdoor Kitchen, American Adventure
This chocolate cake, served with Bourbon-salted caramel sauce and spiced Pecans, sounded more promising than it was. While the Pecans were tasty and I was impressed that the cake was actually pretty moist, there wasn’t much sauce. Also, the cake tasted like a standard (albeit moist) chocolate cupcake. It was still good, but in the future I will save my dessert calories for a different option.
Shrimp and Stone-Ground Grits ($6.25) – Florida Fresh Outdoor Kitchen, between Morocco and France
This shrimp and grits is served with Andouille sausage, sweet corn, tomatoes and cilantro. While I didn’t try it (shellfish allergy) and Tater was still napping, it remains one of my husband’s favorite dishes at the festival and is on his “must have” list each year.
Because, hey, you are on vacation too!
Hard Cider and Beer Flight ($12.50) – Cider House Outdoor Kitchen, United Kingdom
My husband and I are not normally cider drinkers, so this was a great chance to try something new. This flight contained Sonoma “The Pitchfork” Organic Pear Hard Cider, McKenzie’s Black Cherry Hard Cider, Keel & Curley Mad Man Blueberry Hard Cider and Cigar City Brewing Tampa-Style Lager.
The pear cider was big on pear smell, but mild on pear taste, and we both thought it was okay. The black cherry cider was probably are favorite and tasted true to its name, while the blueberry cider was our least favorite. The lager was good and a great way to wash down the ciders.
Also, we may have swiped some of Tater’s goldfish to clear our palates between the samplings…
Key Lime Sparkling Wine ($11.25) – Florida Fresh Outdoor Kitchen, between Morocco and France
Well, I don’t have much to say, except that it really did taste like key lime. If you are a fan of key lime, than this is a tasty, slightly sweet and tart refreshing drink. If you don’t love key lime, though, then you probably aren’t going to enjoy it (luckily, I love key lime).
Orlando Brewing Company Uncle Matt’s Organic Grapefruit Pale Ale ($8) – The Smokehouse Outdoor Kitchen, American Adventure
We actually got to take our time and enjoy this beer while Tater napped. Even though it has a fruit in its name, it does not taste like a fruity beer. The grapefruit taste was very subtle, making it a refreshing option for a warm day at the festival. It also paired well with our Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Hash. Disney, beer, barbecue and a napping toddler? I’ll take it!
Outdoor Kitchen Menus
These are in order, clockwise, starting at the main walkway from Future World into the World Showcase.
La Isla Fresca – Showcase Plaza (right before Mexico)
Jardin de Fiestas – Mexico
Lotus House – China
Bauernmarkt – Germany
Primavera Kitchen – Italy
The Smokehouse – American Adventure
Hanami – Japan
Taste of Marrakesh – Morocco
Florida Fresh – between Morocco and France
Fleur de Lys – France
Cider House – United Kingdom
Urban Farm Eats – Showcase Plaza (by the walkway to Journey into Imagination)
Pineapple Promenade – Showcase Plaza (*This is where you can get an alcoholic Dole Whip!)
Happy eating everyone (and see other fun things to explore at the festival with young kids here)!