We spent two different evenings at EPCOT Food & Wine this past trip trying all kinds of goodies. We definitely didn’t cover as much as wanted to, but we did consume enough to write up some reviews for you guys!
Below were our favorites, as well as our least favorites. Overall we find that the majority of dishes at the Festival are well done as far as quality, but there’s always a few duds or things that just aren’t worth the price tag (cough cough Hummus Fries).
I also used to be a sommelier in California, so you can trust I know a thing or two about wine (and food is my life outside of Disney).
Our EPCOT Food & Wine Favorites
Baked Shrimp and Scallop Scampi Dip – Coastal Eats
Our overall favorite. Our favorite food is melted cheese, and the scampi and scallops part takes this to a new level. Plus, you’re getting two scallops AND a dip with baguette. So it’s like 2-for-1. Do it!
Seared Scallop – Wine & Dine Studio
Anything scallops at F&W are just a must. And think about it – since most scallop entrees are $30+ and often have only 4-6 scallops, getting two scallops for $5-6 is actually a great value. We’re all about this one.
Crabcake – Coastal Eats
Very delicious. And that is an Avocado-Lemongrass cream on top, and it’s as good as it sounds.
Loaded Mac and Cheese – Active Eats
Mac and Cheese. With pieces of spicy bacon and even more cheese. You guys know I love Mac and Cheese, so it’s a favorite. It’s delicious, lots of flavors, and beware of the spicy kick! The Chenin Blanc and Pinot Noir at Active Eats are also very good wines.
Rope Vieja Empanada – Islands of the Caribbean
Yum, yum, yum. A savory dish, but definitely some hints of sweet. This was much better than we expected. It was an overall favorite as well – the meat was so juicy, tender, and it was a pretty filling dish!
Smoked Corn Beef and Chips – Flavors From Fire
I eat meat but have weird quirks around it and likely wouldn’t go for anything corned beef on its own, but this seemed like a must-try. And it. was. delicious. Cheese curds, meat, crunch of the chips, melted cheese – so good. It also paired really well with the Zinfandel, which was my favorite red from the Future World booths.
Favorite Drink: Smokey Margarita – Mexico
It was my favorite last year so I was happy to see it return. It’s delicious and tastes how it sounds – definitely a smoke kick from the Mezcal and the spicy salt rim. So good, but a bit overpriced at $11 + change when you could get a full frozen margarita for $10 at Choza.
Favorite Overall Wine Flight – Spain
I did get to sample multiple wines and flights throughout my 12 days in Orlando, and Spain takes the win for best overall flight. You can never go wrong with Albarino or Garnacha, and the Monastrell was a bigger and delicious red. Winos, head to Spain!
Passion Fruit Cheesecake – Hawaii
I don’t have a sophisticated cheesecake palette, but this was delicious. I love anything passion fruit, so I had to do it. And a decent size for the price!
Chocolate Picante – Flavors From Fire
Hands down the best dessert I’ve ever had at Food & Wine. And it’s FOUR DOLLARS. So everyone in your group can have their own and doesn’t have to share. Another item with a bit of a kick!
What We’d Skip at Food & Wine
Cannoli – Italy
We don’t eat a ton of cannolis, but this wasn’t anything super exciting.
Hummus Fries – Morocco
I don’t like giving this a bad review because the flavors are very good and interesting. However at $8 for a small vegetarian dish, it’s a skip for us.
Cheese Fondue – France
Everything cheese, especially melted cheese, we make a beeline for. But this wasn’t that fun. The cheese fondue was tasty, but the crusty bread was meh. I would have preferred a soft, untoasted baguette to accompany the fondue. There also wasn’t enough bread to eat all of the cheese, which is a bummer.
Warm Raclette Swiss Cheese – The Alps
I wanted to like this and I also know that many traditional dishes from this area aren’t supposed to be heavily seasoned or spiced. But it was just very bland, and the smaller amount of cheese instantly went tough on the bread.
Palette of Wine and Cheese – Wine & Dine Studio
Not bad, but nothing worthy enough of the price tag. None of the wines or cheeses were very exciting. It was fun to eat though, as it’s nice to be able to try different things together.
Chicken Dumplings – China
Texture was a little off and they weren’t anything super special.
Things we didn’t get to that we’re planning to try (and anticipate being delicious) on our next visit:
Duck Confit Poutine from Refreshment Port, Lamp Chop from Australia, Capirotada de Chocolate Bread Pudding from Mexico, Wuxi Spareribs from China, Kenyan Coffee Barbecue Beef Tenderloin from Africa, Beer-braised Beef from Belgium, Moqueca and Crispy Pork Belly from Brazil, and everything from the Ireland Booth.
Other Food & Wine thoughts and tips
We talked to all seemingly friendly souls we could at the Festival and politely demanded they give us their reviews on things we weren’t eating. The most popular booths seem to be in Future World, particularly all the “Eats” booths and Flavors From Fire. I ate a lot from these booths last year as well, and they stand as my favorites.
I love Food & Wine, but there are plenty of things that annoy me about the event. This year there were a lot of obnoxious people that couldn’t handle their alcohol and this is aggravating to the other 90% of us. It’s still Disney, not Spring Break, so it’s a bummer to see a few adults that are just loud or trash mouth enough to ruin it for others. I was a bit fed up by my third night there.
It also does get quite crowded, but lines can change quickly. If you plan on hitting a lot of booths and a line looks super long, stay in the area and check back in a few minutes.
And don’t be ashamed to get snacks and drinks that aren’t Food & Wine offerings! I personally prefer to enjoy a drink or two at EPCOT, and prefer to be walking around with a full-size grapefruit beer or margarita vs. spending money on lots of F&W sample drinks. I don’t find any F&W drink offerings too exotic and worthy of sampling.
If you have one day at Food & Wine and love this type of thing, it’s a good idea to give yourself four hours. You’ll see lighter crowds and better-behaved people during the day, but the sunset and twilight time in the World Showcase is just so beautiful and shouldn’t be missed.
There are free maps and Festival Passports to pick up all over EPCOT, so make sure you grab these. It’s a good idea to give it a look through and figure out where you want to stop, and then pick a direction to go in. The Festival Passports are conveniently in a page-by-page clockwise order for the World Showcase section! We prefer to start in Future World, and then typically go clockwise from The Refreshment Port and follow the Passport.
If you’re heading to Food & Wine this year, have an absolute blast!