This article is your complete guide to the best California Adventure restaurants 2023. Disney’s California Adventure park is all about celebrating the fresh and vibrant culture of the Golden State with entertainment, attractions and, food. There is a variety of incredible dining spots at DCA from quick service, to fine dining options that you can’t miss.
That’s why we had to cover all of the best California adventure restaurants for 2023.
Best Restaurants in California Adventure 2023 Overview
While many guests might be aware of the iconic Disneyland park restaurants, Disney’s California Adventure should not be skipped over when it comes to food. We would even argue that some food at California Adventure is even better than what you can get at the original park. That’s why in this article we are going to break down all the best places to eat in California Adventure so you don’t miss out.
What is the best Disney California Adventure restaurant?
- Carthay Circle Restaurant
- Lamplight Lounge
- Wine Country Trattoria
- Pym’s Test Kitchen
- Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta
- Pacific Wharf Cafe
- Smokejumpers Grill
- Cocina Cucamonga
- Award Wieners
- Paradise Grill
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#10- Smokejumpers Grill – Best Restaurant at California Adventure for Families
Location: Grizzly Peak
What to Expect: An homage to the Smokejumpers heroes who protect California forests with classic American fare. This is truly one of the best places to eat in California Adventure park with an inspiring story and detailed theming.
Type of Food: American
Must-Try Menu Items: Spicy Chicken Sandwich, Chipotle BBQ Bacon Double Cheeseburger, Chocolate Shake
Tips and Tricks: If you’re looking for one of the best California Adventure restaurants for a quick, easy family meal, Smokejumpers is a great option. Not only the is building huge with a lot of indoor seating, there are also many safe menu items for potential picky eaters.
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#9 – Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill
Location: Pacific Wharf
What to Expect: A colorful outdoor Mexican quick service restaurant with some of the best food in California Adventure 2023. Grab a quick bite or margarita and enjoy the view of the Pacific Wharf at Cocina Cucamonga.
Type of Food: Mexican, Quick Service
Must-Try Menu Items: QuesaBirria, Tacos Dorados de Papa, Horchata Agua Fresca
Tips and Tricks: If you’re looking for a cheap spot with a great view, we highly suggest this California Adventure dining spot. The DCA Pacific Wharf is actually set on a small waterfront with a pretty beautiful view for being inside of a theme park. For the price of the food, you can’t really beat the portions and the setting!
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#8 – Award Wieners – Best Restaurants in California Adventure 2023
Location: Hollywood Land
What to Expect: An exciting quick service location that offers a variety of specialty hot dogs, fries and sweets. As one of the best restaurants in California Adventure park, this is more than just your run-of-the-mill hot dog place with incredibly inventive creations.
Type of Food: American, Quick Service
Must-Try Menu Items: Asada Fries, Plant-based Philly Dog, Bacon Street Dog
Tips and Tricks: This is one of the top-notch Disney California Adventure restaurants that has seasonal offerings, which is a big draw for guests. You’ll always want to keep checking back to see what the chefs at Award Wieners come up with each season for the changing dishes.
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#7 – Paradise Grill
Location: Paradise Gardens
What to Expect: An exciting quick service restaurant with some of the best food California Adventure has to offer. Paradise Grill has had quite the transformation with a brand new rotating seasonal menu and exciting new dishes.
Type of Food: American BBQ
Must-Try Menu Items: Family Picnic Platter (Serves 2-4 guests), St. Louis-style BBQ-Rubbed Chicken, Cherry Cheesecake
Tips and Tricks: Paradise Grill is truly one of the best places to eat in California Adventure park with its perfect location and incredible food. Guests dining should check the live entertainment schedule for the Paradise Garden Bandstand, which regularly hosts a rotating lineup.
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#6 – Pacific Wharf Cafe
Location: Pacific Wharf
What to Expect: A classic quick service restaurant in DCA that celebrates everything about the Bay Area and, of course, bread. As one of the best restaurants California Adventure has to offer, the Pacific Wharf Cafe is known for fresh food and seasonal specialties.
