The EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival is a foodie’s dream. Though the festival normally runs from the end of August to November, the 2021 event started in July and runs until November 20, giving guests and local Orlando foodies alike plenty of time to make multiple trips around the World Showcase.
New this year, there are seven additional food outposts, including The Noodle Exchange (near Traveler’s Cafe), The Rotunda Bistro (America), Brew-Wing (at the EPCOT Experience), Mac & Eats and Lobster Landing (near Mission: SPACE), The Swanky Saucy Swine (near Disney Traders), and Tangerine Cafe: Flavors of the Medina (Morocco).
Not all spots opened in the summer, but as of October, you can enjoy the entire menu — and trust me, there’s a lot. Grab a Festival Passport when you enter the park and make a quick scan to decide on what’s most important to try. Of course, you’ll likely be lured in by more smells and signage as you explore. Not sure where to start? Add these ten Food & Wine Festival items to your must-try list:
Perhaps the best offering at the entire celebration, the Mezzelune Croccanti are mozzarella-filled ravioli served in a little blanket of pomodoro sauce. These half-moon delights are served hot, so you can enjoy the gooey cheese experience in every bite. Order one to share, they’re heavy. And you can always come back for more.
Find it: Italy
GRILLED BEEF KEBABS
New this year, Tangerine Cafe is serving hungry guests the “flavors of the Medina.” The kebabs, offered in a selection of beef, lamb, and chicken, are served over a bed of couscous with a side of vegetables, drizzled in a garlic aioli. For a full spread, order the Fried Falafel Pita with Tahini Sauce (plant-based) and the Stone-Baked Moroccan Bread with three dips (hummus, zaalouk, zhoug).
Find it: Morocco
While I’ve already mentioned a sporgasbord of delights from Morocco, the Pistachio Cake is worthy of its own mention. For the sheer volume of food prepared for Food & Wine, one would not think for a cake to leave a lasting impression. However, this vibrant little dish is served chilled, keeping it perfectly spongey and moist until the last bite.
Find it: Morocco
CHAQUILES CON CHORIZO
While you’ll likely find me ordering anything with “chorizo” in the title, the Mexican food items truly deliver. Crispy corn tortillas are layered with salsa verde and Monterey jack cheese, then topped with creme Mexicana, queso cotija, pickled onions, and…ground chorizo. Pair this already flavor-packed bite with the Taco de Ribeye, a colorful dish with shaved ribeye, red onions, and poblano peppers on a corn tortilla finished with cotija cheese, chives, and ranchera salsa.
Find it: Mexico
FROZEN APPLE PIE
The ideal combination of cold and crunchy, this pink-hued treat is a refreshing snack for warm days in World Showcase. Topped with apple crumble, this smoothie-consistency snack pairs well with the 3 Daughters Brewing Apple Pecan Brown Ale.
Find it: Appleseed Orchard (Cananda Theatre)
WARM CHOCOLATE PUDDING CAKE
Drizzled in Irish cream liqueur custard, this decadent treat is the perfect afternoon chocolate fix. The stand also offers Fisherman’s Seafood Pie and a Guiness Baileys Shake, in case you wanted to pair your dessert with another bite or refreshing beverage.
Find it: Ireland
GREEN TEA PALE ALE
Brewed out of nearby Titusville, FL, the Playalinda Brewing Company Yaupon Brothers Green Tea Pale Ale is a great first stop if you start on the Canada side of World Showcase. Pair it with the Traditional Spicy Vietnamese Beef Pho (shaved beef, enoki mushrooms, bok choy, soy pickled egg), a fan favorite.
Find it: The Noodle Exchange
CANADIAN CHEDDAR AND BACON SOUP
Though a bit on the salty side, the cheddar bacon soup is ideal for rainy park days, especially as the weather gets colder. Perfectly chewy and dippable, the pretzel rolls is a nice addition to this already-hearty dish.
Find it: Canada
This is Orlando, so while Food & Wine runs through November, it’ll likely still feel hot. When you’re starting to tire from the sun, head to Hawai’i (just outside of Mexico near Disney Traders) for a refreshing beverage served with vodka, DOLE pineapple juice, and grenadine. It’s tropical and it’s PINK. Then, follow it up with a tequila-based drink from the Mexico Pavilion.
Find it: Hawai’i
PAN-FRIED CHICKEN DUMPLINGS
Don’t let the long line deter you from making a stop in China. Served with house-made sweet and spicy sauce, these dumplings offer a taste of authentic flavor (with an American twist, of course). Pair it with the ZiRan Beef Bao Bun, but be warned, there’s a LOT of cumin.
Find it: China
What are your favorite Food & Wine dishes?