Michelin's restaurant review guides are known far and wide. Chefs all over the world covet a Michelin Star, which provides instant credibility with would-be diners.
Michelin reviewers use 5 criteria:
- Quality of the ingredients
- Mastery of flavor and cooking techniques
- The personality of the chef in their cuisine
- Value for money
- Consistency between visits
In 2022, Michelin reviewed Florida restaurants for the first time. Of all the restaurants receiving honors, seven of them are on Disney World property. Before listing them, here's a brief guide of what Michelin reviews really mean:
- Three Stars - Exceptional cuisine worth a special journey
- Two Stars - Excellent cooking, worth a detour
- One Star - High-quality cooking, worth a stop
- Bib Gourmand - Friendly establishment serving good food at moderate prices
- Michelin Plate - Fresh ingredients, carefully prepared, a good meal
Foodies, take note. Here's where to eat at Disney.
Earning a coveted Michelin Star: Capa, Four Seasons Resort Orlando
Capa is a steakhouse and bar on Disney World grounds. In keeping with the Four Seasons brand, Capa is a more dressy and formal dining experience. The restaurant is beautiful, decorated primarily in dark tones with natural wood accents and dramatic art. Diners can enjoy stunning views from the terrace. Cost-wise, it's a bit of a splurge but not unreasonable for the quality of the dishes.
Michelin's take: Expect a distinctive experience defined by hickory-grilled steaks and impressive tapas. Kick things off with pan con tomate or pork belly with apple butter before indulging in a main dish, like flame-kissed ribeye with tamarind-ancho sauce. Patatas bravas, that Spanish ode to the potato, is a worthy side that demands attention, while artful plating, like the swipe of piquillo salsa accompanying the tender filet, is a calling card.
Earning a Michelin Plate: California Grill, Contemporary Resort
The California Grill is a comfortable family restaurant on the 15th floor of the Contemporary Resort. The food is focused on fresh, seasonal ingredients and makes a nod to the many cultures residing in the Golden State.
The restaurant's wall of windows provides an inspiring view of Seven Seas Lagoon and the Magic Kingdom while dining. The website lists the cost as over $60 per adult.
Michelin's take: The contemporary menu demonstrates clear Californian leanings with local inflections, like Florida citrus, as well as the occasional Asian inspiration, like short rib wontons or sushi. The cheese board is a thrill, while desserts run the gamut—imagine a Grand Marnier-laced crème brûlée with candied kumquats. Cocktails, sake and wine flights are a balm for Mouse-weary adults.
Earning a Michelin Plate: Citricos, The Grand Floridian
Citricos is billed as offering Coastal American food with an abundance of seafood and tropical fruit. The interior feels luxe and sophisticated, with rich, warm colors and fabrics inspired by Mary Poppins Returns. Prices are in-line with the stylish decor.
Michelin's take: While the carte is seasonal, expect the likes of corn bisque whimsically arranged with pickled fennel and popcorn. Crispy smoked duck is finished with salt and gently set atop a tangle of tagliatelle with celeriac purée. Up next might be guava-braised short ribs with cheddar grits and poblano sauce, leaving you full to the brim.
Earning a Michelin Plate: Morimoto Asia, Disney Springs
The vibe is fine dining in a modern and glamorous setting with a sense of dramatic flair. However, the atmosphere is still casual and fun enough for the family. The restaurant is a collaboration with Chef Morimoto of Iron Chef.
Michelin's take: The cooking is pan-Asian and the menu spans everything from American-Chinese classics and Korean specialties, to ramen and sushi. Ingredients employed here are impressive; flavors are subtle yet balanced and technique is solid. Orange chicken is beloved, but be sure to check out such daily gems as the black truffle-sushi rice risotto.
Earning a Michelin Plate: Ravello, Four Seasons Resort Orlando
The Four Seasons makes this list twice. If you're craving Italian food, their more casual dining room is the spot for you. The design is light and clean, accented with dark woods. An outdoor terrace leads to a beautiful green space.
Michelin's take: Modern Italian is the menu's focus, which includes everything from small plates and pizzas to house pastas and hearty mains. The chef employs his own family's recipes, so expect such personalized plates as grilled melanzane with zucchini, cucumber and ricotta; or calamari sautéed in tomato sauce, with oregano, olives and capers.
Earning a Michelin Plate: The Polite Pig, Disney Springs
As the name would suggest, this is casual comfort food dining with a funky modern, industrial look. The restaurant features a waterfront setting and the ability to order at the bar to avoid long waits. This is the most affordable restaurant on this list.
Michelin's take: Flavors are nuanced yet balanced in these dishes. Meat reigns supreme on the menu and there's no going wrong with the brisket—sliced thin, black pepper-rubbed and served with sides like creamy potato salad.