ideas for dinner for 6 near Disneyland,ages 13-50?
July 4, 2016 5:30 AM   Subscribe

I am travelling to Disneyland in 48 hours for a 3 day trip to celebrate a 16th birthday. Seeking ideas for dinner spots that meet the following criteria, in no particular order:

> 2 are pescaterians, o/w no food issues for the 6 of us.
> short notice, i.e. trip starts Tuesday July 5 so reservations may be a nonstarter
> No chain restaurants please
> It does not have to be 'birthday friendly', ie the trip is for that. Dinner is for dinner.

Cost and food type is not such an issue. Gastropubs, Italian, locavore/hipster, etc all would be great. Distance not so much of an issue as long as Uber gets us there. Dress would need to be casual.

I just want some ideas that will add a dimension of memory to the trip and not feel like failed afterthoughts, which at this point they will be if I don't get some assistance from the MeFi community, as every part of this sudden-onset trip has been performed with teeth-gnashing reluctance...

posted by docpops to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Cafe Too Too Tango? It's in Orlando, not sure how close to Disney. Sometimes they have local artists and dancers working or performing. Quirky and a little gimmicky but the food is good (small plates).
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 5:46 AM on July 4, 2016

I assume you mean Disneyland in California, not Disneyworld in Florida?
posted by Narrative Priorities at 5:50 AM on July 4, 2016

Response by poster: yes, Disneyland. Thanks.
posted by docpops at 5:56 AM on July 4, 2016

Anaheim Packing House could be fun. At least people would have choices if they all didn't want the same thing.
posted by cecic at 6:06 AM on July 4, 2016

D'oh, sorry. Don't take an Uber to Orlando.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 6:06 AM on July 4, 2016 [8 favorites]

If you are interested in eating on Disney property, the classic "special" restaurants are Napa Rose (inside the Grand Californian) and Blue Bayou (at Disneyland, inside of Pirates of the Caribbean). Cathay Circle inside DCA is a newer addition but also supposed to be great - I haven't been yet but I hear good things. There are also a number of perfectly adequate restaurants in the Downtown Disney district just outside the parks, Catal probably being the nicest.

You can certainly get reservations at Catal and Napa Rose for 7/5 on Disney Dining right now, and Cathay Circle for 7/6. If you want to eat off property, there are about a billion restaurants in greater Orange County that should fit your criteria.

There is no place on Disney property that I've ever seen enforce a dress code. Napa Rose is a fancy sort of spot but you will certainly see people in t-shirts and people in jackets and ties. Disney property at this point is not a bad place to eat as a pescetarian, especially the nicer restaurants. I have been pescetarian since 1994 and I would expect to be able to get something pretty edible at any of the places I've mentioned. I would not have made that claim in 1994.
posted by town of cats at 6:24 AM on July 4, 2016 [3 favorites]

Best answer: There is a Tu Tu Tango close to Disneyland too, actually. The art angle is interesting, but last time I was there the food was just ok.

Napa Rose is actually very good, and so convenient.

The Playground in Santa Ana is really great, although the menu changes a lot and while there seems to be fish on it every time I look, I guess it's not guaranteed. Reservations on Open Table.

Haven Gastropub in Orange has a Swimmers section to the menu. Reservations on the front page of the website.
posted by Huck500 at 7:33 AM on July 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

+1 for the Packing District
posted by Bigfoot Mandala at 8:03 AM on July 4, 2016

If you like Cuban food, Felix's Café in Orange is about 15 minutes away, and has been consistently awesome since I started going there in 1991. It's a hole-in-the-wall, very casual, some patio seating (which I recommend over inside, it's quieter). They have an entire menu page devoted to seafood.

Seconding Playground; Haven's also good, and it's right by Felix's.
posted by culfinglin at 12:32 PM on July 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions. Enjoyed both Haven and Playground. Playground was an interesting experience in that our waitperson must have reiterated at least 6 times some version of 'no substitutions' or, 'once you order it you can't send it back'. I am wondering if this is a reflection of the somewhat eclectic way they prepare food as well as a commentary on the fussiness of local diners? In Oregon we shut up and eat what we're given... :)
posted by docpops at 9:00 AM on July 7, 2016

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