Epcot Food and Wine is my favorite Epcot festival. It’s the perfect time to enjoy what World Showcase is really about — experiencing different cultures — through food. Booths are set up throughout World Showcase and a few areas of Future World, highlighting different regions and countries and types of food.
The festival is included with admission to Epcot. Food and drinks are smaller portions, usually ranging from $4 to $9 per item. If you’re using the Disney Dining Plan, Festival items count as snacks. You can also purchase a tasting sampler, which will help you save a little money if you purchase higher-cost items with it.
When we do Food and Wine, we like to visit as many booths as possible. So, the festival usually takes the place of lunch, dinner or sometimes both. We also share many items to be able to taste as much as possible. Be sure to grab your tasting passport (free and available at most booths) to keep track of what you’ve tried.
What’s more French than French onion soup? This version was cheesy, gooey and had a nice touch of bitterness/acid from the cognac. It was heavy on onions, too, which I appreciate. I had this piping soup twice!
I love ahi tuna, and the spicy tuna poke with rice and a seaweed salad did not disappoint. The tuna was fresh and delicious.
I did not eat the Hawaiian pulled pork slider on a King’s Hawaiian roll (I’m not a big pork eater), but my husband loved it. He said this was his favorite dish all day. It was dressed with spicy mayo and pineapple relish.
The Chew Collective
The Chew, which is my favorite daytime show (all hail Clinton Kelly!), has a heavy influence at Epcot Food and Wine. They have their own booth, and they film several shows from the festival. This zucchini and ricotta lasagna with a rustic tomato sauce and micro basil did not disappoint. This is some of the best marinara sauce I’ve had. This booth is located in Future World.
The Chocolate Studio
The Chocolate Studio speaks to me on a personal level, mainly because I could eat chocolate every day for every meal. This red wine truffle was bitter at first. It’s dusted in cocoa powder, and the red wine adds to the bitterness, too. However, it has a rich, sweet finish, and I enjoyed this deeper flavor.
Craft Beer is an indoor pavilion located as Future World becomes World Showcase. It’s near First Aid and the restrooms. It’s a nice break from the heat, and it has lots of cool graphics on how beer is made and different types of beer. We enjoyed some pimento and cheese at this booth. It was okay, but I’m a huge pimento and cheese connoisseur.
We tried the traditional lamb stew, which is a traditional home-cooked meal in Scotland. This stew was served atop neeps (mashed rutabagas) and tatties (mashed potatoes). We were not fans of neeps, but the tatties were creamy and wonderful. This stew was okay for me, mainly because it tasted so beefy (I don’t really eat beef), but my husband loved it. I would consider this the Scottish version of pot roast.
Islands of the Caribbean
I didn’t expect to love the quesito, but this Puerto Rican dessert quickly became an unexpected favorite… possibly my favorite dish I had all day. This cream cheese-filled pastry is topped with a guava drizzle. It’s sweet, but the cream cheese gives it a nice tanginess. It gets better the more I eat it, as flavors develop. This treat is part of the Islands of the Caribbean pavilion, a new booth for 2016. It’s a cute area tucked to the side of the entrance of World Showcase filled with calypso music and bright buildings.
Canada’s cheddar cheese soup is a staple every year. It’s also included in the Food and Wine 2015 cookbook, and my mom made it for Thanksgiving last year. Though I don’t eat bacon (I know – who am I?), I usually will indulge in this soup because you can’t really taste the bacon. This year it was suuuuper bacon-y, so I only ate a few bites. My mom’s version is vegetarian, though, and I hope she makes it again. This soup is a favorite for most bacon-eating normal people.
The pepper shrimp with garlic noodles is a fairly large portion packed with flavor. I added a little Sriracha to my plate, mostly because if I see Sriracha, I can’t forget about it. This was one of my favorites.
Pão de Queijo is Brazilian cheese bread; it tastes slightly doughy and undercooked on purpose. I loved this gooey bread, and you get two rolls! They do a good job keeping the bread warm, too. It was cool to have Brazilian food after the Olympics were recently there.
Greenhouse Guru is located next to the Chew Collective in Future World. The area itself is cool; it’s filled with facts on greenhouses, tomato plants and unique seating. This heirloom tomato salad with balsamic and goat cheese was delicious. It was nice to have a fresh break from several heavy foods, too.
The hummus fries have become a social media favorite this year, and my husband loved them. Though I love hummus and most Mediterranean food, I was not a big fan. They are a different texture, for sure. The flavors are good (except for the diced cucumbers — bleh), but I couldn’t get past the texture. If you like these, there’s good news. Spice Road Table, the sit-down restaurant in Morocco, offers a version of these guys all year round. Maybe I’ll give them another shot there.
Holy chicky chicky parm parm! This chicken parm was cheesy and packed with flavor. The chicken itself was cooked well, too. You also get a pretty large portion of this, especially of the chicken.
The taco de camarón is a version of a similar dish you can enjoy at La Hacienda de San Angel, the sit-down restaurant in Mexico on the water (not inside the Aztec building). It’s one of my favorite entrees in all of Walt Disney World, so I always enjoy snagging a mini version during Food and Wine. Fried shrimp, red cabbage, cilantro and spicy mayo atop a flour tortilla provide a spicy, creamy and crunchy dish.
This lamb chop with mint pesto and tomato crunchies was packed with flavor, but it did include two of my favorite things: lamb and pesto. The pesto was not super minty, and the potato crunchies add a nice element. The lamb was cooked about medium/medium well. I wouldn’t have minded it closer to medium well, but it still had a great texture and flavor.
This is a terrible, terrible photo of a delicious dessert. The warm chocolate pudding with Irish cream was rich, warm, gooey and sweet. It was like an amped-up, high-brow version of a molten chocolate cake.