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Best Restaurants of Downtown Disney

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While Disneyland and Disney California Adventure have perhaps more true grab & go food stops, like kiosks, and quick service restaurants than they do cafeterias and full table service restaurants, the opposite is true in Downtown Disney. Most of these restaurants here have table service dining with delicious food and wonderful service.

Dorothy Aberle and I took pictures of restaurants in Downtown Disney for future use in a restaurant list on Examiner.com. While I shoot pictures frequently in the Disneyland Resort, the pictures for this list were taken on February 21, 2014 and March 17, 2014.

They include Earl of Sandwich, ESPN Zone, Rainforest Café, Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen, Taqueria, House of Blues, Tortilla Jo's, Jva Bar, Catal Restaurant & Jva Bar, Naples Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria and Napolini, and the La Brea Bakery and Express.

There are some restaurants not pictured here because they are quick service restaurants. These include Wetzel's® Pretzels, Jamba Juice®, Häagen-Dazs®, and Starbucks® as well as the candy store.

I have written reviews of most of these table service restaurants. You'll find them listed below.

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Earl of Sandwich restaurant in Downtown Disney
Earl of Sandwich restaurant in Downtown Disney John R. Aberle

Earl of Sandwich restaurant in Downtown Disney

While most of the Downtown Disney restaurants here have table service dining with delicious food and wonderful service, the Earl of Sandwich is a quick service restaurant with either inside or patio dining. The descendants of John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, continue their ancestor’s famous invention. They use artisan breads with meats roasted fresh daily. They also serve freshly tossed salads, made-to-order wraps, signature soups and freshly baked desserts.

ESPN Zone restaurant in Downtown Disney
ESPN Zone restaurant in Downtown Disney John R. Aberle

ESPN Zone restaurant in Downtown Disney

ESPN Zone is more than a table service restaurant in Downtown Disney. It's the sports enthusiast’s dream sports bar including booths with their own televisions plus the ESPN Zone Arena upstairs, a 10,000-square-foot sports arcade. The ESPN Zone even has a fully functional broadcast studio where sports shows are taped on occasion. Food isn’t slighted either as the ESPN Zone offer starters, signature burgers, sandwiches and wraps, and entrées like baby back ribs, New York Angus strip steak, roasted half chicken and shrimp scampi. For the young sports fans, find a rookie menu for kids ages 12 and under.

Catal Restaurant & Jva Bar in Downtown Disney
Catal Restaurant & Jva Bar in Downtown Disney John R. Aberle

Catal Restaurant & Jva Bar in Downtown Disney

Catal Restaurant & Jva Bar in Downtown Disney has table service dining inside and the patio Jva Bar. Catal offers modern adaptations of classic Mediterranean specialties including delicious grilled seafood, meats and salad entrées.

Naples Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria in Downtown Disney
Naples Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria in Downtown Disney John R. Aberle

Naples Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria in Downtown Disney

Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria in Downtown Disney has both inside and patio has table service dining. It’s an Italian restaurant and pizzeria. Naples serves authentic wood-fired pizzas and an award-winning wine list, oven-roasted sandwiches, an array of house-made pastas, entrées such as chicken cacciatore and more. You can even choose gluten-free pasta. Other choices include pan-seared pesce (fish), eggplant or chicken parmigiana, Piedmont-style braised short ribs and pollo alla cacciatora with creamy polenta.

Napolini is for takeout orders. Order pizza by the slice, panini, freshly tossed salads or minestrone soup. Additionally, pick from boxed salads, baked pasta and fountain beverages.

Rainforest Café restaurant in Downtown Disney
Rainforest Café restaurant in Downtown Disney John R. Aberle

Rainforest Café restaurant in Downtown Disney

Rainforest Café restaurant in Downtown Disney brings a touch of the exotic with its Incan jungle décor. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. For breakfast, they prepare eggs Benedict, French toast, cranberry Belgian waffles, bacon and egg breakfast sliders or the Mexican-style breakfast pizza, Pie of the Viper, topped with scrambled eggs, salsa, peppers, and a blend of cheeses. You can pick from omelets, steak and eggs, and Tribal Chicken Fried Steak. They have a fascinating variety of American dishes and beverages with jungle names. There is also a full bar on the ground floor.

The lunch menu includes the Volcanic Cobb Salad, Rumble in the Jungle Turkey Wrap and the Rainforest Burger topped with a fried onion ring.

