Disney California Adventure is heaven for foodies! When compared to Disneyland, I feel California Adventure takes the cake in terms of food options.
There are so many excellent places to eat at California Adventure. It’s good to do a little research before your trip to know what and where to eat beforehand.
This post will help you find the best food at Disney California Adventure and popular foods so that you can plan the meals that work best for your group. California Adventure is worth it just for the delicious food I think!
Restaurants at Disney California Adventure offer various cuisines and range from Quick Service cafeteria Style dining to more formal reservation-only Table Service dining.
There are endless snack and beverage carts, and cafes throughout the theme park. You will surely be spoiled for food choices at California Adventure. There are options here for every budget.
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30+ Best Foods in California Adventure to Try in 2023
In this article, I will list the most popular and best foods in California Adventure that should be on your food list on your trip to Disneyland and California Adventure.
California Adventure Park is huge with several themed lands and attractions. Disneyland’s attractions and rides are famous, but California Adventure has some very popular attractions too.
Exploring all the California Adventure attractions will definitely make you hungry!
This California Adventure best foods guide is sorted by the themed lands in California Adventure. That way you know what to try in each land/area of the park.
Avengers Campus is the newest addition to California Adventure and brings some great food with it.
Restaurants at Avengers Campus
Pym Test Kitchen restaurant and the Shawarma Palace food cart at Avengers Campus have some great food options.
Best foods to try at Avengers Campus:
1. Not so Little Chicken Sandwich at Pym Test Kitchen
Pym Test Kitchen is the newest restaurant in Avengers Campus and the menu is inspired by Pym particles from the Ant-Man and Wasp movie.
The entrees are inventively sized and the fried chicken patty is huge when compared to the miniature bun. The sauce is perfect and goes well with the patty. Comes with potato bites.
2. Potato Bites at Pym Test Kitchen
These are so good to snack on, similar to tater tots, and made crispy, hot, and perfect every time!
3. Choco Smash CANDY Bar at Pym Test Kitchen
Yummy and filling snack or dessert Candy bar with dark chocolate, caramel, nougat, peanuts, and chocolate brownie.
It’s big enough to be shared by two, or if you are like me, you can absolutely finish the whole thing by yourself!
4. Impossible Falafel Shawarma at Shawarma Palace
This is a very convenient vegetarian breakfast/lunch/dinner option that you can take to go and eat in line while waiting for a ride or while walking between rides.
The Shawarma Palace is a food cart outside Pym Test Kitchen near the Guardians of the Galaxy ride. The pita wraps are delicious with garlic spread, yogurt tahini sauce, cauliflower florets, and Impossible protein.
5. Chicken Shawarma at Shawarma Palace
This is the chicken Shawarma option at the same Shawarma Palace also with garlic spread, yogurt tahini sauce, cauliflower florets, and pickled vegetables.
Cars Land is my favorite themed land in California Adventure. It is so well made and immersive you feel like you are really in the Cars movie world.
Restaurants at Cars Land
The Cozy Cone Motel and Flo’s V8 café are the main restaurants in Cars Land.
Best foods to try at Cars Land:
6. Chili Cone Queso at Cozy Cone Motel
Cozy Cone Motel at Cars Land serves these popular bread cones with various toppings. The most popular cones are the Chili Cone Queso and Bacon Mac and Cheese.
Chili Cone Queso is chili in a bread Cone topped with cheese and Fritos. More than the taste it’s the novelty of the food here that is very appealing, the cone-shaped food coming from the cone-shaped restaurant. Very unique!
The bread cone is like a soft pretzel in taste and both the Chili and Mac and Cheese versions are good. You can get just the filling in a cup without the bread cone if you want.
7. Chocolate Vanilla Twist Soft Serve at Cozy Cone Motel
The soft-serve Ice creams at Cozy Cone Motel are delicious and my favorite flavor is the Chocolate Vanilla Swirl.
The Ice Cream portion is huge too and very filling. Perfect to have in hand while walking or waiting in line.
8. Churro Bites at Cozy Cone Motel
Churro Bites at Cozy Cone Motel are the perfect snack to share, with the convenient bite-sized pieces of Churros.
You can get the Cinnamon-Spiced Chocolate Dipping Sauce with it to take the taste to the next level! Cinnamon and Chocolate – an awesome combination!
9. Brioche French Toast at Flo’s V8 Café
Brioche French Toast at Flo’s V8 café is a great breakfast option if you are in Cars Land in the morning. It’s a freshly baked French toast with salted caramel sauce and bananas as toppings.
It’s more like a bread pudding than French toast, but tasty regardless. The diner-like ambiance of Flo’s V8 café is really well made with views of Radiator Springs mountains.
10. Waffles at Flo’s V8 Café
Another great breakfast option at Flo’s V8 Cafe is the waffles. Comes with Turkey bacon and fresh fruit.
