Its very clear that in the past few years food has become such an integral part of the Disney experience. From the ever-growing Food and Wine Festival at Epcot to the rotating menus at the other parks, Disney and Great Food are becoming synonymous. Then you get to Hollywood Studios...While the food here is not bad by any means, this park has been very neglected by the Disney/Food Revolution. Because of this it can be difficult to find great food here. There are signs that this is beginning to change with the addition of Baseline, the charcuterie focused tap room. However, if you want to make sure you continue to eat really great food even at Hollywood Studios, you better check out our 4 top recommendations for where to eat at Hollywood Studios:
1. Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant
First up is Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant. It can be very difficult to get a reservation here, but it is worth the struggle! First off, the theming is spot on fun. Once through the door you emerge "outside" at the Drive-In. Some people are seated in picnic style tables and others in cars. While you are dining, you get to enjoy throw back black and white sci-fi movies on the big screen.
The food is also delicious here. Nothing gourmet or truly inventive, but just very good. I highly recommend the onion rings, burgers, and a milkshake.
Sci-Fi Dine-In is my number 1 recommendation because the food is good and the atmosphere is great!
2. 50's Prime Time Cafe
50's Prime Time Cafe is another great choice for a sit down meal because the food again is solidly good and the atmosphere is fun. Imagine walking into your grandmother's kitchen back in the 50s with the same level of detail in the theming to truly transport you. The waitresses will admonish you for putting your elbows on the table and not eating your vegetables, but its all in the fun of the place!
The food here, while maybe not as good as Sci-Fi Dine-In, is solidly good. We've had both the friend chicken and the meatloaf and had zero problems finishing our meal! This is also a great place to pick up a milkshake! Their signature one is Peanut Butter and Jelly!
3. The Hollywood Brown Derby
The Hollywood Brown Derby is a bit more upscale than our other choices and so where is gets bonus points for the inventive menu, it lacks the fun in the theming. Designed after the original Brown Derby, a restaurant made famous in the heyday of old Hollywood, this has an authentic feel to it, but just isn't very fun. So if you have kids with you, I might skip this one for that reason and the price tag!
The menu offers an incredible array of beef, duck, and seafood dishes. The food here is more appealing to the foodie in me, but service can be slow. Be sure you are ready for a long leisurely lunch. For some it is an oasis from the heat and crowds.
4. Hollywood & Vine
OK, so just a disclaimer: The food at Hollywood & Vine is nothing spectacular. Its a Disney World buffet. It could be worse, but it could be a whole lot better! But what has me even including Hollywood & Vine in the top place I would eat is purely because my young children love it. This is where pre-schoolers and younger tots can meet their favorite Disney Junior friends such as Princess Sofia and Doc McStuffins during the day, and seasonally can meet Minnie and Mickey in seasonal costumes at night.
Again, the food here is nothing exciting, but its a great place to sit and take a break if you have those young ones in tow, and I will say the dessert spread is pretty fantastic!
What about Quick Service?
If you are not looking for a table service restaurant and just want something quick before you head to your next fast pass, then there are a few quick service spots that will fill you up, but in general do nothing for me in terms of food. However, I feel I would be remiss in not mentioning them.
The first is Min and Bill's Dockside Diner. It features hot dogs, cheese nachos and pulled pork sandwiches. The real draw here for me is the rotating featured cocktail. When I was there last it was a Kahlua and Cream Milkshake! Yum!
Updated: Newest Spots to Grab a Bite!
Since originally writing this article back in 2017, I have gotten to try both of the two newest quick service offerings at Hollywood Studios: Baseline and Woody's Lunch Box. While adding more dining options is certainly a plus for Hollywood Studios, I don't know that I would rank either as being better than the ones listed above. But they are new and well themed. So I thought I would give them a quick review below!
Baseline Tap House: Since visiting Baseline back in February 2018, I have written a full review you can check out here. For a quick recap: Baseline is a small counter service "tap house" that serves several types of beer a long with a few small plates of food. I really hesitate to include this as a dining option as the food choices are extremely limited. But they are tasty! I greatly enjoyed the charcuterie and cheese plate with the Ace Space Bloody Orange Hard Cider. We will definitely eat here again (but probably not with the kids...)
Tara is a Disney-obsessed Mom of two active boys!