For dinner, chose from the Natural Burger, made with a meatless spiced garbanzo bean patty or Paradise Pot Roast, the Amazon Feast of rotisserie chicken and St. Louis-style pork spare ribs with smokin’ mojo BBQ sauce, or the cedar plank-seared Tribal Salmon. Don’t forget their exciting desserts like the Journey’s End Sparkling Volcano, a chocolate brownie cake tower.

Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen restaurant in Downtown Disney
Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen restaurant in Downtown Disney John R. Aberle

Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen restaurant in Downtown Disney

Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen restaurant in Downtown Disney brings New Orleans dishes to a restaurant with an authentic New Orleans architectural design. Among their lunch items are Southern-style sides like bacon-braised turnip greens, Andouille sausage grits and horseradish mashed potatoes, the French Quarter salad and po’ boy sandwiches like the panéed chicken, made with parmesan-herb crusted chicken and Creole mustard aioli.

There’s nothing quite like ordering bananas Foster, flambéed tableside for 2 for dessert. They also have a Carnival of New Orleans specialty drinks. Soak up live entertainment in their jazz bar, the Flambeaux’s Jazz Club, with colorful piano and New Orleans themed décor.

At Jazz Kitchen Express, grab fresh beignets, house specialties, sandwiches and more. You can purchase breakfast, lunch or dinner in this quick service restaurant then take to go or enjoy it on their patio where you can watch the tourists stroll the Downtown Disney promenade.

Tortilla Jo's Taqueria restaurant in Downtown Disney
Tortilla Jo's Taqueria restaurant in Downtown Disney John R. Aberle

Tortilla Jo's Taqueria restaurant in Downtown Disney

Taqueria restaurant in Downtown Disney is associated with Tortilla Jo’s. They have takeout Mexican dishes such as tacos, nachos, burritos and tostadas. You can also orderhouse-made aguas frescas, frozen margaritas, and Mexican and domestic beers.

House of Blues restaurant in Downtown Disney
House of Blues restaurant in Downtown Disney John R. Aberle

House of Blues restaurant in Downtown Disney

The Crossroads restaurant at House of Blues in Downtown Disney offer a variety of American styles, like southwestern dishes, St. Louis style ribs and New Orleans dishes plus other Southern plates. The Crossroads restaurant also has traditional America favorites, like hamburgers, French dip sandwiches and shrimp po’ boy sandwiches. They serve lunch and dinner. The House of Blues stage presents programs from R&B, hip-hop and Latin to reggae, rock and the blues,

Tortilla Jo's restaurant in Downtown Disney
Tortilla Jo's restaurant in Downtown Disney John R. Aberle

Tortilla Jo's restaurant in Downtown Disney

Tortilla Jo's restaurant in Downtown Disney has extra ordinarily delicious Mexican dishes including fresh guacamole prepared table side. They have both patio and balcony dining as well as inside seating. Their menu ranges from the basics of Mexican dining, i.e. tacos, burritos, tamales and fajitas, to the “Especiales de la Casa.” These house specials include hanger steak ranchera, chili-rubbed chicken a la plancha, citrus-braised pork carnitas, Veracruz-style pan-seared market fish and more. Jo’s even makes fresh tortillas, handmade daily from scratch. For meatless selections, pick from Lentil chile relleño, garden enchiladas, salads and a veggie burrito.

Jva Bar in Downtown Disney
Jva Bar in Downtown Disney John R. Aberle

Jva Bar in Downtown Disney

The Jva Bar is located in the center of Downtown Disney’s promenade. It also offers inside seating downstairs from the Catal Restaurant. Besides a full bar, premium draft beers, over 40 wines by the glass, you can order tapas and small plates serving a variety of Spanish classics updated with California and world influences.

La Brea Bakery and Express restaurant in Downtown Disney
La Brea Bakery and Express restaurant in Downtown Disney John R. Aberle

La Brea Bakery and Express restaurant in Downtown Disney

La Brea Bakery and Express restaurant in Downtown Disney recently underwent a major upgrade and renovation. They continue their use of artisan breads and bakery items on their menus which offer selections for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Among your choices are the signature Caprese on a French demi-baguette, Sicilian tuna on olive bread or delicious grilled panini like smoked ham and Gruyère. They even offer traditional choices with a BLT or all-American cheeseburger.

The Express offers breakfast items like a hot croissant sandwich on sourdough, sweet brioche French toast and a selection of savory quiches—all served with country potatoes. Lunch and dinner items are also available.

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