The waffles are cute to look at too with the Cars movie characters on them.
Paradise Gardens restaurants have some hearty meal options for when you are hungry. There are also familiar foods here like pizza and pasta when you are in a hurry.
Paradise Gardens is a lively and colorful place with live music playing and plenty of outdoor seating for meals.
Restaurants at Paradise Gardens
Best foods to try at Paradise Gardens:
11. Pasta Varieties at Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta
Sun-dried Tomato Chicken pasta here is delicious. The spaghetti and meatballs are also decent. The ravioli here is good too. Don’t forget to pair the pasta with breadsticks and a fresh salad!
This is a quick cafeteria-style restaurant. Food is pre-plated here and you can take what you need and pay at the counter.
Great filling options when you do not have a lot of time to devote to eating, but still need a good meal.
12. Pizzas at Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta
You cannot go wrong with pizza especially when traveling with kids. Pizza is something that everyone in your group will eat without complaining.
They have the usual cheese, pepperoni, and vegetarian option.
They also have seasonal gourmet pizzas around the holidays and special events.
13. Ethnic Food Platters at Paradise Garden Grill
Paradise Garden Grill is popular for its ethnic cuisine offerings throughout the year.
They have Mediterranean cuisine most of the year, where you can get Kebabs and skewers combined with sides like rice, pita, veggies, and humus to make a filling meal.
During the holidays, they serve Mexican cuisine, and the platters have beans and rice as sides. During the Lunar New Year, they even serve Asian-inspired cuisine.
Definitely should be on your list if you like to try different cuisines. They have vegetarian options as well.
There is live music playing here outside, and it is a wonderful lively setting.
14. Coco Cake and other Desserts at Paradise Garden Grill
Paradise Garden Grill has seasonal desserts and the one I tried was the Coco Cake during the Day of the Dead celebration.
It was beautiful to look at and delicious as well. They also have Tres Leches Parfait occasionally.
15. Corn Dogs at Corn Dog Castle
These are great for snack time and also as a walking lunch, as they are quite big in size and filling. Crispy deep-fried corn dogs served with mustard, spicy mustard, or ketchup.
They have the regular corn dog, the spicy hot link corn dog, and the vegetarian cheese dog which has just cheese inside. The vegetarian one is much smaller in size than the other two.
The hot link corn dog is a novelty here!
Pacific Wharf in California Adventure is a waterfront dining area modeled after the Pacific Coast of California. The setup is similar to Cannery Row of Monterey.
Restaurants at Pacific Wharf
There are several restaurants here with some great food options from different cuisines.
Best foods to try at Pacific Wharf:
16. Sundaes at Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop
Ghirardelli is an iconic landmark of the San Francisco area and the Ghirardelli Soda and Fountain Shop at Pacific Wharf pays tribute to it.
The Ice Cream sundaes here are excellent, especially the Lands End Salted Caramel Brownie Sundae with chocolate brownie, vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, salted caramel sauce and whipped cream. So good!
You cannot go wrong with the Sundaes here. Crissy Field cookie bits Sundae and Hot fudge Sundae are also good options. The portions are huge and can be shared by two, but only if you want to!
17. Sourdough Bread Bowl Soup at Pacific Wharf Café
Nothing says more California than a Boudin Bakery Sourdough Bread Bowl filled with delicious hot soup! Yum!
The Sourdough bread bowl soups at Pacific Wharf Café are awesomely filling and hearty meal options, especially in the colder months at the park.
The Clam Chowder Sourdough Bread Bowl is very popular. They also have vegetarian soup bowl options like the Mac and Cheese Sourdough Bread Bowl, which is also very good.
18. Bread Pudding at Pacific Wharf Café
Along with the hearty soup bread bowls at Pacific Wharf Café, try the Bread Pudding here. It is so good!
There are seasonal flavors like Chocolate -Espresso Bread Pudding (my favorite as I like all things chocolate) and Strawberry Shortcake Bread Pudding with yummy toppings.
19. QuesaBirria at Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill
The QuesaBirria dish is very popular at Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill, which is a pair of braised beef and cheese tacos with tomatillo salsa and Consomé sauce to dip the tacos in.
Other Mexican cuisine plates are also good.
The drinks here like Peach Margarita and Horchatas are really good too.
20. Asian Cuisine Inspired Plates at Lucky Fortune Cookery
If you are craving Asian food try the Lucky Fortune Cookery at Pacific Wharf.
The spicy Schezwan Chicken with Sautéed Vegetables and Steamed Rice dish is good here. The Beef Bulgogi Burrito with garlic chips and Ramen bowl is also popular.
Pixar Pier has a large selection of restaurants and snack shops that offer several foods for every budget and schedule.
