No matter if you’re looking for breakfast on your way into Disneyland or searching for somewhere for your Disney dinner date, Downtown Disney District is a tasty place for a pit stop. But, which yummy option should you choose? Bring your appetite, as we go over all the restaurants in Downtown Disney.
Downtown Disney Dining Basics
As fun as it can be to eat your way through Disneyland and California Adventure, you can also find some darn good restaurants in Downtown Disney. Best of all, while those theme park restaurants basically come with a $100 cover charge, no park ticket is required to get into Downtown Disney.
This makes it a great choice for dinner or breakfast on the first or last days of your Disneyland vacation, or SoCal locals wanting the romance and pixie dust of a Disney date night without the expensive price tag. This is especially the case when a festival is happening at California Adventure, as restaurants often join in the culinary fun with limited-time menus and other parts of Downtown Disney are decked out with things like whimsical chalk art, a special mural and other seasonal décor.
Downtown Disney Hours of Operation
Whether you’re in the mood for a breakfast smoothie, some mid-day souvenir shopping or a post-fireworks nightcap, any day of the year, the Downtown Disney District will be open and available. Downtown Disney hours typically run from 8 AM to 12 AM or 1 AM, particularly on the weekends and during busier times of year.
However, it may close earlier on weekdays. Since hours can vary slightly from day to day and month and month to month to month, we highly recommend you check the schedule before you head to Downtown Disney.
Though open later on the weekends, this is also the busiest time to visit Downtown Disney, along with holidays and Fridays at dinnertime. Earlier in the week, particularly Tuesday through Thursday during the morning and afternoon, is less crowded. So, plan your visit for then if you can.
Parking at Downtown Disney
Parking a vehicle while dining at Downtown Disney District? For guests who are exclusively going to Downtown Disney to eat and shop, parking is available in the Simba Lot – off of Disneyland Drive between Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel and West Katella Avenue – for $10 for the first hour.
If you buy something, you can also get your parking validated. Eating at one of Downtown Disney’s sit-down restaurants? Table-service eateries like Ballast Point and La Brea Bakery provide validation for same-day parking for up to five extra hours, while a purchase of at least $20 at any other Downtown Disney location receives a same-day parking validation for an additional three hours.
Should you choose to stay beyond your parking validation, further charges apply. Each additional half hour costs $7, with a maximum daily parking fee of $66. This is also how much you’ll pay if you happen to misplace your parking ticket, so be sure to stash it someplace safe.
The lot usually opens around 15 minutes prior to Downtown Disney’s opening, so be prepared to circle the block if you show up too early. However, keep in mind that the entertainment complex can get packed. It’s not unheard of for folks to be lined up early just to park on the weekends.
Unfortunately, while Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Paradise Pier Hotel and Disneyland Hotel and are either right next door or just a short walk away, they will not validate your Downtown Disney parking. So, don’t show up for brunch with Mickey at Storytellers Café or drinks at Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar expecting free hours in the Simba Lot.
Of course, if you’re planning on going to the parks, too, you can also park in the Mickey & Friends, Pixar Pals, or Toy Story parking facilities. Rates start at $30 daily for a car or motorcycle or $45 for a closer Preferred Parking spot.
Reservations for Downtown Disney Restaurants
Anaheim’s most magical destination also happens to be an incredibly delicious (and popular!) place to eat. Luckily, not only do many restaurants at Downtown Disney accept reservations, they’re also highly recommended – especially since the Simba Lot closes to everyone without one once it hits capacity.
For most table-service restaurants at Downtown Disney (with the exception of Ballast Point Brewing Company, which uses OpenTable instead), reservations can be made up to 60 days in advance directly through the Disneyland app. Simply find the restaurant you’d like to try and select “Reserve Dining.” Restaurants include:
- Catal Restaurant (also on OpenTable)
- La Brea Bakery Café
- Naples Ristorante e Bar
- Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen
- Tortilla Jo’s
- Uva Bar & Café
Walk-in seating is based on availability. So, if you can’t score a reservation, it can’t hurt to go directly to the restaurant to see if you can be seated. Plus, you can always try one of Downtown Disney’s quick-service restaurants instead.
Where to Eat at Disneyland: Restaurants in Downtown Disney District
From freshly baked, cream cheese-schmeared bagels and weekend brunch to artisanal ice cream and boozy beverages, and everything in between, you’ll find it all at Downtown Disney. Hungry guests have a buffet of choices to choose from, with options to satisfy every craving and suit any vacation situation, including counter-service eateries, sit-down restaurants and snack stands peddling sweets and treats.
