There really is nothing like the vibe on Main Street, U.S.A. to tell you that you are at Disneyland. While there are a few places you can pick up a quick bite, Carnation Cafe is the only place on Main Street, U.S.A that is a full service restaurant. It is billed as ‘classic American comfort food’ and includes some of Walt Disney’s favorite recipes. The food and the atmosphere are two reasons you should make this one of your dining experiences on your vacation. Carnation Cafe is reopening on September 16th, 2021!
DIVA TIP – the restaurant is small and reservations go fast! Be sure to make them 60-days before your trip, but if you miss out, keep checking online for reservations or ask when you arrive at Disneyland to see if you can be added to a walk-up list.
The location of the Carnation Cafe has been around since opening day, but it has been many things from an ice cream parlor to part of the Main Street Flower Market. It has been Carnation Cafe in my memory though. The restaurant has indoor seating (the part that was the ice cream parlor) and outdoor seating (the part that was the Flower Market). You’ll need to checkin for your reservation right inside the door. Indoor seating is in the Victorian-style dining room with Cast Members dressed in turn of the century costumes. Outdoor seating is under red/white candy stripped umbrellas. Let them know if you have a preference or want first available when you check-in. There are no restrooms inside, but there is a restroom just behind the outdoor seating area.
DIVA TIP – Outdoor seating does have umbrellas and gives you the view of Main Street, U.S.A., but it could be hot in the summer so consider making a morning reservation or one after dusk. In the winter, they will provide heaters for outdoor seating.
Carnation Cafe is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The breakfast menu has the classic Mickey Shaped Waffle, along with other favorites like buttermilk pancakes and a breakfast skillet. My preference is to have lunch or dinner here, as I like to spend my mornings enjoying rope drop and shorter waits for attractions. The lunch and dinner menus are the same.
With all the great choices what should you get?? You really can’t go wrong with anything on this menu. The items they are best known for are the Fried Pickles, Walt’s Chili (click here for the make at home recipe!)and the Parmesan Toasted Patty Melt. We also love the Carnation Cafe Cheeseburger, the Baked Potato Soup, and the Braised Short Rib with Mac & Cheese. I love Joffrey’s Coffee, and lucky for me, it is served here. I will take it with my meal or relax with it as my dessert while my family dives into the Apple Pie à la Mode, which comes with real vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.
The service here in our experiences has always been great. Between that, the YUMMY food and the atmosphere, I can highly recommend dining at the Carnation Cafe.
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