Type of Food: American, Californian
Must-Try Menu Items: Soup in a Sourdough Bread Bowl, Mac & Cheese in a Sourdough Bread Bowl, Strawberry Shortcake Bread Pudding
Tips and Tricks: The best kept secret about this best place to eat at California Adventure is the recipe used for the Boudin sourdough bowls. Which you can learn all about on the self-guided tour on the Boudin Bakery Tour next door and get a free taste of bread if you have room.
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#5 – Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta – Top Restaurant at Disney California Adventure 2023
Location: Paradise Garden Park
What to Expect: A quick service Italian spot that offers a delicious slice and California flare. Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta has some of the best food in California Adventure for those looking to get the best quality food for the price!
Type of Food: Italian, Quick Service
Must-Try Menu Items: Chicken Sun-dried Tomato Pesto, Pepperoni Pizza, Vegetable Pizza
Tips and Tricks: The setting for Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta is perfect in the Paradise Garden Park, with plenty of seating and even onstage kitchens to watch the magic. This is a great place to grab dinner at California Adventure and catch live entertainment under cover from the California sun.
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#4 – Wine Country Trattoria
Location: Pacific Wharf
What to Expect: An elegant table service restaurant that specializes in Italian cuisine and a charming atmosphere. Not only does Wine Country Trattoria have some of California Adventure’s best food, it also has over 25 different wines by the glass!
Type of Food: Italian
Must-Try Menu Items: Chicken Parmesan, Fettuccine Shrimp Alfredo, Fried Calamari
Tips and Tricks: Wine Country Trattoria is one of the best places to eat in California Adventure for a romantic date night. Every single entree is listed with the ideal pairing of wine, giving you a truly elevated experience. You can also sample a variety with a wine flight if more than one sounds good to you!
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#3 – Pym Test Kitchen – Best Food at DCA for Lunch
Location: Avengers Campus
What to Expect: An incredibly themed quick service restaurant with interestingly sized entrees for guests to try. We truly think this is one of the best places to eat at California Adventure for the storytelling and immersion, which is unlike any other.
Type of Food: American, Themed Quick Service
Must-Try Menu Items: Not so Little Chicken Sandwich, Quantum Pretzel, Choco-Smash CANDY Bar
Tips and Tricks: Pym Test Kitchen is definitely a place you want to try and get to earlier than later in Avengers Campus. The brand new land at DCA is rather popular, and you can get a rather decent breakfast at Pym and an even better lunch. If you’re looking for California Adventure best food and the best theming for the family, this is a must-do restaurant.
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#2 – Lamplight Lounge
Location: Pixar Pier
What to Expect: A creative spot with must try food at California Adventure that celebrates everything about Pixar and the artists that create the magic. The Lamplight Lounge is a gastropub with beautiful views and signature cocktails.
Type of Food: American, Californian
Must-Try Menu Items: Lobster Nachos, Roasted Chicken, Pastrami-spiced Impossible Burger
Tips and Tricks: The Lamplight Lounge is the famous place to get the lobster nachos at California Adventure, which are definitely worth the stop. There is also a specialty brunch served until 1PM on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays which is a special treat for guests visiting during the weekend.
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#1 – Carthay Circle Restaurant – Best Place to Eat in California Adventure 2023
Location: Buena Vista Street
What to Expect: An upscale spot set right in the Golden Age for guests looking to dine in an exact replica of the Carthay Circle Theater in Los Angeles. Carthay Circle also has a seasonal menu with delicious offerings that are inspired from Southern California making is one of the best restaurants in Disney California Adventure.
Type of Food: American, Fine Dining
Must-Try Menu Items: Caribbean Spiced Pork Chop, Molten Chocolate Caramel Cake, California Ahi Poke
Tips and Tricks: The reason that Carthay Circle is one of the best places to eat at California Adventure for not only the food, but also the drinks. There is an entire After Dinner Drinks and Dessert Wine menu, with vintage cocktails and tasty spirits for guests to enjoy. You can also try the very special brand of Disney wines at Carthay Circle, which is pretty special.
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Best California Adventure Restaurants FAQ
Can you eat at California Adventure without a ticket?
Unfortunately, to dine inside of any Disney theme park, you must also have a valid ticket for entry. That is not always the case for eating inside of the onsite hotel restaurants. Make sure to check with the California Adventure restaurant before booking on what you might need to dine.n what you might need to dine.
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