Let’s dig into all our delicious options:
Quick-Service Downtown Disney Restaurants
No matter if you’re on your way into the parks and in need of a handheld breakfast or are looking for a quick and easy place for lunch or dinner while souvenir shopping, Downtown Disney counter-service restaurants really hit the spot.
Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes
There’s no better place for fully loaded, all-American classics served fast than Black Tap. Downtown Disney’s outpost of the acclaimed New York City burger joint, Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes dishes up elevated bar food favorites like – you guessed it – burgers laden with flavorful toppings, extravagant shakes crowned with everything from a slice of Funfetti cake to a Mickey-shaped crispy treat and more.
They even have vegan options, including an Impossible burger, a Nashville hot-style sandwich with a fried portobello mushroom in place of the chicken and a Black ‘N White CakeShake. (Vegan cake! Vegan frosting! Vegan whipped cream! Vegan chocolate! Honestly, what’s not to like?)
La Brea Bakery Express
The quick-service counterpart to the attached café, La Brea Bakery Express serves up a fresh mix of light and tasty breakfast, lunch and dinner options, including the bakery’s freshly baked breads. Grab a bagel or pastry to munch on and a specialty coffee as you head towards the turnstiles. Or, savor a sandwich or cozy cup of soup served in what else? A bread bowl.
For a palate-pleasing meal option that’s sure to satisfy kids and adults alike, you can’t beat pizza. That’s especially the case at Napolini Pizzeria, with specialty flavor combinations like the California starring BBQ chicken or Messicana with chorizo and cilantro crema, as well as classics like Pepperoni and Margherita. These made-to-order pies are a decent value and an easy choice for picky eaters.
Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen Express
While you can get a warming bowl of Gumbo Ya Ya, the real draw at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen Express is The Original New Orleans Beignets. Delicately fried donuts with a sprinkling of powdered sugar – or try the Snickerdoodle Glazed version with cookie butter(!) icing – they make for a sweet start or end to the day. For a true N’Awlins taste sensation, wash them down with a cup of chicory coffee.
Taqueria at Tortilla Jo’s
Chipotle or Qdoba, but make it Disney. At Taqueria at Tortilla Jo’s, take your pick of Mexican-style entrées, like hefty burritos and shareable nachos, and fill or top them with your choice of proteins (vegan quinoa meatballs, too) and other toppings. Offering a ton of food at reasonable prices, it’s a good choice if you’re traveling on budget or are craving Mexican-ish food but don’t have time for a complete sit-down meal.
Table-Service Downtown Disney Restaurants
Rather begin your day with a hearty, sit-down breakfast or refuel and rest your feet after a day of theme park adventures with great food and a fun atmosphere? Then one of Downtown Disney’s full-service restaurants are for you.
As we mentioned earlier, though they aren’t always necessary, dining reservations are recommended. So, fire up the Disneyland app or OpenTable to see what’s available.
Ballast Point Brewing Co.
With a seasonal menu of dressed-up bar food favorites inspired by the Golden State, a slew of award-winning beers brewed, weekend brunch and a rooftop patio, Ballast Point Brewing Co. is a Downtown Disney restaurant the whole family will love. Tuck into California-style classics like Avocado Toast and Chilaquiles Burger on weekend mornings or Impossible Lettuce Cups and Baja Fish Tacos for lunch and dinner. Wash it all down with a Pumpkin Down Ale Float.
For an elegant dinner worthy of a Disney date night, head to Catal Restaurant. Serving up casually elevated Mediterranean cuisine like cozy paella in a warm setting, Catal is a welcome retreat after a day spent fighting the theme park crowds. While the restaurant is open for dinner all week long, you can also stop by for brunch on Sundays, including Build-Your-Own Mimosas.
La Brea Bakery Café
There’s something magical about dining at the humble bakery, from the heavenly smell of fresh-baked bread wafting through the air to the tempting baked goods proudly out on display, and the same can be said for La Brea Bakery Café. And really, what can be better than house-baked breads stuffed with cream cheese and pecans and smothered with fruit and powdered sugar or piled high with sliced meats and gooey cheese? Breakfast and dinner, it’s all carbs, and it’s all delicious.
Naples Ristorante e Bar
When it comes to food, you’d be hard-pressed to find a cuisine more beloved by young and old alike than Italian. Naples Ristorante e Bar serves the hits. We’re talking pasta, gnocchi and the pièce de résistance: Neapolitan-style wood-fired pizzas. Plus, with a sizeable drink menu, including an impressive wine list, it’s an excellent spot for a nightcap.
Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen
We love a restaurant with great atmosphere, and Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen has that in spades. Dishing up a playful mix of Cajun- and Creole-inspired cuisine – think, Louisiana Crawfish Spring Rolls and Blackened Chicken “Mac & Cheese” – a smooth soundtrack of live jazz music and a potent blend of Big Easy-worthy coctails, it’s a tasty and fun way to cap off a day in the theme parks. Oh, and don’t forget the Beignets!
Splitsville Luxury Lanes
While a bowling alley may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of a great place to eat, Splitsville Luxury Lanes may change that. Arguably the most family-friendly restaurant of the bunch, Splitsville’s Downtown Disney location effortlessly fuses nostalgic fun with a modern mix of dishes to satisfy everyone, from burgers and pizza to sushi and salads. Stop by during the game to catch the score on one of the many TVs or enjoy the live music while you eat.
Whether you’re in the mood for enchiladas, fajitas or simple street tacos, you’ll find it all at Tortilla Jo’s. Downtown Disney’s destination for Mexican food, this lively cantina offers a fiesta of flavors. You can even enjoy a south-of-the-border breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays, with AM favorites like Huevos Rancheros and Chilaquiles.
Uva Bar & Café
The sister restaurant to Catal, Uva Bar & Café serves up even more Mediterranean-inspired eats, along with an assortment of California favorites, including burgers, fish tacos and more. With open-air seating and some umbrellas for shade, it’s an especially great place for a drink and some people watching at the end of the night. Or, soak up some sunshine on while tucking into a light breakfast.
Downtown Disney Snack Stands & Sweets Shops
In the mood for a salty snack or sweet treat? Whether you’re on the hunt for something to munch on until mealtime or a tempting array of dessert options, Downtown Disney District has it all.
CrazyShake Window by Black Tap
Easily the most over-the-top dessert offering at Downtown Disney, the CrazyShake Window by Black Tap satisfies your sugar craving with all the fanfare the Disneyland Resort and your tastebuds deserve. And by fanfare, we mean frosting-slathered rims, whole slices of cake or brownie and even an entire strawberry shortcake ice cream bar. With a cherry, of course.
For many, there’s no better way to start your day than with a refreshing smoothie. Although you could wait to get your fruity, frozen fix until Schmoozies in California Adventure, Jamba in Downtown Disney is a better choice for those who like lots of flavor combinations and customizing their concoction with add-ins like protein powder and kale. Or, for something savory, try a sandwich or flatbread.
Named for Walt’s hometown of Marceline, Missouri, Marceline’s Confectionery is a must-visit for those with a sweet tooth. Here you’ll find all manner of decadent delights, perfect for a mid-afternoon sugar rush or thoughtful gift, such as caramel apples, marshmallow wands, fudge, cupcakes, cookies, crispy treats and much more.
Salt & Straw
Honey Lavender, Pear and Blue Cheese, Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper, Olive Oil. No, those aren’t the ingredients for some fruit-forward cheese board. They’re some of the artisanal ice cream flavors churned up by Salt & Straw, along with more traditional tastes with a modern twist, like Salted Malted Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough or Cold Brew Coffee Cashew Praline. Seasonal selections are also available.
When it comes to cupcakes, nobody does them like Sprinkles. A Los Angeles institution, the Downtown Disney location of the original cupcakery bakes up everyone’s favorite flavors, including four different varieties of Red Velvet – regular, gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan – and, of course, Sprinkle. And be sure to stop by to try out their seasonal offerings.
Ah, Starbucks. What else is there to say about this beacon of caffeine? The Downtown Disney location serves everything you’ve come to expect from the international chain, namely a dizzying selection of specialty coffees, along with bakery items and an array of sandwiches. Mobile ordering is available through the Starbucks app. So, plan ahead to skip the inevitably long line.
Warm twists of dough topped with a sprinkling of salt – and, if you’re at Wetzel’s Pretzels, things like pepperoni, jalapeno and melted cheese – nothing satisfies a snack craving like a soft pretzel. Open all day and into the night, it’s an easy stop whether you have a hungry kiddo at the end of the night or are looking for a non-traditional breakfast option to eat on the go.
Have you tried the restaurants in Downtown Disney? Which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments! Wish you had more money to spend on delicious Downtown Disney food? Save some cash with our discount Disneyland tickets.