Best Amusement Park Restaurant (2015)


Gone are the days when amusement park food meant overpriced greasy burgers and cotton candy. The nation's top parks are catering more and more to sophisticated palates with eateries boasting high-quality food in unique environments.

  • Leaky Cauldron

    Leaky Cauldron
    Universal Studios Florida - Orlando

    Harry Potter fans will love tasty British fare, such as fish and chips, cottage pie and bangers and mash at this pub located in Diagon Alley. The Leaky Cauldron was carefully-crafted to ensure authenticity after years of studying Harry Potter books and movies as well as typical British pubs. Of course, Butterbeer – the popular wizarding beverage – is available for purchase.
    Photo courtesy of 2014 Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved.

  • The Cowfish

    The Cowfish
    Universal CityWalk - Orlando

    Sushi and burgers might seem like an odd combo but it works at The Cowfish (hence its name). The focus is on delivering the best of both worlds though they collide on the signature Burgushi menu, which features sushi rolls with hamburger-style ingredients among other combined delights. Despite the varied menu, ingredients are fresh and never frozen. The drink menus also heave with milkshake and sake options.
    Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort

  • Mythos Restaurant

    Mythos Restaurant
    Universal's Islands of Adventure - Orlando

    The unique setting of Mythos, a fine dining restaurant, alone is a feast for the senses. Guests step into grotto with intricate carvings of ancient figures on the walls and towering rock formations. A seasonal menu offers salmon, risotto, pad Thai, burgers and more. A full wine list is also available while outside seating provides views of Islands of Adventure's inland sea and colorful islands.
    Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort

  • Das Festhaus

    Das Festhaus
    Busch Gardens Williamsburg - Williamsburg, Va.

    Located in the Oktoberfest section of Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Das Festhaus is a 2000-seat festival hall that serves authentic German fare such as sausages, potatoes and cabbage, piled-high corned beef sandwiches, and more. Diners this year will see a production called Roll Out the Barrel, a comedy about a fictional German town and its residents.
    Photo courtesy of 2015© SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

  • Aunt Granny's All-You-Care-to-Eat Buffet

    Aunt Granny's All-You-Care-to-Eat Buffet
    Dollywood - Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

    Aunt Granny’s offers the biggest all-you-care-to-eat buffet in the Pigeon Forge, featuring wide variety of comfort food such as chicken and dumplings, a taco bar and Salisbury steak in addition to in addition to a salad bar and other healthier options. The restaurant opens 30 minutes before Dollywood, should you want to grab a quick and hearty breakfast.
    Photo courtesy of spablab / Flickr

  • Hungry Dutchman Café

    Hungry Dutchman Café
    Nelis' Dutch Village - Holland, Mich.

    The Hungry Dutchman at Nelis' Dutch Village is considered by many as one of the best places in the nation for authentic Dutch cuisine. Favorites served here include pigs in a blanket, Dutch Mettwurst (pork sausage), pea soup and Dutch apple pie. Learn how to make a Dutch almond pastry at one of the restaurant’s culinary classes. The restaurant is open seasonally, during warm weather.
    Photo courtesy of Nelis' Dutch Village

  • Vivo Italian Kitchen

    Vivo Italian Kitchen
    Universal CityWalk - Orlando

    Vivo Italian Kitchen at Universal CityWalk is known for its mix of old and new with a sleek contemporary decor and time-tested family recipes. The expo kitchen showcases chefs in action preparing sauces, assembling wood-fired pizzas and making homemade mozzarella. Italian inspired cocktails and wine round-out the offerings at this dinner-only restaurant.
    Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort

  • Be Our Guest Restaurant

    Be Our Guest Restaurant
    Magic Kingdom - Orlando

    Named for the famous “Be Our Guest” scene in Beauty and the Beast, this dining experience at Magic Kingdom Park features three different themed rooms including a magnificent ballroom, the Beast’s West Wing study and the Castle Gallery designed as a replica of Belle’s private library. The same menu of American and French cuisine is featured throughout with quick-service ordering by tablets at each table during lunch and breakfast. Dinner is a more formal sit-down affair.
    Photo courtesy of Matt Stroshane, photographer

  • Blue Bayou Restaurant

    Blue Bayou Restaurant
    Disneyland - Anaheim

    Watch from your table as Pirates of the Caribbean boats float by in the perpetual twilight of Blue Bayou restaurant, a popular favorite since 1967 for its Cajun and Creole menu. Dine on New Orleans gumbo, Royal Street seafood jambalaya, slow-roasted beef striploin and more underneath the glow of lanterns and to the chirping of crickets.
    Photo courtesy of Disneyland Resort

  • Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant

    Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant
    Knott's Berry Farm - Buena Park, Calif.

    This family restaurant at Knott's Berry Farm has been serving famous chicken, biscuits, and boysenberry pie since 1934, back when Mrs. Knott did all of the cooking. Since then, it’s estimated that over 20 million people have eaten chicken dinners here but current offerings include farm fresh breakfasts and family-style meals as well as salad and gluten-free options.
    Photo courtesy of Knott's Berry Farm


We asked USA TODAY 10Best readers to vote for their favorite amusement park restaurant from a pool of 20 nominees. The polls are closed and we have a winner!

The Leaky Cauldron at Universal Studios Florida, a British-style pub located in the park's Diagon Alley area, serves up Butterbeer – the popular wizarding beverage – in an atmosphere inspired by the world of Harry Potter.

The top 10 winners in the category Best Amusement Park Restaurant are as follows:

  1. Leaky Cauldron - Universal Studios Florida
  2. The Cowfish - Universal CityWalk
  3. Mythos Restaurant - Universal's Islands of Adventure
  4. Das Festhaus - Busch Gardens Williamsburg
  5. Aunt Granny's All-You-Care-to-Eat Buffet - Dollywood
  6. Hungry Dutchman Café - Nelis' Dutch Village
  7. Vivo Italian Kitchen - Universal CityWalk
  8. Be Our Guest Restaurant - Magic Kingdom
  9. Blue Bayou Restaurant - Disneyland
  10. Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant - Knott's Berry Farm

A panel of experts picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Lance Hart (Screamscape), Steve Kalkofen (RollerCoasterPro), Arthur Levine ( Theme Park Expert) and Robert Niles (Theme Park Insider) were chosen based on their extensive knowledge of American amusement parks.

Other nominees for Best Amusement Park Restaurant included Boma – Flavors of Africa at Disney's Animal Kingdom, California Grill at Walt Disney World Resort, Carthay Circle Restaurant at Disney California Adventure, Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Jiko – The Cooking Place at Disney's Animal Kingdom, La Hacienda de San Angel at Epcot, Monsieur Paul at Epcot, Napa Rose at Disneyland Resort, Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs at Coney Island and Sanaa at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

10Best and USA TODAY extend their congratulations to all the winners. The contest was promoted on 10Best and USA TODAY.

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AlertThe Experts

Lance Hart

Lance Hart

Lance Hart

Steve Kalkofen

Steve Kalkofen

Steve Kalkofen

Arthur Levine

Arthur Levine

Arthur Levine

Robert Niles

Robert Niles

Robert Niles