Restaurants at Pixar Pier
Try the table seating and gourmet meals at Lamplight Lounge or hot dogs at Angry Dogs.
For sweet treats try the frozen treats at Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats, cookies and milk at Jack-Jack Cookie Num Nums, churros at Senor Buzz Churros, and candy and slushies at Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff.
Best foods to try at Pixar Pier:
21. Lobster Nachos at Lamplight Lounge
Lamplight Lounge is a casual table-seating dining restaurant that accepts reservations. Walk-ins are welcome too, but there can be a wait.
The restaurant has excellent views of the Pixar Pier and waterfront. This is a great place to take a break in the afternoon or enjoy a nice dinner with a view.
The Lobster Nachos here are popular, and so good and filling with all the nachos toppings. The Sliders and drinks are great too.
22. Jack-Jack Cookie Num Num and Milk at Jack-Jack Cookie Num Nums
Jack-Jack Cookie Num Num is a huge warm chocolate chip cookie and a great value. Best snack if you are a cookie lover.
You can also take chocolate, milk, almond, or soy milk with your cookie for a more filling snack.
23. Churro Toffee and Slushies from Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff
Bing Bong’s Sweet Shop is a cute little novelty candy shop with some great treats. The Churro Toffee is great here.
The Slushies here are called Memory Refreshers and there are some Inside Out movie-themed flavors. The Rainbow Unicorn Memory Refresher is popular here.
24. Frosted Treats at Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats
Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats in Pixar Pier is a great place to find some chilling snacks on hot days.
Pixar Pier Frosty Parfait is popular here and so good. It’s a non-dairy lemon soft serve with a blue raspberry swirl.
It’s Snow-Capped Lemon! is also good, which is a non-dairy lemon soft serve dipped in White chocolate. It’s great that these treats are dairy free and vegan friendly and are allergy friendly!
Hollywood Land at Disney California Adventure has some great quick-service snack restaurants.
Restaurants at Hollywood Land
There is Award Wieners for hot dogs and fries, Schmoozies for fruit smoothies and shakes, and the Studio Catering Co. food truck for some quick snacks and drinks.
Hollywood Lounge here serves various alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
Best foods to try at Hollywood Land:
25. Funnel cake fries at Award Wieners
The Funnel cake fries at Award Wieners come in several flavors and there are seasonal flavors too.
They have carrot funnel cake fries which are really good topped with whipped cream and other toppings.
During the holidays they have banana and gingerbread flavors which are equally great!
26. Savory fries and hot dogs at Award Wieners
Award Wieners has some great savory snacks that are filling enough for a quick lunch.
The filmstrip Carne Asada fries are French fries topped with marinated carne asada, cheddar cheese, cilantro, onions, salsa, and Guacamole.
Their Uptown Chili hot dog is also good served with the cute filmstrip fries.
There are plant-based options as well.
27. Mickey Shake at Schmoozies
Schmoozies serves milkshakes with ice cream, sauces, and various toppings.
The Mickey shake here is good and the flavors and toppings change seasonally. The shake is really pretty to look at in classic, or themed versions.
Buena Vista Street
Buena Vista Street which is the first street you see on entering Disney California Adventure has some quick snack restaurants.
Restaurants at Buena Vista Street
Here you will find Clarabelle’s Hand Scooped Ice Cream for Ice cream treats, and Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café for Starbucks coffee and bakery snacks.
Carthay Circle Restaurant and Carthay Circle Lounge are fine dining options and reservations are recommended here, as the walk-up list can have quite a wait.
Best foods to try at Buena Vista Street:
28. Minnie Mouse Kitchen Sink at Clarabelle’s Hand Scooped Ice Cream
The Minnie Mouse Kitchen Sink (or Mickey Mouse Kitchen Sink) Ice cream is a great snack to share by 2 or even 3 people.
You get to pick your choice of Sundae and it comes in a cute little Kitchen Sink shaped souvenir that you get to keep afterward!
Very filling and delicious for an afternoon snack or after-dinner treat!
Best Food available throughout California Adventure
Some awesome foods are available throughout California Adventure at the various food carts!
29. Flavored Churros with toppings from churro carts
There are flavored churros available at the various churro carts throughout the park.
Willie’s Churro cart near the circle at Buena Vista street has some unique toppings to the churros and is served in a bowl.
The toppings can be various sauces like caramel, marshmallow, peanut butter, fresh and dried fruit, and chocolate chips.
There are seasonal flavors as well! Churro fans will surely love these unique flavor combinations!
30. Mickey Pretzels from Pretzel carts
The Mickey-shaped pretzels available at the various pretzel carts throughout the park are a great snack that you can eat while walking. Pair it with the various dips available.
Tips for California Adventure Dining
The below tips will come in handy for saving money, and time and being prepared for dining in California Adventure.
