Welcome to this week’s installment of Dining at the Parks. If you missed my last column about Disney California Adventures Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta, click here! This week we will be visiting the famous Carnation Café located inside Disneyland Park, right off Main Street U.S.A.
We’ll also grab some sweet treats that can be carried around as you enjoy all the fun both Parks have to offer! The Carnation Cafe first opened its doors welcoming hungry guests on Disneyland’s opening day, July 17, 1955. Celebrating 60 years of operation, the Cafe’s name and appearance have changed over the years.
It was originally called the Carnation Cafe Ice Cream Parlor and was hosted by the Carnation Company. Guests would encounter an old style ice cream counter with tall stools to enjoy their ice cream favorites or a large indoor/outdoor sitting area. The Carnation Cafe as it’s currently known, serves American “comfort” style dishes. You will find some dishes are even inspired by or past favorites of Walt Disney.
Though the ice cream counter has passed into Disneyland history, the Cafe still offers both a spacious indoor dining area and a covered outdoor courtyard. I recommend the outdoor courtyard, as it offers a great view of all the hustle and bustle on Main Street.
A favorite dish for me was the Fried Pickles with Dipping Sauce. The Carnation Café serves Dill Pickle Spears dipped in Parmesan and Panko bread. These are presented alongside a house dip. ($6.49) Other dining establishments tend to serve fried pickles sliced, so this was a pleasant surprise!
Did you know that pickles are technically a “fruit of the vine ” but people see them more as a vegetable. Americans consume more than 9 pounds of pickles a year, with Dill being the hands down favorite. I would definitely agree with that!
Two popular dishes are the Homemade Meatloaf and the Chicken-fried Chicken. The meatloaf won out this time! The cafe offers a Homemade style meatloaf with a blend of Beef and Pork.
This is served with a Ketchup Glaze, Mashed Potatoes, Mushroom Gravy, and Seasonal Vegetables. ($14.49)
Looking for something a little lighter? The Roasted Turkey Sandwich is a great American classic. The fresh sliced turkey is served on a potato roll with tomatoes, Monterrey jack cheese, lettuce, pickled onions, and Mustard Aioli. The sandwich is served with French fries but you can also request fresh fruit. ($12.99)
Both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are great places to enjoy a quick snack or a sweet treat. These on the go items are a perfect addition, as your stroll thru the Parks!
If you are over in Disney California Adventure, you should pick up a bucket of the Caramel Popcorn. (With souvenir bucket, total is $14.00) This is served fresh only in Disney California Adventure, so make sure to grab some before you head over to Disneyland! The station I visited was located next to Elias and Company.
One of the ultimate classics of Disneyland, the famous Churro. ($4.25) It made its Disneyland debut in 1985, at the outdoor amphitheater called “Videopolis” (Currently the Fantasyland Theatre) these cinnamon treats are served at various themed carts located throughout the Park. A favorite location of mine is situated right by Sleeping Beauty Castle!
That does it for this week’s Dining at the Parks. Have you been able to visit the Carnation Café, what’s your favorite dish? Do you have a favorite sweet treat or snack that you enjoy while in the parks?