Mobile Ordering using Disney Genie App
This is the #1 tip about food ordering and dining at California Adventure. The new Disney Genie app has a cool mobile ordering feature.
You can see a list of all restaurants and their menus in the app and place a mobile food order. You do not need to purchase Disneyland’s Genie Plus service to place mobile food orders.
You can select a pickup window time slot and when that time arrives, you reach the restaurant and indicate ‘I am here’ in the app. They will prepare your food after this, that way it’s still fresh for you. Keep in mind there will still be a line at the pickup window.
Some restaurants get sold out of the very popular items or time slots as the day progresses, so order your must-have foods at California Adventure early in the day!
If you are using the rope drop strategy and are in the park at California Adventure rope drop time, you can start placing your mobile food orders in the morning.
Check for Annual Pass Holder discounts
If you are an annual pass holder, check with the restaurant if they honor Annual Pass Holder discounts.
Most restaurants in California Adventure do, and you can save some amount on food and drinks.
Make restaurant reservations in advance through the mobile App
Many restaurants like Carthay Circle have table seating, and reservations are highly recommended.
You can make dining reservations up to 60 days in advance at Disneyland and California Adventure. You can use the Disney mobile App to make dining reservations.
Many popular restaurants get booked up weeks in advance, so it’s better to make a reservation as soon as you book your tickets and park reservations.
How to save time on dining in California Adventure
To save time on dining at California Adventure, review the restaurants and menus before your trip.
Find options that will work for your group in each themed land. Use mobile ordering to order your favorites for pickup at later time slots.
If you want to spend more time riding attractions and less time dining, then using cafeteria-style restaurants instead of table seating can save a lot of time.
How to save money on dining in California Adventure
Share portions with your group so that you can try more things.
All restaurants have free water filling stations at the soda fountain, so carrying a reusable water bottle can save you money instead of buying water.
Vegan and Vegetarian dining options at California Adventure restaurants
Many restaurants offer vegan and vegetarian substitutes. The mobile app restaurant menus will list any substitutes available in the menu options.
Allergy-friendly dining options at California Adventure restaurants
Most restaurants at California Adventure offer allergy-friendly options. Check the Disneyland mobile app for the most accurate allergy-friendly options information.
There you will find the menu for each restaurant. The menu will list if the restaurant has soy, gluten/wheat, egg, dairy, fish, and shellfish allergy-friendly options.
Food festivals and special events at California Adventure
Asian Inspired Food at Lunar New Year
During January and February each year, Disney California Adventure celebrates the Lunar New Year.
There are several Lunar New Year Marketplace Kiosks throughout the park serving Asian cuisine-inspired foods and drinks.
California Adventure Food and Wine Festival
During late March and early April, California Adventure Food and Wine Festival occur in the park, which is a great event for foodies.
There are several Festival Marketplaces kiosks, culinary demonstrations, wine and drinks tasting seminars and receptions, and special restaurant menu items.
Halloween-themed food at Oogie Boogie Bash
Oogie Boogie Bash is a very popular Halloween event on select days in September and October at California Adventure.
There is special Halloween-themed food and drinks available during the special event.
Festive Food during Holidays at California Adventure
November to early January is the holiday season at California Adventure, and you will find so many foods with holiday themes throughout the park.
Every restaurant’s menu will feature seasonal holiday twists to their regular food items.
Where to stay at Disneyland
For your stay near Disneyland, there are numerous exceptional hotels available. Disneyland Resort provides three hotels on the property, and there are several Disney Good Neighbor Hotels in the surrounding area.
Here are some of the best hotels from which you can walk to Disneyland:
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa is a luxury Disney resort nestled inside California Adventure Park. This hotel boasts multiple restaurants, pools, and a spa.
Disneyland Hotel, another upscale Disney Resort, is situated near Downtown Disney. Guests can indulge in an immersive Disney experience and enjoy an impressive pool area with thrilling waterslides.
Disney Paradise Pier Hotel, a Disney Resort of mid-range affordability, is located nearby and features a pool area complete with a delightful mini-waterpark.
Fairfield by Marriott Anaheim Resort is a highly recommended mid-range hotel located on S Harbor Blvd, just across the street from Disneyland. It’s a mere 10-minute walk to reach the parks.
Best Western Plus Park Place Inn is the most budget-friendly option and is conveniently situated on S Harbor Blvd. It is the closest budget hotel, providing a mere 5-minute walk to the park entrance. Guests can enjoy complimentary breakfast and access to a pool.
Final Takeaways: Best Disney California Adventure Food that is worth trying
Disney California Adventure has an amazing food scene and several great restaurants offering food from various cuisines.
I hope this guide to the best food at Disney California Adventure helps you find and try as many yummy foods as you can during your visit to Disneyland Resort!
Remember to plan your favorite must-try foods at California Adventure and use mobile ordering to secure them!
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